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Old 03-08-2007, 08:48 PM   #43
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Truck decision

For whatever it's worth, I have pulled RV's for the past 23 years, every thing from tent campers to 37' fivers. I have had Chevy, GMC, Ford.....10 years ago, I bought my last GM truck, have been with Dodge/Cummins ever since. Currently have a 2003 3/4T Dodge Quad Cab (Laramie), I have the 6 speed manual tranny, and am pulling a 2000 - 30' Airstream Excella.
I get 14.5 to 15 mpg consistenly, very seldom have to downshif to make a hill.
Check out the Dodge before you make the final decision.
Larry

Ditto!!!!!
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Old 03-09-2007, 07:28 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 66Overlander
The GM HD pickups will have an optional integrated trailer brake controller soon. I didn't find mention of it on the GMC web site (it may be there, but I didn't look very hard), but it is mentioned on the Chevy web site:
Silverado: Trucks: Chevrolet (see the "integrated trailer brake controller" link)

or just follow this one:
Integrated Trailer Brake Controller: Silverado: Trucks: Chevrolet

Rest assured if it is available on the Chevy Silverado, it will also be available on the GMC Sierra.

Another note for the 2500 (& 3500) Chevy & GMC pickups is that they will have 6 speed transmissions. The 1500's currently have 4 speed transmissions. This may impact the fuel economy and shift quality tradeoff's between the two.
My 06 Chevy has a 6 speed Ally tranny...

I have never driven the Ford with built in brake control. It sure sounds like it is nicely integrated with ABS, and I don't doubt that GM and Dodge will offer it soon (wonder why it took this long???).
However, with the Prodigy, and the compression braking of the Duramax/ Alisson it would be hard to believe it can get any better. I have owned 7 pickups and/or large SUVs (couple o' Suburbans, one Ford pick me up) and I have to say, I have NEVER towed with anything like the Duramax Allison before. Untill you hook up a significant load and tow it for a few miles, it is hard to believe how well they work together. Truly confidence inspiring. Remember those commercial "ever wonder what it's like to drive the big rigs?". (It was an ad for tractor trailer driving school). I can't help thinking about that whenever I tow with this truck...
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Old 03-09-2007, 11:37 AM   #45
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Bill,

You will never regret buying the 3/4 ton. You may very well regret goiing with the 1/2 ton. In the twenty-four years I've been pulling Airstreams (a 1969 31' International before my current 34' Limited) I've had three 1/2 ton Chevy/GMC trucks, one a heavy-half. My current tow vehicle is a 3/4 ton Dodge diesel. Although I love my Cummins diesel, I'm not sure I'd pay the extra big bucks to buy a new diesel ($7,500 up), especially given the price differential between gas and diesel (about sixty cents here in Boise). If I was pulling the extreme weights of some fifth-wheels I would certainly get another diesel, but for any Airstream on the road one of the larger tow rating gassers is all you'll ever need.

My Dodge is twelve years old and by today's standards rides a bit harsh but the new 3/4 tons will not be bad at all. I doubt one would notice too much difference between 1/2 and 3/4 ton models.

Gene
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Old 03-09-2007, 12:05 PM   #46
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Hi Bill, no kidding, just two months ago I posted the same questions. I was looking very closely at the Vortec Max by GM, only problem was every dealer said: Oh, the engine will be hard to find. I got tired of being told: "well, how about this one? it's nice" but it wasnt what I want... so I went with a 3/4 ton Silverado Diesel. I bet the gas milaege is comparable and this is not your Dad's Diesel. It is quiet, comforatable and doesnt put the car behind you in a cloaking cloud. As it happens, my wife and why rented a TT and we are packing it up right now for a long weekend. I drove it home yesterday and thanked the heavens I went with the 3/4 ton. The Diesel is great too, about 5K more but worht it. They are clean, about the same or better mpg's as a gasser and way more power. Here is what I think will happen, if you buy a 1/2 ton, you will wish you bought a 3/4. If you buy a 3/4 you will be glad you didnt buy a half ton. If you decide on the 3/4 ton, consider very strongly the Durmax from GM. The new ones are supposed to be a bit cleaner, the classic 07's are better priced right now. Good luck and i know where you are coming from...

One more thing, did you notice how many experienced RV'er suggested 3/4? A lot, no?

John
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Old 03-16-2007, 11:39 PM   #47
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Ok, so I drove a '07 Sierra 3/4

Well the dealer said they'd call when one came in and it did. The truck was equipped basically in a manner much like what I'd order and I was right the price was basically equal with the 1/2 ton with the MAX tow package.

There was definitely a difference in the drive between the 1/2 and 3/4 ton trucks. The 1/2 ton rode very well and tracked like a car, I've never driven any full size truck that tracked so well...the '07 GM 1/2 tons track very well, and ride like a dream.

The 3/4 ton rode very well, it was not uncomfortable. However, the added weight was apparent and it did not track like the 1/2 ton and as full size trucks are traditionally, it needed constant bits of correction to keep it in place on the road. It was not a bad ride that is for sure, and I liked it just fine.

Another matter is the engine...the 1/2 ton equipped with the 6.0L motor gets the active fuel management thus improving mileage. For whatever reason the 3/4 ton does also get a 6.0L motor but it does not have the active fuel management system. Also mileage estimates were not available on the 3/4 ton models. Since for me mileage is a concern....I drive about 45K/yr in daily use...I was wondering just what the mileage might be on such a truck.

Do any of you GM 6.0 3/4 ton owners have any real world numbers you can share? You don't have to have an '07 (I know there are not many of the new body style on the road yet) so a '06 or '05, etc 3/4 ton with six speed auto and 6.0L is fine. Please let me know what type of mileage you get.

Thanks,

Bill
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Old 03-18-2007, 01:05 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wannastream
Do any of you GM 6.0 3/4 ton owners have any real world numbers you can share? You don't have to have an '07 (I know there are not many of the new body style on the road yet) so a '06 or '05, etc 3/4 ton with six speed auto and 6.0L is fine. Please let me know what type of mileage you get.
The 6.0L gas engine is first available with a 6-speed auto in a 3/4 ton in 2007. '05 & '06 6.0L 3/4 ton models would still have a 4-speed auto, so it is not a straight comparison.

The '07 6.0L 1/2 ton MAX only has a 4-speed auto. Hopefully a 6-speed is coming for that combination soon.
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Old 03-18-2007, 05:59 AM   #49
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I have a 2007 GMC Sierra Classic Crew Cab with the Duramax Diesel engine and Allison Transmission... I switched from a 2004 Toyota Tundra... I can not begin to explain the diffrence towing my 25' Safari. We have towed it accross the country with the Toyota and up and down the East Coast with the GMC... The GMC is amazing, the tow/haul mode is unbelivable when you are slowing down / exiting the highway / or going down steep grades...
I also have the SLT package so it is very comfortable inside and the ride is very smooth... In answer to your question about mileage we get about 19mpg (diesel) when not towing and 12 mpg when towing. The greatest improvement I found was the comfort when 18 wheelers passed me on the highway.. . I don't even notice them anymore... I feel much safer with the larger/heavier truck pulling the trailer.
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Old 03-18-2007, 07:17 AM   #50
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'06 2500HD Duramax CC SLE Sierra with high rise Leonard cap.

Ditto, I have an '06 Sierra 3/4 SLT CC Allison tranny with high rise cap and got 13 mpg towing my 31 foot Sovereign to Sarasota last month (ave speed 68 mph). Highway mileage 19. I looked and did a bunch of research and finally found the truck and color I wanted. I love it either around town or towing down I95. I have seen a few other rigs set up just like it towing Airstreams. See my avatar for a picture.
Good luck in your decision.
Mac
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Old 03-18-2007, 10:28 AM   #51
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Bill,

I too went through the same decision making process last year when we went shopping for a tow vehicle and trailer. I was looking at the Suburbans 3/4 ton, and with a big engine, just didn't feel I wanted the low mileage driving it around town. I almost bought a used Suburban with a 8.0L engine, but, yikes!!! I think I'd have gotten 10 MPG around town!.

We chose a 3/4 GMC Sierra with the Duramax and Allison combo. I am very satisified with my decision, since it pulls our trailer very comfortably and as many have stated, in previous post, "no white knuckle" driving.

There is a lot of good advise on this forum, and every time I read the threads of what kind of tow vehicle to buy, it makes me even more satisfied that I made the right choice in tow vehicle.

I bought GM because I like their products. But, I would also look seriously at Dodge and Ford for comparison.

You are doing the right thing by taking your time, asking questions, and exploring your options. Comfort and safety are important factors in the decision making process. The important thing is that when you finally buy, that you have the piece of mind that made the right decision.

Sam Roffe
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Old 03-18-2007, 10:47 AM   #52
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TV-07 Tundra

Not pointing one way or the other for tow vehicles. Just wanted to add some first hand experience towing a 25' International with the new Tundra 5.7.

I just returned from a 1500 mile round trip from the Bay area to Las Vegas Motor Speedway. I took the route through Bakersfield, Baker, Pahrump and Red Rock Cayon down to Vegas. My return brought me through Bakersfield, Hwy 58 West to Morro Bay State Park then through the Pacific Hwy 1 to Montery. Never once did I have any concerns with power or braking. I averaged 12 miles per gallon.

I've towed with Ford 250, GMC Suburban 2500 and an 05 Tundra. I believe the pre 07 Tundras are limited to 19-22 footers.

The bottom line is I liked all of my tow vehicles. If I were pulling over 25' Airstream, I would be using the Ford or Chevy diesel.
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Old 03-18-2007, 11:24 AM   #53
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first hand experience thanks!

RBK,

Thanks for sharing your experience with the new Tundra. Sounds like it tows your 25' AS with ease. As you may have read I've not ruled out a new Tundra. Does your '07 Tundra have Toyota's maximum tow equipment? A 25' AS is not at all likely for me and my wife it is one of our primary candidates and the CCD line is our favorite with the Safari SE a close second. So either a 25' CCD/Safari SE or 28W CCD/Safari SE would be nice for us. The 28W is basically only a few hundred pounds heavier than the 25' SS models and has the same GVWR as the 25FB models. How do you think your new Tundra would perform with a 28W's GVWR of 7300, and slightly heavier tongue weight?

Sam,

Thanks for your comments, I too like the GM equipment, especially the new '07 stuff. I like the Ford stuff too, their design work is clearly top notch, but I wonder about daily mileage with the Ford trucks most of my Ford owning friends are unhappy with their daily use fuel consumption. I do plan to take my time here I'm fortunately in a position where I'm not pressured out of need to buy immediately. Besides it is not fun writing checks for $25-30K for anything. But my last truck an '89 GMC 3/4 was generally a good truck, but it's age, manual tranny, reg. cab, and lack of AC were all strikes against it but it did have it a long time. The next truck will also be kept a looooooong time so I might as well take my time and be sure I'll be able to live with it for many years.


Thanks,
Bill
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Old 03-18-2007, 11:48 AM   #54
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Since I'm towing a 30' Excella with a suspension-modified 3500 dually I can't add anything else to the "love affair" evident for the Duramax/Allison 3/4 ton - or similar Ford/Dodge tow vehicle. That said - and since you've already said that you were looking at the extended cab - I would highly recommend taking another look at the crew cab. The slight additional length quickly becomes insignificant and the added functionality is a real plus. Overcoming the concerns about a "larger" vehicle is a challenge that faces every newcomer to the towing world - just like the idea of towing a 34' Airstream struck fear into many before they actually did it. Afterwards they all report the same thing - "---a piece of cake!" The stability I have with the crew cab dually and the long bed is nothing but pure joy -especially after "softening" the rear suspension. A more subtle benefit is the exercise my wife and I get walking in from remote parking areas when shopping or sightseeing!
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Old 03-18-2007, 12:25 PM   #55
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They're the same

Cracker,

Thanks for the info. on the 3500 series. Regarding the crew cab vs. extended cab, with the standard bed config. they are the same length from a wheelbase stand point. For me in daily use I have more need for a bit larger bed than for two extra full doors and slightly larger rear seat area. My wife and I (no kids) are the only occupants of our vehicles 95% of the time. For us the extended cab rear seat is adequate those few times we actually haul someone else with us. I don't think that the crew or extended cab config. will affect towing, except that the extended cab might be rated slightly higher in max tow weight due to a slightly lower curb weight.

If I've misunderstood or am incorrect in my understanding of the differences between the crew and extended cab please let me know.

Thanks,

Bill
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Old 03-18-2007, 12:50 PM   #56
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Hello Bill,

My Tundra is full tow, 4wd, includes an electric tow gear switch for low gears plus a tiptronic type transmission for mountain driving, transmission cooler etc. I flip the back seats up and insert a memory foam folded in half for our golden retriever. Plenty of room in the back seat (extended cab).

I would not hesitate pulling 7300-7800 anywhere.

Like I said in the earlier post, I'm just giving my experience with the 5.7. I love it.

Best of luck with your TT experience.

RBK
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