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Old 01-20-2014, 08:06 AM   #1
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GMC Yukon XL towing question

According to the internet, the Yukon XL 8.1L has a max towing capacity of 12,000 lbs. according to Autotrader:

GMC also offers a rare heavy-duty Yukon XL 2500 that can pull a whopping 12,000 pounds thanks to an available 8.1-liter V8 with 447 lb-ft of torque.

Has anyone towed with this particular SUV? I would choose an SUV over a truck any day to tow our 7,000 lb. TT.
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Old 01-20-2014, 09:28 AM   #2
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We towed a HiLo TT for over a year with a Yukon XL. Had a great ride. I changed Air cleaners and put headers and different exhaust system (with duals). We only had a 350 engine but it was more than enough. One trip over 10,000 miles from Florida thru rockies and 30 days in Alaska. Never new the TT was back there. On way home traded the Yukon and TT for a Class A in Las Vegas. safe travels... ed
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Old 01-20-2014, 09:37 AM   #3
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Thanks Ed. It's a bit frustrating because I've looked at 9 different websites and they all have a different number for the towing capacity, although 2 said 12,000 lbs. for the 8.1L V8.
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Old 01-20-2014, 12:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lori Meyer View Post
According to the internet, the Yukon XL 8.1L has a max towing capacity of 12,000 lbs. according to Autotrader:

GMC also offers a rare heavy-duty Yukon XL 2500 that can pull a whopping 12,000 pounds thanks to an available 8.1-liter V8 with 447 lb-ft of torque.

Has anyone towed with this particular SUV? I would choose an SUV over a truck any day to tow our 7,000 lb. TT.

Better buy it ASAP. I have the 8.1 in a 2003 GMC 2500 HD truck and it pulls VERY well. Your Yukon won't have the Allison transmission but the L4E85 will do very well. You should expect to see a little better than 8 MPG while towing and around 12 empty. When I bought my GMC a year ago, the dealer also had a black '04 Yukon with the 8.1 and it was a beautiful truck,, almost tried to make a double deal on it too! I was specifically shopping for an 8.1 and almost a year went by when I found what I was looking for. Mine only had 50,700 miles on it.
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Old 01-20-2014, 05:06 PM   #5
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We have friends who put 100,000 miles on a 8.1 HD Yukon Denali, towing a trailer that weighed at least 2,000lb. When they traded for a Ford Diesel truck, the dealer asked for their Yukon trade in early since people were looking for such a vehicle.

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Better buy it ASAP. I have the 8.1 in a 2003 GMC 2500 HD truck and it pulls VERY well. Your Yukon won't have the Allison transmission but the L4E85 will do very well. You should expect to see a little better than 8 MPG while towing and around 12 empty. When I bought my GMC a year ago, the dealer also had a black '04 Yukon with the 8.1 and it was a beautiful truck,, almost tried to make a double deal on it too! I was specifically shopping for an 8.1 and almost a year went by when I found what I was looking for. Mine only had 50,700 miles on it.
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Old 01-20-2014, 05:28 PM   #6
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Lori, that's outdated info. GM has dropped the Suburban and Yukon XL 2500 models, and the biggest engine now available is 5.3L V8. So if you want a Yukon XL or Suburban that has a tow rating over 6,000 pounds, you're looking at used SUVs. (GMC Yukon XL and Chevy Suburban are identical except for badge engineering.)
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Old 01-20-2014, 05:41 PM   #7
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I towed a 10K travel trailer for 10 years with a 2002 Suburban K2500 with an 8.1 ltr engine and 4.10 gears. Towed in excess on 70K miles. Great tow vehicle.

They discontinued the 8.1 ltr in the Suburban years ago.
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:48 PM   #8
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Hey Smokey:

We're looking at a used Yukon XL, a 2003 - 2006 model. Found a few near us.
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:57 PM   #9
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The oldest Trailer Life Magazine towing guide I have is from 2010, and it shows a 2500 series GMC Yukon or Suburban with a 6.0 V-8 2wd 9600 lbs and 4wd at 9300 lbs....The 6.2 in the 1500 series are only at 2wd 8300 lbs. and 4wd 8100 lbs
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Old 01-20-2014, 07:00 PM   #10
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The 8.1L is a great towing machine, but the engine loves to drink the gasoline. The 12,000# tow rating is an inflated number based on a base model truck, no cargo, no accessories, no hitch, and the only passenger is a 150# driver. So for every pound you add over the base weight of the truck, you reduce the towing capacity.

So for a target number, I'd drop the max loaded trailer weight back to closer to 10,000# until you can get an actual weight on a 2500.

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Old 01-20-2014, 10:49 PM   #11
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I am in the same boat. Looking at an 02 yukon Xl 8.1 with 112000k for $7500. Can't decide now to beef up my 99 tahoe with the 5.7 or pull the trigger on this beast. Even if i threw a supercharger on the tahoe it wouldn't measure up to the yukon lol. Only concern is avg 10-12 mpg daily with the yukon as compared to my 16-17 with the tahoe.
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:19 AM   #12
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My '03 GMC with the 8.1 was purchased for camping duty only with the exception of the wife using it when she needs a 4 wheel drive in the winter. For $7500. that's a great deal on a used Yukon with IMO low miles. I would suspect you could add another 100,000 miles if it was well taken care of. The 8.1 really won't use much more gas while pulling than your 350 will.
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:29 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lori Meyer View Post
Hey Smokey:

We're looking at a used Yukon XL, a 2003 - 2006 model. Found a few near us.
I'm not a GM fan, so don't remember the years, but GM also installed the Duramax diesel engine in the Suburban and Yukon XL 2500s for a while. If you can find one of those, that would be a much more satisfying drivetrain than that gas-drinking 8.1.

However, DO NOT go back to the late '90s/early 2000s when GM was still installing the 6.5L GM diesel in pickups and Suburbans. My GM dealer refused to sell or service the GM diesel back then because they were so unreliable. I wanted a '99 Suburban with the GM diesel, but my dealer wouldn't sell me one. (He sells both Chevy and GMC). So I bought a new '99.5 Ford SuperDuty CrewCab pickup with a 7.3L PowerStroke diesel engine, and that turned out to be a great tow vehicle, reliable and powerful enough for towing my 5er.
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Old 01-21-2014, 11:08 AM   #14
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The duramax was never offered in a suburban or Yukon. It would have to be done by an aftermarket shop like duraburb for factory warranty or just do it in a buddy's garage lol. The only time that the Yukon or suburban had a diesel was the 80s&90s either the 6.2 or 6.5. If the duramax was ever offered in an SUV, GM would have the highest sales figures of all time
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