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Old August 12th, 2013, 08:13 PM   #1
generalyota
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Default first tow rig family hauler.

Well my wife is hooked on wheeling! So I got the OK to start truck shopping. My needs are 4 wheel drive, 4 door for the kids as they get older, 6 foot bed so it fits in the driveway. I'm leaning towards a diesel. What are your real life opinions about your own tow rigs as a recommendation.

I like the avalanche because of the interior, for long trips with the family.
06-07 Chevy 2500 with the Max and Allison
But the injector issues worry me.

What mpg are you guys getting towing with your diesel?
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Old August 12th, 2013, 10:09 PM   #2
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pretty much zero concerns on the '06-'07 d-max injectors. mine is a 2007 classic (lbz) and love it. my trailer setup weighs about 15k and it'll pull it without breaking a sweat.

unloaded I'm around 15-16mpg (I drive it fast) and towing what I have is typically 8.5-10mpg (tow kinda fast too)


mine has a few goodies added to it as well for performance and love driving it every day.

only the LB7 has some issues with injectors (first d-max), but they are still great motors

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Old August 13th, 2013, 08:48 AM   #3
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I am a dodge guy....well that's not true....i am a cummins guy.....the duramax is a phenomenal engine and Chevy makes prolly the most comfortable, best driving truck on the market.....however....they suck ass to work on and parts are $$$. The cummins motors are just the opposite.....they are simple to work on, every thing is easily accessible and parts are reasonably cheap.

Everything eventually needs repairs...so this is just some food for thought. My truck average 16-17 during daily driving and 12-15 towing my trail rig.
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Old August 13th, 2013, 09:12 AM   #4
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I also have a Duramax. I have a 2006 (LBZ). I bought mine with 258k miles, and now I have 267k. The only things I have replaced is the alternator and the water pump. Talk about being a bitch to work on! Took me 8 hours to do the water pump, but was well worth it. I have checked my injector rates and they are all perfect.

I like my truck. I like Cummins too, but I am a GM guy and I prefer a GM truck over a Dodge, so I am stuck with a Duramax. However, I love the Duramax and don't question it's capabilities one bit.
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Old August 13th, 2013, 02:37 PM   #5
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hands down i think the cummins is the best diesel engine but the rest of the truck isn't worth the purchase. Maybe an 04-05 ram 2500 but, comfort is very important with long drives across the country with the kids. I like the interior of the chevy's. Im an Audi mechanic by trade so difficulty to work on doesn't matter to me. I rebuild over engineered under delivered "high end" german vehicles on a daily basis.
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Old August 13th, 2013, 03:15 PM   #6
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I got ~17.5 with my 7.3 on my last tank. Driving conservatively of course. Averages around 16.5... I have yet to actually pay attention to towing mileage though.
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Old August 13th, 2013, 03:35 PM   #7
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if I can keep my foot out of it, i get over 20 unloaded with the 12 valve.

when you reference needing a 6 foot bed to fit in your driveway, is your driveway really that small? Just curious. I'm usually a fan of buy what you can afford at cash value and look into parts to understand what it costs to maintain. I'm not particularly a Ford guy, but if the right deal came along, you'd see me driving in one.

Also, please consider how much you think you'll be towing vs. not towing. I was looking hard at 6.0L Chevy gassers, but I managed to get my 12 valve for less than half what I could find a decent 6.0 for.
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Old August 13th, 2013, 03:46 PM   #8
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I had the same considerations when I got mine. Stay away from the LB7 engine, I already had the injectors changed once. It pulls strong for an older truck, seats 5 comfortably, and gets decent fuel mileage. I think your choice of the 06-07 is a good one, and you can probably pick one up for a decent price.

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Old August 13th, 2013, 03:48 PM   #9
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You mention kids.....

I have owned multiple crew cab trucks, have two kids, and if I had a trailer and didn't need to use the bed of my truck often, I probably would have a tahoe, suburban, expedition, etc.

Having the ability to just through luggage, bags, etc into the back and not have to worry about the weather on long road trips is nice.

A tonneau on the back of a truck is nice but limits the ability to bring od shaped objects or requires more creative packaging. A topper is nice, but only has one access point so you have to crawl into the truck all the time, where as in an SUV you can get things from either end as needed.

Obviously a diesel SUV is a lot harder to come by than a diesel truck.....but its something to consider.

I'm mostly a GM fan, but the superduty cab is much larger interior wise than the chevy body style is. Another thing to consider. (2001 superduty compared to silverado's from 91-2009).

The dodge crew cabs (mid 2000's) have a small backseat, much like the chevy/ford extended cabs until you move up to the megacab.

I just spent a week riding in the backseat of an F150 (2005) crewcab hours per day, and I think the chevy (2009) I have now is more comfy, truck to truck they both get the job done however.
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Old August 13th, 2013, 03:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by generalyota View Post
hands down i think the cummins is the best diesel engine but the rest of the truck isn't worth the purchase. Maybe an 04-05 ram 2500 but, comfort is very important with long drives across the country with the kids. I like the interior of the chevy's. Im an Audi mechanic by trade so difficulty to work on doesn't matter to me. I rebuild over engineered under delivered "high end" german vehicles on a daily basis.
Get a mega cab then.....only crew cab truck on the market with a big enough back seat to ride comfortably cross country in period.

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Old August 13th, 2013, 04:18 PM   #11
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Ive been towing with an 02 suburban with the 5.3. I get 13 towing staying at 65mph, but it does struggle when I go up hills. the storage is awesome, being locked and secure. I've looked at the 6.0 LQ4 engines, they have alot of power but I haven't heard anything good about the fuel economy of them. I know a guy with one and he gets 8-10 towing and 12-14 unloaded.
A tahoe with the duramax allison combo would be bad ass!!!
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Old August 13th, 2013, 04:23 PM   #12
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Im gonna try and drive a mega cab cummins this weekend and put it against the silverado 2500 ive been looking at and do the pepsi challenge!

a 99-01 ford f250 with the 7.3 would be sweet also but now they are getting up there in years and most have 200+ thousand miles on them. 12 michigan winters is rough on even the best vehicles.
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Old August 13th, 2013, 04:32 PM   #13
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you're about right on the fuel economy of the 6.0 compared to the diesel.....

however, i'll say this.

The maintenance costs and fuel costs of a 2500 burban with a 6.0 compared to those of a diesel are going to be far less.....

I went the diesel route, and they can tow a fricken house, but unless I was towing 10,000 lbs or more on a daily basis I will own a gas truck.
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Old August 13th, 2013, 10:15 PM   #14
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if you tow a couple times a month, under 10k, and dont live in the mountains, go for a gas truck! the investment in diesel will not pay off for the average guy.

if you lived in the mountains, or towed over 10k regularly, or towed daily for a living, then go diesel all the way!

my v10 super duty has had no problems, it tows great, it was cheap!
i have been rolling at 17k gross a few times without issue.
im usually closer to 12k or 13k gross.
towing, i get about 8 to 9mpg at 62mph.
empty i get 14 to 15 depends on wind and terrain at 68 to 70 mph
if i wanna go fast my mpg drops fast.

i have done front brakes twice, rears once.
at 100k miles i did ball joints, axle joints, and hub bearings.
at 115k i did plugs and one coil.
at 120k i put in a new battery, the old one was fine, gave it to a friend.
all the fluids have been changed once, but gonna need it again soon.

i have done nothing else, its been bullet proof so far!

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Old August 14th, 2013, 09:02 PM   #15
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love my 06 mega cab cummins, bought it new and 100k later no major issues. i tow 10,500# of travel trailer every other weekend sometimes every weekend. jeep and trailer dont even know its there.. put a cap on it for the family trips, leave it stock, and run some fuel additive in it. my theory behind stock is it was engineered to do what it does and it does it good. im not saying an exhaust and maybe an intake but as far as chips and programmers go, i stay away. buy repair parts from a cummins dealer, they are half as much as the dodge stealer,(my dealers here buy the cummins parts from the same dealer as me for not much less).

mileage: empty at 1900 rpm i get around 20mpg 70mph
loaded with jeep at 1900rpm around mph i get around 16mpg
36 foot travel trailer weighing 10,500 loaded @1700 rpm about 65mph i get around 12-13mpg.
for me a diesel is the only way to go, only thing i would do different next time is go dually instead of SRW
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Old August 14th, 2013, 09:40 PM   #16
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Drove a couple rams today. One 2006 mega cab 2500 Cummins. And an 06 2500 4 door. I love these! The megacab is huge inside. The truck is fast! Plus 5 grand cheaper than the Silverado's I've seen.
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Old August 15th, 2013, 03:21 PM   #17
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If you do look at the rams, I would check the hvac controls. The actuators commonly break leaving you with only defrost. It's an expensive fix. The only other problem I had was the number 4 injector line. It's isolator rattles loose and vibration cracks the high pressure line right at the barrel but that threads into the common rail. Search for it... It's a 27$ part from cummins and takes about 20 minutes to change. If it does crack it incapacitates the truck.


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Old August 23rd, 2013, 07:55 AM   #18
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I am a dodge guy but have not been a fan of their transmissions up until you get into the newer trucks. mine have all been gas so maybe the ctd will make up for the old 4-speed that the 5.9L trucks have. 07+ have the newer 6-speed. My 08 hemi 1500 with the 5-speed was bullet proof over the 85k I had it but it did not get a heavy trailer moving very good even though it had 3.92 gears. It had a big gap from 1st to 2nd it struggled to overcome but was fine once you were rolling. the new hemi and 6-speed in my new truck is much better even with the 3.73 gears. A friend of mine had an 06 dmax and I remember that being a pretty bad ass pulling truck but I was not a fan of the interior or my past experiences with gm vehicles in general. I like the 6l fords and whatever trans they have performance wise but the issues they are known for never let me get past just checking them out on a test drive. All the new diesels are sweet but the price is sky high.
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Old August 23rd, 2013, 08:13 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kickstand View Post
You mention kids.....

I have owned multiple crew cab trucks, have two kids, and if I had a trailer and didn't need to use the bed of my truck often, I probably would have a tahoe, suburban, expedition, etc.

Having the ability to just through luggage, bags, etc into the back and not have to worry about the weather on long road trips is nice.

A tonneau on the back of a truck is nice but limits the ability to bring od shaped objects or requires more creative packaging. A topper is nice, but only has one access point so you have to crawl into the truck all the time, where as in an SUV you can get things from either end as needed.

Obviously a diesel SUV is a lot harder to come by than a diesel truck.....but its something to consider.

I'm mostly a GM fan, but the superduty cab is much larger interior wise than the chevy body style is. Another thing to consider. (2001 superduty compared to silverado's from 91-2009).

The dodge crew cabs (mid 2000's) have a small backseat, much like the chevy/ford extended cabs until you move up to the megacab.

I just spent a week riding in the backseat of an F150 (2005) crewcab hours per day, and I think the chevy (2009) I have now is more comfy, truck to truck they both get the job done however.
gonna agree with this. I keep wanting a truck but we are really happy with our 2500 burban. and I really have no need for a truck.

NOW, my suburban is older (1996), but is in better shape than most just a few years old.

The 454 pulls great. we pulled 12k from san antonio texas to manistique michigan and back with 6 people and a baby and 2 dogs, and camping gear for 10 days (fit 6 people comfortably in a crew cab).

I drive fast. pulled it at 80-85 with the AC cranked in the southern states. the suburban never broke a sweat.

cost wise...

I did the brakes (new rotors/pads/2 calipers)/alt/water pump/t-stat/all fluids/ac compressor.dryer all for under 1000 bucks!!! that wont happen on a diesel (so my few MPG's and few horses I may not have off the line are well worth keeping the gas motor). (I did all that for preventative maint before a long road trip).

also towing the 12k we got 8-9 mpg. moving back up to michigan the wife pulled my snowmobile trailer with the quads on it and got 14-16.

I would love to get a newer 2500 with the 6.0. BUT, my suburban has less miles and is in better shape still than most of the 00+'s.

Last edited by Mudking; August 23rd, 2013 at 08:19 AM.
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Old August 24th, 2013, 11:36 AM   #20
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Quote:
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I did the brakes (new rotors/pads/2 calipers)/alt/water pump/t-stat/all fluids/ac compressor.dryer all for under 1000 bucks!!! that wont happen on a diesel
I love when people make ignorant statements like that.

Rotors/pads/calipers are the same gas or diesel = no savings.
..the only place i see you really saving money in the things you listed are on engine oil (gasser holds less) and possibly trans fluid....all the parts are gonna be a wash.

Thats what people fail to realize....any maintenance not directly related to the engine itself is the same price gas or diesel.....a 3/4 ton truck is a 3/4 ton truck.

That is also one reason i am a cummins fan....parts are cheap (if you buy them through cummins not Chrysler).....is it more expensive to own a diesel? Yes. Is it a huge bank breaking difference like that people like you (who 90% of the time don't even own a diesel) spout off about? Hell no.
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