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Old 01-21-2014, 07:31 PM   #1
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Help deciding on TV

So if anyone has read my other posts I'm debating on whether or not to use my 99 tahoe to take over towing responsibilities from my 05 v8 rainier since our last trip resulted in a pretty sketchy experience with some heavy winds.
Now my 99 tahoe has 5.7 v8 330tq@2800rpm with 3.42 gears
Looking at 02 2500 yukon xl 8.1 445tq@3200rpm 3.73 gears $7500
And 05 Isuzu Ascender xl (longer trailblazer) 4x4 5.3 v8 325tq@4000rpm 3.73 gears $4500

All vehicles are well maintained and very clean.
The tahoe is my DD so one of the other two will take over that role. I drive 12000 miles a year with 3000 of those being towing.
Right now I'm averaging 16mpg over about 4000 miles with the tahoe but haven't towed with it yet. The rainier averages about 16mpg with the 9-12mpg it gets towing our 4500lb TT.

So question is which one should be my DD and tow vehicle.
Note: I've quit thinking about getting a diesel because 1- Daily drive is like 15 miles total so the diesel won't even get warmed up; 2- Looks like it's a $5k option in the used market; 3- maintenance cost is way more considering a $100 oil change alone. So please no remarks about getting a diesel. Yes I know they are tow beasts
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:13 PM   #2
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For towing the 8.1L w/3.73 would be the best, no doubt.
For DD I would just pick your favorite.
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:17 PM   #3
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The Isuzu is too close to the Rainier, so I'd rule that one out after your last experience. You don't want that happening again. It is the length of your trailer catching the wind, NOT the weight giving you trouble.

The Yukon will be the best tow vehicle no doubt. As a daily driver, it will probably get the worst mileage, but not too much more than the Tahoe. Peace of mind towing with the family is priceless.... I feel MUCH better than when I towed with a 1500 extended cab 4x4 Z71 with tow package. The stiffer and heavier 2500 (3/4 ton) will always tow better than 1500 series (1/2 ton).

Since the Tahoe is already in your stable, I'd hook it up and go for a tow to find out how well it will do before you lose the chance to get the Yukon.
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Old 01-22-2014, 12:49 AM   #4
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Can you just add the Yukon to your fleet or are you forced to selling one of your current vehicles? The Yukon will handle the towing without a sweat and with it's larger brakes and bearings you are much better off that with either of the other vehicles. I'm gonna warn you though, the Yukon will be MUCH more "fun" to drive and you might end up with a lead foot occasionally. The power and quick speed can be addicting.. That is a real good price on the Yukon and if you drive it easy it might get 12 MPG, you just need to decide if you can afford to feed it daily. Check underneath the vehicle VERY well for corrosion especially brake lines before you buy.
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:49 AM   #5
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I wish I could just add the Yukon but I'm still in grad school for a few more years so just throwing down another $7500 would be tough. Tax refund is going to take care of the extra I'll owe after selling my car lol
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Old 01-22-2014, 04:52 PM   #6
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With your Rainier, were you using a weight distribution hitch? Yes, the 8.1 L Yukon is a beast, and will tow more than the Rainier.

Over the last 9 seasons we have towed a 5100 lbs (25') tt with a shorter wheel based Toyota 4Runner (V-8). Can say the WD hitch made a big difference. It was rated to tow 7200lbs. It was a good combination, because it was also a very good daily driver. Even after 9 years (2005) it drove better than any vehicle I have owned, hated to see her go. But being 9 years old we traded it in on a new Tundra 5.7L last week.
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Old 01-22-2014, 05:01 PM   #7
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Yes I do use sway and a WD hitch. I'm not completely certain however that it is adjusted correctly because the rainier has rear air suspension. When I set it up I took measurements of tongue height and ball height and then when I set the trailer on the ball I tried to get it back to normal ride height as possible but the air suspension then took it another 1-2 inches above the ride height with WD hitch adjusted. I dont think it would make that much difference but I'm no expert lol
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Old 01-22-2014, 05:08 PM   #8
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If you are looking for a tow vehicle to control the trailer get at least a 3/4 ton long wheel base vehicle, not a tahoe or yukon.
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Old 01-22-2014, 05:19 PM   #9
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Thats why I'm looking for a suburban or Yukon xl now. The guy with the Yukon xl 8.1 wouldn't deal at all so its out unfortunately but dang was it clean. I'm gonna give it a month and see if he still has it lol
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Old 01-22-2014, 06:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Yes I do use sway and a WD hitch. I'm not completely certain however that it is adjusted correctly because the rainier has rear air suspension. When I set it up I took measurements of tongue height and ball height and then when I set the trailer on the ball I tried to get it back to normal ride height as possible but the air suspension then took it another 1-2 inches above the ride height with WD hitch adjusted. I dont think it would make that much difference but I'm no expert lol
That could explain some of the handling problems with that "air suspension" On mine the WD hitch would keep it 1/2" difference between how the SUV would ride without the tt hooked up. I think actually being too high in the middle is worse than being too low.

Wandering1 says to go to a 3/4 ton (2500 / 250) tow vehicle. But then again your only towing a 4500lb tt. Yes, I agree more is always going to be better, but as you move up the tow vehicle size range, you are going to pay much more to get that size. Like I said, toying my 25' tt with that 4Runner which is the same size as your Rainier over 9 seasons and about 30k miles and close to 500 nights camped, it was a very good fit. Yes, the two tt's I pulled with it were 24' and 25' and weighed between 4800 & 5100 wet, I wouldn't to go any larger even thou it had a 7200lb tow rating. With the new Tundra it is rated at 10k, so pulling my 25' tt should be a breeze. In the spring I'm thinking about having a professional adjusting my WD system to match the new truck.
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Old 01-23-2014, 05:08 PM   #11
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Although the Rainier has great running gear to pull with - 5.3 v8 auto and rear wheel drive (or all wheel drive) using parts similar to those found on GMs bigger vehicles, the short wheelbase and soft SUV suspension and passenger type tires allow too much trailer induced sway (air ride helps vertical stiffness not side to side).

The 4 Runner usually has more truck like or even LT tires and may have a longer wheelbase. These would help control side to side sway induced from the trailer. What about the weight of these SUVs? More the TV weighs, the more it controls the trailer sway. Does the Toyota weigh more than the Buick?

dcarver your Tahoe with WDH should do till you can get a XL or 2500. The weight of the 5.7 and bigger frame and body will help with sway. The drawback is the 3.42 gearing. With the trailer being as light as it is, the frontal area breaking the wind will give you the most trouble, and keeping speed down to under 65 will help with that.
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:21 PM   #12
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Does the Toyota weigh more than the Buick?
The 4Runner weighs in at 4400-4500 lbs. Having driven the Runner for 9 years I would say the 5 link coil suspension is much softer than a pickup based leaf-spring SUV. If you had to have one vehicle for towing and as a daily driver, the Runner did both. That might be why they gave me 14k for the trade in value on the new Tundra. Hated to see it go...
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Old 01-28-2014, 04:10 PM   #13
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Here's a little update on what I've found
Ended up selling the Tahoe because I got an offer for more than I paid for it and had nothing in it so hey had to go right?
Anyway I thought I had a deal on a 2002 Yukon xl 2500 8.1 and clean as a whistle I mean I upped my budget 2k just to try and deal with the guy and he didnt budge. 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.
I've no found an 03 1500 suburban very clean and it'll be about 1500 less but I have to drive 2hrs to see it so I'm hoping its as clean as he and the pics say although this has rarely ever been true.
So how do y'all think this 1500 sub will compare?
Obviously towing with the 2500 would be far superior but will the 1500 be a huge step up from the rainier?
Daily driving am I going to prefer the 1500 over the 2500?
I took my scangauge with me on the test drive with the 2500 and during my daily commute I'd be getting about 13mpg so that seems ok
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Old 01-28-2014, 05:13 PM   #14
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"but will the 1500 be a huge step up from the rainier?"

Much longer wheelbase and heavier than the Rainier, so YES!

Which motor?
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