The big red truck needed some loving

Seven years and one hundred thousand miles. Our big red truck still looks really sharp, runs great, works fine. Its 8.1 liter engine, paired with a big Allison transmission, is able to loaf almost all the time. Towing our 6,300 pound trailer is pretty light duty for such a heavy duty Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD. But the time has come for some serious loving for our big red truck.

Full-timing towing a trailer may be nearly ideal for a pickup truck. The engine operates loaded and acceleration and handling are smoothed by the desire to keep the trailer happy behind us. Towing miles often are on highways with cruise control, trying to get 12 miles per gallon from our gasoline. We rarely are sitting in traffic with the engine idling. We don’t often start the truck in very cold weather and let it warm up to melt ice on the windshield. We want our truck to last. It does what it is designed to do and we try to make the job as smooth as we can.

picture of driver side of our red truck

The big red truck seems to like our approach so far. We thought our oil consumption was really high in 2008. The dealer repaired the oil cooler under warranty and we had no further problems. Our truck always did the job, never struggled or complained, never quit. How great is this? We love our truck.

The owner’s manual told us this was a very special celebration for our truck — 100,000 miles deserves big love. How big? More than we expected, even after studying the owner’s manual. We didn’t expect to replace a hub, pitman and idler arm, and four leaking oil lines (3 engine cooler and 1 transmission cooler, I think). We didn’t expect spark plugs and wires to run over $200. This was a two-day $4,000 special occasion for our big red truck. Very very special.

picture of our red truck smiling

our truck is smiling

What are you going to do? The big red truck has never left us in a ditch. Zero maintenance problems in seven years. A big 50,000 mile check-up, but no surprises and just a half-day in the shop that time. We hardly expect such great service from our truck and are very happy with the miles we’ve shared. This service cost is approximately ten or fifteen car payments. Not bad for a fantastic powerful smooth comfortable and gorgeous truck that is perfectly paired with our trailer. We’ll keep it!

See you down the road!

Jim and Debbie
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©2013 Dreamstreamr


8 responses to “The big red truck needed some loving

  1. Hi from Tallahassee visiting my mom. You guys sure are busy. Sounds like FL rally was great. Will’s at Lake Placid winter camping. Sure enjoy your blog. Karen

  2. Always enjoy your posts. Margaret almost had to bring out the paddles to restart my heart when I first read the cost of the 100,000 mile service. After reading the rest of your post and the great service your truck has given, the cost does not seem excessive. See you down the road. Les

  3. Good choice. We Have a 2005 Chevy Express 3500 van that pulls our 30′ Classic. 148k miles on “Ol’ Blue-ee” with many more to go. A few grand into a heavy duty bought new back when, beats $40k+ for a new one now!

    • Absolutely agree — no problem taking care of this great truck. We want another 100K miles from it over the next six years. Like you say, $45K or $4k — hmm, easy choice.

  4. Thanks for the truck update and the warning about expected expenses at 100,000 miles. We are are a little over half way there with 57,000 miles on our 2008 Yukon Hybrid. I used to try to stay new and keep making about the same payments. I think we’ll let this one go the distance. It tows our 25′ Airstream with little effort, and is not gas mileage punitive as our only car when not pulling. You and Debbie do a great job keeping your truck and Airstream looking new as well as performing new.

    • Rich, Yeah, we’ve heard the argument for keeping payments level by trading within two to three years. Nice way to go but we’re confident the economy is in keeping a vehicle for the long haul (no offense, John III)

      We read, years ago, one can save $40K by keeping a vehicle for its entire workable life. Various points play in one’s favor with this strategy such as: Cost of money and interest Taxes, registration, and licensing fees Insurance (higher on higher value, as in new, objects) Cost to customize the vehicle to your standards or requirements

      We prefer the “no payments” mode. Wholly avoids unnecessary costs, and hopefully our budget plan is correct for the year and approx cost for replacement of our truck.

      We drove our truck the first six and one-half years and 100K miles for the original purchase price with zero repairs. We paid for oil filter changes at 3K miles, oil changes at 12K miles, one set of replacement tires. That is all. Brakes and shocks still check out fine even after 100K – amazing!

      We’ve increased the cost of our truck with this $4K service. We hope it extends the truck another five miles. Then we might replace it. And I’ll probably be installing another after-market HD receiver, and a pair of 2-way communications antennas on the roof, and a bed liner and tonneau cover, and maybe a Prodigy P3 brake controller. I think those are our only customizations on this truck.

      Keep them, maintain them, save money. That’s our experience.

      Jim & Deb

  5. I’m planning on keeping my Big Black Truck a little longer too. Just turned over 96,000 on the way back from the FSR. It’s paid for, still looks good, and hasn’t given us any trouble. It will need new tires soon, but that’s a lot cheaper that $50K for a new one.

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