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Old 02-02-2006, 11:19 AM   #1
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Avalanche 1500

Hello Everyone,

I am looking for a new tow vehicle. Interested in Chevy Avalanche 1500 1/2 ton 5.3L. I have a 1975 Sovereign, my dry wt 4970 and hitch wt 690. Do you think this truck will do the job for me?

Opinions?

Thanks,

Tim

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Old 02-02-2006, 11:32 AM   #2
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Probably OK

Hi there,

I tried to copy paste a chart off Chevy's website for you but it didn't look right.

They say a 1500 2WD with 3.42 axle can pull 7300lbs max, and 8200lbs with a 4.10 axle.

A 1500 4WD with 3.42 can tow 7100lbs and 7900lbs with 4.10

A 2400 4WD with 3.73 can pull 10,200lbs and 12,000lbs with 4.10.

Take care,

Jim
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Old 02-02-2006, 11:39 AM   #3
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Order it with the 4.10 axle, you will be surprized how well it will tow. I had a 2003 with a 4.10 pulling a 96 30' classic. You will loose a tiny bit on gas mileage however I think the 4.10 is a better ratio for an already heavy truck. Go to the avalanche forum, it is a great truck. Wish you could get a 3/4 ton with a Duramax(GM doesn't make it), that would be my ideal truck.
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Old 02-02-2006, 01:05 PM   #4
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I would not recommend the 5.3l with the 3.73 rear end based on my experience with a 2001 Yukon( similar set up) My 21ft. Sovereign weighs about 5000lbs fully loaded. Flat geography no problem, but mountains and hilly terrane are another story! The truck needs to work way to hard, which in turn makes the journey less than fun. A 4.10 rear end would help a lot, but that combo is not that easy to find. I ended up moving up to a truck with a 6 liter engine and a 4.10 differential. Big difference!! You will not regret having more power!
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Old 02-02-2006, 02:27 PM   #5
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I heard today that GM will be introducing hybrid SUV's (Tahoe, etc) next year. The pitch says they will be up-rated for higher towing capacity. Time will tell.
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Old 02-02-2006, 02:48 PM   #6
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You'd prob be ok with that setup. As has been pointed out though in the hills or mountains, you may find you're a bit short on what you need when the trailer is loaded and you have gear and passengers in the truck.

I think if you did do it, 4.10s would be your best shot, but I still think that 4.10s and a 6.0L in a 3/4 ton will serve you better in the long run. Why? Well for starters the 6.0L has more meat, second, the 3/4 ton has upgraded trans and rear end, and brakes (from what I understand). I am not sure the cost difference ($4500 new) is great between the two (1500 and 2500), yet ask those who came from 1/2 ton to 3/4 and most will tell you it's a night and day difference.

As I said before, you'd might be just fine, but for $4k new, I'd go 2500 6.0L w/4.10s. I'd expect pre-owned to have a similar cost difference between the two.
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Old 02-02-2006, 05:51 PM   #7
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I guess I go by the old adage, "You can't have too much truck."
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Old 02-03-2006, 10:07 AM   #8
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Avalanche 1500

Thanks everyone for your input. I really appreciate all the comments and the pros and con. You all were a really big help!

Tim

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Old 02-03-2006, 09:20 PM   #9
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If you like the Avalanche, you will definately be more pleased with the 2500 Avalanche, 6 litre engine and the 4.10 rear end. It seems that particular engine likes to rev and performs so much better with the 4.10 than the 3.73 rear end. You won't have to worry about hills compared with the 5.3 engine and the 3.73 or 4.10 rear end.
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Old 02-03-2006, 10:47 PM   #10
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The 2500 Avalanche only comes with a 8.1 litre gas engine. glug glug, I wouldn't want to feed it...
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Old 02-04-2006, 01:00 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basecamp
The 2500 Avalanche only comes with a 8.1 litre gas engine. glug glug, I wouldn't want to feed it...
I didn't know that....great info.
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Old 02-04-2006, 01:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basecamp
The 2500 Avalanche only comes with a 8.1 litre gas engine. glug glug, I wouldn't want to feed it...
Basecamp,
Well.....you're right.... it does burn more gas......but after 30 some years of driving 4 & 6 cyclinder engines, I figure I deserve the extra power and comfort ........and......I can't think of a better use for it (pulling my AS)!
Lastly......I can afford it !
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Old 02-04-2006, 02:32 AM   #13
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!!!!!!!! 8L vs. 6L !!!!!!!

Bing! The fight is immediately called a DRAW to get the ref out of spitting gange. Crowd decends into a melee that the 'crips' and 'bloods' got beaten out of - they are all hospitallized in several Downtown traumacenters in seperate single rooms. Crips on 8, bloods on 9 - if you wanted to visit. Hours are 9 - 6 M-S, Sun 1-5.

On....to the news of the day.
I bought my'01 2500HD 'Burb on the same day as a friend bought his '01 2500HD. Same assembly shift even! He has the 8.1 / 4.10 and all else is essentially the same. I have the 6L/ 3.73 and all else is essentially the same.

We bought have about 55K on the clocks. He tows a very light trailer about 8 times a month for a day. I pull a 14'er dual axle enclosed Utility trailer about once a month.

He gets 7 3/4 MPG driving around like a Type A - to/from work, business meetings, etc. When he is relaxing and taking it easy he gets 9.9 MPG (NOT 10, which is pissing him off no end). The trailer is negligible when he hauls it.

When I drive around town and all the other 'too numerous to mention' things in my life I get 13.8 MPG. I have gotten 14.9MPG in a tank of gas that consisted of a lot of flat territory and nearly NO mountains driving. And I do live in Mountains with elevations that cover 2ooo feet in one mile and 12% grades are the norm to get to our houses.

When the Airstream gets on the tail of "Kelly" for a romp out into nature. I experience about 11.2 MPG - I averaged that out over a 2 week trip to the Black Hills coming from Iowa and heading thru Denver and over Raton pass to get to Albuquerque.

Now conserning the 4.10 vs 3.73 gears debate. The mileage does suffer when you are hauling, and even when you are NOT hauling. That is not to say that a lower gear can't be a huge help. So can the 4.10.

I have been VERY happy with the 6L and 3.73 choice (Ha!!! They had it on the lot!) and it has serviced us will without so much as even a hichup. Love that truck!!!!

Go out and buy the truck you always wanted!!!!!!!!! Just be sure it can pull your rig! or else that was just a fantasy that is going to cost you dearly at trade-in time. Had a friend that got stunk to the tune of 10K on a trade/ and buy deal. Yikes......

Don't know that I moved any process forward, but hey, I wasn't really trying either.

Ciao

Axel
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Old 02-04-2006, 06:48 AM   #14
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Need more data...

Good morning Tim -- and welcome to the Forums!

Oh Mama, tell your children .... not to do what I have done .... (where are the musical smilies?)

Quote:
I have a 1975 Sovereign, my dry wt 4970 and hitch wt 690
Your numbers are right off Airstream's empty weights as found at their FAQ page. I would recommend starting at that site and reading further about tongue weight and weight rating.

JimGolden gets better data out of the Chev website than I can. There is a severe obstacle to information if an everyday person can't find vehicle capacities! You should be looking for the Avalanche's "load capacity" (difference between empty curb weight and the GVWR). Jim, can you find that? Then read this post on how to apply that to the real world!

I often see questions about going as high as a 28-footer with a 1/2-ton truck. A 31-footer shouldn't make it any easier. I had a 5.4L Nissan Titan (a 1/2-ton truck, no more, no less - pay no attention to the "advertised" 9000# tow capacity). I swallowed hard, took the hit, and sold it this week. Loading my 24' Argosy and determining the tongue weight took me to the upper end of the Titan's load capacity. The drive train was wonderfully powerful (with the equivalent of a 4.10 rear end) although I did manage to peg the tranny temp gauge in 30-degree weather once in switchbacks on US-50 in NE West Virginia.

Your trailer doesn't have the weight penalty newer trailers have -- my 25' Safari weighs 1000# over what the Argosy did. The new Safari empty puts the Titan just over max TV load capacity. But heck, the older Sovereign weighs about the same as my Safari. Property, insurability* and safety of your dear passengers could suffer severely if the TV load capacity numbers don't add up. My road lifestyle will include bringing the bikes and maybe my 42# canoe. I am going to be much happier .... (going looking at 3/4-ton GMC pickups today )

*after the details of any overload accident get on a person's record.
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