Originally Posted by midwinter
Why do you need a nearly giant truck at all? Would a smaller truck not do the trick? That is, assuming you need a truck. My baby truck is great for most hauling needs (brush, leaves, some heavier stuff) and for towing small things. My scooter is perfect for commuting to work (65 MPG), weather permittingalthough I live in the desert, so rain ain't much of an issue. We have a Jeep Liberty for larger groups and longer trips.
A smaller truck would not do the trick. I purchased the trailer and hauled it home with my father's pick-up since it had a brake controller. I then figured I would try it out with my Jeep Cherokee which is roughly the same as your Liberty. It sat the Jeep down on the stops for the springs. I decided to go with the larger truck since I gained so much more I could do and actually lost very little in terms of MPG. My truck gets 14 mpg. Our Explorer gets 15-16 mpg. I know the Liberty gets an average of 18 mpg as did my Cherokee. I also know that the Tacoma doesn't do much better either than the Liberty or Cherokee.
Our travel trailer is basically our summer "home" since we park it at a private campground 15 miles away from our house for a month each summer. When we camp further out, we don't take it (as you are well aware of) and instead just toss the tent and other equipment into the bed with the shell. We also tend to go to this membership campground we belong to several other times a year. My view on it is the truck, trailer and membership are probably better environmentally than owning a full blown second vacation home.
Finally the one thing we gain with the pick-up that we would not with a Tacoma, Liberty, Cherokee, etc... is the ability to seat six which comes up more often than you might imagine when you already have four in the family. In terms of miles per person per gallon, or miles per gallon per pound hauled, it simply does better. I say this as someone who very much preferred the Cherokee and wouldn't mind owning one again. The truck simply did what I needed better.
Now, granted, I don't haul anything hugeand I ran into this trying to get a yard of concrete last week...they would not LET a truck as small as mine go with it.
I guess I don't really have a point other than that, because of how we divvy up our travel vehicles, I'm not as affected by gas prices as I would have thought.
The wife has decided to leave the district she was in, stay home and try to get into the local district next year. That should eliminate a major fuel expense as she will literally drive a few miles at most. I would gladly apply closer but public schools do not automatically let you transfer all your years and units of service between them and the result would be a substantial pay cut. When the price of gas is more than the pay cut, I suppose I will reconsider, however I already did buy the car to try to limit the effects there.
The tow capacity of your truck is 3500lbs and a yard of concrete is 5300lbs. They did a little more than not let you go with it. You would have been a serious accident waiting to happen. In California you would need a trailer with electric brakes to haul that load around.
So we have the vehicle that can carry six, tow what we need, and also haul anything my home or rentals would need. We also have a vehicle that can get decent gas mileage, haul 4 adults, possibly 5 if some are kids and can be used as a commuter. The Explorer.... well we are conducting an experiment to see what can stay and go.