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Old 10-09-2014, 06:57 PM   #1
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8.1 Chevy

Anyone towing with a chevy 8.1 motor and the allison 5 speed trany?
What are you pulling and how bad is it on gas?
What's your like's and not.
Any advice or recomendation's?
I'm considering a 03, silverado crew cab, 4x4, short bed, 135,000 mile's.
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Old 10-09-2014, 07:10 PM   #2
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I'm pulling a Saturn LW300 wagon and the gas burn is really negligible. Usually I can tell the car is behind me on long grades, but otherwise I really don't notice it.
I have a 5000 tow limit on my Motorhome. Not sure what your limit is or how much truck weighs. You may want to investigate the weight limits.
Safe travels.
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Old 10-09-2014, 07:28 PM   #3
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With our Allegro Bay 37DB (8.1 w/Allison) I would not want to pull a full sized PU. We are looking for the smallest toad that we can find that will accommodate our needs. We did pull a 2500lb trailer from N. IL to N. GA and could hardly tell it was there. Could not tell any difference in the 8 mpg range that we normally get.
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Old 10-09-2014, 07:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomandGloria View Post
I'm pulling a Saturn LW300 wagon and the gas burn is really negligible. Usually I can tell the car is behind me on long grades, but otherwise I really don't notice it.
I have a 5000 tow limit on my Motorhome. Not sure what your limit is or how much truck weighs. You may want to investigate the weight limits.
Safe travels.

What do you think the toad weigh's?
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Old 10-10-2014, 07:04 AM   #5
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Probably around 3100 pounds. It has the 6 cyl and sometimes we will put a few things in the wagon part as extra storage.
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Old 10-11-2014, 12:16 AM   #6
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I tow an 8600 pound 5th wheel with my '03 GMC Sierra extended cab short box and the 8.1L. It gets better than 8.5 MPG if I run it around 65 mph while towing, around 8 at 75. Pulling slight grades in cruise control it won't downshift out of overdrive and just lugs at about 2000 RPM. Best I have seen so far is 8.81 MPG on a 121 mile jaunt at 65 mph. The truck has 3.73 gearing and I'd bet it would pull better and without using much more fuel with 4.10's, it may never shift out of overdrive then unless a big hill slows it down.
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Old 10-11-2014, 12:39 AM   #7
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OK, I'm confused, nothing new there though.....Are you buying a Chevy pickup and planning on towing a trailer or are you looking to buy a motorhome with the 8.1 and pulling a car behind it. People have replied on here both ways. I pull a 4,020 lb Lexus RX300 with my motorhome that has the 8.1 and Allison 1000 transmission. I'm just about at the limit and wouldn't pull anything much heavier than that. I've tracked every gallon of gas over 70,000 miles and average 7.1 MPG with that setup.
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Old 10-11-2014, 07:05 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by rlwithrow View Post
I tow an 8600 pound 5th wheel with my '03 GMC Sierra extended cab short box and the 8.1L. It gets better than 8.5 MPG if I run it around 65 mph while towing, around 8 at 75. Pulling slight grades in cruise control it won't downshift out of overdrive and just lugs at about 2000 RPM. Best I have seen so far is 8.81 MPG on a 121 mile jaunt at 65 mph. The truck has 3.73 gearing and I'd bet it would pull better and without using much more fuel with 4.10's, it may never shift out of overdrive then unless a big hill slows it down.
I had a 2002 3/4 ton Avalanche with the same engine, the 4L85e transmission and had about the same fuel economy dragging about a 10k trailer behind me. That was the best bumper-tow gasser I ever owned.. Bobtailing it, I could almost hit 15MPG if I stayed under 65.
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Old 10-14-2014, 01:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arch Hoagland View Post
OK, I'm confused, nothing new there though.....Are you buying a Chevy pickup and planning on towing a trailer or are you looking to buy a motorhome with the 8.1 and pulling a car behind it. People have replied on here both ways. I pull a 4,020 lb Lexus RX300 with my motorhome that has the 8.1 and Allison 1000 transmission. I'm just about at the limit and wouldn't pull anything much heavier than that. I've tracked every gallon of gas over 70,000 miles and average 7.1 MPG with that setup.

Yes I know the answer's are both way's I just appreciate people sharing there thought's and experience and I apply to my personal situation.
I'm looking to buy a truck silverado 2500 crew cab with the 8.1 motor and allison tranny.
Would specifically like to know how it does gas mileage wise and power too?
Thank's to all.
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Old 10-14-2014, 01:47 PM   #10
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I had a 2002 3/4 ton Avalanche with the same engine, the 4L85e transmission and had about the same fuel economy dragging about a 10k trailer behind me. That was the best bumper-tow gasser I ever owned.. Bobtailing it, I could almost hit 15MPG if I stayed under 65.
Ha big foot I like the Moon eye's I remember them on the older hot rod's.
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Old 10-14-2014, 03:44 PM   #11
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Back in 2003 I bought a new GMC 2500HD with the 8.1 and Allison transmission. I was pulling a 27 foot Komfort travel trailer with it.

It was excellent, especially in the mountains.

I don't recall the gas mileage.
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Old 10-15-2014, 05:51 PM   #12
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I just bought an 02 Yukon xl with the 8.1 3.73s and 4LE85. All I can say is holy crap it hauls some major butt!. I'll be hooking up our 35ft 6500lb TT next weekend for a 700 mile round trip. If you can stand to wait that long I'll report back.
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Old 10-15-2014, 06:23 PM   #13
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When my coach was new the "Bobtail" MPG was around 8.1
Then I hooked a 4000 pound Chevy Lumina APV behind it using a Remco Axle Lock so when I towed it was a true trailer.

MPG was still 8.1 seems the Lumina "Spoiled" the air flow enough to offset the weight.

Then the Lumina died of old age.

Then last summer I got a 2500 pound Dodge Neon I do not store a bunch of stuff in the Neon it being a 4-door so there is not so much storage space. I had to add an LP-1 Transmission lube pump kit so it tows in neutral unlike the Lumina where the axle was no longer connected to the right side wheel when I towed.

It cost me about 1 MPG
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Old 10-15-2014, 07:36 PM   #14
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I looked off and on for several years for a used Chevy/GMC HD 2500/3500 CrewCab 4x4 with an 8.1 and a 6 speed manual for a tow vehicle. Never found one anywhere with the 6.
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