By on December 12, 2012

Phil writes:

Sajeev,

I am currently the owner of a 2011 Nissan Frontier that I bought in February of last year. It is both the first truck and new vehicle that I have purchased. I am in the process of buying a house and have a little buyer’s remorse for purchasing a new vehicle.

I like the truck but with a mortgage payment coming I would like something used with a smaller payment or none at all. As nice as it is to have a truck on hand I also miss the handling and gas mileage of a car. According the KBB I should be able to sell it for enough money to break even or better with what I currently owe. I can still afford the house and the truck if needed but not having the truck payment would give me more pocket money for other things. What do you think I should do?

Sajeev answers:

DUDE! You gotta be kidding me.  I can reuse your first two sentences for myself, and I will…”I am currently the owner of a 2011 Ford Ranger that I bought in August of last year. It is both the first truck and new vehicle that I have purchased.”

I diverge from you because I’ve owned my house for a year and have zero buyer’s remorse with the Ranger.  But I’ll guess the Frontier is more expensive than my regular-cab Ranger: the odds are probably on my side there. Plus, I think my crappy little truck handles better and gets better mileage than many cars, thanks to it being the most efficient truck in the country and my mild suspension/powertrain tweaks on a platform that’s truly fun to rotate in a corner.  Even a year later, I’m dumbfounded how many times I need a small truck to carry a variety of crap because of this house. But now it’s time to shut up about me and get back to you.

I don’t want you to sell the truck, because I think you need a truck as a homeowner.  Keep the truck until you’re fully settled into the new place. Or make sure you have a friend with one.

As a homeowner, what vehicle do you need from here on out?  A hatchback of some sort would be ideal.  Or just rent a truck when needed and get a coupe. There’s really no wrong answer, except for the 2011 Ford Ranger XLT regular cab, 2.3L, 5-speed.  That’s already been done, Son!

What say you, Best and Brightest?

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

92 Comments on “Piston Slap: Is a Frontier necessary for Your Frontier?...”


  • avatar
    graham

    Even if you break even on what you currently owe (and good luck with KBB values), you’ll be pissing away your downpayment and previous 12 months of payments and then on top of that you’ll be buying a used vehicle that will have it’s own set of unknown issues. Bottom line, it’s not a wise financial move to sell it. Keep it and see how the house costs work out before dumping it for a used car.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    You could rent a more useful full size truck instead of the suburban toy, especially as a new home owner.

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      Doing the math on the truck rental proves the axiom that fuel is cheap and depreciation isn’t. I wish people would stop suggesting it. You have to do well over 30k on the car and have a cheap truck rental available, nearby, in a low rental tax location, AND need the truck less than once every two months or that scheme just fails. Oh yeah, you also have to value your time at zero.

      OTOH, if you hate sharing the road with trucks it’s great advice to give others. Not that you are doing that here, that scheme is a specialty of the SUV haters.

    • 0 avatar
      typhoon

      I don’t get the compact truck hate.

      I work for a living out of Rangers and Explorers, so my “suburban toys” are paying for my “suburban lifestyle.” The lower ride height and lower bed-sides makes them much easier to load and unload (especially the older 2WD Rangers, before they lifted those a bit higher as a concession to the image-conscious majority of truck-buyers). They’re easier to park and maneuver. And as Sajeev says, a four-cylinder Ranger still gets better fuel economy than any other truck, despite years of neglect from Ford (and it’s a peppy engine, even with a loaded down bed).

      My personal Ranger is a long bed, 4WD with the 4.0 L V6. It has more bed than a lot of full-size four-door poser trucks. I can fit a couch in it and close the tailgate. It has a removable rack if I need to carry anything bigger than the bed (lumber, metal stock, ladders, etc.) (that’s right, full-size truck buyers, you can buy after-market accessories for your truck besides rims; in fact, companies make racks specifically designed for the Nissan Frontier’s utilitrack system, so the OP doesn’t even need to drill any holes in his bed). It can do as much towing as Ive ever needed it to. Precisely as a new home-owner, it’s been perfect. I haven’t wanted a larger truck yet.

      Somehow the rest of the world makes do without everyone having giant pickup trucks everywhere; why do Americans think they can’t? What specifically can a full-size truck do that my Ranger can’t that a new home-owner would need?

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Realistically, there is very, very little that a 4×8 utility trailer can’t do that ANY truck can do when it comes to household chores. You could tow one with a Miata for the sort of things the average suburban homeowner would need to cart home – I’m actually a pretty handy suburban homeowner and I have depended on a $250 Harbor Frieght special for more than a dozen years. For the truly big and heavy stuff, $19/hr for a real truck from Home Depot. Which will be WAAAY harder to unload than a utility trailer with the bed 12″ off the ground.

        And THAT is how the rest of the world makes do without pickup trucks. If you don’t have the space to store one, U-Haul will rent you one for $14.95/day.

      • 0 avatar
        Mark_Miata

        krhodes1 is so right – for most folks there is absolutely no reason to have a pickup truck. How often do you need to haul home something that weighs more than a thousand pounds?

        When I lived in Denmark, I learned about the “Jutland Hook” – as soon as you get old enough and have a few kids, you buy a house and you get a tow hook on your car. Even tiny hatchbacks had hooks, and my friends had no problem getting anything they needed home from the store. Every home improvement store had trailers for rent by the hour – no need to own one.

        Here in the USA, my neighbors and I depend on my friend’s 1992 Toyota pickup – it sits on the street and does a few hundred miles a year. Four families kick in to keep it running – has cost me less than $50 a year for years. It helps that in Oregon taxes and registration are cheap as dirt – my Miata has no Jutland Hook as a result.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        If everything just boiled down to what we need and not what we want, would sports cars exist? Would anyone own luxury cars? Convertibles? Would Miatas even exist?

        At least trucks are justified a couple times a month. Once you own a truck, you’re sure to find uses for it or outdoor activities you’ve never even considered as a repressed car owner.

  • avatar
    jaydez

    I bought my house about 2 years after I traded my Mazda B-3000 in for a Fusion. I ended up borrowing my friend’sFrontier about once a week to do stuff around the house. Though, there was a lot of work to do on it. It was increddibly helpful doing runs to Lowes and moving in.

    I think you should keep the truck at least for for a year. You will be amazed at how often you use it.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    Keep it.

    To save any significant amount of money on payments, you’ll have to get something much older, with history you don’t *know* and perhaps get a loan that runs longer.

    If you must reduce your payment, consider changing the length of the current loan.

    You’d be better off giving up things like Starbucks, cancelling cable and making your own brown bag lunch if you want to save some money.

  • avatar

    I agree with Graham, no matter how much buyers remorse you have, stick with what you have. The operating costs will be lower on the Frontier than a used truck or a full size. You can also have the peace of mind that any expensive repairs to your truck will be covered by the warranty. With a used vehicle, you would be forced to search around for the cash for that expensive repair, whilst having the monthly mortgage payment coming due.

  • avatar
    dts187

    Keep the truck. I’m looking to buy a house in the next year and just thinking about all the Home Depot and Ikea trips made me realize buying a beater truck is a pretty good idea.

    I take that back, it’s a stupid idea. I could just borrow/rent a truck when I needed it. A cheap truck to thrash around and tinker with sounds like too good of a time, though.

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      It’s a very good idea for every household to have a beater truck. But depending on what type of home owner you are, you might be better served with a full sized van. If your home projects largely consists on interior work, then a full sized van is much, much more useful to you. If you are a yardwork kind of guy and foresee yourself hauling a truck bed full of gravel or woodchips every so often, then you’d be better served with the truck.

      The rental truck sounds appealing but the per mile charge adds up very quickly. Also- it’s really inconvenient to have to fetch and return the rental truck. Nothing beats a fully depreciated beater truck as a back-up car. I have a $1200 Ford Ranger for that purpose. Before that I had a Chevy S-10 which I bought for $1450, used for 2 years, and sold for $1450. I had 3 full sized vans before that as well.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Keep the truck. Look at all the comments above. I will add mine.

    When your young its hard to think long term. Get your calculater out and figure the costs of keeping the truck, vs dumping the truck. Take note off all the comments above. Now spread that over five years.

    It took me about twenty years and a whole lot “buyer remorse” to figure this out. Maybe buying the truck was a mistake? Maybe not. Too late to fix that problem. Don’t compound it by making another mistake.

    ymmv.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Depending on your financial ability, keep the truck if you can. A truck is ridiculously useful! If you do decide to get rid of it, find out how much money Carmax or someone else will actually put on the table, and see if you can live with cutting you losses and moving on to concentrate on the home and buying someone’s older penalty/econo-box.

    I’m assuming you’re a young guy, so evaluate your circumstances carefully and don’t react to the moment, but look ahead.

    I bought a new car back in July, and although I love it – it’s an Impala, so what’s not to like? ;) – but at times I’m still asking myself “why?”, because my old car was perfectly fine. Oh, well…I did it and my wife reminds me how nice the car is and to get over it. The 300 hp does make me feel good…

    My circumstances are different than yours; my home is almost paid off, but being about to turn 62 in a matter of months, and things being somewhat iffy at work…well, if worse comes to worse, I’ll dump the car and cut my losses and buy someone else’s junker if need be.

    We all survive in the long run, so congratulations and have fun and enjoy your new home – you’re young, you have the energy, so you’ll work miracles with it!

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    We have a house, a few acres of land, no trash pickup,endless projects, and I don’t own or ever borrow a truck. Instead, I have a 4X8 utility trailer and a Jeep. It’ll haul mulch, building materials, a free hot tub, etc.

    Most any car will has a 1,000lb tow rating and ability to mount a light-load hitch on the back.

    Not saying you should turn in your truck, but so many people seem to overlook the fact that a $600 utility trailer (mine was about half that, as I built it myself from a kit) can offer almost all the hauling capabilities of a $20,000 pickup truck. Not to mention I don’t have to pay insurance for the trailer, and taxes are nearly non-existence.

    Seriously, even nice utility trailers come in under a grand already assembled. Plus with mine, I can hook it up to the back of my riding mower and use it for yard work.

    • 0 avatar
      1998redwagon

      AMC_CJ i like the way you think. we live in a rural area with multiple outbuildings we use on the property. we “only” have 2 wagons (98 passat and 09 flex) and a utility trailer. i also have good friends who have repeatedly reminded me i have access to their old pickup when needed. i rarely do. the trailer gives us amazing flexibility. most projects fit in one of the wagons. for the really big projects it can be delivered, often for free.

      keep the frontier. it will be useful with a new house rural or urban location. in a few years the knowledge of how it has been taken care of will offer you piece of mind.

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      Can we get this suggestion deleted immediately? Every minute it’s up, another person without adequate skill or judgement will read it, and will later be found terrorizing fellow highway travelers with their new trailer.

      I am sure Zackman will regret his suggestion when this leads to draconian regulation or even banning of trailers. :)

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        Hey! I never suggested a trailer!

        BTW, while I admit they’re cheaper than a truck, I hate them, especially on the highway. Most don’t know how to tow with them in a proper manner. Too many stay in the fast lanes on the highways, too.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        Brake lights, turn signals, trailer brakes? Those are for sissies; let em guess when I’m slowing down or turning. My Harbor Freight trailer does just fine on the interstate. Bonus points if the trailer obscures the tow vehicle’s brake lights and turn signals. (snark)

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        @ Zackman..No you didn’t suggest a trailer, and agree with you and Landcrusher. A trailer is fine if you know what your doing. Lots of people don’t. My biggest issue with any trailer, be it RV,boat,snowmobile,or just a box trailer. Where do you park it,if you don’t have rural property?

        Everybody is discounting trucks, everywhere right now. Good luck getting big bucks for a used 2011 right now.

        Zackman is right. The truck is only worth, what somebody is willing to offer you. Not what some book says.

        Keep the truck.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        If the trailer is used irregularly just do a visual inspection on the tires air pressure. Never, ever carry a spare. Make a flat a family fun day! I agree with Landcrusher 100%. I’ve seen too many with cheapie trailers not understand they have 10 extra feet behind them or that the extra weight is not adequately braked. The trailer in front of you is swaying back and forth? Slow down, way down; it’s trouble brewing.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Dear God, we are not talking about towing a 10,000lb boat over the rocky mountains, we are talking about a little 4×8 or 5×9 utility trailer to the local Home Depot and back for some plywood or some mulch. If you can’t handle that, please turn in your driver’s license, I would prefer not to share the road with you.

        I do agree that the Op should just keep the truck, unless he just genuinely can’t afford it.

    • 0 avatar
      TEXN3

      Great suggestion, we do the same using our Outback. If the Outback can’t handle the load in the cargo area. However, we are thinking of going to one vehicle and I’m wondering if our new Accord could pull the trailer around town. My wife wants to keep the Accord and sell the Outback… I’m torn and I think I’ll write in to Steve and Sajeev.

      Still, a great suggestion.

      • 0 avatar
        AMC_CJ

        Mikey, the trailer I bought can actually fold in half, then the A-frame folds too, to easily store. Since space isn’t a issue for me I built it “solid”.

        As far as the rest of people who don’t use them….. I don’t know what’s worse, somebody driving a gigantic truck everyday who can’t seem to handle it (for whatever reason, even the largest of full-size trucks are pretty small). Or somebody using a trailer once a month?

        In this case I’d recommend keeping the Frontier since it’s already there. But looking at the rest of the advice, and everybody says “own a home, buy/keep a truck!!” Just showing there are actually alternatives out there, but for whatever reason, hooking up a small cheap utility trailer to a car in those rare instances you need a 8ft open cargo space, gets overlooked.

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      It sounds appealing only because you live in a rural setting. If you live in an urban environment where you have to back up the trailer, you will be sorry. Backing up a trailer- especially the short wheelbase utility trailers, is hellishly difficult.

      It is cheap and useful though, without a doubt.

      • 0 avatar
        AMC_CJ

        Backing up a trailer is not that hard; but yes, it seems most driver’s somehow are defeated so easily with the idea.

        Regardless, most people will continue to buy trucks because of silly things like you mentioned. At one point I had a 71′ Chevy C30 stake bed. That was a true TRUCK. 16X8 metal flat bed, dually, a rear-end the size of a bus (with a transmission to match). We only really used it once for a large load of firewood. At no time over the past 4 years since I got rid of it have I run into a situation where I would of needed it over my trailer.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      AMC_CJ,

      If the OP had asked, “I don’t have a truck, should I buy a truck?” I’d also recommend the trailer option. However, he already has the truck, so…

      Zackman and Landcrusher,

      Somebody trailering stuff to/from the dump and Home Depot is not the end of the world.

      “Bigger toys” is not the solution to every homeowner’s problems.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        Dude! If you haven’t seen bad trailer driving you haven’t been driving enough. Try a road trip.

        Furthermore, this story is about a guy wanting to know about keeping a frigging Frontier. Now we have the normal reaction by all the truck and SUV owners talking about how only two people in a a thousand “need” anything bigger than a hatchback, minivans are the ultimate logistics tool, etc. etc.

        He should keep the truck. It doesn’t matter if he needs it. He wanted it, he bought it, he will likely lose money trying to downgrade. Get over it! Trucks and SUVs are not evil. No one “needs” a car at all. Stay home and grow a frigging garden. Move closer to where you need to be. It’s all about free choices. I never said anyone needed a truck. I drive a frigging wagon now myself. What I said was that the idea of renting a truck and driving a car doesn’t actually save money. That doesn’t mean anyone needs a truck. Understand?

        And finally, anyone who thinks someone else’s vehicle choice was made to somehow irritate him needs therapy! (If this applies to you, you know who you are).

        Any questions?

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        Landcrusher,

        My first comment recommended he keep it, primarily for economic reasons.

        “And finally, anyone who thinks someone else’s vehicle choice was made to somehow irritate him needs therapy!”

        In fact, *empty* fullsize trucks take up more than their fair share of room in the parking lot and, from what I’ve observed in the mall parking lot, are usually driven by inconsiderate people… Actually looking out the rear window to see what they’re about to crush when you back up seems to be a completely alien concept. Certainly, there’s little regard for the fact that they outweigh a lot of other vehicles on the road and their owners exercise no extra caution in driving them.

        Now, the fact is, they *are* irritating and for good reason.

        And the last time I saw an incident with a a trailer that didn’t feature a jacknifed semi, it was caused by a pickup truck pulling some sort of extra-long contractor-grade trailer (so we should expect some level of “professionalism” here) who failed to consider the way the trailer would trail inside the turn the pickup was making and that trailer grabbed another pickup truck on the inside, tearing the back end and pulling it throug a small arc.

        I’ve never seen somebody with a utility trailer full of leaf bags on his way to the compost dump do anything similar.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        Kix,
        I get you are frustrated with a lot of pick up drivers. Me too. Especially the extra long ones, loud ones, duellies driven like sports cars, and any truck that tail gates as if they actually have reasonable braking distance.

        However, none of that means those bad behaviors are intentionally aimed at pissing off other people. They may be inconsiderate or selfish or whatever, but if you think people go buy a car thinking, “man, this thing will really piss off those other drivers when they can’t see around me,” well, you are nuts. Luckily for you, it doesn’t appear you think that. You just have a broad brush prejudice which isn’t good, but it’s not nuts.

        What I said was exactly what I meant. I can be a miserable writer, but I got that sentence correctly. You just didn’t read it right.

  • avatar
    cdotson

    When I first became a homeowner I was driving a 15 year-old 2-door full-size SUV. I rented a trailer for the move, but little more than 2 months after moving in it needed repairs and I garaged it and bought a full-size truck. The pickup is way more useful, and the Ramcharger I had boasted a much larger hatch and cargo area than any hatchback, wagon, or CUV you can buy today.

    I still own both trucks and I’m on my second home. The only type of vehicle that I think could possibly substitute for a pickup for DIY homeowners would be a beater minivan. Anytime I have to haul lumber longer than 6 ft I much prefer to take the wife’s minivan as it’ll swallow 12′ boards with the hatch closed. Anything longer than 6′ makes my tailgate go down, and longer than 8′ becomes a securing and safety exercise with the truck. Now my truck can haul a cubic yard of bulk sand, rock, or mulch (that your Frontier won’t handle but maybe half of that, so you’ll probably be forced to buy bagged instead of bulk) and that would be hard with a minivan but a lot comes down to what you think you’ll do with a truck or how willing you are to spend extra on bagged vs. bulk outdoor supplies.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Random thought: swap the Frontier for a fire-sale Suzuki Equator?

  • avatar
    chrishs2000

    “I’m dumbfounded how many times I need a small truck to carry a variety of crap because of this house”

    I’ve been a homeowner for 2 years and have remodeled half the house…I have NEEDED a truck exactly twice. I rented an F250 from Home Depot both times for $30 a pop.

    My 2 door Accord with fold down seats is more than adequate for 99% of the things I need. I can fit 8′ lengths of whatever I desire in it.

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      Home depot also delivers most everything they sell. So you could get by without a truck at all.

      Of course, you would be singing a different tune if your remodeling projects center around yardwork, landscaping, and demolition. I guarantee you’d be using the truck quite a bit.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        Yard work? Landscaping? Demolition? I’ve done those things. I don’t know how I get by with a minivan and free or cheap delivery.

        Clearly, I’m doing it wrong.

        Thinking back, the minivan is relatively recent… for years our big vehicle was the Box Volvo 240 Wagon with all of 114 rompin’, stompin’ horses.

    • 0 avatar
      olddavid

      My sister had a fire and we finished the basement ourselves. My 95 Mark VIII with sunroof open hauled everything the local Lowe’s outlet could sell me. Multiple trips? Check. Police scrutiny? Check. No tickets, though. And even the airbags survived. With Goop.

  • avatar
    andyinatl

    Keep the truck; no reason to add to financial damage at this stage. With that said, here’s few morsels of food for thought for those suburban weekend warriors who think about buying a full size truck.

    I’ve owned 3 houses, including one i’m living in currently. I’ve made a mistake before, buying full size truck thinking i needed it because i’m a homeowner, and being fairly handy and loving to do my own projects, thought i’d be using it often. Well, in two years i owned it, i used it 2 or 3 times, and ALL of those times, a regular hatchback or wagon would’ve done just as well. For one particularly nasty job (remodeling kitchen) i needed to haul all the old garbage out to dump, and i actually rented a truck to do that, because i wasn’t going to risk scratching up a paint on a truck i was making payments on.

    Let’s be honest here; unless you’re contractor or tradesman, you’re not going to use truck’s bed often, if at all during a year in 99% of cases (i’m not talking about people who live in rural areas, and bring their own wood, hunt, etc.). Yes, maybe during a particular project, such as remodel, etc., but once that project is done, that’s it. Think about what you’re giving up in handling abilities (i’ve discovered that in hills of north GA, there are some beautiful roads, that beg for a nicely set up sports sedan/hatchback), in fuel economy, insurance, etc. Just my $.01

    I should also mention that every time i see a new Tacoma Prerunner Double Cab with TRD Sport package (body colored bumpers and grille, among other things), in magnetic gray, my heart beats a little faster, but then i remind myself of what i could do with that extra payment instead of it going toward a truck that I will mostly use to fill my free time with extra car washes, cleanings, and buying toys for, and i happily putt along in my existing car.

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      You have demonstrated the folly of buying a NEW truck. That makes as much sense as buying a gold plated shovel. A truck is meant to get dirty and scuffed up. You should always buy the dirtiest and most scuffed up cheap truck you could find.

  • avatar
    yesthatsteve

    My wife’s ’01 Odyssey has done all the hauling we’ve needed in the nine years we’ve owned our house. Home Depot, the scrap yard, furniture, appliances, all of it except a queen size bed, and we got that delivered for free.

    Keep the truck for now.

    • 0 avatar

      I didn’t even consider minivans. Fantastic vehicles for the home-owning family man!

    • 0 avatar
      Felix Hoenikker

      I fully agree with about the Oddy. Some of the things I carried in ours included a 25 cubic foot refrigerator, a kitchen hutch. a sofa, reclining chair, full sized nattress and box spring, 4×8 sheets of plywood and drywall. It’s truly cavernous with the thrid seat folded down and the second row seats removed. The only thing I could not get into it was a queen size box spring which I simply tied to the integral roof racks.
      However, if you have a serious load, just get it delivered. Last fall, I bought an 8 x 12 shed kit from Home Depot. The foot print was 8′x 12′x 30 inches tall. The salesperson said I could put in a pickup truck bed. When he told me it weighed 1500 lbs, I arranged delivery for $65. They placed it exactly where I wanted it with the forklift on the delvery truck. Money well spent.

  • avatar
    Fantagma

    I bought a Mustang after graduating.

    Few years later I bought a house.

    A Pickup would have been a better choice.

    Plywood, floating floor, shed, patio stones, ceramic tile, cedar mulch, moulding, furniture, any large quantity of anything.

    I get big orders delivered (about $60) or borrow another vehicle.

    I do understand your payment situation, not having car payments when I bought my house helped me.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Keep the truck, it’s easily an 8-10 year vehicle and stone simple to do maintenance on. Somewhere in it’s life it will morph from all shiny and nice to your old beater truck that’s been paid off for years. You need to embrace your inner truck zen. Get a couple of ball caps and some T-shirts advertising things you like. Start getting up early on Saturdays and eat breakfast at places where guys are dressed like that. Get to know them; somebody will be able to tell you how to do that project you’re working on. Start going to the hardware store and/or big box home improvement stores on Saturday morning. You’ll find talking to guys who know how to do things and fix things and have never seen a PowerPoint slide refreshing. At that point you’ll realize your inner truck zen. You’ll get bonus points for wearing work boots and having a tape measure clipped to your pocket.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      Ha ha ha! I agree with most of what you say. EXCEPT:

      He’s a young man – he doesn’t want to hang out with the old codgers who meet for breakfast on Saturday mornings! That’s my department, except you won’t see me there, either! I’m busy engaged in far more fulfilling activities.

      I do like the tape measure thing, although it would probably fall off and I’d lose it…

      • 0 avatar
        Dimwit

        >>I do like the tape measure thing, although it would probably fall off and I’d lose it…<<

        Don't worry about it. They carry them at the dollar store now. Buy another when you lose it. Then, one year, you'll find 6 of them in various places so that you can lose the g*****n things all over again!

    • 0 avatar
      econobiker

      More like a 10 to 15 year vehicle now unless he is in a rust belt or ocean state.

  • avatar
    bikegoesbaa

    Honest question: How do homeowners in places without ubiquitous pickup trucks do homeowner things?

    Presumably there are people outside North America who own houses but do not have casual access to a pickup. They must occasionally need to get bulky or lengthy materials for a project. Is there any reason that whatever they do there can’t work here as well?

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      General rule of thumb: Smaller houses needing less materials and more delivery resources. Watched a show on HGTV with GF; they were doing a back yard makeover in the UK, no access to the backyard so they were carrying materials through the house. Still see farmers in the UK hauling stuff in their Defenders.

    • 0 avatar
      econobiker

      Most homes outside of North America do not use the same standards of building materials in sizes, dimensions, weights, etc. And people don’t live in humongous homes that require large amounts of materials for repair or renovation. In many places, people live in homes or apartments with less square footage than the typical US two car garage.

      In many places bulky or lengthy materials are expected to be required to be delivered by the seller, or labor is so dirt cheap that people are paid to carry materials to the work site, or native materials at the work site are used to build the home.

      Delivery makes sense in more populated areas of Europe where it is not a 40 mile round trip from materials yard to the home and back.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        “In many places, people live in homes or apartments with less square footage than the typical US two car garage.”

        Ha ha! Yeah, I love the “350 sq.ft. house” they display in IKEA! I have to admit it’s kinda cool, and am amazed that many DO live like that or very similar.

      • 0 avatar
        icemilkcoffee

        That is true. Most people in other countries live in real houses made of concrete. They don’t live in these ridiculous termite infested clapboard houses like we do.

        Also people in other countries have real trucks – cabover trucks with stakebeds. They don’t have ‘pretend trucks like we do here. In other countries, you could hire a real truck to deliver whatever you need delivered.

        Also- they park their boats at the dock. They don’t haul their boats over land. At least they stopped doing that after Eric the Red crossed the Alps by hauling their boats out of the Rhine.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        Saw plenty of boats on trailers last time I was in Italy. Lots were from Germany.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        As an example, most Swedes (outside of downtown Stockholm, of course)live in houses that are pretty much like the typical American house from the 50s to the 70s. 1200-1500 square feet, other than the Scandinavian style they would fit right in to pretty much any older suburb in America. They like thier gardening and landscaping too. And many of them have a REALLY nice utility trailer parked in the driveway. If not, the corner gas station has them for rent for cheap. Virtually EVERY car has a trailer hitch on it.

        If you WANT a truck and like trucks, then buy a truck, but hardly anyone NEEDS a truck.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        @icemilkcoffee. Your kvetching “why it’s so much better” in Europe is kinda of embarrassing for us who think things are OK-fine here. Not perfect but pretty much OK-fine this is our new normal. They have these things called house inspection contracts and pest control companies for termites. “Balloon” construction provided quickly built, cheap housing for a geographically expanding population. These “pretend trucks” you sneer at evolved from Model T’s and A’s. Behave B&B, I didn’t say T and A. Farmers, construction workers, oil companies, miners don’t what their stuff delivered in the field. Not easily done with your cab-over truck. A “pretend truck” with 4WD can readily do that. Boat hauling? Sometimes you just want to fish another lake. Or you may not take the boat out every weekend and don’t want to pay dock fees. Some farmers in the US have enough land they’d be a Sir/Duke/General of their own private army in another country. Why don’t don’t you ask why next time instead of making lame snarks? The Eric the Red was particularly unfunny.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        Corection: Farmers, construction workers, oil companies, miners don’t what their stuff delivered in the field. Should read Farmers, construction workers, oil companies, miners want their stuff delivered in the field

      • 0 avatar
        olddavid

        The city of Portland is encouraging density by permitting “mother-in-law” houses to be built in what is usually the back yard. Down the street from my Son and his Mother in the newly trendy Mississippi neighborhood there is a fully realized 1/4 scale Prairie style home. My antique self has decided I’m building one for me at the beach, as it will be my last move. But, the old Ranger we share will be soldiering on as with 200k and value decided by weight, it would be foolhardy to rent. We originally bought it for her to drive while fixing up a 1903 Craftsman, and found that it is virtually bulletproof. Plus, my Son learned how to do drum brakes on it. Keep the truck. Deduct every damn penny to remodel that home office. Hint.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Keep the truck, but learn from it and never finance a vehicle again. At the same time, take care of this one and attempt to make it last forever.

    Your next vehicle should be used and paid in cashish.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      @DenverMike…Now, thats great advice. However its so hard for the younger folks to pull it off.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        I know it’s tough for young folks to come up with cash for new cars, but he’s buying a home now and hopefully has 20% to put down, right?

        He’s also too young to take a huge hit on depreciation and compounding that with finance charges and everything else new cars require. I’m 44 and way too young for that nonsense. I’ve bought 2 new vehicles (at age 20 and 35), which I now see as senseless, but I did pay cash.

        I save and wait for the things I want and that’s something that’s become taboo.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      If you have decent credit it would be stupid to not take advantage of the cheap interest rates on offer these days. I’m sure making a lot more than 0-.9% interest on my investments. If you don’t have decent credit you should not be buying a new vehicle period.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        A new car purchase, whether in cash or financed, should be an inconsequential purchase if you’ve invested right. If not, then work on it and stick to clean used cars.

        Even with 0% interest car loans, you still incur many costs that cash buyers don’t. Did you pay full MSRP? All for the sake of what, extending the purchase for 3 or 4 years? No thanks.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Nope, did not even pay close to MSRP. Paid pretty close to Euro Delivery Invoice, they made maybe $500 on me, not including holdbacks and whatever. Call it $5-6K under US MSRP. Close enough to not waste my or their time on a $40K transaction. I only had to walk out once. :-) I knew the interest rate before I even began negotiating the price of the car. I could certainly have paid cash for my car, but I left my $35K or so in the market making money. I put just enough down to ensure I would never be upside-down on the note. I’ve averaged over 5% return the past five or six years, so even after paying the .9% I am making nearly 4% on that $35K. Can’t complain about that. Got one HECK of a European vacation out of the deal too. I travel for a living, so between airline miles and hotel points it cost me pocket change to spend three weeks driving all over Northern Europe – can’t get that experience with a used car!

        I don’t disagree with you AT ALL about not buying a new car until you can “genuinely” afford it, but if you can use someone else’s money for 4-5 years for effectively free, why on Earth would you NOT?!? That would just be stupid! Do you think Warren Buffet would not leverage someone else’s money whenever possible? Debt that makes you money is not a problem. After all, I could write a check and payoff the car any time I want to, though then I would have to pay capital gains tax on the money. My idea of genuinely afford it is that my car payment is rather less than 15% of my monthly take home pay. Some kids probably spend 15% of their monthly income on Starbucks and their cell phone bill.

        Also, the idea that a “cash buyer” somehow has leverage over a car dealer is a load of crap. The dealership MAKES MONEY on the financing, even at these crazy low rates. They get a kick-back from the finance company if you finance through them in most cases. You will probably get a BETTER deal on the price if you finance at the dealer, assuming that their rates are competitive with what you can get yourself. I could have gotten ~2% at my credit union, but they could not match the .9% from BMWs captive finance folks.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Why would dealers not want my cash? Would they rather me take it somewhere else? But then why would dealers/OEMs basically put their money in your pocket for 4 years while you’re driving a car that’s essentially still theirs? Unless they’re stupid, there has to be something in it for them.

        Then you assume I’m investing or should invest all of my available income/savings somewhere lucrative. I don’t feel I have to or need to. I also purchased/own all appliances, electronics, furniture, clothes and toys/motorsports/RVs outright. Cars and trucks play a small role.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Of course the dealership will take your cash. But they would be even happier to take the Finance company’s cash, plus a kickback. Which they may be willing to split with you. Cash is cash, they get paid either way. The auto makers do it to move the metal. Remember, cost of funds to a bank is essentially *zero* right now, so even at .9%, they are making *some* money – and .9% of the amount of money that is spent on BMWs every year is SERIOUS money. And very few people actually qualify for the .9% rate anyway. Normally it is only available on a 3yr or less loan, and most people can’t swing that size payment on cars that start at $35K – as is pointed out here endlessly, many people lease cars because it lets them get more car than they can actually afford. But that .9% interest rate is a reason for someone to choose a BMW over a Mercedes Benz. Right now, BMW seems to be sacrificing some part of their high profit margins for bragging rights. Hey, why not, they can certainly afford it? I smile all the way to the bank.

        I have a lot of paid for toys too, including three sports cars and a Jeep, but I also have reasonable amount of money that is well invested and is thus making me money. Compounded interest works both ways you know, and the LONG TERM trend of the market is always UP. I am young enough to not have to worry too much about dips. And there is NOTHING better than money sitting there making money – it is effortless, you don’t have to lift a finger! I’m a huge fan of putting other peoples money to work when possible. If Best Buy will sell me a $600 iPad and let me take 18 months to pay it off at 0%, then the time-value of money says you are utterly stupid to not take them up on it. That $600 you didn’t spend today is worth MORE than $600 18 months from now invested. Heck simple inflation means you are better off paying for it over time even if the money is just sitting in a drawer. Just be damned sure to pay it off ontime, which is not a problem when you can easily afford to just pay for it now anyway. I utterly HATE paying interest. But I sure love making interest while playing with my shiny new toy.

        Obviously this can’t work for everyone, you need the income to support it, the credit rating to get great interest rates and the self-control to not go overboard. The sum total of my debt is less than 1.5yrs salary for me, including my house, car, and student loans. House (2.85%) and student loan (1.5%) interest rates are low enough (and tax deductible enough) that at this point I am better off investing the money than paying them off more quickly. House will be paid off in less than 15 years anyway, possibly much less as the value of the tax deduction declines over time. The car will be paid off in four years total. I probably will keep it a good long time, since BMW does not seem to be interested in a selling me another one that meets my desires, nor does any other maker. So I will likely enjoy this one for a long time. I’ve had my Spitfire 18 years and counting, no reason I can’t do the same with the BMW, I like it just as much, and I don’t drive all that much, split amoung five cars.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Not having to think about who is owed what and for how long had always been a goal for me. I’ll take a small loss if it means being clear of all debt. I consider it a luxury that I earned. If I can’t convince the dealer that my cash is better than your financing, I must not be good at negotiating.

        Either way, it’s one thing to have the available funds, but still game the system in your favor and it’s entirely a different scenario for those that live from paycheck to paycheck and live on the edge of financial disaster because of all the tempting zero interest deals.

        Folks starting out in life should keep these to a minimum and be realistic about their wants and desires. My ex gf is extended to the maximum with these deals and I wish her the best, but any slow down at her work and it’s over.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        @Krhodes1 & DenverMike…You both make valid points. At my age {59} I tend to lean toward the “DenverMike” aproach. Where I live anything past 2.5 percent on investment’s is getting too risky for me. For me at this stage of life,cash is the only way to go.

        Now getting back to the question. The Frontier has a loan on it. My advice would be, pay it off. Think long and hard,before you sign on the dotted line again.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        “A new car purchase, whether in cash or financed, should be an inconsequential purchase if you’ve invested right.”

        When you’re maybe 25 and perhaps have married and started a family?

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    I would keep the truck and work to pay it off early. You should be able to easily drive it another 3 or 4 years without the worry of any repairs or big expenditures like tires. Then you have a payed for vehicle that you can easily drive another 4-5 years relatively cheap.

    My compact Toyota PU was invaluable for the 4 years I spent remodeling my first house. Renting a truck or doing the trailer thing always sounds good on Internet but isn’t very practical in the real world.

    • 0 avatar
      ExPatBrit

      Mostly because trying to rent a capable truck or trailer on the weekends during daylight hours can be a challenge.

      When I tried it, the truck I had reserved was returned very late by the previous renter completely messing up my schedule.

  • avatar
    madman2k

    I bought a beater truck before I bought a house, knowing that I would want (if not technically need) one. It needed some work, so I learned how to fix some more things, and I have actually used it quite a bit.
    It’s an ’85 F-250 regular cab, with 460ci carbureted engine and 3 speed auto. It can carry a lot (2 yards of gravel, sags a little but chugs along up hills and on highways just fine), and I like the sound of the engine.
    I don’t usually drive it just to cruise because of the amount of gas it uses, but when I want to head over to Home Depot or similar or pick up something from Craigslist (which I do pretty often, being too cheap to buy a lot of things new), I’ll crank ‘er up.
    I only spend $1000 for it, plus another $500 for a carb rebuild which I would have skipped if I wasn’t in smog-happy California, and about $300 in other parts. Sure, a few weekends of cussing and turning wrenches have value, but education isn’t free either.

    But to the OP, I would say keep the truck you’ve got as long as you can cut expenses elsewhere to get by and the house won’t need any large amounts of cash to be spent on it anytime soon.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      An F-250 with a 460? Getting kinda teary thinking about that beast.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        I drove a 460 powered Econoline in college once, 15 passenger model, unloaded, in the snow…

        Ah the things you learn in college. :)

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Me too. Mine was a ’97, the last of the fuel injected 460s. They came with restrictor plates (for obvious reasons) that I quickly ditched. Awesome truck!

        When the E40D went, it ditched that too for an old school 3-speed auto with all the shift kits and upgrades. Backed it with a Gear Vendors splitter.

        I kick myself for trading it in on an ’06 with a Powerstroke. Huge mistake…

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Do yourself a favor and find a place that sells gravel by the ton. A yard of gravel weighs between 3500 and 4000lbs, depending on a number of factors. You did not carry 2 yards of gravel in your F250. I’ve carried a yard of gravel by weight in my 80′s F350 more times than I can count and it sags a little and the steering gets light with that in it.

      • 0 avatar
        madman2k

        I stand corrected, then – it was two scoops with their front end loader, I thought one scoop was a yard but maybe it is only half a yard. I paid about 40-odd bucks for each load, but it was a while back and I didn’t really look at the receipt too closely, I just had him load the truck until it sagged but not too much, which was two scoops.

        No need to find another place, the project is done and I don’t need more gravel.

        Denvermike -
        What disappointed you about the ’06 with powerstroke?

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @Madman – Where to begin… My PS has been reliable with just a few glitches, but I also stay ahead of the maintenance and drive conservatively. Anything else is asking for big expensive problems.

        Aside from that, I question the sanity of spending $6K extra for the PS diesel (vs the V10) and likely never getting that back. I’ll have to own it a few more trouble-free years for that to happen.

        The 460 performed the same heavy towing, but at a lot more rpms. Now the PS does drink a lot less fuel, obviously, but the higher costs of fuel and maintenance make it almost a ‘wash’.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Of course how much a scoop is depends on the size of the front end loader, there certainly are front end loaders than can pickup a yard at a time. I’ve just tired of the places that sell it by the yard as the ones around here are no where near as good of a deal as the places that sell it by the ton.

  • avatar
    chuckrs

    If your new house is completely built, then I have trouble with the idea of needing a truck.
    When I had my house built, there were plenty of times a truck would have been nice. I made do with a Celebrity midsize wagon and a set of Thule roofracks and delivery of larger stuff. The Celebrity was totaled by a red light runner and was replaced by a Scorpio with a long wheelbase and giant hatch. Neither of these (value priced wagon or full sized sedan with a hatch) are options today, so I’d be tempted to have a small truck, too. Run the numbers as others have suggested and remember that a 1 ton from Home Despot is $19.95 per 75 minutes. How many air conditioners or table saws you gonna haul home per year?

  • avatar
    NMGOM

    Sajeev….

    He should keep the truck. One can never have too many trucks! Find a way to make it happen.
    I have his very same truck one year earlier, a 2010 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab with long-bed and 6-speed manual. It s great. And no, it’s not a compact; it is a midsize. I love this truck, but no, it does not corner like a sports car, — what did you expect?

    ————-

    • 0 avatar

      I slightly beg to differ: with the right shocks and maybe swaybars, I fully think a truck can corner like sports car from decades ago. You know, when they were British and had leaf springs.

      Very charming, and totally a sports car. What say you?

  • avatar
    Pinzgauer

    You dont need a truck as a homeowner. All you need is a utility trailer, which can be had for like $400, and a set of ratcheting straps. Buy any car that is rated to tow 1000lbs (even my old Neon was rated as such) and put a class I reciever on it. Great gas mileage and you dont need to tow around the trailer when you dont need it.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    For suburbanites, does your HOA allow trailers to be parked in your driveway? I was living in one on my companies demo homes one summer. Some old guy came up and told me I couldn’t park my company truck in the driveway and I could only park a commercial vehicle in the garage. I told him that I had built the subdivision and this house was unsold; I was staying there for various reasons. I go the look of zero comprehension. He then informed me that he checked on unsold houses every day and the neighborhood in general. I reiterated that I built the subdivision and knew where the utility cutoffs where on each lot. A minimal amount of brain activity appeared as he asked why that mattered. I told him I know where your waterline cuttoff is and I have a cutoff wrench. He came back with it’s illegal for you to own that wrench and I can call the water company. I replied no, the wrench is used to pressure test waterlines before the water company comes out and approves the newly installed lines. Coming to life he said the HOA will fine you. Patience wearing thin, I told him my company still owned over half the lots for all affects we were the HOA. Lights finally came on when he comprehended an el scotto company truck, I was wearing an el scotto company golf shirt with el scotto el scotto VP on it. His retort wasI’ll be watching and I’ll file a complaint if I feel like it. I realize HOA rules may apply to only a few of you. Mean spirited, suck the joy out of life, meddlesome HOA rule enforcement zealots may have conniption fits if you park your trailer well, anywhere at your house.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I would live in a Federal-pound-me-in-the-butt-prison before I would live in a neighborhood with an HOA. It would certainly be less painful…

      • 0 avatar
        banker43

        HOAs may sound undesireable to some, but I can tell you it is much worse to build your dreamhouse somewhere with few restrictions, only to have some idiot build a shithole next door!

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      Lol, go Scotto. I love people who just make up laws. We have one of those on the next block. He’s been here a few years, and has finally figured out the whole neighborhood thinks he is a freak.

      In Houston, associations are actually necessary. We have no zoning. It works quite well here.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    My 8X10 snowmobile trailer works fine as a utility trailer for hauling stuff but rarely did I use it for that in the home improvement department. Hauling a yard of black dirt or a ton of river rock is much easier with a pick-up bed.

    The comments about free delivery are pretty amusing. I’ve been to may different landscaping yards over the years and never once after buying material did they ask me where I wanted it delivered. I’ve been to places where they charge you to load it so anyone that thinks they got free delivery is being pretty naive.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    When I became a truck owner, I was finally able to ditch my trailer for good. My truck may have more utility than I need most of the time, but I love having it when I need it. No fuss.

    A lot of times, there’s no time to go grab a trailer or borrow/rent a truck. Like last week, I spotted 2 guys setting office furniture on the curb. Despite obvious wear, they’re exactly what I needed.

    The best part is not having to plan ahead when the urge strikes you at 3 AM to pack the kids, dogs and gear and be at the ‘spot’ at sunrise.

    And mostly, not having to own a minivan. F’ that!

  • avatar
    ajla

    This thread is making me feel like quite a lazy homeowner.

    I think my renovations have consisted of paint, sanding, stain, a ceiling fan, new door knobs, and a few shrubs. All of which fit in my trunk. I spend like 10x more time on car stuff than house stuff.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    I hook a utility trailer to the Land Cruiser…All the utility of a compact truck with worse fuel economy that a full size LOL (Hey, its long paid for). In all seriousness, I’d just keep the truck. I think selling something late model like that is way more difficult than selling a beater and I have never seen anyone get KBB. The savings over the long haul are likely minimal to none.

  • avatar
    JD-Shifty

    Just put a super high price on it. If no one bites, just take really good care of it


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

  • Re: Ford’s Final Ute

    RobertRyan - Silliness is in the mind of the beholder, many have wondered why Ford dropped the FPV version of the Ute. a lot of the negatives regarding the Falcon Ute come down to...
  • Re: Life With Accord: 12,000 Miles

    Noble713 - thelaine, I read this article and thought exactly the same thing. I’m not a fan of carpet in general, but especially despise the crap they put in cars. In...
  • Re: Daimler Boss Calls For Safety Standard Harmonization

    Lou_BC - @Vulpine – I don’t consider myself a fan of any size or class of truck. I buy what I think most closely fits my needs at the time...
  • Re: Ford’s Final Ute

    TonyJZX - i can imagine how silly this vehicle looks for non Australians because its ridiculously silly to me who wants a rwd live axled 4,000lb ute with a Ford Fusion note glued...
  • Re: Life With Accord: 12,000 Miles

    Pete Zaitcev - Not anymore. To the best of my knowledge, you cannot get a bare tub Wrangler in the JK generation. It turns out a good thing, because the 42RLE auto is a real...
  • Re: Life With Accord: 12,000 Miles

    supremebrougham - I bought a leftover 2013 Civic back in the spring. Fine little car, but the carpet is the poorest excuse for carpet I have ever seen! As for the floormats,...
  • Re: Life With Accord: 12,000 Miles

    Kyree S. Williams - Late-model GS 350? Nice. As it stands, that’s the only new Lexus I’d want to own. It’s a thrill to drive, wears Lexus’ newest...
  • Re: Life With Accord: 12,000 Miles

    Kyree S. Williams - I might do 100 MPH in short bursts, but I don’t want to see what a “30-over” speeding ticket looks like, so I wouldn’t do it for...
  • Re: Life With Accord: 12,000 Miles

    Kyree S. Williams - Yes, we’ve also had a 1990 Accord (EX, white exterior/eggplant-colored interior with leatherette upholstery), and I can say the same for *its*...
  • Re: Life With Accord: 12,000 Miles

    drw1926 - Thanks for the heads-up, I’ll keep that in mind if I’m ever considering the WeatherTech mats in the future.

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States