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Old 10-19-2011, 12:35 PM   #57
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The 8.1 in the burb is detuned for low end torque to keep it from damaging the transmission. The marine versions produce 1100 horsepower and commensurately more torque over the whole curve, with different intakes and a different fuel map.
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Old 10-19-2011, 01:35 PM   #58
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The 8.1 in the burb is detuned for low end torque to keep it from damaging the transmission. The marine versions produce 1100 horsepower and commensurately more torque over the whole curve, with different intakes and a different fuel map.
and a wee bit more cooling capacity.


The Suburban is okay. Always has been. But the big motor doesn't cover the whole of the production, maybe 30-years worth (1973-2003, or so) out of a much longer production run.

Why not a full-sized van? I've a neighbor with 6 or 7 children and that is their choice over an SUV. FORD E350 has a 10k Towing Capacity which covers all A/S in a general way, what with the V-10 engine. Rear overhang is certainly better than, and interior volume is much superior to, a Suburban.

.
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Old 10-19-2011, 01:46 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by REDNAX View Post
and a wee bit more cooling capacity.


The Suburban is okay. Always has been. But the big motor doesn't cover the whole of the production, maybe 30-years worth (1973-2003, or so) out of a much longer production run.

Why not a full-sized van? I've a neighbor with 6 or 7 children and that is their choice over an SUV. FORD E350 has a 10k Towing Capacity which covers all A/S in a general way, what with the V-10 engine. Rear overhang is certainly better than, and interior volume is much superior to, a Suburban.

.
Rear overhang is very similar, both about 5'. If he has a 15 passenger Ford, I'd NEVER tow with it. It has massive rear overhang - like about 7'.
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Old 10-19-2011, 04:30 PM   #60
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and a wee bit more cooling capacity.


The Suburban is okay. Always has been. But the big motor doesn't cover the whole of the production, maybe 30-years worth (1973-2003, or so) out of a much longer production run.

Why not a full-sized van? I've a neighbor with 6 or 7 children and that is their choice over an SUV. FORD E350 has a 10k Towing Capacity which covers all A/S in a general way, what with the V-10 engine. Rear overhang is certainly better than, and interior volume is much superior to, a Suburban.

.
No 4x4... and I suspect the Quigley E-350 4x4 conversion would make a 'burb inexpensive, by comparison.
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Old 10-19-2011, 05:56 PM   #61
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In which case a crewcab pickup will suffice.
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Old 10-20-2011, 09:43 AM   #62
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Rednax,

In my situation I need 4WD and the third row of seats.

The passenger vans are something I considered before getting the Suburban. If there were no large SUVs with sufficient towing capacity, that's the way I would go. But the aftermarket 4WD van conversions are extremely expensive and drive the new van price up to around $55,000. There's no resale market to speak of, so it's hard to recover the cost of the conversion if trading. I've owned full-size vans before and the overall driving experience isn't as good as with a Suburban, and the maintenance costs are higher because of poor component accessibility.
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Old 10-20-2011, 04:09 PM   #63
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Yeah, you're jammed in a box with that 4WD requirement.
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Old 10-20-2011, 04:37 PM   #64
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I recently pulled my Classic with an E-350/V10. Power was adequate (then again, it wasn't over Big Horn Pass), ride was very good, visibility was excellent, wind noise was satisfactory, interior room was excellent- the only item lacking was brakes. I needed to crank up 'gain' in the van, compared to superburb (used my P3 in both). 'Seat of pants' didn't feel the 'stopability' with the van, as I do in 'burb.
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Old 10-21-2011, 06:09 PM   #65
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Then again, storage capacity isn't really an issue with the Yakima Roof Warrior +Extension




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Old 10-23-2011, 08:22 AM   #66
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It just makes sense.......



We are on our fourth GM tow vehicle with a 05 Silverado LT Duramax/Allison.

We've owned the 1972 31' Airstream for 19 years, towed it across America twice. Our first suburban was a 1994 1/2 ton, 350 with 3.73, which worked towing, We averaged about 7 towing and 13 unloaded. The 2nd 1996 Suburban 3/4 ton, 4.10 454, was the heat. 10 towing, 14 unloaded and the heavier suspension was well suited for the length of the AS. Our third was a 2002 2500 Avalanche 8.1, 4.10. This was an awesome very comfortable vehicle, 10 towing 12 empty, but the 4.10 kept going out so we traded for the 2005 Silverado LT. All the above vehicles had over 100K on them and lots of those miles were towing miles.

The silverado is a great truck and very comfortable. Like the 8.1 you have to watch your speed as that will easily carry the AS load (5600lbs) above 65 MPH and you don't even feel the weight of the trailer. With 118K now on the odometer from 25 from day one, the original brakes remain. I've offered to change them at the dealership, but the SM tells me they are still 50%. This is what the Allison does for you in down shifting when towing.

Mileage with the Duramax when towing on flat averages about 13.7-15.7 if I keep it at 65 with no head wind. Even in the Mountains of western NC I'll get 11.0-12.7 at 7% grades. Not bad. On the flat areas here in the Sandhills, I can get on the average 19.5-21 MPG at 55 MPH and even when i drive up I-95 to DC with no load I average 19.5 at 65 MPH. I do have a tonneau cover and I reset my "economy average" every time I set the cruise control for a long trip.

I feel GM will not make a diesel for Suburbans due to the fact that they will only sell them once due to their reliability and the market will not be there for the trades. Even with the old GM 6.2 that they used back in the 80's in the military CUT-V's, 3/4/1 ton mil spec vehicles, you couldn't kill them. They lasted forever and were very tough. They learned a lesson here knowing that the sales market would be there, but not for long and the sustainment would be necessary for the customer at the 300-500K odometer range.

very similar to this discussion is the Suburban LTZ. why doesn't GM put the 6.2 gas engine in the Suburban LTZ, like it does in the Cadillac Escalade and ESV or the GMC Denali? This is a very reliable engine with 402 hp and mileage empty 2WD at 18-20 highway. My thoughts, because folks like the Duramax consumer, will buy these vehicles for the 10-12 years period, not five years. I've considered both vehicles mentioned above to tow with, but the diesel cannot be beat. Plus for the price, you can camp in some beautiful places over 5-7 years, as once you get set up, you relax.

GM has some options, but who is their target audience for marketing? I wish it was the trailer pulling crowd, but I still think they have the soccer crowd as their prime consumer. I miss the ability to go 6-7 hours w/out a fill up in a suburban. don't miss the screaming kids in the back. Doing the cost comparison, in my case, the diesel for sure is the better option.

I was hoping when Jeep put the Mercedes 3.0 TDI in the Cherokee and Commander a few years back, this would make GM become competitive with a mid-large size diesel SUV. But that fizzled out and try finding a used one. They don't exist because that was another great idea that worked for the consumer, not the car companies.

Hopefully someone will come to their senses. Amazing what GM makes abroad to include the new diesel offered over in Thailand that they are building a new plant for the Asian market customer, as announced last month. But.... not for the US market.

Its all good and next year we'll be all out on the road again touring this great nation and still being annoyed with GM, just not getting it.


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Old 10-25-2011, 04:41 PM   #67
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The silverado is a great truck and very comfortable. Like the 8.1 you have to watch your speed as that will easily carry the AS load (5600lbs) above 65 MPH and you don't even feel the weight of the trailer. With 118K now on the odometer from 25 from day one, the original brakes remain. I've offered to change them at the dealership, but the SM tells me they are still 50%. This is what the Allison does for you in down shifting when towing.

Mileage with the Duramax when towing on flat averages about 13.7-15.7 if I keep it at 65 with no head wind. Even in the Mountains of western NC I'll get 11.0-12.7 at 7% grades. Not bad. On the flat areas here in the Sandhills, I can get on the average 19.5-21 MPG at 55 MPH and even when i drive up I-95 to DC with no load I average 19.5 at 65 MPH. I do have a tonneau cover and I reset my "economy average" every time I set the cruise control for a long trip.

Thanks for posting the detailed Duramax mileage information! I've been trying to pin down a case for an oil burner as the wife feels that they are too "truck" like and would prefer a gasser. I've also been looking for a way to avoid 10mpg or less while towing.

Cheers,
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Old 10-25-2011, 05:28 PM   #68
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GinMame,
no problem. The newer Duramax LTZ are very comfortable. I have heard that due to new emission post 2008, that the mileage can very.
On my 2006 there have been times where the mileage has been around 16.5 towing and 24 empty, but not average.
One thing I've noticed with the Duramax is you need to run it for about five miles to "set" the recording when your start getting below showing 16 MPG. I've been driving around town, stop and go and its dropped to 16.4, from 17.2. I gather this is verified when you fill up and reset the fuel consumption, and the mileage available becomes like 425-475. so at least it makes you feel good with a $60 dollar receipt in your hand.
I know that the forum was about Suburbans being done away with. I don't think that will happen. folks will eat before they drive, I get that, but the survivability in a bigger vehicle is well worth the fuel. I don't say that as being a big vehicle taking over the roads, I say that with folks that are totally stressed out in their little fuel efficient cars that continue to take on trees at 45 MPH and 45 MPG, thinking they can blow through red lights to maintain fuel efficiency, but the survival rate even when connecting with the same size vehicle is not good.

The Burbs 5.3 liter and 6.0 with 3.73 gets pretty decent mileage towing, but even better around town with about 16. these are not "truck" platforms so they handle pretty decently.

Good luck. I plan on owning mine for a very long time and even looking into how to use the cooking oil if we even get to that point.

Happy Airstreaming.

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Old 10-25-2011, 08:08 PM   #69
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Personally, I would never spend the additional $7500-8,000 for a diesel engine to tow any AS, not to mention the additional fuel cost and maintenance costs. You just don't need a diesel and any species(Ford,GM, Dodge or Toyota) of gas engine in a heavy 1/2 or 3/4 ton type will do everything you need. The most important thing to look for is the proper rear end ratio. Higher the number, like 3.73,4.10 or 4.30 is what you are looking for. A 3.55 is very marginal even with a 6-speed tranny. No matter the brand, a good gas rig will last as long as a diesel without all of the diesel issues. Too many examples out there for much of an argument from the "diesel dudes".

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Old 10-25-2011, 09:06 PM   #70
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pappy19,
That's what is great about options. Actually the length of the tow vehicle I've been always taught to be the focus. A good vehicle to tow a 31 foot trailer should be 221". I wanted to buy a Range Rover from a dealer a few years back, the salesman knew I had an Airstream that was 31 feet long and would NOT sell me the Range Rover as it was only 189" and he said it rally wouldn't work for all the towing I do. Go figure.
I feel sorry for the the misinfomred folks that have the vehicle with the required "towing capacity" but far overload the true vehicle load, when they are sold and RV. A few weeks back I witnessed a Toyota SR5 with the 28 foot 5th wheel, that couldn't back up a hill in 4WD. I just moved the chair to watch the leaves change in the south, turned the music up so I couldn't hear the crunch and the camp owner finally talked the owner into letting him reposition the 5th wheel.

Its more than about the weight. Its not just how much it can tow, but how safely it WILL tow.

That's what is great about Airstream TT and the way they are designed in both weight and length. So you are right on having many options with Airstreams as your TT.

My lesson learned, after 19 years, the Duramax has towed the best with zero repairs, only OLF, transmission fluid change and tires, over the three GM vehicles I've owned which cost me two A/C's, three 4.10 rear ends, and a bunch of rear wheel seals for some reason on the 3/4 ton suburban and avalanche. all due to stress while towing.
Now keep in mind I was in the SW of Texas and the Mountians of Colorado so there was allot of stress on the TV.

I imagine allot of folks have positive things to say. I for sure am not a diesel dude, never will be, but know what works for me in towing.

Never had any diesel issues with the Duramax, like the old Ford diesels, other than dealing with the big rigs at the truck stops. They kind of really don't like the TT types in their space, but we all share the same fuel tax and road.

Good luck to all, but always keep safety as your true test of knowing you'll get there and get back to prepare for the next adventure.

Happy Airstreaming

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