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Old 03-03-2011, 07:27 PM   #1
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2006 22' International CCD
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Best Tow Vehicle-Most likely Once Again

Ok- I am going to throw this out although I suspect it has been asked and answered many times- please be patient and either direct us to prior answers or answer directly: we have a 28' CCD ( about #8500) which we enjoy all the time- we have many 2000- 3000 mile trips each year using a 2002 Z7 1500 4WD Suburban- for several reasons (concerned about an older car- 155,000 miles etc.- last major car purchase) we are looking to replace the tow vehicle- we also have a 2007 Yukon which with it's existing set up is unfortunately a crummy tow vehicle ( we did not expect this and bought on the dealers advice) always having to go into a high gear to carry any load (we use it to tow a 24' #5000 boat at the best but not the airstream)- we have talked with chevrolet and GMC about 2011 3/4 ton suburbans- in addition we have looked at several trucks including the Duramax and read about all of them- my wife does not like trucks due to wasted and unavailable bed space but could be convinced if it is the best for the AS- it's a total quandry as this is a $50k plus vehicle and we want to make the right decision- in a year or so we will be traveling more and more- none of the dealers want to sell us anything tailored to our specifications so we will end up ordering whatever we decide on- so now that you are this far along in our questions, let's put it out there- truck or suburban= Gm/Chevrolet/Ford/ whomever- 3/4 ton- 1/2 ton- many ton- best overall choice when we spend many $$- it would be great to get specifics_ axle ratio/engine etc.- any advice appreciated- you can email me direct at jdouglas thanks- jfd.

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Old 03-03-2011, 07:34 PM   #2
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2006 22' International CCD
Orlando , Florida
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All- I forgot to mention that we have an equalizer hitch and an aftermarket electronic brake controller installed by the dealer when we bought our first airstream. The 28' CCD is our second and the brake setup seems to work ok and like most everyone else, the OEM hitch welds cracked and we ended up replacing it one day during our summer vacation- but that's another story- jfd.

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Old 03-03-2011, 08:00 PM   #3
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3/4 Ton Suburban

For me the new 3/4 ton Suburban is all that and a bag of chips. It seats 7 with room left for stuff. New 6 speed tranny gets 14.5 mpg day in day out around town (if your gentle). We bought a 2010 3/4 traded a 2009 z71 1/2 ton, great vehicle but not against a 30 ft trailer. Love our new truck it holds tons of stuff and tows our 30' excella without sweating. 4 bicycles and 4 adults all inside riding comfortably.
For me a truck has lots of wasted bed space, I have a utility trailer for the times we need more.
Have you dealer search for the vehicle you want we have 3:73 rear end 6 spd, built in brake controller. My local dealer got exactly what I wanted from 300 from miles away.
Good luck1
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:05 PM   #4
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I'd vote for the 3/4 Sub. I've got the Ford version with the diesel Xcur. With my six furry kids and a husband we need the inside cargo room. I love the diesel.

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Old 03-03-2011, 08:07 PM   #5
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I tow a 34' limited with a V10 excursion. Plenty of room and power, great visibility. I would buy another!
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2000 Excursion V10 4x4
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:12 PM   #6
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I have to vote for what I currently have a 2011 F250 diesel superduty. Might want the 350 for added weight. Ford just built a brand new diesel and seperated itself fom international because of all their past failures. This is an engine built by ford and can't afford another fiasco like the past. 13,000 miles her getting 16 city and 24 highway driving under 60 m.p.h. The diesel techs are calling these new engines a homerun, Another Maytag. Great truck all the way around.

Diesel techs are saying .."no trucks are having problems, they are maytags,,,lol

Good luck in your search. If I can help let me know.


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Old 03-03-2011, 09:04 PM   #7
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

First off, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

We have a 2005 Safari 25FB, namerd Lucy. Lucy has been towed 70,000 miles, and we have spent 809 nights in her. Lucy weighs 7400a# ready to camp. We have two tow vehicles. Both are 3/4 ton Suburbans with the 6.0 liter gas engine. These work great in all situations. If you really want an SUV, Suburban is your only choice.

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Old 03-03-2011, 09:25 PM   #8
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Best Towing Vehicle- Most likely Once Again

Another vote for the C2500 Suburban. My Suburban is coming up on its 13th birthday next month (April 21), and I am very pleased with its durability and its towing ability. The one option that I wouldn't recommend to even my worst enemy is four-wheel-drive -- mine has never performed as advertised -- but the overall capability of the Suburban has made up for its four-wheel-drive shortcomings.

I suspect that my current Suburban will likely be my last tow vehicle. Even at 190,000 plus miles, I can't see any particular signs of its wearing out (7400 VORTEC/4.10 Differentials). It was Ziebarted when new, and I have kept the annual re-processing appointments resulting in a virtually rust-free truck. If I were to purchase a new tow vehicle, it would definitely be another special order Suburban -- 3/4-ton two-wheel drive with the largest available gasoline V8.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 03-04-2011, 07:03 AM   #9
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I will soon face the same quandry as Serena Robis. My 2000 diesel Excursion is the ultimate tow vehicle but has almost reached 200,000 miles and care and feeding is getting expensive. Excursions have gone the way of the dodo bird.
Sticker shock hits me when the price gets above $40,000 and I can't run a new diesel in Mexico because ultra low sulphur fuel is not available there.
I have a lighter trailer (6000lbs) and am considering a half ton. There are lots of choices including the 1500 Suburban.
2500 Suburbans are few and pricey. Near new 1500's are quite affordable as the depreciation is steep. If I lived in Florida the choice would be easy. A half ton would tow great on the flat land up to its rating but in Colorado I think I need a three quarter ton and will probably go with a gasser pickup. People rave about the new 6.2 Ford and that is the first truck I will check out.
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Old 03-04-2011, 07:13 AM   #10
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Kansas City , Missouri
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Most things we carry in our truck bed are things you wouldn't want in the cab with you if you had a choice -- generators, jerry cans of gas and diesel fuel, ladder, dog crate, gas grill, cooler with ice -- all with leaves, sand and debris liberally applied. Also, Suburbans and Excursions give up so much towing capacity that you would always be concerned about being over your safe towing weight. Only if I traveled with more than four people and a dog would I consider an SUV over a 3/4-ton truck, gas or diesel. But for four people and a dog, or less, why give up the towing power? Luxury in a truck can equal anything the SUVs offer, as well.
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Old 03-04-2011, 07:52 AM   #11
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A 1,275-lb TW (15% of 8,500-lbs) is 1T territory if one expects to carry a fair amount of stuff in the truck bed. If "playing by the numbers". That lesser vehicles can tow this trailer is shown in plenty of places, but it is not, IMO, the business of the rest of us to advocate such. Today's 1T trucks are light years away from what was available in the 1970's, and substantially better than even ten years ago. Traction control, anti-roll are all to the good. Solo and loaded ride quality can be bettered with aftermarket air ride (FIRESTONE R4Tech) if it is wanted.

IMO, the TT weight of 7,000-lbs is where it is easy to make the change to the bigger pickup trucks when one is contemplating extended travel. A crewcab pickup with the long bed seems huge compared to an Expedition or Suburban. I'd rather have the former (and would work the numbers on it). I believe the decision will come down to how much I wish to carry in the bed while traveling versus the DD chores of the TV the year-round.

My parents and grandparents full-timed with 8k GVWR aluminum TT's and used full-sized or luxury sedans. The "limits imposed" were simply part of travel decisions.

The place to start is with a set of weight scale readings of the trailer. Asking others is without much meaning until an understanding of one's own rig has a baseline. Is the trailer at 85 or 92% of GVWR when loaded for full-time travel? Is the TW 900-lbs? (.85 of 8500 @ 12.5% TW) or higher? Etc.

Do the homework, and come back to post.

1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
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Old 03-04-2011, 08:29 PM   #12
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Great info

Thanks everyone for their comments- I am not sure I know the current tow hitch weight but we have had everything weighed several times at various truck stops- in general we are more interested in tow vehicle recommendations and specific specs as we will be ordering this car- we want something to go anywhere and agree that in Florida where we live our 1500 z71 works ok- we have one vote for a pickup and several for the 2500 suburban- we also carry kayaks and somewhere the pickup seems easier to get them on and off but as mentioned before much wasted space- we travel with husband/wife and two dogs- one of whom is a cci puppy we are raising who needs his kennel- any more comments are appreciated - thanks- jfd
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Old 03-04-2011, 09:12 PM   #13
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I vote with the guys who still want to throw junk in the back of the pickup that they'd hesitate about placing in the back of an SUV. The outcome for me was a Ford F150 with a crew cab and short(er) bed. As I got to know it, I couldn't believe how comfortable and convenient it is. The back seat is of regal proportions and it folds up in two sections for even more carrying room. Even with the dogs in the back seat area, you can pile in your Costco excesses and room to spare.

BTW, the F150 has a show stopping (and pathetically useful) feature. There is a set of steps that slide out of the tailgate and fold down. Not only that, there is--I kid you not--a fold up post that acts as a hand rail. I'm not gonna lie. That truck bed is pretty high up off the ground. The steps and the handrail help. (Hey sonny, could you hand me that stick over there. It's my cane. Must have dropped it, but I forget...)
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Old 03-04-2011, 09:51 PM   #14
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Best TV for any and all Airstream models? That's easy - look at the pic & my signature below

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