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Old 02-21-2013, 01:41 PM   #21
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One more '99 Chevy Suburban 2500 4wd owner here.... I have the smaller 350 engine, but with all the other factory package stuff. I've only towed my 27' Overlander with it on 4 trips here in the West, and have noticed this: I seem to get right around 11 to 13 mpg, depending on wind and grades. Top speed on steep grades is maybe 35, in 2nd gear. Otherwise, effortless towing with minimal sway when passed by a semi rig. With the rear seat out and the middle one folded down, there is a ton of room for bikes, camp gear, firewood, you name it, all out of the weather and semi-concealed. I have had no issues with the 4wd system, but have barely used it. I'd probably skip that option unless you knew you were venturing off-road, or on sand beaches, or on snowy mt. grades, etc. It is a very roomy and safe-feeling tow vehicle!
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:25 PM   #22
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Thanks again to everyone.

Thanks for the comment about how the new 2500s don't go any bigger than a 6.0...do you know what year in the current body style (2007-current?) Chevy dropped the option for that bigger engine in the Suburbans? I like the current body style, but if a 6.0 is the biggest engine option I've got for the 2500, then I will probably look more seriously at the Denali.

Thanks again.
Chris
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:48 PM   #23
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I believe 2006 was the last year for the 8.1 in the Suburban.
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:34 PM   #24
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For those of you towing with the newer model (2007-present) 3/4 ton...what kind of mileage are you seeing around town and averaging while towing? I realize terrain is important, so any mountain pass trips would be good information.

Thank you,
Chris
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:21 AM   #25
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We generally see 9-10 mpg while towing, depending on terrain. Not towing, we'll see 11-12 mpg in city and 17-18 mpg on highway.
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:14 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wazbro View Post
I believe 2006 was the last year for the 8.1 in the Suburban.


Yep....our 06 8.1 was the last year.

Found ours on ebay, GM Factory Program vehicle,(executive demo), 11k on the clock, didn't sell, made offer, went to NC, worked for us.
Took our time shopping, 3 months. They are out there, shop around.

I've been out of the Chevy store since retiring in 2010.
At that time the 1500's had the Autoride System with self leveling, the 2500 Autoride did not have that feature. Self leveling just makes it harder getting the weight distribution set properly.
The 2500 Autoride with active suspension is much more comfortable on the road than our 95 2500 7.4 3:73 was, plus at least 3-5mpg better, even with the 4:10 axle ratio. 11.2mpg average 5500mi cross country @ 62 mph.

We have the "towing" mirror option, power adjustable, heated, with manual extension.


One nice feature on the 2500's is the payload/axle ratings. 4180lbs front, 5500lbs rear.

IMHO.... If you need the space and payload a 2500 Burb is a good choice.

A good read...

Good luck in your search.

Bob
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:34 AM   #27
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What has been your experience in using the "trailer tow" transmission? How about cruise control? We're planning a trip out west this summer with lots of prairies and mountains and wonder how experienced western travelers obtain optimum gas mileage.
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:41 AM   #28
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What has been your experience in using the "trailer tow" transmission? How about cruise control? We're planning a trip out west this summer with lots of prairies and mountains and wonder how experienced western travelers obtain optimum gas mileage.
Just what I do....

60-65 mph

Watching the tranny temp gauge....

Tow-haul on long grades.

Normal on the flats.

Bob
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:10 AM   #29
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2007 Suburban LTZ 1500 4WD 5.3L towing 25' Flying Cloud

We get 10MPG towing and 11.5 around town not towing. That's the big cost of a Suburban. No getting around it - poor gas mileage. What you get in return? one of the best rides available in a big, confident, competent vehicle. Ridiculously roomy, and yet it doesn't feel like a truck. Tows beautifully with simple WD hitch.

I have been getting discouraged by rising gas price and poor mileage in the 'Burb. I had read a lot about the Flex EcoBoost as a cool alternative. We went yesterday to check out the Flex. Although it was nice, it felt like I was sitting in a toy car - a large go-kart. You definitely will not get that "King of the Road" feel towing your Airstream with a Flex! It made me appreciate what the Suburban does well - instill confidence. And that comes with a price. No free lunch?

I am not sure what we will do for the next TV. Maybe F150/ecoboost, I am not sure. But for now, I LOVE my Suburban.
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Old 03-09-2013, 12:43 PM   #30
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towing 25' Flying Cloud

Fuel consumption, solo, is the main reason to explore the vehicle type that AIRSTREAM was designed for: a car. Or a minivan, these days. A Sub was fine when fuel was 94-cents/gl. My folks averaged 7-8/mpg with their V8-454 Suburban pulling a 28' Silver Streak. I pull a 35' SS at double that average, or, one-half the cost (TT towing was only one factor of several dictating the choice of an early HPCR diesel truck). 25-cpm at $4/gl diesel versus 48-cpm at $3.60/gl gasoline.

When it comes time to change TV's it will again be: the best vehicle for personal/business use that can also tow the trailer. All costs, not just fuel, are relevant to economy, long-term. Fuel burn is just a way of keeping track of longevity.

For those who trade early -- every 5-7 years -- fuel economy is not relevant compared to depreciation lossses, alone.

There are those who "retire" from RV'ng due to fuel costs, yet alternatives abound. One need only read over on the CAN AM RV site, as well as on Hitch Hints in Andrew Thomson's column for a modern introduction.

First principle: It's the shape of the trailer, not the weight.

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Old 04-01-2013, 10:11 PM   #31
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Sold our 2007 diesel truck and picked up a 2002 Sub 4X4 with the 8.1.

It rides a lot smoother. No trailer gets us 13mpg and with the trailer we get 10. The burb seems to love 62mph when towing so I pop it into tow/haul and set the cruise control. With the 8.1 I easily do the speed limit up every mountain pass I've been on.
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:54 PM   #32
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I tow with a 2005 8.1L Yukon XL with towing package and enjoy the comfort and competence very much. It pulls our 25' Excella almost effortlessly. Obviously the acceleration from a stop is much slower but once at highway speed you can almost forget the Airstream is back there.
Pulling our 34' is a different matter, I get the feeling the Yukon is being taxed almost to its capacity and you can't pass many gas stations.
I want to make a plug for the 4WD and low range transmission. If you do any camping off of the pavement, both are very useful. Obviously the 4WD reduces the likelihood of getting stuck in remote places. The low range transmission adds the ability to back up slowly with power and control. Very nice for close quarters or backing up hill. Sometimes the low range transmission is needed to prevent overheating on long steep grades.
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:03 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mstephens View Post
2007 Suburban LTZ 1500 4WD 5.3L towing 25' Flying Cloud

We get 10MPG towing and 11.5 around town not towing. That's the big cost of a Suburban. No getting around it - poor gas mileage. What you get in return? one of the best rides available in a big, confident, competent vehicle. Ridiculously roomy, and yet it doesn't feel like a truck. Tows beautifully with simple WD hitch.

I have been getting discouraged by rising gas price and poor mileage in the 'Burb. I had read a lot about the Flex EcoBoost as a cool alternative. We went yesterday to check out the Flex. Although it was nice, it felt like I was sitting in a toy car - a large go-kart. You definitely will not get that "King of the Road" feel towing your Airstream with a Flex! It made me appreciate what the Suburban does well - instill confidence. And that comes with a price. No free lunch?

I am not sure what we will do for the next TV. Maybe F150/ecoboost, I am not sure. But for now, I LOVE my Suburban.
My Yukon 6.0 2500 gets about the same 10 mpg towing, 15 mpg non- towing. I don't drive it in town much at all. I agree about the ride and drive, suit's me fine, I can live with the mileage for now.
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:23 PM   #34
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I can only echo what many have said here. We've had two - the first a '94 1500 Chevrolet Suburban. Our Chev '01 Suburban is a 1500 with the 5.3L, 3.73 rear end, tow package and automatic - and 4WD. It has over 208,000 miles and the post, above, that said milage "between 11-13" is what we see as well, and all of our towing is out here in the West. We have towed at 70 on the interstate but the mileage is more consistently at 11, but we've never seen lower than 10. To consistently get 11-13, too, is right around 63-65 mph, sometimes a little more. Our worst mileage was between Durango and Ouray and then on to Grand Junction, and that wasn't due to speed, but grade. Slowest up-hills, too, down to second gear. Otherwise, its mostly in 4th on flats but will go down to 3rd. The tow-haul prevents it from jumping back and forth.

But, it tows wonderfully. And, as my wife says when she is driving, "Gee, it really IS like it's not there (the AS, behind us)." Unlike the folks from back East, I'd not have one without 4WD and they are indispensable if you are in any situation where you want that "extra" that the 4WD Sube can give you - like that unexpected snow shower in July on some high mountain pass! So you have to look at all these "testimonials" from the aspect in which they are given - whether Midwest or Eastern states, or a place like in this part of the world, where it can snow any day of the year, somewhere, especially in the mountains where we like to camp. Different folks have different needs, which is why they have those options!

We are looking for a "new" tow vehicle, though - a (older body style) late 90's era 2500 diesel Suburban! Even with the higher cost in fuel, the 40% additional mpg figures (say from 12 to 16 mpg) is worth the 15% in extra price per gallon. The point is, properly maintained they do a great job and last many years and miles, regardless of fuel type, and the 1500s do a great job up to 5500+ pounds, and the 3/4 ton (2500s) do a great job, period... IMO - as they say, your experience may vary! Good luck!
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:58 PM   #35
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My wife's father (who educated me on trailers) loved travellals.....I'd love to find one . Then, when IH quite making them he switched to suburbans. The first one he got was a 1500 silverado with tail gate and roll down rear window. He quickly traded for a red 3/4 2wd cloth seats, barn doors, 3 seats and 454 and 4:10 gears.

He drove it until he passed. I bought a 1986 speced out the same way. I drove it until it rusted out.

Now, I drive a 1999 3/4 2WD, cloth seats, 3 seats, rear air, barn doors, 454 or whatever it's called, and I love it. I bought it from a couple in Bussey Iowa off of Craigslist. It has now less than 140k miles. My son's suburban, 1992, 4WD 350 motor, cloth, barn doors etc, has 130K miles.

we love suburbans. My niece has an excursion,,,, wiht leather. I don't like leather.

The outfit in the my photo is what we travel in.
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Old 07-24-2013, 05:55 PM   #36
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1973 29' Ambassador
Seattle , Washington
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2007 Tahoe LTZ 1500 4WD 5.3L towing 29' Ambassador (5000lbs empty)

11MPG towing, 19 empty. Drives like a car.

I'd be over axle limits/payload with a modern trailer, but with a light vintage trailer, I've found this to be a fabulous car. It does work hard and rev going up hills to maintain 60 or 62MPH on west coast mountains, but other than that, it tugs it along fine.
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