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Old 12-19-2011, 08:07 PM   #1
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1979 31' Excella 500
1973 25' Tradewind
Cinnaminson , New Jersey
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Pick up vs Suburban

Opinions Needed.
We have a '79 31' Excella and are in need of a TV. Are there any advantages of a Pick up or a Suburban or would it be just a matter of choice.

One consideration is we could put the Motorcycle in the bed of the Pick up (a 700# Yamaha 1100). Possibly needing to add stabilizer shocks or lift springs or whatever they are called.

Tom & Cindy

Tom Beitz
6760 PA Unit
Riverton, NJ
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:11 PM   #2
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We tow our 25FB with both a Suburban and a Silverado. Both tow the Airstream very well. The Suburban has a bunch of weather-proof storage. The Silverado has a whole bunch of outside carrying capacity.


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Old 12-19-2011, 08:12 PM   #3
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If you don't need the seating space. I would vote for the pickup. You can install air bags on the rear springs to help with the heavy load of the motorcycle. Air bags provide the ability to carry a heavier load without the ridged ride of helper springs. You can always add a shell (canopy) to the truck to make it almost a Suburban.
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:16 PM   #4
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In our house the CTS coupe is mine the TV is my wife's, so the decision was easy in favor of the Suburban. This is the third one we have owned and towed with; she loves it.
Mileage is deplorable but that is the trade off. We love ours, 2011 LT with bench second row seats.
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:20 PM   #5
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If you carry dogs, cats, kids or grandkids, my vote is the Suburban....our labs love our Suburban...each have their own seat And when our grangirls are with us, we have plenty of room.
Can't go wrong with either truck or 'burb.
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:02 PM   #6
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Pick up vs Suburban

Greetings Tom and Cindy!

The choice between a full-size sports utility and pickup is a personal choice (IMHO). I have had both . . . two full-sized sports utilities (1984 Jeep Grand Wagoneer <360 c.i. V8/3.90 differentials> and 1999 K2500 GMC Suburban <454 c.i. V8/4.10 differentials>) . . . . as well as one full-sized pickup (1995 Chevrolet K1500 Z71 Club Cab <350 c.i. V8/3.73 differentials>). Personally, the pickup was not for me . . . . it rode much rougher than either of my sports utilities, its fuel mileage when towing was worse than either of my sport utilities (a defecit of more than 2 MPG when compared to the Suburban), and the stiff suspension of the pickup beat up my Overlander and sped up the process of rear end separation and did its part to create a stress crack in the coach's door opening. I have only purchased one new vehicle that I kept for a shorter period of time than that pickup . . . . and that was a 1986 Ford Mustang GT Convertible that spent six days in the shop for every ten days that it was driven during my two plus years of ownership -- the pickup just barely made its third birthday before it was traded on a new 1999 GMC Suburban in April of 1998.

To me, my Suburban has been the ideal tow vehicle and it continues to provide good service even as it approaches 200,000 miles. The only issue with the Suburban has been its Lucas Electric Electronic Control Module for the Automatic Four Wheel Drive -- it fails every 12,000 to 15,000 miles and costs in excess of $750 to replace -- I quit replacing it several years ago as it wasn't worth the expense when I rarely used the four wheel drive more than once every two years. I also appreciate its 8-passenger capacity when attending conferences with my colleagues as it has become our favorite choice for car pooling in total comfort where we can enjoy discussing the events that we have attended.

Good luck with your research and investigation!

Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 12-20-2011, 02:56 AM   #7
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For my particular puposes a truck is better for several reasons:

1. We frequently use sandy campgrounds, and use a large carpet and mat ouside the trailer. This is often stowed away when wet and clogged with sand. I wouldn't want it in the back of a burb.

2, We carry a 32 gallon sewer tote in the bed of the truck. The tote is not a good travelling companion.

3.Three large fitted tool boxes, one across and two on the sides, give access to tools and kayaking equipment from outside the truck.

Of course, your choice will be determined by your particular needs. My listed reasons will be irrelevant to many.
Nick Crowhurst, Excella 25 1988, Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins Diesel. England in summer, USA in winter.
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Old 12-20-2011, 03:31 AM   #8
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I believe it is personal preference. We have a 1/2 ton 2007 Tundra and I would classify the ride as great- not rough at all. It is a double cab, so we can carry adults in the back seat with a surprising amount of room. When my wife and I go camping, we install the bed cap, and when I go by myself I take my Ducatti motorcycle (420 lbs). If you want to carry your 700 lb motor cycle safely, you will need at least a 3/4 ton truck. Your ride may not be so soft when your truck is not loaded. It is a tradeoff.
Realize that air shocks (half ton) do help the sag with a heavy load, but they do not change the carrying capacity of the TV. You will be over the load limit. You may need a good lawyer if you are involved in an accident.

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Old 12-20-2011, 05:27 AM   #9

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As Dan has noted....

Be aware of the payload capacity of whatever TV you decide on. The MC and tongue weight could very well exceed the rear axle weight rating.

We are very happy with the performance of our 06 3/4 Burb. It is equipped with the Auroride active suspension, (the 3/4's do not have rear A/bag's), which is a big improvement over our 95 3/4, especially when towing.

BIG plus.....we never want for interior storage space!!

AF #1

"Sticks & stones can break your bones...and hail will dent your Airstream"

So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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Old 12-20-2011, 05:47 AM   #10
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If you get a long bed crew cab F-250 or F-350 you can haul your motorcycle and pull the trailer and still have room for passengers and a cooler in the back. I have a Ford Excursion which is basically an F-250/350 with no bed at all like a suburban. We like it ok but if money was not an object I would have a long bed crew cab so I could haul motorcycles and the trailer. If you have no need for the bed space a suburban or van is fine. Actually, vans are good for hauling motorcycles but you are going to have to live with the smell of gas and all the dirt being inside the vehicle. In my opinion the girly trucks with the 4 door and the short bed are not worth having. You have a truck what won't haul anything and an SUV where all your stuff is in the weather.

The more kids you have the better an SUV starts to look. If there are just two of you then a truck starts to look better.


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