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Suburban 2500 or Expedition EL - trailer pulling reports, please

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  • Suburban 2500 or Expedition EL - trailer pulling reports, please

    I've been shopping for a Suburban with a 2500 engine or an Expedition EL to use to pull a tag-along 2 horse trailer. Can anybody give me a report on their trailer-pulling experience with either one?

  • #2
    i have a suburban and love hauling with it. have hauled a 2 horse w/tack room featherlite and a 3 horse slant featherlite with it and had no problems. also hauled a standart 2 horse w/o tack room. all good...


    • #3
      I've hauled with two different 2500 Suburbans, most recently hauled a 2H w/dressing room, complete with a large horse who moves around a lot while hauling. Suburban doesn't even know that trailer is back there. Accelerates great, stops fantastically, and there's none of that trailer wagging the truck business. LOVE love love Suburbans. I'd go with that over an Expedition in a heartbeat.


      • #4
        I have a 2004 Suburban 2500 with 8.1 Liter engine (not sure if they all have same engine) and a three horse slant Logan Coach with dressing room. I generally only haul two horses at a time - usually mare & foal. My husband had the anti-sway added as well. It pulls like a dream. With the tow package added, it really gives a nice comfortable ride. We rode in the trailer ourselves around the barn area to see just how the ride would be and it's actually quite nice.
        Anney Daugherty
        Winsmore Farm


        • #5
          Love my suburban! Just wish it got better mileage.


          • Original Poster

            Thanks y'all. I really appreciate the feedback.


            • #7
              Dennis, quick question.

              Are you talking a/b a 2500 Suburban? Just to make sure you understand what you're looking at, the 2500 Suburban is a 3/4 ton truck while the Expedition is essentially a 1/2 ton truck. The Ford Excursion is a 3/4 ton truck as well. There is no "2500 engine".

              Each of those trucks has different engine configurations depending on the age of the truck you are looking at. Suburbans that are older than 2000 can be bought with a 5.7 or 7.4 liter gas engines or a 6.3 liter diesel engine. Newer models only have the 6.0 and 8.1 gas engines.

              Ford Expiditions only have gas engine options while the Excursion has gas and diesel engines available.

              The larger trucks are going to pull better than the smaller ones. If you want a 3/4 (2500) truck make sure that you don't lump all Chevy/GMC SUV's into the same category. The 1500 and 2500 trucks look very similar.
              "There are no stupid questions, but there are a LOT of inquisitive idiots."
              -Member of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique!


              • Original Poster

                wlrottge, actually, the published tow ratings are not very different between the 4x4 Expedition EL and the 2500 Suburban (only about 500 lbs.). The current deals are on in-stock vehicles only, which are what I've been shopping. I've now driven both, but I've never towed with either, hence my forum inquiry. (Currently I tow with an OLD Tahoe, and I want to upgrade power and wheelbase w/o buying an actual truck.) Thanks for your response. Seems like the unanimous advice is Chevy. GM's current financial condition does give one pause, however.


                • #9
                  I tow a 2 horse bumper pull with my Suburban and love it. It's really the best tow vehicle I've ever owned, very solid to tow with. My only complaint is that it seems to chew through front brakes quickly ---I'm told that's a Suburban thing. Maybe it's better in new models.


                  • #10
                    I am craving a new Suburban and quite honestly, my first Megamillions purchase would be a brand spanking new Suburban 2500 with Matching Kingston.

                    Go with the Longer wheelbase front to back.....

                    The closer the hitch is to the middle of your total combined length, the more control and balance you have.
                    Go, Baby, Go......
                    Aefvue Farms Footing Inspector


                    • #11
                      If you do a search, you'll hear this all day long, but don't look at just the tow ratings. Just because the 1/2 ton truck's tow rating is not much less than the 3/4 ton, there are a lot of additionaly considerations. Salesmen are good at telling you what the truck can do. I've seen WAY too many 1/2 ton trucks on the road lately with LARGE GN or 5th wheel trailers here lately.

                      The 3/4 ton will have a longer wheel base and heavier suspension and brakes which will help keep the vehicle/trailer in control better. Longer wheel base = better leverage against the trailer and better suspension/brakes means better stopping.

                      Now, so that I don't get jumped on, you can tow with a 1/2 ton truck safely, it's just that the 3/4 or greater trucks will be safer and more capable.
                      "There are no stupid questions, but there are a LOT of inquisitive idiots."
                      -Member of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique!


                      • #12
                        I have a giant '88 Diesel Suburban with over 200,000 miles on it, and this baby is going to keep going forever, I'm sure of it! We've had to replace the radiator, as well as the exhaust, and that's it. I LOVE my Suburban.

                        And the best part is, you can find them really really cheaply now cause no one can afford to drive them. I get about 17mpg towing a loaded two horse with dressing room, but I know the gas 'burbs get much less than that!


                        • #13
                          if you are looking to upgrade from the Tahoe then I would go with the Suburban- I think the wheelbase and body weight of the Tahoe is pretty comparable to the Expedition (and wheelbase is key in control and stopping) and there is no comparison to towing with a Tahoe v. a Surburban.
                          I have a 2500 Burb and tow a 2HBP aluminum skin with DR with it. I have weight distribution bars but not anti-sway. I feel safe towing with it, but unlike some others, there are definitely times when I feel it back there- usually at higher speeds on the highway. Does not mean I don't feel safe with it, but just that I know it is there particularly if I do not use the weight distribution bars (i.e. if it is empty and I am only going a mile or so, I have skipped using them).
                          Make sure you get one with a tow package
                          There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.(Churchill)


                          • #14
                            A friend of mine used to tow with a Ford Expedition. She had a 2 horse trails west with tack room and 2 larger TB's. I drove that rig for her once and it pulled quite well, the truck/trailer were very secure and accelerated and stopped as asked. She did put sway bars on as the one horse was a nervous trailerer and would body slam the wall and weave and shake the trailer. Much better with the sway bars, but I don't blame that on the tow vehicle as I hauled that horse once in my 4 horse gooseneck with a F-350 dually and he was moving me around a bit! All in all she loved that combo.


                            • #15
                              I have a 2003 3/4 ton Suburban with a 4.10 rear end, auto transmission (not sure they come any other way) transmission oil cooler, class V hitch, heavy duty everything, etc, etc. I love this truck! I am currently towing a 1976 Kingston 4 horse straight load tag-a-long steel trailer with dressing room. Three axles on this puppy. Fully set up with weight distributing hitch and sway bar. I get about 8 miles to the gallon, but have no issues with power or sway. This truck pulls a two horse with dressing room like it's not even there, and gets about 12mpg doing that. We've had three Suburbans, started with an 88 1/2 ton, (bought used in 93) then a 93 1/2 ton (bought used in 97) - pulled a steel three horse slant/stock combo with that one, but never with three horses in it, and now our 2003, bought new. It took us a year to find a 3/4 ton with the good axle ratio and the barn doors in the back instead of the gate. I heard a rumor that they are going to stop making Suburbans, so now might be the time to get one!
                              blogging at HN: http://www.horsenation.com/
                              check out my writing: http://jeseymour.com
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