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Old 12-19-2007, 03:05 PM   #1
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Suburban 3/4 Ton vs. Expedition EL

I am new to this forum and trailering in general, so please forgive me if this question has been asked many times before or if I am missing something. The 1/2 Ton Expedition EL is rated for towing 9000 lbs. (131" wheelbase) and the 3/4 Ton Suburban is 9600 lbs. (130" wb). The 3/4 Suburban is a good bit more money and I've heard the ride quality is not as good as a 1/2 ton. How is the Expedition tow rating so close to the 3/4 ton Suburban? I am considering a 2008 25 FB Classic or Sahara. Will the Expedition EL tow these OK?
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Old 12-19-2007, 03:16 PM   #2
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The difference is primarily in the amount of cargo you can carry.
Add up the tongue weight of the loaded trailer, the truck with people and gear, then look at the GVWR of the SUV you are interested in.

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Old 12-19-2007, 04:01 PM   #3
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We tow our 25' Safari with a 2005 Suburban 2500, and also with our 2004 Tahoe 1500. It's like night and day. The 2500 is great and the 1500 is just OK.

Just remember that a half anything has passenger car brakes and suspension. A half ton is a heavy duty car and a 3/4 ton is a truck.

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Old 12-19-2007, 04:58 PM   #4
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Suburban or what?

Suburban - Suburban - Suburban. only been that way for 60+ years
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Old 12-19-2007, 06:38 PM   #5
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We are asking ousevles that very question.
I am looking at GMs tow ratings for a 1/2 ton Suburban with the 5.3 liter and 3:73 and its rated at 7100lbs, with the 4:10 the rating is 8100lbs.
If you go with the 6.0 in the 1/2 ton, the rating goes up to 8200lbs with 4:10 rear gears.

If you get the 3/4 ton, the numbers are as you stated.
The Ford has a 5.4 liter engine with a 4:10 as an option. I too, don't understand why the big difference in manufacture tow ratings.

Also, don't foget about the GCWR of these tow rigs. Thats the combined weight rating. (Truck and trailer)

The only thing we can ask for are real world performance experiences, keep in mind people have different opinions about what is good for them. In other words, some might say the Burb pulls great and others might say, it doesn't have enough power. I'm glad you brought this up because as I said earlier, we are looking for a new Suburban as well. Good luck
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Old 12-19-2007, 08:12 PM   #6
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3/4 ton vs 1/2 ton

I went through the same decision process trying to decide what to buy to pull a 25 ft. Sovereign. In the end, I decided the 3/4 ton Suburban was the way to go, and I have not been disappointed. Bear in mind that axle ratio is also a factor in tow rating.

My combination weight (GCW) is about 13,000 lb (measured on a typical trip with the fresh water tank full and the usual gear in the Suburban). This gives me a margin of 1,000 lb on the GCW rating.
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Old 12-19-2007, 08:30 PM   #7
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"Just remember that a half anything has passenger car brakes and suspension. A half ton is a heavy duty car and a 3/4 ton is a truck."

Hi, please highlight me on exactly which "Cars" share the same "Brakes and Suspension" as an F-150, C1500, or D1500. Back in the 70's some Chevrolets shared front brake pads only, no rotors, no drums, no springs, no axles, no control arms or I-beams Etc. A half ton is not a heavy duty car, it's a light duty truck.
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Old 12-19-2007, 09:27 PM   #8
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hi all,, i have found that mountains make the difference,,, if you rarely traverse them,, you are ok with a half ton,, if not,,, then three quarter is the way to go,,, good luck and happy trails,, donna
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Old 12-19-2007, 10:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS
Hi, please highlight me on exactly which "Cars" share the same "Brakes and Suspension" as an F-150, C1500, or D1500. Back in the 70's some Chevrolets shared front brake pads only, no rotors, no drums, no springs, no axles, no control arms or I-beams Etc. A half ton is not a heavy duty car, it's a light duty truck.
The old body on frame cars GM made until 1996 would be a perfect example of this. Same brakes, similar engines, same transmissions, minus the 4WD connections. You would be hard pressed today to find a lot out there, but the closest I can think of would be the Crown Vic and it's Mercury counterpart, but I don't do Fords, so I can't say much about it other than the 4.6L engines are similar. 1/2 tons are a VERY light duty truck that fit a niche. It always amazes me to see these blow up tow ratings for 1/2 tons lately, with the exception being the 1500HD. Between 1/2 ton and 3/4 ton in GM Land, it's brake, axle hubs, differential, transmission and engine which truely make this a light truck IMHO. Your mileage may vary.

To answer the question of the thread Ford or GM, it's the same as a huge political or religious conversation. There are folks dug in on both sides.

We had one Ford in our towing life in our family and that was about all we needed...of course that was back in 1977. But from that point on, we've been GM all the way and have had no regrets.
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Old 12-20-2007, 08:51 AM   #10
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Roadtech-welcome!

Don't not sacrifice towing safety for "ride quality"...choose your vehicle for the most extreme duty it will see, you do not want to put your family at risk.

The 25 Classic is heavy, pretty much the same as our Excella. You would not be happy towing with any 1/2 ton.

Now I'll make a couple of added comments;
  • If you tow only once/twice a year, very close to home, you could squeak by with a 1/2 ton. Most of us find that we travel longer and further with our AS than we did with SOB's. Must be catchy...
  • The 3/4 Suby still gives a very nice ride...air down the tires when not towing, you'll be fine. We had a couple of Subys that we loved. Went back to a p-up to get diesel and a few other reasons...it is tough to beat a Suby for an all around family vehicle though.
  • No one ever complains about having too much TV. Lots of folks end up in ditches with under sized TV's. Your in a good position; you are buying new and don't have to live with an existing vehicle...no brainer here.
Good luck, oh yeah, get the Classic, it has much bigger tanks-very handy!

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Old 12-20-2007, 10:17 AM   #11
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1/2 ton trucks don't share any parts with passenger cars. I would go with the GM truck, because every Ford truck I have experience with has had front suspension problems, and chewed up tires at a rapid rate.
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Old 12-20-2007, 10:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pauly g
1/2 ton trucks don't share any parts with passenger cars. I would go with the GM truck, because every Ford truck I have experience with has had front suspension problems, and chewed up tires at a rapid rate.
Not really an issue to me as I am a converted 3/4 tonner...but that statement is not true. As twink and moosetag noted, a 1/2 ton does in fact use many passenger car components, the transmission being one major-and significant-(weak) component. The longer I own one, and the more miles I tow, the more I am convinced 3/4 tons are the way to go for anyone doing significant towing. Please don't give out mis-information to the original poster.

GM 4L60-E transmission - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ford F-Series - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Old 12-20-2007, 04:57 PM   #13
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Thanks to all for so much great information. I am learning a lot. (I meant Safari not Sahara, obviously). I noticed the 3/4 ton comes with 16" wheels or optional 17". The salesman claims the 16" will tow better than 17". That sounded bogus to me. Is there any difference?
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Old 12-20-2007, 06:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadtech
Thanks to all for so much great information. I am learning a lot. (I meant Safari not Sahara, obviously). I noticed the 3/4 ton comes with 16" wheels or optional 17". The salesman claims the 16" will tow better than 17". That sounded bogus to me. Is there any difference?
This may be because he had one with 16 inch wheels on the lot and not one with 17" wheels. It really shouldn't make much difference, though the 17 inchers do look better.
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