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Old 06-17-2009, 09:48 AM   #1
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Which Chevrolet Silverado would you buy?

I have been searching and studying as to which TV to replace my Armada with. The Armada has been a very nice TV and the DW really likes it BUT it has some shortcomings. We've towed our 25' International through six states and have some tranny heat increases going through the "mountians" of Pennsylvania and West Virginia. We want to head out west and expect to encounter some real mountains so need to plan accordingly. I will buy a used Silverado but can't decide which one. I've looked at crew cabs and extension cabs - one or the other will work. I've looked at 1500HDs and 2500HDs and wonder about the tow capabilities of the 1500HDs in the mountains. I realling like the diesels for power and mileage but have to consider the cost factor - maybe it would be worth the extra money to get the newer diesel, the manufacture's warranty and all the extra's that come with it - leather, extra trim, very fancy. I like an older ('03) Silverado with a bed cap, all leather, and all the fancy extras - only 53,000 miles, a 6.0L 1500 HD. But, again, will the 1500 HD take us over the mountains with no problems. I don't want to worry about the mts. I want a TV that when I hook up, it will tow us wherever we want to go. Must I keep in mind differences over different years??

I know there are myriad responses out there - and all have their own ideas as to what is the best - but I need some historical data on these vehicles. Have there been enough improvements since '03 to not want one that old? Is a 4-spd. auto transmission good enough to pull us through anything? The '07 Duramax with the Allison tranny sounds awfully nice, but is it worth the extra bucks? I've got a line on an '06 Silverado with a diesel engine but 90k miles - is this a problem??? It has all leather interior and all the extras, but is 90k miles something to worry about in such a short time? I can't ask the PO for info as the truck was purchased at auction out of state - but I've dealt with the dealer for years and trust their judgement.

Lots of questions, but I have a need for lots of info. I've made computer charts and have lists of info - but now I'm undecided which of the items need more consideration. ANy comments would be greatly appreciated. Please, don't comment on usage, hauling, other purposes - it will be used as a TV period. No children, no grandchildren, no pets. Just the DW and myself traveling the country with our AS International 25'. THANKS for your combined knowledge.
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Old 06-17-2009, 10:01 AM   #2
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One thing to keep in mind is that mileage of a well maintained diesel engine need not be a worry. Diesel engines can go for many hundreds of thousands of miles without the wear a gas engine seems to suffer.
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Old 06-17-2009, 10:07 AM   #3
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2006 2500 HD (Duramax)

The last D-Max without the mileage robbing pollution gear. Also has the 6 speed Allison.
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Old 06-17-2009, 10:30 AM   #4
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The last D-Max without the mileage robbing pollution gear. Also has the 6 speed Allison.
The 2006 2500HD Duramax with the 6 speed is also my TV as well, and agreed, agreed. Best truck I have ever owned, period.
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Old 06-17-2009, 11:45 AM   #5
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I love my 04 LB7 (22 MPG non towing average) but I'm considering finding an 06 to park as a backup.
-Ken
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Old 06-17-2009, 12:59 PM   #6
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If you are talking a lot of mountain trips, you need to think torque. You can not beat diesel for torque and gas mileage. I have a 2000 Silverado hd2500 7.3L and it drinks gas about 9-10MPG which sucks because it only have a 26 gallon tank. I have to stop every 190 miles to fuel up. The 7.3 does hills well but don't push her. If you can take the diesel noise and can spend the extra cash go diesel.
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Old 06-17-2009, 01:51 PM   #7
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I'll bottom line it for you; from my viewpoint and talking to old-timers.
You'll need a manual transmission for the mountains.
The Allison Transmission is the best buy; not because I live in the Indy area where they are built.
The Diesels are good initially but over time they sound like freight trains.
My friend worked for a Diesel manufacturer and my ex son-in-law works for Cummings.
I have a 1500 Silverado; with tow package. No problems- yet.
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Old 06-17-2009, 02:15 PM   #8
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The Diesels are good initially but over time they sound like freight trains.

Hope you are right - my 2008 Duramax is a bit too quiet for a diesel - no smell either!

After working 34 years for the railway, I need a bit more diesel noise & smell!


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Old 06-17-2009, 02:21 PM   #9
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From one that lives out west and does cross the mountains...most of my friends that tow similar trailers to yours tow with half ton pickups, with tow packages and 350cubic inch or so gas motors.
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Old 06-17-2009, 02:30 PM   #10
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I like the 2500HD. I am also fond of the quad cab version of this since it is far easier to get rear passengers in and out, but the cab is just a personal pref.

If you are going to be a big mountain tower, I would pickup a gently used Duramax/Allison 2500HD. If you do some mountain driving, but more flatland, then the 6.0L with 4.10s is not a bad combo for what you have. Of course, if you buy pre-owned, you can find the 8.1L gasser out there with the Allison tranny and that is good rig as well.

New you really have the option of 2500HD gasser or diesel. I do not think they still make the 1500HD. Keep in mind I looked at a 1500HD and it still had 8.5" rear end IIRC, which I don't think is bad for what you have, but I would rather have the 9.5 or larger pumpkin.

Diesels that have been maintained can last 300k miles in their sleep. 90k is just about broken in. The Duramax has gone through 2-3 versions since 2002. The newer ones have more emission control stuff on them and require low sulfur diesel, which is pretty commonly found. The older diesels have fewer emission control devices can run nearly and type of diesel, but the very early ones around 2002ish I heard had a lot of injector issues.

Early 2000ish gassers had some piston slap issues. I heard even some 04s still had the issue. Piston slap is sort of a diesel sound for the first 15 seconds after starting the engine...something to do with the design of the piston skirts or something. My dad has a 2000 2500 and it has piston slap, so far (knock on wood) mine doesn't....yet. The transmissions 4l80e are very tough and proven trannies that are found in the non-diesel GM truck lines in 3/4 ton. The trannys are an electronic version of the old TH400s I believe. Solid, solid, solid. New versions of this tranny have 5 or 6 speeds now, making them even more fuel efficient, though to be honest, when towing you are not going to get an honorary Greenpeace membership card, you'll get an OPEC member card as none are going to give you 20mpg towing. Even the diesels I've heard get about 15 if you really are easy on 'em, which is about 4-5 more than the gassers get.
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Old 06-17-2009, 02:50 PM   #11
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Now I am towing my Overlander,with a 05 2500 4x4 6.0,it will pull anything I put behind it,but if I had to do it again it would be a diesel,with posi rear.That 11mpg just kills me.
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Old 06-17-2009, 05:10 PM   #12
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Gm

If you go with a GM truck make sure that what ever you buy that the side mirrors pull out so you can see around your trailer.
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Old 06-17-2009, 05:51 PM   #13
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GMC 2500HD works for us.

Pilgrim,
We pull the same trailer as you do, '07 25' CCD.
We used to have the 1500 Chevy with a small 4.8 and it did the job, but not for long. My old 4 speed auto went out twice for problems, one gear and one pump.
When I went looking for a replacment TV, I wanted gas but I wanted a heavy duty 6 speed transmission.
I ended up with a GMC 2500HD, 6.0 liter and HD 6-Speed auto with trans-brake and manual option, Tow package. I ordered the GM tow mirrors. This is great set-up, lets us DC and go 4x4 tooling around the area trails and backroads. The transmission is great and although not the Allison, it performs to my liking. My future rig might be a diesel, primarily for the milage as the 6.0 Vortex drops from it's normal 15 to 11mpg when towing.
Our package works for us, tows great and really enjoy the ride of the truck.
Stream Safe,
Bob U-
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Old 06-23-2009, 11:29 AM   #14
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I have the O7 dually with diesel and Allison. Bring on any mountain up or down. Seldom need to brake going down and no need to shift into any lower gears going up, the trany does it all for you. The engine is the LBZ and has no extra air polution on it as compared to the LMM engine of 2008 and newer.
As stated earlier make sure it was maintained and it will last several hundreds of thousands of miles.
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