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Old 01-20-2013, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Sacramento
152 posts, read 225,242 times
Reputation: 99

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hey gents i'm looking at older trucks, im wanting something i can drive to go camping in sometimes, with a bed long enough that i could sleep in it if i wanted (im 6'), rather than pitching a tent.

im looking at dodge dakota, nissan hardbody, toyota t100, or the general toyota pickup, older models of these seem to be readily available for 2, 3, 4 grand

looking for some thoughts/recommendations

thanks
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
11,029 posts, read 25,879,863 times
Reputation: 5402
I would add 1995 and up Ford Rangers and Mazda B3000/B4000 to that list if you are spending $4K
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:51 AM
 
4,690 posts, read 9,041,641 times
Reputation: 14800
A 6' bed is too short to Comfortably sleep in if you're taller than about 5'8"~5'9". You can either find out the hard way, or trust my personal experience. Maybe if you're Always, 100% of the time, solo and will sleep corner to corner it could be workable. I still wasn't comfortable when solo, but I'm 6'4". I just got a better nights sleep in a tent.

I freakin love my Toyota T100 though. I've taken the thing more places than I had any right to take a stock truck. I'm closing in on 200k (mine's a '97) without any issues. Well, at least none that aren't well known/documented (oil weeping from the valve covers, and the rear main seal weeps a tiny bit). The worst issue I've encountered that affected drive-ability were valve stems on my tires that didn't like a -40F drive and cracked. Annoying, but hardly a situation Most people will encounter and was easily rectified. Didn't cost me anything but about an hour of time.

I seriously think it's the last truck I'll ever buy. Only reason I'd need another is if this thing were totaled.
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Sacramento
152 posts, read 225,242 times
Reputation: 99
brian whats the bedlength of your t100? i see these pretty regularly for 2500 and up

thanks for the thoughts guys
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Old 01-20-2013, 01:20 PM
 
4,690 posts, read 9,041,641 times
Reputation: 14800
6' though some came in 8'

Make sure that if you pick the T100, you test-drive both the bench seat and buckets... it may make no difference to you, but my wife and I found the bench model to be so uncomfortable as to spend more to buy the bucket seat version. While a creative person can swap to buckets, it's not a simple bolt-up job.

And geez, are they really that cheap now? I guess mine was only 4 years old when I bought it, but that's peanuts for the quality of these things.
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Old 01-20-2013, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Texas
5,721 posts, read 16,286,231 times
Reputation: 11130
In regards to the Dakota, the 1st and 2nd generation trucks were near bullet proof. Made up to 1997, they were everything a truck should have been. After that, they're extreme crap with far too small ball joints, far too small brakes, and there is no reliability in these.
Nissan hardbodys were rust buckets and if you find one that's not rusted, it has zero resale value or worth. Even the Nissan dealers don't want them.
Toyota T100, there's a reason you don't see many on the roads- they were an incredible failure as a truck. Research Toyota sludge for the 3.0 V6. My brother had 3 engines replaced due to this but Toyota no longer stands behind these aging trucks. Avoid any Toyota 3.0 V6. The Toyotas are also known gas hogs versus others in its class. If you can find an older Tacoma, like in the 80's with the 22R 4 cylinder engine- they're what folks think of when they say Toyota is the best. The 22r engine found its way into forklifts and stationary equipment. Super engine as was the rest of the truck.
Google
Don't look past a Ranger. They have been a very reliable platform which is why you see a lot of them as delivery trucks and in commercial applications. They're a long life truck. If looking at a Ranger, the 3.0 V6 engine has had issues with pan gaskets, so be aware. The 4.0 V6 is not a fuel mileage king. The manual transmissions are the Mazda brand and can be a handful. I'd suggest an automatic if looking at Rangers.
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:14 PM
 
248 posts, read 415,067 times
Reputation: 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by vapour_trail View Post
hey gents i'm looking at older trucks, im wanting something i can drive to go camping in sometimes, with a bed long enough that i could sleep in it if i wanted (im 6'), rather than pitching a tent.

im looking at dodge dakota, nissan hardbody, toyota t100, or the general toyota pickup, older models of these seem to be readily available for 2, 3, 4 grand

looking for some thoughts/recommendations

thanks
I've got a 1991 Dodge Dakota with 135K miles on it I'll sell you for $3K right now.

But past that, my dad bought that truck in 1995 at an estate sale and it's been a great little truck. Good power, rides well, a few niggling little annoyances but nothing major. After almost 20 years, neither the engine nor the transmission has ever been cracked open. The only thing we've had a nagging problem with is that it's got this really miniscule leak in the A/C system that nobody can find and we've got to recharge it about every two years. Past that, I'd drive it to California tomorrow. The only reason I'm selling it is that I needed a vehicle with a back seat since my mother moved in with us.
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:18 PM
 
248 posts, read 415,067 times
Reputation: 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian_M View Post
A 6' bed is too short to Comfortably sleep in if you're taller than about 5'8"~5'9". You can either find out the hard way, or trust my personal experience. Maybe if you're Always, 100% of the time, solo and will sleep corner to corner it could be workable. I still wasn't comfortable when solo, but I'm 6'4". I just got a better nights sleep in a tent.

I freakin love my Toyota T100 though. I've taken the thing more places than I had any right to take a stock truck. I'm closing in on 200k (mine's a '97) without any issues. Well, at least none that aren't well known/documented (oil weeping from the valve covers, and the rear main seal weeps a tiny bit). The worst issue I've encountered that affected drive-ability were valve stems on my tires that didn't like a -40F drive and cracked. Annoying, but hardly a situation Most people will encounter and was easily rectified. Didn't cost me anything but about an hour of time.

I seriously think it's the last truck I'll ever buy. Only reason I'd need another is if this thing were totaled.
I'll also give the T100 a thumbs up. It's one of those rare vehicles that was a lot better than the reception it got. The six-cylinder engine in the T100 is just fine, but when American buyers heard "no V8" in the T100, they just disregarded it as a serious truck...and that was a mistake. Everything I've ever heard about them was that they are really good light-duty trucks.
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:31 PM
 
Location: Sacramento
152 posts, read 225,242 times
Reputation: 99
thanks for the thoughts all, you guys really seem to know your stuff, its making for some interesting reading.

i dont too much care for the fullsize trucks, i do like the more midsize or compact ones.

my lease is up here in sacramento in a couple months and im thinkin of moving a bit further inland towards the sierras, and with spring coming up, id like to be getting out doing some camping, so one these trucks will aide me in that endeavor
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Old 01-20-2013, 04:42 PM
 
3,036 posts, read 3,986,489 times
Reputation: 6013
The dodge dakota and nissan "hardbody" = junk
They sell cheap for a reason.

You can't go wrong with the Toyota. It is by far the best built and most reliable.

The Ford Rangers are well built and reliable. They hold their value well for that reason.
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