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Old 10-07-2009, 08:19 PM   #21
BrianCunningham
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I'll be picking up a tow/winter vehicle this soon.

What's weight different between a 1500 pickup vs 1500 'burb?

Kinda why I'm leaning towards a pickup.

They weigh less therefore can tow better with the same engine, correct?
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:40 PM   #22
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Uphill in Michigan and uphill in Tennessee are two entirely different things.

I'm currently undertrucked, and let me tell you, towing this way is work. I've borrowed bigger trucks when mine was broke down (because I was beating the hell out of it towing) and I got to the track a lot more rested and ready to race.

there is draooing it there and towing it there in comfort. I would not tow with less than a 3/4 ton vehicle. My diesel ZExcursion with sway bars is not even close to my Godge dooley for comfort in towing. The Excursion has more power but the gooley lets you forget you are towing on the stability side of it.
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:47 PM   #23
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So if everyone who has responded ONLY had to pull an open trailer (NOT an enclosed)... what would your response be then?? hehe

OP asked about a 5.3 and an open trailer... not sure why these always get sidetracked
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:55 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by BrianCunningham View Post


I'll be picking up a tow/winter vehicle this soon.

What's weight different between a 1500 pickup vs 1500 'burb?

Kinda why I'm leaning towards a pickup.

They weigh less therefore can tow better with the same engine, correct?
I've had both trucks and suburbans and used to do over 50k miles each year, here is what I've found. The suburban body makes the total vehicle stiffer than a truck which actually makes them ride better on the highway. Less spring in between the cab and bed I figure. So if I didn't need a truck, then I would get a suburban. The Tahoe's shorter wheel base adds to manuverability but takes away fron ride quality.
My 93 1/2 ton Z71 4x4, 12mpg empty, with a 5.7 would pull my 24' enclosed trailer, which loaded weighed 8000# and it made the trip from here to Vegas (about 600 miles each way) twice and to phoenix many times (about 800 miles) but it didn't like windy conditions, got 9ish mpg and killed an often serviced transmission at 90,000 miles and rear end at 135,000.
My 96 one ton dually Vortech 454 4L80E, got the same mileage towing as the 1/2 ton, towed the trailer like it wasn't even there, but only got 11mpg empty. The 2001 K2500 8.1L 3/4 ton Yukon XL (Suburban) Got 12 mpg empty, 9mpg towing and towed that weight just as well as the dually, rode better thean either truck and I could go through the "Drive Thru" at Starbucks without dropping a dually wheel into the planter box.

My Duramax crew cab dually is an awesome tow vehicle, but a PITA in parking tight parking lots and forget about Drive Thru. It get 20mpg on the freeway and 13mpg towing our 45' gooseneck race trailer with two cars in it.

If I could do it over, and if GM offered it, I take a 3/4 ton Suburban with a duramax and probably downsize my trailer to a 30' tag.

My total operating costs, brakes, suspensions...(excluding gas) was so much lower on 3/4 ton trucks and burbs that I wouldn't consider a 1/2 ton. When you add the gas in, you are about the same.

One of my favorite tow vehicles was my 3/4 ton suburban with a 350 in it. It got pretty good mileage, had great brakes and was very stable in windy conditions. So if you cant find a 3/4 ton sub with an 8.1, then get one with the 6.0. My Opinion is "Just say no to the 1/2 ton and the 5.3".
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:55 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by GettReal View Post
OP asked about a 5.3 and an open trailer... not sure why these always get sidetracked
My 5.3L 4wd '01 Tahoe w/ 3.73 gears pulled a heavy wood deck open trailer with a 2400# Pro7 and tools and spares no problem, including up the hill in to Laguna Seca... and, uh, the trailer brakes weren't working at least once when I did that. Even came home across Hwy17 with that set up in the pouring rain without issue.
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Old 10-07-2009, 11:58 PM   #26
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I've borrowed bigger trucks when mine was broke down (because I was beating the hell out of it towing) and I got to the track a lot more rested and ready to race.
Bring the Ford in Dec and fill the trailer up with sand bags
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Old 10-08-2009, 12:55 AM   #27
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It get 20mpg on the freeway and 13mpg towing our 45' gooseneck race trailer with two cars in it.
".

damn what mods? i am only getting 9mpg with my 02 duallly and 40ft enclosed. i am going 75 on interstate no hills usually
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Old 10-08-2009, 01:35 AM   #28
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damn what mods? i am only getting 9mpg with my 02 duallly and 40ft enclosed. i am going 75 on interstate no hills usually
Here is the secret but you need to promise not to tell anyone. Okay?
My truck is a 2004 C3500, lowered 8", air springs in the rear, stock engine & tune, All amsoil fluids & filters, and probably the biggest factor, I drive the speed limit and use cruise control as much as possible (That would be 55mph while towing here in CA).

My trailer with two cars and spares weighs just a tad under 16,000lbs (we actually ran it accross a truck scale).

To answer the original post, most of my customers that tow with a 5.3 complain about the thirll of merging onto a freeway if the onramps are short, like near Gilroy and Salinas (near Laguna Seca), so I'd go for the 6.0 cause the milage isn't that much different than the 5.3.

As i've said before, I'd do the 3/4 ton for towing comfort and stability, even though the 1/2 ton would do the job.

Here is something that hasn't come up yet, nearly everyone I know that started with an open trailer and stayed with tracking their cars, eventually went to an enclosed trailer for security and when (if) that happens, you will be glad that you already have a 3/4 ton for the towing stability, big coolers and big radiator, and brakes, and bigger differential, and stronger transmission.
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Old 10-08-2009, 06:11 AM   #29
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So if everyone who has responded ONLY had to pull an open trailer (NOT an enclosed)... what would your response be then?? hehe

OP asked about a 5.3 and an open trailer... not sure why these always get sidetracked
I started with a F150 4.6 and an open trailer that I wouldn't classify as light. Most trips less than 200 miles. I borrowed a '05 dodge dually dizzy to go pensacola to houston NT in april. Some of the bridges would have been scary with the ford. I bought a C3500 6.5 and even with 204k miles it tows like a dream. Yeah, I'd want bigger than 1/2 ton. I don't think anybody who pulls with diesel, or atleast 3/4 ton HD will ever want to go back. Ed
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Old 10-08-2009, 07:39 AM   #30
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I've had both trucks and suburbans and used to do over 50k miles each year, here is what I've found. The suburban body makes the total vehicle stiffer than a truck which actually makes them ride better on the highway. Less spring in between the cab and bed I figure. So if I didn't need a truck, then I would get a suburban. The Tahoe's shorter wheel base adds to manuverability but takes away fron ride quality.
My 93 1/2 ton Z71 4x4, 12mpg empty, with a 5.7 would pull my 24' enclosed trailer, which loaded weighed 8000# and it made the trip from here to Vegas (about 600 miles each way) twice and to phoenix many times (about 800 miles) but it didn't like windy conditions, got 9ish mpg and killed an often serviced transmission at 90,000 miles and rear end at 135,000.
My 96 one ton dually Vortech 454 4L80E, got the same mileage towing as the 1/2 ton, towed the trailer like it wasn't even there, but only got 11mpg empty. The 2001 K2500 8.1L 3/4 ton Yukon XL (Suburban) Got 12 mpg empty, 9mpg towing and towed that weight just as well as the dually, rode better thean either truck and I could go through the "Drive Thru" at Starbucks without dropping a dually wheel into the planter box.

My Duramax crew cab dually is an awesome tow vehicle, but a PITA in parking tight parking lots and forget about Drive Thru. It get 20mpg on the freeway and 13mpg towing our 45' gooseneck race trailer with two cars in it.

If I could do it over, and if GM offered it, I take a 3/4 ton Suburban with a duramax and probably downsize my trailer to a 30' tag.

My total operating costs, brakes, suspensions...(excluding gas) was so much lower on 3/4 ton trucks and burbs that I wouldn't consider a 1/2 ton. When you add the gas in, you are about the same.

One of my favorite tow vehicles was my 3/4 ton suburban with a 350 in it. It got pretty good mileage, had great brakes and was very stable in windy conditions. So if you cant find a 3/4 ton sub with an 8.1, then get one with the 6.0. My Opinion is "Just say no to the 1/2 ton and the 5.3".

Owned and towed with both 350 k1500 4wd 410 gears and 8.1L k2500 4wd 410 gears. 2500 is the best. I echo these comments above. Why did GM kill the 8.1L? Why doesn't GM put the duramax D in the suburban? GM is dying because they are not making what the customer wants! Cool think about 8.1L subs they are cheap cheap cheap if you can find them. I pull an open dual wheel steel trailer with tire rack and C5Z fully loaded with tools up the grapevine and I am passing those darn slow passenger cars all the way up. It took me over 80k miles to burn up the first set of OE brake pads! That's right 80k miles!
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Old 10-08-2009, 09:39 AM   #31
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Maybe you are wanting more then the truck is producing? Don't take that wrong. Have you been in other simular setups before? Is your slower then others.

Randy
I think I want more than the truck CAN produce. You are probably right since my other trailering experience with these kind of loads has been with either the 8.1 or Dodge and Ford diesels. Even though others are pleased with towing with the 6.0 there's still no comparison with the 8.1. To the OP's question about 5.3 vs 6.0 by all means go with the 6.0. But if the Suburban is not going to be a DD, find one with an 8.1, gas mileage be damned. Yes the fuel is an additional expense but compared to what we all spend for a weekend at the track the expense is minimal.
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Old 10-08-2009, 10:07 AM   #32
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Why did GM kill the 8.1L?
Probably the same reason Ford killed the 7.3L. Congress changed the emissions standards and these motors couldn't be made to meet them. More govt interference in the market. Enjoy.
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Old 10-08-2009, 11:14 AM   #33
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OP asked about a 5.3 and an open trailer... not sure why these always get sidetracked
For an open trailer I'd definately get the 1500. I pulled an open for 10 years with Jeep Grand Cherokees with much success.

When I went enclosed I bought a 1500 Dodge pickup.

Even if you upgrade to an enclosed someday the 1500 Suburban will pull it just fine unless it's a big one, like a 32 footer. Again, it's the motor that gets you up hills, not the chassis.

And Jody, if we made this a sticky, what would we talk about all winter?
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Old 10-08-2009, 11:16 AM   #34
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Why doesn't GM put the duramax D in the suburban? GM is dying because they are not making what the customer wants!
I used to wonder the same thing (especially when Ford was putting out the Excursion diesel), but now that Ford killed the Excursion with the PowerStroke, it makes more sense to me. Yes, WE all want it (it WOULD be the ideal tow vehicle IMO). Unfortunately (for us) we are a very small portion of the market. Once they sold the first 5-10k units to us, who else would buy one? Ford sold a bunch the first couple of years. By the end, they couldn't give them away...

From what I was told, the Duramax isn't in the Suburban because the trans tunnel isn't large enough to fit the Allison trans. It has to go into the 2500HD (which has a factory body lift). Not worth their development effort for the small number of units to be sold.

FWIW, I used to tow with a '00 5.3 Tahoe with an open metal deck trailer. Towed fine, 17 mpg w/o trailer, 10 w/trailer. In rolling hills had to kick off OD, and it would shift down to 2nd frequently. Moved up to an '06 2500HD w/Duramax and 24' enclosed trailer. 17-19mpg empty on HW (depending upon what tires are on it), 12 mpg HW with trailer at 65mph. I think it has downshifted twice on hills in the 3yrs I've had it. Set the cruise and it just rumbles along.

Had a buddy trying to follow me to the Solo Nat'ls in Topeka a couple of years ago (he had a miata on an open trailer behind a van with 5.3). He finally gave up in frustration because I would just run away from him going up the hills, and then he would almost run into the back of the trailer going down the back side of the hills as I kept a constant speed (engine braking down the hills) and he was working his tail off to make it up the hill and then come screaming down on me down the hill.
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Old 10-08-2009, 11:23 AM   #35
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Probably the same reason Ford killed the 7.3L. Congress changed the emissions standards and these motors couldn't be made to meet them. More govt interference in the market. Enjoy.
Preach it, Brother J!

I know I'm but let me vent anyway ......

it could also be that GM dropped the 8.1 because they finally came up with a competitive diesel in their Duramax. However, as a Surburban driver for the last 20 years, I believe it has been a mistake for them not to offer the Duramax in the Burb. I suppose I'm in the minority, but I use my Suburban daily in my business. It's the ideal combination for comfort, # of passengers, load hauling, security and keeping equipment out of the weather. For me, the only thing it lacks is the towing power of a diesel. Gm's thinking could be "what does a soccer-mom need with a diesel anyway?" After all, that's the way the vast majority of them are used.

My apologies to the OP.
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Old 10-08-2009, 11:33 AM   #36
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speaking of fuel economy, my 07' 3/4 Yukon XL 6.0L gets LESS THAN 8mph towing my enclosed trailer to VIR. I tow just at, or slightly above the speedlimit (around 65 the whole way). It gets 15mph highway cruising, but instantly drops to 10-12mph around town.

I made this to **** off the Prius drivers!

Click the image to open in full size.

btw, I drive a diesel Jetta daily to help balance things out!
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Old 10-08-2009, 11:48 AM   #37
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And Jody, if we made this a sticky, what would we talk about all winter?
Now that's funny right there!

You're right, if we didn't have dead horses to beat, we'd have nothing to do!
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Old 10-08-2009, 11:50 AM   #38
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I made this to **** off the Prius drivers!

Click the image to open in full size.
David, I love that decal. I need one of those!
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Old 10-08-2009, 12:25 PM   #39
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Even if you upgrade to an enclosed someday the 1500 Suburban will pull it just fine unless it's a big one, like a 32 footer. Again, it's the motor that gets you up hills, not the chassis.
I have to respectfully disagree with this statement.

I had a 1500 Suburban with a brand new engine. I purchased a 24' enclosed aluminum frame trailer and towed it around the Pacific Northwest for about 4 months. The 5.7 liter engine strained to pull this load up even the mildest inclines. Passing vehicles or merging into traffic was a joke.

Net result was that I gave the Sub to my daughter as a wedding present and purchased a 3/4 ton HD Silverado with the Duramax Diesel.

Maybe the 1500 would be fine if you never have to negotiate hills, otherwise, get a rig set up for towing.

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Old 10-08-2009, 12:40 PM   #40
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I made this to **** off the Prius drivers!

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btw, I drive a diesel Jetta daily to help balance things out!


Seriously though,
at what stage to you just upgrade to a motorhome?

If it get 8mpg it might was well come with a refrigerator and a kitchen right?
Especially if it's not your daily driver.
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