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Old 12-06-2021, 05:02 PM   #1
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2020 28' Airstream and a 2022 Tahoe Durmax

We have a 2020 28' Airstream Flying Cloud and need another tow vehicle. I am considering a 2022 Tahoe or a Suburban. I've been told the Tahoe may not have a long enough wheelbase. I do want a 3.0 Duramax diesel engine.

Will either the Tahoe or Suburban be safe enough to tow the 28 footer? Anyone out there have this setup and can advise? The diesel has plenty of torque. Is it the right engine to safely tow the AS?

Thank you.

Robert
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Old 12-06-2021, 05:24 PM   #2
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The general thought for most in this forum is that a 27/28 should be towed by a 3/4 ton TV considering the tongue weight and cargo (including passengers) in the TV.

If you had the SUV full of passengers, their luggage, and ~900 pound tongue weight, you'd exceed the cargo capacity of the TV.

Remember, the weigh of the diesel drivetrain is heavy and reduces the cargo capacity of the TV.
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Old 12-06-2021, 05:35 PM   #3
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I tow a 28’ with an F150 XLT super crew no problem. Use Propride Hitch. I looked at a Jeep Wagoneer today. It had about 1700lbs of payload, pulls 10,000lbs with the max tow package. Not cheap. But a lot more comfortable than an F150. I would definitely consider that kind of vehicle.

This idea that from a 25’ to a 28’ you have to have a 3/4 ton is a bit off to me. The difference is very little in weight. The extra length is 3’. And a 28’ is clearly within the limits of a 10,000lb tow capacity. Now if you were towing a 30’ Classic that weight 10,000lbs then you definitely need a 3/4 ton.

But you will get the constant drum beat on this forum you can’t tow a 28’ with less than a 3/4 ton.

The biggest thing you have to consider is what you are going to load up in the Tahoe for payload. Passengers, etc. I think you need a minimum of 1600lbs of payload with a 28’. But read the article below. He has a different opinion on how to calculate capabilities. Tongue weight can be an issue. And it will depend upon whether you have a front or rear bedroom. I have a rear bedroom. That means when I store things it takes off tongue weight. My tongue weight stays around 1000lbs. Whereas a front bedroom tends to add tongue weight. I have read some on this forum where it climbs to 1200lbs. Payload could be your limiting factor. But remember you can load things into the TT. And I typically put light stuff into the back of the pickup.

https://www.rvlifemag.com/towing-hal...e-quarter-ton/

The above link should be read for your interest.

Also I Private Messaged Andy and they regularly set up Expeditions to tow, and I’m sure he would have some insights. He said an Expedition could tow my 28’. And an Expedition is similar to a Tahoe.

Anyway it will depend upon how you load and what you take. Best on your decision.
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Old 12-06-2021, 05:39 PM   #4
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Well... with respect - the general thought is not that at all.

Plenty of people tow with half-tons, heavy half-tons, 3/4 tons, Suburbans/YukonXLs and Tahoes/Yukons. The "max tow package" for GM vehicles - not the standard tow package - makes it easier and the issue is both weight and handling. Obviously, my 27' is not the same weight as the current 28' foot models. But many people tow double-axle Airstreams and do so safely. The new Duramax tow reports are such that it will make these models better than ever. Robert, the only issue I've heard about the Tahoe/Yukon is, as you said, wheelbase related, but it is negative from people who haven't towed with them and positive from those who have.

There is plenty of information out there to explore. Just don't ask about tires....
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Old 12-06-2021, 06:35 PM   #5
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Numbers Don’t Lie

Your issue will be payload capacity. My Yukon had a payload capacity of 1300 lbs. It was an LT with a lot of creature comforts. I have a 28FC RB and a propride hitch. The AS and hitch add up to a little over 1000 lbs tongue weight so I would have to lose a lot of weight to stay within payload capacities and forget about taking grandkids or dogs or much gear. Don’t take the brochure payload numbers, only the door sticker will tell you the exact payload capacity. I for one traded in my Yukon for a 3/4 ton Dodge Ram. And yes, Diesel engines are much heavier and more expensive and will further significantly reduce your payload capacity. Do people pull a 28ft and above AS with a SUV or 1/2 ton pickup? Sure, but you wouldn’t get me to exceed the capacities of the tow vehicle so I went with the truck that had more than I needed capacities. Better to be safe than sorry. By the way, I often hear how 3/4 ton trucks are rough rides and I would concur. The exception is the RAM. It rides better than my wife’s Lexus. It can be a little challenging at times with tight parking but I am getting better at it.
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Old 12-07-2021, 09:33 AM   #6
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There are innumerable threads across AF about tow vehicles, load capacity, tow capacity, etc. Probably worth your while to peruse a few of those in addition to any responses you get here. After a bit, every one of those threads begin to look and sound the same, but it’s all here for you to read.
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Old 12-07-2021, 09:53 AM   #7
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As said there are many threads with sound opinions on Tow Vehicles, but you asked specifically about Suburban/Tahoe. I have looked at the specs previously. Suburban with max tow looks to be pretty capable and even configured with lots of options has a payload capacity greater than a lot of even 3/4 ton trucks (although obviously you can spec them higher if you know what you are doing). So looks like a reasonable combination to at least consider.
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Old 12-07-2021, 10:36 AM   #8
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Post #6 makes a lot of sense! There are many posts here on this topic each week...

I can't speak to the Suburban. But, having owned/towed 3 different 25' AS's (06',an 08', and new 14') and 2 different "brand new" (at the time) Tahoe's, I ended up moving to a new F150 EB 4x4 Platinum. The power and handling of the F150 EB was night and day better for towing the same 25' with the Tahoe's. I only had 10 months on my second Tahoe when I traded it in for the EB...my only regret at the time owning the F150 was the Platinum model I got only had a 1039# payload...I didn't understand the importance of Payload at the time until a couple years into owning it..wow, what a shock!

I can also tell you that towing our 28' with an F250 6.7L was a smart move for us! Payload and handling being the biggest noticeable difference over the F150 with the heavier 28' FCT. As many will tell you here, if you have the opportunity to tow your AS 25' or larger model with both the F150 (or other 1/2T) and the F250 (or any 3/4-1T TV), and are able to go up and down a mountain so you can compare, you will immediately understand there is a huge difference/advantage to the larger TV. Diesel offers another advantage to towing in the mountains also with the engine brake...especially noticable when in cruise control, engine brake engaged, and collision avoidene distance set...you sit back and relax..no white knuckle moments.

Folks who own 1/2T's towing larger AS's will argue "they are fine"; again, if you can tow with both to compare, you will understand the value the larger TV will bring. Consider your family, your gear, your safety, and your investment $ behind you...enough said.
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Old 12-07-2021, 11:27 AM   #9
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As you'll soon find out, there are people on both sides of this argument.

All that should matter to you, is that you're on the right side of the law and that you keep you and yours safe.

If you should overload your truck and get in a serious accident, I'm afraid that'll be on you.
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Old 12-07-2021, 11:36 AM   #10
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All opinions aside, the numbers are important and they test them for a reason. Exceeding payload and maximum limits can cause you issues that can be fatal (for either you or your trailer).

We've towed for 40+ years and occasionally have seen the carnage when someone ignored the limits...nothing sadder than a sparkling new airstream tires toward the sky because the new owners thought their truck was enough. "Hey, I can pull it with no problem!" and were totally shocked to discover that while they could "pull it", suddenly it could also "pull them".

Car dealers seem to always say "Oh, that'll work just fine" when you are looking, and the trailer dealers want the sale, although I have seen a few that will not let you leave the lot with a totally wrong vehicle.

And, of course everyone out there has an opinion. So, do your homework on payloads, hitches, scales and make a decision for yourself that is safe and within the bounds of the limits posted on your vehicle.
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Old 12-07-2021, 11:42 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by SYC2Vette View Post
As said there are many threads with sound opinions on Tow Vehicles, but you asked specifically about Suburban/Tahoe. I have looked at the specs previously. Suburban with max tow looks to be pretty capable and even configured with lots of options has a payload capacity greater than a lot of even 3/4 ton trucks (although obviously you can spec them higher if you know what you are doing). So looks like a reasonable combination to at least consider.
Not sure I see what you are seeing. Suburban fully loaded has maybe an 8100lb tow capacity. A 28' FC weighs in at about 7600lbs and that's only 500lbs more. My 3/4 ton burb has a 9800lb tow capacity.
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Old 12-07-2021, 12:27 PM   #12
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I took delivery of a 2021 International 27FB in February. I towed it with a GMC Sierra 1500 with the 3.0L Duramax and the max tow package. The engine towed fine, through mountains, in wind, etc. Lots of torque. The tounge weight, however, was maxed out plus (used the CAT scales), even with my Blue Ox weight distributing hitch.

A couple of months ago a car decided not to exit the highway and came back on directly in front of me. Because I had left lots of room and anticipated the dangerous move, we avoided contact. I did however have to use full maximum breaks. Everything worked, but the truck just could not slowdown . . . too heavy a combination! I have since replaced the truck with a Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD with the max tow package, technology (camera) package, and the 6.7L Duramax. I can not explain the difference in words other than to say there is no comparison as to how well the 2500 tows. I arrive at my location fresh, as opposed to previously tired and stressed.

The moral of the story is that the 1500 Duramax is great until it isn't. Since you are buying a new vehicle anyways, it's my opinion (changed from a year ago) that you spend the extra money now and get the 2500. I wish I had as it would have saved me money in the end.

Good luck and happy travels!
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Old 12-07-2021, 12:37 PM   #13
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The logic many of us use, is that any time you are maxing out your tow capacity(or even close) you are slowly tearing up your vehicle, every time you tow with it, and when you have plenty tow capacity left over (tow capacity of your tv) you are not tearing it up when you tow with it…..
Additionally, and more importantly, the capacity of your vehicle to safely handle your trailer’s mass and weight is massively different, between a maxed out tv vs a much more capable tv, and the heavier duty vehicle will be much more fun to tow with….not to mention safer……

I often use the analogy of my 1992 jeep cherokee- it is rated to tow 5000 lbs. and a tongue weight of 750lbs…..

You can “legally” tow a trailer within those specs with that little cherokee, but you would be out of your mind to do it…..and it would be dangerous and tear up the jeep, but its legal….

As it relates to the original question, we have a tahoe that we tow our 26’ with, but it is massively more fun to tow it with our ford e350 van…..literally night and day…..
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Old 12-07-2021, 01:07 PM   #14
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We have this exact setup: 2021 Tahoe High Country 6.6 V8 gas, Max Trailering Package with a 2021 28' FC RB Twin. We towed for the last 13 months, 4500 miles, but only in Ohio and Michigan. No road problems (sway, etc.), hills in S.E. Ohio no problem, Interstate speeds no problem, at 7.5 gain braking was excellent. Average mileage towing is 10.1 MPG at 65 MPH max. Recently traded my XTS-VCaddy for a 2020 Silverado 2500 High Country. Why? There were a few shorcomings with the Tahoe. 1) GCVW(payload) - 15,000 lbs., about 600 lbs less than the total of the Tahoe and AS individual MGVWs. So we had to limit our packing to stay under. Not a big problem for us but that's us. Also knew that we would want to start packing the generator and other similar heavy gear for longer trips and perhaps even bring some passengers or a dog or three. 2) Tahoe Max Hitch weight-Chevy (bless their hearts) provided several different max limits to choose from, as is common with such a variety of options available - owner's manual (about 800lbs, post sticker (825lbs), special sticker on the hitch(850lbs). Being new to trailering, I didn't know to check the trailer tongue weight. Surprise, surprise, the AS came in at 899 Lbs! Figured I could massage the actual weight down with a little rear loading in the trailer and a good WD hitch setup (not a good plan) It works and after getting a CAT scales weighing I had an 825 lbs level tongue weight and was well below max on both vehicles axles and gross weights. Had to buy a tongue weight scale to accomplish this. 3) Towing range - Tahoe has a smallish fuel tank (around 26 gal.) compared to the diesel Silverado (36 gallons). Having ridden 250K miles on motorcycles with about a 200 mile range, I knew that could be an issue in less populated areas out west. 4) wheelbase (which you mentioned) - I could feel the lateral pressure with the Tahoe. It didn't get to the point of loss of control but combined with the fact that the Tahoe and AS are nearly identical in weight when we're traveling, it made me a little uncomfortable. 4) Mirrors - Who would ever think that Chevy would sell a vehicle with "Max Trailering Package" that didn't include trailering mirrors? Not included and NOT AVAILABLE. You can buy some aftermarket products $$$ but my wife would not hear of it. So I'm stuck using strap-ons (minds out of the gutter, please). 5) Rear Lift Gate - Won't clear the AS jack when hitched. The Silverado makes it (just barely) without any changes. Big deal? Nope. But inconvenient for an $85K vehicle. 6) Sensitivity to weight changes - I noticed that I was spending time adjusting the load to avoid unpleasant and unsafe towing conditions. It will not be much of an issue with the Silverado. 7) Bringing the motorcycle (or whatever big, heavy thing gives you pleasure) - Not possible with the Tahoe. With an open pickup bed, you have more options, including adding a LoadAll rack and ramp system to load the Harley. Would also require an 18" shank for the hitch but the opportunities are large!
Benefits of the Tahoe: 1) it's my wife's daily driver 2) cushier ride and drive (the truck rides like a..........truck) 3) No DEF (but you were talking about a diesel anyway, 4) fits more easily in the garage (my Silverado is just a wink under 22')
Sorry about the lengthy post but my experience is a match to what you're considering. Can you do it? Yes - with limitations and planning. (And a set of Strap-Ons - mirrors.)
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Old 12-07-2021, 01:34 PM   #15
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Tow vehicle

Hi , I towed with a FC 28 RBT for 30K miles with 2016 Suburban with Max Tow package ( 8 K tow/14K combined) It towed great but I was over the rear axle weight limit and the combined weight limit. I’ve had 3/4 ton chevys before and didn’t want to pay for such excess capability. Chose a 1/2 ton Chevy Silverado with the max tow package ( 11.1K tow/16.8K combined). My 28Ft FC only weighs 6800 lbs fully loaded but I have a lot of stuff in the truck bed. The combined weight limit of 16.8k was the selling point. I have a crew cab with 6ft 6 in bed and am loaded at a combined weight of 14.8K and get 11-13 MPG with the 5.3L gas/8 speed auto tranny.
I had to order this truck for the desired configuration.
As an aside, my 1/2 ton Chevys have always been more reliable (and much more comfortable) than my 3/4 tons.
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Old 12-07-2021, 03:30 PM   #16
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Not sure I see what you are seeing. Suburban fully loaded has maybe an 8100lb tow capacity. A 28' FC weighs in at about 7600lbs and that's only 500lbs more. My 3/4 ton burb has a 9800lb tow capacity.
I was referring to the pretty decent ~2,000 lb payload capacity. As most of us have experienced in researching (and using) tow vehicles, the payload is almost always the limiting factor, not the tow or GCWR limits. I thought it was interesting that the GM website shows a Suburban towing the trailer referenced in the first post (28' Flying Cloud). 7600 lbs is in fact the gross max for the 28' FC but I would wager most folks are closer to 7,000 lbs ready to travel. Either way you would have margin. Personally and since others have mentioned other TV options I am lately leaning strongly towards a 3500 series GMC van with over 4,000 lbs payload capacity if we ever need to upgrade.
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Old 12-07-2021, 03:42 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by SYC2Vette View Post
I was referring to the pretty decent ~2,000 lb payload capacity. As most of us have experienced in researching (and using) tow vehicles, the payload is almost always the limiting factor, not the tow or GCWR limits.
Ah, I see. Yea, the 3/4 ton has maybe 500lbs more payload.

I guess it really depends on how you travel. I know if I had 1/2 ton, I'd prob use that 2k and then a bit more given I have 5-6 passengers on average, about 200lbs of gear and tools in the truck and about 1000lbs of hitch weight, yet the 1/2 ton really has a soft ride, negating the need for the air safe hitch.

I do take a bit of comfort in the 3/4 ton larger hubs, brakes, trans and a mechanical cooling fan.

Recently, I found I needed to replace all the brake lines on my 15+ year old Burb. It was a few thousand dollars. When I went to look at current prices for burbs to see how under water I was going to be after that expense, 1/2 tons with my age and mileage were about $3-4k. 3/4 tons were $25k+.
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Old 12-07-2021, 04:02 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by coltnkat View Post
As you'll soon find out, there are people on both sides of this argument.

All that should matter to you, is that you're on the right side of the law and that you keep you and yours safe.

If you should overload your truck and get in a serious accident, I'm afraid that'll be on you.
In addition to the unlawful offense "Over Loadin Your Truck" cited by Colt, I would like add other important vehicular laws listed by state to insure we stay on the "Right Side of The Law"...

Alabama – No driving while blindfolded

Alaska – It’s illegal to tie a dog to your car roof

Arizona – It’s against the law to drive a car in reverse on a public road

Arkansas – Don’t honk your car horn anywhere that serves cold drinks or sandwiches after 9 p.m.

California – It’s against the law for women to drive in a housecoat

Colorado – It’s illegal to drive a black car on a Sunday in Denver

Connecticut – A fire engine should not exceed 25 m.p.h. – even on the way to a fire

Delaware – You should not change clothes in your vehicle

Florida – By law, you must feed the parking meter if you tie an elephant, goat or alligator to it

Georgia – It’s illegal to spit from a car or bus, but it’s OK to spit from a truck

Hawaii – It’s against the law for any vehicle in motion to use its hazard lights

Idaho – Anyone over age 88 is forbidden to ride a motorcycle in Idaho Falls

Illinois – It’s illegal to drive a car without a steering wheel

Indiana – It’s against the law to sell cars on Sundays

Iowa – In Mount Vernon, it’s illegal to throw a Red Ryder onto the highway

Kansas – You can’t transport dead poultry in this state

Kentucky – It’s illegal for your pet to molest a vehicle in Fort Thomas

Louisiana – A woman’s husband is required by law to wave a flag in front of her car before she can drive it

Maine – It’s illegal to buy a car on a Sunday

Maryland – It’s a crime to swear from a vehicle in Rockville

Massachusetts – You cannot drive with a gorilla in your backseat

Michigan – It’s against the law to sit in the middle of the street and read a newspaper

Minnesota – You’re a public nuisance if you drive a truck in Minnetonka that leaves mud, dirt or sticky substances on the road

Mississippi – In Oxford, it’s illegal to honk your horn because it might scare nearby horses

Missouri – You can’t honk someone else’s car horn

Montana – Unless you have a chaperone, it’s illegal to have sheep in your truck

Nebraska – By law, drivers on mountains should drive with caution near the right edge of the highway, even though there are no mountains in Nebraska

Nevada – It’s illegal to ride a camel on the highway

New Hampshire – It’s against the law to inhale bus fumes with the intent of inducing euphoria

New Jersey – Frowning at a police officer is against the law here

New Mexico – It’s illegal for cab drivers to reach out and pull potential customers into their taxis

New York – It’s against the law to disrobe in your car in Sag Harbor

North Carolina – It’s illegal to play in traffic

North Dakota – You’re breaking the law when you put a penny in an automatic parking ticket machine

Ohio – It’s illegal to run out of gas in Youngstown

Oklahoma – It’s illegal to read a comic book while driving

Oregon – By law, you must yield to pedestrians when driving on the sidewalk

Pennsylvania –When driving on a country road at night, you must stop every mile and set off flares or other warning signals and then allow 10 minutes for livestock to clear the road

Rhode Island – It’s illegal to ride a horse on a highway for the purpose of racing or testing the speed of the horse

South Carolina – It’s unlawful to store trash in your vehicle in Hilton Head

South Dakota – You only need to be 14 years old to get your license in South Dakota

Tennessee – It’s illegal to shoot any game other than whales from a moving vehicle

Texas – You must have windshield wipers to register a car, although having a windshield is optional

Utah – By law, birds have the right of way on all highways

Vermont – It’s illegal for cars to backfire in Rutland

Virginia – Women are prohibited from driving a car on Main Street unless her husband is walking in front of the car waving a red flag

Washington – A motorist with criminal intentions must stop at the city limits and telephone the chief of police as he is entering the town

West Virginia *- It’s legal to eat road kill

Wisconsin – It’s against the law for a person to ride a bicycle with their hands off the handlebars

Wyoming – Wyoming abides by the law of common sense.
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Old 12-07-2021, 04:57 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by AKersten View Post
I took delivery of a 2021 International 27FB in February. I towed it with a GMC Sierra 1500 with the 3.0L Duramax and the max tow package. The engine towed fine, through mountains, in wind, etc. Lots of torque. The tounge weight, however, was maxed out plus (used the CAT scales), even with my Blue Ox weight distributing hitch.

A couple of months ago a car decided not to exit the highway and came back on directly in front of me. Because I had left lots of room and anticipated the dangerous move, we avoided contact. I did however have to use full maximum breaks. Everything worked, but the truck just could not slowdown . . . too heavy a combination! I have since replaced the truck with a Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD with the max tow package, technology (camera) package, and the 6.7L Duramax. I can not explain the difference in words other than to say there is no comparison as to how well the 2500 tows. I arrive at my location fresh, as opposed to previously tired and stressed.

The moral of the story is that the 1500 Duramax is great until it isn't. Since you are buying a new vehicle anyways, it's my opinion (changed from a year ago) that you spend the extra money now and get the 2500. I wish I had as it would have saved me money in the end.

Good luck and happy travels!
Change "International" to "Flying Cloud" and Chevrolet to Ford and this is our exact story. The 3.5l EcoBoost had plenty of grunt but we were maxing out our payload. We could have continued to try and play the game, packing really light and doing a lot of CAT scale work to come to a balanced combination, but it was easier to upgrade to a 3/4 ton. Note that we had a max tow package on the F150 BUT we also had the Platinum with lots of bells and whistles. If you get an LT or something more bare bones you would probably have a large enough payload to easily tow a 28. The key thing is that these vehicles are now generally payload limited, not tow limited.
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Old 12-07-2021, 05:02 PM   #20
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I've been told the Tahoe may not have a long enough wheelbase.
You might have a look at this seminar by Andy Thomson. He makes a couple of points that might interest you. One is that because of the distance from the hitch to the rear axle, the shorter platform would be better. The other is that independent rear suspension is better for towing.

I know that Andy's opinions aren't always mainstream, but he does make interesting points.

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