So much good input. I like the life cycle cost approach, but then I did engineering estimating for a while so kinda geeky that way. considering I drive a 4 cyl manual Accord coupe, I have not had much maintenance cost to consider lately! YES! I will make some worksheets for operating expenses to get a better picture of that.
I live in WV right now and there's just not a lot of public land as I was used to out West. Visited a friend in VT last year and it is pretty rugged camping in national forests there. Also I do love winter- so far anyhow. If I have 4x4 I will definitely find excuses to use it. I don't see myself breaking axles like my sons and his friends do (although hmmm they know who allows wheelin on their property!)
Therefore: road use with part time backcountry use. I like to fish so my imagined setup has a place in back to hang waders for example, and the space for drawing board, as mentioned. I have friends from Louisiana to NM to WA which I plan to visit and that is another factor. I may want to travel up the Cassiar highway again if i can find willing partners. Anyhow I can see putting lots of miles on the rig I buy.
RE: towing,, i would love to have a drift boat so nothing too big... I do not own a house right now
I can't say it is impossible I would tow something bigger, never say never right? Will deal with that later since i don't even know where i want to retire yet!
Back to the engine... friends who love their diesels are either mechanics themselves- have a neighbor who is- or love to tear trucks apart and put them back together, never ending. thus my impression is to own one is to fix one... or live down the road from POWERSTROKEHELP.COM - The Information Source for Ford Power Stroke Diesel Owners & Mechanics
Thanks for the summary of he 4x4 combos and suggestion for the Ford 5.4 V8! There are some on the market nearby- late models/low mileage are not inexpensive. I haven't seen that many 7.3s listed- is that diesel only? .... V10 I have heard are problematic, if only due to size making for high labor costs.... i won't break a nail but
I'm not planning to be a mechanic soon.
I may have to find a broker because looking through van listings is getting to be a pain... they don't put engine spec in ads so much research I am having to work too hard if they want me to pay so much!
(end of rant)
Would anyone mind looking through this link for me? It seems indicative of pricing around here.... Used Cars Millersburg Automotive Repair Columbus OH Cleveland OH Windy Hill Auto and Truck Sales
again THANKS EVERYONE- your time and input is much appreciated!