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Old 04-10-2007, 08:33 AM   #1
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Question suburban 2500 LT and 28' int ccd

hello everyone

virgin poster here and soon to be airstream owner ,,,i am in the process of purchasing a used 28' international ccd 2005 and have been pouring over these forums for advice regarding a tow vehicle,,,,,,,i have my eye on a used 2005 chevy suburban 2500 LT 4x4.....the specs list it as having the heavy duty tow package......8 cyl 8100L.....is this ok for the airtsream.,...i know a lot of you think the pickups are the way to go but i feel i can make more overall use with a SUV....this one seems to have the power you guys all feel a 28' should warrant having as its TV...please your thoughts on this are needed and apreciated,,,i am taking posession of the AS in 2 weeks so i need to make up my mind fast!

thanks all
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Old 04-10-2007, 08:45 AM   #2
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Hello cchapman and welcome to the Forums! I'd say (and I did) that's a real good combination for a 28-footer. There's nothing sacred about pickup trucks. Finding a large SUV with 3/4-ton capacity ratings is just getting harder all the time. Looks like you found one. Enjoy the adventure! ...and send pictures please.
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:13 AM   #3
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Welcome chapman-you got lucky-you found a 8.1l (no longer sold)! You'll be stylin' with that setup...good luck and happy streamin
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:25 AM   #4
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the 'superburban' 8.1L 2500 LT will tow, *very* adequately, any A/S on the road
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:48 AM   #5
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I have a 93 Burb-454ci, 32' 86 Excella gvwr 8300lb. Works for me! Only thing I did to the TV was add tranny temp gauge and removed the rear 2 seats. That really opens up the inside BIG time and the seats removed weighed 185 lbs. Unles you have kids! I've had pick ups also , the burb is nice as I no longer need a PU to haul other things around.
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:51 AM   #6
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The Suburban you are describing is a match to mine. In my opinion, it is a perfect mix of a family hauler and trailer puller. Mine, with the 4:10 rear end, is rated for 12,000 lbs. Far more than what I pull, but nice to have the extra power. My previous Suburban was a 1500 and was a good truck for towing. However when I moved up to the 2500 with the 8.1, it was almost like night and day. The 2500 made towing so much more comfortable. Last summer we did a 5,000 mile trip to Banff, Jasper, Glacier, and Yellowstone. It performed great in the mountains – I didn’t have to go into the slow lane and turn on my flashers going up the hills!

Now the few negatives:

The 8.1 drinks gas. While towing, it gets about 9 MPG. In the city it gets 9 MPG. My best on the highway (two weeks ago heading to Colorado) has been 13 MPG. Every time I think about the poor gas mileage I remind myself of what a great tow vehicle it is. I use it mostly travel/towing or the weekend hauling of children, so the gas mileage hasn’t been too much of an issue.

My 8.1 also drinks oil (since it was new. It now has 30k miles). One quart every 1,000 mile or 100 hours on the meter. I went through the GM oil consumption test and they claim that this is “within design parameters”. Three dealers have told me that this is “normal” (including a wonderful dealer in Alberta, Canada). A letter to the head of GM Powertrain regarding this issue has gone unanswered.

Rick

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Old 04-10-2007, 10:21 AM   #7
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Welcome to the forum. As a new owner you will gleen a wealth of information here.

I have a 96 454 with towing package and it is perfect for our 27 FB. I would like to get a new TV but GM, in their eternal wisdom, doesn't offer a 2500 model yet. If your burb has the Allison tranny, you are golden for any trailer AS makes.
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Old 04-10-2007, 10:45 AM   #8
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I pull our 2005 25' Safari with our 2005 Suburban 2500 4x4x4 (4wd/Quadrasteer). Our Suburban has the 6.0 L and 3.73 rear, and tows very well in all situations. An '05 Sub with the 8.1 L should be very much into the comfort zone of pulling a 28' Airstream. If the Sub that you're looking at has AutoRide (self leveling) that will make it even better.
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Old 04-10-2007, 11:05 AM   #9
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Buy It Now

As the others have said, a great combination for a TV. Better buy it now before someone else does.
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Old 04-10-2007, 11:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Gillis
The 8.1 drinks gas. While towing, it gets about 9 MPG. In the city it gets 9 MPG. My best on the highway (two weeks ago heading to Colorado) has been 13 MPG. Every time I think about the poor gas mileage I remind myself of what a great tow vehicle it is. I use it mostly travel/towing or the weekend hauling of children, so the gas mileage hasn’t been too much of an issue.
I don't think this is too far off what is expected. The V-10 Fords have similar issues of fuel consumption. I used to have a Nissan Titan with a 5.6L and it got near to this combination of mileage you report for the 8.1 -- 9 mpg towing, 11 mpg city with a very gentle right foot, 14 mpg highway. In the Titan's case I believe it is a product of gearing the 5-speed tranny for maximum pulling power (claimed equivalent of a 4.10 rear end). Of course the Titan has payload capacity problems and almost has to be empty to pull a new Airstream over 23'!

I now have a 2006 Duramax-Allison GMC 2500 truck. For the cost and inconveniences of managing a diesel, I must add that diesel mileage isn't what it used to be as they engineer toward lower sulphur fuels.
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Old 04-10-2007, 11:49 AM   #11
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I'll be great. You'll have no problems towing a 28 with that setup.

As Rick indicated, there are downsides to the 8.1l, but it's the last of the breed (and 8.1L and a Suburban). A 6.0L may get slightly better MPG, and not burn oil, but it's not all that much better MPG than the 8.1L. If for some odd reason you ever decide to go to a 30' or larger, the 8.1L will be an even better solution than it is for the 28'. With the 28' a 6.0L would do the job, with 4.10s even better, and the 3.73s that are typically found are pretty darn good too.

I have a 2004 2500 Burb w/ 6.0L and 4.10s towing a 25 footer and love it!
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Old 04-10-2007, 12:10 PM   #12
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GM announced back in August 06 that after 2009 they will start putting diesels in the SUVs. It will be a new diesel that will also go into the 1/2 ton pick ups. I think this is the reason that the 8.1 has been dropped.

What a nice TV that will be. A new generation diesel in a 3/4 ton Suburban. Great mileage and power. We can only dream.
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Old 04-11-2007, 11:29 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Gillis

My 8.1 also drinks oil (since it was new. It now has 30k miles). One quart every 1,000 mile or 100 hours on the meter. I went through the GM oil consumption test and they claim that this is “within design parameters”. Three dealers have told me that this is “normal” (including a wonderful dealer in Alberta, Canada). A letter to the head of GM Powertrain regarding this issue has gone unanswered.

Rick
this is my rig also (8.1L 2500 LT 4X4).. i just bought it used, with 19,000 miles, from a dealership who 'GM Certified' it.
i've had it for about a month now (about 1000 city miles, no-towing involved), and i've noticed the same oil consumption. IMO, this is totally unacceptable. I've owned about eight cars in my life, ranging from new to 145,000 miles, and i've never had any of them burn ANY oil- not a drop! sounds like you've done some work on this issue- is there any more info you can give me before i go to the GM dealer service with guns 'ablazin?!
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Old 04-11-2007, 11:43 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finalcutjoe
this is my rig also (8.1L 2500 LT 4X4).. i just bought it used, with 19,000 miles, from a dealership who 'GM Certified' it.
i've had it for about a month now (about 1000 city miles, no-towing involved), and i've noticed the same oil consumption. IMO, this is totally unacceptable. I've owned about eight cars in my life, ranging from new to 145,000 miles, and i've never had any of them burn ANY oil- not a drop! sounds like you've done some work on this issue- is there any more info you can give me before i go to the GM dealer service with guns 'ablazin?!
Sorry to tell you this, but GM will tell you that this is "normal" In fact I think that is one reason the hour meter was installed. They (GM) has some formula on when to add oil according to hours of use
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