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Old 11-06-2017, 02:37 PM   #61
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Also don't be afraid to slow down going up hills. An old suburban with a 250hp 350 won't overheat pulling that trailer up a hill because 250hp will only pull it so fast up the hill. Your 400 hp will pull it like gangbusters but 400 hp makes heat. Let it slow down and use lower gears. Don't ever floor it for long periods of time. That's built for a drag race or to reach top speed unloaded. That means if you are flooring it for a 10 min hill, vs 1/2 to 1 min getting up to speed, you are abusing it IMO. Slow down, take 15 mins climbing instead of 10 mins. Big deal, save some money. 6 people in any pickup ever built on a long road trip would make me want to stay behind.
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Old 11-06-2017, 03:28 PM   #62
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Also don't be afraid to slow down going up hills. An old suburban with a 250hp 350 won't overheat pulling that trailer up a hill because 250hp will only pull it so fast up the hill. Your 400 hp will pull it like gangbusters but 400 hp makes heat. Let it slow down and use lower gears. Don't ever floor it for long periods of time. That's built for a drag race or to reach top speed unloaded. That means if you are flooring it for a 10 min hill, vs 1/2 to 1 min getting up to speed, you are abusing it IMO. Slow down, take 15 mins climbing instead of 10 mins. Big deal, save some money. 6 people in any pickup ever built on a long road trip would make me want to stay behind.
A van will only work until the 5er upgrade bites then in the same boat again. It will and the need for a diesel pickup arises again. 6 in my F350 Lariat is still reasonably comfortable. OP should, IMO, wait and save to buy once instead of chasing bigger vehicles often.
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Old 11-06-2017, 03:30 PM   #63
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A van will only work until the 5er upgrade bites then in the same boat again. It will and the need for a diesel pickup arises again. 6 in my F350 Lariat is still reasonably comfortable. OP should, IMO, wait and save to buy once instead of chasing bigger vehicles often.
we've had 6 in the cab plus the golden retriever... Maybe not the best for loooong drives, but 3-5 hours is doable
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Old 11-06-2017, 03:31 PM   #64
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Here ya go.
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Old 11-06-2017, 03:45 PM   #65
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Also don't be afraid to slow down going up hills. An old suburban with a 250hp 350 won't overheat pulling that trailer up a hill because 250hp will only pull it so fast up the hill. Your 400 hp will pull it like gangbusters but 400 hp makes heat. Let it slow down and use lower gears. Don't ever floor it for long periods of time. That's built for a drag race or to reach top speed unloaded. That means if you are flooring it for a 10 min hill, vs 1/2 to 1 min getting up to speed, you are abusing it IMO. Slow down, take 15 mins climbing instead of 10 mins. Big deal, save some money. 6 people in any pickup ever built on a long road trip would make me want to stay behind.
I'm definitely not flooring it.

Most of the time I tow in the 60's and drop quickly to the 50's and even 40's. But it seems to be a real problem keeping the engine temps down.

Sometimes I think the RPM'S help cool it down the next time it seems that it just contributes to the problem. I basically drive with the temp guage in mind and will watch it like a hawk. If it starts climbing I start to slow down.

The long gradual hills seem to be worse than the short steep ones. It always recovers quickly going down the backside.
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Old 11-06-2017, 03:46 PM   #66
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Here ya go.
Love it!

A man would drive that! I think I also hear Tim the Toolman Taylor grunting in the background.
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Old 11-06-2017, 03:50 PM   #67
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Here ya go.
OK, I'm ready to trade in my fifth wheel.
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Old 11-06-2017, 04:35 PM   #68
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5th wheel problem solved!






Haha, seriously I think this would suit your specific needs well:



Can make them tough looking if thats an issue:





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Old 11-06-2017, 04:39 PM   #69
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Think outside the SUV box

Look into a Nissan 3500 HD passenger van- the mid-level trim version comes in a V-8. It pulls 9000 and fits a large family with room to spare. Best thing about it is the price- far cheaper than any other large SUV. The only issue we have had with ours is the gas tank is too small!
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Old 11-06-2017, 04:58 PM   #70
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I did a quick search and it looks like the NV3500HD is a little out of my price range right now.

Thanks guys anyway.
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Old 11-06-2017, 06:36 PM   #71
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I'll likely need to keep the budget down to under 14k...
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...the NV3500HD is a little out of my price range right now...
The NV3500 has only been out a few years so good ones are over $25K while cheaper ones have likely been used-up as taxis, daycare runners, etc...

007matman/Empty Pockets - Unfortunately a lot of the suggestions do not keep the price under $14K. Finding a GOOD diesel under $14K is unrealistic. Although the engine may be good for over 300K, everything else will need work around 150K... When the diesel does develop an issue, it will be pricey to fix... Your best bang/buck for towing 8K will be a 2-3 year-old gas 3/4 ton w/under 75K miles without a lot of bling/trim upgrades but seating for 6...

As noted earlier, my budget was $15K & I found a 2 year-old Ram 2500 CC 2WD that seats 6 for $14K & then added a like-new cap for $500. Because it was still under warranty, I haven't had any major out-of-pocket expenses until now, 4 years later (differential went at 135K miles...). We've spent the last few seasons towing throughout the Appalachian/Smoky mountains with power to spare & the newer engine/tranny tech gets 16-17 mpg commuting & 8 mpg towing. Older V10 & 4 speed tranny tech, like in the Excursion SUV, gets very poor commuting MPG... Newer 1/2 ton trucks & SUVs won't handle your tongue weight plus family of 6...

Since the Ram 2500 gasser was only 2 years old, I was able to secure a 6 year low-interest loan with no money down @ $220/month. (Used TT = $180/mo.) With combined payment of just $400/mo. we didn't have to worry about being strapped for cash during camping months, when we are spending more... Then, during non-holiday months we made extra payments...

DW & I are both educators w/summers off but w/sports, summer band & church camps, etc. it gets harder & harder to find 35 days of camping, which is our annual goal... IMO if you can't spend about 1/12 of year camping, then you're dumping a lot of money into something that just sits unused & depreciates...
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Old 11-06-2017, 07:57 PM   #72
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The NV3500 has only been out a few years so good ones are over $25K while cheaper ones have likely been used-up as taxis, daycare runners, etc...

007matman/Empty Pockets - Unfortunately a lot of the suggestions do not keep the price under $14K. Finding a GOOD diesel under $14K is unrealistic. Although the engine may be good for over 300K, everything else will need work around 150K... When the diesel does develop an issue, it will be pricey to fix... Your best bang/buck for towing 8K will be a 2-3 year-old gas 3/4 ton w/under 75K miles without a lot of bling/trim upgrades but seating for 6...

As noted earlier, my budget was $15K & I found a 2 year-old Ram 2500 CC 2WD that seats 6 for $14K & then added a like-new cap for $500. Because it was still under warranty, I haven't had any major out-of-pocket expenses until now, 4 years later (differential went at 135K miles...). We've spent the last few seasons towing throughout the Appalachian/Smoky mountains with power to spare & the newer engine/tranny tech gets 16-17 mpg commuting & 8 mpg towing. Older V10 & 4 speed tranny tech, like in the Excursion SUV, gets very poor commuting MPG... Newer 1/2 ton trucks & SUVs won't handle your tongue weight plus family of 6...

Since the Ram 2500 gasser was only 2 years old, I was able to secure a 6 year low-interest loan with no money down @ $220/month. (Used TT = $180/mo.) With combined payment of just $400/mo. we didn't have to worry about being strapped for cash during camping months, when we are spending more... Then, during non-holiday months we made extra payments...

DW & I are both educators w/summers off but w/sports, summer band & church camps, etc. it gets harder & harder to find 35 days of camping, which is our annual goal... IMO if you can't spend about 1/12 of year camping, then you're dumping a lot of money into something that just sits unused & depreciates...
We could get about 50 nights when both working and it was tough. I retired 1st and wife was a teacher so could stretch to 75. Now we average 180-200.
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Old 11-06-2017, 09:07 PM   #73
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On the E-350 I suggested, I was only looking to keep it well within your price range. The 5.4 does require patience and the V-10 is awesome (any Econoline with a diesel would probably be too old for you).

I made a similar decision a few years ago when I discovered that my Expedition technically could tow the new 7,500 lbs. trailer, but it was a white knuckle trip every time.

I didn't have the funds for a new truck, a GM diesel, and the Rams I could afford were very rusted out.

I went with a F350 with the "dreaded" 6.0 diesel. I did not spend a penny on bullet proofing. I found a very low miles truck in Texas that hadn't been tuned or abused with a giant fifth wheel. We put 50,000 miles on it (about 15,000 towing) and never had a single issue with it.

There are a few well documented issues with the engine and there are many decent diesel shops that know how to deal with 'em. In your area, Bill Hewitt (powerstrokehelp.com) is very well known for working magic with the Ford diesels.

Good luck with the hunt!
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Old 11-06-2017, 09:37 PM   #74
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Thank you.

You've all given me a lot to think about. I can't see myself with a van but maybe an Expedition or a pickup (likely Dodge or Ford) in either the 3/4 or 1-ton range.. it would really depend on the deal I could find. I'd like to get something that I would feel that I have a decent amount of capacity with.

As I mentioned earlier, I'm not in a hurry and would like to keep the price as low as possible so I'll be on the lookout for a good deal.
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Old 11-06-2017, 10:12 PM   #75
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I'm definitely not flooring it.

Most of the time I tow in the 60's and drop quickly to the 50's and even 40's. But it seems to be a real problem keeping the engine temps down.

Sometimes I think the RPM'S help cool it down the next time it seems that it just contributes to the problem. I basically drive with the temp guage in mind and will watch it like a hawk. If it starts climbing I start to slow down.

The long gradual hills seem to be worse than the short steep ones. It always recovers quickly going down the backside.
I'd definitely say you have some other problem then. It could be water pump, radiator, even a restriction in the exhaust. If the wrong antifreeze was ever mixed with the red GM stuff it will turn to goo and mess stuff up as well. Either that or it's not really hotter than it is designed to be and you are just overly worried. There is nothing different powertrain wise in your Escalade you wouldn't find in a HD 2500 gas rated to tow twice as much.

Maybe I missed it earlier but does your truck have a number temp readout in the settings? We had a 2005 GM full size and some of those years are know for having flaky gauge motors that give no or wrong reading. We had to replace 7 stepper motors in the gauges on our Duramax and my dad's 2006 Escalade had a few dead ones as well. They might have had it fixed by 2010 though. My 2011 Dodge minivan will show both an oil temp and exact coolant temp in the driver's information screens. If you don't have that get a $20 OBD2 bluetooth adaptor and the free or $5 Torque app for android and see what it is really running. I also bought a $7 remote pyrometer off Amazon which is cool for finding hot spots say in a plugged exhaust or a hot cylinder from a leaking fuel injector or if my wife is having a hot flash and I should avoid making jokes.

I used to tow with a 2008 5.7 Hemi Aspen which I sold for less than $8000. It was rated over 9000 pounds and had comfortable seating for 6 and could take 7 or 8 if you had too. There isn't a bunch of room behind the 3rd row compared to a Suburban but at least it has the seats. It was still going strong at 145,000 miles but did have a problem with the blend door in the front heater that moved air from the floor to the windshield. I just jammed it 1/2 way so everywhere got a some air. They wanted a ridiculous over $1000 to fix properly. Personally I would take your Escalade over an Aspen even if it supposedly isn't rated as high. The dealer still has my Aspen (he's asking like $13,000 but would take less I'm sure) and my wife tells me how much more she liked it compared to our Ram every time we drive past it. I wish they would sell it!
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Old 11-06-2017, 10:29 PM   #76
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I just saw this on a Silverado forum on a 2012 6.2 worried about temp.

"It's normal. The manual say's that 210 and under is normal operating temperature and 235 is OK when towing up grades. Max temp is 260. Also, at 210, the needle is vertical. That tells me that is normal position."

I don't know what you are running coolant temp wise, on another post they said the tranny temp pushing 250 towing is also normal. The response from GM customer service was
" Good Morning! Thank you for giving me the time to do some research on your concern with the transmission temperature. I have consulted one of our dealers and am happy to inform you that I have the information you’ve requested. The normal operating temperature is between 160F to 200F (71C to 93C). For towing, the normal operating temperature is between 235F (113C) to 260F (127C)."
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Old 11-06-2017, 10:32 PM   #77
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Reading through this thread it seems to me that you may be worried about a problem (overheating) that doesn't exist. When tow vehicles pull a long grade it 's natural for the engine and transmission temperature to rise. Just because those needles move to the right some doesn't mean you have a problem. If you were seriously overheating into the red zone on the gauge, pushing out coolant, etc., that would be a different story. Your Escalade should be able to pull your RV fine and others have recommended cooling upgrades that could give you additional piece of mind. If your current vehicle does everything else well you could also consider a gear change (ring and pinion) which would help a great deal with towing, with probably only a small gas mileage hit on the highway unloaded.

I have a ScanGauge on my Suburban that plugs into the OBD1 port so I can see exactly what going on with trans/engine temps. It cost less than $200 and also, as a side benefit, allows me to read/clear engine codes on all of my vehicles. I towed the camper in my signature for almost 2 seasons with my Suburban 1500/5.3/3.73 in the eastern mountains. It lacked for power at times, and warmed up on the grades, but never "overheated". I recently picked 2004 Suburban 2500 with the 8.1/4.10 which is great because I don't have to worry about payload anymore and gives me breathing room to upgrade to a larger trailer.

My opinion is that your family will not be as happy sitting 3 abreast in both seats of CC pickup compared the Escalade. Take it from a guy with 5 kids that has been there, and done that. I've had 2 crew cab pickups and 2 Suburbans and I would take a 3-row, body-on-frame SUV any day over the pickup when it comes to doing things with more than 2 kids. I'm sure the full size Nissan van would be very capable as well, but personally, it would be hard for me to get past the looks.

Good luck.
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Old 11-06-2017, 10:43 PM   #78
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Wow. That makes me feel a little better. I was looking for something like this that actually said what the acceptable ranges are.

I do know that the closer you are to normal the better but this tells me short periods where it's out of normal is ok and hopefully I'm not doing any huge damage there. I think I may pick up an OBD scanner just to make sure I know what the numbers are. I'm probably not getting anywhere near 260.
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Old 11-06-2017, 11:08 PM   #79
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And slow down. Going up hills at even 35 MPH is no crime. Make sure you shift down and keep it in a low gear.
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Old 11-06-2017, 11:26 PM   #80
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And slow down. Going up hills at even 35 MPH is no crime. Make sure you shift down and keep it in a low gear.
On interstates 35 and some 40 are a crime unless in a truck lane....
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