EVERYBODY IS OK! –> Now what?

“EVERYBODY IS OK!” the opening words of a Facebook post about the accident that totaled our truck and damaged our Montana fifth wheel trailer.


At some point I will get the word that they are ‘totaling’ my truck.  I’ll have a week of car rental and a week of repair time on the Montana, so I need to have a pretty good idea of what I am going to replace it with pretty soon yet it is a pretty big, probably pretty much a lifetime timescale decision. What a pretty problem.


A drunk driver crested a hill as he rounded a long curve at high speed and at the last minute, he suddenly noticed that my truck was across the roadway.  At any normal speed, and sober, he probably would have stopped and cussed us out for taking up so much of his valuable time, but his late decision to slam on the brakes means that I am searching for a replacement truck.


The first part of the decision is how much tow capacity will I need.  Although the fiver was only lightly damaged (I think, but who knows) we are considering downsizing.



That is another long and complicated process which may leave me needing to tow my fifth wheel for a while longer and therefore needing the same size truck….  Even then the choices are almost overwhelming.

Full size pickups used to be classified by cargo capacity.  A half ton could carry about a 1000 pounds of cargo, a 3/4 ton about 1500 pounds and then on up in half ton and then full ton increments.  Oddly the model numbering is based on 15/25/35 on up to 65 and 75 (Fords are hundreds (150, 250 etc.) while Chevy and Dodge are thousands (1500, 2500, etc.)). The capacity is not a given anymore, the model numbers are more relative within the vehicle line and somewhat correlate to the old capacity based system.


All that aside, I probably need a 3/4 ton or 250/2500 size rig to pull the fifth wheel I have.  This is all calculate-able and look-up-able.  Since I know that my trailer weighs about 13,000 pounds or 6 1/2 tons fully loaded and ready for the road I know that I need a truck that has that much pulling capacity.  Now have whittled the thousands of possibilities to 10-20 models and trim lines.  The next step is actually two parallel steps determining which is the best 3/4 ton truck this year in parallel with finding what is actually available.  It always

looks like there are a million possibilities, but in reality there are only a few trim lines and combinations of features generally available.  Fewer still actually available in Southern California and Arizona.  What trim lines and features available may cause one make to move ahead or fall behind anther.


When I look at dealer websites I get a narrowed down further list of what is actually available which then focuses my research to what exactly are the differences between trim lines.  The research goes on.


How far can I go before I get a reality check from the insurance company?  This could be painful, but likely just interesting. Maybe a used truck, of course these are a bit far away.



Next post we’ll go through some actual decisions.

  6 comments for “EVERYBODY IS OK! –> Now what?

  1. John Sedor
    August 22, 2019 at 23:17

    How about a big Tundra! We just went through car shopping in March, thanks t o being hit in the real while stopped at a traffic light here in Universal City. Van was totaled because of age and mileage,even though damage was light! Now have a 2029 Toyota RAV4!

    • rayrogers10
      August 27, 2019 at 03:14

      I am glad you guys are ok! Tundras don’t have quite the towing capacity I need, I looked. I think I am going for another old truck, just don’t want to spend the incredible amount of money that new 3/4 ro 1 ton trucks cost. At least right now 😉

  2. Tom langton
    August 22, 2019 at 09:40

    My personal opinion is stay with the GM product I found them more reliable than Fords. Dodge rams are starting to have a good reputation with the Cummins engine

    • rayrogers10
      August 27, 2019 at 03:11

      Thank you sir. See the next article in the series 😉

  3. America
    August 22, 2019 at 09:17

    Great blog! One of the ways I was able to get more money out of the insurance company when my car was totaled by a drunk driver was to contact a Toyota dealer (my car was a Prius) and have them pull up the VIN number on my car. From there I was able to get a print out of everything single feature my car had on it. Things the insurance company didn’t even list. I was able to get an extra $2,000 out of them after piecemealing some features here and there. Then I’d wait for a new offer from them. Finally, I gave them the comprehensive list of options my car had. I held onto the rental car for an extra 10 days but it was worth it. Hope what I wrote makes sense! If not, ping me and we can chat. Good luck!

    • rayrogers10
      August 27, 2019 at 03:11

      Thanks for the upvote. Most of the optional stuff I have is after market and has aged out of being worth much. I took the big trailer hitch to resell and the trailer’s camera monitor to re-use. They are being fair, and I think I have a line on a good used replacement for about what I am getting!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *