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Old 08-19-2006, 11:23 PM   #1
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1978 31' Sovereign
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Anyone Know About a 1989 Suburban?

Well when I picked up my new 1978 31' Sovereign, the very nice older lady said we couldn't take it without the tow vehicle - a 1989 Chevy Suburban (454 w/2500 trim package). She and her husband took them all over from Mexico to Canada and she said it was like separating Romeo and Juliet. She made us a very good offer on the Suburban, which is in very good condition. It has 86,000 miles, and a rack on the roof that pulls up an aluminum boat automatically.

Anyway, she doesn't know much about the Suburban because her late husband always took care of it but she knows it goes with the Airstream. Can anyone tell me about it, like towing capacity, gas mileage, reliability, towing capacity, etc. They obviously took great care of the trailer and truck. If we buy it we'll keep it only for 3-4 years and then move to a newer diesel.

Thanks,
Tony and Gale
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Old 08-20-2006, 12:41 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kramynot2000
Well when I picked up my new 1978 31' Sovereign, the very nice older lady said we couldn't take it without the tow vehicle - a 1989 Chevy Suburban (454 w/2500 trim package). She and her husband took them all over from Mexico to Canada and she said it was like separating Romeo and Juliet. She made us a very good offer on the Suburban, which is in very good condition. It has 86,000 miles, and a rack on the roof that pulls up an aluminum boat automatically.

Anyway, she doesn't know much about the Suburban because her late husband always took care of it but she knows it goes with the Airstream. Can anyone tell me about it, like towing capacity, gas mileage, reliability, towing capacity, etc. They obviously took great care of the trailer and truck. If we buy it we'll keep it only for 3-4 years and then move to a newer diesel.

Thanks,
Tony and Gale
How cool is that? You get a whole team, one that is already broken in....
A Suburban 2500 is a 3/4 ton truck, ( 1500 is a half ton truck) quite capable of towing your Sovereign.
Exact data might be somewhat difficult to find for older trucks. The rear axle ratio plays a big role in tow capacity.
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Old 08-20-2006, 06:38 AM   #3
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Towing capacity depending on rear axle ratio, will be in the 9,000+ pound range, with a GCVWR of around 14,000-15,000, again depending on rrear axle ratio.
If it has been used to tow the Airstream since it was new, it obviously has enough cajones to do the job. Get all the fluids changed, along with belt, hoses, and maybe tires on both it and the Airstream, depending on the age of the tires, and condition.
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Old 09-21-2006, 09:53 PM   #4
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T&G; I have a 93 454 suburban. Think its got 373 rear end. Never tow on overdrive, gets 9 MPG on a good day. Pulls my 32 footer all day long. My race car buddies all used them for towing 10 yers ago. Then the diesel thing began and messed things up= you know runnin a small block chevy in a modified and draggin it around with a mopar??? I'm happy with my dedicated TV could pour a lot of fuel into it before I got close to a new rig. Altho I got a line on a friends Duramax/ allison buy back insurance total for 6 grand. Humm I got what it takes to slam that setup into the old burb! I'm just down the road from you. Tim
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Old 09-22-2006, 07:27 AM   #5
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1978 31' Sovereign
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Hey Tim

We decided to pass on the 'Burb because we got hit with the mopar diesel bug too. Picked up a 2004 3/4 ton Dodge Ram 2500 long bed with the Cummins Turbo Diesel engine. Very happy with this truck so far.
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Old 09-23-2006, 11:54 AM   #6
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We have a 89 Sub, 3/4 T, 454...
Is the best thing to tow with.
Excelent brakes and balance.
Power abundance!
Like a brick pulling a bullet
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Old 03-22-2009, 09:35 AM   #7
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I know my response is WAY late on this one but for those that do not know.

I have a 1989 GMC Rv model (not the K model made the same year) 2500 HD Suburban and called the GM Customer Service number and they told me exactly what my towing capacity is. I made the call back in 2006 and would be willing to bet they still have those records today (2009)
Note my suburban has the 350 not the 454.
I was told it had a carrying capacity of 3,000 lbs, Towing of 8,000 lbs. GCWR of 13,500 lbs and an approximate curb weight of 5000 lbs but probably more like 5500 lbs.
So you can bet for sure the 454 can top that by at least 2,000 or 3,000 lbs.
But CALL the GM Customer Service and ask them. They will want you to get some numbers off a sticker on the inside of your glove box door and they can tell you exactly what the towing capacity is if it is unmodified by any previous owners.

The 1989 R2500 Suburban is an excelnt towing vehicle. Strong, Durable and dependable.

I highly recomend one to anyone. I can't say anything about the newer models but the 1989 RV model is exclent.

Just make sure you get the rear breaks adjusted frequently. They tend to not auto adjust unless you know the trick to get them to auto adjust. Even just backing and breaking doesn't always adjust them. You set the emergency brake so that is just bearly touches the drums then back up and hit the brakes hard. Not hard enough to lock up the front tires but almost that hard. That should adjust them. I do that about every month or so.

--
Warren
1989 GMC R2500 HD Suburban.
1953 Airstream Cruiser Travel trailer (The Runaway Sue)
Western KY
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