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What do you use to tow with?

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From 1990 to 1996 I towed with a 30 ft Airstream, 454 with Banks Modifications and Gear Vendor.  Great tow vehicle and you never had to sleep in a bed that provided DNA evidence last week.  1996 to 2007 i switched to a 12 valve Dodge 3500 with five speed and a few mods.  Still sitting in storage with 220K.  A skying incident on the late 80's finally caught up to my left leg forcing a switch to Automatic.  Currently using a 07 Chevy 3500 with Duramax/Allison at 105K.  It's NOT  a Cummins and has left me in "Limp Home mode" multiple time until I installed the FASS system.  No problems the last 20K

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I've only owned three Suburbans for towing, all 3/4 ton starting with mid-90's version, all big engines, 454 or such.

 

Can't beat them for flat land, yes, they shift some on hills depending on rear end gear, but a ton of torque.

 

One buys horsepower, one drives torque, is the old saying.

 

Current 2001, a little over 100K, found it 7 years ago with 36K on the odometer and have driven it more than I wanted to...4wd, 454, towing 3/4 ton with all the goodies....towing the Pierce Travelodge 500 miles was a breeze, and we tow a 26 foot car trailer loaded with heavy metal and a 30 foot Imagine travel trailer with no problems...love my truck....

IMG_5752.JPG

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, STEVE POLLARD said:

Do they still make a 3/4 ton Suburban ?

They still make them for fleet buyers only.

Edited by 39BuickEight (see edit history)

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5 minutes ago, STEVE POLLARD said:

Do they still make a 3/4 ton Suburban ?

Actually, I don't know.  The big problem to one's who wish to haul a trailer with a car is that they don't offer the "big" engine.  They say the 6.2  has a lot of horsepower, but again, it's not horsepower that pulls your loaded trailer up a hill, it's torque.  That's why diesel guys love to brag about how their rig pulls, diesels have tons of torque.  I just don't like the noise, the mess, the fumes, the slimy pump handles.  I fully understand that many people don't see those as problems.

 

The salesman will tell you that with the fuel injection and computer control of the engine that the brand new Suburbans will handle pull behinds just as well, or better, than the pre-2006 big engines.  Nope.  And that's my final opinion.

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Currently a 08’ GMC duramax dually. I’ve put on over 2 million miles with duramaxes mostly hauling livestock. Had some injector failures(warranted), one turbo failure, (almost 300k on that truck and I should have replaced it at 200 as should all variable vane turbos should be), and one wiring harness failure (simple broken wire at the injector). Never had one Allison transmission problem ever, nor rear end or transfer case. All were dually crew cabs and all were FWD. The independent front axle rides better than any straight axle ever wound and with proper greasing/maintenance, only one ever needed any front end parts. I had the other two brands and overall, none held up as well but were close. The others beat you up on long hauls especially on bad roads with the straight axles and running tires fully inflated which I do because I easily get 80k+ out of a set.

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, trimacar said:

I've only owned three Suburbans for towing, all 3/4 ton starting with mid-90's version, all big engines, 454 or such.

 

Can't beat them for flat land, yes, they shift some on hills depending on rear end gear, but a ton of torque.

 

One buys horsepower, one drives torque, is the old saying.

 

Current 2001, a little over 100K, found it 7 years ago with 36K on the odometer and have driven it more than I wanted to...4wd, 454, towing 3/4 ton with all the goodies....towing the Pierce Travelodge 500 miles was a breeze, and we tow a 26 foot car trailer loaded with heavy metal and a 30 foot Imagine travel trailer with no problems...love my truck....

IMG_5752.JPG

 

The 454 wasn’t available in 2001.   In 2000 they retired the 5.7/7.4 in Suburbans and switched to 5.3/8.1 engines.

Edited by 39BuickEight (see edit history)

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2 minutes ago, STEVE POLLARD said:

Thanks..... I didn't realized that they stopped making them....

They still make them, but only for fleet buyers.  Used ones will pop up from time to time, often either beat to death or armored.

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Thanks for the infor...Just went onto the Chevrolet web site.... can't believe the cost of a fully loaded Suburban now !!   I think I paid around $35K for a new 1999 1/2 ton years ago..... 

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V0g_jdxngeehqQ8oktEWHC1ovmRXcJ50BmSHBml9gZp0AwX7Wtisuy4DUO4Qo5hitcXu5ncrvzRk0Vjs6oRh4188ZyBbSZkJxqsR9sw6zOYNZi6ZxJAXRnTksUebO9TUCLK-Rm5CextzcddpWJQW30C4HAy1SCdVPvrwzDAwlZNtBzOhflowU8XTvn7xmEYwF9IFr2gu-GSycpb554KaUVPc9FsAAh8shTmgcAK3pfIenkuK2hiRDnqCeUwNh56AZaqXvQY5_9umgOtJb5GVhu8pxHcoweoP8D1vQxAmjHViD6_oiiJ5EjmhBM4WULlLmVjC9eth_yCqpjlxyK4uehY2yWklRp6lJxRamMRGLYz72HwHmYf3YNLO2NsPcaV-wvlQBW6R36l3HsmOkTFKhI0mX-XgZEeKD8Rh3Uvt6kYSEx9fRedOf5SwcZHoed5aJh_ULtdDqkgm56BjZEQzEjManhw5usX63f7UTTq03WX5H-jrn_nC2kJqwaZ1-8BM091aTPpbxpPIBsC0xVZO4Urw5yr8Wz3Oetv_Zmk1Fmrrxnss8jikV_c5Dkg38aVZw6HzJ56RBFNtFarZ1DwZ2X94IG_D4mjY_r-jBM07SA0MmRkD5R2WtFyJlg6vcMvCrAYvTAb6_acRTVP1HaF9YjCgs1va0DU=w1170-h878-no

F450 Ford with 36' goose neck trailer

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I have towed for years with gas engines then moved to a 2013 F350 Powerstroke. Sold it and now my new favorite a 2017 GMC 3500 Denali with the new revised Duramax. Wow what a power house and smooth!  Trailer a 24 foot 10,000 GVW ATC

robert

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22 minutes ago, real61ss said:

V0g_jdxngeehqQ8oktEWHC1ovmRXcJ50BmSHBml9gZp0AwX7Wtisuy4DUO4Qo5hitcXu5ncrvzRk0Vjs6oRh4188ZyBbSZkJxqsR9sw6zOYNZi6ZxJAXRnTksUebO9TUCLK-Rm5CextzcddpWJQW30C4HAy1SCdVPvrwzDAwlZNtBzOhflowU8XTvn7xmEYwF9IFr2gu-GSycpb554KaUVPc9FsAAh8shTmgcAK3pfIenkuK2hiRDnqCeUwNh56AZaqXvQY5_9umgOtJb5GVhu8pxHcoweoP8D1vQxAmjHViD6_oiiJ5EjmhBM4WULlLmVjC9eth_yCqpjlxyK4uehY2yWklRp6lJxRamMRGLYz72HwHmYf3YNLO2NsPcaV-wvlQBW6R36l3HsmOkTFKhI0mX-XgZEeKD8Rh3Uvt6kYSEx9fRedOf5SwcZHoed5aJh_ULtdDqkgm56BjZEQzEjManhw5usX63f7UTTq03WX5H-jrn_nC2kJqwaZ1-8BM091aTPpbxpPIBsC0xVZO4Urw5yr8Wz3Oetv_Zmk1Fmrrxnss8jikV_c5Dkg38aVZw6HzJ56RBFNtFarZ1DwZ2X94IG_D4mjY_r-jBM07SA0MmRkD5R2WtFyJlg6vcMvCrAYvTAb6_acRTVP1HaF9YjCgs1va0DU=w1170-h878-noF450 Ford with 36' goose neck trailer

 

Are you running an electronic log? Carry a medical card? Do you need commercial insurance? It could require a CDL and DOT number. Thoughts? Have you been stopped? How about weigh stations? Thanks, Ed

 

PS- great rig......

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55 minutes ago, edinmass said:

 

Are you running an electronic log? Carry a medical card? Do you need commercial insurance? It could require a CDL and DOT number. Thoughts? Have you been stopped? How about weigh stations? Thanks, Ed

 

PS- great rig......

 I do have a CDL but no medical card. Have never stopped at a weigh station and never been pulled over. I've been from Va. to Az. and to Wy. with no issues. Wait, I do have a commercial insurance policy on the truck, I also have a F350 that is on my regular car insurance policy but when they key in the F450 vin it automatically requires a commercial policy

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Posted (edited)

1998.5 Ram 2500 4x4 with 24 VALVE CUMMINS 5.9L

 

Seems with most older trucks, the problems are with the engine. With a gen-II Cummins Ram, the engine is solid. The problems remain with the rest of the truck. LOL. The truck would have been a great personal use tow vehicle back in the day. And still is today.  However compared to today's new quiet, high horsepower diesel equipped Ram trucks, it seems slow on big hills. But, she's reliable. Pulls long steady hills. I have installed extra gages that I monitor closely. I don't push the old engine too hard and it delivers every time. It's been a real good truck for me. So far 270,000 KM (167,770 miles).  I keep a close eye on everything and give the truck all it needs for parts, repairs and services. I suspect it's got another 20 years left in it.

 

 

IMG_4208.JPG

Edited by keithb7 (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

Yep Ed your 21,000 GVW tag along requires all those above items as well as the 50. very nice tag along rig but I can’t legally tow it either due to my payload capacity. Need a dually but I don’t have enough abilities to  back it into parking spaces!

Robert

ps. I have the medical card but no CDL!

Edited by Robert Street (see edit history)

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1 hour ago, edinmass said:

Have you been stopped? How about weigh stations?

 

You have to stop in Maryland, I will leave the details to Robert,

I learned the hard way

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2 minutes ago, John348 said:

 

You have to stop in Maryland, I will leave the details to Robert,

I learned the hard way

Yes eventually most get caught. A friend from Delaware has been towing through Maryland for years and was stopped last year by DOT and I think cost him $1,500!  Basically in Maryland if your trailer is 10,000 GVW or your combined GVW’s are over 10,000 yep got to be scaled.  Oh and don’t think about a over 10,000 GVW trailer on a class C license. Hell I’ve been stopped so DOT could check tire capacities vs trailer GVW as lots of big tickets for that

robert

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I would really like a 450 Series for my next truck, but I am told the commercial insurance is very expensive. I haven’t looked into it. It’s kind of ironic that I would like a heavier truck for safety, but won’t do it due to regulatory rules and costs. Unless I am mistaken, as long as the truck and trailer are owned by me personally and I am an occasional recreational user, I don’t need to meet any of the federal DOT regulations. That just leaves the weigh station issue. I only plan to run up and back one more time to New England, and be forever done going that way with the rig. I will go further west on the last drive, so Maryland won’t be an issue. 

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I've been following prices on used F450 trucks but I have not looked in detail about the commercial insurance required for one.

I have a CDL with doubles, triples, tanker and passenger endorsements so I'll have zero issues, license wise.

Used to be a heavy equipment operator back in my 20's and just kept the license up.

 

This thread has tons of great info.

Thanks to all that have contributed.

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11 minutes ago, edinmass said:

I would really like a 450 Series for my next truck, but I am told the commercial insurance is very expensive. I haven’t looked into it. It’s kind of ironic that I would like a heavier truck for safety, but won’t do it due to regulatory rules and costs. Unless I am mistaken, as long as the truck and trailer are owned by me personally and I am an occasional recreational user, I don’t need to meet any of the federal DOT regulations. That just leaves the weigh station issue. I only plan to run up and back one more time to New England, and be forever done going that way with the rig. I will go further west on the last drive, so Maryland won’t be an issue. 

The 450 is a very expensive truck compared to a 350. The 350 uses 150 dollar tires, the  450 tires are near 400 dollars each. The 350 gets about 12.5 mpg pulling a 28 ft steel trailer, the 450 pulling that 36 ft gooseneck gets 9 mph.  The goosneck is steel too so it's heavy. My insurance isn't too bad even though it is commercial, runs a little under 900 dollars a year. As for the scales, I only go through the edge of Maryland when I go north as I usually travel 81. I've never stopped at a scale and its never been an issue, perhaps some day they will stop me but until then I will keep on truck'n past them 

 

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Ed I looked into a 450 back when I bought my first F350 and the insurance surcharge for a 450 was a massive jump over a 350. My insurance agent said insurance takes a big hike over 10,000 GVW which is 450 and above and the jump from 350 dually GVW to a 450 is that cause for commercial insurance. 

But be careful not to create a “funny” LLC name to register something commercial then you are in class A CDL for sure!!  Sometimes Class B if trailer isn’t big numbers

Ed in Maryland I have never heard of a DOT officer stopping an unmarked 350/450 with a car trailer on I-95 except for John Mahoney!!  So the risk is minimal as they are after class 8 rigs and lawn mower people not tagged correctly or Dot numbers missing 

robert

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We drive our cars but if I was ever to haul them it would be with a new Ram truck. When we ran our 69 Dart drag car we towed that open trailer with a 71 Dodge truck to be period correct.

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2 hours ago, Robert Street said:

Ed I looked into a 450 back when I bought my first F350 and the insurance surcharge for a 450 was a massive jump over a 350. My insurance agent said insurance takes a big hike over 10,000 GVW which is 450 and above and the jump from 350 dually GVW to a 450 is that cause for commercial insurance. 

But be careful not to create a “funny” LLC name to register something commercial then you are in class A CDL for sure!!  Sometimes Class B if trailer isn’t big numbers

Ed in Maryland I have never heard of a DOT officer stopping an unmarked 350/450 with a car trailer on I-95 except for John Mahoney!!  So the risk is minimal as they are after class 8 rigs and lawn mower people not tagged correctly or Dot numbers missing 

robert

 

To clarify this I went past the scale on I-95 in Maryland, I have 2500 GMC Sierra with a 24' trailer and was pulled over and made to turn around.(and pay the toll again twice) Maryland is the only state that the sign at the  weight station states "ALL VEHICLES over 10,000 pounds must exit". I was pulled over after I went past the weigh station. I was not randomly pulled over. There are no weigh stations on I-81 in Maryland.

Also I pull off at the Agricultural Check entering and exiting Florida, and while I was waiting on line I had seen official cars pursue those people with trailers who elected not to stop. 

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John

I went up I 95 to Parsippany N.J. and again two weeks ago going to the Pontiac Convention in Gettysburg with no problems. They may pull me over the next time but so far.....

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