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Old 07-07-2013, 06:06 PM   #1
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Yukon XL 2500 Advice needed

Hey Everyone-

I am looking at a 2001 Yukon XL 2500 SLT with around 150k miles and the tow package priced pretty well. It has the 8.1L gas engine, and will be used just for towing. We're in the process of looking for our Airstream now, but it will be between 19-25'. I'm going down to take a look this week, and would love some advice if anyone has some on this particular model, other than the terrible mpg. Most of our towing will be through the Rockies, so towing safely at elevation is essential. I'll be going down this week to take a look, and would love the opinions of those with more TV experience than myself. Buying a TV and an AS at the same time is sure expensive, so we're going to start with an older TV first...just want to make sure we're well equipped and safe. ProPride/Hensley hitch is next, but am looking to secure the TV first.

Thanks for anything!
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:24 PM   #2
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You are going to get A LOT of advice...

From my perspective, you are looking at a truck that could tow twice as much trailer as you are shopping for.. The 3/4 ton Yukon XL/Suburbans with the BIG V8 have plent of power and a beefy chassis to tow anything up to a 31 easily, and would be good match for '34 if not for altitude and slopes in your area.. Similar thoughts about Hensley.. They are good value for longer heavier trailers, but could also be not needed for trailers under 25' Any good load leveling and anti-sway hitch could probably do the job, and be easier to hitch and unhook..

Part of fun of this Forum is that some will weigh in and insist that 3/4 ton truck with full Hensley setup needed for a 19' Bambi, and others will suggest you can safely tow a 31' with slideout behind an F-150 with small V8... Only consistent theme is to ignore car/truck salesperson's assurances, and look at manuals and tow specs for vehicles from manufacturers.. Leave 15-20% cushion between tow capacity and GVWR of trailer, since GVWR needs to allow for people, luggage, fuel and other stuff in addition to loaded trailer...
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:36 PM   #3
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Lots of things to fix on a truck with 150k miles.
If you have a truck with a fussy owner and a meticulous service history it might be O.K.
But if it is the average truck, you will be discouraged by the number and the cost of repairs.
Look for a smaller, newer truck with less miles.
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:07 PM   #4
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Yukon XL 2500 Advice needed

Greetings muskypicker!

Quote:
Originally Posted by muskypicker View Post
Hey Everyone-

I am looking at a 2001 Yukon XL 2500 SLT with around 150k miles and the tow package priced pretty well. It has the 8.1L gas engine, and will be used just for towing. We're in the process of looking for our Airstream now, but it will be between 19-25'. I'm going down to take a look this week, and would love some advice if anyone has some on this particular model, other than the terrible mpg. Most of our towing will be through the Rockies, so towing safely at elevation is essential. I'll be going down this week to take a look, and would love the opinions of those with more TV experience than myself. Buying a TV and an AS at the same time is sure expensive, so we're going to start with an older TV first...just want to make sure we're well equipped and safe. ProPride/Hensley hitch is next, but am looking to secure the TV first.

Thanks for anything!

I am a fan of the 3/4-ton Suburban whether in Chevrolet or GMC clothes. The key is fastidious maintenance. I purchased my 1999 GMC K2500 Suburban new as a special order with the 7400 VORTEC, 4.10 differential gears, and automatic transmission. My Suburban now has just short of 200,000 miles and I am very pleased with its durability other than the four-wheel-drive transfer case and controls (they have been problematic since 15,000 miles). The only option I wouldn't order on my Suburban today is four-wheel-drive as it has never worked when it might have come in handy . . . yet I have been able to drive out of any situation encountered. The following are major repairs that I have had to have completed:
  • New starter at 98,000 miles
  • New water pump at 128,000 miles
  • New fuel pump at 136,000 miles
  • New Timing Gear and Chain at 168,000 miles
  • New Rear Main Bearing Seal at 188,000 miles
  • New air conditioner compressor at 190,000 miles
Other than the above repairs, the only items have been regular maintenance such as lube/oil/filter @ 3,000 mile intervals, transmission service at 30,000 mile intervals, differential service at 30,000 mile intervals, major tuneups at 80,000 mile intervals, and shock absorbers at 50,000 mile intervals.

I have been thrilled with my Suburban. Its solo mileage isn't great (careful driving will result in 16 MPG on the open road) with towing between 10 and 12 MPG. I tow at a self-imposed 55-MPH speed limit and it does help to keep towing economy a bit higher.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin

P.S.: Much of my reason for purchasing the Suburban with the big block gas V8 was my desire to spend a great deal of time touring the Rocky Mountains. The Suburban has never let me down . . . it pulls either of my trailers across the steepest grades with ease and confidence.
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:39 PM   #5
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Like Kevin I have a 1999 Chevy Suburban, 3/4 ton with a big block V8 with 130,000 miles. Terrible mileage but a very handy vehicle for moving kids to college, etc. Now we use it almost exclusively for towing. My 4 wheel drive has never caused me problems although I had to replace the transfer case due to a leaking seal on a long trip. Ran the fluid out and trashed the transfer case. The rest has been maintenance and little stuff. Have towed all over the country with it. Great vehicle although it is big when not towing and trying to park somewhere. But that is the nature of the beast as it would be with extended cab pickups.
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:59 PM   #6
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Way too much truck for a 25' AS. I towed a 31' AS with a 1/2 ton 1996 GMC Suburban 4X4 with a 350 engine. It towed just fine and I had plenty of power, plus it road nice.
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Old 07-11-2013, 06:40 PM   #7
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For the record, we had a '94 Suburban 1500 4WD before the current Excursion, with the gutless Chevy (pre-Vortec) 5.7L V8 rated at almost 200hp.. It was actually fine pulling our Excella 25 (generally loaded on the road at 6,650#) on most roads other than high altitude and really steep at speed limits between 55 mph and 65 mph..

Echoing some of the other high-mileage maintenance items, in first 80K miles (including trip across the US and several into Canada) we had to:

1. Replace Fuel pump
2. Replace Air Conditioner Compressor
3. Replace section of muffler/tailpipe
4. Replace rear axle which failed with rear bearing failure (tongue weight?)

We used it solely as ski car and towing vehicle, and let it rest during week. Never worried about sturdiness of chassis or being jerked about by trailers. Current Excursion has 50 more hp, even heavier frame and is exclusively a tow vehicle with 5.4L Triton engine and 2WD.. That is also plenty for an Airstream 25 or 27...
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:08 PM   #8
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We have an 02 Suburban 4X4 with the 8.1

We tow a 25 foot Safari with it and love it to death. Pulls all the mountains out west without a care.

Truck has 130k miles on it and has been pretty repair free. The few repairs we had to do were pretty cheap as Chevy parts are everywhere.
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:42 PM   #9
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We have pulled our 27 ' 1973 Overlander (the title says 4200 lb) with our 2003 Tahoe 5,3 4x4 for several years but now tow with a 2012 Sequoia because at 180k miles the water pump, air conditioner, and oil pressure sender had to be replaced. We were concerned that the transfers case and transmission might go out on a long trip. I agree that the 3/4 ton might be overkill but it will do the trick. The only time the Tahoe approached overheating was driving up to the Grand Canyon, but it is a long climb. We use a Reece dual cam load leveler system and a friction sway control bar and it tracks straight.
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