Jump to content

Good, bad & Ugly about GM 2500 HD trucks?


Recommended Posts

I went to a trailer show with my wife , last night. I'm thinking of retiring in a couple of years, and one thing we want to do, is RV. We had intended to get a ball hitch, travel trailer, about 25 feet or so, which if it was light enough, might have been something we could tow with our Astro, or if the Astro was not up to it, anymore, amybe a GM 1500, 5.3 V8, 3.73 rear end, or an Express 1500 equipped the same ways as the P/U.

 

However we saw some 5th wheels, which we prefer, in the 28-30 foot range, which have a Gross Trailer weight, of about 8500 lbs.

 

5th wheel=forget a van. 8500 lbs=forget a 1500 P/U, I would think. I think a GM 2500HD, extended P/U, with a 4.10, locker 2WD , 6 liter gas and AT would be better.

 

We only plan to tow about 4-6000 miles a year, over mostly flat prairie roads, with the occasional rolling hill and possibly a trip or two over the Rockies.

 

I'm concerned the 2500HD will ride like an army truck, eat gas like an AA Fueler and be difficult for my wife to pull herself up into the cab.

 

I think a 2WD 1500 P/U would be easier to live with, day in/day out, compared to it's big brother, the 2500HD.

 

Remember, I'm thinking of retiring soon, so I'm no spring chicken, and neither is my wife. I don't think I will have any problem, getting in and out, as I'm well over 6 ft., but my wife is 5'3" and she may find it hard to climb up and into the cab.

 

As we will be retired, this 2500HD may be our prime vehicle.

 

What I'd like to know is what kind of solo city-highway /towing gas mileages does a 6 liter 2500HD get?

 

Can it handle an 8500 lb. trailer , in the circumstances described?

 

Will my wife, absolutely hate the truck, or do those with the 2500HD, find their wives who are not tall, kinda like the 2500HD?

 

Are there any problem areas with a 2500 HD, 6 liter gas V8, or is it generally pretty good?

 

A :D guy for 30+ years.

 

Les

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went to a trailer show with my wife , last night. I'm thinking of retiring in a couple of years, and one thing we want to do, is RV. We had intended to get a ball hitch, travel trailer, about 25 feet or so, which if it was light enough, might have been something we could tow with our Astro, or if the Astro was not up to it, anymore, amybe a GM 1500, 5.3 V8, 3.73 rear end, or an Express 1500 equipped the same ways as the P/U.

 

However we saw some 5th wheels, which we prefer, in the 28-30 foot range, which have a Gross Trailer weight, of about 8500 lbs.

 

5th wheel=forget a van. 8500 lbs=forget a 1500 P/U, I would think. I think a GM 2500HD, extended P/U, with a 4.10, locker 2WD , 6 liter gas and AT would be better.

 

We only plan to tow about 4-6000 miles a year, over mostly flat prairie roads, with the occasional rolling hill and possibly a trip or two over the Rockies.

 

I'm concerned the 2500HD will ride like an army truck, eat gas like an AA Fueler and be difficult for my wife to pull herself up into the cab.

 

I think a 2WD 1500 P/U would be easier to live with, day in/day out, compared to it's big brother, the 2500HD.

 

Remember, I'm thinking of retiring soon, so I'm no spring chicken, and neither is my wife. I don't think I will have any problem, getting in and out,  as I'm well over 6 ft., but my wife is 5'3" and she may find it hard to climb up and into the cab.

 

As we will be retired, this 2500HD may be our prime vehicle.

 

What I'd like to know is what kind of solo city-highway /towing gas mileages does a 6 liter 2500HD get?

 

Can it handle an 8500 lb. trailer , in the circumstances described?

 

Will my wife, absolutely hate the truck, or do those with the 2500HD, find their wives who are not tall, kinda like the 2500HD?

 

Are there any problem areas with a 2500 HD, 6 liter gas V8, or is it generally pretty good?

 

:D  guy for 30+ years.

 

Les

 

 

 

 

Test drive a 2500HD. I'll bet the ride won't be as harsh as you think, especially with a trailer in tow. Second, GM's HD pickups ride the lowest to the ground of all three current makes which in your wife's case is a good thing. With a set of step bars it should be no problem at all even with a 4wd model.

 

Also if you go for a gas pickup forget the 6.0 and go for the 8.1L. The tow mpg may actually be better with the bigger engine and the unloaded mpg probably won't be much more than 2mpg worse with the 8.1 than the 6.0. Plus you'll have plenty of power and the option of going with the Allison transmission.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I lurked around the 2500HD for several years and the new ones have a great, smooth suspenion. Our road has six big speed bumps on it and the word to our north is a long stretch of potholes. When I test-drove a 2003 a few years ago, the two roads were the BIG TEST. And I went out and bought a 2003 Z-71 Silverado EC/SB.

 

Whe I test-drove the 2006 2500HD, I found that the new model took the speed bumps and pot holes SMOOTHER than my Z-71 and lightyears ahead of my wife's 2004 Tahoe.

 

No, you really have no concerns about the rough ride of the 2500HD and it only gets smoother when you put the weight of a trailer on it.

 

Engine: Hillhound is correct, the 8.1 liter will give you the power you need (or eventually will need) and the fabulous Allison 1000 six-speed transmission is an option with the Big Block. Yeah, it will cost you about 2 mpg, but you will be happy with it.

 

Or, you could make the decision I made a month ago and go for the excellent Duramax diesel. It is really nice to develop a whopping 650 ft/lbs of torque at 1,600 RPMs. The DMax is incredibly quiet and my wife, who is a devoted diesel-hater, now loves our new rig. The fuel is about thirty/forty cents more a gallon (in winter) but the mileage is a good deal higher; I'm rinning a little over 18 mpg on the freeway and exactly 14 mpg in the city. Think of it as spending twenty percent more for fuel, getting forty percent better mileage and WAY more torque. The Duramax is a very long-lived engine because the fuel IS a lubricant, the resale value is superb and it is a truck you will not outgrow, no matter where your trailering goes.

 

Yeah, lots of choices, but I would recommend either going for the 8.1/Allison or the Duramax/Allison. You'll be glad that you did.

 

Steve

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another vote for the 8.1 or Duramax/Allison. With running boards or tube steps you will not have a problem getting in to an HD. Ride ain't all that bad...I actually prefer the stiffer ride.

 

I'm getting about 10.5 around town with my 8.1/Allison in a crew cab / short box 4x4 2500HD. Highway is 12-14 range, but I don't tow anything. Lots of power...I mean LOTS!

 

Test drive em both (6.0 and 8.1 / 1500 and 2500HD) Get what you like and what you think will work with your trailer. Last thing you want to do is get a case of the "I wish I would have's" after your purchase. D.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The others have hit the suggestions I'd make to you. Boards/bars to help with the entry for your wife. 8.1 or Dmax instead of the 6.0 if you're intending on towing that trailer like you indicated. Better to have a truck with more power and equipment than you need than to end up with something that won't last because it's being consistently overworked.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I pull a 35' fifth wheel with my 6.0 and it does fine, but then I don't plan on going over the Rockies either. One of the deciding factors when I bought mine, is I did not want the Allison tranny. I have test drove a few trucks with the Allison, and I do not like the way they shift. This only left me with the option of the 6.0 with a 4L80 tranny. By no means is the Allison a bad tranny, I just don't care for it. As for ride, my 2500HD rides much better than my older 1500, no comparison.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just bought 03 Silverado 2500 HD LT Crew Cab 4x4 with Duramax/Allison combo. I've drove it for 2 months now and I'm getting 15.6 mpg to and from work, about 60 miles a day. I drove 200 miles on the interstate this past weekend getting 17.1 mpg. The truck has 93,000 miles on it. The tires on it are LT285 75R16 load range D. Truck rides like a dream. Co-worker has the same truck with 265's load range E. His truck has a much stiffer ride than mine. I think 8 ply versus 10 ply makes a big difference in the ride. Looking for a 28 to 32 foot bunkhouse. Not concerned about the weight. ha ha. Diesel running about 2.45 a gallon. Regular 2.54 a gallon.

Good luck. :banghead:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would strongly suggest getting a long bed for towing the 5th wheel. Also, while you're shopping around, if you know someone who has a 3500 DRW, it might be worth taking it for a test drive with a trailer. Depending on how high the 5th wheel sits, the added stability of the dually might make you much happier while driving. I've have both SRW and DRW trucks, and for towing, the duallys win every time. The trade off is that its a wider vehicle, and has and extra 2 tires to replace.

 

As far as engines go, the 6.0 can handle the weight, and will give decent mileage (15s) unloaded. The 8.1 /duramax will do better towing, but the city mileage with the 8.1 is not as good.

 

The only thing that I don't really like about the new chevrolet trucks is the front end. . . Kinda partial to the GMC nose now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

RV Life is great, not that I am a full timer, we just love camping. I have a 6.0L with a tuned PCM, and have a 27ft travel trailer (not 5th). We mainly travel on flat to mild hills up to 200miles in one direction. While my truck handles it just fine, you are not going to drive this truck and trailer up hills at 70mph. Most guys that have the big block or duramax ride at 70+ all the time. And if that is what you want to do, go for that engine option. Plus the Allison is the best tranny for up and espically down large hills/mountians, if you are going to be a full time RVer.

 

I like my truck, it does a fine job with my trailer. If I had a larger trailer with one huge slide or more my truck would be under powered. But I have a modest trailer and carry a lot stuff in my truck bed. Oh yeah, if you want a 5th wheel you loose all the possible storage in the bed of the truck, but a 5th pulls much easier. If possible do research like I did, by talking to campers. The summer I purchased my truck I spoke with about 20 different people just to feel them out, no matter what they drove they they all loved their truck.

 

I purchsed mine on the August GM clearance in 2003, The dealership had a limited selection, and I could have gone with an 8.1, but at that time I knew of two people with 8.1's with major problems (one a blown engine with 25k, the other used 2 quarts of oil between changes, GM said it was "Typical"). So I went with the 6.0. I did some testing as well, the dealership let me use the trucks overnight before I made a decision, and I took them thru the paces. I considered a duramax, but At that time I drove 8 miles on way to work and with us not pulling or driving 100's miles each week a diesel would not be used for what it should.

 

It's my 2 cents, and you can never go wrong with opinions. follow this link GM-Trucks Thread to a topic discussed a year ago, it discussed what I whet thru to decide on a truck.

 

Good Luck

 

BJ

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It kind of depends on where you're going with the truck/trailer on your journeys.

 

I have a 2003 2500HD with the 6.0/4L80E. It will haul that load just fine on level ground, and will croos the rockies with it, if you stay on the interstates, but you won't be hauling butt doing it.

 

Combined I get 16.5 MPG last check. That's running 87 octane, and keeping my foot off the floor. If you have a lead foot, the 6.0 won't do much better than the 8.1 mileage-wise.

 

If you mostly tow to a campground then drive around from there, I think the 6.0 will do what you want.

 

If you're going to tow up steeper grades than you'll find on interstates, or tow a lot on dirt roads to the boonies, I'd suggest you just go ahead and get the diesel.

 

Liek others suggested, get some step bars (I like the Westin models) and you'll have no trouble getting in the truck (or your wife). Sinc ethey have an independent front suspension, they ride much better than I thought they would, and I run E load-range 10-ply tires.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My wife is 5'3" and has no problem getting into the truck (tube steps) or driving it. In fact she likes driving it. It has a fairly smooth ride and is quite comfortable. Since this will be your daily driver and you will be driving on fairly flat roads most of the time I would suggest the 6.0 liter gas engine (better mileage than the 8.1 and lots less money than the diesel. Your choice. Drive them all then decide.

 

DEWFPO

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

 

 

 

Test drive a 2500HD. I'll bet the ride won't be as harsh as you think, especially with a trailer in tow. Second, GM's HD pickups ride the lowest to the ground of all three current makes which in your wife's case is a good thing. With a set of step bars it should be no problem at all even with a 4wd model.

 

Also if you go for a gas pickup forget the 6.0 and go for the 8.1L. The tow mpg may actually be better with the bigger engine and the unloaded mpg probably won't be much more than 2mpg worse with the 8.1 than the 6.0. Plus you'll have plenty of power and the option of going with the Allison transmission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I agree 100% Go with the 8.1L. Empty gas mileage is not that different than the 6.0L and you'll be happier with the power. For towing, the Allison is super! I pull a 30' fifth wheel travel trailer and it handles the job perfectly. The truck is also my daily driver and get around town okay. Just have to realize that it is a big vehicle and needs plenty of room for parking, etc. Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Test drive the HD..... they ride "rougher" than a standard 1500 series truck but loaded will feel smooth. Make sure you get the side step bars (seem to be pretty much standard on GM trucks now) which will help alot getting in and out.

 

Have fun with your choice!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lets say they are giving away free gas at the gas station today. You stop in but only put 9 gallons in your tank because you know it only takes that much to get home. Doesnt make much sense does it? Why only get the 6.0 because you think thats all the power you need? What if you run into a bigger hill? What if you need to pass a car going up that hill? What if you just want to take off a little stronger? What if you get a bigger trailer? Now is the time to get what you want. I will absolutely gaurantee that if you "settle" for something now, you will have a case of the "I wish I had's" in no time. I cant think of anytime that "faster", and "more powerful" are not better.

 

Dont get me wrong, im not doggin the 6.0, its a great engine. the problem is that GM makes bigger and stronger engines for the same model truck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Forum Statistics

    246.3k
    Total Topics
    2.6m
    Total Posts
  • Member Statistics

    333,994
    Total Members
    8,960
    Most Online
    Sofia2024
    Newest Member
    Sofia2024
    Joined
  • Who's Online   0 Members, 0 Anonymous, 501 Guests (See full list)

    • There are no registered users currently online


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.