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Old 07-23-2013, 11:51 AM   #1
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1994 30' Excella
2012 25' FB International
Anchorage , Alaska
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Duramax 2500 too much vehicle

Just wanted to see what other members think. Presently, my wife and I have an 08' Tundra double cab set up pretty well for towing. I put on EBC slotted brakes (after the OEMs warped), along with the TRD rear sway bar and Toyo all terrain load range C tires.
GM presently has some pretty good rebates going on; enough to where I'm considering going (back) to a Duramax 2500 extended cab.
The Tundra just doesn't have the guts to pull our new International Serenity (front bedroom) 25' around like I would like it to considering the amount of hills we have here in Alaska. I'm never in full auto, but instead manually shifting between 3rd and 5th trying to maintain a "reasonable" 50 to 60 mph. Plus, I'm concerned about having my GVW too high for this vehicle.
Am still sitting pretty well with the Toyota regarding trade in value, but just want to make sure the Duramax isn't too much vehicle. I'm presently using the Reese Dual Cam hitch system and don't plan on changing.
Just figured it would be better to ask for opinions before I take this 17 grand plunge..
Thanks in advance...
Pat
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Old 07-23-2013, 12:12 PM   #2
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I just traded a 2009 Chevy Suburban Z71, 5.3 Gas for a 2013 Silverado LTZ 2500HD, 6.6 Duramax. This was the best move I could have done. I pull a 27FB International and it handles the job as if the Airstream wasn't even there. Suburban 7-9 MPG... 2500HD 15.5-18 MPG. Last trip from Jacksonville FL to Jackson Center and back averaged 17.15 for the trip.
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Old 07-23-2013, 12:14 PM   #3
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A 2500 or F-250 is the right match for your rig, the reason for the Duramax discounts is there is a whole new "Chevy\GMC" heavy duty coming out in a few months.

Ram just updated their 2500's for 2013, Luv Mine (had a 2011 F-350 King Ranch before)

Ford is mid model in their Super Duties but for 2013 upgraded the stereo to a "sony" unit.

Buy the Chevy\GMC know a whole new truck is around the corner so be comfortable with that. For a bit more you might go RAM which just had its update or Ford which is mid cycle.

But back to your original question - 2500 IS NOT overkill, and in fact with an Oil Burner will be a great fit!!
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Old 07-23-2013, 12:14 PM   #4
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The only "too much" aspect I've ever heard of with respect to HD trucks is that if you crank down too much on the weight-distribution gear, the hitch can transfer too much impact to the trailer and break rivets at the front hold-down plate, etc. (all completely hearsay for me, I haven't seen these results in person, but InlandAndy mentions it from time to time.)

It seems that this can be easily avoided by not using too-heavy spring bars on the weight distribution system and/or using something like an AirSafe hitch.
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Old 07-23-2013, 12:15 PM   #5
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Some may consider it more than you need however a little extra power, weight capacity and braking is a good safety feature. I tow a 24 footer with a 99 Dodge 3/4 ton and it has served me well for more than a half million miles plus using a Reese hitch and it has NOT beat the trailer to death.
For reliability and safety a little too much is better than not enough.
Just added a 2013 Ram 2500 4x4 diesel to the fleet and hope it works out equally as well.
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Old 07-23-2013, 12:26 PM   #6
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You are correct about the rebates and willing to make deals.... The LTZ I purchased had a MSRP of 68,730 purchased it out the door for less than 52,000... very smooth ride even with 80psi and 20" Chevy rims. Unloaded 25.7 MPG @ 65 mph, just don't spin up the turbos....
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Old 07-23-2013, 01:09 PM   #7
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Like we say in Wyoming, "There's no such thing as too much truck." Our DMAX is the best pickup we've ever owned giving us no concerns about its ability to take our AS anywhere.
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Old 07-23-2013, 01:24 PM   #8
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Just right

We've owned the 2500 for almost 10 months now and I have to say that it's a pleasure to have the feeling of control verses the suv that we had. The braking is better, the acceleration is better and sway is gone. So far, good decision.
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Old 07-23-2013, 01:24 PM   #9
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We are on our second Duramax.

The first was an 2003 and now a 2012.

We have been very please with both.

In my opinion, the ride is better than any other 3/4 ton truck.

The payload allows one to carry anything one might want in addition to towing any size AS with ease.


Regards,

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Old 07-23-2013, 01:25 PM   #10
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My Airstream is a 23 foot Safari ... and I just happened to have a D'Max 2500 crew cab when I bought it ... so I never looked back. And after many tens of thousands of miles of towing, zero problems. You won't regret it, except for the initial purchase price and the sometimes higher price of diesel fuel. But the higher torque and "lotsa' beef" give a lot of confidence. One tip: if you do this, be SURE to get the exhaust brake; I think it's standard now, but it sure is a good deal when going down those big hills.

In my experience from a trip to Alaska last summer, the "hills" there are not nearly as bad as some in Canada. Seemed to me that sometimes in AK, the road builders went around parts of mountains, while in CA they just went up and over the top. In any event, you'll do fine.
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Old 07-23-2013, 01:29 PM   #11
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Thumbs up

2500's rock the road...

Suburban 2006 8.1...werks best for us.


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Old 07-23-2013, 01:55 PM   #12
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How many miles solo versus towing is the most important question.

I note that those who tow few miles (RV'ers) are overly concerned about hill ascent speed when the descent is all that matters. Going slowly up an ascent is meaningless so long as one does not overheat, etc. This very day thousands of 18-wheelers will climb at slow speeds . . only those truck companies engaged constantly in mountainous work will spec a truck to "perform" in that single parameter of performance. The rest value better spec for where the majority of their work is done and outfit the truck accordingly.

50 to 60 mph is not "reasonable" as I've just shown, it is emotional. Sort that out before you spend more initially on a vehicle and for every single mile afterwards. What does EDMUNDS show as to True Cost of Ownershp between new models of the two vehicles contemplated on a per mile basis? A difference of 30% . . or 70%?

One can spend a lot and get very little in return.

It has bcome no suprise to me that the opposite of this -- perceived as being "hard" (lash-up and tire pressure) -- is fairly well ignored. Or, that the best hitch and trailer disc brakes are "too expensive" even thought the expense is fractional compared to either TT or TV. Value received is far in excess of dollars paid in this.

Work the numbers on your current rig at the scale. At least know the difference for which you pay in every mile, towing or not.

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Old 07-23-2013, 02:12 PM   #13
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I am very happy with our 2500HD Duramax crew cab. It is the first 3/4 ton truck I have had - only ever had one truck before and it was a half ton Sierra.

We use it to tow a 2005 Classic 30 - and it does so very well indeed - we often put it to the test in the mountains of the SW USA.

We do use it as our daily driver too, and I will admit that my wife complains a little when parking at the local mall.

For my part, I just park at an end spot well away from the mall entrance - no problem that way, and I'm sure the little bit of exercise does me no harm! (Plus I have still to get the first door ding after driving it for five years!)

Brian.
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Old 07-23-2013, 02:22 PM   #14
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Our dear Lucy weighs 7,400# ready to camp. She has been towed over 100,000 miles in 7 years. During her first 5 years, she was pulled by two different Suburban 2500's, both with the 6.0 liter gas engine. It was a good match, and we were very satisfied with the Suburbans' towing abilities.

About two years ago we added a 3,000# pop-up truck camper to the mix. We carry the truck camper while towing the Airstream. Our primary tow vehicle is now a 2011 Chevrolet 3500 Dmax SRW crew cab long bed. We needed a one ton to handle in in-bed weight of the truck camper.

We have now towed Lucy about 30,000 miles with the Duramax. All I can say is wow, what a tow vehicle! I can run this truck on cruise control, and it doesn't even downshift on most upgrades. The exhaust brake is phenomenal on even the steepest downgrades. I used to dread that "runaway train" feeling that I would sometimes get on steep downgrades with the Suburbans.

I was kind of forced into the diesel realm by the addition of the truck camper. Now that I have towed with a diesel truck, I will never own another gasoline-powered tow vehicle.

So, to answer your question, is a 2500 Dmax too much truck? Absolutely NOT!

Brian
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Old 07-23-2013, 02:46 PM   #15
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I'd rather have too much truck than not enough.

You'd probably be fine with either the Toyota or the Duramax for decades of towing. It's that one time where things got out of control that you wish you would have had that extra weight and stance of the heavier diesel truck.

My 28' trailer weighs around 8,000, and I definitely can feel it. Last weekend a bicyclist decided to swerve out in front of me on the highway and I'm glad I had the extra truck, brakes, and stability of the GMC. Actually, without knowing it, she's glad I had the GMC.

I do like those Tundras. Any of the big three will do. They're all so nice.

-KM
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Old 07-23-2013, 04:30 PM   #16
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2012 Dmax 4x4, Allison tranny and exhaust brake.

1999 34' Excella, EAZ-Lift hitch, single sway control and 1000# WD bars.

From Arkansas to near Austin 16mpg running avg 62-65mph, sometimes more or less depends on 4-wheeler telephone booths.

Then it went into and stayed in Regen for 150 miles. Dealer updated code on engine. Tranny shifting hard 5-6 gear. Have trip and don't want truck out of commission for "guess" at fix.

Otherwise lovin the Z!
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Old 07-23-2013, 04:49 PM   #17
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How is the diesel going to like being in -30 temps all Winter?
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Old 07-23-2013, 06:02 PM   #18
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If you have the most common Tundra with the 5.7 L. engine, you should have no trouble climbing hills. The mountains in Colorado are a lot higher and I can cruise up them at 65 easily, even the 11,000' ones. It has big brakes for downhills plus 6 gears to downshift through. We also tow a 25' and the Safari is about the same weight as the International (I think). The Classics are the really heavy ones.

But if you have the smaller V8 it may take a little more power to climb those steep grades on the way to Glen Allen (you can't go fast on those grades anyway no matter what truck you have). Even so, the small V8 should be adequate. A few Tundras have a V6, but I don't think there are many of them. Are you using tow/haul?—that lowers the shifting points so you have more power for towing.

If you have the 5.7 L., the truck needs service. That's still cheaper than a new truck, though a new truck is always appealing.

Gene
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Old 07-23-2013, 06:24 PM   #19
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Read my comment below..... It's from experience having a similar situation like yours and trying to upgrade only to find out...... !


.
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:43 PM   #20
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Since we are moving from a 25FB at 7,300 pounds GVW to a 27FB at 9,000 pounds GVW, our existing 2012 3/4 ton Dodge with Cummins diesel will continue to do a great job both towing and stopping our rig. We expect the combination weight to increase from 16,000 to at least 18,000 pounds with the new trailer.

I had a 2500HD GMC Duramax back in 2002 and it was a great truck for towing the twin axle Harley Hauler that might have bikes or a full load of tools and materials. My wife's former husband bought it from me in 2006 and is still driving it.
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