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Old 05-26-2013, 09:07 PM   #1
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Full size GM van..good/bad?

Hello all,

We had been looking at a HD crew cab truck as a new TV for our family of six. Long story made short, we will be a family of seven soon. So...that rules out any truck for us forever pretty much. I had hoped to haul bikes, firewood, etc, in the back of the truck. I am sick of packing everything in the camper as our Sequoia has pretty small amount of cargo to spare with all the seats used. So I am thinking of a full size van. I would get a one ton extended and am leaning towards GM for its longer wheelbase and easier availability with its larger optional engine(6.0 gas).
I have been looking at 1-2 year old models that seems to be around 20-25k. Is there anyone else using this type of vehicle? I know it's probably not the most popular or preferred tow vehicle but it may be perfect for us. Any info would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 05-26-2013, 09:38 PM   #2
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Just my 2 cents...totally understand why you're going to a van, with the size of your family now & upcoming future, your carrying load will only increase.
With that said, don't rule out the 6.6 diesel in the GM vans...you'll go from about 280 ft/lbs torque with the 6.0 to 525 ft/lbs torque with the diesel...you'll feel the difference & appreciate the towing power for your setup...good luck & enjoy the new addition to your family
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Old 05-26-2013, 10:35 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Gizmo0706 View Post
Hello all,

We had been looking at a HD crew cab truck as a new TV for our family of six. Long story made short, we will be a family of seven soon. So...that rules out any truck for us forever pretty much. I had hoped to haul bikes, firewood, etc, in the back of the truck. I am sick of packing everything in the camper as our Sequoia has pretty small amount of cargo to spare with all the seats used. So I am thinking of a full size van. I would get a one ton extended and am leaning towards GM for its longer wheelbase and easier availability with its larger optional engine(6.0 gas).
I have been looking at 1-2 year old models that seems to be around 20-25k. Is there anyone else using this type of vehicle? I know it's probably not the most popular or preferred tow vehicle but it may be perfect for us. Any info would be greatly appreciated!
Congrats on your new addition. Nothing wrong with your van choice... I was also going to mention... dont forget that suburban is a capable tow vehicle/people hauler
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Old 05-26-2013, 11:05 PM   #4
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My father in law has a new 3/4 ton suburban with the 6.0 and gets great mileage empty, lots of power and a very respectable tow rating. You can get multiple seating configurations as well and they still fit in the garage or parkades.
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Old 05-26-2013, 11:30 PM   #5
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We have family of 6 and often have a tag-along kid on trips, which makes it often 7 of us. Youngest kid is now 10, so the rest are adult-sized, or mighty close to it. When I upgraded my TV about 2 yrs ago, I narrowed it down between Ford Expedition and the Suburban. Did a lot of research and test driving, and ended up with a Ford Expedition with the HD tow package.

The Suburban had more cargo room behind the 3rd row, but the biggest deciding factor for us was the comfort of the 3rd row seat in the Expedition, as well as ease of getting back there - the Expy beat the Suburban hands down for us.

With the HD tow package and WD hitch, it can tow a max of 9200 lbs. I get about 16 MPG driving around (mostly stop/start, city driving) and 8-10 towing the camper depending on how hilly and which way the wind is blowing.

Just another option to think about...
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Old 05-27-2013, 12:01 AM   #6
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A 3/4 or 1 ton van or 2500 suburban should be fine - an expy or 1500 suburban won't work unless you have a very small camper. Not enough payload or GCWR for a 28+ camper.

@arlee - I'm sure you're over your GVWR and payload with your camper and people. It's probably 1500 lbs, if that - 6 people plus what, 800 or so tounge weight...

Been there done that. Scales don't lie.
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Old 05-27-2013, 06:21 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Dabmeb View Post
My father in law has a new 3/4 ton suburban with the 6.0 and gets great mileage empty, lots of power and a very respectable tow rating. You can get multiple seating configurations as well and they still fit in the garage or parkades.
We had a Yukon XL before the Sequoia and although it had more cargo room than we have now I want a LOT more room. Holiday trips have always been a pain packing all the stuff for the kids and ourselves. Rear cargo boxes, roof boxes, I'm tired of all of them! I just want to be able to pile all the crap in there and shut the door.
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Old 05-27-2013, 06:23 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Ragin Cajun View Post
Just my 2 cents...totally understand why you're going to a van, with the size of your family now & upcoming future, your carrying load will only increase.
With that said, don't rule out the 6.6 diesel in the GM vans...you'll go from about 280 ft/lbs torque with the 6.0 to 525 ft/lbs torque with the diesel...you'll feel the difference & appreciate the towing power for your setup...good luck & enjoy the new addition to your family
The diesels are SO much more expensive in the vans...for less power than the truck version. You also don't get the Allison which is a bummer. I can't find any used within a reasonable range from my house, I have looked they must be rare.
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Old 05-27-2013, 07:43 PM   #9
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The diesels are SO much more expensive in the vans...for less power than the truck version. You also don't get the Allison which is a bummer. I can't find any used within a reasonable range from my house, I have looked they must be rare.
I have a full size 3/4 ton express that I use to tow my puma 30 FQSS. Plenty of room for the family. The 6L works great! Milage is around 6-8 mpg while towing. Depends on the wind. I strongly recommend sway control, nothing like driving a large sail down the road pulling a large sail behind you...
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Old 05-27-2013, 08:04 PM   #10
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I had 1999 V10 Ford 1 ton van as a TV (not the extended version). It was a great TV up to 100,000 miles. You are going to love the space inside with all those kids. I had looked at a Suburban but it was not even close to the space in a 1 ton van & $$$$ a whole lot more.
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