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Old 04-07-2015, 08:10 PM   #1
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2016 30' International
Scottsdale , Arizona
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Denali 1500 w/6.2L vs. Denali 2500HD Duramax

I am looking at two potential trucks as a TV. I know that either one is more than fully capable to tow a 30' Flying Cloud, but want to get some feedback from those who may have/had either of these two trucks.

2015 GMC Denali 1500 truck with the 6.2L engine - 9,200 lbs. towing capacity 1740 lbs. payload
2015 GMC Denali 2500 truck with Duramax - 13,000 lbs. towing capacity 2793 lbs. payload

Aside from the $6k-$7k price difference:

The 1500 would have more than enough capability for pulling the 30' Flying Cloud, no problem, and is more "car-like" to drive around.

The 2500 HD is more "truck-like" to drive around, but its extra margin of towing capacity would be very reassuring. I do like the extra height and more truck-like quality of the 2500HD. And the fact that this truck could tow something heavier than an AS, should I ever want to do so, though I don't anticipate having another RV after a 30' Flying Cloud.

I'm told that late model 3/4 ton diesel trucks are in greater demand and tighter supply than 1/2 ton gas trucks are, which may indicate that the former could hold resale value better over the coming years.

I drove both of these trucks today and really liked them both, though there was a marked difference in "feel" while driving them. As I said, the 1500 with 6.2L was quite car-like and the 2500 with Duramax was quite noticeably a very beefy truck, but still quite luxurious and comfortable.

So... your comments about either or both of these trucks would be appreciated.

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Old 04-07-2015, 08:29 PM   #2
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2012 27' Flying Cloud
W , New England
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I have a '13 Chevy 2500 diesel. You've highlighted exactly the issue. Something else serves better as a daily non-towing driver and the 2500 diesel is an amazingly fantastic tow vehicle with PLENTY of headroom for towing and braking.

While I tow less than regular driving, for me, towing had to be as close to flawless as possible so the beefy truck works well for me and I deal with it as a less than perfect "car".

Your mileage may vary. Good luck!

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Old 04-07-2015, 08:43 PM   #3
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2016 30' International
Scottsdale , Arizona
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We're semi-retired (we do operate an internet-only business) and we only drive around 10k miles a year, combined local shopping and travel (which would be pulling the 30FC).

Even though the around-town driving quality of the 2500HD is "truck-like", GMC has made the Denali 2500HD so nice and feature laden that the driving experience is still very comfortable and luxurious. The vehicle just doesn't whip around corners as light-footedly as the 1500 6.2L does, nor is it as quick off the line. And I'm fine with those attributes. In fact, I feel safer and more secure in my place on the road while driving the 2500HD, due to the beefy quality of the vehicle and sitting higher.

Obviously, I'm leaning toward the 2500 HD Duramax! And still wanting to hear your thoughts!
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Old 04-07-2015, 08:59 PM   #4
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1999 34' Excella
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Hillsboro , Texas
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2012 2500 Dmax HD, 4x4, crew cab, medium bed.

34' AS, tows comfortably. Not all travels are with tailwind, downhill on glasslike roads. There is no issue controlling when needed.

If you are not an overcompensating, wimp of a man like me, if you are someone who has perfect driving ability and prophetic wisdom, buy a FIAT or Smart Car for your tow vehicle! Imagine how impressed the gals will be!

Yes, sorta kidding. I can tow with far less vehicle... Sure, but when things went bad the truck was up to the task.
Peace and Blessings..
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Old 04-07-2015, 09:49 PM   #5
2020 Classic 33 on order
Box Elder , South Dakota
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The issue isn't whether it will pull the Airstream. The issue is the amount of payload that will still be available to put in the bed of the truck after hooking up the trailer. With my FC25, Propride, my 2015 Sierra 1500 had 80 lbs left for the bed of the truck when the truck was full fuel, me, wife and dog. Truck was equipped similar to a Denali and had a Roll-n-Lock bed cover. Towed just fine through the mountains of Colorado.

2015 2500 Duramax no problem on loading. Better mileage while towing (25+% better) and it is my daily driver. Also larger brakes and the Exhaust Break is worth it for helping slow everything down. Denali model basically has all of the options including the built in brake controller.

Is the Duramax overkill, maybe. If you don't want diesel then the 2500 with the 6.2L would still be the way to go.

And while the published numbers are supposed to be accurate spend $10 and test drive them down to the local CAT scales and get real numbers. You may be surprised at what the real payload is. Take the CAT numbers and add a full load of fuel, the family and pets that will ride along see what is 'real'.
2020 Classic 33 Twin on order
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Old 04-07-2015, 09:59 PM   #6
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Hi, I'm all for half tons; Actually 150/1500 tow vehicles, but for a 30'er you need the 250/2500 sized tow vehicles. More so for the payload.

2005 Safari 25-B
"Le Petit Chateau Argent"
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Old 04-07-2015, 10:01 PM   #7
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I have a 2015 Denali 2500HD and absolutely love, love, love it. The one thing about it I don't like is parking it. Parallel parking is more difficult and with some of the designer-type parking lots at some shopping centers, it's a two point turn to get it parked straight. I usually just park away from everybody else if possible.

With the Duramax, after 3500 miles, I've been getting about 14 mpg combined driving and about 21 mpg highway. Towing, about 14-15 mpg highway and 10-12 mpg combined. In California where I live, diesel is now about $.25/gallon cheaper than regular.

I really don't have to worry about adding too much weight in gear and passengers to the truck which I really like, and the new interior design is awesome.
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Old 04-08-2015, 10:49 AM   #8
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Spotsylvania , Virginia
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Let me play the devil in this conversation...............I look at the can burn a lot of gas for the price difference between gas & diesel.

But I also live in a state where they tax your personal property to death. 3/4 ton trucks are taxed at 100% of their value for the life of the vehicle, a 1/2 ton truck is taxed at 50% of its value for the life of the truck or until 149K miles, then its value becomes $0.00.

Saying all that I bought a Dodge diesel in 2000 when diesel fuel was cheaper than gas and the diesel truck gets twice the mileage as a gas truck and will pull a house down the road as well. It only has 115K in 15 yrs, I spent $5K in repairs last year which is still cheaper than a new truck............diesels are expensive to repair though.

Here in VA diesel fuel is still way more expensive than gas by at least .50 - .60 cents a gallon.
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Old 04-08-2015, 12:17 PM   #9
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2013 30' International
Kennewick , Washington
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Just bought a 30 foot 2013 international and pulled it home with our 2013 2500 diesel denali and loved it. Never pulled a trailer before and spent 10 days driving home on tight mountain roads and felt so comfortable with how the two worked together. Safety is first for us and not having to worry about weight is key.
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Old 04-08-2015, 01:10 PM   #10
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A fine is a tax for doing wrong

A tax is a fine for Doing well.

Please stop moving to Texas!!! The Polly teeshuns are seeing BiG revenu that you were paying in your previously overtaxed states and building TOLL ROADS!!! Etc!

Fix y'all taxes!!!!
Peace and Blessings..
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Old 04-08-2015, 01:17 PM   #11
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Abilene , Texas
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we have a ten year old duramax 2500hd. it is perfect for trailers and my 6500 pound boat and its trailer. the problem is the spouse. she no longer abides the diesel noise and the rougher ride. we are looking at a new denali 1500.
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Old 04-08-2015, 01:24 PM   #12
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I moved from Texas to Missouri last year due to job change. Don't like paying MO state income tax or MO personal property tax on my vehicles. But my home property taxes are lower than TX. I'm hoping the overall tax costs will be a wash between the two states. I won't find out my personal property tax and my vehicles and AS until September.

Getting back on track, for a 30' AS I would be more inclined to go the diesel route. I think using even a 1/2t truck as a daily driver and maneuvering around parking lots is a pain so to me a 3/4t truck would not be that much worse. I just park in the back 40 of the parking lot when I run errands in my Tundra.

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Old 04-08-2015, 03:00 PM   #13
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Hot Springs Village , Arkansas
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We also have a 2013 Duramax and pull a 28 foot FC. The benefits we realize are going over steep passes in Colorado. The truck barely downshifts going up and the exhaust brake going down is a life saver, well at least a brake saver.
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Old 04-08-2015, 03:25 PM   #14
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It's an easy choice. Go with the Duramax. The power and torque will amaze and comfort you and the ride too is amazing.

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