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Old 04-12-2015, 01:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
Gear Grinder
Join Date: Apr 2015
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Sould I get a diesel, if so, which one???

This is my first post here, but I've searched a lot and have not come up with a good answer to what I'm looking for.

I'm trying to figure do I need to get a diesel truck, and if I do, which one (GM or dodge, no fords)

We've recently purchased a new travel trailer than can gross up to 10,500lbs. I have a 2002 3/4 yukon xl 8.1 2wd 3.73. It towed it fine back home for 350 miles and I could travel as fast as I wanted, but the trailer only weighed 8k since we had just purchased it.

We are currently full timing to travel for the last year of my clinical rotations which will take us from west TX to New Mexico to South TX to Florida and the finally South Carolina.

This is what I've been contemplating: 1.Lower the gears of the yukon to 4.10s and then a tune from black bear. 2. Sell my wife's car (05 Buick rainier) and find a diesel truck.

Now if I go route number 2, which truck? I know this is a GM site and I love my GM products, but my dad's 06 cummins is a beast and pulling an 11k 5th wheel he's getting 14mpg. I've only hit that once unloaded with my yukon lol.

I'm not looking for a new truck because wow they're expensive and I want to stay away from emission stuff.

I'm looking for maybe an 04.5-07 GM or an 03-07 cummins.

What do y'all think is the best route?

Sorry for the long post BTW. Thanks!

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Old 04-12-2015, 06:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: Knoxville, TN
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I had a 2500 with the 8.1 before the DMax.

Tough decision - one that may just come down to money. The Yukon XL with the 8.1 can pull that trailer. Not as well as a DMax equipped 2500 truck but it should be able to do it and remain safe and legal. What you will see will be a lot of gear changes on interstate hills and absolutely sucky fuel mileage.

Advantages to the DMax will be having enough power to stay in top gear on the highway and about 1-1/2 times the fuel mileage of the 8.1 pulling that same load. Your overall driving while towing experience will just be easier on you. Disadvantages (other than making a new vehicle purchase) are higher per gallon fuel costs and higher routine maintenance expenses.

If you do choose to get a 'new' truck to replace the Yukon as a tow vehicle, be aware that the vintage GM trucks you are interested in will have a 26 gallon tank on short beds / 34 gallons on long beds. I believe that the Yukon XL has a big tank in that stretch version - 36 or 38 gallons. So if you got a short bed truck in diesel you may pick up actual MPG's but will still be stopping for fuel as often.

As to the GM or Dodge choice - Realistically they are both good trucks. You are going to have more potential problems by buying a 7 to 10 year old used truck than any 'brand' issues. And of course, most here will recommend the GM product. We all had the same decision to make and obviously went with GM.


'19 Colorado CC Z71 Longbed. 2.8 DMax. Pacific Blue

Down the road now -
'07.5 2500 CC 6.6
'02 2500 Xcab 8.1/Allison
'96 2500 Xcab 5.7/5-sp
'94 2500 Xcab 5.7/5-sp
Couple of Toy trucks before that.
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Old 04-12-2015, 07:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: Alberta/Arizona
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This form is dedicated to GM's but from what I see in farm country and the oil patch, all three major makes do a good job.
The current model year trucks are much improved over the decade old trucks. The diesels still cost more, last longer, use more expense fuel, but use less fuel with a load. If you plan to keep it, or run higher miles the diesel is then easier to justify.
Currently all seem to have fixed most of the emissions bugs, increased the power, and sweetened the interiors.
So, it may depend on personal preference and the bank book. If the lottery gave me any of the three, I would take it.

'16 Chev 2500HD LTZ Z71, CC, Duramax, Allsion, 4wd, new Sept 2016, has factory fifth wheel prep so added a Curt hitch.

Traded off-'05 Chev, 2500HD, CC, SB, Duramax, Allison, 4WD, bought new April '05, sold at 179,400 miles, LBZ mouthpeice, Blocker Plate & Unplugged EGR, Air Box cut out, lost the cat, 52 US Gal (196 Litre) Titan Fuel Tank, SuperChips tuner reset to stock and retained, AirLift air bags, BrakeSmart Trailer Brake controller, PaceEdwards cover-replaced 2013, DSP Fifth Hitch, JVC KW-NT1 headunit, kept the"AutoEnginuity" scanner.

'02 GMC, 2500HD, CC, SB, D/A, 4wd, Traded in - wrong color

Last edited by turnpike; 04-12-2015 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 04-12-2015, 11:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
Gear Grinder
Join Date: Apr 2015
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I appreciate the comments.
It really is a decision sole based on financials. I know the diesel will be much better at towing this weight but just wondering if the 8.1 will suffice and hold up for the several thousand miles I need to tow in the year. The yukon handled the load fine in terms of stability so that won't be a concern coupled with my equalizer 4pt sway control and trailer brakes. If I truly had my way I would throw a duramax in with an allison tranny but apparently its more difficult given the 02 and not 03+ electronics for some reason.
And yes the 38.5 gallon tank is an awesome feature. I truly think the only truck I may bite on if it comes along is a 1ton DRW crew cab. But that would take a lot of convincing to the wife lol.
If the yukon does struggle a little, would the upgrade in gears and performance tune be sufficient? tires are stock 245/75/16 BTW
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Old 04-17-2015, 08:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
Join Date: Sep 2009
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Yukon will tow it good with 3.73s,I'd keep it.
01 2500hd 6.0 eclb BB 93 tune BFG 285s 2wd and 06 2500 hd cc 4x4 lbz duramax
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Old 07-27-2015, 09:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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wyoscout's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 171
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Armed Forces Club Member

So what did you decide to do?
2008 GMC 2500HD EC/LB/WT 4x4
Duramax diesel
B&W Gooseneck hitch
Stainless Nerf Bars
Spray in bedliner
Aux LED B/U lights

Retired Navy Senior Chief

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