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Old 01-02-2003, 10:38 AM   #15
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Starting to look -- welcome advice

Greetings Larry!

I second the recommendation for the McKesh Mirrors as they provide the range of adjustment necessary for safe towing. I have a pair in the modern black powder coat for my Suburban and a chrome plated pair for my '75 Cadillac tow vehicle. Although, I must admit that I would consider ordering the PowerVision mirrors that I understand are now being offered as OEM factory equipment on new Suburbans/Yukon XLs - - these mirrors are permanently installed and look like factory stock - - but adjust electrically from the driver's seat for reach as well as aiming. I was waiting for PowerVision to introduce the heated glass option as well as the auto-dim feature, but gave up two years ago and purchased the McKesh mirrors - - I understand that those features have been incorporated into the new mirrors being offered as factory options.

The Hensley Arrow Hitch has always intrigued me, but having towed with the Reese Dual Cam sway control for more than twenty years without any problems I haven't been convinced that a switch would be right for me. Everyone that I talk to seems to be satisfied with their Henselys, but I can't say the same for the Reese Dual Cam setup.

Kevin
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Old 01-02-2003, 08:14 PM   #16
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Thanks, Kevin and Les!

This info is helpful... now just need to have the year pass by, and I don't want that to happen too fast.

As one gets older, the days become more precious!

-- Larry
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Old 01-04-2003, 08:14 AM   #17
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Another question -- What is the best type tail configuration for the Suburban?

Doors or the Tailgate/Liftgate?

I remember hearing Doors from a long time ago, but don't know if that is correct. The liftgate offers other benefits that doors wouldn't allow.

Thanks.

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Old 01-04-2003, 08:46 AM   #18
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We have doors on our Suburban and are happy with them. The doors swing wide open where they are out of the way for easy access, and there is no tail gate to get in the way. I have heard that some people find the doors distracting when looking through the rear view mirror, but that doesn't bother me, and at night I find that they help block the sometimes irritating headlights from vehicles behind me.

I tow with the Hensley hitch, and the Suburban doors open wide to provide plenty of room for access. The hitch causes the trailer to sit back from the tow vehicle so, depending on the hitch setup, make sure it allows for the doors to open. I suppose the tail gate would have the same issue thoough (if ther even is an issue).

Let us know what you decide on and what you finally wind up with.
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Old 01-04-2003, 08:53 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by lwp999

Doors or the Tailgate/Liftgate?

Larry,

My vote would be for doors. Although I'm towing with a van, I've had situations on backins where my van ends up being at an angle to the trailer. In that situation due to the angle, one door may not open fully due to interference with the gas bottle cover. If I had a tailgate in this situation, it probably would not be able to open either. With the doors, at least one side always will open.

Jack
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Old 01-04-2003, 10:01 AM   #20
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RE: "Barn Doors" or "Tailgate"

Greetings Larry!

For the most part, I believe that the choice of "Barn Doors" or "Tailgate" editions is more personal preference than anything else. There is something about the tailgate being reminiscent of the old-time station wagons (I had two over the years that I hated to see wear out) while the "Barn Doors" remind me of the conversion van that I had and learned to hate in less than 45,000 miles <in the mid-1980s>.

I have had both editions - - Barn Doors and Tailgate - - and the tailgate would get my vote every time. I have four primary reasons (#1 and #2 are the main reasons that I have stuck with the tailgate edition):

1.) The "Barn Doors" ediition IS NOT available with the wiper/washer option that is so VERY convenient when traveling during inclement weather - - especially during Northern Illinois/Wisconsin winters. It is only relatively recently that the "Barn Doors" edition became available with electric defroster grids.

2.) In my experience, the "Barn Doors" become a source of annoying rattles somewhere around 100,000 to 125,000 miles that just continues to get worse as mileage increases.

3.) Depending upon the hitch configuration, it may not be possible to fully open the "Barn Doors" when the trailer is hitched to the tow vehicle - - this was the case with my Overlander - - but the tailgate is fully functional even with the trailer attached.

4.) This is an entirely personal observation, but the extra bulk of the center jams on the "Barn Doors" became a distraction that I learned to hate when driving in city traffic.

The one thing that I have learned with the tailgate edition is to carry a small, aluminum 3-step ladder to make accessing the load area easier - - something that is especially nice with the K2500 four-wheel-drive equipped vehicle that rides high enough that it requires nearly a 12" drop-bar in order to get the hitch at the correct height. In addition, I carry an old piece of countertop cut to fit the tailgate area that allows it to become a nice worksurface for making those impromptu repairs.

The only thing that I am not certain about with the new Suburbans is whether the "tailgate" may not have become a liftgate - - if it is a liftgate there would be a likely problem with opening the tailgate itself while the trailer is attached. A liftgate also wouldn't provide the useful workspace for impromptu repairs. I haven't seen one of the new series Suburbans with the tailgate option to know whether it is a true tailgate or a liftgate. I am hoping for true tailgate as I will be in the market for a new Suburban by the end of this decade or early in the next decade.

Kevin

Good luck with your decision!

Kevin
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Old 01-04-2003, 11:16 AM   #21
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Smile Greetings

Larry,
Like you, I was in the market for a Used Airstream and, bought the Burb afterwards..

You've gotten some great inputs/advise from all of the people. No doubt abt it, your final choice will narrow down quickly~
Likewise, my wife and I are nearing our retirement. We settled on a 29ft A/S that has more than met all of our expectations/needs.
The Burb, that we ended up with, pulls our A/S like a choo-choo train. At first, I would check the rear view to "see" if it's still there.
Our tow vehicle is a GMC Burb 2500 SLT, 4x4 with diesel, and factory installed HD towing package. (Barn doors)
I've never experienced any problems opening either doors getting in or out. Just watch out for the grease balls...lol, I can't tell you how many times I've gotten "swipe'd".
Since we live in New Hampshire, where the winters are brutal, I've to say that...owning/operating a diesel is a piece of cake. I've heard comments abt winter, etc..but, that hasn't been our experience with the diesel Burb. I do buy good fuel and, during the winter months, mix in an additive. (It has a block heater which I use on the coldest of nights)
The fuel economy has been, while pulling the A/S, mostly in the 13 mpg range (it will drop down to 10-11 mpg in the Mtn). Without the A/S behind, it's in the 18 mpg range. The rpm seems to always be abt 2,000 rpm, with average driving habits.
Cost? The biggest cost I've had is self imposed: I change the oil/oil filter abt every 4 to 5k miles when not pulling the A/S. While pulling the A/S, that is cut down to 3k for both. I change out the fuel filter every 10k miles, period. Air filter is usually changed before the start of a long trip and, upon the completion of our trip. The tranny/rear end gets serviced at the end of our trip. Sounds like a lot but, it has never caused us any problems. I now have 148k on the diesel. BTW, two month ago, I had the compression checked: The readings were all in the 420/414 psi range.
Just my take on owning a diesel Burb. For towing. "It's a work-horse.."
Good Luck to you both~!~
ciao
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Old 01-04-2003, 05:06 PM   #22
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Les, Jack, Kevin, Flying Cloud...

Thanks for the various opinions on the doors/liftgate. I'm finding there are many things that are "personal preference", but it sure helps having different perspectives when considering the options.

BTW, the new Suburban, Kevin, has the traditional tailgate - folds both down and up. My present vehicle (Mountaineer) has the liftgate, I miss the tailgate.

When I asked a dealer about putting the diesel in the new Suburbans, it sounded like the transmission case is too large(tall) for the frame - no time estimate on when that might change. And I've heard from a few folks (Kevin included) that diesel is less available in remote areas; don't know if that's a factor.

Have any of you put larger fuel tanks in your vehicles for the out-of-the way trips? Seeing the 13mpg with the diesel vs ?? with the large gas engine (454 or 8.1L) raises the question. I've found some sites that have replacement tanks. Any experience?

Thanks, again. We've got less than a year to retirement, so it's getting close to seeing you on the road.

{Kevin, I received some good info from Ed. Thanks!}

- Larry
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Old 01-04-2003, 05:35 PM   #23
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fuel capacity

Good point on the amount of fuel you can carry. I have a friend with one of the last 7.4 liter 2500 Chevy pickups and fuel capacity can definitely be of concern, especially when you're heading out the backroads of west Texas. He had bought an auxillary bed tank and wanted me to help him install it but I refused, asked him if he realized how dangerous it was to be carrying 30 or 40 gallons of gasoline with nothing but a piece of glass separating it from yourself. He changed his mind, especially after thinking about his grandkids sitting in the cab. I know you can get aftermarket fuel tanks with increased capacity that will replace the existing tank. Not sure if they have them for suburbans though. Even with the 40 gallons you can carry, the 8.1 or 7.4 can go through it in a hurry, even without towing anything. I've said it before and will say it again, I.M.H.O. diesel power is the way to go.

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Old 01-04-2003, 05:46 PM   #24
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Silverado Reg cab long bed

My truck came with a factory 34 gallon tank. But I only travel about 150-200 miles per day and that's about a 1/2 tanks worth.

Even if I did drive a full-day, I haven't yet used a full tank. I either fill-up at the end of the day or 1st thing in the morning prior to setting out.

John
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Old 01-04-2003, 05:53 PM   #25
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Full-day

By the way- 400 miles is a full-days drive for me. I don't care to be exhausted at the end of the day. Plus since I'm retired, I don't even own a watch, I'm not on any time table.

John
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Old 01-04-2003, 05:58 PM   #26
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40 gallons

when we do our sturgis run it is just over 800 miles. thats where the fourty gallon tank comes in handy.

from madison wi. i stop for fuel in rochester minn. and chamberland sd. arriving in spearfish sd. 12 3/4 to 13 hours later.

we call it the drive drive drive sleep run.

john

p.s. thats when the metallica cd's come in handy to keep awake!
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Old 01-04-2003, 06:09 PM   #27
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My last concert!

They were the last concert that I've been to, back in 99. Outside in W.PalmBeach and they sounded as awesome live as they do on their cd's.

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Old 01-04-2003, 07:39 PM   #28
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Cool Oops

Larry,
You brought up an excellent point~
I forgot to mention that fact..
With the diesel Burb, the fuel tank is 42 gallon tank. I have/can drive from NH, to Va Beach, Va., on 3/4 (give or take) tank.
This is without haulin the A/S
I'll usually fill up at a 'busy truck stop' along the way just to have extra. You don't wanta run out~!
As you mention, the diesel isn't yet available in the new Burb.
All I can say abt that is, if more people ask for it, maybe GMC will get their act together~! lol
ciao
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