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Old 06-01-2012, 12:01 PM   #1
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Best Tow vehicle for 08', 25'-Tahoe work?

We have an 11' Z71 Tahoe 4X4, and we are picking up an 08' Safari shortly. Had an 08' Tahoe that just did not quite have the power to pull our old 06' Safari, but it had 30 less HP and 4 speed transmition. We are considering a F150 Ecoboost, but wanted to see if anyone has experience with the newer Tahoe pulling at least a 25' Airstream before we go off the deep end...
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Old 06-01-2012, 12:07 PM   #2
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The six-speed will help a lot. I towed recently with a 2010 Tahoe (5.3-liter, 6-speed) and it did OK. I would try out your 2011 and see how it does before spending money elsewhere. Mind you, even the 2008 would have had "enough" power, but it would have to work at it.

But. I have towed quite a bit with Ecoboost, and it is a fabulous towing performer. Feels almost effortless and very quiet too.

Tom
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Old 06-01-2012, 01:06 PM   #3
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Thanks. Did you go up any steep grades? We towed a 17' Casita last year in Banff up 8% grade and managed 62mph with gas pedal to floor...my friend had Ecoboost same trailer and sailed by with only 1/4 gas pedal pressure. Thanks again for your input...
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Old 06-01-2012, 02:02 PM   #4
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No big hills with the Tahoe, but I can't say that I was thrilled by merging performance.

I yanked a 7500 pound enclosed car trailer up a long 8% grade with the F-150 Ecoboost. Never went much over 2300 rpm, almost silent doing it. Great optional tow mirrors, great integrated brake control (although Tahoe had that too.) If you have the money and are willing to go from a SUV to a truck, it's really hard to say no.

Tom
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Old 06-01-2012, 03:15 PM   #5
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We tow our 2012 25 FB Flying Cloud with a 2011 Chevy Tahoe which we bought for that purpose. We got the KSL heavy Duty tow package which changes the rear end gears from 3.08 to I think 3.42. It has a transmission oil cooler a beefier alternator and larger radiator. We also have an integrated trailer brake control. With the KSL option our GCWR is 14,000lbs up from 10,500lbs without the package. We use a Hensley Arrow hitch.
This set up is relatively new and I have only towed it about 2000 miles but so far it has performed vwey well in all conditions and Based on this limited experience I would reccommend this set up.
We looked at the Eco-Boost but I needed more than a truck for daily driving purposes. I guess in some ways I will withhold judgement on this engine until it is more of a proven product. I just can't get comfortable with the massive amount of work this engine is expected to do when the turbo kicks in. Time will tell though. In the past these engines have not done well.

Dan
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:27 PM   #6
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In all the posts I have read, the only negative comments on the ecoboosts have been fron non-owners of the ecoboosts, always saying they are worried about the long term validity of the truck. We have had ours for over a year, tows the 19' Bambi like a dream, and drives great. If it didn't work, I would get rid of it and get something else, nothing is permanent. I am not getting rid of it,
We just got back from a 3 day trip through Yellowstone park, without the trailer. Speed limits are low in the park (45mph), but going from Cody, up over Sylvan pass, two days in the park, and back to Laurel, MT through Chief Joseph highway, we averaged over 22mpg.
So towing with power to spare, driving sans trailer and getting great milage, and a great ride for over a year has made me one to espouse the qualities of this truck, not make excuses for what it can't do. And they aren't that expensive.
Greg
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Old 06-02-2012, 06:19 AM   #7
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Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate Dan's experience with the Tahoe. Like him, I do love my Tahoe for everyday driving and trips which often include our5 year old boxer, but I have been following the Ecoboosts for almost 2 years now, and have not found one negative on the engine. I talked with the Ford engineers at a "weekend Ford Ecoboost demonstration" for the new 4 cylinder ecoboost being offered in Explorer and other models, and they told me about the testing and how impressed they were with the new design. Of course they work for Ford...cost is not so bad...Have a quote for fully loaded Lariet list $50K; discounted to $37K...which is $1K cheaper than I paid for my 11' Z71 4X4 Tahoe and Tahoe does have the HD tow package. Dan- not sure where you got the specs on the pulling for 2012 Tahoe?? Chevy only offers the same engine I have 320hp, 335FP torque and max pull weight of 5200/8200 lbs...same as 2011 models, unless I am missing something??is that KSL after market? ...Nits on Tahoe besides torque and HP, are rear camera in mirror is pretty useless for hitching trailer unless you put on your glasses and get up very close, where Ford has a better camera and includes "guidelines" like landing on a carrier. Also, bluetooth on the 11' Tahoe for phone is cheap compared to bluetooth and other electronics "in synch" included in the Ford (understand Chevy is improving electronics in newer model)....I just hate to drive a damnd pickup all the time with parking, etc...will pick up trailer with Tahoe and see how it performes and post experience when we get back next week. 1600 miles RT should help decision. 08' 25' FB Safari has the Hensley equilizer hitch set up, so should be fine there.
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Old 06-02-2012, 10:37 AM   #8
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LFM, I made no negative comments. I said I will withhold judgement. Big difference.
Gypsy, The KSL tow package is an available option from GM. It makes the internal changes I mentioned to get the GCWR up to 14,000 lbs. I'm sorry if anyone mistook my comments as negative. I was only thinking about an engine that is normally asperated with short bursts of turbo being used in a long term tow situation. I'm a mechanical engineer and believe Ford has a lot riding on this and I applaud their innovation.
In two years if these engines prove themselves (not a negative outcome) and they are included in a fullsize SUV I will be standing in line
Gypsy, look up a site that has the build codes for Chevy and you will see how the KSL package changes the towing capabilities.
I guess I just like this small block Chevy engine. I'ts been around for so many years. It's is a proven product that I feel comfortable with. Ultimately you need to get something you are comfortable with as well. You have the Tahoe now, you need a full size SUV, it would make sense to me to give it a try.If you trade now you will take a bath. Everybody has their opinions and sometimes thats what makes this forum so interesting.

Dan
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Old 06-02-2012, 07:53 PM   #9
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Thanks Dan. Do you know what is cost and does GM install? Also, what does it do to normal drive mileage...I was getting 19-21 when new...now at 41k miles, I get 15-17 typically....with stock rear end...
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Old 06-02-2012, 09:56 PM   #10
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Gypsy, The heavy duty trailering package came with the Tahoe I ordered. It is about a 300.00 extra. It includes 3.42 rear end gears (from 3.08), a transmission oil cooler an engine oil cooler and a locking rear differential. This package changes the GCWR from 8500 lbs to 14,000 lbs. Not sure about the gas mileage difference I would think except for the rearend the other changes would be fairly easy for the dealer to do. The Tahoe will not get the gas mileage the ecoboost is capable of achieving. I get about 11 mpg towing and about 17 mpg not towing. I'ts got plenty of power and handles well. I really like the Tahoe for a daily driver. Also the Texas Edition models all come with the heavy duty trailering package. Hope this helps.

Dan11_Trailering_Guide.pdf
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Old 06-02-2012, 11:14 PM   #11
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Gypsy, the above weight info is wrong. The Tahoe without the HD trailering package has a max trailer wt of 5200lbs with a GCWR of 11,000 lbs. With the HD trailering package the max trailering wt is 8200 lbs and a GCWR of 14,000 lbs.

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Old 06-03-2012, 05:13 AM   #12
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OK; Thanks...that is the same package I have on mine. Sticker calls it K5L Heavy Duty Trailering Package at $430.00 list...I get 11 towing and 15-17 on the road...as I mentioned with 4X4 Z71 now, at 65mph....what I was saying though, the 2WD 08 I had got 21-22MPG on the road at 65MPHand I also got 21with this one when new...just seemed to drop off to 15-17 over last couple months...had it checked last week and nothing wrong. I have 41K miles on it and it is an 11' model. I did drive the echo yesterday for an hour; wow! really love the ride, power, etc...just so damnd big to park- it sticks out of my carport by a foot now. I do also love the SUV utility but if it won't pull, I dread merging in traffic and also that looooong 7% grade stretch of highway in Wyoming on the way to our place in MT. This trip picking up the Safari week after next, will tell me what I need to do...wife loved the pickup ride also...
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Old 06-03-2012, 06:22 AM   #13
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Thumbs up Welcome Aboard....

FWIW....

The Z71 is an "off-road" option,(not really), but adds 3" to the height, stiffer suspension and about 300lbs of skid plates and such.
It's especially important that the TV & trailer are level with proper WD/sway control set-up.

Stream Happy...

Bob
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Old 06-04-2012, 08:25 AM   #14
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OK; now you have me wondering...this unit I will pull has 2, 1' X 2'batteries with solar set up all located in front of the unit. Have no idea what the weight is now on hitch...maybe I should just bite the bullet and get the F150 Ecoboost for this afterall and avoid any issues the Tahoe may introduce? Plan was to pick up the AS next week in AZ and drive back to TX to see how Tahoe pulls it. Thoughts
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