Mid Week Match-Up: Toy Hauler For Ckleerun

is Wednesday, so that means time for another episode of our reader’s favorite game of finding out how much you can get for your kids from a group of traveling Gypsies — also known as  Mid Week Match-Up!  This week’s MWMU request comes from Ckleerun who writes:

I am looking for a cheap(ish) and capable “toy hauler” and foul-weather driver.

I found a 16-passenger E250 which, for $3500, would tow a track car and
haul a motorcycle inside while doubling (tripling, really) as a bunk.
Realistically this type of usage would occur maybe once a year, and my
wife’s reaction to this level of overkill suggests I need to look

Realistically, all I *need* is something reliable that will tow a
minimum of 1000lbs without being too ugly. Bonus points for the ability
to tow 5000lbs. (Since “ugly” is subjective, let me state that I’m
perfectly okay with a Honda Element. 

I’ve also used “hail|salvage” when
searching CL.) This thing doesn’t have to be pretty, but nondescript is
preferred to eyesore since it will be street-parked. MPG is not a big
concern as this will get used only as needed, maybe 10%-20% of my annual

My experience with Toyota and Ford products suggests a late-90s Tundra
or F150 would probably be the “smart” choice, but I am wondering if your
readers can surprise me with some other ideas… something with a hint
of style. But it also needs to not beat me up during a 4-5 hour road
trip, so that beautiful 1966 Power Wagon is right out. For budget I’d
prefer to stay closer to $3500, but $6K is not out of the question

DT E-i-C Vince:  My first thought was that you need the Beast…but if you have a few more bucks to spend, take a look at a used F-150 pickup.  Like this 1998 Ford F-150 XL Supercab 4X4 here on eBay bidding for $2,500 with 1 day to go, located in Levittown, PA.  You get a Triton V8, supercab (small back seats), 4-wheel-drive, and a vehicle that isn’t so ugly your wife won’t ride in it.