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Old 04-05-2019, 10:16 AM   #1
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Base model heavy duty pickup trucks

Anyone explore the various manufacturer "build your truck" sites and choose a base model as means to alleviate the high cost of new trucks?
I am referring to the Ram Tradesman, Ford XL and Chevrolet Work Truck models. All now come standard with automatic, power steering power brakes, power windows, am-fm, backup camera and cruise control.
Ordering the important mechanicals of low rear gearing, (high numerically) 4X4, crew cab, payload package ,tow package, tow mirrors and brake control keeps the cost of a new truck reasonable..especially if you stay with gas and not add that $10,000 hit with a diesel.
With dealer dickering and rebates, you might bring it below that magic $40,000 number.
Does anyone who has a base truck miss the leather, wood trim and tech features of the various Lariat, Limited, King Ranch options?
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Old 04-05-2019, 10:21 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by upflying View Post
Anyone explore the various manufacturer "build your truck" sites and choose a base model as means to alleviate the high cost of new trucks?
I am referring to the Ram Tradesman, Ford XL and Chevrolet Work Truck models. All now come standard with automatic, power steering power brakes, power windows, am-fm, backup camera and cruise control.
Ordering the important mechanicals of low rear gearing, (high numerically) 4X4, crew cab, payload package ,tow package, tow mirrors and brake control keeps the cost of a new truck reasonable..especially if you stay with gas and not add that $10,000 hit with a diesel.
With dealer dickering and rebates, you might bring it below that magic $40,000 number.
Does anyone who has a base truck miss the leather, wood trim and tech features of the various Lariat, Limited, King Ranch options?


No, however I bought mine used (17 months old and 23K on it), it is a RAM 3500 tradesman with the chrome package, I didn't want all the extra bling, it lowers the CCC and more stuff to go wrong, however I do wish I had the back-up camera.
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Old 04-05-2019, 10:39 AM   #3
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I bought my 2016 Silverado 2500HD gasser well equipped for the magic $40K.
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Old 04-06-2019, 09:25 PM   #4
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I looked at an STX model from Ford. It's an XL with a few custom goodies. But it was still missing some of the things I wanted, and since I hope this will be the last truck I buy, I went with an uppity model XLT. I had a Lariat once, and really liked it, but I didn't need the leather seats or faux wood trim. One thing I really wish I could get though is the dual zone climate control. That is a nice feature, but not available on XL or XLT trims. It's all about what your comfortable with and willing to pay for.
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Old 04-06-2019, 10:20 PM   #5
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I have a 2014 F150 XTR(The Canadian XLT)Ecoboost with Max Tow package.
I hate leather seats and don't want the extra weight of the bling that comes with those fancier levels. They reduce the payload capacity.
Mine has the 36 gallon fuel tank, the integrated brake controller, the backup camera and rear sensors, which came with the Max Tow package. That's what is more useful for towing than all that bling.
I will admit that I'd love to have the air conditioned seats though.
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Old 04-06-2019, 11:15 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by bikendan View Post
I have a 2014 F150 XTR(The Canadian XLT)Ecoboost with Max Tow package.
I hate leather seats and don't want the extra weight of the bling that comes with those fancier levels. They reduce the payload capacity.
Mine has the 36 gallon fuel tank, the integrated brake controller, the backup camera and rear sensors, which came with the Max Tow package. That's what is more useful for towing than all that bling.
I will admit that I'd love to have the air conditioned seats though.
We love our air-conditioned seats. Personally, I would never not have leather seats.
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Old 04-07-2019, 12:24 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by bikendan View Post
I have a 2014 F150 XTR(The Canadian XLT)Ecoboost with Max Tow package.
I hate leather seats and don't want the extra weight of the bling that comes with those fancier levels. They reduce the payload capacity.
Mine has the 36 gallon fuel tank, the integrated brake controller, the backup camera and rear sensors, which came with the Max Tow package. That's what is more useful for towing than all that bling.
I will admit that I'd love to have the air conditioned seats though.
All of the XTR trucks I have looked at never had height adjustable seats. all of the XLT trucks I have seen have this. are you able to adjust the height of yours?
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Old 04-07-2019, 12:40 AM   #8
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Went from a Grand Cherokee Limited with pretty much everything except the rear seat entertainment to a RAM Tradesman with a few useful options (cloth & carpet, radio with hands-free, backup camera, larger tank, 3.55 with LSD). The only thing I'm missing are the automatic wipers because we rarely get steady rain around here. Not missing the CD changer or Navigation, replaced by phone. Not missing the heated leather seats which had cracks by the time the GC reached 100k miles. And the truck was 5k less than the Jeep.
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Old 04-07-2019, 01:27 AM   #9
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All of the XTR trucks I have looked at never had height adjustable seats. all of the XLT trucks I have seen have this. are you able to adjust the height of yours?
Yes but only the driver's seat.
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Old 04-07-2019, 02:22 AM   #10
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Just as a alternative way to go how about a 2006-2008 Ford 6.0 Diesel. A nice Lariat without ridiculous high miles can be had for the 10K-15K range. Have the engine "Bulletproofed" front end rebuilt if needed for 15-25K. The 6.0 is actually a heck of a engine after it's inherent problems are taken care of. No emission add ons, no DEF needed. That will put you in a very well equipped truck that will take you 300,000-400,000 for a 25-40K range.
Back when we had a young family and money was tight our best friend who owned a shop would let us know when he got in a late model car that the owner blew the engine and just wanted to get rid of it. We could buy the car for next to nothing and my buddy would either rebuild, replace with a rebuilt, or put in a low mileage engine. We always had a nice vehicle that was dependable for less than half the price of a similar vehicle.
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Old 04-07-2019, 05:29 AM   #11
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My research is limited mainly to Ford ... which isn't to suggest that Ford is somehow better than the rest. They all make a great product.

What I have seen is that a true base XL is almost limited to commercial work trucks ... a crummy for the crew. So-called civilians generally get the STX package, as someone mentioned above. It's almost a pseudo-XLT at that point. And, you'll find lots of people going this route. Not only does this save money, but it also saves payload/capacity. As we discuss here routinely, options (e.g., moonroof) are heavy and consume precious payload which then limits your ability to tow various trailers.

As some have mentioned, there are certain options that are restricted to certain trim levels. That's always a bummer. You want A and you do not want B; however, you can only get A if you also get B. What compromise do you make? Are you willing to pay for and live with B, which you hate, just so that you can enjoy A? Are you willing to live without A so that you can avoid the cost and annoyance of B?

I actually see some people going with alternative brands for this. Something like, I wanted a Ford but I couldn't get A without also getting B ... so I went with a Ram because I could just get A.

From this perspective, you need to evaluate your needs/wants pretty well. Then, you have to shop. But, the way you're thinking is right on; lots of people go down this path and are really happy with their choice.

Also, diesel isn't a $10,000 hit. It's a ~$9,000 MSRP option on most platforms, but nobody pays MSRP. It's a bit less than $8,000 OTD. Still a considerable sum, but no need to sensationalize the option by inflating its cost by 25%.

Also for Ford, anyone can qualify for X-Plan pricing for $25. You can price vehicles at Ford.com with the X-Plan pricing shown. Or, you can just do regular MSRP pricing and reduce by ~6% for X-Plan/Invoice (invoice and X-plan are within 0.3% of one another). That's a good starting point. A good dealer will beat X/Invoice by $1,000 (or more). Add in corporate incentives and a PCO and you'll be in the ~10-15% off MSRP range when you're all done.

Good luck.
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Old 04-07-2019, 05:57 AM   #12
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Just did exactly this. Purchased a 2019 F250 with the STX package. I played around building the truck online. Also, we spent a lot of time online looking at new and used and visiting dealerships. We were fortunate to meet a salesman who listened and really worked with us. This truck has everything I needed plus some nice additions. We found XLTs that were usually missing some of my key requirements and had options I could have cared less about. The option that sealed the deal for me was the tailgate step, these trucks are tall! By not loading up on bling, we have a 3/4 ton truck with a payload of 3291!

Oh yeah, it was just over your magic $40k number. Working some things into the deal (Tonneau, bed liner, oil changes...) we're ended up right in that range.
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Old 04-07-2019, 06:05 AM   #13
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My last truck, a Ford that I had to lemon law, 'provided' me with a unique shopping opportunity. The amount of time the process took was rather long (more than half a year)...I didn't know exactly when it was going to happen so I researched new trucks while staying on top of local inventories and prices so I could get a replacement right away. I also considered ordering and used the various manufacturer's build your own processes.

I'm not brand loyal so I kept up on all the big three and talked to various dealers. After watching inventory and prices it became apparent where I was going to get the best deal from each brand. Surprisingly, I could not get a better price ordering a lower trim truck from any of the big three.

I ended up buying from a dealer about an hour drive from me. This dealer was always the lowest price and none of the local dealers (5) of the same brand would match the price. This dealership has folks flying in everyday to buy vehicles.

I picked up the truck in my signature which had an msrp somewhere (I don't remember exactly) over $50k. I don't remember all the 'packages' but it had upgraded radio/plow prep/fifth wheel prep/spray in bed liner/adjustable peddles/power seats/the largest nav screen/back up camera/Z71/class 5 rec and all other tow goodies/4x4/adj steering wheel/heated mirrors/rear locker/higher output alternator.

-There were a few work trucks nearby but the price on those was a little over $40k...I paid $39k .

If you're a little patient (I say a little because all of the big three are making significant changes this year) you may be able to get a great deal on 'last years model'.

There are a few things I wouldn't be willing to do without (-maybe this doesn't apply as options change every year). Most important to me is being able to use a smart phone through the trucks entertainment screen. It is just so easy to talk to your phone/truck and have google maps on the big screen...it makes navigation much easier. Rear window defroster and heated outside mirrors -a must for my climate.

Good luck.
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Old 04-07-2019, 06:12 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by 67L48 View Post
My research is limited mainly to Ford ... which isn't to suggest that Ford is somehow better than the rest. They all make a great product.

What I have seen is that a true base XL is almost limited to commercial work trucks ... a crummy for the crew. So-called civilians generally get the STX package, as someone mentioned above. It's almost a pseudo-XLT at that point. And, you'll find lots of people going this route. Not only does this save money, but it also saves payload/capacity. As we discuss here routinely, options (e.g., moonroof) are heavy and consume precious payload which then limits your ability to tow various trailers.

As some have mentioned, there are certain options that are restricted to certain trim levels. That's always a bummer. You want A and you do not want B; however, you can only get A if you also get B. What compromise do you make? Are you willing to pay for and live with B, which you hate, just so that you can enjoy A? Are you willing to live without A so that you can avoid the cost and annoyance of B?

I actually see some people going with alternative brands for this. Something like, I wanted a Ford but I couldn't get A without also getting B ... so I went with a Ram because I could just get A.

From this perspective, you need to evaluate your needs/wants pretty well. Then, you have to shop. But, the way you're thinking is right on; lots of people go down this path and are really happy with their choice.

Also, diesel isn't a $10,000 hit. It's a ~$9,000 MSRP option on most platforms, but nobody pays MSRP. It's a bit less than $8,000 OTD. Still a considerable sum, but no need to sensationalize the option by inflating its cost by 25%.

Also for Ford, anyone can qualify for X-Plan pricing for $25. You can price vehicles at Ford.com with the X-Plan pricing shown. Or, you can just do regular MSRP pricing and reduce by ~6% for X-Plan/Invoice (invoice and X-plan are within 0.3% of one another). That's a good starting point. A good dealer will beat X/Invoice by $1,000 (or more). Add in corporate incentives and a PCO and you'll be in the ~10-15% off MSRP range when you're all done.

Good luck.
Thank you for this well-written and detailed post. You have covered a lot of ground and given a perfect response to the original inquiry. It’s posts like this that make this forum such a great place to come for answers.

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Old 04-07-2019, 06:29 AM   #15
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There are a few things I wouldn't be willing to do without (-maybe this doesn't apply as options change every year). Most important to me is being able to use a smart phone through the trucks entertainment screen. It is just so easy to talk to your phone/truck and have google maps on the big screen...it makes navigation much easier. Rear window defroster and heated outside mirrors -a must for my climate.
This is a very important feature for me, also. My 2015 Silverado 3500 has the “old-fashioned” entertainment/communications system which requires you to pay for updated maps and to pay for OnStar and Sirius/XM Radio if you want to be able to use traffic and weather features. It was really cool when I bought it. Then, a few months later, I bought a 2016 Silverado 3500 for work. This truck has the CarPlay system which utilizes my phone for GPS, phone, texting, and so much more. I will never buy another truck that does not have CarPlay. I think that not having CarPlay in my 2015 truck will be a big factor in how easily I can sell it.

You should try using WAZE instead of Google Maps for your GPS with your CarPlay. WAZE is the best GPS I have ever used.

Bruce
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Old 04-07-2019, 07:14 AM   #16
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….

You should try using WAZE instead of Google Maps for your GPS with your CarPlay. WAZE is the best GPS I have ever used.

Bruce
Our last trip we had Google maps going on the truck's screen and a Garmin gps on the dash. The wife was using her phone for a combination of Waze, Google maps and she would bust out the Rand McNally to a pick a town for a stop. Hard to believe we used to travel across this country with just a paper map...how did we make it? . Anyway, we noticed updating real time changes for accidents or rerouting around something was happening at nearly identical times between the two. It wasn't always this way. Google bought Waze in 2013ish (?) and only fairly recently I think they started info sharing...and I'm not sure if this info swapping is happening all the time.

Waze is neat and more customizable...the speed trap notification, potholes etc. are cool.

The best part of this tech is choices and ease of use.
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Old 04-07-2019, 07:22 AM   #17
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Dave Dennis Ram, Dayton, this morning has a gas tradesman well under $40k

A tradesman diesel/Aisen dually for asking less than $48k. Will take less.

These are leftover 18’s. That dually would have unreal payload. Bench seats.

You do know that diesels used always sell for 7-8k more than gassers. You get your money back! Look it up on nada.
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Old 04-07-2019, 10:40 AM   #18
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If a F250 would work for you there might be a good deal waiting for you when the 2020's start rolling out. The new 7.3 engine should produce some really good 2 or 3 year old trades from guys that have to have the latest toy.
Also any 2019's might be really discounted heavily with so much attention given to the upcoming 7.3's Either 2019's will fly off the lot or they will be harder for dealers to move.
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Old 04-07-2019, 10:50 AM   #19
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If you are looking for a new 3/4-ton truck...don't wait for the new model year (2020) and expect to find a new 2019 3/4-ton left on the lot.

They'll all be long gone!

All you'll find will be boat loads of 1/2-tons!

That was how I wound up with the first 2015 3/4-ton that my dealership sold...in August of 2014!
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Old 04-07-2019, 12:05 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by upflying View Post
Anyone explore the various manufacturer "build your truck" sites and choose a base model as means to alleviate the high cost of new trucks?
I am referring to the Ram Tradesman, Ford XL and Chevrolet Work Truck models. All now come standard with automatic, power steering power brakes, power windows, am-fm, backup camera and cruise control.
Ordering the important mechanicals of low rear gearing, (high numerically) 4X4, crew cab, payload package ,tow package, tow mirrors and brake control keeps the cost of a new truck reasonable..especially if you stay with gas and not add that $10,000 hit with a diesel.
With dealer dickering and rebates, you might bring it below that magic $40,000 number.
Does anyone who has a base truck miss the leather, wood trim and tech features of the various Lariat, Limited, King Ranch options?
I have always ordered my trucks the way I want them and with options I feel are antiquate for my towing needs. My 2018 Ram I ordered stickered for $53000 and got 15% off sticker and with trade and additional discounts from Dodge final figure $18000. All numbers rounded off. I did not order leather or GPS but the model I ordered Had tow mirrors load leveling system and HD battery added and spray in bed liner plus 6.4 gas engine. Later RJD
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