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Old 02-16-2010, 10:48 AM   #1
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1986 25' Sovereign
Gainesville , Georgia
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3/4 Ton Family Vehicle Diesel...Does it Exist?

The title pretty much says what I am looking for. This will be my wife's "daily driver" (maybe 100 miles per week) and also our TV. We live in North GA, like to travel in the mountains and will use our TV+AS likely 10-15 times per year.

My current TV does the job ok but struggles up hills and I am concerned about braking...I've had some issues. I pulled out of a camping spot on a steep incline in single digit weather in a warmed up TV and it damn near stopped halfway up the hill - I thought I was going to be going backwards in short order! Scared the bejeepers out of me.

We tow a 1986 Sovereign with upgraded axles (so it will do 7000+). Note that these have a significant tongue weight (near 700lbs I think) and the four of us in the fam + all of our junk makes me think I need a 3/4 ton...I want to be able to load up without worries for week+ long trips.

So a list of priorities:

1. Tow Capacity
2. Braking
3. Torque/Acceleration
4. Daily Driving
5. Gas milage
6. Cost (likely looking a pre '08 models)
7. Longevity

Was thinking the ideal would be a 3/4 Ton diesel Suburban 2500? Have they ever made these?
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Old 02-16-2010, 11:37 AM   #2
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Hi, Yes they make those...very popular around here. Many prefer a 3/4 ton (2500) crew cab truck , short bed with a camper shell. You get the benifit of the pax carrying seating plus cargo space separated from the seats for nasty wet stuff and critters you may carry..(not the kids.)
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Old 02-16-2010, 11:51 AM   #3
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Well your kinda limited to trucks and the Ford expedition, Which they don't make anymore so you will have to get a used one. Or the 3/4 ton gas suburban 8.1 liter that you would have to get used also. Prob is that thing only gets 11 mpg Our friends have one. But it tows great.

I don't think chevy made a diesel suburban, but you can put a diesel in one... for big $$$

Sounds like you might be stuck with a truck. or a used Expedition...
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Old 02-16-2010, 12:53 PM   #4
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Thumbs up Allison / Duramax

After we started full timing, we went from a 6 liter 2500 suburban to an Allison/ Duramax diesel crew cab. It is a great tow vehicle and gets over 20 mpg when it isnít towing. The inside is as civilized as was the suburbanís and the tonneau covered bed gives us a nice, out of sight, spot for lots of stuff.
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Old 02-16-2010, 01:14 PM   #5
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Here is my experience. In 2003, we bought a Dodge Ram 2500 quad cab, short box, 4x4 truck. This was my 3rd pickup. however the last was a 1976. I got rid of the 76, because I did not like driving it daily. The Dodge has been a complete different experience. I actually enjoy driving it. However, if I am going somewhere where the parking is going to be tight, I will often drive our 1995 Audi 90.
The other side of the coin:
If I told my wife that the truck was going to be HER daily driver instead of the Audi or her Smart Car, I would be laughed out of the house. (out of the house in some manner anyway)

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That didn't help much, did it?
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Old 02-16-2010, 01:18 PM   #6
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Is it worth considering buying two vehicles - the 3/4-ton tow machine, and something smaller as a daily driver?

Tom
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Old 02-16-2010, 01:43 PM   #7
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We like our 01 diesel excursion. Three rows of seats and plenty of room left for gear. Highway mpg 17-19, towing 10-13. Heard bad things about the 6.0 powerstroke, all good with the 7.3. Ours has 150k know and no problems. Has a great big 44 gal. tank. We tow a 64 overlander. Hope it helps
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Old 02-16-2010, 01:48 PM   #8
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For the trailer size you have a correctly equipped half ton would get the job done and be a bit more civilized for a daily driver.
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Old 02-16-2010, 02:29 PM   #9
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We tow with the 08' sequoia and have no problems stopping or going up the mtn. Passes. It's just when that darn pedal sticks and we go up faster than I would like

Lots of room for our (now 4 kids) and stuff.
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Old 02-16-2010, 02:52 PM   #10
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I have a 06 duramax crewcab short bed and a 78' soviergn. I love my truck and I use it as a daily driver. It is big and long and a pain to park if you go to the mall. You may have to park at the end of the parking lot and walk. I get great millage from the diesel. 20 on the HWY and 18 in the City. I have already re-couped the premium that I paid for the diesel in the fuel savings. I have a buddy that has the same truck with the gasser and he only gets 12 MPG. Not to mention , my truck will pull anything you put behind it and almost never drop out of 6th gear even with a hilly terrain.
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Old 02-16-2010, 03:50 PM   #11
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When my 97 Suburban 6.2 diesel took a month or 2 off with a blown engine I switched to a 2004 Excursion 6.0 diesel. 7 passengers and lots of power.

On balance I would suggest looking for a pre 99 Suburban diesel as they ride much better that the Excursion and handle vastly better with a trailer.
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Old 02-16-2010, 03:58 PM   #12
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We bought our '96 7.3 Powerstroke 4x4 crewcab shortbed F250 new; we've gone all over the place w/ it and towed all sorts of stuff. A very nice truck, very comfortable on long hauls. About 17 mpg empty, less towing (depends on weight & windage). Not the most fun to parallel park, but manageable. 165k miles w/ only routine maintenance (fluids, filters, brakes, tires) aside from one burst power steering hose. The kids were 8 & 6 when we bought it; it still has plenty of room for them in the back seat (or me, when they're driving).

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Old 02-16-2010, 04:45 PM   #13
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Dodge one ton 3500 crewcab diesel dually, daily driver. Except for parking garages and drive thrus it is just fine. It is also fun to drive. Get what you want, go big you won't look back.
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:06 PM   #14
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We have a 2000 diesel Excursion with 178,000 miles. We have had it since new and it has been very reliable. Mileage is the same as biopig's. It is a handfull to park in a big city but otherwise not a hardship to drive.
It is a very good tow vehicle as it is on a 3/4 ton truck chasis.
You can put the back seat down and carry almost as much as a pickup or put the third seat in and take 8 people on a long road trip.
If you can find an older one that has been well maintained, buy it. Ours is probably around the middle of its useful life.
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