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Old 05-24-2007, 06:18 AM   #1
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Hybrid Silverado truck

Does anyone know anything other than the Chevy ads on this truck? Love the idea of the hybrid truck. As limited as the gas mileage help is, at least it has lower emissions. Also love the idea that it can act as a generator. I guess it is'nt big enough to pull a 25' Safari. Maybe by next year there will be a 3/4 ton MJ
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Old 05-24-2007, 06:42 AM   #2
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I don't know about that specific truck, but we are looking at buying a hybrid car right now. One of the most importent aspects of hybrids is the cost of that dang battery. The Ford Escape hybrid battery costs, are you ready for this? $6942. The Saturn Vue hybrid battery costs $1295. Can you believe that? Both have a 100k warrenty, but still, that's a lot of money. The FOrd gets better mileage and has much lower emmisions. The Saturn actually has higher emmisions (CO2). I found a website the other night that has some comparison information, but can be a little political. I think it was called hybridcars.com. Good luck at let is know what you find.

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Old 05-24-2007, 07:36 AM   #3
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That is one of the potential downfalls of the entire hybrid hype. IMHO, you can do just as well, if not better with a new CDI type diesel.

My wife drives an '05 Beetle CDI. It's smooth, QUIET, and powerful,........ranging from 41-46MPG. My Sprinter gets 20-22 in regular driving FULLY LOADED and 14-17 towing the CCD. And you have the future option of running it on bio-diesel when it becomes more commercially available.

With existing, proven diesel technology already here, there should be more focus on it.

Like the old commercial once said....."TRY IT..........YOU'LL LIKE IT!!!!!!"
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Old 05-24-2007, 09:35 AM   #4
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I read an article the other day that said the way the mileage has been calculated in the past artificially inflates the mileage estimates of the hybrids and the "new" methods that are being implemented will give a more accurate picture of the real world mileage one can expect to achieve with a hybrid and as a result of the new calculation method, the hybrids won't actually show that much of an improvement on MPG's.

Having said that, the highway mileage is actually lower on a hybrid than a conventional powered vehicle because in highway driving, the electric motor doesn't actually operate and sits idle. The weight of the batteries and electric motor causes a reduction in highway mileage over a conventional engine. The real benefit of a hybrid in in city driving. This is where you can get the benefit of the electric engine. Any time the vehicle exceeds 30 MPH, the vehicle will switch over to the gasoline engine and the electric engine will only function as a booster during acceleration such as passing or on steep grade. The electric engine also has a practical range of about 30 miles so when you exceed this distance, the vehicle will switch back over to the gasoline powered engine until the batteries recharge. If the batteries are completely discharged, for example running out of gas and continuing on the electric engine until they are fully discharged, it takes about 48 hours to fully recharge them and can only be performed by the dealer and is not covered by the warranty. I can't remember the charge for this service, but I remember it was really quite high.

I love the concept of a hybrid, but I have serious doubts about a hybrid as a tow vehicle for a larger trailer. Having said that, there is a thread on the forums that focus on one of the members and his positive experience using a Toyota Hylander Hybrid to tow his Airstream. I just believe there will either be a significant amount of excessive wear or other longevity and maintenance issues with using a hybrid as a tow vehicle.
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Old 05-24-2007, 09:59 AM   #5
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Minnie's Mate,
Excellent points, especially on the use/recharge time which seems it would make a hybrid poorly suited for towing.

While I imagine a hybrid is great for certain conditions and uses, I feel that my 2005, 2500HD Duramax with Allison transmission is more suited for the uses I have for it, including, but not limited to towing the Overlander. Now that regular is locally over $3.10 it is refreshing to see diesel is now priced as it should be, $2.78. Incidentally, with 50,000 miles on it I am getting 20-21mpg and a drop of about 1.5 mpg when towing the AS.

Hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend.
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Old 05-24-2007, 05:06 PM   #6
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Cdi?

I'm definately getting the strong idea that our tow vehicle should be a Duramax diesel with an Allison transmission. Not being a truck person, what is a CDI? Also Lewster, what is your tow vehicle -Sprinter?
I like the gas mileage being reported on the Duramax/Allison comibination and if it is a Silverado they also have a good safety rating this year. Seems like a good choice for a 27' either Safari or classic. I like the idea you can put your generator and/or bikes in the back as well, takes care of two more problems. Just need the untrucklike luxury bucket seats (with heaters) and all will be well!
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Old 05-24-2007, 06:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJBear
I'm definately getting the strong idea that our tow vehicle should be a Duramax diesel with an Allison transmission. Not being a truck person, what is a CDI? Also Lewster, what is your tow vehicle -Sprinter?
I like the gas mileage being reported on the Duramax/Allison comibination and if it is a Silverado they also have a good safety rating this year. Seems like a good choice for a 27' either Safari or classic. I like the idea you can put your generator and/or bikes in the back as well, takes care of two more problems. Just need the untrucklike luxury bucket seats (with heaters) and all will be well!
My TV is a 2004 Dodge (Mercedes) Sprinter van. I'm sure you've seen them....the very tall ones that look European ('cause they ARE European!) Anyway, CDI stands for Common-rail Direct Injection which is a new, high efficiency way to get the diesel fuel into the injectors at very high pressure.

The CDI engines produce a lot of torque with not much horsepower, a perfect recipe for great gas mileage. My Sprinter is loaded with tools and weighs about 8000lb when full (GVW is 8550, CGVW is 13,550) and gets 20-22 MPG in general use.

With the '06 19'CCD attached, I got 14-17 mpg from FL to Or and back last summer at highway speeds. Not bad from a 154 HP engine!
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Old 05-29-2007, 01:14 AM   #8
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Great mileage #'s there...!

Lew -

Thanks for the posts about the mileage (with/sans AS) and really appreciate the info on HP/Torque figures...!!! Really!!!!

What are the drawbacks that you have found using this engine? There have to be 1, or some, or many?..... could you explain? Remember, that bandwidth is nearly free these days!!!!!!!!!

The mileage is certainly an attractive touch point, but if there isn't a solid 2nd and 3rd point then the "USUAL" gas thinking takes over..... Not always a good thing as gas/diesel are neck in neck for the $ champion in our area.

CostCo gas is at $2.98/gal and the local Diesel is at about $3.05/gal. Given the BTU advantage that Diesel has, there isn't much that Diesel is behind on anymore....!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wondering if you have instumented data that could be used to advance this debate going forward.........

All the best to EVERYONE on this MEMORIAL DAY weekend rememberence!! Wishing for all the best to everyone that is potentially in harms way this weekend!!!!!! Be safe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Go Get'em!!!! Git 'er DONE!!!!!!

Happy AirStreamin!

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Old 05-29-2007, 07:20 AM   #9
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The much praised hybrid feature of the engine shutting off while sitting still (going downhill?) never happens if you have the heater or air conditioner on. One can get low lifecycle impact and excellent mileage with small conventional engined compacts, however a friend's Prius has huge legroom in the back seat! Hybrids never made sense to our demand -- two mile commute and a battery compartment (trunk) that wouldn't warm up during the ride much of the year.
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Old 05-29-2007, 07:23 AM   #10
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Hey Axel,

I'm not really a pick-up kind of guy (had a Toyota Tacoma in 1999) as they don't really fit the business I'm in now. I like to keep what I have inside a van for access and safety. I had a Chevy 1/2 ton van before the Sprinter and that was OK, but the mileage from the 350 was horrendous, especially in the West towing a motorcycle trailer.

The Sprinter has way more room than any US van and besides the mileage improvement, I go 12-13,000 miles between oil changes as shown by the on-board maintenance computer. Air filters are usually every other oil change.

The only down side to the little 154HP/245ft.lb., 5 cylinder engine is pulling the BIG grades out West. I have slowed from speed limit traveling to about 45mph at the top. I'm sure that the engine is working hard, and I use the manual shift option on the automatic to keep the revs at the torque peak of around 3000rpm. I notice the engine temp rise also, but never into the red zone.

I'm VERY satisfied with the Sprinter, and will be buying a new one in '08, once I see how the new engines perform (new 6 cyl diesel). You can now get loads of options like different axle ratios (the options book is almost 1/2" thick!) and the new 3500 dually has an increased GVWR of 11,500lbs with a CGWR of 19,000. That means a bigger Airstream!!!! And more capacity for carrying parts and equipment (of, course)!
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Old 05-29-2007, 09:19 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnie's Mate
Having said that, there is a thread on the forums that focus on one of the members and his positive experience using a Toyota Highlander Hybrid to tow his Airstream.
That would be me...;-) To answer other questions/comments...

The Silverado Hybrid 'just' uses the batteries to power the accessories when the vehicle isn't moving and to provide generator power to its outlets - not to drive the wheels. Not that useful for a dedicated tow vehicle, but if you are using the pickup everyday in stop and go traffic it makes a significant difference. As to whether you need a 3/4 ton pickup to tow a 25' Airstream or if you can go with a properly equipped 1/2 ton - the debate on the forums is frequent and borders on the religious. Many use a 1/2 ton and are very happy. Many have switched to a 3/4 ton and say they would never go back.

I can't speak to other hybrids, but the HiHy's air conditioner is electric - I've driven at low speeds with the A/C on and the gas engine off. Heat is another story, it does require the engine to be running.

The CDI engine is fabulous and avoids many of the usual 'diesel' issues. But the 7500lb tow rating is right on the edge with the 25' Airstream's 7000-7500 GVWR (depending on configuration).

enjoy,
leo

PS - Sorry for the delay...Memorial weekend was spend airstreaming without wifi in Penn Dutch Country (with Moho parents and SOB cousins).
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Old 05-29-2007, 03:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster
The CDI engines produce a lot of torque with not much horsepower, a perfect recipe for great gas mileage.
FYI; DuraMax/Allison 360 hp-650 lb/ft. I haven't found myself short on hp or torque as of yet. I can't think of the right superlative for the Allison...amazing?...I don't know, every time I return from a trip I just can't believe how that things behaves under a load. It really does have a mind of it's own.
21 mpg unloaded.
15 mpg towing with full fresh tank, canoe up top, and bikes in the bed.

BTW Mjbear, it does have heated leather seats (the Wife insisted) and just about every other creature comfort one could imagine.

If you are towing a 25, IMHO you are right on the 3/4 ton edge. If you don't stray far from home a 1/2 ton might get by.

If you are towing a 27, or like to wander around, get the 3/4 ton. You won't regret it.

I am of the opinion, that the higher fuel cost climb, the quicker the payback on a diesel. But I use mine for tow duty, not commuting...
The Sprinter, like Lews, is also intriguing. If I were to buy a Moho/B I would get one no doubt. What a cool, efficient adventure vehicle. I don't believe it is up for towing a 27 though...

AS and DuraMax/Allison? Can't go wrong!

Bill
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Old 05-30-2007, 08:34 AM   #13
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Bill-Tex,

The 19 CCD is all I would tow with my current Sprinter. When I get an '08 with the greater tow capacity, I 'might' move up to a new 23 CCD with a max GVW of 6000lb, but nothing larger. I like to keep the trailer on the small size, and the 23 has all the room I'll ever need from an Airstream.

The bigger the trailer, the more 'stuff' you are apt to carry. I get along fine with the 19, but I really like the floor plan of the new 23. I keep most of my 'stuff' in the cavernous van anyway .
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