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Updated Durango for 2H Trailer? Other Trucks with "decent" gas mileage for towing?

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  • Original Poster

    Originally posted by poltroon View Post
    Are you the poster who had the power steering and power brakes fail going downhill while hauling? If so, I don't blame you for wanting to ditch it if they can't find it!

    But surely there's someone who's a wizard with Chevy electrical systems in OC or San Diego!!
    Yep, that's me!

    Since then it's died on me once with my kids in the car (making a left from a light, died in the middle of a non-busy overpass) and just this morning as I was cruising down the 5 on the way to work; happily I had enough momentum to make it to the shoulder. Both times back in business in less than 5 minutes (since I am now pretty damn good at whipping out my spare fuses, getting the hood up and switching them out! ), but what if it dies on me and I CANT make it to the shoulder?

    I do not trust it anymore and I feel like I'm running out of my 9 lives on when the damn thing dies on me. Spent a lot of money at the mechanic too for him to diagnose exactly... nothing.

    It's just so frustrating because I really only tow once in awhile. In an ideal world it would semi-retire to be my tow-vehicle only and I could downsize to something much more RELIABLE, economical, and practical. Double Sigh.
    ~Living the life I imagined~


    • #22
      What year is your Suburban? Mine was doing the same thing. Basically randoming losing all power. It was a fuel pump/system issue that ended up being a recall after we had ours fixed. Just wanted to throw that out there.


      • Original Poster

        Originally posted by sspry View Post
        What year is your Suburban? Mine was doing the same thing. Basically randoming losing all power. It was a fuel pump/system issue that ended up being a recall after we had ours fixed. Just wanted to throw that out there.
        It's a '99. I called the dealer this morning after I read your post but based on the VIN, there are no recalls for my model/ year. I'm trying to decide if I want to just suck it up and pay dealer service prices to have the truck thoroughly looked at. The 2-vehicle option is really the best one since this truck is long since paid for and is worth ~maybe~ $4000 at best. (But might cost that much to fix whatever is wrong with it!)
        ~Living the life I imagined~


        • #24
          Yeah and the new Durangos are holding true to my Dodge maxim (as in, don't buy one). Our sister agency just got a bunch of new ones -- already in the shop with broken door latch, transmission shifting problems, and brake issues (all on one vehicle!!). They've only got 17K on them, sorry buggers.
          Life doesn't have perfect footing.

          Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
          We Are Flying Solo


          • #25
            I didn't read all the replies so hope I'm not repeating. I looked into a new (2011) Durango for my new personal vehicle (have truck already for trailer)....WOW STICKER SHOCK!!!! I could buy a really nice 3/4 ton truck for the money they are getting for those Durango's!!! I bought a Liberty instead for over $10K less
            I don't think the Durango would get all that better gas mileage than a 1/2 ton truck anyway.


            • #26
              Originally posted by hey101 View Post

              I do not trust it anymore and I feel like I'm running out of my 9 lives on when the damn thing dies on me.
              I don't blame you there!


              • #27
                My 3/4 ton diesel gets better milage towing than my Infinity QX4 gets on its best day.


                • #28
                  Originally posted by vtdobes View Post
                  I didn't read all the replies so hope I'm not repeating. I looked into a new (2011) Durango for my new personal vehicle (have truck already for trailer)....WOW STICKER SHOCK!!!! I could buy a really nice 3/4 ton truck for the money they are getting for those Durango's!!! I bought a Liberty instead for over $10K less
                  I don't think the Durango would get all that better gas mileage than a 1/2 ton truck anyway.
                  Yup, we looked at a 2010 demo with 5K miles on it. It was loaded with all the bells and whistles but they wanted $43,000. Needless to say we didn't buy it
                  I wasn't always a Smurf
                  Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
                  "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
                  The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.


                  • #29
                    I have a 2003 3/4 ton Dodge Diesel and on the highway without the trailer I get around 20mph, maybe a bit more. Loaded with one horse in my two horse BP I'm around 15mph. And that includes some slow roads with stops and some TX Hill Country (not mountains, but not bad for TX). When I was looking for a vehicle, my Dad was arguing with me constantly, trying to get me into a 1/2 ton gas truck, thinking it would be all I would need with my trailer. Luckily, two of my brothers stepped in and made him back off regarding this. They are both dealer reps for major trailer brands, so have hauled a bunch. One uses his 1/2 ton in town for his own horses, but didn't even feel comfortable using it with a two horse trailer going down the highway. The 3/4 ton just gives you more stopping power, and more power to get going. And when I compare my mileage to other people with 3/4 ton gas trucks, my truck gets better mileage empty and loaded than they do. It is definately worth it in every way, and I don't think I would have been happy or felt as safe going with a smaller truck.


                    • #30
                      I used to have an F-150 that I pulled a light 2H BP trailer and got around 11 miles towing (all flat as I'm in Fla) and 14-15 around town (no trailer), maybe 17-18 on highway. It pulled the trailer, but it was a single cab, so it really didn't have enough wheelbase. I would white knuckle it when the semis passed me on the highway.

                      After 9 years, I sold it and got an '04 2500HD Dodge Diesel crew cab and didn't even feel the trailer behind me. I got a
                      2H GN weekender and travel all over the state camping. I still don't feel the trailer back there. I love it. I've had zero issues with the truck and it now has 84,000 miles on it, I plan to keep it for many many years.

                      I get 19 - 19.5 driving around town, 22-24 on the highway, and it drops to 13.5-14.4 pulling the trailer. Diesel is pricer to buy, more costly to maintain, but you do get better mileage and peace of mind. The truck will also last alot longer, so if you add that into the equation, I think the overall price is much closer. I just know I don't want to be undertrucked ever again and I haven't experienced what you have.

                      I do generally use the trailer 2-3 times a month for local rides throughout the year and then 10-12 camping trips during camping season. This is my only vehicle as I average around 11,500 miles a year which isn't a huge amount. I don't think the cost of a 2nd vehicle is worth it to me, but it might be for you.


                      • #31
                        I so feel your pain.

                        I currently have a Lexus RX that came with a class III hitch and wired with a 4-flat. After buying the vehicle (two years ago) I thought "Hey, I could tow one of the smaller Brenderups with this" and started a search. I got the deal of the century on a Brenderup Baron, the largest model, which maxes out the RX. I borrow my friend's 3/4 ton diesel to trailer anything but very short, very flat distances.

                        As of two weeks ago the RX was totaled by hail damage, which is somewhat convenient because it didn't meet my towing needs. As others have mentioned, there are really just two options:

                        1 large vehicle capable of towing that is also your daily driver.

                        2 vehicles, one with good gas mileage as a daily driver and the tow vehicle.

                        I live very close to both work and the barn, and make long trips only a couple times a year, so the large daily driver wouldn't be as painful for me as it would be for others. However, with the price of gas being an unknown variable (and very likely to increase), do I really want the car/truck/SUV I drive every day to get under 20mpg? Normally that would be an easy "no", but I also don't want to be dependent upon other people with capable vehicles for when I need to tow.

                        I thought I had my mind made up last night and was going to go with a larger SUV, but as of this morning I'm back to thinking two vehicles.

                        Clearly, I don't have any great suggestions for you, but at least you are not alone in this dilemma.


                        • Original Poster

                          I am extremely happy to report that my DH figured out the problem with my truck today .

                          So we are going to hang on to our Suburban (it's the 2500 with the big engine) and look at a more economical, reliable sedan or crossover-type vehicle.

                          It's a frustrating dilemma to be practical and economical but also account for these big beasties we all love that are really not practical nor economical!
                          ~Living the life I imagined~


                          • #33
                            Reasonable gas mileage AND towing should never be used in the same sentance...


                            • #34
                              Glad your DH got the problem figured out and it's a relatively simple and definitely inexpensive fix!

                              My current plan is to drive my small SUV on it's salvage title, borrow my friend's truck if I need to move my guy, look for an older tow vehicle, and save for a nice small daily driver. It will be weird not worrying about door dings or bumper scrapes!