Buying a truck--any suggestions?

I recently bought an older 2 horse trailer. My friend has a truck I’m borrowing right now but I can’t rely on her forever for all my hauling needs. My budget is around $7500, was wondering if that was reasonable for finding an older truck? Also, I am not a truck or car person, so suggestions or tips of any kind about what to look for/ what to watch out for in trucks would be very helpful! Thanks in advance :slight_smile:

Try here as a start

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Hmmmm we just sold out 2004 Ford F150 last summer for $8k. It has 84,000 mikes. It ran good overall yet. I guess something in that realm is about what you can expect for your budget. What kind of trailer do you have?

I think I paid $6,900 for my truck last year, 2000 F-250 Gas V10. 191,000 miles and decent condition, AC needs work but everything else functions. It does the job of hauling my bumper pull just fine. I upgraded from an old 1992 small gas F-250 and the difference is immense.

In MD there is a pretty strict state inspection and the first place I took my truck to was quoting $3,000 in repairs to pass. I took it elsewhere and they came up with $300 worth of repair to pass. If you go to a dealer you will pay more but they should sell it inspected. I would rather pay less and take my chances on inspection. Ask around with people who have older cars and find out where the ‘realistic’ inspection stations are.

You will want 4x4, do not save money by getting a 2x4 you will eventually find yourself stuck. The truck should run and accelerate easily when test driving without a trailer. You should be able to shift to 4x4 and it should still run smooth (turning will feel a little weird).

Lastly, it is hard to find a mechanic to install electrical stuff. I would highly recommend making sure your truck has the 7 pin electrical hookup (standard on most trailers) installed. Getting a brake controller put in is much easier.


Get a good mechanic that you trust to do a pre purchase inspection.

You will want a factory installed hauling package which upgrades the transmission and coolant. Sometimes a truck will have that, but need the brake controllers or pins upgraded for a couple hundred dollars before you can haul.

Buy enough power. a 150/1500 model in good shape is probably fine on the flat, but I just uipgraded to a Ford F250 because I want to be able to drive through the mountains more easily. I paid $12,000 CAN for a 2009 with 60,000 km in very good shape, so I think that if you are in the US you could get something for under $10,000 certainly.

Mileage is more important than year of manufacture, in that a newer vehicle with a lot of hard miles is not as good a buy as an older vehicle with fewer miles.

I knew nothing about trucks until I bought my first one a few years ago!

Once you get your truck, spend some time practising backing up and parking your trailer. I learned a lot on summer evenings in the empty Walmart parking lot!

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It’s a 1992 triton 2h slant.