Help us decide on make/model to buy

I am looking for a replacement for a Windstar van. We like to go camping, so it needs to be large enough for two adults and two large teens, plus big tent and luggage. I am thinking something like a Chevy Blazer or
Suburban....but ideally it should be manual transmission and deisel. I think they are both usually auto trans/non-deisel gas-guzzlers. Can you get either of those models with manual shift and deisel engine? We are not talking a new car here, an older model that would be say, $6000 or so. We like the extended cab trucks, but with the more reliable and economical deisel engines, they may be priced out of our range, unless it is a run-down one with 300K miles on it. I'd consider a deisel truck (if good on mileage) if it had around 200K miles on it, but probably not if it had 300K miles. Thanks for your input.
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Older Suburbans are available with a diesel up to the new body style, but I think you will be hard pressed to find a standard tranny.
A bit of advice that I have stated in the past: don't get a diesel just for the better mileage and cheaper fuel costs because it will take LOTS of fill-ups to make up the difference in price of repair parts if needed. If you are looking for longevity and torque, then you're in. A few simple mods over stock and you will be pleased. Stock, you may be displeased if comparing to a 454, but you'll still out pull a powersmoke :-)
See www.gm-diesel.com for comments if you're serious about a diesel. Keep in mind, if you own a diesel, you had better plan to drive it like one if you want it to last. Otherwise, put your money into a gasser instead. Count on an added 5-10 minutes minumum to ANY trip you make for warm up/cool down time.
I really like mine, though! '95 K2500HHD 6.5 TD
Snowman

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On Tue, 2 Sep 2003 11:38:54 -0500, "Jim Caldwell"

Gee, you should be able to find a nice used truck for 6,000. Blue book on a 92 is only about that. Be aware that many of the deisels (and gas trucks for that matter) have been used to haul trailors, so get the rear end checked out.
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