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Old 12-29-2010, 10:04 AM   #1
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chevy Suburban

we have been looking at 2007-new suburbans to fit the family a little better on trips. my question is most have 5.3 v8. we have a trailer that weighs 6600 dry. right now we tow with a 2008 1500 crew cab silverodo with a 5.3 v8 and a reese wdh. It tows fairly well in Michigan which we dont have any big hills on most trips we have taken so far. We are planning on going out of state for the first time next summer either to the east coast or to Colorado so the driving will change. Is it possilple to be happy with a 1500 suburban towing a 6600 pound 30 rockwood 8316 of course on trips that weight goes up with gear. does anyone tow with one a camper about the same size. I have seen a few 2500 which the new 2500 are listed a lot cheaper than the 1500 because they dont have the fancy leather and bells which is fine with me. I have seen used 1500 but not 2500's that is why I guess I'm getting opinions which I know will vary on what you can tow. It seems easier to find a 1500 vs. a 2500 if we go the used route. thanks for the help
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Old 12-29-2010, 10:15 AM   #2
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You will need to find the GVWR of the 1500s. Figure up the total weight of your family and gear you will be packing into the Surburban, and also add the tongue weight of the trailer.....minus what the WDH is putting back on the trailer axles. Now speculating here, but that 6600 lb. dry weight trailer will probably weight around 8000 lbs. loaded, since you are probably starting in the vicinity of 7000 lbs. actual empty weight after adding options, LP tanks and a battery. A 12% tongue weight is going to be right around 1000 lbs., but some of that will be thrown back on the trailer axle. But figure the tongue is still going to exert 800 lbs. on the Burb, plus the weight of occupants, and stuff loaded in the back, and you are probably going to be maxing out a 1500. Plus, SUVs usually have lighter suspensions than trucks, so that could be an issue also. A 2500 might be a better fit for that trailer, plus they usually have higher tow and hitch ratings......a good safety margin.

If it were me shopping for a new tow vehicle, I would go for a 2500 with big engine, and low ratio (higher number) final drive gearing.
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:31 AM   #3
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My family and I dragged our pop-up to Colorado from Missouri this past July. Our TV was a 2004 1500 Suburban 4x4 with a 5.3 liter. Between the weight of my family, our gear, and the pup, we were probably hauling 4000 lbs.

I won't do it again. I felt that the 'burb just didn't have enough power with the steady, long uphill grade....St. Louis ~ 530' vs. Colorado Springs ~ 6000'...and strong headwinds The pop-up is light @ 1900 lbs dry but the 'burb seemed to be constantly down-shifting and "hunting" for the right gear in spite of having it set to tow/haul mode. The long stints at 3000 RPM in 3rd gear stressed me out. Gas mileage was 14 mpg.

I'm probably selling the poor old 'burb short because the winds were abnormally strong. Additionally, I'm a bit of a gear-head so I probably paid closer attention to RPM and transmission shifting behavoir more than most people would. But all of this was with a pop-up. I can't imagine pulling our 25' Shamrock with the same TV in similar conditions. I'f we make a trip back to the Rockies I'll pull our camper with my Ram.

If you're shopping, see if you can find a 2007 or 2008 Suburban LT. They were available with both the 5.3 and 6.0 liter v8. 2006 steps back to the previous body style. 2500 would probably be your best bet though.
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Old 12-29-2010, 12:07 PM   #4
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looks like the 2500 buys you some more towing capcity. on chev canada site i saw the 4x4 has a much lower towing and weight rating for some reason...
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Old 12-29-2010, 02:33 PM   #5
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too much trailer for the 1/2 ton Burb. i have an '07 Avalanche, which is the same as the Burb without the back seats.

my max towing is 7200lbs. and the Burb has a 7000lbs. tow max, i think.

you're going to be over the 7000lbs. before you even add cargo, propane and water.
6600lbs. "dry", add at least 400lbs. for factory options and a battery and you're already over the 7000lbs. tow max.

don't know if they still made a 2500 Burb after '07. if they did, then that would work. or an Ford Excursion.
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Old 12-29-2010, 05:47 PM   #6
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Had a friend pulling a similar sized camper with a 454 3/4 ton Suburban, and it worked ok. I wouldn't even think about going to Colorado witha 5.3 L in a light-duty truck, let alone a Suburban. Simply horrendously over-loaded.
I don''t know if you have ever been to Colorado, but even the interstate going west from Denver has climbs that would smoke that poor little motor!
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Old 12-29-2010, 06:21 PM   #7
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I agree. I live in Colorado and had a 2003 Suburban with 5.3L towing a 23ss Roo and didn't have enough power. Traded the Suburban in on an 2008 Yukon XL Denali with 6.2L. The extra horse help alot but now that we have the 2501ss I'm looking at a 3/4 ton to 1 ton HD pickup. The Yukons/Suburbans have lighter suspensions. I'm within my weights with my setup but the 8316 is a big trailer...that's a lot of length even for a full size SUV wheelbase. I too have looked around for 2500 versions of the Yukon/Suburban, they still make them but most times you have to order from the factory and believe the largest engine in them now is the 6.0L.
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Old 12-31-2010, 02:05 AM   #8
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I just traded in my 2004 4x4 Suburban 1500 BECAUSE it was underpowered. I'm pulling a 6000 lb dry-weight Salem TT and drove on the local truck scale. Being over GCWR by 1000 lbs with empty tanks all around and an empty fridge was the kicker. That and the 20 mph I dropped to trying to get up to Silver Lake on Highway 88 in the Sierra's. The 5.3 motor is good and worked fine for my tent trailer, but can't handle the big TT.

GM still makes the 2500 model but they're rare. Only found a couple used ones at CarMax and AutoTrader. Just drove home in my new Excursion with the 6.0L diesel. Can't wait to hook up the rig and go for a trip!
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Old 12-31-2010, 03:05 PM   #9
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ya if you get an excursion might as well go diesel.
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Old 01-04-2011, 02:21 PM   #10
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stop! change

ok after asking about burbs i found a used 2005 ford excursion xlt v10 gas with about 75000 miles on it, in my home town for sale. looks good from outside have not drove yet as only stopped and looked in yard. it is a private seller -tag on it says $16500 which looking in blue book is right on if it runs well. would this pull a rockwood 8316 (6600 dry weight i know and 2 adults 4 kids from ages 12 down to 6 (who do nothing but grow). along with gear will make that weight go up. according to info i have found the xlt is rated between 9200 and 11000 depending on axle gearing. not sure what this one has. would a five year old truck be worth it? seems cheeper than a new 3/4 ton i looked at last week at 47000 with no incentives except 3% interest.
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