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sldan

Update on hauler Purchase

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No, Corvette Bill, gas wasn't nearly that expensive in GA, TN and KY. Only in Florida was it as much as 2.739. All of our other stops, roughly every 225 miles it was around $2.529, even as low as $2.499. I used $481 and change and also mapquest was wrong too. They quoted me 912 miles, but it was more like 938 miles. Now I didn't do the math. I was counting on the vehicle computer, which said 6.9 all the way back to the FL turnpike. Going up it was 7.5, but again I was running a lot slower for the first 130 miles to where we met our friends and about 100 miles after leaving them coming home. When I slowed down traveling alone, even with traffic lights it got up to 8.2, which I consider almost acceptable. When it was new, I got almost 10 going up to Virginia, and then only got 8.9 with an empty trailer coming back. So, it's not the weight, it's the wind. I still think there is something wrong with this Suburban since they put in the new computer, but I can't prove it and the Chevy dealer says not. On an upcoming trip to VA I'm thinking of driving the Suburban to see if it will match the 18 mpg it got on it's first trip up there, and I'm betting it will be more like 14. The old 1999 454 would get almost 16 without the trailer and 7.3-7.4 with it. This 2007 Suburban is a 6.0 with a 3.73 rear. It seems obvious to me that I should get more mileage with this truck than you get with a 454 with 118K on it, and it's not happening. I wish I'd kept the old truck.

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Dynaflash8,

If I use your numbers and do the math Gas@2.529 miles@938 each way x2 = 1876 $481 fuel cost ,481 divided by 2.529 =190.193 Gallons of gas 1876 divided by 190 = 9.87 miles per gallon.

I would agree with you that your computer is not calculating mpg corectlly, but according to above numbers you got 9.8 mpg I think most people would be happy with that mileage towing a 3600 pound car.

Bill

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On an upcoming trip to VA I'm thinking of driving the Suburban to see if it will match the 18 mpg it got on it's first trip up there, and I'm betting it will be more like 14. The old 1999 454 would get almost 16 without the trailer and 7.3-7.4 with it. This 2007 Suburban is a 6.0 with a 3.73 rear. It seems obvious to me that I should get more mileage with this truck than you get with a 454 with 118K on it, and it's not happening. I wish I'd kept the old truck.

Use your odometer on the Virginia trip Earl, and calculate it yourself with a calculator.

Wayne

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Wayne,

Your are absolutely correct. Take the miles driven and divide by the gallons put in the tank on a fill-up. Do this for several tanks and you will get a good idea of the actual MPG.

One note that you must be cautious is the alcohol factor. I know from experience that if you keep long term records of fuel usage and mpg, you will be able to tell EXACTLY when you get a load of fuel heavy on ethanol. Your fuel economy can drop as much as 5 mpg and then jump right back up the next fill up. And I have the documentation to support that experience.

Also, different brands of gas will give different fuel economy values.

Just my experience of decades of keeping track of this stuff.

ps. Ron, good to talk to you today.

Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)

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Earl,

I agree that your Suburban is not giving the fuel mileage that it should, especially since my 3/4 ton Suburban with the 8.1 engine makes 15-16 mpg without the trailer, and 8 to 9 mpg with the big Packard, Buick, or Cadillac inside (enclosed). You should be making better mileage, both with and without the trailer. I suggest that you complain to the Chevy Zone office, or check with Joe to see who else to talk with for some satisfaction.

We were delighted to have the Packard awarded its First Place Junior at its first showing.

Dale and I especially enjoyed having dinner with you and Judy, and look forward to visiting with you both again soon.

DagoRed,

Having both Turbo-Diesel 7.3 , and Gas 8.1 engines, I find them comparable as far as pulling power. I've towed the flatlands of Louisiana, up and down the Rockies, and into the winds of the plains.

My Suburban has 115,000 miles, all heavy towing (that iswhy we bought it new in November, 2001 as a 2002 model. WE have had absolutely NO DRIVELINE ISSUES.

My Excursion was bought used a year ago with 231,000 miles on it, and after replacing an alternator and both front hubs due to prior water damage, we had to replace the limited-slip components in the rear differential. Other than that, we had no driveline problems in the past 20,000 miles of heavy towing.

Having both, I do not find that the Diesel is any better than the gas if you get the RIGHT gas engine.

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QUOTE: Dynaflash8: I'm going to step up and recommend something. Hear me out. Based upon what you have indicated in previous posts I would suggest a 2008-2010 Ford F250 6.4 diesel. UNQUOTE

Bill: Thanks for the information. One of my best friends, a bodyman, told me last night that I simply had to get a 3/4 ton. Even the salesguys have told me that. It's not the pulling ability, but the stability and stopping ability. All I can say is that Ford 1/2 ton pickup looks awfully big. Still, I was quick to remember that my 3/4 Suburban slid into an intersection on a wet road here coming home when I tried to stop for a caution light that changed at the last minute. The ABS brakes were jerking but the trailer still pushed me with it's brakes locked up. It was just barely drizzling but the road was wet. I went back to the local Ford dealer today and he had two 2010 3/4 ton trucks but they were hugely more money, because all of the trucks here are diesel with 4x4 which is almost $10,000 more. So, it looks like I'm stuck with this Suburban, because I just can't go that high.

Marty I asked the Chevrolet dealer about the new computer maybe changing my mpg and he said "ah, no, can't be". Maybe a Zone Rep is in order alright, but I think I need to bite the bullet and drive it to Virginia to establish some proof. With the trailer mileage they can say anything.

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By the way, the 2011 Ford Diesel has a new deal, whereby every oil change you have to go into your Ford dealer and add a tank of some new alternate fuel stuff that is supposed to cut down on the black smoke. It's being required by 2012 by the Feds....don't do it and the truck stops. Talk about nuts. That's a built in windfall for Ford.

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........... and add a tank of some new alternate fuel stuff that is supposed to cut down on the black smoke. It's being required by 2012 by the Feds....don't do it and the truck stops. Talk about nuts. That's a built in windfall for Ford.

Earl, I did not know this had reached the pickup world already. Big trucks have already started that crap. The additive (Urea) is now available at all big truck stops. If you're running the big rig without it, the engine computer will "code", then cut the power, then eventually it will leave you on the side of the highway until you refill the reservoir. It has nothing to do with black smoke, that was taken care of years ago with computerized engines. This system is used to reduce pollutants. Of course now truck sales are in the tank. Smaller companies are rebuilding trucks they already own.

Wayne

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Dr. Strangelove, I agree with you about diesels. I made the jump from an F150 to a used 2000 F250 2wd regular cab 8 foot box 7.3l Diesel 3 years ago. I don't think I will ever go back. Yep regular maintenance is a bit higher but having the power to pull either of my trailers with a slide in camper on the back is great. Hills I use to down shift from 5th to 3rd on Rt 15 in PA, I cruise over them in 6th overdrive now with a heavier load and never drop below the speed limit.

On trips: 20-23mpg empty, 18-20mpg with just camper, 16-18 with open trailer/camper, 15-16 with enclosed trailer/camper. Speeds are at the speed limit or 2000RPM which ever is lower. The torque curve is in it's sweet spot between 1600-2000rpm.

Added note 7/12: My numbers are for comparison. My trailers are a lot lighter than most of you pull since I usually pull Crosleys. I did get 16+mpg pulling my 1950 Ford F1 home on my son's dual axle open trailer last November but no camper. Also keeping the speed down a little makes a big difference.

Edited by Jim Bollman (see edit history)

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I believe the 7.3 diesels are the best for fuel mileage of any Ford diesels. Beginning with the 2008 models the diesel particulate filter and exhaust regenerations { burning soot out of the DPF } scalped fuel milage though. I hear the newest ones have vastly improved fuel mileage. However, I don't feel that my 2008 F450 that averages 9-10 MPG towing is all that bad for 4:88 gears.

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Wayne tells me he is pulling a 30-foot trailer across the mountain at Charlottesville and down the hilly I-81 to Blacksburg with his 1500 Chevy gas pickup. Almost everybody, even the truck salesmen, have told me I need a 3/4 ton minimum (which my Suburban is). I'm going to be interested to see how Wayne does on that trip. Of course he is a professional, owning a small trucking company. He may do better than I could do. We'll see.

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Dynaflash8: Just to touch on one thing I did not see in this thread - you mentioned E-85, but I'm not sure if you used it on your trip or not. If you did, your mileage will be in the 'tank'. Even E-15 has a marked effect. Try to find and burn 100% gasoline in your tow vehicle, that way your engine will be producing max power and deliver the best MPG it possibly can. I have an '03 Yukon XL that is E-85 capable and has the same computer you talk about. Trying to do the right thing by the environment, I started using E-85. My fuel mileage dropped about 25 to 30%, verified by both the computer and the good old fashioned pencil/paper/math way. The math also pointed out that the 10 or 12 cents cheaper E-85 in no way compensated for 25 to 30% reduction in overall MPG. I am told that heavier vehicles, like my Yukon XL really bring this to the forefront. E-85 was in the tank for some towing and that really brought down the MPG. I'm back on 100% gas for the beast and my mileage is back to the pre-E-85 experiment. One advantage of E-85 is the high octane rating. Your engine should never ping as the engine computer dials in max advance - but that still does not compensate for the inefficiency of E-85.

As I mentioned before, the energy industry ties the pump price of E-85 to oil prices, not to the methanol product that comprises 85% of its content - which is simply wrong.

And last but not least: The energy companies dialed back the octane ratings of their gasoline, removed the lead from all gasoline products, then began the dilution of gasoline with the E-15 product that is widely sold today. What's next for the struggling car hobbiests from our friends in the energy business?

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Wayne tells me he is pulling a 30-foot trailer across the mountain at Charlottesville and down the hilly I-81 to Blacksburg with his 1500 Chevy gas pickup. Almost everybody, even the truck salesmen, have told me I need a 3/4 ton minimum (which my Suburban is). I'm going to be interested to see how Wayne does on that trip. Of course he is a professional, owning a small trucking company. He may do better than I could do. We'll see.

The 3/4 ton truck recommendations come from the fact that the larger the truck the more rigid the frame, suspension components, and most important; braking capability. We don't like to think about this, but in panic situation the larger truck will provide better control, more stability, and superior braking. We all know many people pull with 1/2 tons and I'm knocking that, I used to pull with one as well. When I stepped up the difference was like night and day. In this case of towing, bigger is better and also safer.

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Just a clarification on E-85. E-85 contains 85% ethanol by volume and most other non E-85 "gas" has 10% ethanol which makes it E-10. With the push from Washington, it is tough to find 100% gas without any ethanol which is usually 10% ethanol.

And Dr. Strangelove is absolutely correct about the mileage hit you take with E-85. Even small increments over 10% can cause all kind of problems including poor performance, check engine light coming on for vehicles that are not designed to run over 10% ethanol, etc. I know some of the manufacturers have bulletins detailing the problems of the incorrect fuel.

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Just had to chime in with my two cents worth. Last year had to go to Norfolk to pick up a new pick up truck for a client. Used my son's 1996 Dodge Ram 2500 with the 5.6 ltr diesel engine. Truck had 30,000 miles on it. Going up not towing got 24 miles per gallon on I-95, coming back pulling a U-haul open trailer which are quite heavy and a Ford pickup loaded on it got 17 miles per gallon. This was the first time I had really traveled in his diesel and I was impressed. You didn't even know the trailer and truck were behind you. Now diesel fuel is a bit more expensive up front but you still seem to get better bang for your buck when your towing. I'm not a Dodge fan either, but that Cummings engine is a good engine and supposedly gets the best fuel mileage for diesels out there. According to what I read the Fords get the worst and the Chevy/GMC Duramax is just below the Dodge. The downside with the Dodge is their transmissions tend to have a bit more problems where Chevy/GMC uses the Allison transmission which is bulletproof.

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QUOTE: Even E-15 has a marked effect. Try to find and burn 100% gasoline in your tow vehicle, that way your engine will be producing max power and deliver the best MPG it possibly can. UNQUOTE I think the second commenter hit the nail on the head, it is E-10 here in Florida. It is almost impossible to get anything else due to the state government. For now it is still legal to sell gasoline, and one station in the whole county does that. I go there for all of my old cars to avoid vapor lock. As for my 6.0 Suburban, I am sure something is wrong with it, and I think it is that the new computer is causing it to run retarded. All signs point to running retarded. My GM contact is going to call me about that this morning.

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Guest BillP

My $.02 worth.

I've had 3 Suburbans, an F250 4x4 460 gas, a F250 4x4 V10 gas, an F250 4x4 7.3 diesel, and now have a '08 Toyota Tundra 4x4 5.7 gas.

I'm a "hobby tow-er" and for years used an open trailer until the cars got too fancy to leave out overnight. For about the last 6 or 7 years I've used a 24' enclosed.

A few years ago I pulled the Packard up to Detroit in the enclosed trailer behind the diesel Ford. Everything went fine towing, but the roads in southern Michigan were horrendous; broken, rutted, frost-heaved. Never again.

The Toyota pulls fine; stable, smooth, plenty of power. I leave it in drive, turn on the tow/haul button and let the truck do the thinking up & down hills. It's alleged to have something like 380 or 400 lb. ft. of torque, I don't remember exactly, pulls great.

Thanks, Bill

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We tow our 24 ft box trailer with one of our 2 Dodge Ram 3/4 ton Cummins diesels. Even with a 6000# plus car on board ('58 Cadillac Flower Car) we still get 14 mpg loaded, 17-21 without the trailer. For my money you can't beat a 3/4 ton with a Cummins. 270,000 miles on the '99 and still going strong and at 7000# the truck is heavy enough to safely stop that load.

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Everybody tells a different story around these car lots. I've thought about going to Toyota, but haven't been able to bring myself to even look at a foreign made vehicle. On a tour we visited a Toyota factory in TN (I think it was Toyota) and I didn't like the way they treated their employees and then bragged about it either.

Dodge is looking more and more interesting, except they cost more than a Ford and I think a Chevy/GMC too. I looked at a gas 3/4 Dodge last night and drove it. Unlike Ford, the interior is blah like all of the other ones. Of course so is my Suburban. It's also longer than my Suburban which is a parking problem, maybe, at my house. That said, the Dodge salesman saying it turns much sharper than a Ford/Chev. I've got a right angle carport off of the driveway. With regard to your mileage on the diesel Cummings, that sounds great, except diesel costs more and the engine adds like $7,000 to the cost of the truck. I've got maybe 10 years left to tow (I'm 71) and I wonder if I could even break even over gas. And, diesel is harder to find along I-95, which is my primary route. If I sell my 1981 Buick Riviera (advertised) maybe it would bring enough to pay for just the diesel engine and tax. I don't know.

Thanks for all of the comments. This last one about the Cummings diesel was really valuable information. I do wonder if the new, Government-enforced version of the Cummings will do as well on fuel as your old 1999.

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Earl

When I made my trip to Norfolk we had no problem finding gas stations that sell Diesel. They may not be at every exit, but the major interchanges usually have them. Also have you considered going down to the 2500 Dodge. Check the towing ratings, you might not need the 3500 and your paying extra for that. I know my son's truck will pull out a tank and I wouldn't hesitate pulling an enclosed trailer with a car in it. The torque it puts out is fantastic. We even once pulled out a moving van that was stuck in the sand with it with no problem. If I were buying a new one today I would choose between the Dodge and the GMC.

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The '99 Cummins with stick gets 14 towing, 17-21 empty. The 2004 with automatic gets about 13 towing and 16-19 empty. Diesels are great for towing and very reliable but VERY expensive to repair if something breaks. Both are 4 wheel drive.

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I've been spending alot of time behind the wheel of our "work truck," and am really pleased with the rig. It's an '05 Chevy 3500 LT 6.6L Diesel Crew Cab Dually 2WD with the Allison 5-speed tranny, bought used in early '09 from a Chevy dealer in our Hornets Nest Region, Fred Caldwell. It had @ 30,000 miles then, and came equipped with leather, heated 10-way power seats, mirrors, PW, PDL, moonroof, Bose sound system, dual-zone A/C; basically all the power & comfort goodies. It's rated at 16.900lbs, easily handles the 24-foot box & 18-foot open trailers, and cost a little more than half the $48K sticker price.

It's a rock solid vehicle with plenty of turbo power that inspires confidence especially when towing the '56 Lincoln, and barely notices when smaller cars are in tow. Knowing we'd be spending many show seasons with it in all weather, it's white to cut down on summer heat (that matches the box trailer) and gets @ 14-16.5 MPG depending on conditions. The peace of mind the truck affords, with no noticeable wind buffeting, well, that came standard,

and now I wouldn't try towing with anything else...

The only downside is its considerable size, which didn't take long to get used to (and to plan for), but that one drawback is minor compared to its stability and ruggedness; truly a purpose-built vehicle.

Paraphrasing the Irish Spring commercials of yore,

It's a manly truck, yes,

but I like it, too! :o

TG

Edited by TG57Roadmaster (see edit history)

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Well here's my final decision fellows. I settled on a 6.0 2010 Chevrolet 3/4 ton pickup as the best available for the money. I had lots of discounts coming and they offered me $27,000 for the 2007 3/4 tone 2-whl drive Suburban with 21,000 miles on it. I discovered the one in question was 1 1/2 feet longer than the Suburban. That would necessitate adding on to the lenghth of my carport. It had camper mirrors which would cause me to spend to replace them with power folding mirrors to get it in my carport, if I could make the 90-degree turn to get it into the carport. Finally, I drove the Suburban up there, 31 miles, without the trailer and got 18.5 mpg. Another friend did buy a pickup equipped exactly like the one I had staked out, and he got 18-19 on his first trip out, but is getting 12.8 mpg in city driving. My Suburban got 13.3 mpg last week in similar but perhaps not quite as city driving as he did. He got 10.2 mpg driving 65-68 mph going to Louisville and I got between 6.9 and 7.5 driving 70-70 mph going to Louisville. I decided the difference wasn't enough to pay the $12,000 it would take to get the new pickup on the road and then fight the driveway and carport. So, I drove the Suburban back home. Overall it got 17.2 mpg up and back. Moral of the story is if I put away $850 a year for gas it would take over a dozen years to break even and I'm 71 years old already. I can get 8.2 mpg with the trailer if I don't drive over 65 mph, so in the future we'll go by ourselves and drive slower. In addition, maybe it would make more sence to buy a new, shorter and lighter trailer.

Edited by Dynaflash8 (see edit history)

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Congratulations! I hope you will be happy with the truck. I could sense by your posts in this thread you would do something soon even though you indicated at times you would not. Best of luck with your new purchase.

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