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Seeking Advice and Knowledge

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Hey folks! I'm new to the forum, and seeking some input from the folks who own these. 

My wife and I are looking to purchase a Suburban 2500, specifically a 2000 - 2006 model with 4wd. For the next 2 years, the truck will primarily be an "around town" truck, but will also be used to drive my grandparents and great grandfather to Connecticut to visit my mother. 

The reason we're looking into a 2500 is because we plan to purchase a camper in 2-3 years and take several cross country trips with it, and this will be our tow mule. The truck will also get used to tow other vehicles, firewood, and other remodeling projects around our property.

Short research has shown me the 6.0 is good for 10k towing, and the 8.1 is good for 12k. While I don't feel it's needed to purchase an 8.1, I want to get some feelers on any issues either engine has, and maybe some pointers on fuel economy expectations. 

The truck will be stock. No lift or leveling kits. Most aggressive tire I plan to run may be a Discover A/T, but more likely the H/T will fill my needs.

Towing wise, my F250 weighs 6700 pounds (it has a service body). It'll probably be the main culprit of being towed unless I buy another project. We're planning on a 24'-27' toy-hauler style camper that weighs 6k - 8k empty.


Any advice on the 6.0 or 8.1 (and their transmissions), pro or con, is appreciated!

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Personally the occasional tow is perfectly fine for the 2500.  Low mileage will be your key factor.  I had a 05 gmc 2500 with the 6.0 and I pulled a 14 foot job trailer daily and the occasional 28 ' camper.  It pulled fine, as for gas mileage, it didnt seem to get any worse gas mileage full, or empty.  I dont know what sort of hills you have where you plan on towing, but that may well factor into your plans too.   I don't know anything about the 8.1.

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Thanks! I realized this morning there is a 2500 forum, sorry for dropping this in the wrong place. All of the adds make the mobile website hard to navigate. 

We're fully expecting single digits while towing. Outside of towing, I was really hoping for 15-ish on the highway, but the nature of a 8.1 big-block makes that seem unlikely. I'm mainly curious how bad it'll be. 

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Unless you are a serious person about limiting your weights when towing I feel you're better off with excess capability then having just enough to pull the weight you have Having said that, having more than you need is wasteful too, I mean you're gonna be drivin' around for a couple of years with a 8.1 carrying people, certainly over kill (for the present) unless you haul a lot more than planned around your property. I feel it's better to have more than you need than not enough and remember, things and plans change; you might get into some thing else hobby wise or other things can change.

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Realize what you are asking a 16-22 year old truck to do for the next 5-6 years.  Can it still haul at maximum loads this old?  Do you plan to go through all the components and make them new again, new bushings, seals, etc.?  


I'd be more inclined to run a 2008-2013 2500 wagon.  Better mileage, newer, can haul just as much with 6-speed transmission even though they are rated for under 10K pounds.  They are towing beasts.

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On 10/24/2021 at 10:13 PM, shakenfake said:

Yeah but it is a disgusting 08-14 2500. The worst GM interior literally ever. Luckily the 2500s have a decent front end but it doesn't take away from that disgusting inside.

Boy, tell us what you really think about the interiors!  LOL


I like it!  hahaha

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