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Old 05-31-2011, 04:19 PM   #1
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Chevy Duramax actual mileage results

I have 2008 Safari SE and my tow truck is a 2008 Silverado Duramax. It is silver, of course, to match the Airstream. By the way, why are red ones not called Redrados and black ones Blackrados? It has 50,000 miles. I do not have any chips or mods on it. On the recent trip from California's coast to Dayton, Ohio going basically on I-40, I averaged 12.4 mpg, mostly at 65 mph. We had very strong head winds. The return trip was against even stronger head winds (that's life) and that dropped the mileage to 11.9 mpg. The trip was 1280 miles each way. Diesel prices in California were about $.50/gal more of course. Today I paid $4.45 for diesel in San Luis Obispo, CA.
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Old 05-31-2011, 04:51 PM   #2
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Chevy Milage results

I also have an 08 25' SE with an '05 duramax. I have limited towing experience with my new trailer but it avg 11 mpg on all 3 outings and all 3 trips involved strong head/cross winds. Best I ever got was 14 with the wind at my back pulling a goose neck horse trailer w/one horse. I have always questioned the math of those who claim 16 + pulling anything. I did get 20 empty on the 1 tank trip to get the trailer though.
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Old 05-31-2011, 05:17 PM   #3
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Are you using Tow Haul Mode while towing or not? I would use Tow Haul only while in the hills and mostly on the down hill side for the braking aspects. Tow Haul will let the engine run cooler on those real hot days because it will keep the trans from up shifting and thus hold higher RMPs and less load, but will reduce fuel economy.

50K it is just getting broken in. If you have to replace the exhaust I would go for a 4 in system and if the Cat gets lost in the installation all the better.

The Edge Evolution set on level #1 will produce a bit more economy than the stock computer setting. Unless you really want max out the HP there is no reason to go for Edge's Attitude unit.
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Old 05-31-2011, 05:53 PM   #4
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I also have an 08 25' SE with an '05 duramax. I have limited towing experience with my new trailer but it avg 11 mpg on all 3 outings and all 3 trips involved strong head/cross winds. Best I ever got was 14 with the wind at my back pulling a goose neck horse trailer w/one horse. I have always questioned the math of those who claim 16 + pulling anything. I did get 20 empty on the 1 tank trip to get the trailer though.
Question all you want. I really don't care. I can get 16 towing with my Honda Ridgeline. All the time? No. Give me reasonable conditions and it's easily done at 62-65 mph. Oh ya, I get 20-23 mpg not towing on the interstate and thats why you won't find me buying a diesel anytime soon.
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Old 05-31-2011, 05:58 PM   #5
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We also have a diesel Silverado 2500--year 2011. Towing mileage w/tailwind in places such as Kansas, get 16-17 with speed 62-65. Previously, we had a 2004 diesel 2500 Silverado and got the same mileage. Often get 20 without towing...just depends on the type of wind & hills. Sometimes seems if we bump up the speed to 65, the mileage is even better.
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:01 PM   #6
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More info on my Chevy Duramax truck

I should have given a bit more info on my Chevy Duramax. It is a crew cab, short bed 4X4. I did use the Tow mode about half of the time. It did do a good job of controlling the speed going down the mountains. It also did shift to lower a gear sooner while climbing. The truck has very good pulling power even in steep climbs. I was never a bottleneck. I will check the air filter later today.
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:04 PM   #7
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One correction on the distance from California to Ohio. I should have said 2,480 miles each way, not 1,280. Sorry.
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Old 06-01-2011, 06:05 PM   #8
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Ref: Honda Ridgeline: which engine, trans & rear end gearing do you have

thanks, Dee
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Old 06-01-2011, 06:48 PM   #9
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23' Safari and an '08 GMC Duramax (crew cab, 4WD, standard bed) ... I typically tow at 70-75 and get about 12.5 average. Less in mountains, more on the flats. Best trip ever was at a steady 65 and I got 15.6 over the course of 500 miles. Not towing, I average 20-21 at 70. The truck's only got 40k miles on her, so based on a lot of prior experience with diesels I'm quite sure she's not fully broken in yet ... I'll know more in another 30k miles or so.

I think I recall that the torque peak with my gearing (3.73) comes at about 62 mph in sixth gear, so I'm sure that if I were patient enough to drive slower, I'd do somehwat better. But I don't.
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Old 06-02-2011, 09:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Ref: Honda Ridgeline: which engine, trans & rear end gearing do you have

thanks, Dee
They all have one engine, 250hp. 5 speed auto. Final drive ratio is 4.53. Designed for towing with heavy duty cooling for engine, transmission, and powersteering standard. All wheel drive. Ours is a '06 purchased '05, has 80k and we've been towing for 6 years with no problems.
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Old 06-02-2011, 09:59 AM   #11
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Just finished about a 2,500 mi round trip from Portland to Bakersfield to Las Vegas and back and averaged 13.4 MPG. Prior to towing we were averaging 16.1 MPG.

Didn't think it was too shabby considering the mountain driving and that the engine is still breaking in (less than 4,000 mi on it AFTER the trip).

AS is a 2011 34' Classic Limited and TV is a 2011 GMC Sierra 2500HD (6.6 Diesel)...we ran in Tow/Haul mode.
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:24 AM   #12
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We are just about to order a new Silverado 3500 4x4 Dmax, crew cab, long bed SRW to pull Lucy and carry our pop-up truck camper. I am really interested in how the Duramax performs both from a mileage standpoint and a performance standpoint. I am also interested in information on the use of the tow/haul mode on the Duramax

And, by the way, did anyone ask on this thread what some Honda truck could or couldn't do??? Also, the people looking at this thread don't particularly care how your Honda, Hyundai, or Datsun performs. Please have a little courtesy.

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Old 06-02-2011, 10:55 AM   #13
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FWIW our 2500HD was great. Integrated trailer brake controller worked flawlessly with the AS.

Virtually no speed drop going over the mountains (recovered to cruise speed rapidly), great performance from the engine brake...couldn't be happier from a performance standpoint.
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:21 AM   #14
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Regardng performance, I'm not sure what I can tell you that's not in the numbers - you just get oodles of torque across a wide range of engine speeds; I learned about this the hard way on my first tow, where I managed to get rear wheelspin at stoplights, even with the considerable tongue load ... too enthusiastic throttle application is to be avoided. I'd also recommend the Detroit Locker rear axle, as it put a stop to that wheelspin RIGHT NOW. Because of that on-demand torque, you will be able to accelerate strongly, even on significant upgrades. On-ramps are a piece of cake. Passing is not terrifying.

Tow/haul I think works about the same on everyone's diesels. It significantly alters the shift points and changes the torque converter lock up points as well. You will therefore get upshifts at slightly higher rpms, which probably wastes a little fuel and adds a little noise, but I think it is so worth it. It is of the most utility when going down long, steep grades. It just keeps your speed under control without use of brakes ... I've had two diesels go over 200k miles without a brake job. Greatest invention for towing since the hitch ball, so far as I'm concerned. I just always use tow/haul when I've got a heavy load on the truck, whether I'm towing a trailer or hauling a load of stones in the bed ... even on the "flatlands" where it might not be necessary.

There's one other point: durability. I now know several folks who tow and haul things for a living, and they all buy used diesels, with typically 100k plus on the clock. They tell me that with good maintenance, they routinely get over 400k miles with no significant repair bills. Parts do fail and there is some variability of course, but they all seem to agree. Now, if you're going to trade in at 100k miles or such, you will take a big depreciation hit. But if not, most of them will soldier on for a long time. Chat people up at the diesel pumps and you'll get a larger sample size.

I thought I had read that due to your camper, you were gonna' go with a dually rig for more lateral stability?
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Old 06-02-2011, 12:07 PM   #15
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"I thought I had read that due to your camper, you were gonna' go with a dually rig for more lateral stability?"

No, we have decided to go with the single rear wheel configuration. The pop-up truck camper will go about 2500# ready to camp, and less when towing Lucy as we will tow without the 60 gallons of fresh water in the TC. The truck camper that we have ordered is only 2" wider that the truck on each side. Some of the places we go put scratches on the sides of the Suburbans, so we are trying to avoid going to a dually.

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Old 06-02-2011, 02:02 PM   #16
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Well, you will get a bit more maneuverability with an SRW rig. My brother has a pop-up truck bed camper - I've slept in it pretty often - and the low profile definitely gives less wind resistance and a lower center of gravity. For certain, it will go places you coudn't / wouldn't want to, take the Airstream. I think you're onto something.
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Old 06-02-2011, 02:21 PM   #17
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Well, you will get a bit more maneuverability with an SRW rig. My brother has a pop-up truck bed camper - I've slept in it pretty often - and the low profile definitely gives less wind resistance and a lower center of gravity. For certain, it will go places you coudn't / wouldn't want to, take the Airstream. I think you're onto something.
I sure hope so. We have researched this thing to death for over a year. Now it's time to put our money where our mouth is. We have already committed to and have a deposit on the Outfitter Apex 8 Pop-up Truck Camper. It is due to be completed in the third week of September.

The Dmax 3500 hasn't been ordered yet, but it is all speced out and we are ready to place the order. We have decided to wait until after June 15th, and it will be a 2012. We would like to get the truck by the end of August. That way we can get it broken in to tow Lucy out to Colorado to pick up her new traveling companion (Ethel, the truck camper).

We have decided to order an LT instead of the Work Truck. I really didn't want the manual 4wd selector level on the floor. With the LT, I can get the electronic 4wd selector. I have also found that I can special order the rubber flooring instead of carpet, and get the 60/40 front seat in leather without the console.

I am really looking forward to the Duramax experience, but I have never owned any diesel before.

Brian
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Old 06-02-2011, 05:58 PM   #18
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Mpg for my Duramax. I have a 2008 GMC crew cab 4x4. Took a 4900 mile trip out west. Gross weight 15,100 lbs. (truck, trailer and contents). I was not pulling an Airstream, but a Jeep on a flatbed trailer. The first leg was pretty flat, I-10 along the Gulf coast out to Texas. Mpg was 12.42 running 65 mph in 6th gear. When we hit the hill country in west Texas, I shifted down to 5th gear and ran at 63 mph. Kept it in 5th gear and 63 mph for the rest of the trip. Average mpg, for the whole trip, was 11.56 mpg. Interestingly, the best fuel mileage we got was crossing the Rockies on I-70. From Moab, UT to Limon, CO, average mpg was 13.30 mpg. The worst mileage was 9.38 mpg crossing the prairie (Kansas and Oklahoma). In Kansas we encountered strong cross winds. From Salina, KS to Oklahoma City we had a steady 40 - 45 mph head wind, with gusts to 55.

Running empty at 70 mph she averaged 19.29 mpg on a recent 1800 mile trip to Dallas, TX. This average includes about 40 miles of city driving in Dallas.

Brian, I've got a comparison for you. Previous the the GMC, I had a 2003 Chevy Suburban 2500 2wd with a 6.0 like yours, but no quadrasteer. Running empty the Chevy got 14.5 mpg. Pulling my trailer (13,100 lbs gross weight) at about 65 mph she got 10.5.

Now a power comparison. Heading east on I-70 in Colorado,when the Chevy/trailer hit that long climb up to Vail Pass, it's in the slow lane, 4 way flashers on, transmission in 2nd gear and enigne screaming at over 4000 rpm, trying it's best to drag that trailer up the mountain. Two years later, again heading east on I-70, the GMC/trailer start the same climb up to Vail Pass. Duramax, show me what you can do. I shift down to 4th gear to bring the rpms up, slowly roll into the throttle, and away we go. Pulling hard, it didn't take long to reach 75 mph, pulling one ton more weight than the Chevy. I don't think the power of your new truck will disappoint.

Another feature of Tow/Haul Mode is that when engaged, the charging system voltage is increased, to assist in recharging a battery installed in the trailer.

John
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Old 06-02-2011, 07:35 PM   #19
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D Air Cloud,

Thanks for the real world stats and data about the performance of your Dmax. I am sure it is a big help for Brian to read about other members results to help with his buying decision regarding his new truck. I will probably be looking for a new TV in the next year or so as my trusty old Suburban (now up to 222,000 miles) is getting a bit tired. I have enjoyed the thread about the Dmax. Don't know if I will go the diesel route or not

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Old 06-02-2011, 08:53 PM   #20
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FWIW, we have a 2006 Silverado 4X4 short bed crew cab Duramax/Allsion 6 speed. Just did a 13 day/2200 mile round trip from New Jersey, down thru Maryland, part of West Virginia, down I-81 to Tennessee, over to Crossville, Lynchburg, Nashville and back home. Driving at about 63-65 mph on the hiways kept tach at about 1800 rpms. Averaged 14.7 mpg. Best was high 15's, low just under 13 mpg. Hand calcculated at each stop for fuel. Paid on average just under $4; this was mid-April. Used tow/haul as needed otherwise left it in drive. Tow/Haul great coming off an exit and thru towns and traffic as it really helps to slow you down without standing on the brakes all the time. This is pulling our 23' 2009 Flying Cloud at about 6000#. The Silverado is my first experience with the diesel and it was awesome. Plenty of power, never worried about having enough to climb, or with tow/haul, descend safely what ever came our way. Yeah, the ride is a little stiffer than my former TV '07 F-150 but, for me, well worth the trade off. It's all about confidence for me. Less stress is good. It's tempting to put your foot in it but the torque curve is so flat and strong in that 1800 rpm range, you can granny along and it just keeps on chugging. Plenty of power to merge and pass without effort when needed. Gas/diesel is one of those clasic debates but I am totally pleased with the Duramax. Specifically chose the Duramax/Allison for a bunch of reasons including reliability vs. same year Ford. Six speed Allison is a superior trans IMHO. LT package gives you all the creature comforts and more. I guess you can tell I'm a big fan. I average about 18 mpg when not towing. Currently has about 72,000 miles on the odometer.
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