Let's talk about trucks

I realize I'm opening a HUGE can of worms here, but let's talk trucks.

I have a 2004 Tacoma which I bought new with 28 miles on it, and now we're tipping 306,000. I had zero issues with the truck, just kept up on the maintenance. It's been great off road with its compact size and has gone everywhere I've asked it to, with the only limitation being that it lacks a locking rear differential.

It'll pull light to moderate loads, really doesn't like pulling cars, but I do anyway and just take it easy.

When the truck approached the 300,000 mark, little things started to happen. Throttle position sensor went out -- no big deal. Leaf spring broke -- no big deal. Developing a pretty good oil leak that's hard to trace, because I'm pretty sure it's coming from every possible gasket. Steering rack is making noise.

Anyway, it seems like she's getting tired and I've been considering upgrading to a full size for my next purchase. A bunch of the guys at work love the newer Fords, but I can't afford a "new" truck. I think my budget would probably allow for something around 10 years old and I'd like to increase my towing capacity. A car is likely the heaviest thing I'll tow, maybe a bumper pull camper in the future.

I considered an older Tundra, but they're still out of my price range. That kinda leaves me with the Big Three. I don't know anything about Chevys, but I have a few friends with Fords and Dodges. I've heard there are good years for engines and bad years, but it gets confusing when I try to search the web to confirm.

So, I open it up to the experts here. What are your truck experiences??

I had a 67 Dodge regular cab D100 factory big block. Great truck, but it did not fit my needs anymore pulling the boat and getting the family to the lake plus I was pulling an enclosed car trailer once in awhile longer distances. It also was tough to go long distances lacking any modern conveniences. I was looking to upgrade to heavier duty truck to pull an enclosed 24' race car trailer once in awhile. I ended up finding a 99 F350 crew cab DRW with the 7.3 Powerstroke. (Pre-emissions) It only has 53,000 miles and barely broke in. LOL This is a fantastic truck with creature comforts and pre-emissions for a diesel) It is not a rocket ship by today's standards but a great pulling truck. I could not afford the $45,000 for a newer used HD truck with 180,000 miles and all of the emissions crap that you have to put up with on the newer trucks and some day the EPA will crack down on deleted trucks across the country.