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Old 02-20-2013, 10:30 PM   #15
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Thank you very much to all you who responded; it is very much appreciated.

We would love to get something smaller like the Denali with the 6.2L, but most of our towing will be done out West and over mountain passes, so the ability to tow effectively in those conditions is important.

We don't have any kids, but we do have 4 dogs, so the extra space in a Suburban might be nice for those longer trips. Looks like maybe the 2500 is the way to go, unless anyone feels that the Denali 6.2 is perfectly capable of towing the 5500# Bambi through the mountains.

Thanks again for all the comments.
Chris
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:53 PM   #16
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Those back seats WEIGH

A previous reply mentioned removing the third row seats for extra space. I pulled the seats out of our new-to-us 2010 Yukon Denali (short version) and weighed them. It's a split bench seat. My bathroom scale says each half is 60 pounds.

We decided to gamble on the short wheelbase half-ton based on the very adjustable seats (I don't think you can get dual 12-way adjusters on the 3/4 ton), maneuverability (39 foot turning circle vs 45 for the 3/4 ton), and the long wheelbase models won't fit in our garage.

I'm sure our first few trips will be educational.

By the way, we have already weighed our Yukon. With a full tank and the wife and me on board, we have 1360 pounds of available payload.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:12 AM   #17
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I too opted out of ordering the 4 WD. Capacity is just over 9600 lbs. Third row buckets pull out and second row fold forward providing for an amazing amount of storage space. An issue I've dealt with a kew times is getting stuck in mud or even just slick grass. While I wish I had 4 WD at the time, overall imo the option is not worth the higher initial and maintenance expense.
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:19 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muskypicker View Post
Thank you very much to all you who responded; it is very much appreciated.

We would love to get something smaller like the Denali with the 6.2L, but most of our towing will be done out West and over mountain passes, so the ability to tow effectively in those conditions is important.

We don't have any kids, but we do have 4 dogs, so the extra space in a Suburban might be nice for those longer trips. Looks like maybe the 2500 is the way to go, unless anyone feels that the Denali 6.2 is perfectly capable of towing the 5500# Bambi through the mountains.

Thanks again for all the comments.
Chris
If you are going with new you can only get the 6.0L in the 2500 Suburban so the Denali with 6.2 would have more power for towing in the mountains.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:19 PM   #19
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Bothell , Washington
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I agree that the Denali would be a fine choice for your current lifestyle. I just test drove a 2005 a week ago, and they sure are nice. Only thing that I'm not as fond of is the full time all wheel drive, and no option for low range four wheel drive in that model year. I use the four low option on my suburban often enough that it was a deal breaker for me. It's nice to have the four low when backing my 30 footer up grades to put it where the wife wants the trailer to be.
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:15 PM   #20
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
San Diego , California
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Full sized van

A previous poster mentioned the value of using a full-sized van. I think it's a better option to the Suburban, and I've owned two subs. The van has these qualities:
Tremendous storage space, and fully adjustable by selecting the number of seats you need for any trip. When it's just Lynn and me and the dogs, we take out the back two seats and have all the secure space we need - and the dogs ride in comfort on their seat. When we are on a family group camp we add seats so that we can haul up to 12 people around sightseeing. Very useful!

Excellent towing qualities, with short rear overhang and 10,000# towning capacity stock for our 12 passenger van. I don't recommend the 15 passenger with greater overhang and less maneuverability.

Significantly lower price than the Sub. I purchased our used 2005 in 2008 with 38,000 miles for $17k.

Comparable mileage to Subs and pickups of similar size.

I've added a couple of links below to Craigslist vans in the Denver area, in case you'd like to get a feel for the prices in your area. Look for retired vanpool vehicles that have been underused, highway miles and well-maintained.

John


2007 Chevy Express Cargo/Touring Van
2012 Chevrolet Express 12 Passenger Van with Stabilitrak
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:41 PM   #21
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One more '99 Chevy Suburban 2500 4wd owner here.... I have the smaller 350 engine, but with all the other factory package stuff. I've only towed my 27' Overlander with it on 4 trips here in the West, and have noticed this: I seem to get right around 11 to 13 mpg, depending on wind and grades. Top speed on steep grades is maybe 35, in 2nd gear. Otherwise, effortless towing with minimal sway when passed by a semi rig. With the rear seat out and the middle one folded down, there is a ton of room for bikes, camp gear, firewood, you name it, all out of the weather and semi-concealed. I have had no issues with the 4wd system, but have barely used it. I'd probably skip that option unless you knew you were venturing off-road, or on sand beaches, or on snowy mt. grades, etc. It is a very roomy and safe-feeling tow vehicle!
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:25 PM   #22
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Thanks again to everyone.

Thanks for the comment about how the new 2500s don't go any bigger than a 6.0...do you know what year in the current body style (2007-current?) Chevy dropped the option for that bigger engine in the Suburbans? I like the current body style, but if a 6.0 is the biggest engine option I've got for the 2500, then I will probably look more seriously at the Denali.

Thanks again.
Chris
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:48 PM   #23
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I believe 2006 was the last year for the 8.1 in the Suburban.
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:34 PM   #24
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For those of you towing with the newer model (2007-present) 3/4 ton...what kind of mileage are you seeing around town and averaging while towing? I realize terrain is important, so any mountain pass trips would be good information.

Thank you,
Chris
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:21 AM   #25
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We generally see 9-10 mpg while towing, depending on terrain. Not towing, we'll see 11-12 mpg in city and 17-18 mpg on highway.
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:14 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wazbro View Post
I believe 2006 was the last year for the 8.1 in the Suburban.


Yep....our 06 8.1 was the last year.

Found ours on ebay, GM Factory Program vehicle,(executive demo), 11k on the clock, didn't sell, made offer, went to NC, worked for us.
Took our time shopping, 3 months. They are out there, shop around.

I've been out of the Chevy store since retiring in 2010.
At that time the 1500's had the Autoride System with self leveling, the 2500 Autoride did not have that feature. Self leveling just makes it harder getting the weight distribution set properly.
The 2500 Autoride with active suspension is much more comfortable on the road than our 95 2500 7.4 3:73 was, plus at least 3-5mpg better, even with the 4:10 axle ratio. 11.2mpg average 5500mi cross country @ 62 mph.

We have the "towing" mirror option, power adjustable, heated, with manual extension.


One nice feature on the 2500's is the payload/axle ratings. 4180lbs front, 5500lbs rear.

IMHO.... If you need the space and payload a 2500 Burb is a good choice.

A good read...

Good luck in your search.

Bob
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:34 AM   #27
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What has been your experience in using the "trailer tow" transmission? How about cruise control? We're planning a trip out west this summer with lots of prairies and mountains and wonder how experienced western travelers obtain optimum gas mileage.
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:41 AM   #28
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What has been your experience in using the "trailer tow" transmission? How about cruise control? We're planning a trip out west this summer with lots of prairies and mountains and wonder how experienced western travelers obtain optimum gas mileage.
Just what I do....

60-65 mph

Watching the tranny temp gauge....

Tow-haul on long grades.

Normal on the flats.

Bob
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