Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-12-2009, 05:46 PM   #1
Rivet Master
 
funkill's Avatar

 
1973 27' Overlander
reno , NV
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,447
Images: 27
sorting through used truck advertisements

I have been hoping to find a new tow vehicle because I was advised that my 06 Nissan Xterra is less than optimal. I previously owned an 04 Armada and was looking to find another. However, in efforts of following my own statements about wanting to live a simpler life, I am looking at three vehicles that should suit my needs: 1999+ Suburban, Tahoe or Yukon. There seems to be many available locally (craigslist & autotrader) but I have no real idea how to "flush" out the right one. I know this forum has airstream inspectors and wish there was something similar for trucks! Anyone know of a resource like that to help me? Is there a way to hire someone to look through the listings and advise me? Is that what an auto broker is? My neighbor owns the local Honda/GMC dealership but, with the exception of an 06 suburban now on the lot, hasn't had a full-size SUV for months..... he's offered to find me something at the auction - but I don't really know if that's a good idea or not. Suggestions?
Laura
__________________

__________________
funkill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2009, 06:54 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
SteveH's Avatar
 
2005 39' Land Yacht 390 XL 396
Common Sense , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 5,311
The only suggestion I would have for you is to make sure whatever vehicle you decide on is factory equipped with the towing package, and not just a hitch. The towing package comes with heavy duty cooling and a lower rear end gear, both of which would be expensive to add after market.
__________________

__________________
SteveH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2009, 09:07 PM   #3
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!

The 1999 was an extended model year for Suburban/Tahoe/Yukon it began in the Spring of 1998 and ran the typical entire 1999 model year as well. My 1999 K2500 Suburban was custom ordered by my dealer in mid February 1998 and delivered to me on April 21, 1998. This elongated model year may very well account for the number available -- you likely won't find that many 1998s as that model year was cut short when the switch was made to 1999.

I also tow an Overlander, and if you are planning significant mountain travel, I would recommend holding out for a C2500 with the 7400 VORTEC V8. The two wheel drive C2500 Suburban (IMHO) is one of the best tow vehicle's out there -- roomy, quiet interior, with 7400 VORTEC it is capable of towing virtually any Airstream trailer made. This combination seems ideally matched to my Overlander -- it never really has to work hard so it has been mechanically trouble free in all but the area of the four wheel drive.

The four-wheel drive is the one option that I would steer clear of -- it is an expensive headache (I have had two GM trucks with four wheel drive and it has been a tremendous problem on both). With the Suburban, I opted for the Automatic Four Wheel Drive which did away with the manual transfer case that was the trouble point on my 1995 -- well -- one problem was traded for another that is even worse -- once every 15,000 miles the automatic transfer case electronic control module blows its control board ($750.00 for part) -- when this part blows if you are in four-wheel drive -- you are stuck in four wheel drive until it can be replaced. My '99 Suburban has 200,000 miles and this board has been replaced 10 times (by four different GMC or Chevrolet dealers) -- the last time (150,000 miles), I decided to never select four wheel drive again as I don't intend to ever replace that board again -- when it blows now (if it hasn't already) the truck will be stuck in two wheel drive high. I have had three four wheel drive tow vehicles, but if I buy another, it will be two wheel drive (I am seriously considering just replacing major components on this Suburban as they wear out since it has been such a wonderful vehicle excepting its four wheel drive electronics. All in all, in ten years with three different four wheel drive vehicles, I have only really needed it twice -- and it would have been easy enough to avoid the situations where it was needed (or just allow the club's tractor to assist in moving my rig). This past summer, I went anywhere that I wanted to go towing with my '75 Cadillac Eldorado -- 4,000 miles including Yellowstone, and Glacier National Parks -- and all of the fun scenic routes with steep grades and never a problem with just regular two wheel drive (in fact the Cadillac has front wheel drive which is not ideal for trailer towing).

Good luck with your investigation!

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 02-13-2009, 07:53 AM   #4
Rivet Master
 
funkill's Avatar

 
1973 27' Overlander
reno , NV
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,447
Images: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
The only suggestion I would have for you is to make sure whatever vehicle you decide on is factory equipped with the towing package, and not just a hitch. The towing package comes with heavy duty cooling and a lower rear end gear, both of which would be expensive to add after market.

I noticed that sometimes more than one gear ratio is available in a particular model. Twice I've asked the vehicle owner what rear end they have and they don't know .... Is there a way to find this info from the VIN?


Kevin ---- Thank you so much for all that info. Many of the 99's that I've found are 4x4 and, although I knew I didn't need it, wasn't aware of the particular deficiencies/troubles it could cause. I do not plan to do any mountain driving - at least in the foreseeable future - it's all pretty flat around here.
__________________
funkill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2009, 08:27 AM   #5
Rivet Master
 
easyride's Avatar
 
1977 27' Overlander
1973 27' Overlander
1963 19' Globetrotter
Naples , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,259
Images: 1
If the vehicle does not have a locking rearend,chock the front wheels,jack up one wheel,mark a mark on drive shaft.Put truck in neutral,turn wheel one rotation,counting # of rotations of the drive shaft,if it turns around 3 1/2 times you have 350 gears ,being a Chevy that would about 355 gears,4 and a little bit would be 411 gears.Hope this helps.Davee
__________________
easyride is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2009, 08:35 AM   #6
Rivet Master
 
mutcth's Avatar

 
2007 23' Safari SE
Central , Connecticut
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,632
Since you're not in a rush to find a tow vehicle, I'd try and get a 2000 or newer Suburban or Yukon. They were redesigned in that year and became considerably more refined.

If you trust your neighbor, and he isn't going to mark up the price too much, you could save a lot of money buying from the auction. I would assume his buyer knows what to look for - after all, they probably buy cars from there to resell.
__________________
mutcth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2009, 09:22 AM   #7
3 Rivet Member
 
genearnold's Avatar
 
1992 34' Limited
Grand Island , Nebraska
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 248
Laura,

You are fortunate to have the knowledgeable neighbor. If you don't have personal savvy about cars and trucks I'd accept his offer. If you spot something on your own, take it to a trusted mechanic and pay him to go over it and give you a written report on what he finds. No used vehicle is perfect, and I wouldn't be turned off by flaws, but would use my discoveries of needed repairs to negotiate the price. After its your's you can have needed repairs done at your leisure.

Gene
__________________
'92 Limited 34ft (now sold); '96 Dodge Cummins 4X2, 5speed
genearnold is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2009, 09:26 AM   #8
1972 Travelux Princess 25
 
Cobourg , Ontario
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,042
Did you try your Xterra? How did it work? If I recall previous threads, your Xterra was rated to tow your trailer? I thought you should be OK because you are smart, you tow in flat Florida and you don't go too fast or too far?

I still figure you should be OK but would like to know how you made out?
__________________
Living in the trailer park of sense, looking out the window at a tornado of stupidity.
Ganaraska is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2009, 10:22 AM   #9
Rivet Master
 
funkill's Avatar

 
1973 27' Overlander
reno , NV
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,447
Images: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ganaraska View Post
Did you try your Xterra? How did it work? If I recall previous threads, your Xterra was rated to tow your trailer? I thought you should be OK because you are smart, you tow in flat Florida and you don't go too fast or too far?

I still figure you should be OK but would like to know how you made out?
Towing with my Xterra *felt* just fine. I only anticipate towing in-state (i.e. FLAT) and don't exceed the speed limits. However, after posting my configuration on this site, I found that many experienced towers felt that I was taking undue safety risks. Because of these responses, I have refrained from entering the interstate or turnpike and keep it under 55 mph. I recall that the safety concerns were less due to the max tow capacity than to the short wheel base and high center of gravity. Oh - yes, I am extremely smart but have very, very little experience towing anything...
I have explained my concerns (raised here) to friends. All think I am insane and that there is no need for me to upgrade my tow vehicle. However, I want to be safe and don't feel 100% comfortable any longer. I will tow Opehlia with the Xterra to familiar spots (< 150 mi away) until I find my replacement - but I am very conscious of the risks, planning for off-peak times and dreadfully slow! Glad they are not single lane roadways!
__________________
funkill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2009, 10:52 AM   #10
Rivet Master
 
Diesel1's Avatar
 
1967 24' Tradewind
Wickenburg , Arizona
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 546
Have you wieghed your trailer,yourself, not what is published? What is your tongue weight? Your tongue needs to be about 10-12% of your trailer weight. If your trailer is properly balanced weight wise you will solve a lot of problems with towing. If your Nissan is working and the tow rating match the Airstream, the simpler way of life would be to carry on and not change. Do the needed work(weigh),plan your trips according to your limitations, and enjoy yourself. It is easy to get cought up in whatifs, and looking for perfection. As you go along in life(carefully) many answers will come. Remember to enjoy life! Adios, John
__________________
Diesel1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2009, 12:00 PM   #11
Rivet Master
 
SteveH's Avatar
 
2005 39' Land Yacht 390 XL 396
Common Sense , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 5,311
Quote:
noticed that sometimes more than one gear ratio is available in a particular model. Twice I've asked the vehicle owner what rear end they have and they don't know .... Is there a way to find this info from the VIN?
On GM vehicles there is an option list, in code, on the inside of the glove box, but you need to know the code. On some other makes, there is sometimes a tag on the differentail that tells the ratio.

If all else fails, do what "easyride" says, but he did forget the fact that the spider gears in the differentail will make the number of turns of the driveshaft double. i.e., if it's a 3.5:1, the driveshaft will turn 7 revolutions with one turn of the wheel with the other wheel locked. I find it easier to mark the shaft and the wheel, then turn the shaft the number of turns required to turn the wheel twice, with one wheel locked.
__________________
SteveH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2009, 04:24 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
funkill's Avatar

 
1973 27' Overlander
reno , NV
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,447
Images: 27
Well, it sounds like it will take some work to ID the rear end if the owner doesn't know ... maybe it'll be a way to weed out some of the availbe vehicles.

I guess it's time for a spreadsheet to be made ....

Thanks so much for all the info and suggestions. Much appreciated!
Laura
__________________
funkill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2009, 05:38 PM   #13
Moderator dude
 
Action's Avatar

 
1966 26' Overlander
Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,069
Images: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by funkill View Post
I've asked the vehicle owner what rear end they have and they don't know .... Is there a way to find this info from the VIN?
The axle ratio is seldom if ever part of the VIN. However one could find the axle code on the VIN tag that is attached to the driver's door jamb. Then you need to convert the axle code to an axle ratio. If you decide on a Ford product I can help you on that.

Most people that tow a trailer know the axle ratio of their TV. A famous quote "Ya got to know your limitations."

"A good man always knows his limitations TallonKarrde Clint Eastwood quotes


>>>>>>>>>>>Action
__________________
1966 Mercury Park Lane 4 DR Breezeway 410 4V, C-6, 2.80 - Streamless.
1966 Lincoln 4 door Convertible 462 4V 1971 Ford LTD Convertible 429 4V Phoenix ~ Yeah it's hot however it's a dry heat!
Action is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2009, 11:20 PM   #14
2 Rivet Member
 
mikmilr's Avatar
 
1964 24' Tradewind
Swoope , Virginia
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 41
axle ratio and vin

Yoy might ask your neighbor if his parts dept can get a ratio from a vin. When we call our local dealer for parts the first thing they ask for is the last 8 numbers of the vin. That makes me think that there is an extensive data base of original options that the manufacturers make available to the dealerships. This is only speculation but it won't hurt to ask.
__________________

__________________
mikmilr 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 05:26 AM.


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.