Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-14-2009, 06:38 AM   #15
Rivet Master
 
mutcth's Avatar

 
2007 23' Safari SE
Central , Connecticut
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,632
You know, a quick web search shows that a 2000 Suburban with the 5.3-liter will tow 8500 lbs with the (standard) 3.73 gearing. In other words, as long as you have the tow package with the needed coolers, etc, you might not have to worry about axle ratio so much.

I would also try and get one with the Stabilitrak stability control system - it was optional from 2003 on. That might shift the budget beyond the goals of "simplicity" though....
__________________

__________________
mutcth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2009, 07:17 AM   #16
1972 Travelux Princess 25
 
Cobourg , Ontario
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,042
Yes if you phone a GM dealer and give them the vin they can look up the axle ratio and other info on the vehicle.
__________________

__________________
Living in the trailer park of sense, looking out the window at a tornado of stupidity.
Ganaraska is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2009, 07:27 AM   #17
Rivet Master
 
funkill's Avatar

 
1973 27' Overlander
reno , NV
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,447
Images: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mutcth View Post
You know, a quick web search shows that a 2000 Suburban with the 5.3-liter will tow 8500 lbs with the (standard) 3.73 gearing. In other words, as long as you have the tow package with the needed coolers, etc, you might not have to worry about axle ratio so much.

I would also try and get one with the Stabilitrak stability control system - it was optional from 2003 on. That might shift the budget beyond the goals of "simplicity" though....

I was thinking there is only a transmission coooler -- but should I look for a seperate oil cooler too - or is that the same thing?
Laura
__________________
funkill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2009, 06:12 PM   #18
Rivet Master
 
mutcth's Avatar

 
2007 23' Safari SE
Central , Connecticut
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,632
I think it's only a transmission cooler in this case, but I'm sure one of the Suburban owners here could confirm. The tow pack would also include the needed wiring and a hitch. Not that this stuff couldn't be added from the aftermarket....
__________________
mutcth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2009, 08:35 PM   #19
Moderator Emeritus
 
overlander64's Avatar
 
1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 5,396
Images: 183
Send a message via Yahoo to overlander64
sorting through used truck advertisements

Greetings Laura!

Quote:
Originally Posted by funkill View Post
I was thinking there is only a transmission coooler -- but should I look for a seperate oil cooler too - or is that the same thing?
Laura
My understanding with the 1999 and earlier Suburbans is that the 1500 series included only the auxiliary transmission fluid cooler while the 2500 series included both the auxiliary transmission fluid and motor oil coolers (with additional electric fans to increase air movement). The trailer light harness was an accessory that had to be purchased from the dealer and just plugged into the existing wiring harness and was then connected to the Bargman 7-pole -- on my Suburban, an extra wire had to be run for the backup lights as well as for the brake controller. The receiver hitch was part of the package, but has gained the reputation of being rather poorly constructed -- my dealer inspects mine annually and retorques the attaching hardware and it is still going strong.

My understanding is that GM continued with the trailer tow package differentiation between the 1500 and 2500 series Suburbans after 1999, but I do not have the personal experience to verify that information. I also am not certain about the point at which the trailer connector became a part of the factory package rather than something the customer had to add.

Good luck with your search!

Kevin
__________________
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)
overlander64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2009, 10:59 PM   #20
Rivet Master
 
hampstead38's Avatar
 
1967 26' Overlander
Upperco , Maryland
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,087
Blog Entries: 22
Laura,

A transmission cooler is really a heat exchange system. The goal of circulating the transmission fluid through a cooling system (often integrated in the truck's radiator) is to transfer heat away from the transmission. An oil cooler serves essentially the same purpose for the engine. Should have you have both (OEM or aftermarket)? I strongly recommend them. One of the advantages of "coolers" is that they increase the fluid capacity of the system. All other things be held equal, larger quantity of fluid stay cooler and suspend more particulates.

I think a tow vehicle should have three temperature gauges... engine oil, transmission fluid and rear differential temperature. If you are concerned about differential temperatures (as are many Titan owners), you can install an aftermarket finned aluminum cover that increases fluid capacity and generally sheds heat better than the OEM steel cover. Many folks also recommend using the highest quality synthetic lubricants (which tend to break down less under temperature).

There are tons of aftermarket improvements for popular vehicles. The Suburban is no exception. We owned a Suburban for years, though it was primarily my wife's daily driver. I never took a shine to it. It was heavy, the suspension felt spongy to me and I didn't like the steering. The Suburban had a wicked blind spot, though I'm probably just spoiled by my truck.

If memory serves, the dry weight of your coach is around 4600 pounds. Even if you add another thousand in fluids, dry goods, etc., I would imagine the Suburban would pull it right down the road. If you were planning some "heavy duty" use, pulling long grades out west, going up the Al-Can highway, you might want to look into aftermarket improvements. Otherwise, it sounds like you'll do fine.
hampstead38 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2009, 07:34 AM   #21
Vintage Kin
 
slowmover's Avatar
 
Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 7,603
Images: 1
I'd want more motor than a 5.3. And, a limited-slip rear axle plus towing package (HD engine cooling, trans cooler [I would add P/S cooler and filters to both that and A/T]); a Suburban with 6.0 was what the PO of my trailer used, and, were I to replace my truck, it's what I'd look for to pull my 8000#-GVWR coach.

As to sloppy handling, a truck is ALWAYS a poor-handling vehicle. Anyone who drives them like a car is being foolish. A good upgrade is to replace the anti-roll bar bushings with polyurethane, and to replace shock absorbers with either KONI or BILSTEIN. You can also look at steering stabilizers (if they'll fit), I like the way the retrofits I've done have helped with dead-on-center steering (also, alignment can be checked on return-to-center; and the brave can adjust the play in the steering box).

The low speed ride can suffer a little, but the highway driving is much better. GM tunes their suspensions too softly, and for towing this should be improved. Get the best tires as well, it's about impossible to beat MICHELIN. My sisters Sub is now on it's second set of LTX M/S at 180,000 miles with plenty to go, and my DODGE truck didn't get new ones (LTX A/S) until 120,000 miles.
__________________
1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 9-cpm solo, 15-cpm towing
Sold: Silver Streak Model 3411
slowmover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2009, 07:44 AM   #22
New Member
 
1977 31' Sovereign
Westlake , Louisiana
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1
Have you considered an f-250 diesel with a crew cab? I have 2001 that is also 4x4. It'll tow anything. It pulls the old 31' soveriegn I have like little red wagon. I catch myself looking in the rearview mirror at times to make sure it's still attached. Being the father of seven boys I had to buy a suburban to tote them with the wife and I. The suburban's lower gas milage caused me to cringe many times as I filled her up and was much less when towing. The diesel's milage remained basically the same and has towing capacity left over. The lower gears in the truck helped a whole lot descending the steep grades of the mountain ranges during a cross country vacation, beginning in Louisiana and ending on the beautiful Oregon coast. Very seldom did I have to touch the brakes to maintain a constant speed going downhill. Compaing the two vehicles to one another is akin comparing apples to oranges. I'll recommend the truck to anyone. The truck's large cab seats six adults in comfort, for long periods of time.
__________________
Bayou Writer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2009, 07:50 AM   #23
1 Rivet Short
 
1989 25' Excella
By The Bay , Rhode Island
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,547
Images: 3
Hey Folks, yes many of us like HD trucks...but keep in mind; the OP's AS weighs in at 4600#...a stock 1/2 ton Suburban, with 3:73 or 4:10's, is a perfect match for this.

Bill
__________________
*Life is Good-Camping all around the Continent*
*Good people drink good beer-Hunter S Thompson*
BillTex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2009, 08:07 AM   #24
Rivet Master
 
Crusty's Avatar
 
1992 34' Excella
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 562
Images: 10
You might also take a look at Ford Excursions - the selling price of them has fallen way below their true value (IMHO). You don't need to go for diesel either - the V10 gas engines tow really well.
__________________
Crusty
"If you come to a fork in the road, take it."
Austin, TX "Rancho Deluxe"
Crusty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2009, 10:00 AM   #25
Rivet Master
 
hampstead38's Avatar
 
1967 26' Overlander
Upperco , Maryland
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,087
Blog Entries: 22
I'm with BillTex. I think the 5.3 is plenty for a 4600 pound coach. Now, I don't know Laura, but it doesn't sound like she needs to pull her coach at 65+ mph over 10%+ grades. A solid 1/2 Chevy Suburban should be a very competent tow vehicle for routine conditions.

As for truck handling, I've driven pickups from every decade between the 50s and today. My Titan handles quite a bit better than some of the old beasts I've driven that lacked IFS, had power steering by "arm strong", etc. Today's pickup drivers are spoiled compared to the days of old.
hampstead38 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2009, 01:10 PM   #26
Rivet Master
 
funkill's Avatar

 
1973 27' Overlander
reno , NV
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,447
Images: 27
Thank you all for the information. I love reading the various options for me and want to make a wise choice with my purchase. I phoned my dealer neighbor and gave him an idea of what I am wanting now and he will be checking the auction Monday & Tuesday. I have not weighed my trailer as I haven't wanted to venture onto the interstate with the set-up that I now have.... and my hope with my new TV is to be able to use the interstate without concern for safety. And yes, my intents are still to remain in the state and travel mostly within a 150-200 mile radius of my home on a monthly basis. Because of several reasons, this will need to be my sole vehicle and I need to have the interior space afforded by a SUV (vs open truck).

Hopefully I have a few choices by mid week. Though my father did find a 2005 diesel Excursion.... but I really do feel that it is too big a vehicle for me. Lots of stuff that I truly don't need and the price is still out of my intended range.
__________________
funkill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2009, 01:49 PM   #27
3 Rivet Member
 
1969 31' Sovereign
atlanta , Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 110
Images: 6
Hey Laura,

All the information can be daunting at first - you'll assimilate faster then you think. I have had 2 3/4 ton suburbans and now tow with an f350 crew - (only b/c I am doing a vegiie oil conversion) - The car like properties of the suburban are actually quite nice, the interior space is also outstanding and specifically to your point, the towing safety and security is great. One option you may consider is getting a used 2500 (3/4 ton) and keeping your Xterra - you can find them in good condition for less than $3K.

Also - you can tell a lot by looking at a car and going through various checklists, but you can get a good sense of the life a car has had by making an assessment of the owner. Think about it for a minute and you can geta sense of the validity of that statement.
__________________
Atlanta, GA + Steamboat, CO
1969 31' Sovereign
http://www.klendesign.com
nunya001 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2009, 02:27 PM   #28
Rivet Master
 
funkill's Avatar

 
1973 27' Overlander
reno , NV
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,447
Images: 27
what do you think of this vehicle?

After reading all the (combined) advice, I was looking for a 2000-2003 truck. But, I happened to come across this - 1999 Suburban, 120K miles and just under $5000. It seems like it might be a good vehicle.

I would really appreciate any input you might have on my *find*. It's about a 2 hour drive (one way) to it .... I did call to confirm it has a factory tow package and three other of my wants: bench style second row seating, leather (tired of trying to clean pet hair/accidents from fabric), and barn-style rear doors!!!

Cars For Sale: Car Details - AutoTrader.com

Thanks for any advise you might have on this truck! Laura
__________________

__________________
funkill is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Sorting out Argosy 20' years and models mutcth All Argosy Trailers 15 08-22-2008 07:11 PM
Too much truck? gowyn Tow Vehicles 23 08-19-2007 09:34 PM
You can never have to much truck.... wasafari Tow Vehicles 7 06-14-2007 12:27 PM
Content Link Advertisements??? dscluchfc Forum Admin, News and Member Account Info 1 05-14-2007 12:10 AM
Vintage Airstream Advertisements Safari Tim Airstream "In the News" 4 11-15-2003 09:42 AM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:29 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.