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Old 09-12-2007, 08:52 PM   #1
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Seek your advice: how important is Diesel?

My wife and I are buying a 25' Safari - our first TT. For a tow vehicle, we're considering:
1. a diesel truck, such as the Chevy Silverado 2500
or 2. a gas SUV, such as the Suburban

We have a budget of $25K-30K. We would use the vehicle only for towing the Safari - not as a "second car". We're planning trips of 500-2000 miles, about 6 times per year. A typical road would be the Blue Ridge Parkway - hilly, but not mountainous.

We prefer the comfort of an SUV. But, we've heard that a diesel engine is really the way to go (for safety and longevity). There seems to be only one diesel SUV - the Ford Expedition - and they're rare. We would appreciate hearing your advice. Thanks!

-Bruce
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Old 09-12-2007, 08:55 PM   #2
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Hi Bruce - Welcome to the Forums! I seem to recall the last year for diesels in Suburbans was 2006. Expys or 'Burbs -- you're on the used market which can be quite alright.

Trailer weights have increased significantly over the years. What year were you looking at for a 25'?
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Old 09-12-2007, 08:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by porterut
My wife and I are buying a 25' Safari - our first TT. For a tow vehicle, we're considering:
1. a diesel truck, such as the Chevy Silverado 2500
or 2. a gas SUV, such as the Suburban

We have a budget of $25K-30K. We would use the vehicle only for towing the Safari - not as a "second car". We're planning trips of 500-2000 miles, about 6 times per year. A typical road would be the Blue Ridge Parkway - hilly, but not mountainous.

We prefer the comfort of an SUV. But, we've heard that a diesel engine is really the way to go (for safety and longevity). There seems to be only one diesel SUV - the Ford Expedition - and they're rare. We would appreciate hearing your advice. Thanks!

-Bruce
Bruce, you can very comfortably tow your trailer with a Suburban half or 3/4 ton rated that has the 6.0l engine and at least a 3:73 rear end ratio.
If you want to have absolute power, but deal with a brutal pickup, or a very heavy Excursion, then the Diesel is the way to go.
A search on Diesel, or tow vehicles will reveal countless threads on this very subject.
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Old 09-12-2007, 09:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanoeStream
Hi Bruce - Welcome to the Forums! I seem to recall the last year for diesels in Suburbans was 2006. Expys or 'Burbs -- you're on the used market which can be quite alright.

Trailer weights have increased significantly over the years. What year were you looking at for a 25'?

Hi Bob,
The 25' Safari that we're buying is an '06.

-Bruce
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Old 09-12-2007, 09:10 PM   #5
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If you have the budget for that much, buy the diesel and you will not regret it as a tow vehicle. The Duramax has shown that it is a good puller and reliable. Late model 7.3 litre Ford Powerstrokes are reliable but watch out for early Ford 6 litre diesels which had a number of problems. The new 6.4 dual turbo Powerstroke may be the best yet.

The Suburban with 6 litre engine in the 2500 version and in 4.10 rear end ratio would pull the trailer without problems but I think you would be more comfortable with the pulling power in hilly terrain with the Chevy 2500hd diesel or the Ford F250 diesel. I love my '01 2500hd with 8.1 litre gas engine/Allison transmission but if I were in constant hilly terrain or occasional mountainous terrain then I would buy the same truck/transmission/rearend with the Duramax diesel.
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Old 09-12-2007, 09:12 PM   #6
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We love our Dodge Cummins diesel

and its as easier on the fuel consumption than the Jeep Cherokee I had before. It will pull anything I will ever need to pull.

we currently have a 1982 Excella 31' that weighs in at a little over 8k, I believe, and it follows us very nicely with the Dodge diesel. Plus it is a mega cab and has a bunch o room in the back seat.

2006 model and it was very close to your budget...2 wheel drive ( not desirable to others but fewer moving parts to break and/or maintain vs 4wd) end of model year. Right now they are offering lifetime warranty on drivetrain, and if you keep it a while, that might come in handy, too.

good luck with your decision.
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Old 09-12-2007, 11:31 PM   #7
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Both will do the job IMHO. I'd opt for the diesel because of the hills. Diesels really pull fantasticly. You want to go gas for the lower price and availibility of fuel. I don't think you can go wrong either way.

Wasn't that helpfull?
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Old 09-12-2007, 11:41 PM   #8
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Don't forget to look at the Ford 250 with the V-10 if you don't have enough budget for the diesel. The V-10 starting with the 3 valvue in 05 will pull nearly as well as the diesels. They have the HP to pull a 25 footed with ease in any condition. Diesels are the ultamate....but if you talk to the folks with the newer Ford V-10 you will be pleasantly surprised....and the fuel economy of the V-10 is really not all that bad if you don't push it real hard.

I read an article in a truck magazine that compared the 2007 gas and diesel motors from Ford, GM, And Dodge. As far as the gas motors are concerened the V10 outpulled the rest. And believe it or not was real close behind the diesels in accelleration with a load. My son has a new F-550 with the V-10 and he pulls and 24 foot work trailer behind it the weighs almost 15,000#. I was surprised how much power the V-10 has when pulling almost 25,000# gross.
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Old 09-13-2007, 03:13 AM   #9
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I like the diesels for fuel economy and longevity.
But Diesel fuel has a tendancy to rot and grow algea if it sits for to long, which might be a consideration if your only driving it 5 or 6 times a year.

One advantage Ive found with the pickups with a topper over the SUV, is you have a big toybox in the back for bicycles, blue tanks and ice chests, and anything else you dont want to dirty up the trailer with.

On the other hand, if someone where to give me a diesel Excursion, I probably wouldnt give it back
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Old 09-13-2007, 05:57 AM   #10
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Good morning Bruce-

We are on our third Tahoe and we love it! It pulls our Safari and the Tradewind with no problems and we have towed over 15K in just the past year! However, the next purchase will be a diesel pick up with a fullk cap. Several reasons; consistant power and gas mileage, a place to store the gen and extra gas without it being in the cockpit, let clutter and better organization and a place to put firewood when needed, plus it will last a loing time which is something I will have to get used to since I like getting a new truck every two years. So next truck will be a deisel full sized bed with crewcab.
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Old 09-13-2007, 06:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DFord79
Don't forget to look at the Ford 250 with the V-10 if you don't have enough budget for the diesel. The V-10 starting with the 3 valvue in 05 will pull nearly as well as the diesels.
The Excursion was also available with a V10. There is one listed in the forums classifieds as of the tiume I write this.
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Old 09-13-2007, 08:03 AM   #12
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We have a 2005 25' Safari that we have pulled about 20,000 miles in all conditions and terrain with a 2005 Suburban 2500 4x4x4 with the 6.0 liter gas engine. We have found this to be a very good TT/TV combination. That being said, we with probably replace the Sub with a Duramax puck-up unless GM sees fit to put the Duramax in the Suburban. It is rumored that this will happen. GM has not put a diesel in a Sub since around 1999.

Overall, you would probably be happier with a Duramax Pick-up. They are relatively easy to find on the late model used market, so there will be a good selection. 2500 Suburbans are like Hen's teeth, there aren't very many out there. Don't let anyone talk you into a 1500 Suburban. It will not do an adequate job, and you will be an unhappy camper.
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Old 09-13-2007, 08:34 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by porterut
The 25' Safari that we're buying is an '06.
I asked because 25 footers are much heavier now than 20 years ago. My '06 has nearly 1000 pounds tongue weight loaded for the road -- that really cuts into the payload capacity of a half ton. I'd recommend 3/4.

Quote:
Originally Posted by volvophile
I like the diesels for fuel economy and longevity.
But Diesel fuel has a tendancy to rot and grow algea if it sits for to long, which might be a consideration if your only driving it 5 or 6 times a year.

One advantage Ive found with the pickups with a topper over the SUV, is you have a big toybox in the back for bicycles, blue tanks and ice chests, and anything else you dont want to dirty up the trailer with.

On the other hand, if someone were to give me a diesel Excursion, I probably wouldnt give it back
Diesel doesn't do well just sitting in the tank. I know there are additives to prevent algae but a diesel works best if regularly used. Excellent post Cheech ... I mean Dave!

There are good replies in this thread about gas engined TVs and they would do the job well -- to the tune of 10mpg or so. I've got an '06 GMC diesel. Mileage suffered starting a couple years back as engines were modified to produce fewer emissions and take on the low sulfur fuels. I get about 14mpg -- not much advantage to get you past the premium price of diesel vehicles and the futziness over fuel that volvofile brought up.
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Old 09-13-2007, 08:55 AM   #14
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Diesel is the way to go

You should get a diesel powered supercab. Your in the heart of Texas where they are plentiful and not bad condition used. If your new to that type vehicle I am sure that you will be pleasantly suprised at the luxury and comfort in the high end types. Like most Texans, you may make it your daily ride too. Get a 3/4 (2500) ton. The bed gives you capabilities a SUV can't. You can always get a bed cap to close it in. I have had 'em all in the past 20 years. The Ford is more "truck" like and I liked it alot. My current Duramax is more 'Civilized" in its ride and feel. I like the motor (LBZ) and Allison combo better than the Ford. I just found a great Dodge 2500 HD crew cab, Diesel, which I really like too, for my brother. He came from Calif. to get it at a great price here in Texas. (He tows a Caravel.)

In any case this is a LOT of expensive capability to just have for six trips a year. Plan more trips.
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