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Old 07-27-2008, 09:49 PM   #1
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Anyone using an Avalanche to tow?

We are in the process of purchasing an International 27FB, anyone have any experience with an Avalanche as a TV?

Thanks
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Old 07-27-2008, 10:50 PM   #2
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hi koebe...

yes, a few folks

search the tow vehicle forum with the key term and many threads will appear.

there are also threads on the caddy version.

here are a few 2startyou ...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...cle-40012.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...cle-40288.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...0-a-20581.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...mbi-18683.html

right NOW one of our members is rolling up the alcan hiway in his lavanche' with argosy in tow...

cheers
2air'
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Old 07-28-2008, 06:30 AM   #3
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An Avalanche is really just a Suburban in disguise -- try doing a search -- you'll find lots of info here about towing with a burb.
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:53 AM   #4
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I disagree, an Avalanche is a Tahoe in disguise. Still, by any means, a light duty machine. To make very much power, the 5.3's are screaming their guts out at high rpm's.
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Old 07-28-2008, 08:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garfield View Post
An Avalanche is really just a Suburban in disguise -- try doing a search -- you'll find lots of info here about towing with a burb.
Correct, same chassis.
Brian (RISTREAMIN) just returned from an epic journey out west with his 3/4 ton Avy.
Awesome TV.

Search around for his recent trip report.

Bill
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Old 07-28-2008, 08:41 AM   #6
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For the first time that I can remember, I saw a 2500 Avalanche this weekend. Don't know of GM still offers this but thought it was worth mentioning.
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Old 07-28-2008, 08:57 AM   #7
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We have an '05 Chevy Avalanche, 2500, 8.1, 3.73 and it is more than enough to pull our 25' FB. We went coast to coast two times in '07, and it never lacked power, over mountains included.

The 8.1 has not been made since 05 or 06. The Suburban is exactly the same as the Avalanche, until you get behind the second row of seats. We like the Av for the rear bed with bed slide-makes everything easy to reach.

There is a chevyavalanchefanclub.com forum that is like this forum-everything you want to know and answers for all questions.
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Old 07-28-2008, 09:13 AM   #8
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We have an '05 Chevy Avalanche, 2500, 8.1, 3.73 and it is more than enough to pull our 25' FB. We went coast to coast two times in '07, and it never lacked power, over mountains included.

The 8.1 has not been made since 05 or 06. The Suburban is exactly the same as the Avalanche, until you get behind the second row of seats. We like the Av for the rear bed with bed slide-makes everything easy to reach.

There is a chevyavalanchefanclub.com forum that is like this forum-everything you want to know and answers for all questions.
Just as BillTex said we have an Avie with the same setup as Pat's above. 8.1L 2500 with 3.73 and it is a towing beast!! We just returned from going across the country covering 6200 miles and the truck never flinched. We went over Wolf Creek Pass and that was the only time it worked a little on the whole trip. Was going 45-50 mph all the way and the tranny temp finally started to rise for the first time all trip. It got up to 220. Normally I was running between 180-200. Ours is an 03 with 60k on it now. You check it out on our thread " big trip starts tomorrow morning"
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Old 07-28-2008, 10:48 AM   #9
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It just so happens that your friendly neighborhood orange guy has an Av. Mines an '07 with the 3.71 axle and 5.3l engine. I'm towing a 33' SOB weighing in at 7k dry, so about 8.5k loaded. Tongue weight is about 1200lbs. I've got the 1400lb. spring bars on my Hensley, so it does pretty well. It's a great tow vehicle. Very short so it's easy to park the trailer. I get about 20mpg when I'm not towing, too.
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Old 07-28-2008, 11:11 AM   #10
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GM made a 3/4 ton version of the Avalanche a few years back, but it is no longer offered in 3/4 ton form.

To tow safely, you'd need to have either the 2wd model w/ 4.10s or the 4x4 model with 4.10s. If you have only the 3.73s with a 5.3L, you will easily exceed what that truck is suppose to tow with what you are planning to pickup. Keep in mind I am assuming this is a new body style Av and not the older versions.
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Old 07-28-2008, 01:56 PM   #11
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I have a 2002 Avalanche since new - 3/4 ton - really love that truck - decent gas mileage for big motor. Have 90,000 on mine and no problems - I would get another one if I could get the 3/4 ton again - Has been the perfect vehicle - tailgate down on Sat, nice crusier for Sunday...

Side mounted beer coolers pretty sweet too

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Old 07-28-2008, 02:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hensley Ron View Post
It just so happens that your friendly neighborhood orange guy has an Av. Mines an '07 with the 3.71 axle and 5.3l engine. I'm towing a 33' SOB weighing in at 7k dry, so about 8.5k loaded. Tongue weight is about 1200lbs. I've got the 1400lb. spring bars on my Hensley, so it does pretty well. It's a great tow vehicle. Very short so it's easy to park the trailer. I get about 20mpg when I'm not towing, too.
Good post Ron. It illustrates the fact that one needs to consider the bigger picture when talking about tow vehicles, towing, safety, and performance.

Simply talking about the TV is not enough. One needs to consider more than TV specs and need to include connection hardware quality, setup adjustments, the TT stability factor, etc, etc.
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Old 07-28-2008, 03:02 PM   #13
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I tow both my 32' charter boat and my 73 Argosy with my 2003 Avalanche. Both tow very well.

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Originally Posted by koebe View Post
We are in the process of purchasing an International 27FB, anyone have any experience with an Avalanche as a TV?

Thanks
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Old 07-28-2008, 04:07 PM   #14
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When did the Avalanche change from a Suburban frame to a Tahoe frame?

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Old 07-28-2008, 05:09 PM   #15
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I will stand corrected, and in sit in the corner with dunce hat on, over my last post. An older model , with 8.1/4.10 gearing, would indeed make good TV. I still believe, however, that 5.3/3.73 gearing is not enough for trailer weighing over 7,000 lb.'s
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:11 PM   #16
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Good post Ron. It illustrates the fact that one needs to consider the bigger picture when talking about tow vehicles, towing, safety, and performance.

Simply talking about the TV is not enough. One needs to consider more than TV specs and need to include connection hardware quality, setup adjustments, the TT stability factor, etc, etc.
I agree. I did all of those miles listed in my last post with an Equalizer hitch and it was perfect. No swaying, no wiggles at all. Just smooth sailing with a strong truck, solid hitch setup and the P3 electric brake.
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:29 PM   #17
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Ok, I hate to open a can of worms but there doesn't seem to be a whole lot difference between a 1/2 ton and a 3/4 ton other than a stronger axel and heavier suspension... maybe a bigger motor. I have done a little research on the subject and by no means know everything....

But 1/2, 3/4 and 1 ton are very misleading statements as all vehicles have different weight capacities within a certain class.
And some 1/2, and 3/4 tons are listed as less to avoid commercial taxes.. Plus you can put stiffer shocks, (air bags or springs etc.) to help with weight. (Maybe???) this may not be safe...

I have a 75 3/4 dodge with a 440 and air bags in the springs.. I wouldn't recommend this but I have had 4300 lbs of rock in the back and it just sat 5 inches off level.. (don't try this at home) only drove about 6 miles on back roads this way... and the bed did sway a little over 45 mph.. YIKES>>> They did know how to build them back then.....

Any way, I guess just don't go over the tongue weight, and don't pull more than your suppose to.. Use a equalizing hitch and sway bar to help cut sway and tongue weight.

If you live in the mountains you may want a bigger motor for pulling ...

I do understand some 3/4 ton frames are stronger, but I also read some are the same as 1/2 ton frames...

any thoughts... I'm still a little confused...
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Old 07-28-2008, 08:18 PM   #18
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Someone advise Me are the AVALANCHE and the CAD/ ESCALADE the same truck basically? Cadies ad say it weight 8 k lbs That TRue?
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Old 07-28-2008, 08:53 PM   #19
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Cad/ Escalade

They are the same vehicle although the Escalade used the 6.0 motor as the standard engine vs the 5.3 in the AV.
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Old 07-28-2008, 09:49 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by koebe View Post
We are in the process of purchasing an International 27FB, anyone have any experience with an Avalanche as a TV?

Thanks
Hi Koebe,

We had a '04 Avalanche 1/2 ton, 4x4 for 3 years. Equipped with 5.3L and 3.73 rear end. We used it to haul a 21 foot bass boat on a tandem trailer. Full load was probably a little over 3000 lbs in most cases.

I would have to say the power is there, it's just that Chevy has designed this drivetrain for primarily everyday commuting. It was a very nice truck to drive empty around town. Once we hitched it up with the boat and loaded the back end full of coolers, bikes and suitcases, the suspension was soggy and the transmission was very nervous. The slightest incline on the road had the RPM's jumping and the rig jerking. It can pull, but it's a matter of how much the driver can handle. It just got to be too annoying, especially if traveling high speed freeways like I-75 from Cinci to TN. Plenty of real hills and varied traffic from 90mph in the fast lane to 45mph in the slow lane.

When we decided to buy the 25ft Intl I did not want the experience in the Avalanche. I knew it was time to upgrade. Out with the Av, in with the 2500HD Duramax.

Night and day difference.

I actually get better fuel economy on the freeway from my diesel. I was getting 20.6 mpg today on a 160 mile roundtrip from Columbus to Dayton. That's better than my Av ever did.

The Av will pull 6000 lbs, but plan on a nervous tranny and spending some dollars to upgrade the suspension.

-yakman
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