Please help my brother decide what his next vehicle sould be?

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Hi everyone,

My brother has a 2011 Ford F150 Super Crew 4WD with 118,699 miles on it. Despite him being vigilant about always doing the oil and filter every 3K to 5K miles, it is now throwing the P0014 engine light code (Exhaust Camshaft Position Timing - Over - Advanced (Bank 1)),
Secondary DTCs P054A : Cold Start "B" Camshaft Position Timing Over - Advanced Bank 1

So it looks like the entire front of the engien has to be taken apart to fix the cam position system.

This F150 has the second row of seats and 4 doors. He has a tow behind 4000 Lb. RV trailer that is towed by a trailer hitch ( not a 5th wheel set-up ). It has the 6 cylinder eco-boost 3.5 Liter. He says that it tows the trailer so well that it is like it is not even back there. He likes the truck he now has but his wife does not like the worn seats and little bit of rust. The only problem he has had over the years is that sometimes if he tries to accelerate fast like when pulling onto a highway, it sometimes blows out the ignition coil for cylinder number 6 or 4. He says it can do that regardless of if he is pulling the trailer or not. He keeps a spare ignition coil in it and can change one in about 5 minutes.

His truck is starting to show its age with a little bit of body rust, and a little bit of seat wear. And he is looking at $2000 to $4000 for the engine fix depending on who he gets to do it, if he gets it fixed.

He is thinking of selling the truck and hopping to get around $13,000 for it. And thinking with that, and a loan for $20,000, (he hopes to keep the payments at a maximum of $500 per month) he hopes to get someting to replace the truck for around $33,000. He would like to stay with something with the second row of seats but does not have to have 4 doors. Maybe 2 doors and one small door for the back row.

One thing he is aware of is that vehiles are made in generations that run for several years, and he would like to avoid early years of any vehicle generation, and look for someting in the later years of a generation.

They have an older Honda Civic that still runs great, and gets good MPG so he is not in any hurry if he does sell the truck to find another vehicle capable of towing becuase camping with the trailer is a summer thing.

They have a couple of other options. They keep the RV trailer at home during the off season, and could rent a vehicle capable of towing it in the spring and fall and keep the RV at the Shenango campground that they like to go fishing from all summer, and getting a vehicle not capable of towing the RV on a highway but capable of towing it slowly a short distance on leval ground to and from a camping spot to the storage area it has to stay at when not in use during the summer. He is thinking of something like a my 2016 Honda CR-V if they go that route. He know the towig capacity of a 2016 CR-V is only 1,500 Lbs, but will only be towing it about one mile each time, and on level ground and slowly.

They are also considering just fixing up the truck and keeping it. They know someone who is excelent at workign on vehicle upholstery. And the lower estimate for the engien job is by a local mechanic who does the work in his home garage, but takes his time about getting any job done.

He is looking for suggestions of what trucks he should be considering, and even what other vehicles.

The truck requires inspection by the end of February, so if he sells it soon he can avoid paying another year of regristration the inspection.

Any good suggestions are appricated.

Thanks in advance.

JimPghPA
 
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Thinking a V6 Ram 1500 Classic would be a good choice. Quad cab gives you a nice balance on interior space and a longer bed than a crew cab.
Towing 4,000 lbs is easy and the 3.6L V6 is a reliable engine.
The Ford 3.5L ecoboost is overkill for his needs imo.
Where in the country does he live to post some suggestions?
 

JimPghPA

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Thinking a V6 Ram 1500 Classic would be a good choice. Quad cab gives you a nice balance on interior space and a longer bed than a crew cab.
Towing 4,000 lbs is easy and the 3.6L V6 is a reliable engine.
The Ford 3.5L ecoboost is overkill for his needs imo.
Where in the country does he live to post some suggestions?
He is in Rochester PA, that is about 18 miles west of Pittsburgh PA. Basicly just towing to and from Rochester to Shenango PA that is about 80 miles North of him. I did not look up the exact didtance.
 
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I'd fix the truck and keep it. That's not all that old or high mileage and likely has a lot of life left in it after the repairs. Spending tens of thousands to replace a truck that can be repaired for what may really equate to just slightly more than the sales tax for the replacement vehicle isn't a good move.
 

Zee09

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Two years ago that money would buy you something great.
Too bad it pooped out now and that makes your question very hard to answer. Good luck.
 
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Reality check.

I have two older brothers, one older sister and one younger sister. My parents have been married 51 years.

I've learned not to be fixated on what any of them should do with their vehicles. They will do what they want to do regardless what I tell them.

Don't get disappointed if your brother ignores your advice. Sometimes it's best to let siblings think for themselves.
 
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IMO it comes down to the rust. If it is getting up there, move on. The rest is cheaper to repair.

I wonder if a reman or used engine is cheaper option? I don’t understand why the coil blows out, seems like something is up with the head.
 
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I agree with supton, if the rust is bad move on. If not, it’s way cheaper to fix it than to buy a new vehicle.
 
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Reality check.

I have two older brothers, one older sister and one younger sister. My parents have been married 51 years.

I've learned not to be fixated on what any of them should do with their vehicles. They will do what they want to do regardless what I tell them.

Don't get disappointed if your brother ignores your advice. Sometimes it's best to let siblings think for themselves.
I never suggest anything to any one !
 

JimPghPA

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Reality check.

I have two older brothers, one older sister and one younger sister. My parents have been married 51 years.

I've learned not to be fixated on what any of them should do with their vehicles. They will do what they want to do regardless what I tell them.

Don't get disappointed if your brother ignores your advice. Sometimes it's best to let siblings think for themselves.
He asked me to see what the people on the internet site I frequent have to say about suggestions of what to buy. I have told him and others about BITOG and even told him of some threads here to read. He will read your post.
 

JimPghPA

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IMO it comes down to the rust. If it is getting up there, move on. The rest is cheaper to repair.

I wonder if a reman or used engine is cheaper option? I don’t understand why the coil blows out, seems like something is up with the head.
He has had that truck for many years and it has done that all along.
 

Nick1994

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A CRV will not pull a 4K pound trailer any distance. It might rip the hitch out.

A Grand Cherokee or Durango wouldn’t be too bad.
 
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I was wondering what a CEL had to do with not passing inspection in PA, but realized you're in an emissions county. None of that nonsense here in my county. Anyways...

Now's not a time to be buying a used vehicle. Does your brother have the $4K cash to repair the truck, or will it have to be on credit? If he has the cash on hand, I'd fix it and keep it till this crazy car market ends (if it ever does). If not, then it may be time to dump it. Personally me being a Toyota guy, I'd say a 5-7 year old Tundra, but even at that age is hard to find in your brothers budget. They're also pretty thirsty. If he's used to pulling the camper with a full size, there's going to be some serious disappointment in anything smaller, truck or SUV. Midsized SUV's may be marketed to tow that amount, but he will be pretty disappointed coming from an Egoboost...
 

JimPghPA

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A CRV will not pull a 4K pound trailer any distance. It might rip the hitch out.

A Grand Cherokee or Durango wouldn’t be too bad.
If he does ever pull that 4K Lb. trailer with something small, it would be on level ground, and inside the campground to and from one of the locations that you have to put your trailer in where you have your own fire ring, picnic table. and electric to the trailer, to a section where the trailers are stored when not in use. And that would be at very slow speed like 5 MPH.

He would rent a full-size truck for moving the trailer from and to his house and the campground.
 
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neighbor traded a nice ecoboost because it was ready for a SECOND timing chain job BUT his newer 50 thou alum no rust one he bought is also "making those noises" simpler is better + even though 3.5 eco power is great as my neighbor notes as he also tows in PA the usually get RUSTY Ram may be a better deal. todays modern complicated vehicles are $$$$ to buy + repair. dont know if a new frontier would do but 30 G is a nice price, + the Titan is a good value as well IMO
 
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Thinking a V6 Ram 1500 Classic would be a good choice. Quad cab gives you a nice balance on interior space and a longer bed than a crew cab.
Towing 4,000 lbs is easy and the 3.6L V6 is a reliable engine.
The Ford 3.5L ecoboost is overkill for his needs imo.
Where in the country does he live to post some suggestions?

If it was a 4,000 lb lb bass boat setup or an.open car trailer with a race car I would agree. However with the 80' of frontal area on the RV Trailer a base V6 from any brand is going to struggle.

The ideal setup for that is a 2.7EB and they don't tend have the timing chain issues that the 3.5EB did. In this market it's tough so i don't know if he can find a nice clean 2015-2017 F150 Supercab 4x4 with 2.7EB for that. 2 years ago I saw a new 2019 XLT with those specs for that. If he can swing it he won't have body rust with the aluminum body to upset the old lady.
 
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A CRV will not pull a 4K pound trailer any distance. It might rip the hitch out.

A Grand Cherokee or Durango wouldn’t be too bad.
You can get a class 3 hitch for a CRV or almost anything, and in Ontario you can legally tow 2990lbs unbraked at 60mph with a CRV if you want...

I had a class 3 hitch on my 2003 Tracker and would load up a 6x12 landscape trailer with 2 4x5 round hay bales for around a 2200-2400lb total load from a nearby farmer. I didn't do 60mph with it but it was fine on the backroads. The one day though, the farmer hit the wrong lever on his old loader tractor and pushed the bale he was loading at the front, down hard pretty hard on to the trailer. The rear suspension on the Tracker bottomed right out and the front suspension pretty much topped out. It was maybe 3000lbs of tongue weight for a second? Anyways the tongue on the trailer ended up with a barely visual bend and the Tracker frame and hitch were fine.

For just shuffling the trailer around the park a CRV or anything awd would be fine. Even a nose heavy trailer with 600lbs of tongue weight won't break anything at 5mph, I would just stay away from a CVT vehicle incase you are on softer ground when maneuvering the trailer around. High torque at zero speed from the torque converter isn't the best for a CVT.
 
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