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  1. #11


    I've got a big family, the wife and I, the 4 kids, my mother in law, and the 2 dogs, yeah the bunks are needed! I would have liked the Springdale, but that 2nd slide out was a killer weight wise, in the Springdale there was space to walk around the bed in the master bedroom, either way I should still be able to find my wife somewhere in bed in the Laredo

    But seriously I do like the setup in the Laredo, it's the same as the Springdale, just with the 1 foot less and nearly 2000 lbs less for me and my wife to worry about.
    And definately the HD flatscreen fits perfectly in that little wall!!!
    I don't travel often but I do travel a very long distance to find nice ocean front sandy beaches for the family. I drive 2500 miles round trip from Montreal to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, so the extra weight did a number on my brain the weekend until we decided to go see our salesman and change model.
    By the way, you mentionned changing your Suburban to a 3/4 ton, is it a costly change? The way I understand you'd have to change the rear end to 4.10, add some leaf springs and upgrade your brakes to haul the extra weight, is it worth it or are you just better off changing your truck? Up here I can pick up a 3/4 ton 2003 with the 4.10 rear end with low miles for about 12-15k canadian.
    Sorry bout the long answer, I kinda like details.

  2. #12


    To answer your question about me converting up to 3/4 ton, I shall refer you here:
    In short, it's a fuction of availability of what I want. Adding air bags to the rear and upping the gear ratio would help you increase your weight rating.

    I definitely see why you decided on the camper descision you made. When I bought my camper, I looked at 2 different campers, one with 2 slides and one with 1 slide. In the end, I chose the single 14 foot slide because I much rathered the space in the living room over the bedroom. So, the bedroom's kinda cramped, but I primarily only sleep in there. Glad I took my grandparents advice on what I look for and buy in a camper!

    I hope you enjoy your camper and have many safe miles towing it!

    1991 Chevy Suburban 1/2 ton 2WD w/ chevy SBC 350-3/4 ton drivetrain upgrade w/4.10 gears 200K miles
    2005 Saturn ION-2 Stock 277K miles
    1982 Bronco, 1993 Bronco (sold), 1971 M35A2 Deuce and a Half

    There are 10 kinds of people, those who understand binary, and those who dont...

    Remember kids, the only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down- Adam Savage

  3. #13


    Wow!!! That's one hell of a project!!! I'm just starting out my DIYing, I'm having problems removing my spark plugs on my '04 Sub and I'm freaking out, and your reinventing your truck completely!!!
    I envy you, I wish I could do a fraction of the stuff your doing!!! Keep the photos coming, you give guys like me the drive that anything can be done!!! DIY is a rare thing up in my neck of the woods, but I love trying things and getting my hands dirty, just don't like to break things, but its part of the process sometimes I guess! I know the feeling of only being able to do things on the weekend and in between family time!!!
    BTW, I always found the 85-91 Suburbans the cream of the crop, I'll never forget seeing my dad come home for the first time with his 1986 Brown and tan two tone 2x4 6.2 liter diesel Suburban, June 3rd 1986, I was 8, my love affair with the suburban began!!!
    I can't wait for you to complete the transformation Christopher!

  4. #14


    Glad to see you decided on the smaller unit. A couple things you can do to help your half ton cope with hauling that kind of weight for that distance.....

    Synthetic fluids all around. I would run 75W-140 in the rear axle.

    Full synthetic ATF in the transmission. Find a shop that knows how to exchange all your old fluid for new, but doesn't use a flushing machine.

    Full synthetic ATF in the transfer case, unless it's an AutoTrac case. Then GM's own Auto-Trak II fluid, fresh.

    If your rig is 4 wd, might as well put synthetic in the front axle too. 75W-90 is fine, it's not seeing the constant heavy force the rear does.

    Make sure you have a large trans cooler in front of the radiator. The GMs usually do, but double check.

    Transmission temp gauge. This will give you an idea of what's going on in the trans.

    Otherwise, happy motoring.
    When you hear hoofbeats, look for horses not zebras.

  5. #15


    Thanks for the heads up on the best fluids all around 2C0R517, the thing I would have really liked to have is the transmission temp gauge, if I were to hook up my OBD2 code reader, I could read the tranny temp couldn't I? It would save me the time and money of installing the actual gauge. I always wondered why GM didn't install that little gauge off the get go in all their trucks.

    I looked up all my codes in the glove box, the way I read them tells me I'm equipped for pulling the maximum I can, here are the codes and their explanations, what do you think;

    FK2 Torsion bar spring left FK3 Torsion bar spring right G74 3.73 axle
    C5Z GVWR 7200lbs G80 Limited slip diff.+ posi JH2 Hydr.power brakes 7200lbs
    VR4 Weight dist. platform hitch KNP Trans. HD cooling system KH7 Air cleaner High capacity
    Z82 Trailer provision HD

    Thanks again.

  6. #16


    I doubt your code reader will read trans temps.

    Another thing to consider is upgrading your hitch. The factory hitches are pretty lame.

    Go to for the horror stories.

  7. #17
    murdog94's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
    Cloquet, Minnesota, United States
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    Also in the 02 the truck is already wired for Tranny temp you simply need a 3/4ton guage cluster with the tranny temp, and pull the old one out and plug in the new one.. The milage will however be off unless you can get the dealer to change the milage for you.


    1997 Chevy S-10 Blazer 4X4 with 330K miles and counting (Hunting rig).

    2009 Saturn Aura XE (wifes car)

    2011 F-150 Crew 4X4

    "Hold it to the floor till you see God.... Then Brake!!!!"

  8. #18


    thanks Murdog94, I had thought about it but wasn't sure. I may take a look around for one around the scrap yards in my area, cheap fix!

  9. #19


    I've got some relatively good news for you. On the way home from work I saw a 2003+ Yukon pulling a Laredo, bunk house with the single slide-out. I think it was the 29 footer, but I didn't exactly have a ruler while I was driving! Anyways, if a Yukon that's the equivalent to a Tahoe can pull the trailer, your Suburban should be able to pull it.

  10. #20


    Just because it CAN be done, doesn't mean it SHOULD be done. Especially for 2,500 miles.

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