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'21 2500HD AT4 6.6L introduction!

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Hello everyone. I wanted to officially introduce myself to the GMC world. I came on asking some questions in my hunt for a new truck in another thread. Due to truck shortages, I didn't get exactly what I was looking for, but am happy none the less. I am long winded, so if you want to read the novel, I will put it all here.


Cliff notes: Had a 2107 F-250, moved overseas, sold it, moved back to the US last month, wanted a 3500 Denali in anything but black or red, planned to get a large 5th Wheel Camper, bought a 2500 AT4 in Black, bought a travel trailer, drank beer.


Back story, I had a 2017 F-250 Lariat with the 6.7, I loved the truck. Pulled our 27' Travel trailer perfectly. But I am military and got orders overseas a few months after getting it. We could only ship my wifes SUV, so we sold the truck (ouch) and sold the camper (cry). We got orders back to the US on short notice. In May with a departure of late May. I looked at the Fords, and even though I liked them, it seemed like I would be buying the same truck over again. And then the cost. I have no problem spending the money needed, even with inflated prices right now, but I bought the 2017 in 2018 as a left over. 7 miles on it, MSRP was $73K, I paid $59K out the door in 2018. Sold it for $57K in early 2019. As I looked at trucks, I couldn't stomach paying $80K for the same truck, just a few years newer.


So I was looking online for a truck. I looked at the 3500HD Denali. I liked it because of the looks and technology it has. Ford does not have the camera options and headsup display. Headsup display is a huge thing for me. I had a BMW with it and missed it. So I started emailing dealers and couldn't find anything in Vegas (where I was moving too). So I looked nationwide. No one could find the truck I wanted. I wanted the Denali in Quicksilver, white, or maybe Blue. Only thing I got were offers for $95K plus tax, ouch. Then anyone that had one, they magically were sold when I started discussing shipping. So I waited till I got into Vegas and swung by the local dealer. They had NOTHING on the lot. Its a hude dealer and they had 3 Buicks sitting there. Turns out, someone backed out of their 2500 AT4. So I started talking price. The manager said they were not doing a markup. IN fact they had a $500 cash incentive and offered the $500 military discount.




With Doc Fee $549, tint $349, it came to $80,393. Minus the $1000 discount, I paid $79,393 plus tax, so $87,155 out the door.

Considering prices I was seeing, and the actual need have the truck right away, I was ok with this. Since we moved short notice, we shipped my wifes SUV back the day before flying out. Its a 2 month delivery time for her car, so renting a vehicle at $600 a week, would have gotten expensive.


Now I did NOT want black:




This was tough for me. My wifes Armada is black and we hate it. So hard to keep clean and shows every scratch. So before saying yes to this truck, I looked up getting it wrapped. I was quoted at $3,500 for a wrap. I figure with the rush I was in, the savings of not renting a car, if I ever want to change the color, I can. But the color is growing on me.


Had 18 miles when I picked it up. 




First thing I did, I went and got her dirty. In Vegas there is some decent off roading, so I went to check it out. It was dry, so no mud. But the hills were pretty intense, pictures dont do it justice. But it pulled in 4L up some crazy steep hills. Kids loved it. It had 50 miles on it when we got there. SOme hills had rocks that were polished from other people trying to get up and just spinning tires. Max incline I saw on the display was 22%. This is deffinitely a capable truck!IMG_5642.thumb.jpg.39c07e103adb8a74baa801d153e730de.jpgIMG_5644.thumb.jpg.5c1e3e3a1bdd59a4f4cf7d27c53c8e0e.jpgIMG_5636.thumb.jpg.0dbab87451589ea6a42901087d2f5663.jpgIMG_5640.thumb.jpg.8838bb764a5615acc838aa682e3e2e78.jpgIMG_5641.thumb.jpg.de5a1e15363e7fe62025846121e006fb.jpg


I am happy so far! I will post here shortly with the trailer we bought the day after I got this. We are living in it temporarily till our house is built. I have only towed it the 15 miles from pick up to the campground we are living in, but tomorrow we leave for Colorado and will be pulling it through Vail and the large passes. More to come on that.


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Thank you both. It is good to be back. We had our first samples at Costco yesterday, the kids were so happy about that. It's the little things!!!

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So the reason I bought a truck.


I see so many people driving around in big trucks, and they just don't use them. I don't get it. Why not buy a 1500 or an SUV? I bought the truck to use it to truck! We had a 26' Wildwood camper we towed with an Armada. It was within the specs on weight/payload, but it was white nuckle at times. We upgraded to an F-250 and it was night and day. While overseas, we were looking online at large 5th Wheels. Something in the 43' range and 16K GVWR. We wanted a midbunk with rear living for the panaramic window. When we got back a few weeks ago and walked through them, the wife siad this is not camping (not that a large TT is much more camping). She said it didn't feel comfortable. The ceilings were crazy high and the finishing touches were to "nice". So we looked at Travel Trailers again.


We ended up with a Grand Design 312BHTS.

It is a rear bunk with 2 bunks and a couch in the room. Plus the full size queen in the bedroom up front. The living area has recliners with heat and messaging chairs. Plus a dinette. There is a fire place and 12 CU FT residential fridge. I honestly wanted a camping fridge because they run on LP as well. But everyone orders these things to never be off grid.


PRICES SUCK!! It use to be standard to get 25-28% off. NOT NOW. We struggled to find a dealer with anything on the lot. We refuse to use Camping World (because they suck). We found a local place with this one.

MSRP was around $61K, they had it listed at $58K and we got it for $54,000 plus tax. Not horrible, but considering this was also fully loaded with 2nd A/C and all, I was ok with it. 




I got the Blue Ox 13K weight distributing hitch with built in sway. I had one on my last truck and liked it. What I don't like about this one is you can't really dial it in. On my last one it had chains to the bars. If you felt you needed more/less resistance, you just went up or down a link. With the 13K, the bars go right to the saddles and they only way to adjust is the move the saddles, which takes tools and a torque wrench. IMG_5744.thumb.jpg.7ea6c21d3f31ac924e58101dbc8f4851.jpgIMG_5746.thumb.jpg.d6dc1b881f75f15547585d1209907221.jpgIMG_5749.thumb.jpg.206c428179a70ccb9b0491f7eb64c62d.jpg


Lets talk weight. I weighed the truck before picking up and then weighed the combo on the way from picking up. Lets just say dry weight and posted tongue weights are absolutely not correct. 


The truck came in at 8440lbs on a certified car scale. 

4960 on the front axle and 3480 on the rear.

This is with a full tank of gas and me in the seat (165lbs)


The combined weight was 18,420 lbs with 4540 on the front axle, 5300 on the rear axle and 8580 on the trailer axle. 

This puts my dry trailer at 9,980 lbs dry. (There was about a 1/4 tank of water in it. Plus full propane tanks. So maybe 200lbs.)

My tongue weight is about 1,540 lbs.


My payload on my truck allows for 3,084...so I am well within specs. What I don't like is the amount of weight transfered to the rear axle and lost on the front. I adjust the WDH today, but have not reweighed. More on that later.



We are living in the camper for about 4 months while we have a house built. We are at a nice campground, but its to hot out to really do anything. Temps have hit 118 continually and sit about 110 most days. The camper does nice at holding the temp in the 70s. You can really feel the heat on the slide outs and the windows. We keep all the blinds closed during they day to keep it nice. 





We leave today on a 2 week trip through Utah and Colorado. I will get to pull through Vail and the steep passes on 70. I look forward to seeing how it does. I will reweigh when we hit the highway this morning. I am interested in seeing what the weight is with all of our stuff. And what the change with the WDH does to the weight distribution. 



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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/26/2021 at 10:40 PM, Grjfer said:

Great write up. Enjoy your new truck and thank you for your service. 🇺🇲


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