MrDTB wrote:I've now got a 2004 Northstar 700; I'm currently looking mainly at an old shape L200 to go under it, but am flirting with a U.S pick up such as a f150 or Dodge Dakota (but finding one at a good price is proving a challenge)
A few things to watch on US trucks:
Full size trucks like the Ford F150 are heavier than the smaller European trucks. Watch you don't end up short of payload weight because 3500kg minus the truck's unladen weight might not give as much as you want. Also watch taxation. If the payload is under about 1 metric ton (can't remember the exact numbers in kg) then it could be classed as a car, and if > 2001 that would mean being taxed based on emissions
Having said the above, you probably want to avoid having the truck registered at more than 3500kg gross weight. That could mean a whole lot of extra hassle and possible difficulty when wanting to travel around Europe.
Another thing. "half ton" trucks like the F150 might look big to us, but to Americans they are on the very light-duty end of the truck spectrum and are aimed at people who will use them as a car, but maybe tow their boat at weekends, not at people who will carry a ton of payload - hence the suspension is often tuned to be soft since the trucks tend to be used very lightly laden. I've been involved with the US RV.NET forum for about 6 years and have seen a lot of people have problems with half ton trucks, having to spend a lot of extra money on suspension upgrades to make the truck work.
Also watch the low official payloads on these half-ton trucks. Specify the older F150s wrongly when new (diesel, double-cab, 4x4) and you can end up with a door pillar sticker quoting a < 400kg payload
This is probably because they assume 6 large adults are in the cab at the same time and you probably wouldn't exceed your GVWR in practice. But you might feel slightly vulnerable from a legal perspective if the door sticker said 400kg and you had an accident while carrying 1000kg payload.
On the plus side a gasoline US truck will for now probably be exempt from the low emission zones which are popping up around Europe. My truck complies with these zones, but is a later (2007) Euro-4 diesel.