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Old 10-07-2004, 10:01 PM   #15
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John,

Actually my Denali is rated for 10,000#! And as I said before, GM has blured the line between 1/2 and 3/4 tons, no doubt. They don't even offer a 2500 anymore, just the 2500HD, since the 1500HD is basically a 2500. So to automatically to assume a 1500 can't do the job is a wrong assumption.
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Old 10-07-2004, 10:07 PM   #16
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So to automatically to assume a 1500 can't do the job is a wrong assumption.
you are correct!

i think that a 1/2 ton with a V-8 with 3.73's or lower would have no problem with any 25 foot airstream.

that is of course, one didn't collect rocks for a hobby when on vacation!

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Old 10-07-2004, 10:08 PM   #17
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Big Dee,
You tend to forget that not all 1/2 ton trucks are equal. The Chevy 1/2 ton 1500 is not available with the 6.0 unless you go with the 1500HD. Your GMC Denali is specially equipped with 3/4 ton running gear just like the Chevy 1500HD but you can't classify it as a run of the mill 1/2 ton truck. The transmission in your Denali is also heavier duty than the one in the 1/2 ton 1500 truck as are the brakes. I guess you are starting to get the picture which should be that your Denali is more 3/4 ton than it is 1/2 ton. You should like the 6.0 because it can be a good engine with plenty of power.


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Originally Posted by Big Dee
Again, "the biggest truck available" camp strikes again. Pa-lease! A 1/2 tonner properly equiped is more than enough for a 25' AS. A 6.0 engine will never even be tested pulling a 25', even over the Eisenhower tunnel. GMC agrees, as they frequently feature a Denali pulling a 25' AS in ads and articles. My 6.0 pulls my 30' Classic very nicely, thank you. Up the hills, passing other RVs and semis. Brakes are the same on mine as a 3/4 ton. Wheelbase is 174, which is in the exceptable range. I would say to get 4:10 gears if pulling something bigger than 25' but the 6.0 with 3:73 pulling a 25' would be fine. My tranny is HD same as the 3/4. I have a tranny cooler and gauge as stock. That tranny guage needle never moves, even on hills. My temp gauge doesn't move much either. You will do fine with a 1/2 tonner properly equiped.

But don't take my word for it. Read this thread: http://www.airforums.com/forum...2&page=2&pp=20
Look at what Gerry says about his trip from Florida to Alaska and back pulling a 28' CCD. His last comment says it all: All in all a wonderful trip and it is my opinion that a stock Suburban (with a tow package) with two people taking a trip (not tons of luggage) and who are willing to take average speeds of 55 mph can go most anywhere they wish in North America.
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Old 10-07-2004, 10:23 PM   #18
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Craig,

Actually I think everyone else around here forgets that not all 1/2 tonners are equal. It seems every piece of advice is: "pulling a 25' with a 1/2 ton? Oh, what HORRORS!!! Don't even think of doing it!" That just bugs me.

That's why I always preface by saying "a PROPERLY equiped 1/2 tonner can...."
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Old 10-07-2004, 11:32 PM   #19
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Well, thank you all. It looks like there really are two camps here. Almost like the diesel vs. gas debate that will only end when the last barrel of oil is sucked out of the ground.

Much good advice, and I will try to digest it and decide what is best for us. Part of the strategy of an SUV is that it could serve as a replacement for our sedan when not towing, freeing up some space in the garage for a "fun" car. Whole other story.

I knew we shouldn't have test driven that Escalade today!!

Thanks again all for your comments.
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Old 10-08-2004, 12:24 AM   #20
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What a good point! All to often the emphasis in tow vehicle selection is limited to torque and horsepower alone. What gets overlooked is the ability to STOP! No matter how carefully you tow sometimes other drivers can necessitate needing to stop quickly. It is so important to have a heavy and long enough vehicle to facilitate this. Very good point!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinky
I once had a 150 that I towed our first A/S with. It was a 68 Safari; 22'. I had packed the wheel bearings on the trailer and I believe I might have over greased them. After traveling about 80 miles or so, I think the heat caused some of the grease to get onto my trailer brakes. If you can imagine what happens when that takes place, you probably will know how I felt when I tried to bring my ˝ ton truck to a stop with the trailer pushing from behind me. I almost rear ended someone but some how I got it stopped before I hit them. That was not a pleasant experience to say the least and one I won't forget.

IMHO, you need to have complete control of bringing your vehicle to a safe stop at all times. I believe if I had the truck then that I have now (1-ton dually) it would not have been as big of a problem. Each time I went to a larger tow vehicle I felt safer. After several years of towing I'll take the larger towing vehicle if given a choice.

There are many postings on this forum about towing. Do a search on towing and brakes and see what you can find. I would like to refer you to this thread where I posted about a near accident on the interstate. The way my vehicle was set up I believe had a lot to do with what happened. My posting is on page 2.

Welcome to the forums and I hope you have many years of safe and happy camping!
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Old 10-08-2004, 08:00 AM   #21
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I agree Big Dee, you are in a whole 'nuther category. The issue for me is not the engine. I have towed our 6300lbs with the 5.7L sedan and have towed with a 6.0L 3/4. The 5.7L and the 6.0L have the power, to that there is no question. One if desired, could always go larger in an engine if they wanted, but it is not required at the 25' level IMHO (even in a Classic form).

The orig poster did not mention he was looking at a 1500HD, from the sound of it, he was looking at a GMC or Escalade and then fessed up, he was looking at the Escalade. My issue is clearly with the rear end, the 4L60E and the brakes (to a lesser extent).

I read where one guy chickened out at 20k. It took only one season for me to realize my trans was not going to make it more than a year or two without a major overhaul/upgrade. Even then, the sedan is just a bad tow for the 25' coach. Why? Because you can engineer and mod the tow capabilities as best as you can, however most sedans don't weigh 6300lbs, so in effect, the sedan gets moved around a bunch by the heavier coach...moreover if you get some good wind gusts, it's even more fun of a towing exp.

Though true, not all 1/2 tons are alike, most current 1/2 tons are rated for about 7k-8k and still do not have the more stout driveline that the 3/4s have. Matter of fact, most of the 1/2 tons GM sells are 5.3L, not even the 6.0L unless you get a 1500HD (which did I believe get the upgraded driveline), Caddy (which does not have the driveline upgrade, just the 6.0L engine), and the GMC, which is just like the Caddy, all engine, no driveline upgrade....all regardless of what GM says it can safely tow. Road King Moe has brought up time and time again, that the tow rating, is minus, passenger, cargo, etc. Our 3/4 ton Suburban is rated for 9600lbs w/ 4x4. I can tell you that the 4L80E and the larger rear end and gear/housing diameter are more than up to tow about 8500lbs. I would NEVER push it to the full 9600lbs. At that point, personally, I feel I'd be getting into the 8.1L area and/or diesel using todays current offerings.

The 4L60E and rear gear housing on the 1/2 tons and GM sedans are designed for about 5000lbs in an average senario. But as is the case with the request made by the thread starter, given the current info, the Escalade and or the seadan he is kicking around towing with, I stand with my current suggestion of a 3/4 ton.

Keep in mind I am talking fairly recent 1/2 GM trucks which is what the thread started was talking about. Additionally, it's been said that some folks live in another universe...I've been there, and the physics in that universe are different than this one.
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Old 10-08-2004, 10:45 AM   #22
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Twink,

I agree with you. Everything in the 1/2 ton needs to be extra beefy. But 1/2 tonners can come with the same tranny and brakes as the 3/4 ton. So if a 1/2 ton has the same brakes and tranny as the 3/4 ton then it is a moot point. These would not be reasons to choose the 3/4 ton over the 1/2.

Regarding the engine, if the 6.0 can run up the tallest mountains at a good clip pulling a 25', than why choose 8.1? To waste more gas and money?

As to the weight issue, it is a misconception that TVs must be the same weight of the trailer, as I've seen written here before. Look at every semi truck on the road. The semi is a fraction of the weight of its trailer.

And yes, as I learned from Moe, tow ratings are a marketing gimic. The real tow rating is the GCVWR. I wish Detroit would just use the GCVWR as tow ratings. I don't understand why they keep this rating a secret. Frustrating.

With all that said, I must say the Escalade does not impress me as a TV, for the reasons you said. I wonder why GM doesn't beef up the Escalade for towing. They would sell even more of them.
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Old 10-08-2004, 11:13 AM   #23
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Some great input!

"Fessed up?" Well, I guess so. We just stopped in the GMC store yesterday and drove the Escalade....kind of on a lark. But thanks to you I looked at the fine print and they don't get specific as to the transmission! The Denali/Yukon has the 4L65E and the 'Burb 3/4 has the 4L85E HD.

I assume the 4L85E is a beefier box. Any input here would be helpful.

Leaning back to the 3/4 Burb, 6.0L Vortec and 4.10 gears.

Either that or stay in the trucking business. Nothing wrong with pickups, but we kind of gave up on the fifth wheel so we could tow with a vehicle that is "nicer" to drive when "we get there."
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Old 10-08-2004, 11:14 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dee
...... The real tow rating is the GCVWR.. .........
Therein lies the focus of all of the questions -- "Can I tow a 34'er with my Kia if I......".

!!LOOK AT WHAT THE INDIVIDUAL VEHICLE IN QUESTION IS RATED FOR!!

You can't use "general" data such as an "overall rating" website.

Case in point - I purchased a new 1/2 ton Chevy PU in 2001 - a "commuter special". Lots of people pull with 1/2 ton Chevys.....this particular PU had a tow rating of 1800 lbs..........one thousand eight hundred pounds.

I couldn't even latch onto a Bambi with it.

These Forum questions and debates are great for "general" terms, but the ultimate answer of the question of tow capacity is found in the paperwork and documentation of each individual vehicle as it is delivered.
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Old 10-08-2004, 11:56 AM   #25
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Hi folks, I'm new to the forum and this is my first message so cut me some slack if I did it wrong.....I don't know about the GM's & Chevy half tons but I have been successfully towing my 30" Excella with a Full Size 92 Bronco for sometime with no problems. The truck has over 200K on it but the 5L is fresh (started with a new Ford Motor Sports short block and had it built from there - roller cam - Roush heads - headers - etc. I upgraded the suspension and beefed up the tranny and away we go....
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Old 10-08-2004, 12:10 PM   #26
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Dennis, I agree. Each TV needs to be judged on a case-by-case basis. Blanket assumptions that 1/2 tonners can't do the job are just wrong.

Wildwood, sounds like a good call- the 3/4 'Burb with 6.0 and 4:10 gears. I think that would be an awesome match for your AS.

jrkeef, welcome to the Forums!
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Old 10-08-2004, 12:23 PM   #27
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[QUOTE=Big Dee

"I agree with you. Everything in the 1/2 ton needs to be extra beefy. But 1/2 tonners can come with the same tranny and brakes as the 3/4 ton. So if a 1/2 ton has the same brakes and tranny as the 3/4 ton then it is a moot point. These would not be reasons to choose the 3/4 ton over the 1/2.

Regarding the engine, if the 6.0 can run up the tallest mountains at a good clip pulling a 25', than why choose 8.1? To waste more gas and money?"


Dee, that is where the issue is. The fact is that the Caddys and the GMCs that can get the 6.0L only get the 10 bolt rear end and the 4l60e. The don't get the 4l80e nor do the get the beefier hubs or 14 bolt rear end. Aside from the 1500HD that might. In fact that 1500HD is really no longer a 1/2 ton as it has most if not all the 3/4 ton parts. To get the 4l80e and the 14 bolt rear end (plus the bigger more robust wheel hubs), you gotta go 3/4 ton (or 1500HD if it is still around).

As for the 6.0L, I fully agree and put my money where my yack is..I bought a 3/4 ton Suburban with the 6.0L engine and the 4l80e with the 14 bolt semi (not full floating) rear axle and it comes with the more robust wheel hubs. This was not an option at all on the 1/2 Suburbans and is not an option for any of the 1/2 ton, with the possible 1500HD exception.

The only reason I'd go 8.1 is if I wanted more power and/or I towed a coach upwards of 9500-10k lbs. There, clearly, the 8.1L or Duramax would be a better option and only an option on a 3/4 ton. Personally, I don't need that right now, but if I got a 34' Classic or a Classic or CCD or 30' Safari that started to push my 9600lb tow capacity of my 6.0L Suburban, I'd go to the 8.1 or Duramax. In reality the 8.1L does not get that much worse MPG than the 6.0L. I know that is hard to believe, but it really is only about 1 to 2 MPG on average if you don't drive it like you stole it.

BTW--remember I am talking about current or very recent model year offerings by GM. So if you have Ford data to share, go for it. But since we are talking GM here, that's where I'm coming from having spent months looking into it before getting the '04 Suburban.
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Old 10-08-2004, 01:15 PM   #28
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I will try to digest it and decide what is best for us.
You hit the nail on the head because that is ultimately, that is what you have to do.
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