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Old 02-08-2009, 02:59 PM   #1
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which suburban?

I am looking for a tow vehicle and have focused on the suburban.

One suburban is an 05 with 74,000 on it, the other is an 07 with 36,000 and costs $15,000 more. I am thinking that the cost difference points to the 05; does any one have any experience that would suggest different?

Both of the above are 1500's. There is an 07 2500 available in the area. I am hoping to buy a 25 ft vintage trailer. Also, I will only be towing about 3 weeks a year so the major use will be for a family vehicle- and I'd like the ride to be comfortable. So I'm figuring the 1500's are the way to go. Right?

Any advice is appreciated,
John
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Old 02-08-2009, 04:53 PM   #2
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Go with the with the largest engine 6.0 or 8.1 I would not consider another with a 5.3! the 1500 are plenty correctly equiped
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Old 02-08-2009, 05:11 PM   #3
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Seems like most folks here say that as long as you're going to stick to a vintage 25-footer or smaller, the 1500 would be ok. 27' seems to be the place where most advice points to the 2500, especially in mountainous terrain. They're geared lower in the differential than the 1500's.
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Old 02-08-2009, 05:49 PM   #4
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The 07 2500 you are considering should have the Autoride Suspension, a non leveling, auto damping system that matches the ride of any 1500 I have driven.(empl. Chevy store 15yrs) Our 06 2500 is the best riding "truck" that I've towed with. If it's a Chev store your dealing with they can supply a build sheet that will list all option codes and what each one represents.
I have used Burbs since 95, so I'm a little biased, that said they are hard to beat for towing an Airstream. Research how they are optioned and choose the best one.
Three weeks per year won't last long, ask me how I know, if true the 1500's may be adequite if optioned right. HD tow package etc.
It's better to have more than you need, than need more than you have.

Good Luck...
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Old 02-09-2009, 05:19 AM   #5
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Hi,
Sounds like you are faced with a dilemma that I was several years ago. I wanted a everyday driver and a tow vehicle so we bought my wife a 2004 Suburban 1500 with the 5.3 eng. and it has been very good for us. It has a very good ride solo it does ok around the part of georgia where I live for towing although I am towing a 34ft trailer which many will say don`t do it and won`t if it involves mountaineous driving since I do have a pickup and a recently acquired 2500 Suburban for me .The 2500 has a stiffer ride which is better for handling the trailer and it does not feel as spongy but yet it does not have an objectionable ride. I get the same mileage towing with either burb. The solo mileage is quite different the 1500 will yield about 14 city/ 19 hwy the 2500 will yield 9 city / 15 hwy and they both average between 9 and 10 towing. The 1500 I do tow in drive or 3rd so the transmission will not hunt and I have not had any problems. I would think that the 1500 should be able to handle a 25 ft trailer fine. My 1500 has the autoride suspension which is nice and will help keep the ride level and it has a 3.73 rear axle ratio. I also am partial to the body style of the 05 that you are looking at but you will have to be the judge on that . To check the rear axle ratio look in the glove compartment and there will be a data sticker with a lot of 3 digit codes. Look for the ones that begin with a G example : GU6 = 3.42, GT4 = 3.73, GT5 = 4.10 G80= locking differential. The 3.73 and 4.10 would be better for towing.Good luck .
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:34 AM   #6
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Since yer going vintage, a 1/2 would do just as well as a 3/4 ton, but if you ever find you are crossing the 6000lb threshold, it really is not a bad idea to start to consider the 3/4 ton. I have a 3/4 ton Burb and love it. Folks give Domestic vehicles a bad rap, my 2004 has been mechanically flawless and nearly all use has been under what the shop manuals call severe duty (towing, offroading, etc). Fit an finish are excellent and it's a solid vehicle no matter which flavor you buy.
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Old 02-10-2009, 08:54 PM   #7
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FWIW, the 2007 has some improvements in reliability, according to Consumers Reports, however the overall reliability remains the same: worse than average. That's actually pretty common for trucks, with the exception of the Japanese brands. However, they do say that, "The 2007 redesign brought more agility and better steering and brakes. "

Also, CS' stated "average price" range supports the $15 difference, if they are upper-level equipped models.

One thing you don't mention: how many people will travel with you. If you are only going by yourself, or with one other, why not buy a truck? They tend to be much cheaper than the Suburban. Of course, if there's a family involved, the Suburban will add a lot of comfort.

ps: it's really called the Yukon XL now, right? Since 2000 there is no more Suburban, I believe.
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Old 02-11-2009, 04:37 AM   #8
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We have had our 2004 Chevrolet Suburban the longest and it has proven to be very reliable and has only made a couple of trips to a shop for tires and brakes and I do my own servicing. It now has about 76,000 miles and counting.
The Yukon XL is under the GMC brand since the year 2000 and Chevrolet has retained the Suburban name.
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Old 02-11-2009, 07:46 AM   #9
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I don't know if I'd agree with the statement that trucks have worse than average reliability, and clearly, I'd take issue with that with Suburban. Though I only have a bit less than 20k on my 2004 3/4 ton, it's been a well refined animal. I have been very impressed with how I have not had any mechanical issues to date and all my use has fallen under the severe use category. My Sub has all the creature comforts of the Caddy version, though not as pretty of a instrument cluster like the Caddy, but it also came about $20k less than the Caddy (and the Caddy wasn't 3/4 ton). Braking, maneuvering, etc, I would give all high marks for my 04....granted it is nothing like my Impala SS in terms of performance, it does brake better and even towing, the truck is in control and delivers great braking and maneuverability there as well. I've had two near misses and the Burb has in fact been a major reason why these were avoided (brakes, suspension, etc).

In the end if the more refined version is even better than it's predecessor, it's got to be one heck of a truck, because I can't say enough good things about my 04 Burb. I has been the best vehicle I have owned so far and I have/had about 4 GM vehicles. I would challenge it against any competitor in terms of QC, performance, etc. My pops has a 00 Silverado 2500...also a very reliable truck...slight interior issues for that year, but just as solid and a performer as my 04 Burb. The engines, trannies and drivelines in these are darn near bulletproof.
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Old 02-11-2009, 09:25 AM   #10
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I have had both the 1500 and 2500 Suburban and use it for both towing and carting children around town. My previous trailer was a 25 foot Safari, weighing about 4500 lbs empty, so that is what my comparison is based upon.

For towing, the 2500 is a much more comfortable truck. By comfort, I mean the feel of control when your have a trailer behind you. With the 1500, I always knew it was behind me, with the 2500 you sometime need to remind yourself about the trailer in the back.

I opted for the 8.1 engine in my new Suburban. For me this was a mistake for the mixed use I use the truck for. When towing, the 8.1 is outstanding. It has the extra power to keep speed uphill and to drive at highway speeds – 65 to 70 (I know some folks think that is too fast for towing). Gas mileage when towing is about the same as my 1500 was, 8 to 9 MPG. Around town I get the same 8-9 MPG and non-towing highway is only about 13 MPG. My 1500 was about 18 MPG on the highway. In retrospect, I would have gotten the 6.0 engine, which still provides enough power for towing, yet gives a better around town MPG.
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Old 02-11-2009, 10:54 AM   #11
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I know a guy that has an 05 or 06 for sale here in Memphis, TN. 40,000-50,000 miles. It has a tow package with the Z71 package. Very nice and very clean, it's white and he wants 19,000. He thinks it has the 6.0 engine. If your interested let me know and I will get all the particulars.
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Old 02-11-2009, 11:00 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aage View Post
FWIW, the 2007 has some improvements in reliability, according to Consumers Reports, however the overall reliability remains the same: worse than average. That's actually pretty common for trucks, with the exception of the Japanese brands. However, they do say that, "The 2007 redesign brought more agility and better steering and brakes."
To be fair, the redesigned (2007+) Expedition has maintained average reliability since it came out.

Having driven 2005 and 2007 Suburbans (same as the Yukon XL), I'd personally come up with the added money for the newer one. The interior is much nicer, the seats more comfortable, brake pedal feel is more confident, and the steering is more precise.

If you do go for a 2005, make sure it has the Stabilitrak stability control system. It really helps keep things safe in emergency situations. IIRC, it became standard partway through the 2005 model year on Suburban.

As mentioned above, if you don't need the seating capacity, you could go for a full-size truck. That might save some money. An Avalanche rides a lot like the Suburban - makes sense since it's based on that integrated body structure rather than having a separate bed/cab. Even the 2007+ Silverado with the Z85 towing suspension rides well for a truck.
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Old 02-11-2009, 01:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmossyone View Post
I know a guy that has an 05 or 06 for sale here in Memphis, TN. 40,000-50,000 miles. It has a tow package with the Z71 package. Very nice and very clean, it's white and he wants 19,000. He thinks it has the 6.0 engine. If your interested let me know and I will get all the particulars.
Z71 offroad pkg is a stiffer suspension. It is not a recommended tow because of this. If this were a tow choice and Air Hitch would be strongly recommended.
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Old 02-11-2009, 04:31 PM   #14
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I do have a wife and three children- so a pickup is out.

The 07 did seem to handle a bit tighter to me, too. But the 05 is quite decent. I haven't had the chance to drive the 2500 yet. Still considering.

Thanks for the helpful comments.
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