Tuesday, April 23, 2013

T - Trucks

I like trucks. I've owned two pickup trucks over the years and loved them. Granted, they were both little Chevy S-10s, but they were still trucks. Now I have a Minivan and a Chevy Cavalier. That makes me sad. In my defense, though, I had a very good reason for getting the Cavalier. I was driving 200 miles per day round trip to work and my S-10 only got 19 MPG. The Cavalier, on the other hand, got 32 MPG and ran on Compressed Natural Gas. Note I used the past tense. The CNG system no longer works. It also no longer gets 32 MPG. Now it's more like 25 on a good day. It's starting to feel its age. So it will soon be time to replace it. With a truck!

My wife and I actually agree on the need for a truck of some kind. We need something to pull the popup camper that will also hold our family of six. We used to do that with our old minivan, but the new one doesn't have a towing package. Turns out there's no way to add an aftermarket hitch to it either. Thanks for the ridiculous redesign Chrysler. But I digress. Our options are a full-size crew cab truck or an SUV. Both have their pros and cons. An SUV will fit us more comfortably without having to put someone in the middle of the front seat, but it costs significantly more. A mid-size SUV will do the trick and keep costs down, but storage and towing capacity are reduced accordingly. A full-size pickup gives us enough room, hauls a (half) ton of stuff and will pull anything we need, but the gas mileage is terrible. At this point, we're still looking. Of course, since we don't have the money for the down payment, insurance, or monthly payments at the moment, it's more of an academic exercise for now. For the record, my wife voted SUV, I voted pickup. We'll see someday who wins. (I think I'm going to win this one since I have to drive it everyday.)

Me driving my friend's deuce.
Check that suspension articulation!
No discussion on my blog about trucks would be complete without a short talk about my favorite truck that is still on my wishlist. I WILL have one of these someday. That would be a deuce and a half, or as it's affectionately known, just a deuce. It is a former military truck rated to haul two-and-a-half tons of cargo off-road. On the highway, it will haul five tons. It's big, it's loud, and it's ugly. It's also the coolest street-legal truck around. Granted, it gets 8-10 MPG, but it will run on just about anything that burns. You can fill it with diesel, kerosene, used motor oil, used vegetable oil, or (for short distances) gasoline. I know of several people who have not paid for fuel for their deuce in years. They just recycle motor oil or vegetable oil. In fact, some of them get paid to haul the stuff away for restaurants or automotive shops! These things take "going green" to a whole new level. That should assuage any concerns from the environmentally-conscious crowd. As a matter of fact, most deuce drivers I know love Priuses. They make great wheel-chocks.