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Old 07-23-2013, 11:51 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
1994 30' Excella
2012 25' FB International
Anchorage , Alaska
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 25
Duramax 2500 too much vehicle

Just wanted to see what other members think. Presently, my wife and I have an 08' Tundra double cab set up pretty well for towing. I put on EBC slotted brakes (after the OEMs warped), along with the TRD rear sway bar and Toyo all terrain load range C tires.
GM presently has some pretty good rebates going on; enough to where I'm considering going (back) to a Duramax 2500 extended cab.
The Tundra just doesn't have the guts to pull our new International Serenity (front bedroom) 25' around like I would like it to considering the amount of hills we have here in Alaska. I'm never in full auto, but instead manually shifting between 3rd and 5th trying to maintain a "reasonable" 50 to 60 mph. Plus, I'm concerned about having my GVW too high for this vehicle.
Am still sitting pretty well with the Toyota regarding trade in value, but just want to make sure the Duramax isn't too much vehicle. I'm presently using the Reese Dual Cam hitch system and don't plan on changing.
Just figured it would be better to ask for opinions before I take this 17 grand plunge..
Thanks in advance...

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Old 07-23-2013, 12:12 PM   #2
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2012 27' FB International
Charlotte, NC , St. Marys, Ga
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 20
I just traded a 2009 Chevy Suburban Z71, 5.3 Gas for a 2013 Silverado LTZ 2500HD, 6.6 Duramax. This was the best move I could have done. I pull a 27FB International and it handles the job as if the Airstream wasn't even there. Suburban 7-9 MPG... 2500HD 15.5-18 MPG. Last trip from Jacksonville FL to Jackson Center and back averaged 17.15 for the trip.

Mike and Myra
Saint Marys, GA and Charlotte, NC
"Lovin' The Life"
O'Flitter and Muffin The Wonder Dogs
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Old 07-23-2013, 12:14 PM   #3
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Rockville , Maryland
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A 2500 or F-250 is the right match for your rig, the reason for the Duramax discounts is there is a whole new "Chevy\GMC" heavy duty coming out in a few months.

Ram just updated their 2500's for 2013, Luv Mine (had a 2011 F-350 King Ranch before)

Ford is mid model in their Super Duties but for 2013 upgraded the stereo to a "sony" unit.

Buy the Chevy\GMC know a whole new truck is around the corner so be comfortable with that. For a bit more you might go RAM which just had its update or Ford which is mid cycle.

But back to your original question - 2500 IS NOT overkill, and in fact with an Oil Burner will be a great fit!!
John "JFScheck" Scheck
2014 Itasca Solei 34T in Red Maple
Freightliner XCS Chassis with Cummins 6.7 ISB & Allison MH Transmission
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Old 07-23-2013, 12:14 PM   #4
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1976 Argosy 28
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The only "too much" aspect I've ever heard of with respect to HD trucks is that if you crank down too much on the weight-distribution gear, the hitch can transfer too much impact to the trailer and break rivets at the front hold-down plate, etc. (all completely hearsay for me, I haven't seen these results in person, but InlandAndy mentions it from time to time.)

It seems that this can be easily avoided by not using too-heavy spring bars on the weight distribution system and/or using something like an AirSafe hitch.

Il Carriaggio 1975 Argosy 24 | Il Progetto 1976 Argosy 28 Center Bath | WBCCI# 15566

He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire. Sir Winston Churchill
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Old 07-23-2013, 12:15 PM   #5
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1961 24' Tradewind
1969 29' Ambassador
1970 21' Globetrotter
Jamestown , Tennessee
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,780
Some may consider it more than you need however a little extra power, weight capacity and braking is a good safety feature. I tow a 24 footer with a 99 Dodge 3/4 ton and it has served me well for more than a half million miles plus using a Reese hitch and it has NOT beat the trailer to death.
For reliability and safety a little too much is better than not enough.
Just added a 2013 Ram 2500 4x4 diesel to the fleet and hope it works out equally as well.
Rick Davis 1602 K8DOC
61 tradewind, plus a few others
13 Ram 2500 TD
99 Dodge TD 577K miles

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Old 07-23-2013, 12:26 PM   #6
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2012 27' FB International
Charlotte, NC , St. Marys, Ga
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 20
You are correct about the rebates and willing to make deals.... The LTZ I purchased had a MSRP of 68,730 purchased it out the door for less than 52,000... very smooth ride even with 80psi and 20" Chevy rims. Unloaded 25.7 MPG @ 65 mph, just don't spin up the turbos....
Mike and Myra
Saint Marys, GA and Charlotte, NC
"Lovin' The Life"
O'Flitter and Muffin The Wonder Dogs
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Old 07-23-2013, 01:09 PM   #7
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1964 17' Bambi II
Laramie , Wyoming
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Like we say in Wyoming, "There's no such thing as too much truck." Our DMAX is the best pickup we've ever owned giving us no concerns about its ability to take our AS anywhere.
Antique Pedaler
'64 Bambi II, '10 Flying Cloud FB
'05 GMC Pickup, '11 Touareg TDI
Santana tandem bike
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Old 07-23-2013, 01:24 PM   #8
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2009 27' FB Classic
Smithville , New Jersey
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Just right

We've owned the 2500 for almost 10 months now and I have to say that it's a pleasure to have the feeling of control verses the suv that we had. The braking is better, the acceleration is better and sway is gone. So far, good decision.
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Old 07-23-2013, 01:24 PM   #9
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2009 27' FB Flying Cloud
1991 35' Airstream 350
Siloam Springs , Arkansas
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We are on our second Duramax.

The first was an 2003 and now a 2012.

We have been very please with both.

In my opinion, the ride is better than any other 3/4 ton truck.

The payload allows one to carry anything one might want in addition to towing any size AS with ease.


Jeff & Cindy
Hunter RIP

'09 27FB Flying Cloud
'91 350 LE MH
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Old 07-23-2013, 01:25 PM   #10
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1999 23' Safari
Perrysburg , Ann Arbor
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My Airstream is a 23 foot Safari ... and I just happened to have a D'Max 2500 crew cab when I bought it ... so I never looked back. And after many tens of thousands of miles of towing, zero problems. You won't regret it, except for the initial purchase price and the sometimes higher price of diesel fuel. But the higher torque and "lotsa' beef" give a lot of confidence. One tip: if you do this, be SURE to get the exhaust brake; I think it's standard now, but it sure is a good deal when going down those big hills.

In my experience from a trip to Alaska last summer, the "hills" there are not nearly as bad as some in Canada. Seemed to me that sometimes in AK, the road builders went around parts of mountains, while in CA they just went up and over the top. In any event, you'll do fine.
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Old 07-23-2013, 01:29 PM   #11

2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , WNY
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Thumbs up

2500's rock the road...

Suburban 2006 8.1...werks best for us.

AF #1

"Sticks & stones can break your bones...and hail will dent your Airstream"

So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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Old 07-23-2013, 01:55 PM   #12
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Corpus Christi , Texas
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How many miles solo versus towing is the most important question.

I note that those who tow few miles (RV'ers) are overly concerned about hill ascent speed when the descent is all that matters. Going slowly up an ascent is meaningless so long as one does not overheat, etc. This very day thousands of 18-wheelers will climb at slow speeds . . only those truck companies engaged constantly in mountainous work will spec a truck to "perform" in that single parameter of performance. The rest value better spec for where the majority of their work is done and outfit the truck accordingly.

50 to 60 mph is not "reasonable" as I've just shown, it is emotional. Sort that out before you spend more initially on a vehicle and for every single mile afterwards. What does EDMUNDS show as to True Cost of Ownershp between new models of the two vehicles contemplated on a per mile basis? A difference of 30% . . or 70%?

One can spend a lot and get very little in return.

It has bcome no suprise to me that the opposite of this -- perceived as being "hard" (lash-up and tire pressure) -- is fairly well ignored. Or, that the best hitch and trailer disc brakes are "too expensive" even thought the expense is fractional compared to either TT or TV. Value received is far in excess of dollars paid in this.

Work the numbers on your current rig at the scale. At least know the difference for which you pay in every mile, towing or not.

1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 10-cpm solo, 18-cpm towing
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Old 07-23-2013, 02:12 PM   #13
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2005 30' Classic
Burlington , Ontario
Join Date: Sep 2008
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I am very happy with our 2500HD Duramax crew cab. It is the first 3/4 ton truck I have had - only ever had one truck before and it was a half ton Sierra.

We use it to tow a 2005 Classic 30 - and it does so very well indeed - we often put it to the test in the mountains of the SW USA.

We do use it as our daily driver too, and I will admit that my wife complains a little when parking at the local mall.

For my part, I just park at an end spot well away from the mall entrance - no problem that way, and I'm sure the little bit of exercise does me no harm! (Plus I have still to get the first door ding after driving it for five years!)

Brian & Connie Mitchell

2005 Classic 30'
Hensley Arrow / Centramatics
2008 GMC Sierra SLT 2500HD,4x4,Crew Cab, Diesel, Leer cap.
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Old 07-23-2013, 02:22 PM   #14
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2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
2012 23' FB Flying Cloud
2005 25' Safari
Santa Rosa Beach , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2006
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Our dear Lucy weighs 7,400# ready to camp. She has been towed over 100,000 miles in 7 years. During her first 5 years, she was pulled by two different Suburban 2500's, both with the 6.0 liter gas engine. It was a good match, and we were very satisfied with the Suburbans' towing abilities.

About two years ago we added a 3,000# pop-up truck camper to the mix. We carry the truck camper while towing the Airstream. Our primary tow vehicle is now a 2011 Chevrolet 3500 Dmax SRW crew cab long bed. We needed a one ton to handle in in-bed weight of the truck camper.

We have now towed Lucy about 30,000 miles with the Duramax. All I can say is wow, what a tow vehicle! I can run this truck on cruise control, and it doesn't even downshift on most upgrades. The exhaust brake is phenomenal on even the steepest downgrades. I used to dread that "runaway train" feeling that I would sometimes get on steep downgrades with the Suburbans.

I was kind of forced into the diesel realm by the addition of the truck camper. Now that I have towed with a diesel truck, I will never own another gasoline-powered tow vehicle.

So, to answer your question, is a 2500 Dmax too much truck? Absolutely NOT!


SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
WBCCI #3628 -- AIR #14872 -- TAC #FL-7
2015 FC 25' FB (Lucy) with HAHA
2005 Suburban 2500 Quadrasteer (Olivia) & 2011 Silverado 3500 (Fred) with Outfitter Truck Camper (Ethel)
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