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Old 10-13-2004, 08:04 AM   #1
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2005 25' International CCD
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Cool Help! Duramax vs. Quadrasteer

I'm new to the Airstream world, or the trailer pulling world for that matter. I will be getting a 25' International CCD. Now I'm trying to figure out the tow vehicle. I've sought advice from friends and this forum but I'm getting more confused. I want to stick to the Chevy Silverado because of some pricing discounts I can get by having a friend at GM. I've driven the 2500HD Duramax/Allison and the 1500 Quadrasteer. I was impressed with both. The quadrasteer was appealing because it drives more like my Volvo XC, which I will be giving up for the new truck. The Duramax was appealing because of power, fuel efficiency etc.

This will be my only vehicle, used for towing and everything else. I live on a narrow winding road. The turn into my driveway is greater than 90 degrees. I plan to tow at least once a month and about 12 continous weeks each year.

Reading the different threads here, both vehicles have strong supporters. What's the advice when considering between the two?

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Old 10-13-2004, 09:25 AM   #2
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Well, to me it looks like this.

I like the Duramax, but it might be a bit overkill for a 6300lb coach. I mean a good 6.0L with 4.10 gears would do beyond well with your 25' CCD. I am unsure quadrasteer is avail with the Duramax anyway.

So I would suggest that if quadrasteer is important based on tight manuvering, go with the 6.0L w/ 4.10 rear end, quadrasteer and make sure the truck is a 2500. Mostly because the 4L80E is a stronger trans than the 4L60E that they put into the 1500s. There are other perks to a 2500 besides the trans, but the trans is the big one for me.

Now if you are planning a 30' slide or moving to a coach closer to 10,000lbs, by all means, go Duramax, but you might also be walking from quadrasteer (but don't quote me on that).

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Old 10-13-2004, 09:53 AM   #3
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Think you'll find the Quad. is only avail. in light duty models, while enough to tow a 25' AS there is about $2000. hit for the quat steer option--quit a bit for the few times you may be using it, plus if you ever decide to move up to a heavier trailer you'll be looking at trading trucks again,---just a thought----Pieman
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Old 10-13-2004, 10:05 AM   #4
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Mike is right...I am thinking of the 3/4 ton Suburban. That one gets quadrasteer. Though the 1500HD is technically a 2500 with 1500 badging. If you had your heart set on quadrasteer and a 1/2 ton, the 1500HD would not be a bad way to go (unless you had your heart set on the Duramax).
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Old 10-13-2004, 10:35 AM   #5
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Go with the Duramax. With increasing fuel costs, I think the diesel will pay for itself. You will get 4-5 mpg more on the diesel, towing, plus a rock solid Allison transmission.
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Old 10-13-2004, 12:22 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Pick
Go with the Duramax. With increasing fuel costs, I think the diesel will pay for itself.
Ironically, diesel prices within a 50 miles raduis of Chicago (including lower Wisconsin and northeast Indiana) are now more expensive than premium 92-93 octane gas.

That aside, even if diesel were .10 to .20 per gallon less expensive, the calculations of the break even point for the expense of the Duramax/Allision combo ($5k) would take near a decade to show depending on how many miles driven per year, knowing that the average driver puts about 12k on the clock anually. Folks should NOT buy a Duramax thinking that there is some huge savings. That savings might be there, but it is not an overnight payback, but it is an overnight, upfront cost to aquire the Duramax. $5000 for the Duramax buys a HECK of a lot of gas...depending on what grade you use, and the cost it is WELL over 2000 gallons at some of the current prices!

Power and torque....Duramax hands down. But I still submit, it is more than the 25' CCD will require.
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Old 10-13-2004, 02:02 PM   #7
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Get the duramax and be done with it. you will be glad you did. Not only is the fuel economy better, the resale will be higher because it costs more initially and the diesels tend to hold their value better than the gassers.

The quadrasteer is a nice feature, but I think you would like the diesel better in the long run. Once you get one, I don't think you would ever consider going back to a gasser.

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Old 10-13-2004, 04:05 PM   #8
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Old 10-13-2004, 04:16 PM   #9
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Duramax vote

I made the leap to 3/4 ton and Duramax this summer and for the first time am not under powered or pushing the tow rating limit. I agree. I'll never go back to less of a truck.
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Old 10-13-2004, 05:29 PM   #10
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Diesel is 6-10 cents more here in TN. than unleaded gas but you get more miles per gallon with the diesel than say the 6.0 gas engine. The diesel is more expensive on the front end as noted but you should get most of that money back later. The Allison auto transmission is a better trans than either of the 2 other transmissions. The rear end on the diesel is an 11.5" model that is the same as on the 3500. The diesel pulls harder than the 6.0 gas engine so consider it if you plan on pulling a bunch of hills.

Having said that, the only factor with the 25' unit you mentioned would be how long you intend to keep the truck. If you plan on only keeping the truck for a few years before trading in then I would just go with the 6.0 in the 1500hd and the 4L80e (or newer 4L85e?) transmission. If you plan on keeping the truck for a long time like I do when I am pleased with a vehicle, say 10 or more years, or plan on going with a heavier trailer later, go with the diesel. You will probably get more out of it than a worn out 6.0 engine.

Good luck on your choice.

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Old 10-13-2004, 05:30 PM   #11
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It would be a lot easier if they put the duramax in a burb with the quad. Hands down the winner. Coming to a show room near you in 200?. Until then it looks like the 1500HD is the compromise position. Of course if you have the max and run across that once in a lifetime deal on a 34'er that has to go today.

Now I hear those diesel engines burn home heating oil in some states
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Old 10-13-2004, 05:31 PM   #12
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Old 10-13-2004, 05:57 PM   #13
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I have the Duramax, love it. Towed the 25 Classic from AZ to AK this summer. Averaged 62 MPH, 15+ MPG. The turning radius of the straight truck is not all that different from the Quad.
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Old 10-13-2004, 06:53 PM   #14
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Stop right there!

It's the QuadraSteer, hands down! Here's why:

1) You mentioned tight turns. If you haven't test driven QS then you have NO IDEA what a difference it makes. It's night and day. I can turn circles around any truck without QS. I can manuver around parking lots better than some small cars. I kid you not. As for towing with QS, well, there is NOTHING like it. Again, if you haven't tried, you have NO idea what a difference it makes in manuvering. As for the idea of paying big bucks to use QS rarely, well it is used every time the truck turns. Worth every last cent.

2) Who wants a big, noisy, smelly, clumsy diesel as their everyday commuter car. Not me. Especially when Duramax power is not needed. A 1500HD with a 6.0 Vortec will tow that 25' AS up any mountain pass in North America with aplomb. Then when you unhook, you have fun truck to go explore with. And the rest of the year, a great everyday vehicle.

All I can say is test drive QS yourself. It will be a no-brainer!

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