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Old 07-07-2016, 08:26 AM   #1
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Chevy/GMC 2500 diesel owners

Considering upgrading my present 2007 diesel TV for something newer. One of the trucks I am looking at is a 2011 Chevy Silverado 2500 Z71 2wd. I have no experience in Chevy/GMC and wanted to get some opinions of those who own them.

1. What is the difference between a Chevy and GMC?
2. Love, It is ok, or hate your Chevy/GMC?
3. I am looking at 2010 - 2013 models. Any difference in those years? One year better than another? I would assume the later the better?
4. I am towing around a 34'/9,000 pound TT. For those towing around the same (TT or 5er); what type of MPG are you seeing?
5. Any other pertinent info you would like to pass on.

Thanks,
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Old 07-07-2016, 10:34 AM   #2
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I have a '14 GMC Sierra 2500 (same as 11-14) and towed my toy hauler (~12,000 lbs loaded) all around the midwest and even from WI to FL and the truck towed the trailer really well. I would get between 9.5 and 11 mpg, but that TH was 12.5 ft tall and I think that played into the mileage more than weight.

The Allison trans and the torque of the diesel through the mountains made that trip a breeze.

We have since bought an 5'er XLR TH and the mileage is the same with a heavier trailer.

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Old 07-07-2016, 10:41 AM   #3
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1. What is the difference between a Chevy and GMC?

Not much. Built on same line. GMC usually comes with a few more bells & whistles than Chevy (for a few thousand $ more, of course).

Same as Chrysler/Dodge (think Town & Country/Caravan) or Ford/Mercury (Fusion/Milan).

In Forest River Hybrid-speak, same as Roo/Shamrock.
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Old 07-07-2016, 10:45 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KRSmitty View Post
Considering upgrading my present 2007 diesel TV for something newer. One of the trucks I am looking at is a 2011 Chevy Silverado 2500 Z71 2wd. I have no experience in Chevy/GMC and wanted to get some opinions of those who own them.

1. What is the difference between a Chevy and GMC?
2. Love, It is ok, or hate your Chevy/GMC?
3. I am looking at 2010 - 2013 models. Any difference in those years? One year better than another? I would assume the later the better?
4. I am towing around a 34'/9,000 pound TT. For those towing around the same (TT or 5er); what type of MPG are you seeing?
5. Any other pertinent info you would like to pass on.

Thanks,
Mostly the grill and a few doo-dads. They are made at the same plant as each other (1500's in Mexico, HD's in Flint, MI).

I am a GMC/Chevy guy to the core. If a Chevy will do the job, that's what I get. But I know in today's world the differences in all 3 are slight.

I don't know about the years. Someone else might. I had a 2015 and now a 2016.

When I had a 2015 3/4 (2500) I got 22 mpg (diesel) on highway not pulling, and pulling a bumper pull I got about 13. On my current 3500 dually I get 10.5-12.0 (depends mostly on hills) pulling a fifth wheel.
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Old 07-07-2016, 11:01 AM   #5
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The 2011 D'Max has a bad history when it comes to the emissions. I just traded mine in and it spent more time in the shop than any other vehicle I ever owned. Not saying every 2011 is bad but I definitely had a rotten egg. Only reason I kept it as long as I did was it was all covered. But the warranty just timed out (5 years), so it had to go.
I would recommend the latter years you are looking at, as it seems that GM got the bugs worked out by the 13 model year.
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Old 07-07-2016, 11:01 AM   #6
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You are right in the time frame when DEF was added to Chevy Diesels. If having or not having a DEF equipped vehicle is important you need to check carefully.
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Old 07-07-2016, 11:15 AM   #7
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I traded in my Chevy for a GMC 2500 and the differences are noticeable, but nothing really major.

Same engines
same chassis
same tranny
front grille is different between them
the interior is slightly different, and the GMC has a few more features in the nav/head unit, but other then that, if you put them side by side with no badges, you'll only notice the front grille difference
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Old 07-07-2016, 11:43 AM   #8
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You are right in the time frame when DEF was added to Chevy Diesels. If having or not having a DEF equipped vehicle is important you need to check carefully.
I have heard from several users of DEF that it is not that big of deal. Have to fill up the DEF tank every so often...that is about it. Unless there is more to it?
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Old 07-07-2016, 11:55 AM   #9
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I have heard from several users of DEF that it is not that big of deal. Have to fill up the DEF tank every so often...that is about it. Unless there is more to it?
When GM made the transition to meet federal requirements (2010 I think) they had a lot of issues with the DEF, exhaust & emission systems/parts failing, etc. If you go to the Duramax forum you can see the issues folks had and how they started to disappear by 2013. Like I mentioned I had a bunch of issues but a coworker with a 2011 3500 only had problems with glow plugs. (another issue with those years...GM had a service bulletin that allowed dealers to change all 8 and after they did that on mine I never had an issue with the plugs again)
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Old 07-07-2016, 11:58 AM   #10
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But overall the DEF system is not that big of deal. Just a few bucks a gallon depending on where you get it. Some dealers even top it off during an oil change.
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Old 07-07-2016, 12:07 PM   #11
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I would look at the 2011 or newer. The tow ratings jumped a lot in 2011 with the new frame, brakes, etc. Example: 2010 3500 Dually rated to tow 15,900, 2011 3500 Dually rated to tow 21,600.
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Old 07-07-2016, 12:26 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by DreiHunde View Post
The 2011 D'Max has a bad history when it comes to the emissions. I just traded mine in and it spent more time in the shop than any other vehicle I ever owned. Not saying every 2011 is bad but I definitely had a rotten egg. Only reason I kept it as long as I did was it was all covered. But the warranty just timed out (5 years), so it had to go.
I would recommend the latter years you are looking at, as it seems that GM got the bugs worked out by the 13 model year.

X-2 2011 was a problem year.
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Old 07-07-2016, 12:28 PM   #13
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I upgraded from a 5.3 Avalanche pulling our Mini Lite 2502ks about 5500 pounds to a GMC 2500 Duramax. WOW what a difference. Now I pull a 10000 lb 32 ft 5er and hardly know it's behind me. Mileage on highway 21, towing 12 to 14 depending on terrain. I do a lot of Interstate driving being in Oklahoma and use very little DEF.
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Old 07-07-2016, 12:34 PM   #14
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On the DEF, I just added DEF for the first time.....at about 6,600 miles. Much of that was towing which I'm sure matters (I guess it does).

Only issue I have with the vehicle in any way is where the DEF is added. Ford and Ram put the intake next to gas tank. Chevy? Open the hood, get a stool, and wedge it in near the firewall. Still, it's rare.

I paid $17.00 to fill it all the way up at $2.69 a gallon at Speedway in Jackson, TN last week. It was convenient and I was out. Wally World sells it for about $7.00 for five gallons. I think it holds about 10 gallons. DIC tells you when to add.

DEF is nothing but Urea and Water.

However, it is dated. I was told by tech that it's like 'milk'. You don't go get new milk, bring it home and add it to the existing older gallon that is half full. But I also know guys that do exactly that with DEF and have no issues.

It's simply the catalytic converter process of the diesel world. I for one am glad they have it.......my diesel is quiet as any gasser, and no odor, fumes, smoke, or smog.
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Old 07-07-2016, 12:35 PM   #15
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I bought a Chevy 2500 HD in January to pull my 40' toy hauler and I just love it. Def has not been an issue, just fill it up and keep driving. All my friends that I camp with have Chevy 2500 HD and love them.
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Old 07-07-2016, 12:38 PM   #16
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I bought a Chevy 2500 HD in January to pull my 40' toy hauler and I just love it. Def has not been an issue, just fill it up and keep driving. All my friends that I camp with have Chevy 2500 HD and love them.

I agree though, the DEF isn't as bad as people make it out to be, however, there were some issues with it at first. I had to add the stuff for the first time to my truck last month around 5k mile mark. But I've heard it'll increase over time.
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Old 07-07-2016, 12:44 PM   #17
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BTW, the 2014 GM model trucks were made in both versions. Meaning they shared the same body as the 2007 thru 2014 and the introduced new 2014 body style as well. This is still shared in today's 2016 model. Therefore there are 2014 models in both the old and new body styles.
Also, I have a good friend that owns a '15 1-ton Denali 4dr LB SWB Duramax/Alison pulling a 42' Jayco 5er with no issues for over a year now. With the cruise on, 70 mph, 1500rpm, 14mpg.
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Old 07-07-2016, 12:47 PM   #18
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OP stated they were looking at a 2011 Z71,,,,,,, that is a 4WD, not a 2WD. I've had both gas and diesel 2500 2WD, they have a higher payload and lower maintenance issues without the 4WD running gear. Just sayin'
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Old 07-07-2016, 12:48 PM   #19
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I think I had 3k miles when I just had to refill mine. I am thinking mine was not full when I got it from the dealer. I went to Advance Auto and bought two of the containers. They suggested I only use one to fill up. I keep the other in my garage but my indicator went back up over 70% with just one. I am only 5'8" and found it wasn't to hard to fill up under the hood. The package the DEF comes in has a flexible spout so it was easy to pour.
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Old 07-07-2016, 01:03 PM   #20
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Chevy 2500 HD diesel

We have a 2014 Silverado 2500 HD Z71 4x4 6.6 liter diesel and Allison trans. This has been the perfect truck to pull our 32 ft Crusader 5th wheel. It's basically been adjust the trailer brakes gain, hit the tow button, the exhaust brake, and cruise control, and the truck takes care of most everything except steering ! Mileage has averaged over 15 when towing and over 16 when not pulling a load. (We've been through the Ozarks so far but not the Rockies) The DEF is not a big expense, about $10 every 3000 miles or so and easy to refill...the truck will begin to indicate when needed with a 1000 mile warning.
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