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alfadriver
alfadriver UltimaDork
8/22/15 4:47 p.m.

In reply to Kenny_McCormic: Not everyone can fit a full sized truck as an extra vehicle. We had a F150 as one of the rotation. Hated it. Went to an Edge for sanity.

G_body_man- one of those canned ham trailers, or small fiberglass trailers would be great behind a Ranger. Both of which have had project threads for.

Brokeback
Brokeback Reader
8/22/15 5:30 p.m.

I have an 05 2.3l duratec, 5 speed manual single cab, and it will tow ~2000 ok, and gets about 21-22 mpg doing it. I get 28-30 in freeway driving. I like it but if you're going to be towing more than once every 2 months or so I would say move up to a bigger truck. Half-tons seem to get better mileage than the 3.0 or 4.0 rangers, and are much more capable. Downside for you is your parents wouldn't help you out with it.

I'm a fan of the B series styling over the Ranger, and also like the 2.3 duratec over the older 2.2 and 2.3 (Lima?) motors.

chiodos
chiodos HalfDork
8/22/15 5:36 p.m.

If towing is just to haul a theoretical camper, why not just rough neck it and use a tent? I think your onto something with the smaller truck thing but how often do you actually plan on hauling a camper around? Heck you would enjoy an xj jeep Cherokee too, decent towing for toys and you can sleep inside no problem and they are plenty capable offroad. I guess im biased cause I've owned half a dozen and the one time I had a truck that could tow (f250 diesel) I never did tow anything more than a 500lb boat.

penultimeta
penultimeta New Reader
8/22/15 11:29 p.m.

I drove an '85 B2000 for a minute until the bed rusted through. I'd imagine that you'd be looking at something newer though. I thought it was a great vehicle for my purposes (moving furniture, trips to HD, etc.), but I can't imagine towing something with it given its paltry 77 hp. From a purely objective standpoint, I have never found a reason that a small pickup is ever a better choice than a full size. However, in your situation with financial limitations and potential for assistance, the Ranger is a good choice. I have a buddy that has an '05 with the Duratec and a 5 speed. He likes it and I think it's pretty good for what it is.

secretariata
secretariata HalfDork
8/23/15 10:51 a.m.
chiodos wrote: If towing is just to haul a theoretical camper, why not just rough neck it and use a tent? I think your onto something with the smaller truck thing but how often do you actually plan on hauling a camper around? Heck you would enjoy an xj jeep Cherokee too, decent towing for toys and you can sleep inside no problem and they are plenty capable offroad.

Or just put a fiberglass topper on a Ranger and sleep in the back. The extra weight of the topper will make the ride a little better and won't hurt fuel economy.

chiodos
chiodos HalfDork
8/23/15 1:25 p.m.

In reply to secretariata:

That too, I used to work with a guy who did just that except he was pretty much a nomad and traveled the us living in the back of his ranger. Cant remember what size mattress was in the back but it fit perfectly lol

G_Body_Man
G_Body_Man Dork
8/23/15 2:17 p.m.

A Fiberglass topper sounds like a plan.

Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition Dork
8/23/15 2:57 p.m.

My first tow vehicle was a 4.0 Ranger. I towed my race car on a single axle trailer with no brakes. The race car weighed about 1500 lbs and the trailer was around 500. I added a transmission cooler to it. I towed that rig across country (TX to NY) with my 350lb friend in the right seat and a bed load of tools and parts. Besides dropping out of overdrive in the mountains, it worked fine. I also put a 2000 lb MG on the trailer occasionally. The truck seemed to handle it OK, but the transmission light would come on after a long tow. I sold the Ranger when I bought an enclosed trailer.

The only problem I had was bad plug wires and the tranny light, which would go off after driving without the trailer-- I think it was just getting hot, despite the cooler. Oh, and the rear window leaked.

G_Body_Man
G_Body_Man Dork
8/23/15 3:00 p.m.

In reply to Basil Exposition:

Decently large trains cooler. Thanks for the tip!

Raze
Raze UltraDork
8/23/15 8:18 p.m.

2007 Ranger 3.0, 5 speed, regular cab and bed here. I agree a full size is better in just about every way...except...when you live in a city and need 60 to 80 percent of the utility of a full size. YMMV

KyAllroad
KyAllroad Dork
8/24/15 8:40 a.m.

I have a '94 Ranger with the big V-6 and 5 speed stick. It's very much a truck compared with newer stuff.

Any reason you want a truck over an SUV? An Explorer of similar vintage might serve your needs just as well. I had a '96 Explorer once upon a time and the SOHC 4.0 was plenty strong, and the 5 speed auto was very good at it's job. It got better brakes and overall felt much more solid and capable than the Ranger does today.

Flight Service
Flight Service MegaDork
8/24/15 10:01 a.m.

I had a 94 Ranger XLT SuperCab with the 4.0L, 2wd, 5 spd, 3.55 TracLoc diff, super engine cooling, heavy duty suspension (read helper springs on the leafs and uprated shocks, and sway bars), jump seats, flip quarter windows, sliding back glass, cruise, Premium Sound, roll up windows and manual door locks. I added a Class III hitch and trailer wiring. On the highway a steady 24 mpg unloaded at 77 mph.

I should have never gotten rid of that truck. We put my dads F150 on full size car hauler and it pulled it just fine, just to show it could. 160k of trouble free miles. 2 sets of front pads, and multiple tires (I wasn't easy on it). The one weakness is the transmission. The little Mazda box behind the big 4.0 is not good for drag racing. If you hook up you will break something. It would go the quarter at 84 mph, when the Mustang LX 5.0 was only running 88/89.

G_Body_Man
G_Body_Man Dork
8/24/15 10:17 a.m.
KyAllroad wrote: I have a '94 Ranger with the big V-6 and 5 speed stick. It's very much a truck compared with newer stuff. Any reason you want a truck over an SUV? An Explorer of similar vintage might serve your needs just as well. I had a '96 Explorer once upon a time and the SOHC 4.0 was plenty strong, and the 5 speed auto was very good at it's job. It got better brakes and overall felt much more solid and capable than the Ranger does today.

Mainly because of the utility of a bed. There's some stuff you just can't do with an SUV.

ultraclyde
ultraclyde UltraDork
8/24/15 11:25 a.m.

I have a '97 Explorer with a V8 that will tow almost 7000 lbs. It gets 12mpg towing a 3000lb camper with a crapload of stuff in the truck at 75mph through the mountains. Gets 18mpg otherwise.

Similar trucks can be had any day on CL for $2500. Buy a $500 utility trailer for the 2 times a year you want to haul stuff that's too big or nasty to go inside. Enjoy weathertight security for everything else you haul. Sleep in the back. Take 3 friends if you have tents.

I've never wished I had a small pickup over the SUV. A full size pickup, occasionally, but I see no way a small SUV can be beat by a small pickup.

chiodos
chiodos HalfDork
8/24/15 3:20 p.m.

In reply to ultraclyde:

Not to mention whens the last time you had 5 people in a small pickup fit comfortably if at all.

alfadriver
alfadriver UltimaDork
8/24/15 4:34 p.m.
ultraclyde wrote: I've never wished I had a small pickup over the SUV. A full size pickup, occasionally, but I see no way a small SUV can be beat by a small pickup.

Not everyone is the same- having had a Ranger and an F150, I would choose the Ranger, and either way- an SUV would not have worked as well. Works, sure. But not as well- I'm not a big fan of carrying tires inside the SUV.

Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition Dork
8/24/15 10:31 p.m.

Well, I put a hitch on my Jag XJS and pulled a HF trailer with a stake bed on it whenever I needed to haul something. So there's that.

stanger_missle
stanger_missle Dork
8/24/15 11:04 p.m.

I had a 1991 Ranger about 10 years ago. It was a 2wd, single cab, 4 cyl, 5 speed. I bought it for $600 off of a buddy in my Mustang club. His dad used it for his contractor business so it was used a truck (read: beat to hell).

I owned it about 2 years and put it though hell. The only thing that failed was a 3" section of coolant hose that ran beside the cylinder head, which was about $2 to replace. It was my winter beater, dump run/trash hauler/dirty car parts hauler and my DD. I only averaged about 17mpg in the city because I had to flog all 88hp to avoid becoming road pizza.

Here it is earning it's keep:

I don't know how much the crap in the back weighed but there was a lot of it.

Neanderthal traction enhancement

Would I use it to pull a 3k lb trailer? Nope, I wouldn't. Could it? I have no doubt that it could but it would be veeeeeeery slow and stopping would be scary.

They are good trucks though. I occasionally stalk CL for a rare 2.3L 4wd version (they made like 10 of them). The 1998 and up trucks are better due to the front suspension change (no more Twin-Traction beam) and better interior.

Conversely, after the spousal unit (now ex) made me get rid of it, I ended up with a 2006 F150 Supercab 4wd. It got 15mpg in the city and about 19mpg on the highway. I pulled all kinds of trailers with it. I used it to move halfway across the county, dragging my Mustang behind it. I used the 4wd pretty much all winter, every winter because 2wd pickups suck in the snow/ice.

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