How We Chose Our Truck, Bruce

Our truck, Bruce, and our RV, OPaLChoosing our truck, Bruce, was a very important part of our full-time RV decision. Once we decided to go with a travel trailer instead of a Class A or Class C RV, the question then became, how do we find the right vehicle to pull the RV? We thought we could just go get a big SUV and pull with that. The first SUV we looked at on the Nissan lot gave us big time sticker shock and lots of laughs from the salesmen when we told them what we wanted it for.

Deciding on a Truck

They told us quickly that was NOT what we wanted, but that we would want a truck instead. When we told them our desired price range, again they laughed. The salesmen pointed us in the direction of a BIG used RED truck.

It was a bit banged up, HUGE and UGLY. Did I mention it was red? It wasn’t candy apple red, or dark metallic red – either of which I could maybe handle, but we are talking BRIGHT fire engine red. You’ve heard the phrase BIG RED Truck? This was it. I was disappointed to say the least. I would be giving up two very nice, beautiful cars for THIS? Ummm, no. We kept looking.

bruce1We started researching trucks online. When I asked Google what kind of truck I would need to pull a 30 foot RV, Google asked me how much the RV weighed. I am also happy to report that Google, unlike car salesmen, doesn’t laugh at short women who want to haul big things. I found out that the RV would weigh almost 6,000 pounds dry weight. That means that without any of our stuff in the RV and without loading up the fresh water tank, the RV would weigh 6000 pounds. We figured with our stuff in there it would weigh closer to 7 or 8 thousand pounds, maybe more, so we decided to find a truck that would haul around 10,000 just to play it safe. I assumed we would need a V8 engine to haul that much.

We are NOT Fond of Car Salesmen

After our research we decided that we liked the Ford F150 the best (mostly because of looks) for what we wanted to do. Our next stop was our local Ford dealership. We told them what we wanted and why we wanted it and the games begun.

They saw two women who didn’t have a clue what they were doing I suppose – or at least that’s how they treated us. It always amazes me that car salesmen really think women are stupid. I was never treated this way when I used to shop for cars with my X.

After suffering through many dishonest sales tactics, being looked down upon by a couple of male chauvinists, talked to like dirt and treated like sh*t, we left very frustrated. I wasn’t born yesterday and I wasn’t putting up with manipulation.

Learning About Trucks

Bruce, our truckAfter our first unsuccessful shopping trip, we decided that we should probably choose a used truck instead of a new one. They are NOT cheap – at least not like we needed. I learned that a V6 engine with Ecoboost pulls more than a V8 engine and about GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) and GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating).

We learned way more than I ever really wanted to know about trucks and decided we wanted a V6 with Ecoboost, 2 wheel drive, 3.5L, 3.55 axle ratio, SuperCrew cab with a short bed. Before this shopping expedition, I couldn’t have told you what any of that meant except for maybe the short bed and 2 wheel drive.

A trip to Nashville, TN to find a better dealer than we had in Bowling Green, KY landed us at Town and Country Ford in Gallatin. After learning even more about trucks, they showed us our Bruce. He was perfect. Except.. he has what the salesman called a ‘Fart Can’. (I had to ask too. It is a rather loud muffler.) This truck has everything on it that you can imagine including a sub-woofer.

They assured me it would pull well over 9,000 pounds and it has done an excellent job. We did run into a few problems that we fixed (I will discuss those later), but overall, I could not be happier with Bruce and the way he pulls our Opal. Even the fart can has grown on us. It fits his personality and sounds like he’s grumbling and then purring. We love it!

Our Traveling Man

Bruce gets 18 miles to the gallon on a good day, but only about 8 to 10 when he’s pulling Opal. I’m happy with that. We’ve talked to others who would be happy to get that too. He only had 6000 miles on him when we got him and he was 2 years old. We have our ideas about how that could be possible, but we’ll probably never know for sure.

Bruce the Traveling Tow TruckWe love everything about him. His back seat makes a great office when we travel and Lizabeth seems to have fun driving him. He wasn’t cheap, but He was worth every penny and costs quite a bit less than our two other car payments combined. We traded those cars in on Bruce, so it was a good move for us. I’m pleased with our final decision and hope to spend many years to come in our beautiful Bruce.

Shopping for a big truck was a little intimidating for us at first. Driving a big truck was even more intimidating for two aging, short women, but now, I can’t imagine driving anything else. He certainly demands respect from the other drivers and they are often surprised to see who climbs down out of him. I have to laugh every time I get out to help Lizabeth back the trailer and people start referring to the driver as ‘him’. Their jaw drops a little when they see her get out. She is a pro at pulling and backing up the trailer. I am more amazed at what a natural she is at this every time we travel.

Why We Named our Truck?

When I first met other RVer’s, I wondered why they named their truck and their RV. Now, I understand. This is our home. We live in, and with, these vehicles day in and day out. They have become a part of our family and our constant companions. They very quickly took on a personality of their own it seemed. We believe that when we treat them with love, respect and appreciation, they will be good to us in return. We depend on them a great deal and want to give them the best care possible. We love our Bruce. His name fits him. I think we made the perfect choice.

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  1. […] A or C motorhome was the best decision for us. I explained how and why we chose our truck, Bruce, in this article. Today, I want to explain why and how we chose our travel trailer, […]

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