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Old 01-28-2014, 05:20 PM   #15
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The 1500 has the 5.3 as well. Unsure of rear end but I'll know when I see the RPO codes. Hoping for 3.73 but how would the 3.42 do with the 5.3?
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:06 PM   #16
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What is the 03' 1500 with the 5.3L rated to tow? Just remember any 10+ old vehicle you will have to check out real good to make sure suspension is up to snuff. Those things can get $$$ to replace.
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Old 01-31-2014, 08:08 PM   #17
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Well ended up with the 03 1500 suburban. It is just as clean as the PO said and I love it! Its already got a brake controller and aux tranny cooler so Its ready to go. Paid 6400 so it definitely beat the 2500 in price and it has less miles. Only difference to me is that 2500 had so much torque that I only had to lightly press the go pedal and we were off to the races and the 5.3 may be a little weak for such a big car but hey I'll drive slower when towing and still be a lot more stable than the rainier
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Old 02-01-2014, 08:28 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by dcarver View Post
I was at 7500 out the door and he wanted 8000 and thats he never moved from there. So maybe its not meant to be.
So is your budget so tight that $500 was a deal breaker?

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So how do y'all think this 1500 sub will compare?
Not enough payload capacity, so you're much more likely to be overloaded with a normal load of people and stuff in the SUV, plus the hitch weight of a small wet and loaded TT. 1500 model Suburban (and Yukon XL) SUVs can either haul a normal load of people and stuff, or a small TT, but not both at the same time without exceeding the GVWR of the tow vehicle.

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Obviously towing with the 2500 would be far superior but will the 1500 be a huge step up from the rainier?
Huge step? No. Baby step. Both are likely to be overloaded when towing a TT with a normal load in the SUV and TT.

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Daily driving am I going to prefer the 1500 over the 2500?
Maybe, but not enough difference to write home about. The big difference is in the stiffness of the tires. The P-Series "car" tires on the 1500 give closer to a car-like ride, while the (light truck) LT load range E tires on the 2500 give a slightly harsher ride. When driving to work, tell yourself "yeah, it doesn't ride quite as good as a half ton, but then a half ton won't tow my trailer without being overloaded". If you must compromise, then always compromise towards safety when towing
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Old 02-01-2014, 09:52 AM   #19
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Smokey,
Yes our budget was very tight but also forgot to mention the 2500 had an oil leak from the cooling lines which was going to cost another $300-500 to fix.
I see your point on payload with the 1500 but it has a 1600lb payload. My TT at full weight (which we don't reach because empty tanks and we do travel extremely light since we only sleep in our trailer) is 4700lbs. If our tongue weight is max 15% then we have 705lbs. The GVWR of the suburban is 7000lbs. Now I know the weight of the vehicle is with 150lb driver (i weigh 160) and half tank of gas. So 5410+120(gas)+110(wife)+50(2 dogs)+40(baby&car seat)=5730. Now if we travel with 75 extra pound of stuff I cancelled that out with removal of 3rd row seat because I try to save weight in every day driving as well.
So that leaves 1270lbs left over for tongue weight. 1270-705= 565lbs of cap space which is much better than the 100lbs I had with the rainier. Yes I know it would be like 1200lbs cap space with the 2500 but 500+lbs seems like decent wiggle room.
And Smokey I do appreciate all of the info and advice you give. Believe me I looked at all this before purchase.
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Old 02-01-2014, 10:34 AM   #20
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If your 1500 is a 4X4 you should be OK. I had an '83 1500 Suburban back in '89 and I hauled 17 square of shingles home in it... The back end was almost dragging on the ground and it still felt good driving it. Was it safe? Not for the tires! You will love all the room it has and maybe you can up grade it with another leaf in the rear springs if you need to level it out someday.
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Old 02-01-2014, 06:22 PM   #21
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Those TVs were tow monsters in the 90s. The best for any TTs.
Just don't overload your tires.
50 lbs of air pressure will be the best rear combination for control. They are heavy and solid.
Enjoy!!!!
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Old 02-01-2014, 07:15 PM   #22
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Three of us guys back then took my Suburban down to Texas on a hog hunt and it was 1030 miles one way. The lucky guy that rode in the back slept most of the way down there and couldn't figure out why the two up front were tired the first two days of hunting... It was a real highway cruiser and the 350 got 16 MPG average on that 2100 mile trip. It was a 2 wheel drive and the last 2 wheeler truck I ever owned.
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Old 03-04-2014, 07:55 AM   #23
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I know I'm too late to help with your decision and probably should post this on a different thread... but, I wanted to give my short experience. Owners seem to overlook the 2nd generation Durango. I have an 04, 5.7L hemi, 4wd/awd, trans cooler and tow package with tow capactiy 8900lb. I bought it thinking I was gonna get a weekend tt and my wife and I decided to get out of the big house and go full time due to a change of job location about the time the last son went to Army boot camp. We found a 29ft HR Alumascape, empty wt 6700lb. I realize loaded I'm between 7500 n 8000lb. Anyway the point is this Durango pulls this tt like a champ with a wd/anti-sway hitch. I get 11mpg towing and 18-21mpg except city of course. Seats 7, rides and drives nice for a heavy 4wd suspension.
I'm just throwing out my 2cent cause the Durango seems to be left out of these conversations. BUT I should conceed I have not been to the mountains. I'm sure that would be the true test.
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:01 AM   #24
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I would double check the towing capacity on the 04' Durango. My oldest Trailer Life Towing guide I have for 2011 lists the Hemi / Durango at 7400. Before I bought my Tundra, I looked at the 14' Durango's..with a Hemi. I liked the styling of the new ones, but the dealer, never had a Hemi to test drive..they had 25 V-6's on the lot, but only one Hemi, and that was in the showroom....??

I stand corrected: For the heck of it I Googled it and:
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The V6 could tow trailers up to 3,700 pounds. The 4.7 with two wheel drive could handle up to 7,400 lb (5,900 lb with the 3.55 axle ratio), while the Hemi could handle 8,950 lb (7,400 with the 3.55 axle). The 3.7 was only available with the 3.92 axle. Four wheel drive cut back on towing by 100 lb for the 4.7, and around 200-250 lb with the Hemi. These towing figures all required the Trailer Towing Group to be purchased; otherwise, the Durango could only tow 2,000 pounds.
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Old 03-08-2014, 09:36 AM   #25
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Smokey,
Yes our budget was very tight but also forgot to mention the 2500 had an oil leak from the cooling lines which was going to cost another $300-500 to fix.
I see your point on payload with the 1500 but it has a 1600lb payload. My TT at full weight (which we don't reach because empty tanks and we do travel extremely light since we only sleep in our trailer) is 4700lbs. If our tongue weight is max 15% then we have 705lbs. The GVWR of the suburban is 7000lbs. Now I know the weight of the vehicle is with 150lb driver (i weigh 160) and half tank of gas. So 5410+120(gas)+110(wife)+50(2 dogs)+40(baby&car seat)=5730. Now if we travel with 75 extra pound of stuff I cancelled that out with removal of 3rd row seat because I try to save weight in every day driving as well.
So that leaves 1270lbs left over for tongue weight. 1270-705= 565lbs of cap space which is much better than the 100lbs I had with the rainier. Yes I know it would be like 1200lbs cap space with the 2500 but 500+lbs seems like decent wiggle room.
And Smokey I do appreciate all of the info and advice you give. Believe me I looked at all this before purchase.
You should be fine, but make sure the tires are in good shape! No dry-rot, cracking etc and keep the pressures up to near max for the given load (i.e. 2,000lbs at 60psi) so your not trying to do this at 35psi.
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