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Old 04-05-2016, 08:14 PM   #1
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1972 27' Overlander
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Looking at a Chevy 1500 and 2500 suburban

Hi there i bought a 1972 airstream overlander and I am wanting to know if a 2005 Chevy suburban will tow this baby ok. I have the opritunity to buy a 1500 or a 2500 with a 6.0 with 4:10 rear end. I'd like to have the 1500 because the gas mileage is better when I'm not towing but I don't want to buy a car that can't haul the trailer. I'm not planning to take real long trips 4 hrs each way max. Thanks
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Old 04-05-2016, 08:24 PM   #2
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Hi there. A quick search on Google doesn't qualify me as an expert - but your 27' 1972 Overlander comes in under 5000# and depending on configuration a 2005 Chevy 1500 Suburban can tow 7500-7900#. I'd guess if set up properly (towing package, breaks, extra cooling capacity, etc) the 1500 will serve you well. Don't know how much payload you'd have - figure 500-750# on the hitch - subtract that from the payload on the sticker and that's what you can carry with people, pets and toys.

Happy camping!
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Old 04-05-2016, 09:02 PM   #3
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

We have towed all of our Arstream with two 2500 Suburbans. They work just fine for 25FB's that weigh-in at 7,400#.

Our Suburban 2500's were a 2004 and a 2005. We still have the 2005.

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Old 04-05-2016, 09:34 PM   #4
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We're a two Burb crew too.....

First was a 95 7.4 2500

Second...'06 8.1 2500

I would go with the.....

“Its better to have what you don't need when you need it, than not to have it when you don’t.”
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You never know how big the next AS will be..

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Old 04-06-2016, 04:22 AM   #5
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I tow my 72 Overlander with an 03 Tahoe Z71 and it pulls just fine


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Old 04-06-2016, 10:02 AM   #6
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Pulling a trailer is not all that difficult for a lot trucks small and large.

STOPPING the truck/trailer combination and CONTROLLING of the trailer in an emergency situation is a whole nother issue!

My suggestion is to focus on the later and find a vehicle that YOU are comfortable with stopping and controlling your "Rig" in an emergency situation!
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Old 04-06-2016, 10:10 AM   #7
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Look up an "Air Hitch" additionally, Hensley or ProPride hitch (anti-away and WD).

I wouldn't get a vehicle without "tow package".. There are special and specific upgrades this provides without the need to go "aftermarket".
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Old 04-06-2016, 12:10 PM   #8
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I have both a 1500 5.7 liter (350 cu.in.) Suburban and a 2500 8.1 liter (496 cu.in.) Yukon XL. I use both to tow; both have the factory tow *package* (more than just a receiver/hitch and electricals plug are involved). Both tow, and stop, my 26' AS just fine. That said, the big-engined 3/4 ton Yukon is noticeably better, MUCH MUCH better in both pulling the uphills and in coming to a stop in a significantly shorter distance than does the 1/2 ton Suburban. Counterintuitively (at least to me, at first) my towing gas mileage is consistently better by 2 to 3 mpg in the 8.1 equipped Yukon than w/ the 5.7 equipped Suburban; my surmise is that this is because the 8.1 engine "labors less" than the 350 when towing. Were it me shopping for a replacement TV, and I could only have one TV, there's no question in my mind that I'll ALWAYS go for the one with the biggest (gasoline) engine Suburban type with the largest weight capacity suspension. YMMV.
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Old 04-06-2016, 12:15 PM   #9
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I did a lot of analysis, data gathering, and soul searching and made the decision to go with a 2500 pickup (with bed cover) rather than the 1500. The issue is that by the time you load up the Suburban with people and gear, then get a good hitch and add the trailer tongue weight, you are pushing the limits of the 1500. It is then possible to get into situations where the additional power and weight of the 3/4 ton vehicle could make the difference between a scary near-miss and a loss of control or an accident. Add up your full cargo and passenger weight on a long trip (worst case it) and then add on the heavy-duty hitch and tongue weight. Odds are that you will cross the half-ton line, which is the definition of a "half-ton" or "1500."

Yes the gas mileage is going to decrease with the heavier vehicle, but having the vehicle that is actually designed to pull and carry the weight rather than the one that simply has payload barely under the maximum capacity will make for a MUCH more comfortable long trip.

I have pulled with a half ton pickup and with our current 3/4 ton diesel. There is a world of difference in the experience and it is all in favor of the 3/4 ton.
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Old 04-06-2016, 01:06 PM   #10
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Smile Towing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mberg130 View Post
Hi there i bought a 1972 airstream overlander and I am wanting to know if a 2005 Chevy suburban will tow this baby ok. I have the opritunity to buy a 1500 or a 2500 with a 6.0 with 4:10 rear end. I'd like to have the 1500 because the gas mileage is better when I'm not towing but I don't want to buy a car that can't haul the trailer. I'm not planning to take real long trips 4 hrs each way max. Thanks
I would def. buy 2500 w/6.0 eng. but would change rear to 3.73 as this ratio has more power than you will ever use. The 4.10 will cost fortune in fuel costs, if towing or solo. Savings of gas will pay for change to 3.73 gears also you maybe able to find used rear gears for good price, also look for one that is limited slip.
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Old 04-06-2016, 01:25 PM   #11
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4:10 > 3:73 + 4wd + 2 diff's =$$$$$

Put taller tires on it when needed and go for it....don't forget to re-program the PCM

Bob
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Old 04-06-2016, 02:06 PM   #12
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2003 Suburban 2500 - gas mileage 12 mpg - and that was eggshell driving. When towing 9 to 11 mpg obeying the speed limit.

2013 GMC Diesel 2500 - fuel mileage 13 while towing, 15.5 in town, 19 on a long trip with an uphill grade - whoooooooo-hoo!

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Old 04-06-2016, 02:17 PM   #13
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Towing with 2005 1500 Suburban

Well, as luck would have it that is exactly what we tow with, down to the year. We have the complete tow package. However, we don't tow an Airstream (maybe someday). The trailer we tow is I believe 3500 pounds with full propane tanks but no batteries or hitch. I figure once we are loaded up we are easily at 4500 lbs and more if we are carrying any fresh water.

I checked the payload for four adults and loaded up I think we are maybe a 100 lbs under max payload.

Also, we just pulled the trailer over two 8% grade mountain passes (8% up and down), max elevation 5000 ft, with the Suburban.

It made it up OK, not great. We dropped to 35 mpg a couple of times and the rpms were up to 5000 a few times. The good news is that the temperature gauge did not budge. We got better at managing the gears on the second pass, but still dropped to 35 a couple of times.

Here's the real difficulty. Even with trailer brakes, I don't think our brakes are up to the job. We started pulling over every time we dropped 1000 feet to let the brakes cool. Both Suburban and trailer brakes were extremely hot a couple of times (before we started stopping every thousand vertical feet). I was afraid we would warp the rotors, but we didn't. I used the currently recommended pulse (snub?) method of braking. I'm looking at the blister I got on the end of my finger from touching the rotor.

We were careful because we have had the Suburban brakes fade on us coming down other mountain passes, even without a trailer.

I think it was on this site that I read that you can upgrade your brakes and rotors. If you go with the 1500 you should do that. I assume 2500 has better brakes, but I don't know that for sure. I'm thinking about upgrading our brakes, but I don't want to do a lot of work on a vehicle that we might not have much longer. It's got a fair amount of miles.

Anyway, just my 2 cents. In general, I love the Suburban. It's a workhorse and very reliable. Hope it helps.
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Old 04-06-2016, 02:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mberg130 View Post
Hi there i bought a 1972 airstream overlander and I am wanting to know if a 2005 Chevy suburban will tow this baby ok. I have the opritunity to buy a 1500 or a 2500 with a 6.0 with 4:10 rear end. I'd like to have the 1500 because the gas mileage is better when I'm not towing but I don't want to buy a car that can't haul the trailer. I'm not planning to take real long trips 4 hrs each way max. Thanks
Hello Mberg

I tow with a 2004 Suburban 2500 and like it. I have a 30' trailer.

The differences between the 1500 and 2500 are pervasive, different suspension, transmission, brakes, wheels, tires, rear axle.

I don't know why you would buy the 1500 if you intend to tow and a 2500 is available. Look at the real difference in fuel economy and how much you'll spend in fuel over the years you intend to own it and compare that to, say, the cost of a transmission replacement and see how it pencils out.

I have the 4.10 gears and the 4L85e transmission, and as far as I can tell, the transmission has never been overhauled in 165,000 miles despite the fact that the 'burb was run so hard that the trailer hitch had cracked welds when I bought it. I wouldn't expect that sort of service from the much lighter 4L60e they put in the 1500.
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