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Old 03-06-2006, 12:39 PM   #15
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Still Pricey

Pamela-

If these are being offered by dealers, you need to be ready to offer 15% to 20% below asking price, and stick to your position, to point of getting in car and starting to drive away... Both the Denali and Yukon XL prices are really high in light of current gas issues.

Not sure where you're located or how much choice you have, but you should be able to find 2002 Suburban in range of $16K, with mileage below 50,000 and tow pkg. Those are readily available in Calif, without rust issues. We bought 2002 Excursion with V-8 and 4.10 axle, 44K miles for $17.5K, in otherwise perfect condition. Dealer asking price $20,995.

Be aware also that Kelley Blue Book prices set by dealers in private coffee meetings (not based on auctions or actual retail sales) and that there are several versions, depending on whether you plan to sell your car to dealer (prices low) or buy from dealer (prices inflated) and whether you are dealer (private copies) or public (copies sold in stores).

John McG
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Old 03-06-2006, 10:00 PM   #16
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Hey... I forgot to include the asking price. $19,000. We haven't negotiated yet... Pam
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Old 03-06-2006, 10:05 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Heywood
Is it a 1/2 or 3/4 ton (1500 or 2500?)
Steve asked a good question which I did not see answered yet. Is it a 1500 or a 2500?
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Old 03-07-2006, 12:25 AM   #18
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It is a 1500. Thank you all for helping me with this!
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Old 03-10-2006, 02:08 PM   #19
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XL vs Yukon?

Now I am trying to find something that is more reasonably priced...based on some of your comments. For my 25' trailer weighing 4290 dry, do I really have to have the extra length provided by an XL? I have located a 1999 Yukon with a new transmission, 5.7L Vortec V8, 4x4, 95,000 miles. The owner thought it might not be as good as an XL for my trailer (sounds like an honest fellow), but I am not sure. When I compared this to a Suburban on KBB it actually has a higher tow capacity. 7,000 vs 6,000 on a 1999 1500 Suburban. Now I am sooooo confused. Your thoughts? Pam
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Old 03-11-2006, 08:08 PM   #20
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Pam,
You will not be happy with the 5.7 liter in combination with the standard 3.73 rear axle.

Please look for something with a 6.0 liter, preferably in a full size Suburban or Yukon XL, vice the shorter Tahoe or Yukon. The 6.0 liter will give you enough power. The longer wheel base will offer safer more comfortable handling.

I have owned three Airstreams and three Suburbans and have dragged an Airstream back and forth across the U.S. three times. I know of what I speak.

Ken
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Old 03-11-2006, 09:09 PM   #21
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I agree with Ken. The longer Suburban or XL will give you a smoother, more comfortable and safer tow. The 6.0 litre engine is vastly improved over the 5.7 litre especially for towing. Just keep looking and do not get in a hurry.
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Old 03-11-2006, 09:28 PM   #22
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Thanks DavidZ71,
Pam,
Here's a verbatim tutorial I posted in response to a similiar question. Perhaps it will help in your decision. The bottomline: The the pre 2000 5.7 liter and the post 2000 5.3 liter Chevy or GMC Suburban or Tahoe with the 3.73 rear axle is inadequate, or barely adequate, for pulling a 25' Airstream. By the way, I would run like hell from that rebuilt transmission in a 1999.

From 1996 until May 2005, I kept looking for marginal improvements in towing while balancing

fuel consumption not towing.

1996: 1995 2-WD Surburban with pre-Vortec 5.7 liter (350 cu in), 3.73 rear end, pulling 1976 Airstream Safari 23'.
This wasn't a bad combination in coastal Carolina and the east coast where we lived at the time, but it didn't do well in the mountains of NM. (11 mpg towing and 17-18 mpg combined).
2001: 1999 4-WD Surburban with Vortec 5.7 liter, 3.73 rear end pulling 2000 Airstream Safari 27'.
The added power of the Vortec engine was offset by increased weight of 4-WD and larger trailer. Performance in mountains was marginal. Non-towing average MPG was lower than 1995 Suburban. (11 mpg towing and 15-17 combined)
2004: 2003 4-WD Z71 Suburban with Vortec 5.3 liter, 3.73 rear end pulling 2000 Airstream Safari 27'.
The advertised increase in horsepower of the 5.3 over the 5.7 is great for non-towing, interstate highway cruising; but a big disappointment for towing. The extra horsepower comes at higher RPMs and results in less torque and marginal towing performance on mountain grades.(12-14 mpg towing and 17 combined)
2005: 2005 4-WD Silverado 2500 HD with Durmax Diesel pulling a 1976 Sovereign 31. A towing machine, but not a very good vehicle for driving around town, so I bought a 2005 Pacifica for city driving.
What you need. I need 4-WD, but if you don't otherwise need 4-WD, stick with 2-WD. That gives you 500 pounds of additional towing capacity and improves your non-towing gas consumption by about 2MPG.
If you want a tow vehicle that must double as your non-towing, take the kids to soccer practice, family car; the 1500 Suburban 5.3 liter is a nice compromise vehicle if you can find one with a 4.10 rear end. If you want to optimize mountain towing, look for a 6.0 liter with 4.10 rear end. If you want a towing machine, and you care naught about MPG, get the 8.1 liter and the 3.73 rear end.
Bottom line... you will never be satisfied with 5.3 liter and the 3.73 in the mountains, but it's the most fuel efficient combo Chevy offers (12-14 mpg towing and 17-18 mpg combined maybe better with 2-WD and keeping your speed below 62 mph.
The 4.10 rear end behind the 5.3 will make you less unhappy, in the mountains and may be all you need. The 6.0 liter with a 4.10 will make your heart sing in the mountains, but make your heart will ache at the gas pump (11 mpg towing and 13-14 mpg combined).
Another option is to buy a beater car to drive around town, and buy a dedicated towing machine for your road trips.
Hope this helps.
Ken
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Old 03-11-2006, 10:51 PM   #23
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Well, I am totally confused now. I have read everything that has been posted that is related to towing... and asked for and received lots of help, yet I am still concerned that I will make a bad choice. I plan to use my vehicle for everyday use most of the time, and I don't have a lot of money to spend. I really appreciate that when I am towing I want to be safe....but I will not be towing much for the next 2 years. I have read posts from some who say they tow with a 5.7/3.73 with no difficulties....they just go slower and enjoy the ride. When I research the vehicles in my price range, I am looking at 1999 Yukon, Tahoe, and Suburban. I find that the Tahoe actually has a bigger towing capacity then the Suburban (6500/7000 vs 6500/6000 respectively) . I have been told that this is because the Suburban is heavier. The Yukon is 7000 capacity. I would like to buy a Tahoe, put in a tranny cooler and use my WD hitch. Would I really be completely screwed? Or would I just be looking for a bigger rig in 2 years. Again thank you for your indulgence...Pam
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Old 03-12-2006, 08:09 AM   #24
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This Yukon XL is a 2001 with 78,000 miles on it. It has leather, moon roof, roof rack... nice inside. The seller is going to add the trailer brake for me (it is prewired) and it has a tow/haul button. (Is that helpful?) Is this still too much money? KBB ranges from $16,600 to $22,000. I think it surely has enough tow power.... Your thoughts please! Pam
I just bought a 2002 Yukon Denali with 53,000 miles, in pristine condition. I paid $21,000 for it. I'm in Michigan, so don't how how car prices compare with where you live. I felt I got an exceptional deal. Just thought I'd give you some comparison info...

Darrell
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Old 03-12-2006, 02:36 PM   #25
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Thanks Darrell, that is helpful.... what are you towing? Pam
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Old 03-12-2006, 06:58 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by pamelake
Thanks Darrell, that is helpful.... what are you towing? Pam
Pam,

I am towing (well, will be next week- just bought it and picking it up) a 2004 19' Bambi. I know, small compared to most.
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Old 03-12-2006, 07:10 PM   #27
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Pamelake-

I needed a vehicle to specifically tow my 19' Bambi. I got a 2000 Suburban LS 4x4 5.3 Ltr. Vortec with a two pkg and about the same mileage as the Denali you write about and gave only $8,500.00 for it. I knew the previous owner and the vehicle history. It has leather and all the goodies but may not be as fancy as the Denali. In So. CA anyway, you would be able to throw the KBB and the NADA prices out the window. 10% - 20% back of wholesale book is what used large enough to tow an AS SUV is fetching. You will always get a better deal when you are not in a hurry and have time on your side.
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Old 03-13-2006, 07:54 PM   #28
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Forget the 6 Liter...

Pamela-

With proper respect for Ken and others, a 5.7L V-8 and 3.73 axle are entireley adequate to tow your lighter trailer and double as regular vehicle which you have to put gas into. A Tahoe or Yukon will tow slightly more weight, but the tradeoff is shorter wheelbase and more "concern" about swaying and control in wind/passing trucks etc. Anti-sway hitches will really help. Downside of long wheelbase is they're really hard to turn around or fit into a parking space. For the record, we towed a 5800# Nomad trailer behind a 1994 Chevy Suburban (5.7L pre-Vortec V-8 and 3.73 Axle rated by GM to tow 7200#) for 13 years and 45,000 miles, and towed 6500# Airstream Excella 25 for two years with same vehicle over 10,000 miles, including over Canadian and Wyoming/Utah Rockies and Sierra Nevada mountains and Siskayous... Couldn't always pull uphill at 55 or 60 on hot day, but learned to live with 45mph... Post above about paying less than $9K is important.. Dealer confirmed in Calif today large trucks/tow vehicles are ACTUALLY selling for 20% or more below Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds pricing, as people who used them to commute are panic selling. (Unleaded premium back over $3/gallon in several parts of CA this week..)

When you find one you like, prepare to make ridiculously low offer, and see what happens... We felt lucky to sell immaculate '94 Suburban, 66K miles, new Michelins, etc et etc for just under $5K, and it was still a heckuva tow vehicle.

John McG
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