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Shopping for a used 3500 - drowning in options

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Hey folks,


We are looking forward to do a 5th Wheel roadtrip with two small kids this sping-fall cross country and may be even into canada. Currently, we are aiming to get a 5th wheel in the 12.000 GVWR range (pin weight ca 2700 lbs). Now we are shopping for a tow vehicle. Since we are out of country we are just looking for a limited time ownership of 7-8 months, therefore budget is not so much an issue, as long as the prices remain stable. But was hoping to find something in the 40-50k area.


However, we never owned a truck and I was hoping to find some guidance on what to look out when buying used and get any tipps for "best" models since Im absolutely confused about the different makes per year, trim levels, tow pachages etc... 🥴


What does "best" mean? An equal mix of reliability, driving/towing comfort and MPG.


Requirements based on aboves 5th:

  • image.gif.5218c321a16eba374885f34b5d7fe20c.gif1 ton truck that provides >14'000 GVWR and payload > 4000 lbs; (SRW, 4x4)
  • long bed/8" (piece of mind and dont have to go for a slider hitch, extra storage)
  • diesel
  • "crew" cab?! the bigger optionimage.gif.5218c321a16eba374885f34b5d7fe20c.gif (to comfortably seat 2 kids, potentially also SO during feeding / play times image.gif.372165badd533d777cd6e6b692373d9b.gif)


  • Is there any specific year as of which there are crucial differences in the truck?
  • Any mile thresholds we should have in mind? Is it OK to buy above 100k miles?
  • Anything we should specifically look for / check at the particular truck?
  • What trim levels are required/ usually meeting the above tow requirements? Or anything else I can differentiate potential offers? Unfortunately, there is sufficiecnt filter at autotrader, so Im currently screening 1 by 1.
  • Any other sources besides autotrader we should check out? Since we are out of country, we have some flexibility locationwise (potentially using third party inspection / delivery?!). As of March we would probably focus around Raleigh NC, where we start our journey and have family.


Thanks for any help, really appreciated!

Edited by alku1
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