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Old    kevin (kfcflores)      Join Date: Apr 2005       05-06-2005, 2:03 PM Reply   
I currently have a 1997 jeep grand cherokee v8 that I tow my 22ft centurion with. I can really feel it back there. Going to get a new rig this summer. Any good suggestions. Really leaning toward a tahoe. What about expeditions, land cruisers, 4 -runners, durangos. Is 4 wheel drive that important. Live close to tahoe, so it is nice in winter. Is the jeep okay for now. Any input would be great.
Old    Noel Cain (npcain1)      Join Date: Feb 2005       05-06-2005, 2:11 PM Reply   
Upgrade to the 5.7 Hemi, I just did you'll be fine.
Old    ManFox (h20jnky)      Join Date: Mar 2003       05-06-2005, 2:13 PM Reply   
crew cab powerstroke
Old    Diggs (pdxWAKE) (tyler97217)      Join Date: Aug 2004       05-06-2005, 2:17 PM Reply   
4x4 is not that important, but I would think in your area you would want it. Better for re-sale and better all around. I used to tow with a Grand Cherokee and could feel it too, but it did the job. You will be much better off with something with a bigger "footprint" like full size pickup, Tahoe, etc.... I can not even feel the boat back there with a full size truck...
Old    Mikeski (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       05-06-2005, 2:56 PM Reply   
Kevin,

I had 3 Grand Cherokees and I now have a Tahoe. The difference in towing is night and day, the Tahoe is a great tow vehicle it even tows better then my full size Silverado, I think it's because the Tahoe has more weight out back. Go for the Tahoe with at least the 5.3, maybe the 6.0 if you can afford the gas. You don't need 4x4, but it's better come resale time. I put mine in 4x4 low when backing it into my side yard so the tires don't spin on my lawn that's the only time it's ever used.
Old    mia            05-06-2005, 3:36 PM Reply   
4 wheel drive - depends on the ramp conditions...

if the ramp you are using doesnt get slippery with slime build up then one doesnt need 4 wheel drive.
however, most ramps i have been on get pretty slippery and wet and the 4 wheel drive comes in very handy..
Old    Eric (ethomass)      Join Date: Apr 2005       05-06-2005, 8:04 PM Reply   
I also used to tow with a Jeep Grand Cherokee, did alright. Got a silverado its a def a lot better. One of my frieds has an 1998 Tahoe to tow his boat, also a great tow vehical and better than a the jeep was. 4 wheel drive can really help getting out of a slippery ramp or sand on the ramp (we ride on a river so there is sand where we drop).
Old    bigdeal            05-06-2005, 9:09 PM Reply   
I occasionally tow my 21' DD boat with my buddy's 2004 Ford Excursion. It's 4x4 with the Powerstroke diesel and I've gotta say that I've towed many things with a number of different vehicles, but nothing has towed as effortlessly as the Excursion. Seating for nine plus a load of storage, and the ability to tow a small house without you even noticing anything behind you. If you've got the bucks and want to ultimate cruising / towing vehicle, the Excursion is hard to beat.
Old    Cody (loudontn)      Join Date: Feb 2005       05-06-2005, 9:26 PM Reply   
I have a 98 4-Runner Limited TWO wheel drive, of all horrible things. The first (and only) time I took my boat to a dirt ramp, I had to get towed out. So...no, I don't recommend the 4Runner unless you have 4x4.
Old    mark (marknjenn)      Join Date: Feb 2005       05-06-2005, 9:50 PM Reply   
I tow with the hemi, Second, third and forth the hemi! Better gas milage, more tourqe and hp! Best engine out IMHO!!! Although, The diesel, if you can afford it will always pull more!!
Old    Jeffrey Ala (jeffreyala)      Join Date: Dec 2004       05-07-2005, 4:11 AM Reply   
I had a 99 Grand Cherokee and also just switched over to a 99 Tahoe. The difference was night and day. The Tahoe is a much better tow vehicle IMHO.

Plus, it got lot's more room and a TV in it. :-)



Jeff
Old    John Schneble (john30)      Join Date: Nov 2003       05-07-2005, 7:24 AM Reply   
I bought a base model Powerstroke Crewcab longbed bout three years ago pro pretty cheap and it tows awesome. I knew I was going to buy a boat for wakeboarding so I didn't want to spend 45-50k on a rig. I can get the kids in the back and their feet aren't kickin me in the back. Pretty happy with it.
Old    robertt            05-07-2005, 8:17 AM Reply   
I have a Suburban....Its huge, comfy, easy to get into parking spaces compared to a Excursion, get the 5.3 stock engine..I get 16mph and with 87k miles it has never seen a shop other than oil changes and a set of tires two months ago.

Even the brakes are still good.

I am VERY happy with it, and it will pull anything.

You wont get better MPG with anything else, so why get something smaller. A toyota, ford, or any of the smaller rigs will still only get 15 or 16mph if you are lucky. My buddy with a LandCruiser gets 12.

Cant go wrong with the Tahoe/Suburban GM vehicle.
Old    Mikeski (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       05-07-2005, 9:34 AM Reply   
The Tahoe fits in my garage. Could not get the Z71 package because it's rack didn't clear the door.
Old    stillstandin            05-07-2005, 9:46 AM Reply   
I'll second the suburban...big, but easy to get around parking areas..Tows awesome..I also have a 04 ford f150..Suburban kills it
Old    sebastian            05-07-2005, 10:45 AM Reply   
I have a BMW x5 3.0 and I got draged down the ramp by my boat 21'6" centurion to light car not to good.
Old    Tallredrider (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       05-07-2005, 10:53 AM Reply   
I had a 99 suburban that towed pretty well when it wasn't breaking down. It was a bad lemon, so I've had a hard time forgiving GM for making that vehicle. I know you didn't mention the Excursion diesel as an option, but it does tow effortlessly, and I enjoy the space.

I then had a Toyota Sequioa and it pulled great, but sucked gas with my 24V behind it (8-9 MPG).

I have a 1996 Toyota T100 truck with the V6 in it and it pulls actually better than expected. I only use it on short trips (15 miles) and have had no problems with it. I use the 4wd on the ramp because it can slip and it has a manual transmission. Whenever I let someone else drive the truck, i get that burning rubber, clutch is about to go smell. I put her in 4 low and they don't seem to have so much problem.
Old    JeremyOG (jeremyog)      Join Date: Apr 2005       05-07-2005, 11:10 AM Reply   
I have an 04 Durango with a HEMI. It tows amazing. The only time I know the boat is behind me is it takes a little longer to stop. I have to be careful because I want to drive faster than I should because it is so effortless. Gas mileage isn't affected that much either. It's always 12-13 mpg with or without the boat. Stick with 4x4.
Old    Preston Hall (phall925)      Join Date: Feb 2005       05-07-2005, 12:50 PM Reply   
I would go with the subrban over a tahoe. You will enjoy the more room alot. If you are looking at pickups only get one if you can get the diesel it will make all the difference in the world. Right nw I would not suggest the new powerstole becasue it is new, give it a year or two so they can work out the kinks. The duramax diesel has been getting good reviews. I dont like dodge, anything they make, one they are all ugly and the Cummins diesel is a 6 popper piece. The car will fall apart around you and you will not be happy. Full size GM or if you want the bling go with the big escalade has the same engine as the suburban
Old    Ryan Bush (ryanbush11)      Join Date: May 2003       05-07-2005, 1:16 PM Reply   
the escalade is equipped with the 6.0HO 345HP, where as the suburban and tahoe have the 5.3 295HP
Just thought i would kick that in there.
Ryan
Old    airwarrior04 (airwarrior04)      Join Date: Aug 2004       05-07-2005, 2:03 PM Reply   
Get a Chevy Silverado 2500HD with the Duramax Ive heard great things we have a 22 footer too and it whips it around likle crazy check it out but be shure if you get one get it with a diesel we have the 2500 Hd with the 6.0 its ok but it dawgs up the hills a bit!
Old    paul (wakeme884)      Join Date: Jul 2004       05-07-2005, 3:35 PM Reply   
Bigger is always better- that way if you upgrade to a bigger/heavier boat, you'll be dialed in. Im not a big deisel fan so I got the v10 ford 1ton. It tows anything without any problem.
Old    Ryan Bush (ryanbush11)      Join Date: May 2003       05-07-2005, 3:56 PM Reply   
v10? how do you keep gas in the tank?
Old    paul (wakeme884)      Join Date: Jul 2004       05-07-2005, 4:06 PM Reply   
Its not as bad as you think. I average around 10-11mpg if I keep my foot out of it when towing. If Im going on a long trip w/ the boat I usually get around 300 or so miles on a tank. The easy way to keep gas in the tank= two jobs-one for household stuff the second for play things, boat/truck gas etc.
Old    Ryan Bush (ryanbush11)      Join Date: May 2003       05-07-2005, 4:14 PM Reply   
My dad owns a construction company, they buy a few new f340 Crew cab trucks every year, normally they buy all diesel but a few years ago they bought a couple v10 trucks for the road. The drivers almost always got around 10mpg unloaded, lets just say they haven't bought another gas burner since. MY dad has a 05 F350 Crew Cab PS 4x4 Lariat and that truck has so much power it's insane. I guess you get pretty good gas mileage out of that truck because i get around 13-14 out of my denali, and maybe 7-7.5 when towing my boat.
Old    Danny T. (partydock17)      Join Date: Apr 2004       05-07-2005, 4:55 PM Reply   
I think if your wanting to stick with the same size of a SUV you have now. I would check out a Ford Explorer with 5.4 V8.
It has a good suspension set-up. My neighbor down the street tows his Nautique 211 all around town with it.
Old    Danny T. (partydock17)      Join Date: Apr 2004       05-07-2005, 4:56 PM Reply   
Suburbans are cool, they tow good, but don't have the good gearing for towing on the highway.
Old    Bob (bob)      Join Date: Feb 2001       05-08-2005, 5:50 AM Reply   
just remember on the explorer thing, uhaul will NOT rent any towable to you... no trailers behind explorers...dont understand it as the moountaineer is the exact same suv but it seems you can rent stuff with it?? They looked at me funny when i brought back the tow dolly i had rented and picked up with my budies crew/cab diesel and dropped off with my explorer :-)
Old    Peter_C (peter_c)      Join Date: Sep 2001       05-08-2005, 10:00 AM Reply   
ryanbush11 wrote "i get around 13-14 out of my denali, and maybe 7-7.5 when towing my boat"

That is horrible milage. My K2500 Suburban with a 496 and a modified PCM does 14-15 open highway, and hammering on it 11 towing.

partydock17 wrote "Suburbans are cool, they tow good, but don't have the good gearing for towing on the highway"

You have never driven a Suburban towing have you? I know much of it has to do with what model of truck, but I would never own a half ton for towing anything. Gears are a factory option, just make sure you get what you want. I drove 4 trucks before I choose a big block and 4:10 gears again.

Old    Ryan Bush (ryanbush11)      Join Date: May 2003       05-08-2005, 10:18 AM Reply   
peter,
I have the Yukon XL Denali so same size as a burbon, and the 13-14 was an average. If i get out on the interstate and run 70-75 I can get 16, but when you start running around in town, and getting on the hiway in town running 80+ it really starts using gas. It did get a little better before i put my wheels on too...
Ryan
Old    Ryan Newcomb (jnewcom)      Join Date: Mar 2003       05-08-2005, 1:34 PM Reply   
I have a denali as well and can really tell the difference betweeen towing with it and a tahoe. Not sure if the new tahoes come with the air suspension in the back but my 02 denali does and its awesome. I really wouldn't be worried about gas milegae while pulling the boat, no matter what you're in its gonna suck.
Old    Ryan Bush (ryanbush11)      Join Date: May 2003       05-08-2005, 2:15 PM Reply   
Ryan,
The new tahoe LT and Z71s come with the air suspension, it's optional on the LS. the other thing that the denali has that the tahoe doesn't is the autoride it's optional but you don't see very many with it. once you have pulled with out it you will see a huge difference in how it rides with it. I had a couple tahoes, and a avalanche before my denali. and none of them had the power my denali had towing.

The denali gets worse gas mileage towing then the others, but it also has the power to pull my x80 down the interstate at 75-80mph without struggling
Old    grud8            05-08-2005, 4:58 PM Reply   
I'll second the Excursion suggestion. I have an 03 Excursion with a V-10. I absolutely love it for towing. I just bought an X-45 and have been getting around 10mpg towing it. More importantly you cannot feel the boat behind you and when the road gets a bit rough the boat doesn't move the truck around at all
Old    WakeShoe (wakeshoe)      Join Date: Jun 2004       05-09-2005, 7:49 AM Reply   
We have a 2004 Mobius LSV that with full gas tank and trailer is around 4,500 lbs. Last year we towed it with a 2002 Ford Explorer V-6, rear wheel drive. No problems towing or launching from concrete ramps but you could definitely feel the boat behind you. Just got a 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited with the 5.7L Hemi and Quadratrac II full-time 4wd. Towing capacity is 7,500lbs. It tows like a dream - plenty of power, incredibly stability, you can't even feel the boat behind you. I get 19 mph highway without towing; towing I get 16 mpg highway. Go with a new Jeep with the hemi - much better than the old Jeep Grand Cherokees.
Old    JeremyOG (jeremyog)      Join Date: Apr 2005       05-09-2005, 12:25 PM Reply   
Wakeshoe- it's QuadraDrive II. Much cooler then QuadraTracII. Good choice!
Old    WakeShoe (wakeshoe)      Join Date: Jun 2004       05-09-2005, 1:50 PM Reply   
Jeremy,
Good catch - it is QuadraDrive II. I've had a lot of fairly expensive cars and trucks, but this Jeep is the best - great road handling, great engine and performance. I just have to watch the speeding with it.

BTW, what is QuadraTracII and why is QuadraDrive II cooler??
Old    CAwakesk8r (hatepwcs)      Join Date: Mar 2002       05-09-2005, 2:35 PM Reply   
EX with a Powerstroke.
Old    kevin (kfcflores)      Join Date: Apr 2005       05-09-2005, 2:41 PM Reply   
wakeshoe, how much that jeep run u??
Old    WakeShoe (wakeshoe)      Join Date: Jun 2004       05-10-2005, 5:43 AM Reply   
Kevin,
Its loaded, pretty much every option you can get on it (chrome wheels, navigation system, DVD entertainment, off road package, 5.7L Hemi, tow package, etc.). Out the door it was $39K. List, without TTL was right around $43K. You can get the Laredo version for under $30K loaded, out the door.
Old    Noel Cain (npcain1)      Join Date: Feb 2005       05-10-2005, 6:38 AM Reply   
Kevin,
I got a similar deal to wakeshoe, my JGC has every option but the DVD, I picked it up for $1000 under invoice, out the door for $37K.
Old    Magnus (magnusm)      Join Date: Dec 2003       05-14-2005, 10:48 PM Reply   
Just to throw something else in the mix - consider a Chevy Avalanche. The 1500 has very similiar mechanicals to the Suburban. I don't have to carry more than 5 people ever, so having the bed in the back is more useful to me for carrying stuff around. With the 5.3 and 4.10 gears it tows really well and I get about 11-12 mpg when towing my boat and typically about 16 in mixed driving and upto 18 or so on the highway.
Very comfortable and amazingly useful.
Old    Ryan Bush (ryanbush11)      Join Date: May 2003       05-15-2005, 6:43 AM Reply   
Magnus,
Like you said the avalanche is on the same chassis as a suburban, you're getting really good gas mileage, i had a 03 avalanche, and i got 13-15 with the 5.3 and 3.73 gears but it also had 22s on it but the tires were within a half inch of stock
Old    Magnus (magnusm)      Join Date: Dec 2003       05-15-2005, 10:40 AM Reply   
Not sure how, but I do recall that the '02s and '03s were rated at 13/17 and the '04s were rated at 14/18, and added I think 10HP to the 5.3 as well for '04. I got an '04, but was shopping for one when there were still some remaining '03s around, so I noticed the difference (got about 5 different explanations from the car dealers, none of which made much sense).
I track the mileage pretty closely (actual miles travelled and gas put in at the next fill up as the computer on the truck that calculates mpg seems to overstate it by about 5% on a regular basis). Driving all freeway between San Jose and San Diego I got a couple of tankfuls over 18mpg. From SJ to Shasta last labor day (almost 600miles) averaged ~11.5mpg on the round trip.
I didn't buy it for the mileage, but it has been better than I expected (stock 4x4, Z-71 with 4.10 gears).
I considered a 2500HD duramax, but the unloaded ride was so much less comfortable since I would be using this much of the time for commuting to work that the Avalanche made more sense to me.
Now when they supposedly put the duramax in the Suburban and hopefully the Tahoe and Avalanche for '07 (which I hear is on the cards), then I might upgrade.
Old    Ryan Bush (ryanbush11)      Join Date: May 2003       05-15-2005, 11:38 AM Reply   
if they put the duramax in the tahoe i might have to go back to chevy, my avalanche was also a z71
Old    Mi Moomba (mi_moomba)      Join Date: May 2005       05-15-2005, 3:45 PM Reply   
I initially had a Nissan Frontier V6. Brought the boat up from where I bought it, and was horrified. the truck did all right, but I was going 55 on the freeway, and would get down to about 40 up some nice sized hills. I traded that in right away for a Dodge Ram 1500 5.2L V8 and love it. There is no problem towing it at all. I definitely would go with the 4X4 too, you never know when some jerk will get the ramp all torn up, or you might use a not-so-nice ramp.
Old    airwarrior04 (airwarrior04)      Join Date: Aug 2004       05-15-2005, 4:31 PM Reply   
Ryan,

They put a duramax in the SUBURBAN special order!

Zach
Old    cdm (cdm)      Join Date: Aug 2003       05-15-2005, 4:59 PM Reply   
I second that. Duramax in the tahoe 71. Ive been saying that for yrs.
Old    Magnus (magnusm)      Join Date: Dec 2003       05-15-2005, 5:35 PM Reply   
The latest issue of Truck Trend said in their discussion of the Suburban (which they voted as best full size SUV) was "Our only beef is that the Duramx 6600 isn't offered, but we're told that will be taken care of when the 2007 models are introduced."
I understand that the Duramax was too tall to fit under the hood of the Suburban/Tahoe/Avalanche series, but looks like the redesign will fix that. Not a minute too soon.
Old     (nbeihl)      Join Date: Mar 2004       05-16-2005, 9:13 PM Reply   
+1 for the powerstroke
Old    Matt Ostmeyer (matt_ostmeyer)      Join Date: Mar 2003       05-16-2005, 10:01 PM Reply   
Just picked up an '01 3/4 ton suburban with the 8.1 L and auto ride - the thing is a BEAST! I tow a Tige 22v and the truck is unbelievably powerful and stable, also stops very well. BUT... It is EATING THE GAS! Havn't had it long, but so far it looks like towing will be less than 10 mpg and highway driving will never be better than 14. ANY OTHER experiences with the 8100??? Is there any surburbans with the DURAMAX? -- I looked and couldn't find any...
Old    ManFox (h20jnky)      Join Date: Mar 2003       05-16-2005, 10:35 PM Reply   
matt,
here are some upgrades i did with our old burban, '01 3/4 ton, 8100. these helped a little with gas savings:
3" exhaust
throttle body spacer
cold air intake
k/n filter
"tornado" to optimize fuel air mixture
looked into getting a chip but dealer said it would void warranty?
optima battery
splitfire plugs
msd coils

there are a few outfits that are retrofitting duramax's in the suburban and they look pretty sweet but they require a late model donor vehicle (suburban), lift kit and body kit to accomodate engine, exhaust and allison trans. i forget their name but there is one guy who has been on ebay a couple dozen times now advertising 1 of the 3 rigs they have ready for immediate purchase. they were starting bids @ $64000 for the last one i saw?
Old    team909            05-17-2005, 9:39 AM Reply   
f-350 diesel
Old    Doug H (doug2)      Join Date: Jan 2004       05-17-2005, 12:14 PM Reply   
Chevy 2500HD Dmax/Ally

Magnus-
You are correct. Dmax and Allison are too tall for stock 'burbans and Tahoes.

HD stiff ride can be solved with adjustable Ranchos or Bilsteins for under $500...

Lots of rumors that the "redesigned" Dmax will be a smaller displacement (allowing fit into current Suburbans/Tahoes) or detuned as emission restrictions tighten and ultra low sulfur diesel come online in '06 and '07. The current LLY design uses EGR as band-aid fix to meet NOX standards.

On the upside the Allison will get a six speed (O/D) in '06. Oh and the new H1 has a Dmax/Ally option if you have an extra $100G laying around...
Old    Matt Ostmeyer (matt_ostmeyer)      Join Date: Mar 2003       05-18-2005, 12:22 PM Reply   
Ryan - thanks for the info... we've got a programmer for it, it has magnaflow pipes already and we'll probably do something about the air intake... does the "tornado" actually do anything???

The Dmax retrofit would be sweet, but I could buy a lot of gas for the $40k extra it would cost over my truck...
Old    ManFox (h20jnky)      Join Date: Mar 2003       05-18-2005, 12:42 PM Reply   
matt,
i was sold on the "tornado" after physically feeling the differemce in midrange towing and torque. torque levels were obvioulsy improved and after i installed it (8 minutes btw) the exhaust actually sounded a little more "throaty", which led me to believe it might be doing something? as far as before and after scenarios go, well, i already had the spacer and intake for a few weeks, so i was still a little stoked on the noticeable difference they created. i seemed to be getting about 25-30 miles per tank more after the install though. factory fuel mpg computer is always off in gm products, so i used trip odometer to keep track. try it, it can't hurt and an inexpensive, do it yourself, add-on.
have the powerstroke now and am having all kinds of fun with the limitless performance upgrades!!

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