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Old 05-03-2012, 11:25 PM   #1
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Newbie: 27FB International; Possible with 2012 Durango/Hemi or Suburban 1500?

Family upgrading this summer to 3 kiddos. Need new car. Planning on 27FB International (next summer) - specs list the GVWR at 7600lbs. Any experience towing with the new Durango (with Hemi - GVWR 7400) or the Suburban 1500 (GVWR 7100). I had planned to go with a 2500 Suburban (3/4 ton - but have been unable to find). Thanks in advance!
-Chris
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:35 PM   #2
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We tow a 25FB Flying Cloud with a 2011 Chev Tahoe with the KSL Heavy Duty towing package (different gearing, trans cooler, heavier alt) with no problems so far. Our experience is limited. We use a Hensley Arrow hitch with 1000lb. bars.
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:45 PM   #3
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If you're planning new, wait for the 2013 Durango/Jeep Grand Cherokee which will have an 8 speed transmission and (apparently) a 3.0 diesel engine. With the full independent suspension and this appropriate engine/trans, these look like an excellent vehicle for many Airstreams.

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Old 05-04-2012, 12:12 AM   #4
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I tow a 27' International with a Silverado 2500HD with the 6.6L Duramax.

Bottom line I can hardly tell there's a trailer back there, 7% grades are a none issue and the tow package with exhaust break is a pure joy.

Very happy with the 10,000 pound Equal-i-zer hitch.
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:23 AM   #5
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Thanks all! I have been trying to find a 2500 Suburban without luck. Feel it is the best fit. Giving up my F250 SuperDuty Diesel for the family-mobile (not mini-van peeps). I had not heard that the 2013 Durango would be 8 speed or Diesel???? Great info. Will pursue immediately! Appreciate it guys! - Chris.
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:30 AM   #6
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The 2013 diesel Durango/Cherokee for USA is unclear, conflicting reports. Am watching this closely as well.

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Old 05-04-2012, 12:09 PM   #7
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Chris

Seems strange that you can not find a 3/4 ton Suburban in this day and age with the internet and all. How about ordering one new?

Good luck.

Dan
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:49 PM   #8
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If you lived on the flatland, you probably would be happy with any of the long wheelbase higher tow rated half ton vehicles such as the 1500 Suburban or any of the pickups. However, living in Alaska, you will likely be doing a lot of mountain driving, particularly if you travel to the lower 48.
3/4 ton vehicles have higher horsepower engines. However, the biggest benefit as far as towing is concerned is in the heavier duty brakes and suspension of the heavier vehicles. On rough, curvy, or dowgrade roads, you will get roughed up a little with a "Soccer Mom" suspension and you may smell that unmistakeable odor of burning brakes.
3/4 ton Suburbans are available (special order or look on E Bay) and if you do away with all the useless accessories such as sunroofs, dvd players Onstar, ect, they are not that much more expensive than the 1500 Suburbans.
When my 2000 Excursion finally nickle and dimes me to death (It is impossible to kill), a 2500 Suburban will be my choice. I have a 25 foot trailer but drive most of the time in the mountains and need the bigger vehicle as I have towed with smaller short wheelbase half ton SUV and don't like it.
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:22 PM   #9
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You may be quite pleased what some new SUV's can do as tow vehicles. Many positive threads here on the forum. Independent suspension all around, large disc brakes, diesel engines, and eight speed transmissions such as on the latest VW Touaregs and (apparently) on the 2013 Durango/Grand Cherokee are a leap ahead of pickup based SUV's (soccer mom stuff) as tow vehicles for mid-sized Airstreams.

Nothing wrong with 3/4 ton pickups, unless you don't need it for other purposes or hate them as daily drivers on multiple month Airstream trips, as we do. (No need to get into the SUV vs pickup argument as that is severely documented many times. The op asked about Durangos and Suburbans.)

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Old 05-04-2012, 09:49 PM   #10
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Thanks again for responses. Talked to Dodge guy today and he sounded unaware of diesel / 8 speed transmission changes for Durango 2013. Sounds perfectly ideal. I am giving up my 2008 Diesel F-250 for the short term - all three kids will be under 4. Looking for an intermediate-term vehicle (until kids older) and I can get my pickup back. I am running into late year orders for 2012 - and there is a paucity of 2500 out there (and none in AK - as well as no Durangos - hot sellers this year).

Biggest lingering question: Can I get by with a 1500 Suburban pulling a 27FB International? Summers are short seasons here. Plus, I often work weekends - limiting the volumes of trips - and Suburban would be mostly a drive in town vehicle.

Can't wait to chase my Airstream dreams...

Chris
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:25 PM   #11
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I too have been looking at the 2011+ Dodge Durango as a tow vehicle. One thing I have found is that the Mercedes Gl glass SUV has a lot of the same genetic makeup as the Durango (they were both designed during the unholy matrimony of Daimler-Chrisler). Anyway, there are pre-owned versions of the Mercedes GL with Diesel engines that are very competitive (price-wise) with what a new Dodge might be. I have driven the Dodge in the gasoline v-6 (gutless), and the v-8 Hemi (not that inspiring), but have yet to try the Mercedes with turbo-diesel.
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:58 PM   #12
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You can 'get by' with a 1/2 ton and a 27', but you might find that by the time you spec a 1/2 ton with a tranny cooler, tow package and such that you aren't far off what a 3/4 ton comes with standard. It really depends on how much time you'll be running around empty... The Durango diesel will be interesting, but it is a light-duty diesel... the Canadian model that has been available for a while (CRD 3.0) is rated for 7400lbs.

You've got lots of options... trucks are the conventional wisdom... if you are considering an SUV, the Sequioa 5.7 (what I have) is quite nice... Ford's Ecoboost is also getting good results around here...
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Old 05-05-2012, 01:24 AM   #13
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We pull our 27' FB Intrnational with a 2010 Tundra 5.7L CrewMax. Tows great and its also a good daily driver...
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Old 05-05-2012, 03:57 AM   #14
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Agree on looking at the GL350 Bluetec if within your price range but if inclined toward the 2500 Suburban then by all means order one or do a more exhaustive search to find one. With 3 kids in car seats (dogs?) plus all your gear your options are limited.
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