best road-tripping setup

Discussion in 'Chevy Suburban Forum (GMC Yukon XL)' started by roadtripster, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I'm a bit of a hypermiler also- hence the Prius which I rarely get to drive.
    I spend time on clean mpg-a good site.
    The GM trucks do mild hypermiling very well because when you lift off the gas THERE IS ZERO engine braking at city speeds.
    When I lift at 35 mph it will gilde in D just as if it is in N, and won't downshift until maybe 23 mph.
    It makes it great for city hypermiling. A 35 to 28 mph cycle will be about 1/4 mile and 30 seconds or so.
    One or two cycles is the usual distance between stop lights/signs.
    I never do motor off glides- not with a 217,000 13 year old vehicle. Besides it strikes me as a bit DANGEROUS.
    I was never a huge fan of hitch baskets-it makes the rear doors hatch trickier to get to, but the side doors are so big and access so good- especially with second row gone- that we live with it.
    On the pilot I actually suspended a home made basket from a 4 bike swing out bike rack just so we coyuld open the back hatch relatively easily.
    It took a bit of doing to suspend the basket(it actually sat on the back bumper/ledge) but it worked ok.
    On the plus side with a plywood shelf you will have soooooo much storage space you might not really need a hitch basket.
    In any case carrying stuff on the roof is absolute poison for FE-15.9mpg vs 22 mpg on that Pilot- it would have been the same with the Suburban.

    At reasonable speeds the Suburbans do pretty well.
    I think there is just one transmission available-the 6 speed auto- but I think there are several "rear ends" available-maybe 3.07- to 4.11 with the 3.78 being the most popular.I could be wrong about the availability of the rear ends- maybe GM has narrowed the choices now that they have the 6 speed AT- LOTTA GEARS MEANS YOU DON'T REALLY NEED SO MANY DIFFERENT REAR ENDS.

    PS The annoying caps aren't for emphasis- my crummy keyboard doesn't have a caps locked LED- duh!!
  2. Boonduff

    Boonduff Rockstar 4 Years 100 Posts

    All 10th Gen. [2000-2006] 4WD Suburbans came with a hi-low 2 speed Auto-Trac transfercase. The only transmission was the 4 speed 4l60-65e. I think if you are going to put on 33 inch tires I'd go for 3.73 gears. Higher gears [3.07 or 3.42] with the bigger tires will throw the engine out of its powerband, it will work harder to push that heavy truck, probably resulting in lower fuel mileage. You will really appreciate the lower gearing on the highway in hilly or mountainous areas.
  3. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Ahh- so 10th generation is 2000-2006- I thought that was the current ones.

    Yeah, I would prefer the 10th since apparently you can't fold the 2nd row flat on the 2007 on models- not sure why GM did that?
    Easier to carry material and more pleasant to sleep on a flat surface.
    Yeah no 6 speed on the older models.They do get pretty good mpg-2004- 2006 2wd 5.3 are rated 14/18 4x4 probably 1 mpg down.
    my 1998 5.7 was rated 12/17- so a 4x4 should do at least as well as my 2wd 1998 which gets 20-21 hy at 65 mph.
    By 2004 on they probably have fewer problems with that funny piston slap like noise that the early 5.3's had/have.
    Yeah,I would love to have a 2004-when I become more flush I'll get a 2004.
  4. ahm1127

    ahm1127 Rockstar 100 Posts

    This sounds like a great idea, wish I could do it. I would just look for a clean truck with average mileage, they are reliable trucks. Just check to see if all recalls have been done including the new resistors for the heat/A/C fan.
    Remove anything your not gonna use inside of truck to save wait & create storage & bedding. I think using the second row for storage, clothes on one side & food on the other with walk way through middle. Bed in back with storage below. I would prefer barn doors, just need small piece of plywood to create roof.
    I would get E rated (better gas, little harder ride) tires in a 265/75-16, should be fine for any factory gearing, a selectable rear locker would be wise investment & compressor would come in handy! Check out what others think of tires before you make choice, I like Firestone.
    A truck with less options (LS), less things to go bad. Leave roof rack, may come in handy.
    There is plenty of room to add battery under hood, purchase a battery selector from a boat supply place. Solar panel on roof is good idea for other battery. Might be good to add one in back, can set up to charge off of trailer wiring when needed & solar. Switch interior lights to LED & LED if you add any.
    I would add remote oil fiter with 2 filters, Amsoil for longevity in everything. I would add tranny cooler and a remote filter for tranny.
  5. roadtripster

    roadtripster New Member

    Thanks a lot ahm1127,

    Good tip about checking if the recalls are taken care of.
    I take all the seating other than the driver seat and the passenger seat out entirely. I might even take the seat belts out.
    I had an 80 series land cruiser for some years and I totally appreciated the fold down, lift up hatch situation.
    Yes on the e-rated tires.
    Any suggestions on where to find and adequate locker for the rear?
    LS is a good tip. The less stuff you have, the less you have to take care of stuff.
    Good that there is plenty of room for the battery under the hood. Could I even go with 2 house batteries then?
    I love solar power but I might not go with it for this setup for 2 reasons..: 1st, I think the initial cost is relatively high and 2nd it's not that stealthy. I'd prefer to go with a bigger alternator. Any suggestions on adequate alternators here?
    A big yes to LED's as well. They are so bright while using so little energy.
    By remote oil filter you mean a bypass filter?
    Any tips for the tranny cooler?
    Does anyone know where i might find some sort of a floor plan (for the 10th gen that is)?

    Thanks again everybody,
  6. Boonduff

    Boonduff Rockstar 4 Years 100 Posts

    I recommend looking for a Suburban with the factory towing package which will have a transmission cooler. It'll be more then enough as long as you don't do any heavy towing. For a locker I say go for a selectable locker over the automatics which can cause handling problems on slick roads. There are several selectable lockers on the market. The ARB Air locker is very good but complex because it requires an air compreesor, solenoids, and air lines which means more things to go wrong. The Eaton E-locker is electric with only two wires running to the diff. When its on its locked and when off its open. My choice would be the Auburn ECTED which is like the E-locker but when off it's a limited slip and locks when on.
  7. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I must have mentioned that once you remove the middle row-we removed 3rd row and the single seat of the middle-
    You don't need to build a full length sleeping platform-you just have to span the "Hole" where the middle row and your feet were.
    I just use plywood with some 2x2 feet on the front end.The rear you can support on the lip of the back deck-where the little drop dow flap on the back of the middle row sits- it is the flap you put down when you fold up the second row.
    There is a fair amount of strorage room under the plywood-where feet normally are.
    When you remove the second row you get another 10" of useful length(98" vs 108")-and the wheel wells are about 50" wide-so plenty of width/length-probably same on 2000-2006 as on 98.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011
  8. ahm1127

    ahm1127 Rockstar 100 Posts

    I hope this helps!

  9. wildmans92

    wildmans92 Member

    Air lockers are nices, but if your looking to save weight/ and electrical load, id go with a detroit true-trac, ignore your parts guy that tell you it wont fit, because it does with special bearings, i put one in and love it. The true trac is a worm gear set up , no clutches to burn up or wwheel hop when on hot dry pavement. Basically it works like a normal open diff when both heel have equal traction but when you lose traction on one wheel it sends full power to the wheel with traction, works awesome. I live in iowa and works awesome in the winter. Air lockers are nice but dont always work at -25. True trac works at any temp. and no extra compressor to find room for. Thats just my opinion.
  10. roadtripster

    roadtripster New Member

    thanks wildmans

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