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Old 01-23-2009, 04:57 PM   #1
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Beavercreek , Ohio
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Escalade or Suburban?

Hi, first time-post from a wannabe airstreamer and several-month lurker.

My wife and I- and 3 children- are looking for a vintage (70's or so) 25 foot airstream. This will also mean trading the Odyssey for a better tow vehicle. I figure the future trailer is going to run around 5000 lbs.

Today I test drove a 2005 Escalade with 74,000 miles and a 6.0L engine and also a (more expensive) 2007 Suburban 1/2 ton with 12,000 miles. The Suburban seemed more responsive. The Caddy was seductively comfortable and smooth.

Anybody here tow with an Escalade? Is the Suburban the better choice for towing an airstream? The Suburban also is rated for better mileage- perhaps it is a more practical family car. But that luxurious Caddy ride! Any advice would be appreciated.


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Old 01-23-2009, 05:49 PM   #2
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While I don't know the towing specs for either vehicle I can tell you I pulled my 6,000 lb Safari with a 5.7 liter half ton GM full sized van and a 3/4 ton 6 liter GM van. Interesting was the gas mileage with the half ton van while towing was dead on what I got towing with the 6 liter van. The half ton van had a 3.73 axle with the 3/4 ton van having a 4.10.

The real difference in mileage came when not towing with the half ton van getting about 5 mpg better than the 3/4. I found that the suspensions were quite different with the 3/4 van handling the road dips much better. Overall I felt the 3/4 ton was a step up. Later on it became a wise move since I upgraded from the Safari to a Classic slide out. I never could have done it with the half ton van.

Get those specs on engine, axle ratio and towing capacities. There is a good chance that the Escalade will allow towing in OD, while the Suburban may not. Check the owners manual for further information on that topic. Each vehicle has it's own benefits and if you stay within the 5,000 weight limit, either car will probably be suitable.


Jack Canavera
AIR #56
'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500,'14 Honda CTX 700
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Old 01-23-2009, 06:01 PM   #3
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I passed on a really nice '05 Escalade. I too was a little hesitant due to the mileage. I will be using it as my sole vehicle and towing is a minor part of my daily driving. But the info from Jack is pretty interesting. If I was towing more often, it would be worth researching because that Caddy ride is sure sweet!
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Old 01-23-2009, 07:37 PM   #4
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1960 17' Pacer
London , Ontario
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Hi John
If you would like to save a lot of money you can keep your Odyssey. We have set up almost 300 Odyssey's as tow vehicles. Set up properly they will easily handle the trailers you are looking at. Handling is more stable than the full size SUV and fuel economy is much better. We have a similar van in our test drive fleet if you want to see what it would tow like.

Andrew Thomson
London, Ontario

"One test is worth a thousand expert opinions."
Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot
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Old 01-23-2009, 08:50 PM   #5
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The Ody idea seems like a good one. We towed with our Nissan Van (less power than the Ody) for many years. We enjoyed towing with it very much. When it was 15 years old it had 435,000klms on it and the tranny was still problem free.

Airstreams..... The best towing trailers on the planet!
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