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View Full Version : Ranger & Colorado owners with kids?



Matt Meiser
11-06-2006, 12:02 AM
This is kind of related to the other truck thread. We are considering getting rid of our minivan and my 95 Ranger Supercab and getting 1 vehicle which will be my daily driver (in place of the Ranger) and our tow vehicle for our popup camper (in place of the minivan) Dad is a Ford retiree, so the obvious first choice is another Ranger. The Ranger has been good for me in the 2 years I've had it and meets my needs well. However, LOML and I are worried long term about space in the back for our daughter who's currently 4. If we keep this truck 5-7 years, she'll be 9-11 by then. Since we'd be towing we'll be taking longer trips with it--maybe 8 hours or so max.

I noticed that Chevy makes the Colorado in a Crew Cab which looks good except for the 61" bed. My concern with the be is how usable it will be for hauling "stuff" like lumber, plywood, pipe, etc. With the tailgate down, there's only about 80" of supported length. The extended cab Colorado doesn't appear to have much better of a back seat area than the Ranger except that you face forward.

We've decided that a full size truck is out due to the fuel economy and other costs--the smaller trucks get a few MPG better which adds up over a year if I drive 20,000 miles in a year. Plus the truck will be ~$4K more expensive and insurance and registration will likely be more. Due to my company's customers I feel obligated to stick with Ford or GM. Price-wise, I thing Ford and GM will pretty much be a wash between rebates, Z-Plan and GM supplier pricing.

Martin Shupe
11-06-2006, 12:30 AM
If you want to stick with Ford, the Ranger is too small to safely put kids in the backseat. I would suggest an Explorer Sport Trac, but I don't have one.

Art Mulder
11-06-2006, 8:02 AM
Matt, from your post I understand why you feel you need to stick with Ford or GM. But I'm not clear on why you're only looking at a pickup? A compact SUV -- the Ford/GM's certainly come with a V6 -- should certainly be able to pull a pop-up tent trailer. They have a full backseat which is a lot nicer for kids and other guests, and when you need to haul some lumber home you can pop down the back seat. Yeah, the "bed" is shorter. But consider this -- a utility trailer can be had for pretty cheap, and I know you've got the property to store one.

Like always, I try to think outside the box and consider the big picture.

best,
...art

ps: did ya get your DC pipes re-arranged on Saturday?

Rob Russell
11-06-2006, 8:50 AM
Matt,

I second Art's comments. Consider the Ford Escape or Escape Hybrid. That'll get you around 30 mpg and has a minimum towing capacity of 1500 lbs. If you don't mind using the trailer for your plywood/lumber/haulng needs and the towing capacity is enough for your pop-up camper, this'd be an option to consider. Right now there's a tax credit still in effect on the Ford, which takes a little out of the purchase price.

I bought our [Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab 8' bed] truck because borrowing my brother-in-law's trailer was becoming too much of a hassle and it meant using my wife's "baby' for towing. Her idea of "offroad" is parking on the grass. The truck for us gets used to haul stuff or I'll use it in the winter in a snowstorm 'cuz it's 4WD.

Rob

Matt Meiser
11-06-2006, 9:35 AM
The main reason I want to stick with a truck is the ability to throw dirty stuff in the back. We could just keep our van, but we are lucky to get 18MPG with it (Freestar with a 4.2L). I'm the one who hauls stuff so I am the one who will be driving this vehicle about 35 miles each way to work. My wife drives about 12 each way, but about 1/2 back roads and 1/2 city streets. My drive is about 1/2 back roads and 1/2 freeway.

I stopped by a Chevy dealer on the way to work and looked at a Crew Cab Colorado that would be perfect--I'm just not sure about that short bed.

Oh, and we do have a utility trailer, it just tends to be a pain because often we are running a bunch of errands and hauling a trailer to Wal-Mart, the grocery store, makes things interesting.

Frank Fusco
11-06-2006, 9:53 AM
Don't buy a Dodge. Their transmissions are notorious for being the vehicles "weak link". Mine went out a month ago (five months after the differential went out). I had it rebuilt. Yesterday it went out again.
My previous Dodge had to have the tranny rebuilt four times by three different mechanics before they could get it right.
I'm taking it back to the garage (at about 2 mph) this morning. Need it for a trip tomorrow. Wish me rots a ruck. :mad:
Nebber again. Next truck, downsizing to a Ranger.

Rob Russell
11-06-2006, 10:37 AM
Don't buy a Dodge. Their transmissions are notorious for being the vehicles "weak link". Mine went out a month ago (five months after the differential went out). I had it rebuilt. Yesterday it went out again.
My previous Dodge had to have the tranny rebuilt four times by three different mechanics before they could get it right.
I'm taking it back to the garage (at about 2 mph) this morning. Need it for a trip tomorrow. Wish me rots a ruck. :mad:
Nebber again. Next truck, downsizing to a Ranger.

If your Dodge is a newer model, that's not supposed to be an issue anymore. What year is your truck?

Jim Becker
11-06-2006, 12:55 PM
If your pop-up doesn't exceed 3500 lbs, a mid-size SUV is what I'd recommend. And for hauling, pick up a utility trailer since you'll have the hitch already. That's exactly what I'm doing...I now drive a Highlander (happens to be the hybrid) and it has a 3500 lb towing capacity. I'm picking up a tilt-bed 5' x 8' utility trailer to take the place of the dearly departed pick-a-ma-truck.

Joe Pelonio
11-06-2006, 1:31 PM
We had to replace our Mazda Supercab when my daughter was 8, just way too cramped back there.

Right now the dealers are really desperate to move '06 inventory so you have good timing whatever you decide. Since the Explorer is the same basic vehicle as the Ranger SC you might check them out, the mileage is not much different, with V6 Exp is 15/21, Ranger 17/21. Lots of room for the kids and you can haul a lot with the back seat down.

Frank Fusco
11-06-2006, 5:11 PM
Don't buy a Dodge. Their transmissions are notorious for being the vehicles "weak link". Mine went out a month ago (five months after the differential went out). I had it rebuilt. Yesterday it went out again.
My previous Dodge had to have the tranny rebuilt four times by three different mechanics before they could get it right.
I'm taking it back to the garage (at about 2 mph) this morning. Need it for a trip tomorrow. Wish me rots a ruck. :mad:
Nebber again. Next truck, downsizing to a Ranger.

As it turns out, I got my luck. Tranny wasn't shot. My catalytic converter was plugged up. My power loss was almost total, I thought the trans. was slipping. Got the converter replaced (for ONLY $270.00) and truck runs fine. Seems the converters have a honey comb substance for the interior and that deteriorates. Never encountered this before. But I'm on the road again.

Scott Coffelt
11-06-2006, 5:21 PM
I don't think you will be happy with the size int he long run. I would suggest getting a full size truck, even the 150 would be good. I really like the Checy Avalanche as it is really versatile. Plenty of room int he back seat for an adult, let alone lids. You can drop the mid-gate and haul full sheets of plywood.

I have had mine since 2002 and really like it. You can now get one that will take e85. At least take a gander at them.

Wes Bischel
11-06-2006, 6:57 PM
Matt,
Just went through searching for a booster seat for my Little Man - a lot of the manufacturers make it clear that the seats cannot be used extended cab trucks.

Just something else to watch for.

Wes

Matt Meiser
11-06-2006, 9:18 PM
Well, I went to the dealer and drove an 06 Colorado Crew Cab today. Then I climbed into the back seat with the driver seat in my driving position and fit comfortably (I'm 6') It was love at first sight, so my wife took the afternoon off, brought the van to the dealer and we went home with a new truck. I got employee price, plus $3K in rebates which I felt was a fair deal. I'm a bad negotiator though I'm sure someone will tell me otherwise :rolleyes: .

I got the I5 engine which is seriously more powerful than my old 176K mile Ranger 3.0L. The dealer is installing a tow package sometime in the next week or two.

For hauling, Chevy designed the tailgate so that it can be set up to drop down at an angle so that the edge of the tailgate is even with the tops of the wheel wells and some pockets that accept 2x4's to support a full sheet of plywood.

Jim Becker
11-06-2006, 10:50 PM
Congratulations, Matt, on the new "hauler"!! But...no pictures...it didn't happen. LOL!

Matt Meiser
11-06-2006, 11:21 PM
Congratulations, Matt, on the new "hauler"!! But...no pictures...it didn't happen. LOL!

Here you go! (best I can do with a black truck in the dark)

After I took the pictures I put on an Extang tonneau cover. The dealer is removing the pinstripe when I take it in for them to install the hitch since I like the look of the truck in solid color.