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Old 04-26-2010, 09:31 PM   #1
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Suburban info, please..........

I have been studying which TV would be the best replacement for pulling our 25' International (2007). An '06 Silverado 2500 HD with a small diesel seemed to be the favorite of most but we've decided we're not pick-up folks so continued our search. A 2500 Suburban seemed to keep coming out at the top of the list, but I've discovered they are rare birds. One dealer I talked with today told me he hadn't sold a 3/4 ton Suburban in more than ten years. My question to the knowledgeable out there.... Will a 1500 Suburban with a 5.3 L gas engine pull my 25' International over the mountains??? My 5.6L Armada has the power to do it, but doesn't have the brakes, the tranny cooler or the wheelbase to be a comfortable TV. Is a 1500 Suburban (2007 or '08) powerful enough for the Smokies and the Rockies??? We are minimalist as far as additional weight is concerned - only two of us - no animals, etc... Appreciate ANY/ALL responses. Thanks.
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Old 04-26-2010, 09:44 PM   #2
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Have you looked at the new VW Touareg Diesel? Not the older 10 cylinder but the new 6? It looks pretty nice, good mileage and plenty of torque. It might be worth a look. There has got to be a 3/4 ton Suburban around Columbus somewhere.
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Old 04-26-2010, 09:54 PM   #3
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We pull our 31' Sovereign with a 2004 Z71 Suburban 1500 w/transmission cooler. Pulls without much trouble.
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Old 04-26-2010, 10:20 PM   #4
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We have a 2005 25FB, named Lucy, That we have pulled over 50,000 miles with our two 2500 Suburbans. Lucy weighs in at 7400# ready to camp. The 2500 suburbans do really well with Lucy in all circumstances.

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Old 04-26-2010, 10:44 PM   #5
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The 1500 will do it, but I too have a 3/4 ton. I am fairly skeptical of what the dealer told you. The 3/4 ton is not as rare as you've been led to believe. Sure there are more 1500s than 2500s, but that's the beauty of going to a dealer, they have access to the nationwide inventory. My guess is you may have come across a lazy dealer who simply wanted to sell you what either they had in stock or could get a bit more easily.

The lines between 1/2 ton and 3/4 ton have blurred a bit since I got my 2500, but I will tell you first hand towing a 25er w/ a 2500 is a wonderful combo that you won't be disappointed with.
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Old 04-27-2010, 02:43 AM   #6
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You can go to Autotrader.com. (or use the link below) Enter the years of Suburbans/Yukon XL 3/4 tons you would like to look for, but you will have to put 3/4 ton in the additional items area. The following link is for a 200 mile radius of your home zip. 28 listings for new and used units.

Find Your Car: Listings Near Sugar Grove, OH 43155 - AutoTrader.com
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Old 04-27-2010, 04:54 AM   #7
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Keep looking there are 2500 suburbans and yukon xl`s out there new and used. I would agree that the dealer you visited only wanted to sell what they had in stock. The 2500`s are great all around tow vehicles. I have both and have towed my 34ft trailer with both and the 5.3L will tow it ok but does not have the braking of the 2500 and the 6.0L has more low end torque from a dead stop. I only use my suburban w/5.3 to tow close to home which is mostly flat land. Good luck shopping.
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Old 04-27-2010, 05:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilgrim View Post
My 5.6L Armada has the power to do it, but doesn't have the brakes, the tranny cooler or the wheelbase to be a comfortable TV. Is a 1500 Suburban (2007 or '08) powerful enough for the Smokies and the Rockies??? We are minimalist as far as additional weight is concerned - only two of us - no animals, etc...
Appreciate ANY/ALL responses. Thanks.
Your Airstream has it's own brakes.
For a couple hundred dollars you can upgrade to a larger tranny cooler.
The wheelbase concern is a non issue with a Propride or Hensley

Apply these thoughts to what you have and you may have well balanced combination considering overall performance, comfort, and dollar savings.

Don't forget to get the whole works set up and adjusted properly.
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Old 04-27-2010, 06:05 AM   #9
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Thanks to all that have responded. We are somewhat trapped in the midwest at present. We want to go east, west, and south but have lots of mountains to traverse and we want to cross them without worrying about them - as we do now. And we've gone to Virginia, W. Virginia and Pennsylvania and have found we have some braking, tranny cooling problems and I don't like it! From the sounds of things, we will continue looking for the 2500 Suburban. Again, thanks to all that have taken the time to send comments.
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Old 04-27-2010, 07:01 AM   #10
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We towed our 28' with a 1992 1/2 ton Suburban (350 engine) for years before the transmission went bad (around 140,000 miles). Replaced it with a 1999 3/4 ton Suburban with a 454 engine (and better transmission). Tows like a dream but we get 10-12 mpg whether we tow or not. Hope the newer 3/4 ton Suburbans get better fuel mileage.
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Old 04-27-2010, 08:53 AM   #11
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Pilgrim, if you want a new tow vehicle, ignore this. But if you care to keep your Armada and save a lot of money, let me chime in with Road Ruler.

We used the Armada to tow our Safari 30 for three years full-time and were very satisfied with it. It's true that the wheel base is relatively short for a 27 foot trailer, and it's also true that a Hensley/Pro-Pride resolved that issue completely for us. Those hitches may be expensive, but they're nothing compared to the depreciation hit you'll take on your Armada if you sell/trade it.

If you have the "Big Tow" package on the Armada then you have a transmission cooler, but even with that the Armada/Titan are known for the transmission heating up when running under heavy load at low revs. The solution is amazingly simple: shift down 1 gear. In seconds you will see the transmission temperature plummet. That's because the transmission fluid pump is tied to engine RPM. Lower gear=higher RPM = faster cooling.

I have heard from a few people (some on this forum) who panicked and traded in their Armada/Titan when all they needed to do was push a little lever once in a while. That's an expensive choice.

As for braking issues, the Armada has huge and powerful brakes. If you are having "braking problems" you need to look at your trailer brake setup. We had two complete trailer brake failures when towing (one on the descending side of a bridge on a rainy day) and the Armada's brakes proved easily capable of stopping both vehicles safely. I often find that people reporting "braking problems" are riding the brakes on a downhill when they should be shifting down, have worn trailer brakes or out-of-adjustment brake shoes, or their brake controller is set improperly.

On the other hand, if you really want a Suburban and are just looking for justifications, who am I to tell you not to? Do what you like -- it's your money and you're the one driving it. But remember that the "braking problem" will still be there even with the biggest 'burb you can find -- even if the new vehicle masks the problem. You need to resolve that issue regardless.
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Old 04-27-2010, 09:10 AM   #12
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we just bought a '84 diesel suburban to tow our 21ft globetrotter. a bit of overkill, but it gets 25mpg w/o trailer. and there's actually more room in the 'burban than the GT!
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Old 04-27-2010, 09:13 AM   #13
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Rich,
What kind of fuel mileage did you get with your Armada...towing and non-towing?
Tom
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Old 04-27-2010, 09:21 AM   #14
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Even though I am a Suburban aficionado, I tend to agree with Rich. You already own the Armada. The ProPride or Hensley would take care of any issues having to do with a short wheelbase. A transmission fluid cooler (or 2 for that matter) should be able to handle the strain on the transmission. All of the Armada's other components are more than adequate.

Give it a try. If the Armada still doesn't do it for you, The Hensley or ProPride will work great with that new Suburban, so you will not be out that investment.

Brian
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