Home » U-Haul Pickup Trucks Are Awesome Old-School Workhorses That You Can Actually Buy From U-Haul

U-Haul Pickup Trucks Are Awesome Old-School Workhorses That You Can Actually Buy From U-Haul

Dt Trucklove
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A few weeks ago, I fell in love with a machine when I was least expecting it. I just needed something to transport a couch from the Pasadena area about 20 miles back to my new apartment in Studio City. So I rang up U-Haul and dropped $20 on a pickup truck. What I got was one of the most perfect modern pickups I’ve ever driven.

I still have a lot to tell you all about that party at my house, and about my move, but for now, it’s President’s day and I need to go off-roading with Kristen Lee and Jake Thiewes (from Out Motorsports). As such, I must bang out some quick, but important (!) content. Namely, I need to tell you about an excellent truck that you too can experience for just a few Andrew Jacksons and a 15 minute trip to your dealer of white and orange moving-vehicles.

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The reason why I’m comfortable calling this machine “one of the most perfect modern pickups I’ve ever driven” without worry of damage to my flimsy car-journalist reputation is that this truck is honest.

With so many modern pickups having short beds, fancy interiors with copious of electronics, and complicated suspensions and engines, this Silverado feels like a breath of fresh air. It’s a true work truck, and that’s saying something in 2023.

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It has a long eight-foot bed, a regular cab, and a bench seat. Granted, it’s a split-bench and if someone sits in the middle they’ll sitt strangely tall due to the stiff cushion, but it’s a bench nonetheless. Plus, the floors? VINYL (or rubberized or whatever Chevy’s calling it these days):

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Under the hood is a 335 horsepower 5.3-liter V8. That’s right, a pushrod-equipped small-block LS engine just like the truck gods ordered. Bolted to that motor is a Ypsilanti, Michigan-built (Edit: Actually, it was built in Toledo starting right around the Great Recession) six-speed automatic with a column-mounted shifter.

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You can see the column shift in the image below showing the dash, and while I’m sure many of you will say “Is it really a rough and tumble work truck if it has all these screens?” the fact is that the infotainment screen is pretty damn small, and the important controls like HVAC and radio volume/channel are all physical buttons or knobs:

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And if you look at the dashboard, you’ll see a fantastic set of gauges showing coolant temperature, oil pressure, and battery voltage, in addition to the basic stuff you’d expect in any other vehicle.

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What’s more, the truck rips! I mean that with sincerity. The 335 horses from that V8 sound amazing, and they scoot the two-wheel drive work truck down the road with vigor:

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Why am I so in love with a U-Haul pickup truck? Why was it so hard to drop it off that night, never to be seen again? Is it because it’s been a while since I’ve been in a modern truck that felt anything like my old and beloved Jeep J10? Or is it because it’s new and therefore 10000% more comfortable and quick than anything I own? Or it because I’m just a bit tired from this move to LA? It’s probably a bit of all of that.

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But I don’t think I’m wrong for loving this truck.

I started looking into what it’d take to get a hold of one of these bare-bones V8 work-rigs, and the answer is: not a whole lot! U-Haul actually sells its trucks on “trucksales.uhaul.com,” and these things all have very, very few miles on them — both of the pickups below have fewer than 13,000 on their odometers:

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Pricing doesn’t seem amazing, and it’s only a couple of grand below MSRP, but it looks to be roughly the market rate for such a truck. Still, the point is that there are lots of fantastic work truck available to purchase or, if you just want a quick, loud, sweet bench-seat equipped pickup for a drive-in movie date, you can just rent the thing for $20 + mileage. And that’s just awesome.

[Mercedes Note: U-Haul doesn’t just sell off its pickup trucks, but its box trucks, too. Have you ever wanted to build a stealth camper or wish you had a truck to carry your toys? You can find old U-Hauls for sale at corporate locations and they get as big as those 26-foot GMC Topkicks. Sometimes, the equipment will be so old that you might find a late 1980s International S1600 with a manual transmission and a 7.3-liter IDI V8 diesel! -MS]

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Andy Carlson
Andy Carlson
11 months ago

I rent these once or twice a year to haul crap from home depot. I also think they are pretty great bare bones tools.

CJ Rogers
CJ Rogers
1 year ago

The best deal for work trucks is from Fastenal. All their fleet is Ram 1500 Classics, my ost are under 50k as they start replacing at end of 36k warranty. I snagged one last year with only 23k on it hemi 2wd long bed for 24k in the height of used cars price hikes.

David Mullis
David Mullis
1 year ago

I wish y’all would hire Kristen. Then the Autopian would be perfect.

SolamenteDave
SolamenteDave
1 year ago
Reply to  David Mullis

Her, and Alanis King and this place would be hitting on all cylinders.

Ben
Ben
1 year ago

I feel like this is one of those cases where mileage doesn’t tell the whole story. Those trucks were likely rode hard and put away wet since they were rentals being used to haul heavy stuff. 13000 UHaul miles is not like 13000 regular miles. These things did a lot of short trips with heavy loads.

Also, please tell me this off roading expedition is a surreptitious attempt to poach Kristen for The Autopian. 😉

Ben
Ben
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben

Oh, and 335 HP from a modern V8? That seems low. Chevy’s site says 355 for the current gen, which seems more plausible.

That One Guy
That One Guy
1 year ago

Imma let you finish, but the Willow Run plant in Ypsilanti was closed in 2010 and the T1xx pickups came out in 2019 so you (and Wikipedia) are mistaken about where that transmission came from. I believe it probably came from Toledo.

That One Guy
That One Guy
1 year ago
Reply to  David Tracy

Yes sir. GM still had Toledo & Warren making transmissions nearby, so it must have made more sense to expand Toledo at the time. Now Warren is out as well and Romulus (relatively newer but traditionally just engines) now also makes transmissions. Similar to Willow Run, Warren had some WWII history and more recently COVID mask duty. Time and service wore it down enough that it also served as a Transformers set at some point.

Boxing Pistons
Boxing Pistons
1 year ago

Great configuration, there. I was really tempted to pull the trigger on a Ram Classic a couple years back with the long bed/reg cab and Hemi, but in the end I stuck by my old Ford.

SlowCarFast
SlowCarFast
1 year ago

I own a car, but rent a van from Menards for 2 hours for less than $30 whenever I have a project requiring 4×8 sheets of stuff. I don’t know how long it takes to fill out U-Haul paperwork, but I was impressed with how easy it was to check that puppy out and get my stuff home.

Sam Hoffman
Sam Hoffman
1 year ago

I don’t think that truck has an LS motor, it’s likely a direct injected LT style.

Gene1969
Gene1969
1 year ago

I think David needs to come out of the closet and admit that he’s a Chevy guy. He’s done three article about full sized Curvy pickups and they’ve all been glowing.

MH7
MH7
1 year ago

I really don’t get why carpet exists in trucks (even cars for that matter). Here’s this carpet, where your dirty shoes go, in a vehicle you bought to either work in, use for dirty outdoors hobbies, or impersonate one of the former. So we’ll put in carpet that has to be regularly cleaned, and let you buy vinyl floor mats to put on top of them, because….

Console shifters in any car drive me nuts. Why take up valuable storage space and create an obstacle to your coffee? And then have the audacity to make a ‘work mode’ where the shifter folds down to make a flat surface (cough ford). It’s weird. My 16 f150 has a console and column shifter which is great. If it bothers you the use the dash mounted dial like ram.

One thing that is an actual improvement is a decent size back up camera, esp. if it has a zoom like ford. Makes hitching trailers a breeze

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
1 year ago
Reply to  MH7

I’ve never really understood the point of console shifters for automatics, or, really, for manuals with less than 4 gears

MH7
MH7
1 year ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

I guess it feels luxury? It’s more of an annoyance in full size trucks, but there’s very little console/storage space in mid sized trucks. Why rangers and tacomas need them is a mystery to me. There’s a lot of utility in having extra space to store basic tools, rags, knives, straps, paper powers, etc that is sorely lacking in midsize trucks. In my f150, I have damn near everything I need to perform field repairs on my camper, mountain bike, or motorcycle stashed in the cab out of sight (and still have a big ass space when I fold up the seats). The fact that mid sized options lack those storage solutions but waste space on a mandatory console shifter just makes me irrationally angry.

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
1 year ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

Manuals require long, contrived shifter linkages for column mounting. So added expense and complexity combine with less feel and slower shifts. Still like them, but only because they’re silly.

MH7
MH7
1 year ago
Reply to  Vetatur Fumare

True, but manual trucks have been pretty much dead for 15 years barring off road specific packages. I doubt that had anything to do with console mounted autos found in 99% of what’s out now. And even if it did, it’s not that hard to swap out a few console and column trim pieces to offer both.

Its just one of the things that irks me as I’d like a smaller truck but most are less task focused or skip on packaging

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
1 year ago

I have to say, in a pinch, I will often rent U-Hauls instead of rental cars, since rental car places in smaller towns away from major airports usually keep classic bankers hours and none of them seem to ever have cars available, even when they are open.

But, there’s always a U-Haul franchise with trucks available pretty much everywhere you go, and if one of them has limited hours, there’s bound to be another one a mile or so away that’s open. Also, they tend to have more open and honest pricing than rental companies (no $60 a day for full-size Mitsubishi Mirage or similar plus $250 in taxes and fees), the price quote you get on the website is pretty much what you’ll pay, and it’s usually either in line to with rental cars or a bit cheaper

Mercedes Streeter
Mercedes Streeter
1 year ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

U-Haul also has its Truck Share app, so you can literally wake up in a cold sweat at midnight with a hankering for a base model truck, decide to rent that truck, and get one without ever talking to or seeing another person.

Arrest-me Red
Arrest-me Red
1 year ago

As a work truck these are great. If you want to upgrade some of the comfort, a boneyard or part out truck will give you most of what you need. And you can throw it in the back.

That is what I will try to do when I get a work truck. Basic 8ft bed then swap parts as time and money allows. A basic radio with Apple Carplay are easy to come by on Crutchfield.

Cool Dave
Cool Dave
1 year ago

I love the same things about my work truck, it’s a 2019 Ram 2500, crew cab, 8ft bed, 4WD with the Cummins. It’s got vinyl seats, rubber floors and the smallest screen Dodge offered. Its a ‘real’ work truck.. the only kicker, and it’s a biggie, is that I could never in my lifetime afford to buy it or run it myself. The damn thing, as ‘basic’ as it is, cost like $70k+, the fuel tank is ridiculous and the DEF is a constant need.

EricTheViking
EricTheViking
1 year ago

That’s the reason Mercedes-Benz offered the stripped-down utilitarian version of G-Class (designated as W461) for the military, non-governmental organisations, and public agencies while selling plush-o-mobile civilian version (W463) for many years. The civilian version of W461 is called “WORKER”, “EDITION.30 PUR”, or “PROFESSIONAL”.

Now, W464 has replaced W461 in 2022 and comes in two body versions: cab chassis and station wagon.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
1 year ago

Sadly, the one thing U-Haul won’t sell you after its time is its amazing motorcycle trailer.

I’ve rented one a couple of times, and they’re simply wonderful. Basic but everything you need, and very easy to maneuver.

MrLM002
MrLM002
1 year ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

It’s because U-Haul uses their trailers until they literally cannot be safely used anymore.

A Truck or Van is different because by the time the engine or transmission needs to be rebuilt or replaced the cost of that plus the other necessary repairs and maintenance around that time exceeds the value of the vehicle.

The founder of U-Haul for a time tried to make the everlasting U-Haul Truck and the factory that refurbished them ran 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They eventually determined it wasn’t worth it, and that was back before today’s complex drivetrains when it seemed feasible to attempt such a thing.

U-Haul could sell new trailers to individuals and have them sign something that states they won’t sell them to any business but U-Haul will NEVER sell used trailers unless it’s a literal going out of business sale for the whole corporation, in which case some competitor would likely buy them all before you got a chance to buy one.

What I’d do is look for the original trailer manufacturer and see if you can buy one from them new. I was interested in getting a U-Haul Sport Trailer and I found the manufacturer and it appeared they’d sell them new to civilians.

Lew Schiller
Lew Schiller
1 year ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

The car trailer is the best car trailer money can’t buy.

Phil Layshio
Phil Layshio
1 year ago

I feel this. I paid 4K for a bare bones F250 Super Duty at a state auction s couple years ago. Plastic seats, roll up windows and a rubber floor. Somebody took pity on whoever it was assigned to back in the day and ordered it with air conditioning. I added a radio. Pulls my boat all day long, and I really don’t worry about something happening to it. It got hit while parked over 4th of July last year, other driver left a note and his insurance paid me a little more than I paid for the truck for a damaged tail light and a dented bed.

James Davidson
James Davidson
1 year ago
Reply to  Phil Layshio

So leave the dent in the bed, replace the taillight and it’s basically a free truck. That’s an even better deal! ????

Phil Layshio
Phil Layshio
1 year ago
Reply to  James Davidson

That’s exactly what I did! Well, sorta. I *intend* to get a new light. When I have time. And until then the red tail light tape holds up surprisingly well to the Oregon weather. I just refreshed it for the first time. And as a bonus to the free truck, it’s still resplendent in it’s yellow ODOT livery so it gets waived through most construction zones 🙂

Eggsalad
Eggsalad
1 year ago

My DD is the 2002 version of this. Uncle Sam bought it new for the USFWS. It currently has 105k on it. I plan to drive it until I die. I wish it was a V-8, but Sam was too cheap. I love my truck.

Alan Christensen
Alan Christensen
1 year ago

I’ve been trying — with no luck yet — to find one of U-Haul’s 10-foot box trucks non-duallie) to replace my aging cargo van. There are plenty of 12-foot Penske and Ryders out there, but they’re too long for my purposes.

stubdad
stubdad
1 year ago

Checks notes… David sells most of his fleet of rusty shitboxes and moves to LA with a much more manageable fleet, which is still something I thought I’d never see. He finally gets to California, where old cars have lived much better lives (in the non-road salt sense). And the first vehicle he talks about buying out there is a modern pickup truck? Quirky, sure but modern. Did David move to Bizarro world?

Harvey Park
Harvey Park
1 year ago

Are those analog gauges?!?

Space
Space
1 year ago
Reply to  Harvey Park

They are.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
1 year ago
Reply to  Space

I’m a resolute car guy, but pickup analog gauges are just wonderful – they’re like a throwback to an earlier race car dashes for some reason, everything in simple dials and often in rows.

Bearddevil
Bearddevil
1 year ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

I’m not sure I agree. A digital speedometer (nice large numerical readout) is far faster and easier to read than an analog gauge. Especially if that analog speedo has been stylized and is impossible to read around dusk because it has a shiny background (Thanks, Ford!) and the needle doesn’t get near the hash marks. I’ve set my DD’s digital dash up to be a large numerical speedo with a ring tach around it (not that I really need it on a well-calibrated auto). The automaker fetishization of skeuomorphic gauges on modern vehicles is misplaced, and, I feel, counterproductive to situational awareness.

Hondaimpbmw 12
Hondaimpbmw 12
1 year ago
Reply to  Space

Analog like. Still a digital display. The F150 is very similar. Maybe the Chevy has a more analog like oil pressure gauge. The. Ford is “some or none”, very disappointing.

Ncbrit
Ncbrit
1 year ago
Reply to  Harvey Park

Kinda. They’re digitally controlled analog gauges.

Shop-Teacher
Shop-Teacher
1 year ago

I love everything you love about these trucks DT, but I still cannot stand behind the styling of this generation of trucks. I say this as a lifelong GM truck super-fan, those trucks are unforgivably ugly. The GMC version is OK looking, and can be purchased equipped just like the one you drove. I still find it unfathomable that they went from such an outstanding looking truck as the previous gen, to the monstrous abomination that the current gen embodies.

Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
1 year ago

I rented one of these a few years ago because it was way cheaper than Lowes delivery charge and U-Haul was literally down the road. It was a nice basic truck and probably better on gas than the 2002 F150 I bought a couple of years later.
The Ford is a better deal for me than renting because I have space to park a 20′ long extended cab long bed and I can impulsively pick up free furniture or other stuff and if necessary leave it in the truck like the roll of chicken wire, pallet, and planters currently occupying my truck’s bed.

V10omous
V10omous
1 year ago

The fetishization of base model vehicles, and trucks in particular is so weird to me.

My truck has a simple V8, column shift, vinyl floors, and an 8 foot bed too, it just also has a good sound system, soft leather heated and cooled seats, 360 cameras (great when maneuvering a trailer), and so on.

Why it’s virtuous or cool to be uncomfortable is a mystery I’ve never solved. I’ll haul my yards of dirt or pull my trailer 500 miles in comfort, thanks.

V10omous
V10omous
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

Note also, this isn’t just a “cheaper trucks are a better value” thing either, because while I disagree with that argument, I can at least understand it.

The consistent sentiment I get from both writers and commenters is that cheap, base model trucks are actually superior to expensive ones of the same capability, because they possess overwhelming advantages in intangibles like “honesty” or “realness”. It’s super weird! No one says a Mitsubishi Mirage is a more authentic people mover than an S-Class, even though they both seat 5 people.

Yukonelele
Yukonelele
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

I agree in that I also like the creature comforts. One thing that is actually in these “honest” vehicles’ favor though is weight. I’ve got that same (albeit slightly older and only 290ish hp) 5.3 in my Yukon, and with all the extra weight I’m carrying, my car sounds exactly like David’s clip when I hit the gas, but it doesn’t move Anything like that Uhaul truck did.

Duke of Kent
Duke of Kent
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

I feel like there’s some “sour grapes” to it sometimes. As if to say: “I don’t want to spend / can’t afford six figures for a pickup truck, but but but the base model is BETTER anyway!”

But there’s also a lot of appeal to having the right tool for the job. I don’t do a lot of truck-y things, so I don’t know if it’d feel somewhat wrong to get all dirty in a King Ranch or whatever. Maybe the stripped down base model is just the right tool for the job.

V10omous
V10omous
1 year ago
Reply to  Duke of Kent

“I don’t know if it’d feel somewhat wrong to get all dirty in a King Ranch or whatever.”

It doesn’t really. I special ordered the vinyl floors over carpet for ease of cleaning, and I don’t go out of my way to get the seats dirty, but the inevitable happens sometimes and that’s OK.

Sklooner
Sklooner
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

My neighbor had a top of the line King Ranch and always borrowed my truck when he had to move crap, mine was a GMC 3500 that a bull had tried to mate with leaving no body panel unbent. He always returned it with more gas and a six pack of some yummy smoked porter so I never complained

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
1 year ago
Reply to  Duke of Kent

I think the sour grapes may come from the fact that there is an actual contingent of people that can’t/don’t want to afford the luxobarge King Ranch crap and want an honest truck that is capable and affordable with maybe a few niceties. Working-class people that actually need the capabilities to live. Then, when it’s time to buy they find that manufactures aren’t making those trim levels anymore because the suburbanites (or other half of the working class that doesn’t mind spending 50% of their take home pay on a truck) want infotainment and 12 way adjustable heated and cooled massaging seats to sit their fat ass in. Or, if the trim does exist it’ll be a 3 month wait because dealerships would rather use their alotmets to take delivery of higher margin trims. So, yeah, maybe a few sour grapes… a things like this basic truck are exciting..

Phil Layshio
Phil Layshio
1 year ago

This right here. My truck is a base base base model F250 Super Duty. Vinyl everything and rubber floors it does have AC. Aside from the seat could be more comfortable, it drives like a super duty 4×4, it can get beat to hell and I don’t care. It’s going to get a speaker upgrade eventually.

GhosnInABox
GhosnInABox
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

Having lived with one of these trucks for several days during a move, there is definitely something refreshing and a bit jarring about the usability/simplicity of this configuration.

I also own a small motorcycle and am baffled by how needlessly upmarket and complex automobiles have become by comparison. Modern luxuries are often just needless distractions.

In 2023, a truck that’s just a truck leaves a bigger impression than a 80k motorised man-cave.

V10omous
V10omous
1 year ago
Reply to  GhosnInABox

“baffled by how needlessly upmarket and complex automobiles have become by comparison. Modern luxuries are often just needless distractions.”

This is exactly what I meant by “fetishizing discomfort”. I don’t think a nice leather seat that feels nice after a few hundred mile drive is very distracting or complex. Even if it was, why is that especially bad in a truck vs a car? After all, if my fancy stereo or blind spot cameras stop working after 15 years, I’ll still have the capability I do now.

If base model trucks are so refreshing and make such an impression, why doesn’t everyone who feels this way have a Mirage or stripper Corolla to go with it? It’s so odd to me.

Bearddevil
Bearddevil
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

If you could actually configure a base model vehicle with the comfort options, I’d agree with you more. I also way prefer cloth seats to leather, especially in the summer. My ideal vehicle would leave a lot of the technology features behind, but still have the better seats (preferably heated and ventilated and a nice cloth, the the top trim Volvos) and better stereo. I don’t need all the connected car features, and onboard internet, and self-parking, and big wheels with rubberband tires. I want something reasonably efficient, reasonably priced, but still comfortable enough that my frequent 13 hour drives aren’t a chore.

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

Some vehicles are just much better when (reasonably) stripped down. The Citroën AX 10E has maximum charm, whereas the AX 14TGE just kinda misses the point. I think trucks should be minimally equipped, but that doesn’t mean forgoing necessities. Fabric seats are comfier than leather, vinyl floors are easy to clean, but by all means give me power mirrors and a backup camera.

Andrew Wyman
Andrew Wyman
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

What I can comment on is the KISS possibility. I have my car almost at top trim level, but do I fear the more luxurious functions dying and costing a fair amount to replace?

Yes.

If I bought the base model without any of those, then it makes sense that while I wouldn’t have those comforts, I also wouldn’t need to worry about fixing them.

I do agree that there is a certain amount of putting the rental setups on a pedestal, because they are the “true heart of the vehicle”.

V10omous
V10omous
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Wyman

A lot of people have said something like this and it doesn’t make much sense to me either.

If my fancy electronics fail after 10 years, I basically have…..the base model! Nothing unique to the King Ranch trim level can fail that will degrade the capability of the truck to tow or haul as much as an XL. Meanwhile, I’ve enjoyed the features for the entire 10 year period before they broke.

Some people are so paranoid about everything breaking that it blinds them to the real likelihood of that happening. If your reference point is a 25 year old beater, then sure, your life experience probably involves a lot of broken parts. That’s not how most people think about or experience vehicle ownership!

Gordon Mitchell
Gordon Mitchell
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

Im sorry but this is hilarious. Person with $90k F350 King Ranch confused why people buy vehicles with cloth seats.

Salaryman
Salaryman
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Wyman

My problem is, if I buy the base model I will spend the next 10 years looking at all the blank buttons for things I could have had.

I may never press that button, but dammit, I want the function.

Phuzz
Phuzz
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

One argument that does have some merit is “there’s less to go wrong” (on a cheap vehicle).
Partly this might be down to new features sometimes being unreliable when a manufacturer first introduces them, but I think it mostly stems from many people not being confident fixing electrical problems.
I’m looking at it from the point of view of someone who has never bought a brand new car though.

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

If you are hauling multiple “yards of dirt” then you must be driving something special. Your lucky to get 1 yard of dirt before you reach payload max. Multiple yards your talking about 4-5,000 lbs which is more than even a F250 can haul.

V10omous
V10omous
1 year ago

The payload of my King Ranch F350 is ~4450 lb.

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

oh yeahh, definitely not commuter type stuff.

V10omous
V10omous
1 year ago

Well I commute in it, at least in winter time, but point taken.

Drew
Drew
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

I do wish I had ventilated seats in my pickup, but I think a lot of the “right” pickup stuff is a mix of misplaced nostalgia and a sort of generally unease with the idea that the pickup is the commuter car and family hauler now.

I also think people don’t realize how many options from these base models are available in higher trims. It seems like people assume that you are stuck with carpet as you option up.

My Silverado is a nicer package (though not top trim and it’s a 2002), and the only things I wish it had from a base model are the bench front seat and the 4WD lever instead of the electronic. But I have vinyl floors and a column shifter, so it’s pretty good for my needs.

BolognaBurrito
BolognaBurrito
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

What makes a base model Silverado less comfortable than a mid-grade? Sure, the top tier ones get the extra fancy seats, but even then, I’m not ready to call them more comfortable. I guess carpeting might make it quieter. A center console doesn’t really improve the comfort level over a modern bench seat that has the combo console/seat thing in the middle.

Base model trucks are good because they are a bit more versatile, more utilitarian, and easier to clean. Hell, my FIL replaced his leased WT Silverado with another leased mid-tier Z71; he went from a bench seat to buckets, from vinyl floor to carpet, from a tiny little infotainment screen to a bigger one. I’m no more comfortable in his new truck that I was in his old one. The ride feels no different to me.

V10omous
V10omous
1 year ago
Reply to  BolognaBurrito

I’ve owned several trucks over the last 15 years, varying from the basest base model Silverado with a vinyl bench, to a mid grade F250 and Avalanche, up to the King Ranch 350 I have now, and on days that I spend many hours in the saddle towing, the KR purchase price is worth it for the seat comfort alone.

BolognaBurrito
BolognaBurrito
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

Cool, so you are saying top of the line (or near it) is better than the worst one. But how does the base compare to the mid? And how does the mid compare to that top?

It’s funny, because a WT Silverado 3500 can be had for like $42k if you navigate the build carefully. The cheapest King Ranch equivalent, the High Country, puts you at $72.5k. You’re either very well off, or crazy.

V10omous
V10omous
1 year ago
Reply to  BolognaBurrito

The vinyl bench to me was the least comfortable.

The cloth buckets in my XLT F250 were better, but not great.

The leather seats in my Avalanche were cushy and awesome. I do not remember the trim level of that vehicle, but it was mid level I think.

I sat in a lot of seats when shopping for my truck. Different people have different tolerances and preferences in their seats, obviously. Buy what’s comfortable for you. I will say when I ordered my truck in 2018, the price differences between the trims were not that high. The jump from mid grade XLT or Lariat to King Ranch was about $10-15K, which I judged worth it. If it was $30K, I might reconsider.

V10omous
V10omous
1 year ago
Reply to  David Tracy

I think it’s silly to pass up on features that you’ll enjoy for many years on the off chance they might break a decade or more down the line, but your position seems to be the popular one.

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
1 year ago
Reply to  David Tracy

Power windows are useful at times, but then I want to move a window in my car when it’s parked and it becomes a negative. I would like a power mirror on the passenger side; no need on the driver’s side. Leather seats are too close to vinyl in terms of sweaty behind.

Drew
Drew
1 year ago
Reply to  Vetatur Fumare

I remember when my dad got a log truck with a passenger power window. It was about the best cabin upgrade he could have asked for. I think even log trucks have largely gone to all power windows these days, but that was a good setup.

Drew
Drew
1 year ago
Reply to  David Tracy

As someone who has had a crank window stop functioning and who likes to open all the windows sometimes, I like power windows. And power locks, too.

That said, if I were setting up a Jeep for Jeep things, I’d go manual everything. And, I suppose, if I were driving rust held together by the occasional car part, I might have a very different view of these things.

Andrew Daisuke
Andrew Daisuke
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

because none of these cheap dinguses have three bucks to rub together.

Ben
Ben
1 year ago
Reply to  David Tracy

“…so I don’t have to fix it later.”

After seeing what you do buy I’m very dubious of this statement. “Fix it later” pretty much describes every one of your purchases. 😛

Footlongcone
Footlongcone
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

Realistically the bar on bare bones work trucks has moved in the past 15 years to about where a middle of the line vehicle was. A base work truck usually has power windows and locks, power brakes with abs and stability control, power steering, great a/c and heat, a decent radio and fairly comfy seats. Hell, that’s about all my Mazda2 has, which I bought new and have no intention of getting rid of anytime soon.

It seems that a number of folks find that to be that perfect level of comfort combined with capability and cost. Obviously it’s not the truck market as a whole because quad cab, full leather interiors, heated and cooled everything, 20in screened 50k+ trucks are everywhere.

ExParrot
ExParrot
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

There’s nothing wrong with creature comforts. My brothers Ram Limited is a phenomenal daily for him and the air suspension drops down so you can actually reach your stuff in the bed without climbing up the truck. When they go on trips they ride in the lap of modern American luxury, and have more than enough capability when they need it.

The appeal of these base spec trucks is their accessibility while being able to provide maximum capability. It’s a real tough pill to swallow that if I want to replace my XLT Supercab with the standard 6.5 foot bed I’m facing a 56k pricetag. I don’t care to daily a pickup, though I have to come winter time. I would love to be in a base spec 4WD reg cab 8 foot bed pickup for ~35k or less and leave room in the budget for other passions, but still have the capability when I need it, which is usually a couple times each week.

Citrus
Citrus
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

I’m not pro-truck, so take the following with a grain of salt, but if I had to own one I’d go with a basic model – albeit one with at least a few nice options specced in, like a decent stereo, extra heated bits, that kind of thing. And there is no need to have crank windows in a new vehicle.

Every luxury truck makes me wish I was in a luxury car. Taking away the fancy trim – but keeping many comfort features – feels better for me because it isn’t gilding the lily. It’s less weird to do truck things, to risk a little bit of damage or allow for dirt to show up – while also not really sacrificing anything of note.

Strangek
Strangek
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

I think a lot of it is just nostalgia. All trucks used to be like that, no frills, just the tool for the job. Nowadays you are less likely to find yourself in something like this, trucks are as nice as cars with all the same amenities. I’m not immune to that nostalgia, this base model U-Haul makes me happy too. I own two base model cars. On on of them, I really appreciate and like the base model-ness of it. It’s just car. It drives and carries crap. The other one, I wouldn’t mind a higher trim level.

Chris D
Chris D
1 year ago
Reply to  Strangek

The price is decent for what you get, but still, I get the feeling that buying a rental vehicle is kind of like marrying a hooker.

DadBod
DadBod
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

Because it has never been virtuous or cool to prance around in an ostentatious chariot. Not much of a mystery.

alwaysbroke
alwaysbroke
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

I think Victoria explains it better than I can.

https://www.theautopian.com/for-three-days-in-california-this-forbidden-renault-twingo-was-the-best-car-on-earth/

I’m not saying cheaper cars are better, but there’s a beauty in simplicity

Paul B
Paul B
1 year ago

GM has been pretty good lately with the mix of physical buttons and screen functions, especially for HVAC.

Us winter drivers really appreciate a quick way to blast the defrost when you windshield fogs suddenly as you enter colder air.

James Snyder
James Snyder
1 year ago

I bought one of the 2011 E450 RV/short bus chassis cabs to use for my landscaping business. $7000, 82000 miles! I built a 12′ flatbed and 3′ storage box on it. At 87000 miles oil consumption murdered the Sharton V10. $10000 later it runs like a champ and was still less than a 1500 pickup. I get the sweats anytime I have to turn it around though.

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