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Old 12-20-2008, 01:10 PM   #1
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chevy duramax

What is your fuel mpg? How is the ride and how well does it pull your AS? What are the best years for mpg and repairs?
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Old 12-20-2008, 01:27 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Tom-Mc View Post
What is your fuel mpg? How is the ride and how well does it pull your AS? What are the best years for mpg and repairs?
I have a 2003 (LB7 engine) Around town and to and from work I get about 20MPG. That will drop to 14MPG if I do anything but Grandpa around.
Towing I get 14.5MPG with a 7000lbs trailer and 14.7 with a 3000lbs trailer.
It all depends on how hard you want to drive it. Worst mileage ever 11MPG uphill against the wind driving like a bat out of hell.
These things are fast and fun, so watch it.
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Old 12-20-2008, 01:30 PM   #3
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Savage , Minnesota
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I have an '06. Around town I get 17.5. Highway only around 19. Towing our '90 34' Excella we averaged 13. It is the best truck I have ever owned, period.
"I've got aluminum fever, and the only prescription, is more AIRSTREAM!!!"

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Old 12-20-2008, 01:49 PM   #4
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We got our '06 Sierra in September '05 -- just before they switched the slider cab temp adjustments and not the set your digital temp (of course we have very little season without needing the heater). But no side air bags either. My Duramax is 3rd generation LBZ build and is not required to use ULSD -- it can still use the 200ppm and I haven't had to pay much attention. 4th generations have 2-stage turbos (good idea I think) and must use the ULSD. 3rd generation was another step in the mistaken GMC build-'em-bigger philosophy -- they ramped up to 330 hp from 300 hp (for 2nd gen). I think 1st gen was only 270 hp, which would have been plenty

Mileage? With my honkin' big engine I don't see the famous diesel economy. But moreso it depends how big a hurry I'm in. I can't stay below 60 on long trips. The best mileage towing I've gotten was 14.7 on a 120 mile leg between home & Duluth, MN -- impacting variables were that I had empty water/waste tanks, went no faster than 55mph, a modest number of medium hills only, I went up hills without increasing throttle (accepted a 5-7 mph dropoff), didn't use cruise control (the most important factor ever!). I haven't seen much for mileage effects from using the air conditioner. I usually get right around 13mpg while towing at mixed speeds while not going faster than 65mph. Cruise control is good for a 1 to 1.5 mpg drop -- a convenience but one I've learned to do without.

Lotta variables? Of course. The driver is probably the biggest. I'm happy and feel set for the long run ... ask me in 150,000 miles. Of course I'd be happy to get many miles more than 200K from it.

Look in at for any variety of discussions. Let us know what you settle on!

[on edit: ohh ... and it's quiet and really a pretty fair ride in the 3/4 ton. Only a bit busy ride but much better capacity than the slightly cushy ride Nissan Titan I used to have.]

5 meter Langford Nahanni

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Old 12-20-2008, 02:24 PM   #5
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Woops - on further review that best trip at no more than 55 was 15.7 mpg. I can drive less nutsy on 2 lane highways letting it edge toward 60 and still get in the high fourteens. A lot of time spent at town speeds will knock your mileage right down!

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Old 12-20-2008, 02:32 PM   #6
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My 2003 LB7 gets around 16 around town and 18-19 freeway. I have seen as high as 21 freeway. I get around 15 towing the A/S.
2003 GMC 2500HD 4X4 D/A Ext. Cab
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Old 12-20-2008, 02:39 PM   #7
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2006 28' Safari SE
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I LOVE my truck! '08 Duramax. Pulls like a freight train. Unloaded, highway mileage is 19. Unloaded, in stop and go city traffic (it's my everyday driver) is between 13-14. Loaded, towing at about 70-74 mph is about 11.
'06 28' Safari SE / '08 Chev 2500HD Duramax
'64 Me / '60's-ish wife / '90's kids / '06 Black Lab / '02 Poodle / oh, and a horse, too.

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Old 12-20-2008, 05:37 PM   #8
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I have an 2006 (fully loaded) and with the exception of the drive train the rest of the truck has been nothing but one problem after another. Everything from the overhead console falling out while driving down the road, while towing my AS, to the tow-haul mode switch on the shift lever failing (replacement of the switch required reprogramming of the tranny on the second visit for this problem). All this happened within the first couple thousand miles. The dealership was the worst. They could not even reset the oil/fuel filters to zero on the display, not once, but three times after oil/filter changes. All of the rubber around the doors have been replaced about four months from driving it off the lot. Head light assembly fell-out, seems it was wedged in the opening while it was coming down the assembly line (mounting tabs had been broken off). And another thing, the whole dash had to be removed to reinstall the On-star and cell phone units because they worked intermittently. Seems that when they fixed that, the huge rattle in the dash stopped. Buy the way the engine/tranny combo works great and tows my AS like a dream. The list of why I should rid myself of this truck continues to grow. After owning 7 new Ford trucks with only two minor warranty problems, I purchased the truck to support family member who work as GM.
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Old 12-20-2008, 05:47 PM   #9
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2002 LB7 gets 17-18 in town...up to 22 hwy...and usually 12 towing 31' Excella loaded @ 65-70 mph.
Injectors rebuilt @ 80,000 miles under warranty. currently 162,000 miles and all is well so far. water pump failure at 160,000 miles and an antifreeze leak at the oil pump O-ring fitting at 145,000 miles.
There is NO comparison to towing with the duramax and a gasser. I do not intend to EVER buy another gasser. Diesel is KING.
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Old 12-20-2008, 05:50 PM   #10
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2007 27' Safari FB SE
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Pretty good truck. It gets 13-15 towing the 27 Safari. Diesel 4 WD and pulls very strong. Mine is an '05 with a bad instrument cluster. GM is arguing about replacing it. It is the same cluster that they replaced in all of the '03s and '04s. I have had a Ford and now this GM...when I buy another I will go back to the Ford. Maybe not quite as comfortable, but stronger, and the service and warranty support is better.
Living life on the Road
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Old 12-20-2008, 05:58 PM   #11
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Mine's an '08 Crew Cab, 4wd, standard bed. Rides o.k. - for a 3/4 tonner - but it's sure not as comfortable as my old Suburban. Gets busy on choppy roads, no question. Pulls like a locomotive; you don't need that much torque for my little trailer, but it is very nice when passing going uphill, etc. Mileage: unloaded, 20+ on Interstates, at the speed limit ... drops off fast above that. 13.7-14.8 towing a 23' Safari mostly AT 65 mph ... depending on wind, hills, etc. In town, no idea - I try not to do that ... not it's ideal mission profile. No regrets so far, no warranty issues at all. I wanted to buy a F250, but its new "big truck" stance makes it too tall to fit through a standard garage door into my garage, while the 2500 is several inches shy of the top of the door opening. Ford had a better idea! Not.
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Old 12-20-2008, 07:12 PM   #12
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My two previous p/u trucks were Ford and had no problems except ford service and warranty was terrible. Purchased the one ton 2005 Chevy and the Duramax/Allison combination is great. Seems like the Ford interiors were nicer but we have really enjoyed the Chevy. When not towing usually 20mpg, when towing in fairly flat terrain we get 15mpg. We usually carry a lot of supplies in the bed of the truck and the 30' Classic s/o is heavy to begin with so our ride is very smooth.
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Old 12-20-2008, 08:20 PM   #13
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Just thougt I'd add my 2 cents worth. I just traded my 03' Duramax extended cab (55,000 miles) off this AM for a new Tundra. My Duramax was an awesome vehicle, but for me it was way too much truck for my needs. I had done a few mods to the truck that I think enhanced its fuel mileage. First, I went with larger diameter tires, which in turn raised the rear end ratio higher than the standard 3.73 ring. Second, I added a Bully Dog power enhancer which really made an already nice vehicle much, much better. When I checked my average fuel mileage earlier this morning, it still showed 18.9 miles per gallon. This is usually about what I get, or at times even better. The 19 mpg. figure is for relatively short jaunts (15-20) miles back and forth to work. Also, take in mind that we've had a fairly cold winter here, which also takes away from the mpg. So why did I trade it off? Because I'm positive that the 7/8 ton chassis is way too much for pulling our 30 foot around with. Could never have enough tongue weight to where the suspension is even beginning to work.. Also, am tired of being cold and paying the extra added price to own a Duramax... Plus, I'm scared of how much it's going to cost when I really do start having problems with the truck (our local Chevy dealers all "suck")...Hope this info helps... In closing, just like any vehicle, the harder you are with the "go" pedal, the lower fuel mileage you're going to get....
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Old 12-20-2008, 10:31 PM   #14
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Thumbs up 2007 Duramax

My Chevy is a 2007 HD 2500 EXT cab w/6.5' box. 4x4 w/Duramax & 6 speed Allison. The Allison includes the tow mode as well as the "Manual Mode". The manual mode allows you to shift gears up or down as you choose, not when the truck wants you to. Great for hills, whether going up or down.
I am averaging: Freeway, empty...rite on 23.5 to 24 if I stray at 60 mph at 65 the mph will drop off to 22.5 and at 70 down to 21.
In town, empty... about 17.5
Back and forth to work, a combination of freeway and town, 20 mpg for a 65 mile run round trip.
Towing my 34' Classic Limited , 8900 pounds loaded, freeway 14.5 to 15.5 at 60 mph
On th Oregon & Washington Coast and in the mountain roads the mph will drop down to 12 or 13 but that is because of the "on the throttle / off the throttle" action caused by other traffic and hills and curves. Believe me I do not hold up traffic, but I drive very safely.

This truck gives me all the power I want or will ever need for that matter.
Each rig has it's high points. Some say the interior of a Ford is better, I don't think so, some say the Dodge is tougher looking ( not me) and some , like me, want the convenience of the manual trany and NO CLUTCH.
I used to drive big rigs and believe me this no clutch is great.

I started driving semi's back in the dark ages ( read 1957) with a 220 hp Cummings diesel, NO TURBO, 5 speed main box, 4 speed Brownie (auxiliary trans) and a "Duplex Splitter" ( 2 speed third trans.) That is a total of 3 gear shift levers coming up thru the floor, that at times had to be ALL shifted at the same time..
That gave 40 gears go ahead. That is how they made a 220 HP motor pull then what they pull today with 550 and 600 HP and a 6 speed Allison.

So you will find every one has a different take on all these tow vehicles.
Me, I'll stick to my Chevy.
Oh, and the manual mode is GREAT in the SNOW like we have right now.

One bazillion fish
1991 34' 60th Aniversary Limited Edition #008
2007 Chevy 2500 HD Duramax/Allison
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Old 12-21-2008, 06:17 AM   #15
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1991 35' Airstream 350
Jay , Oklahoma
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I love mine. Mileage is what you are seeing above. 18-20 when careful and empty, 14-16 for me towing. I am careful to keep the rpms just under 2000 when towing, with 3.73 gears, this yeilds about 68 mph. This seems be the best speed for the mpg.

LOTS of power, great comfort and ride. As for warranty issues, as with any brand, your results will very with your relationship with the dealership you are using. My support has been flawless. These trucks came with five yr/100,000 mile drivetrain warranty. Some 01-05 engines have developed injector issues. GM has extended the injector warranty to seven years/200,000. Can't ask for more, I say.

Best Regards,
Jeff & Cindy
'09 27FB Flying Cloud
'91 350 LE MH
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Old 02-03-2009, 11:49 AM   #16
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2007 25' International CCD FB
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GMC Savana Van Diesel

I tow with a 2007 GMC Savana 2500 Extended Diesel Van. It is kind of unique because the Duramax is only available in the cargo version of this van. I had to take it to a van conversion shop to get seats and windows put in for passengers.

As far as towing and MPG goes, It tows it beautifully. Without the AS I get close to 20MPG on the freeway using cruise control for long trips. In town I get closer to 16 or 17. While towing the AS, it dips down to about 14 which is still ok by me.

the only complaint I have about the vehicle is that the rear of the van is very bouncy. I have seen people in my rear view mirror literally fly off of their seat and touch their head to the ceiling.
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Old 02-03-2009, 12:13 PM   #17
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Colleyville , TX
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One hell of a towing machine! We get great service when needed from our local dealer. 13mpg on average w/AC on towing five mph over the limit typically but never over 65mph. Ours is a 2008 4X4 Crew fully loaded. Love the Allison tranny for towing. If I changed anything.......NAW!
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Old 02-03-2009, 04:05 PM   #18
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West Chazy , New York
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Ditto what zoomin says.

The truck (see my sig.) tows great and is very comfortable while doing so. It is a little harsh when not towing on rough in-town jaunts and is a bit big for parking in town, but that is not what I have the truck for. I came from a smoother riding Nissan Titan which I loved, but I am very, very glad I made the change. Duramax/Allison - what a great combination! As a 3/4 ton, it is smoother riding than the Ford or Dodge - test drove them all before deciding.
2004 Classic 25 - The Silver Sausage
2008 Silverado LTZ CC 2500 4x4 Duramax - Brutus
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Old 02-04-2009, 06:53 AM   #19
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Iím also a DuraMax/Allison convert (our first diesel). I bought the 06 just prior to the new emissions and the first generation to get the 6 spd tranny. If you are looking used, I think this gives you the best of all worlds; same hp and torque as current and the 6spd/manual option tranny as currently offered. Old body style of course. I do think though that time is proving that the emission stuff is a non-issue, so donít let this detour you from buying new. Our mpg is same as others above; 14-15 towing (50 gal H20, 2 kayaks on roof of truck, bike rack on front end) mileage around town unladed is same, highway unladed can squeeze out 24-25mpg if I keep it 63 mph (same as my tow speed) but drops to 21 mpg at 73 mph on ski trips). We donít use it as daily driver, pretty much does tow duty or adventure trips (towing, skiing, climbing, and kayaking).
We have had Ĺ ton pick me ups and a couple of Suburbanís (awesome family vehicles) but I really find the 4 door CC gives the most flexibility. We usually load up when we head up North as mentioned above; kayaks, Mt bikes, firewood, full H20 so the ĺ ton is a necessary. Towing with a diesel and the Allison in Tow/Haul mode is just amazing. You have to experience it to believe it. The feeling of control and safety is unmatched in any other truck I have ever towed with. Truck has been flawless to date. Mileage improves with a few miles under the hood.

The only way I would own a Ĺ ton again is if we go back to tent camping (not likely).

*Life is Good-Camping all around the Continent*
*Good people drink good beer-Hunter S Thompson*
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Old 02-05-2009, 02:07 PM   #20
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Tom, let us know which DuraMax you purchase. You won't be disappointed.

*Life is Good-Camping all around the Continent*
*Good people drink good beer-Hunter S Thompson*
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