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Open Roads Forum  >  Towing

 > Escalade/Denali or Suburban 2500

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Gold

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Posted: 04/02/21 07:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I’m considering buying a 2010 Escalade/Yukon XL Denali or a similar year Suburban 2500.
I currently have a great running 2003 Suburban 1500 5.3L 285hp autoride which I’ve upgraded with stiffer z51 springs and has fresh GM autoride shocks. I recently obtained a 20 foot v-nose toy hauler, I’m guessing the weight of the loaded trailer (and people/cargo in the suburban) is 6,000 lbs. Fortunately it’s very level and stable when towing because I can’t have a WDH as the v-nose on the trailer prevents a WDH from being used.
My issue is that I simply run out of power with the Suburban. I can’t use cruise control on the highway as just the slightest incline (or even the wake of a truck) will cause the Suburban to gear hunt, and even when not using cruise control it’s hard to maintain 60 mph.
I’m considering either a 2010 Escalade ESV/Yukon Denali XL (both have 6.2L 402HP 1500 chassis), or a similar year Suburban 2500 which has the 6L 355HP 2500 chassis.
I’m more attracted to the Escalade/Denali as they are quite a bit less expensive and exponentially easier to find (and have a bigger engine and 47 more HP), but can it tow ‘as fast’ as the Escalade/Denali despite it having 47 less HP that I should consider it. Thank you in advance for your insight.

Lwiddis

Near DVNP, California

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Posted: 04/02/21 07:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Finding a 3/4 ton burb in good condition of that age group will be a challenge IMO.


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watt solar-Lossigy 200 AMP Lithium battery. TALL flag pole. Prefer boondocking, USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state camps. Bicyclist 14 yr. Army -11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad


Curly2001

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Posted: 04/02/21 08:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Whatever you do make sure it has the best rear end gear ratio you can get. Most of those trucks have 3:23 gears which suck for towing. I would find something with at least 3:73 gears to make things tow better. The rear end ratio will kill you if not. Had a Tahoe years ago that had a 3:23 and I burned up the rear end as well as had very poor towing performance.
Curly


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opnspaces

San Diego Ca

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Posted: 04/02/21 08:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Is this replacement vehicle a daily drive or just a tow vehicle? If just a tow vehicle I would go with the 2500 Suburban. I have no factual evidence that the 2010 Suburban 2500 has a 4:10 rear end. But my two 2500 Suburbans both have/had a 4.10 rear end so I'll bet it does.

If a daily driver and a decent rear end (3:73 or 4:10) go with the Escalade. It's not a great tow vehicle, but it will do fine with a 6,000 lb trailer. And it will be a nice vehicle to drive around when not towing.

I'm curious though why a V nose trailer would prevent you from having a weight distribution hitch? Is it a contact during turns concern? Almost all of the hitches hang under the tongue so they should not contact anything.

One more thing, don't be put off or reject a Suburban with just a torn up drivers seat. You can buy new seat cover and foam as needed and install for about $500. I'm not talking about just an add on seat cover but an actual replaced seat that will look like new. I know in my search for a replacement Suburban I passed up many seemingly good Suburbans based solely on the torn up seats. Only after I finally found my current Suburban (with an already replaced bottom seat cover) that I learned that it was even possible.


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Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 04/02/21 08:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good responses thus far.
You already know the Esc/Denali will handle the trailer just fine. And you are ahead of most inthat you can slap a heavier rear suspension in it if you desire. (And that’s a cheap bang for the buck towing upgrade)
I’d lean towards that for power and value.
BUT if you’re thinking long term, chances of getting a new HD suv, ever, in the future, are slim. So if you can get a good low mileage one now and take care of it, you’ll have the better vehicle in the long run and have your cake and eat it too for however long that one lasts.
Btw, if you pick up the 2500 and it’s not enough juice, a Westers or black bear tune and set of headers will net you a little more than the Denali engine. Just headers is good for 20+Hp and around 60 with a real tune and premium gas. Not huge but noticeable.


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camp-n-family

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Posted: 04/02/21 10:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There is an adapter kit available to use a wd hitch with a v-nose trailer.


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Gold

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Posted: 04/03/21 12:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gents (I’m assuming it’s all gents, but let me add Ladies and Gents just in case). I apologize in advance with my newness to all of this and thank you for the thoughtful and timely replies. My current ‘03 Suburban is used for longer toy trailer tows by me, and then my wife and I use just truck a couple times a week trips loaded with meals from a food bank to a shelter, and our dogs to a dog park. The main frustration is I’m just challenged to maintain freeway speeds even on the flats with my current 5.3L Suburban 4 spd when towing the heavier toy trailer. When thinking about an upgrade it would be nicer to do all of this in an ironically much less expensive Escalade or Denali, but could all be done in a suburban 2500 as well.

I was told by AAdams, a reputable trailer retailer north of Chicago that I could not add a wdh as the V on the trailer used up too much space. I haven’t measured, but my guess is the distance from the V to the ball is less than 2 feet. While I suppose it would be nice to have, the truck and the trailer are very stable when towing, no sway on the highway, brakes well (when I have the brake controller set correctly!). Do I need a wdh if my truck is level with Autoride. I have an adjustable hitch, the truck/trailer are perfectly level, and again, tows great....it’s just slow! My issue is its hard to comfortably maintain the speed limit so I’m currently the slow guy in the right lane that you look at and say, ‘doesn’t he have anything else to do today” as you whizz past!

The rear end suggestions are a great idea. How do I determine what rear end gearing a used truck might have? Is that something that can be deciphered from the VIN?

Again, thank you for your feedback!

Seon

Lake Camanche, CA

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Posted: 04/03/21 08:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I just sold my '07 Yukon XL 4wd 5.3L with a Hensley hitch that I towed my 28' travel trailer. Had plenty of power even climbing mountains to 6000' elevation. It's all in the gearing.
I considered upgrading to a 2500 Yukon/Suburban but decided to replace it with a Ford e350 1 ton van for the extra interior room for hauling more stuff that the wife likes to carry when headed out to camp.

BTW I read bad reviews on Escalade as TV.

Curly2001

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Posted: 04/03/21 08:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

From what I remember there is a tag on the rear diff that you can use to find out what the ratio is on it. Could be a code on the tag in the door or you could find it possibly through the VIN.
Curly

Grit dog

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Posted: 04/03/21 09:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I’d research how to easily tell gear ratio. But I suspect the RPO codes are indicative.
Regarding a wdh, you are thinking like most non travel trailer haulers who don’t automatically believe a wdh is required. And having had an auto ride tahoe, I can say the system is not overly robust for payload. Therefore if it will pick up and carry your tongue weight without issue, then it’s close to or within reasonable payload.
Our 01 tahoe we had last year briefly would pick up the tongue weight of our 32’ v nose sled trailer. But the tongue was not heavily loaded. Only had 3 machines in it and they were placed back a bit for cog.

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