Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Why We Need a Pickup Truck

Mike and I each have a car and we fully own them. The credit unions can’t lay claim to a bit of them. We plan on driving these cars until they fall apart around us. Neither of us want to start making car payments again.

As proud as we are of our generally debt-free status, I’ve found my eye lingering on other vehicles. We’ve agreed that after the demise of our current cars (in ten years or so?), we’ll purchase a hybrid car and a pickup truck. With gas prices on the decline (for now!), the hybrid need seems less urgent. The truck though still has my fancy.

When I was in high school, I told everyone that my first vehicle would be a great big black 4x4 pickup with shiny chrome bumpers and KC lights – the sort of truck so high off the ground that I’d need to carry a stepstool to get in and out. I can’t explain my fixation with this beast as anything other than penis envy. Instead, I got a Nissan Stanza wagon made of tin that was promptly smashed by none other than a great big pickup (GMC).

My new pickup fixation is less grand and certainly less Freudian. I don’t care what it looks like, as long as it gets decent gas mileage and I can haul lots of crap in it. Literally, I will be hauling poop (manure) in this truck, along with mulch, topsoil, gravel, bricks, lumber, straw, plants, and furniture. I’ve stuffed as much of this as I can in my Subaru wagon, but I’m repeatedly frustrated by the lack of cargo room. I’ve had to pass up too many garage sale treasures because I couldn’t cram them in my car. I can’t even get a sheet of plywood home!

As my home and garden projects grow grander, my need for a truck increases. I’m beginning to suspect that I won’t wait until my beloved car passes on to purchase one. It can’t hurt to keep an eye on the classifieds, right?


Blogger derek said...

We use our subaru wagon as a pickup too. It's starting to show some wear. I try to use the roof rack when I can, I'm always nervous stuff will fly off.

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a suggestion--When you buy a truck, buy a used one--one that you are not afraid to get dirty...

I love my Toyota (270K miles)--I don't worry about anything...dents, scratche, broken windsheilds just add character.

10:06 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Ny Escort station wagon gets the full work out, too.

Sounds like there are a lot of us out there!

2:51 PM  
Blogger Takoma Gardener said...

You've highlighted some of the reasons I have to have payload capacity, too - I call my car a mulchmobile. What I bought is a used Honda CRV - a much-hated SUV. I know, I know, but honestly, is there anything on the market with good fuel efficiency that'll seat 5 and can be converted to a large cargo area? In my defense, the CRV is built on the frame of a Civic, so it's probably the smallest thing on the road, and nice to have on snow, too. But yeah, the gas mileage isn't Civic-like. Really, it's a dilemma but wow, it's great to have. When I can finally get a hybrid SUV I'll be a happy driver - and guilt-free.

3:22 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Hey Takoma,
I saw an advance press release on a Toyota Hybrid Minivan... it's not due until 2008. I'm wondering if I can hold out on replacing my poor wreck until then!

9:24 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

We're having the same dilemma. When we moved to Eutaw and knew we'd be commuting, we traded in Darwin's giant gas-guzzling F150 for a little Mazda car. But we didn't think about the fact that we'd have nothing in which to haul so much as a sheet of cement backerboard. Darwin has a truck that he took apart and has been working on for three years, but he has an eye on a giant diesel-guzzling F250. No way in a million years are we getting that.

Then there's me. I'm like you with the yard sale bargains - I hate having to rely on Darwin to come back and pick it up. But I'm torn between wanting something I can haul stuff in and wanting a hybrid car.

10:13 AM  
Blogger Vivian said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:50 AM  
Blogger Vivian said...

My solution to the haulincapacity vs. gas consumption dilemma was to buy a trailer. You can cgreatly increase the hauling capacity of even the wimpiest 4-cyl. gas-saver out there with a little research on your particular vehicle model's towing capacity and the installation of a hitch. Trailers can be built or bought relatively cheaply (relative to buying and fueling a 1/2 ton V8 for daily commutes!)- just know and heed its hauling capacity and load plan. Check your particular State for licensing and insuring requirements. I am fortunate that I have a place to store it on my property but there are also paid-storage options and the friend's/neighbor's/in-law's unused garage space (Try a trade for space vs. hauling proposal!)

7:53 AM  
Anonymous Russell said...

Vivian is right...How about a trailer? The cost of the trailer and the hitch for your car would be less than the cost of a used truck. Harbor Freight even has 4x8 trailers that fold up in half for easy storage....yet can still hold 1200 pounds. I saw them on sale this week for $230. Just a thought. Your cat tree is what brought me to your blog. It looks great and so does your house.

3:45 PM  
Blogger Kasmira said...

Yes - my neighbor, Tim, is also trying to convince me to get a trailer. Maybe this summer I'll get a hitch installed and buy a trailer. We definitely have plenty of stuff to haul!

7:10 AM  

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