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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is long because I feel like most of the people on this post are dudes and appreciate all of this type of thinking. I’m not sure anyone else besides another RL owner would understand this thinking or thought process.

Before I go any further, I want to thank everyone on this thread for all of their contributions throughout many forums. You've collectively saved me quite a bit of money, time and efforts finding answers for a few problems. I'm posting this here because you all may be the only folks that will appreciate this new found obsession of mine--the Ridgeline.

This is Rita-Ridges. She is my 2007 G1 Ridgeline RTX. She has 107K on her.
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I am coming from a Nissan Frontier 2009, 4-banger 2WD King Cab, manual everything with only an aftermarket stereo, towing package and bed liner. Really, it didn't have much else. Basic truck that was basically awesome. I loved the fact that it had 6’ bed. I did more work and towed more than I probably should have a time or two, but she never complained. Maybe didn’t accelerate with voracity, but always competent. Since it was both a manual and 4-banger, didn’t have the SMOD issue. Anyway, I had that truck for about 8 years and it really served me very well. I paid about 11K for the truck and not sure that aside from normal maintenance that I did anything else to it. I put about 55K on the vehicle. In fact, I bought that Nissan with the hopes of giving it to my son, but a buddy of mine had a 2004 Accord with 90K on it from his dad that I couldn’t pass up (that Accord drives like a new car).

Anyway, there were only two things I wanted more of out of my from my Nissan. I wanted a bit more power (tow ability) and seating for my boys that are man-size at this point. Additionally, I wanted a bit more tow ability because the 4-banger yanking travel trailers, even at less than a ton isn’t perfect. Four people could not sit in the King Cab Nissan reasonably either.

About once a year over the past couple of years, I would get the itch for a newer/new to me truck. Then I would always think about car payments and ask myself will that purchase bring me more joy? The answer is always no. I paid cash for that Nissan and you know what they say about paid off cars, they look a lot nicer. It was hard to replace the quality and reliability of that vehicle with that same money out of pocket. I stayed pat the last couple of years.

About two months or so ago, I saw a Ridgeline on Craigslist at a great price. I thought, wow, I could sell my truck, plus throw a few bucks on it and buy something that met my wants? I did inquire about that Ridgeline, it had a rebuilt title (which I can’t personally bring myself to purchase). That said, I did the math at that point and appreciated that I could make the numbers work on a new-to-me truck. Now I was on the hunt. You know the hunt that I’m talking about. The hunt when you’re not going to be happy until you find it is what you’re looking for.

To be honest, I wasn't 100% looking for a Ridgeline, I have a neighbor that has about 270K on his--loves it and says it drives as tight as can be. He's a little older than me (I'm 45, he's 65) and he puts a zillion miles on his cars. His words rang important. Since I saw the one deal on the Ridgeline, I started looking around at the G1 Ridgelines as they are in my comfort zone for a cash transaction, plus I didn’t like the new body style nor all of the technology (personal preference). To be honest, I can justify a huge car cost, I simply don’t drive more than 7-8K a year. I persisted. I started reading the reviews and got even a bit more excited as I read this forum. Then I started comparing the body integrity for those years with some of the American standards. Really, no comparison.

My only grump at this point is that the Ridgeline has a bit shorter bed than I like, but at the same time, the trunk and laying the tailgate down help a bit. I have a bed extender and that helps. For most 6-cylinder midsize trucks, they are the 4.5 beds. The Ridgeline gets me to five feet, plus a trunk. The more I looked at the Ridgeline, the more I appreciated it. It had that utilitarian nature that I loved about my Nissan on the interior, better ride, more power and seating. I had a pretty good idea in terms of power, etc what to expect from the Ridgeline as my wife had a Pilot for a couple of years (until it was too big for her). It was official, I was on the hunt for the Ridgeline.

I was looking for a Ridgeline with ideally under 150K that was serviced frequently—timing belt etc. I used to be afraid of high mileage vehicles, but since we have an extra vehicle and I don’t drive a ton; I was willing to go up a bit in mileage on the Ridgeline, as long as it was well maintained.

My first two dealership experiences were farcical. The first one, in early COVID-April, I show up at the dealership for my appointment and the guy takes me to the car, but didn’t know anything about it. Like the trunk or the tailgate opens two ways. It had been beat to hell. I moved on. The second dealership was about 65-miles away. I called them and was about to go see/buy the truck. I have an email that laid out my requirements. I told them to review it and make sure all my requirements were answered. As I was on the phone with him, about to leave with my wife, he’s like, “well you should know there’s a code…” It’s a tranny code. I can’t remember the code, but this forum told me that I didn’t want to futz with it.

I called about a couple other Ridgelines, but the ones tended that fit my category seemed to sell pretty quick. I searched 300-miles from Cincinnati.

The third time is the charm. I caught one on a dealer website that came in over a weekend and called on Monday. It was about 60-miles away. It had the CarFax with all the records from Honda Dealerships. One owner that was in the military and you could see his service bases, NC, FL and OH. This Ridgeline has 107K on it, single owner and all the stuff that is important to me—mostly maintenance. It hadn’t been beaten. Good shape inside, out and mechanically. I put a deposit on the vehicle over the phone from a couple pics from the sales guy. Before I drove up there, I paid a mechanic to come to the dealership to do a once over on the car as well. I couldn’t imagine both burning a few hours driving and not buying a car AND listen to my wife lament the drive. The dealership actually did a few items that would have drove me crazy, new visor that was loose, tailgate switch, installed a new battery, new air and cabin filters, plus a couple other small items. They didn’t detail the car BEFORE I picked it up, so I called back and had them detail it at a sister dealership near my house. Yay, I own a Ridgeline!

Did I get a good deal? I don’t think I got an awesome deal on the truck dollar-wise. That said, I think it was a fair deal. Price out the door was 9.8K for the truck and a few hundred for the f-you fees. They offered me 3K for my truck and gave me some BS about auction etc. I told them they weren’t asking auction prices on the Ridgeline they were selling. While I might have won that litigation in court, they had a vehicle I wanted and they knew it. They weren’t budging on price. Based on my experiences, a good looking, well-cared for Ridgeline goes quick in the region. It was fair.

As an aside, I sold my Nissan to the first person that looked at it, for 5.8K my price difference between the two vehicles was right at 4.3K. That’s sorta a sweet upgrade for that amount of money (at least to me).

I drove home in Rita Ridges. I’ve had her about a month. I really can’t believe that I like this truck this much. I’m almost embarrassed to tell my wife about it. What did I do to make it mine?
  • Installed a new stereo from Cruchfield, Sony DSX-B700—sounds great, connects to Bluetooth easily. Install made easy by this forum (thank you)
  • New Weathertech floor mats—sold the originals on eBay
  • Fixed the map light problem for $9—thanks to this forum
  • Tonneau cover needed reconditioned
  • Cleaned the upholstery for water stains.
  • Put a WeatherTech bug guard on it
  • Ordered matching touchup paint for a couple scratches. Color, plus clear coat.
Next on my list:
  • PCV valve
  • Spark plugs
  • I have the Carfax printed out with all the baseline fluids one mileage to change
Next on my mechanic’s list
  • New radiator—preventative I was familiar with the SMOD problem from Nissans, which it apparently plagued pretty hard
Other than that, I’ll be waiting for the MM to remind me. I know there are going to be things that go because of age or otherwise. But if I can have this vehicle 6-8 years, that’s a worthy upgrade to me.

BONUS that I wasn’t expecting—my insurance went down $400 per year as well.

Lastly, here’s the thing that I have to say: I really wasn’t expecting this much awesome out of this vehicle. I’m a dude. I do dude things. I haul stuff, camp, tow stuff, and move things and so forth. I don’t beat my vehicles, but I use them. This thing might do it all. It has a good turning radius (compared to the Nissan). It is super-tight in handling, suspension, etc. I appreciate the utilitarian look of it. I just couldn’t be more impressed with it. Rita Ridges gives me all the feels. I only feel dumb that I didn’t do this sooner.

Sorry for the length of this post. :oops: (You can see my neighbor's RL with 270K in the back right of the picture).
IMG_2004 2.jpeg
 

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2006 Ridgeline RTS in Steel Blue
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Great Color!

Best of Luck, Enjoy the Ride!

OK, it took a 28" Monitor at work to see the 270k G1 in the back ground....
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Great Color!

Best of Luck, Enjoy the Ride!

OK, it took a 28" Monitor at work to see the 270k G1 in the back ground....
I love the color of your truck too! My neighbor has 280K on his truck now. I just talked to him this evening. Thanks for the alll the love from this forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Great story of how you came around. Congrats and welcome to the club. Feel free to share your RL experiences.
So far, so awesome. One of the things I saw on this form that I didn't think about doing was changing my power steering fluid. Just ordered the evacuator and Honda fluid! Thanks for your kind post comments (again sorry for the length).
 

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Thank you for sharing your story, @martyboyer. It looks like you found a nice G1. I respect you for walking away from those earlier Ridgelines.
 
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Looks great! Nice price too. I drove my 2006 RTL (purchased new) for 14 years and she had 189000 on her when I traded it in for my G2 RTL. Mine didn't fair as well however. The tailgate had some serious rust on the bottom edge and the ceiling fabric was falling down in the rear of the vehicle. Other than that, she was the best vehicle I had ever owned. I am hoping the G2 fairs as well as my G1 did. At first I looked for a used late model G1, but could not find one without driving halfway across the country. Looks like you found a nice one. Good luck and keep us up to date.
 
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