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Old 06-15-2010, 01:17 PM   #15
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Driving slower will improve your gas mileage and reduce stress on you, your TV and your TT. So take the "blue roads".
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Old 06-15-2010, 02:46 PM   #16
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avoiding the random bs and inadequate original info the o.p. question was this...

Quote:
Originally Posted by APB View Post
...My question is will I be able to use a Suburban with a 3.42 rear axle and adequately tow this trailer?
yes.

subject to tires, inflation, cooling, loading, yadda yadda
________

gearing makes very little difference in mpg while TOWING (3.4 vs 3.7)

towing MPG is all about MPH, the 2 issues cannot be split.

obviously acceleration will be slower and UPHILL at the fully loaded 7k trailer weight will be leisurely.
________

sorting out ALL the other issues depends on many variables NOT covered by the op.
________

now back to the random bs...

one could KEEP the truck just for towing/hauling and buy a 90s 4 cylinder 'yota or honda and use that for daily driving.

OR one could trade/sell the diesel and get a late 1990s 150 gasser (or any 1/2 ton from that era) for daily driving and towing.

1998-2002 1/2 ton gas trucks are cheap to buy and maintain and ubiquitous.

and unless heavily laden with crap, are capable of towing a 70s sovereign (subject to driveline and tranny/cooler)

swapping the old truck for an old burb is a dumb idea, unless one REALLY wants an old burb.

the decision to do that has got nothin' to do with UPgrading, money saving, gas/diesel or any other sensible parameter...

but as the op notes many car buying decisions "defy all logic"
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the "tell me what tv or trailer to buy" question is always peculiar,

since the issues are so personal and almost never completely disclosed to those offering advice

in terms of old burbs pulling old streams, this might be the single most common rig/combo in a/s history.

the late 70s to mid-late 90s can be marked by this generic combo.

it was SO prevalent that burbs were often displayed AND sold new at the major wb/ rallies by car dealers.

cheers
2air'
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Old 06-15-2010, 03:34 PM   #17
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Burb vs. Pickup

I sold my 3/4 ton Burb (2003) and got a 2500 Silverado diesel(2008). The Silverado is a Quad Cab long bed with 2 wheel drive - chosen because I'd never used my 4 wheel drive in 2 years except once every month or two just to keep the gears lubed.

20/20 hindsight
  1. I've gotten stuck on wet grass twice since I got the 2 wheel drive - of course the Suburban has more weight over the rear wheels so even in 2 wheel drive mode it was a bit less squirrelly.
  2. The long bed with the quad cab was a mistake. It takes an aircraft carrier deck to do a u-turn on. If you leave the hitch on backing in any parking lot becomes dangerous. I'd get the quad cab again in a heartbeat, but go with the short bed.
  3. I've had two scares getting low on diesel and having a tough time finding fuel at a station big enough for the "mother truck" and the Airstream. Hint: Backing an Airstream into traffic even at 2:00 am isn't fun!
  4. Get noticably better mileage with diesel. Diesel is less explosive, so I could carry a spare gerry can more safely. (The generator however runs on GAS.... I got the EU 1000 and only carry two gallons when boondocking so it's not that stupid...... But then there's the Coleman stove that I've got a spare propane tank for ..... jeeez I'm turning into a rolling unibomber! )
  5. Ye Gods, is this Silverado powerful and smooth shifting! Makes the mighty 3/4 ton Suburban look like a lightweight.
  6. Storage - fold the rear seat down and the inside of the Suburban was as big as the truck. However the carpeted, nicely finished back of the burb needed a tarp to protect the deck from crap that you sometimes have to sling into it when breaking camp in the rain.
  7. Suburban is lower to the ground (slightly)... the barn doors make it easier for an old lady to crawl in and out of than the tailgate of the truck. I use a folding step for the Silverado.
  8. I use the mother truck for my daily driver too. Some days the little compacts look pretty cool.... except that not towing I've actually gotten 20 MPG highway with this HUGE truck. Newer does have some benefits.
  9. Biodiesel - seems to have some issues with newer diesels. Grease car conversion? I'd be looking pre-2000 for that.
  10. just a totally off the wall note... my favorite tow mirrors are on the Dodges, a vertical mirror that folds outward 90 degrees. Simple, effective, elegant.
Test drive, test drive and test drive some more.
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Old 06-15-2010, 09:58 PM   #18
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APB

You are correct on the Toyota Sequoia tow rating. With the 5.7L and 6 spd it is only rated for 6,500lbs while the Tundra is rated for about 10,000 lbs. My Tradewind probably only weighs about 5,000 lbs loaded and most of my towing is flat land. However, I did take a trip down the Blue Ridge Parkway towing the Tradewind and got 14mpg @ 45-50 mph. I like my Tundra so much as a tow vehicle that I would look for a high milage 2007 5.7L double cab to keep the price down. Drive one and you will see what I mean.

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Old 06-15-2010, 10:12 PM   #19
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APB, 2 weeks ago my wife and I went to a rally at Airstream. They did presentations all week one of which was by Andy Thompson from CamAm RV. He changed everything I thought I knew about towing. He actually arrived towing a 25' Flying Cloud with a VW Jetta. He has videos online of towing RVs through a salomom course with some unusual TVs. They have a formula to help determine the right fit. They do not sell the TVs, but they will set them up for you if you want. You should look them up for some expert advice.
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Old 06-16-2010, 11:48 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drussel View Post
APB, 2 weeks ago my wife and I went to a rally at Airstream. They did presentations all week one of which was by Andy Thompson from CamAm RV. He changed everything I thought I knew about towing. He actually arrived towing a 25' Flying Cloud with a VW Jetta.
Ditto. I'm not aware of anyone that looks at the science of towing to the depth that Andy Thomson does. The slalom course videos are eye-openers: you can see very clearly the effects of different hitching and matching strategies.

He has the right background, I guess; he literally grew up around trailers. His dad, Andy Thomson Sr. founded Can-Am RV.
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Old 06-16-2010, 12:27 PM   #21
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Support the Diesel option - don't know about the gearing - are the rims and rear tires still stock?
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Old 06-16-2010, 02:17 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew T View Post
This is the link to the van I was speaking of. They are currently sold through Mercedes dealers but when Mercedes was connected to Chrysler they were sold as Dodges. I have also seen them with Freightliner nameplates but they may be only cargo vans.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter: Passenger Van Specifications

There are some fuel effiecent Gas Vehicles that would work as well if you don't mind climbing the large hills at 50 MPH.

Andrew T
Just a note from personal experience...........

I towed an '06 19CCD (4200 lb GVW) with an '04 Sprinter 2500 140" WB Low Roof for 4 years. The van weighed in the 8000 lb range (8550 stated GVW, 13550 CGVW). It did well for the first 3 years. In the 4th year, I lost the turbo, alternator and transmission within a 5 day stretch on the return trip to FL. The repair costs were $10,000 with a re-built tranny, and would have been closer to $15K HAD THE RE-BUILT NOT BEEN AVAILABLE.

It was properly set up to tow, with aux trans cooler sway bars and all of the usual goodies and had service at required intervals or ahead of schedule. IMHO, this van (which I still use as a service vehicle, just NOT TO TOW) is over-rated by Mercedes. It is a great van and gets super mileage (20+ fully loaded with no trailer), but when I compare the components with the '08 Dodge Ram 2500 CTD that I bought to replace it as a tow wagon, the difference in components like transmission, differential, brakes is ENORMOUS!!!!!

I have spoken with others that tow often with their Sprinters, and differentials, transmissions and ENGINES seem to need regular replacements for heavy duty use. THIS IS NOT A HEAVY DUTY VEHICLE!
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Old 06-16-2010, 02:48 PM   #23
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Sometimes the size or heavy duty labeling of a component does not make it last any longer. On the other hand sometimes it does.

In our case we have towed the 23' with light vehicles and we have not had any issues. Yes we run synthetics front to rear and suspect that helps.

Each vehicle whether heavy duty or not needs to be evaluated and judged on their own merits. Some are stellar performers while others are not.
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Old 06-16-2010, 07:24 PM   #24
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I have spoken with others that tow often with their Sprinters, and differentials, transmissions and ENGINES seem to need regular replacements for heavy duty use. THIS IS NOT A HEAVY DUTY VEHICLE!

Or, that it really is meant to do that work around a metro area -- as for a contractor -- versus the long haul.
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Old 06-17-2010, 08:00 AM   #25
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Best Tow Vehicles

Quote:
Originally Posted by APB View Post
Currently towing a '78 Sovereign, 6800 gvw, with a '95 Ford F250 extended cab and 8' bed.
Does anyone have experience they can share?Thanks
ABP you know no matter what your preference or favorite manufacturer brand is, the 2 best tow vehicles ever made was Chev Suburban 80-86 Gas heavy 1/2 or 3/4 ton which are hard to find, 2000-2005 Ford Excursion Diesel which is on a 3/4 ton frame thus better towing capacity, (the 7.3 diesel is one of the best engines ever made and why they call them bullet proof) are the best because of their all around use, strength. Both of these vehicles are on the suburban format. They are enclosed which allow many passengers, also cargo area which gets larger the less passengers you have, the interior space keeps everybody for being crambed on top of one another. Because of the enclosure items are more secure.
I have owned both of these vehicles, in fact I currently have a 2005 Excursion Eddie Bauer eddition Diesel and if I did not have it I would search until I could find a 80-86 suburban 3/4 ton. My Excursion gets 20 mpg when not towing, 15-16 when towing our 31, 14-15 towing our 34 WB. When I had my 85 Suburb with a little tweek of the carbs I could manage the same fuel milage.
New vehicles just dont seem to have the milage & durability as these older vehicles.
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Old 06-17-2010, 03:05 PM   #26
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Sarge, if I could find an Excursion at a reasonable price that would probably work. I have an inlaw who has used Ford diesels for years and swears by them. Nice to see real numbers for similar application.
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Old 06-18-2010, 05:42 AM   #27
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Sarge, if I could find an Excursion at a reasonable price that would probably work. I have an inlaw who has used Ford diesels for years and swears by them. Nice to see real numbers for similar application.
There are some out there, you have to be real careful when buying though, the catch is they are worth the money if you can spare it, and I doubt very serious that you would regret it especially when towing. There was only 40,000 made between 2000-2005, with the largest number being in 2004. The 2000-2003 came with the 7.3 which is the motor that has been nicknamed bullet proof because it was one of those motors that you beat up and it would keep on ticking and the harder you was on it the better it ran. I manage to get ahold of a low milage (69000) 05 Eddie Bauer, with a 6.0, fully loaded 4X4, the entertainment system comes in real handy on the longer trips, that was completely stock except for the computer program on the 6.0, and it runs and drives like a dream, I wish I had bought one when it was new instead of the GMC I bought. I can pack 7 people in seats and then have enough room for 2 more kids in the rear on bum chairs, when I pull the 3rd seat the amount of room is large enough for a qween bed, if I fold down second row I have a full 8 ft cargo space.
I plan on keeping mine indefinately, I am going to fix it up and put it in shows, once I get it paid for I will buy another truck for daily and keep this one to tow with. I have already started by upgrade of the entertainment system, next is bumpers with winches, roof rack, then paint job, and it will be done.

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Old 06-19-2010, 01:21 PM   #28
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I did a little research on the Excursion and I think the 6.0 would be a risky proposition. Perhaps you can get all the gremlins exorcised but I did not do enough investigation to decide one way or the other. I suspect that the 6.0 may be a little more efficient and definitely more power than the 7.3 but I would really have to be convinced it was reliable.

The 6.5 GM motor has some problems but they seem to be well known and fairly easy to sort out. The Excursion chassis is a little more modern and advanced over the previous generation Burb but the Ford is quite a bit more investment. It also seems like the Ford would be a little more hassle to drive in a non tow situation due to the size difference but I have not really investigated that much.
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