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Old 10-26-2012, 05:53 AM   #15
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We just completed a 6 month , 16000 mile trip with my 2007 Classic Silverado 2500 CC 4X4 Duramax LBZ. I towed in every possible terrain. We went from Florida to Pennsylvania, then over to Seattle, down to LA and back across to Atlanta via Colorado, New Mexico etc. I am towing a fully loaded (9700 lbs) Classic 34. Our truck with camper shell was full of stuff. 6 bicycles, 50 gallons of extra fuel in tank in the bed and 6 people ( 2 parents, 3 teen age and 1 ten year old). The whole rig weighed just under 18,000 lbs at the Cat Scales when we left. I averaged between 10 and 11 MPG on the whole trip ( when hooked up, this didn't include driving around w/o the trailer). I hand calculated the mileage with gallons used and the trip meter. I was in tow/haul mode while the trailer was hooked up the entire time. Regardless of the type of terrain we were in. The best mileage I ever got from this truck NOT towing was 18 MPG on a long trip to Texas ( 940 miles one way). I would be curious to know how that stacks up to others on this board. The truck is completely stock and I run 265/75 16 Michelin LTX tires.

KK
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Old 10-26-2012, 07:53 AM   #16
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KK ...

I have a 2009 Silverado 2500 Duramax and pull at 30' Classic and normally travel at 65 to 68 mph. It is just my wife and I and we don't have a lot of heavy stuff in the back of the truck nor do we load up the trailer with a lot of stuff either. I have consistently averaged 12.5 to 13 towing the trailer. The absolute worst mileage I have gotten was bucking a high wind and the mileage dropped to a little better than 10. Best mileage towing has been just under 15, when I was basically going down hill, no wind and had to slow down to 55 to 60. Like yourself I hand calculate the mileage of tanks of fuel by using the "gallons used" and trip mileage, which I reset at each fuel stop. (OH .. the "gallons used" is spot on. I normally fill the tank full, full. and I'm never off by more than .2 gallons.) When not towing on the highway we get 17 to 20 mpg depending on speed and conditions.

I also use the tow mode all the time when towing. Around 65 mph it does shift up to 6th gear and I have to be going up a significant hill before it shifts down to 5th.

When we travel we normally go on 3 to 5 week trips which cover 3,000 to 5,000 miles of towing.

Love this truck. But will look at the Ford when it comes time for a new TV.
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Old 10-26-2012, 08:04 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TSchleff
KK ...

I have a 2009 Silverado 2500 Duramax and pull at 30' Classic and normally travel at 65 to 68 mph. It is just my wife and I and we don't have a lot of heavy stuff in the back of the truck nor do we load up the trailer with a lot of stuff either. I have consistently averaged 12.5 to 13 towing the trailer. The absolute worst mileage I have gotten was bucking a high wind and the mileage dropped to a little better than 10. Best mileage towing has been just under 15, when I was basically going down hill, no wind and had to slow down to 55 to 60. Like yourself I hand calculate the mileage of tanks of fuel by using the "gallons used" and trip mileage, which I reset at each fuel stop. (OH .. the "gallons used" is spot on. I normally fill the tank full, full. and I'm never off by more than .2 gallons.) When not towing on the highway we get 17 to 20 mpg depending on speed and conditions.

I also use the tow mode all the time when towing. Around 65 mph it does shift up to 6th gear and I have to be going up a significant hill before it shifts down to 5th.

When we travel we normally go on 3 to 5 week trips which cover 3,000 to 5,000 miles of towing.

Love this truck. But will look at the Ford when it comes time for a new TV.
We bought a 2011 GMC 2500 Denali Diesel last year. We took a trip from Vermont to Florida Keys and return. Used the Tow Haul mode most of the time when hitched to our 28' Safari SO. Average fuel usage was 13.5 total trip. This past summer took a trip w/o safari to Virginia. That resulted in 20.5 mpg. Big difference from my old Suburban 2500, which did no better than 13 mpg empty.
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Old 10-27-2012, 03:34 PM   #18
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I don't mean to hijack this thread, but my 2011 Silverado (gasser) with 6 speed tranny gets the same in or out of tow haul mode. Seeing no advantage, I keep it on.
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Old 10-27-2012, 06:33 PM   #19
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We use TH whenever under load. Have had no problems on flats at decent speeds. Cannot beat the performance going up or down steep grades such in Boone NC area. We have 130K on the 2005 duramax and still have 52% of the brake pads left with the majority of the use being towing the 31 foot Airstream.

The RPM's do go up coming down the mountain and when I hit the step grades going up it will almost red line if we lose momentum, ie a Prius in front of us in the left lane doing 45 MPH. We end up passing them on the right, now allowing them to get 50 MPG due to no wind in front of them as we are blocking it.

We even have TH on our 2007 Cadillac AWD SRX and at times I will use that coming down those steep grades just to let the transmission do the work and not the brakes as those grades are steep.

Well worth the extra money for the tow packages that were offered at that time.
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:29 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by xo1rider View Post
I've been towing with the tow haul mode on 100% of the time.

Just curious, when on a flat, straight road at sea level can I or should I turn off the tow haul to reduce RPMs and increase MPG?
There are some great comments on TH and the Allison here. I just put a 2012 3/4 ton Duamax in front of our 30 Flying Cloud. I run it in TH all the time also and I can't see any difference in RPM (TH in or out) once up to cruse. I also don't mind a little more diesel fuel (if there is any to speak of) used when slowing for towns and then accelerating back out again. The engine braking you get going down is also a plus. I would imagine that running the Allison without TH at any time except in the hills, would do no harm either. I just love the truck/engine and transmission combo. Here in TX I set the cruise on at 70 mph and just sit back. It powers up hills with diesel fuel only, no down shift, it just keeps powering forward. Of course, I guess I'm this tickled because I started pulling the new AS 30 with a Chevy 1/2 ton with the 6.2, 403 hp gasser. Should have been plenty of truck, right. Well, not for me. Amazing the shifting that took place in the hill country area of TX. Plus in mid summer at 105 degrees, if you didn't let it slow going upgrade it tried to overheat TH in or out. You had to use TH in the gas hog if you wanted to accelerate with any authority at all.
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:32 PM   #21
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My new gas Dodge Ram performs much better than a couple of the gassers reported here. I wouldn't hesitate to pull a 30' for a moment, but KK's loaded 34' would be a tough ticket.

Howard, all that shifting is normally eliminated by simply dropping down a gear. Wouldn't hurt the truck or you, and the gas mileage would improve.

doug k
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:12 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by xo1rider View Post
Thanks, I doubt if I'll ever be at 75% with my truck (which is why I tow with this beast).

Am I correct that my gas mileage will increase with the tow haul off? I imagine that it must help based on RPM. Actually I'm in love with the Duramax and even the current MPG is not bad.
Hi, I sure hope you aren't burning gas in your Duramax.
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:16 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
My new gas Dodge Ram performs much better than a couple of the gassers reported here. I wouldn't hesitate to pull a 30' for a moment, but KK's loaded 34' would be a tough ticket.

Howard, all that shifting is normally eliminated by simply dropping down a gear. Wouldn't hurt the truck or you, and the gas mileage would improve.

doug k
Thanks Doug, but the hills I'm talking about would be a couple gears or three. The truck in TH will do it or you can go "M" and do it yourself. I didn't mean to totally bad mouth the 403 hp gas Chevy. I had a 5.7 Hemi in a 2007 Dodge 1/2 before that and I loved them both, just not pulling 7500# with 850# on the tongue (even though well under max wt.). I see a lot of posts about the Ford Eco-boost with twin TCs. I'm sure it would do the trick also, but can you imaging the high RPMs necessary and the whine of the two TCs, in the hills or while accelerating out to merge into traffic. To me, in the end, it was 3/4 ton suspension, 10 ply tires, the Allison built for heavy work, holding speed going uphill and pass or merge without having to plan way ahead. The very fact that we are here debating whether TH is even needed with the Duramax adds to my comfort with the big truck choice. One disclaimer here, I'm an old Vietnam era fighter pilot, there is no such thing as too much power.

All that said--Love our new Airstream 30, would pull it with a bicycle if that was all I had.
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:12 AM   #24
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Howard, I was there on deck fixing those broken fighters VF-51, long time ago already.

Considered the diesel as well, wish they had a smaller one, but these new gas trucks are so smooth and capable while still being nice daily drivers when we arrive it's quite remarkable compared to just a few years ago.

doug k
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:43 AM   #25
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What I loved about my 5-speed Allison, and what I love even more about my 6-speed Allison, is towing in the mountains in the Tow-Haul Mode.
Otherwise, in the wide open spaces, I don't use Tow-Haul because it tends to hold me in lower gears too long. But when I am in the mountains and descending(using Tow-Haul), I love the way the transmission down-shifts and provides engine braking. All I have to do is steer.
Exactly how I use mine. I especially love how the Allison will try to hold speed on moderate descents; you either have to crest the last high point at that speed or slow to that speed by braking. I'll put it into manual if the descent is steep enough to let speed increase by much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KrazyKelleys View Post
The best mileage I ever got from this truck NOT towing was 18 MPG on a long trip to Texas (940 miles one way). I would be curious to know how that stacks up to others on this board.
Engine builds vary somewhat on economy. Engines had more mileage robbing features added as they were transitioned away from high sulfur fuels a decade ago. I have a 2006 LLY build Duramax.

I got home last Monday from a 19.1 mpg non-towing 2600 mile round trip to San Antonio. I-35 is relatively flat grade the whole way; I didn't try to economize by holding down speed (averaging maybe 3 mph over the speed limit). The most unusual aspect of our driving was that temperatures were mild and we almost never used air conditioning or heat -- I mostly attribute the good mileage to that, but my engine is getting good and broken in right at 100K miles.

My best towing mileage has been 16.0 mpg a couple months back -- 275 miles away from home and then coming back, driving about 60mph, no cruise control, no air conditioning. Cruise control really kills mileage in rolling country. I don't know why that trip was different. My previous high was 15.5 mpg on a 120 mile leg that was short enough to be a little nutzoid on soft driving. I'm usually happy getting in the high fourteens towing on 55 mph roads.

GM had a very promising mid-sized diesel fully developed for 1/4 ton trucks & SUVs. They cancelled it 3 years ago in the heart of the economic downturn. It is difficult to envision enough future volume in trucks and large SUVs for them to revive it but we sure can hope!

GM&#39;s New Technology 4.5 Turbo Diesel Truck & SUV Video - YouTube
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:03 AM   #26
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Howard, I was there on deck fixing those broken fighters VF-51, long time ago already.

Considered the diesel as well, wish they had a smaller one, but these new gas trucks are so smooth and capable while still being nice daily drivers when we arrive it's quite remarkable compared to just a few years ago.

doug k

Doug, VF 92, Late 1966 to mid 1968, USS Enterprise. Yep, long time ago already. Go Navy.

Sorry guys, for getting off thread here.
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:17 AM   #27
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Allison Tow Haul

With a little over 130,000 miles on our silverado 3500HD seems to always average 20 mpg no load and 15 mpg towing. We always use tow mode when towing. Here is a link to an Allison site with some interesting facts about tow haul, cruise stabilization, and grade braking. Allison Transmission
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:24 AM   #28
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Good info on this post. We just downsized from a 21,000 fifth wheel to a 25' Classic LTD. My 2011 GMC Dually thinks it has died and gone to heaven...
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