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Old 10-21-2012, 10:17 AM   #15
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Perryd, I know I'm late to this party but I also tow a 23' FB with a 5.3ltr Suburban and am facing your dilemma. I'll be getting a new TV next year (when the new GM pickups come out) and will get either the biggest gas engine possible or move up to a diesel. The reason being that I can't stand the feeling of lack of power/torque on uphill grades, just bugs me to death. My present set-up does tow adequately but I want the feeling of extra capacity. I may also upgrade to a 27'AS, which may tilt the needle to a diesel.
John S.
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:31 AM   #16
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PerryD,
we are on our fourth tow vehicle for our 1972 International, that we have owned for 19 years that only weighs #5400 empty/6400 loaded. Between Suburban's, Avalanche 8.1 in which we did Glacier Ntl Park with and now the Duramax which we have owned since 2005, had the engines of today's vehicles existed back in 2005, I would have stuck with a Suburban. BTW when we purchased the 2002 Avalanche in 2002, there were no HD 2500 Suburbans available in the area.

Don't get me wrong, we love the Duramax, but I did just change out a water pump at 122K miles which surprised us.

The price of diesel over the long run of towing has paid for itself. But... the price of gas compared to diesel and comparable mileage (now available even at 10-12 MPG with gas under load) when towing will well offset the expense of the Duramax. WE commute more in the Duramax than tow so we benefit with that for very good mileage empty, but still the same mileage if it was gas, but at about 30 cents more per gallon. Of course owning the truck, we make up for it.

Stick with what you have, would be my recommendation. Going to a P/U also has its advantages and disadvantages. But based on my research on towing I'd tow my 31' footer with a new Yukon/Tahoe 5.3 or Yukon XL/Suburban 5.3 across America in a minute. The old 350 worked hard in 1996 and the 454 and 8.1 were great but back then they drank some fuel.

Nice to have these types of decisions. But we've been through allot of tow vehicles (due to using them for new to over 150K miles) as the diesel was the vehicle that would prevent the need once we hit that 150K threshold where the vehicles repairs would start to become very costly.

Hope it helps, but the "take the aspirin" was probably the better short answer.

SL4BLLT
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:52 AM   #17
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PerryD,

Having been where you are, I would advise to stay with the 5.3L half ton as it will pull your trailer just fine anywhere you want to go, and do it economically.

However, I did trade a 1/2 ton 5.3L for a 3/4 ton Duramax a couple of years ago, and the truck is awesome. I do tow a 31 footer, and believe the 1/2 ton, although rated to tow the weight, would not have been a good match.

The Diesels are great when the capacity and power is needed, but expensive to own and maintain other times, and if you don't have another "grocery hauler", you're stuck driving a big rough truck every day.

Just my thoughts on the matter.
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Old 10-21-2012, 01:54 PM   #18
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Most guys think when the word "Diesel" is brought up, they think think big trucks. Dont get me wrong, they are big, especially when you talk about new ones, but dont forget, you CAN get a regular cab long bed. Easier to drive, easier to park, and you might even see 1-2 mpg increase due to less weight. Of course if you have a family, that wouldnt be the best choice. I own a reg cab long bed 3/4 ton (although gas) and it gets the job done. Since I am the only person in it 90% of the time, I didnt see a need to get a big honkin 4 door. Or worse yet... a 4 door long bed... imagine tryin to park that bahemouth!
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Old 10-21-2012, 02:00 PM   #19
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PerryD -- there are middle-ground options between the 5.3 and a diesel. You could consider a newer Suburban or Yukon with the 6.2 and the 6-speed tranny. This gives a lot more horsepower, torque, and load capacity.

There are a lot of legitimate opinions on how much of a TV is enough, but I think most would agree that a half-ton chassis, a 5.3 motor, and a 28-foot trailer is on the edge, at best. The question is: how much will you be comfortable with? Extra power means better performance on hills, at elevation, and during routine things like entering traffic or changing lanes.
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Old 10-21-2012, 05:54 PM   #20
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I guess an update to your signature line is forthcoming?


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Just as soon as I move to a 23' A/S from a 32' Silver Streak. And am no longer a fulltimer, just a vacationer with no business use of a truck to offset costs.
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:50 PM   #21
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PerryD -- there are middle-ground options between the 5.3 and a diesel. You could consider a newer Suburban or Yukon with the 6.2 and the 6-speed tranny. This gives a lot more horsepower, torque, and load capacity.
Ehhh not exactly... The 6.5L, yes. 6.2L, probably not. They didnt turbo the 6.2 making it a dog and a half.
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:53 PM   #22
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Ehhh not exactly... The 6.5L, yes. 6.2L, probably not. They didnt turbo the 6.2 making it a dog and a half.

Huh? He's talking the 6.2 gas in the newer trucks.
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:53 PM   #23
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Ehhh not exactly... The 6.5L, yes. 6.2L, probably not. They didnt turbo the 6.2 making it a dog and a half.
ElCamino Man, I think PerryD is talking about gas motors.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:30 PM   #24
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Let's see, I've towed Airstreams with:
1995 5.7 L Suburban
1999 5.7 L Suburban
2003 5.3 L Suburban
2005 Duramax, and now
2007 Duramax
Why deny yourself any longer?. Just do it. Stay thirsty for power my friend.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:39 PM   #25
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Yes ... my comment about the 6.2 motor was a reference to the quite-high performance GM gas motors, a variation of which is used in the Corvette. In the Denali it is 403 hp and 417 torque. In round numbers this is about 100 more hp and torque than the current 5.3, and that is a difference you will definitely notice.
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Old 10-22-2012, 07:21 AM   #26
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Huh? He's talking the 6.2 gas in the newer trucks.
Thats what happends when you've been around the block a few times.
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Old 10-22-2012, 03:28 PM   #27
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Looks like I just picked a whole bouquet of Oopsie Daisys...

I thought you meant the 6.2L diesel of yesteryear. Not much power, but reliability is there. As for the new 6.2L, a vast improvement over the old 6.2L diesel I thought we were talking about lol. Good mileage, good power, and should be reliable!
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