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Who is towing with a Chevrolet 2500HD Duramax?

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Looking for advice on towing with the 2500HD Duramax.  I think this is a vehicle that I am thinking seriously about buying. Your thoughts will be appreciated. I take delivery in December. I will be traveling a lot out west. Thanks in advance!


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I think that ScubaRX uses one of those to tow his (and Tali's) overloaded Elite II.  You might want to PM him.

 

Bill


2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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We are and love it. We moved up from a Tundra to a 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax SLT because we needed more payload capacity. We have had lots of trucks over the years and so far I like this one better than all the others. It makes towing effortless. The only disadvantages I can think of is that its a little harder to park in tight parking lots and not as smooth when not towing as the Tundra or any 1500 pickup is going to be because its a HD truck. The advantages far out way the disadvantages like exhaust braking, power, payload capacity, interior comfort, braking, towing ride, stability. It is great in the mountains and exhaust breaking makes the downhills so much easier.

 

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Tom & Cheryl 

LE II #305

2018 GMC 2500HD SLT Duramax

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I have been towing with the Duramax since 2016 and love the towing ability with the engine braking as well, we have towed our Ollie to Alaska over 17,000 miles on that trip alone and across the US from florida more than several times and just back from Yellowstone last week. I usually travel between 65 and 72 most of the time and never an issue going up or down a Mountain. I just put new E rated Michelin's on a couple weeks ago at 50,000 miles and the rotor's show very little wear and doing great so I can't say anything but good so far. Yes Steve is driving the 2500 diesel now as well as another friend of our ands their Ollie Lee and Terri. Just be sure to always get the 6.5 ft bed and love the 4 door room. Thanks Gary

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Gary & Jona

2016 Silverado 2500 Diesel

Legacy Elite II Hull 81 

 

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Thanks so much. As always, this forum and the advice and information given always exceeds my expectations. Thanks!


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We purchased a 2018 GMC SLT 4x4 ,Duramax, double cab, 6.5 bed, specifically to tow our Legacy Elite II. Having spent a lot of time running around the west, looking for snow melt rivers and creeks to paddle, I understand the need for a tow vehicle that can handle elevation - up and down- with decent payload and tow capacities.

 

So far I am extremely satisfied with the vehicle. It handles the EII as if it was not  there, but the real value is how comfortable the there and back trip has become. Although its early, I am getting about 15mpg towing, and upwards of 20 unloaded. I debated for a long time, but my 1/2 ton older GMC just didn't have the motor for the hills, let alone mountain passes.

 

From my view, this truck is the perfect choice in this case. The latest version of Duramax is all new beginning in 2017 models, it puts out the ponies and torque to handle anything I'll need, now and later. I've added a Leer camper top, front and rear mud flaps, weather tech mats front and rear, and a HD rubber bed mat.

 

And, with the 2019's arriving, one can get a decent deal on a 2018, still $$$$$, but better deal than 3 months back.

 

Good luck, let me know if you need more info.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 

"Die young - As late as possible"

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So, with some nervousness, I purchased a LTZ 2500HD Duramax  2018 for $58,035 this afternoon. I was very pleasantly surprised on the 50 mile drive home getting 23.5 mpg.  Still undecided about extended warranty. I have always been advised that it is a waste of money. I have until tomorrow morning to decide. I have never thought about this type of warranted. The engine and transmission comes with a 100,000 mile as it is. Price of warranty is $2450. Also, a positive is the truck fits in the garage. I was worried a bit about the garage door opener being a tad low.

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Good for you, I did not purchase the ext warranty. As for the fuel mileage, beware of what the computer tells you. I figure mine at fuel ups, it is the absolute best way to get it correct. The computer has several settings, all of which use different data points. Also, when engine regen happens, fuel mileage goes south. Have fun.


Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 

"Die young - As late as possible"

ALAZARCACOFLIDMTNVNMOKORTNTXUTWAWYd56201524964bac5483378b34b491562080842sm.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for reply.  Hopefully, the fuel mileage does not go real deep down. By the way, I saw diesel only a penny (.01) higher at a truck stop today. It was $2.80. Really surprised me.

 

 


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First trip since shoulder surgery, and new Truck set up, headed to Fall Creek Falls State Park, TN.  Not a lot of miles on the rig, but for the 200 miles or so of this trip, fuel mileage was around 15mpg towing, up and down some hills, lot of country back roads, so far very happy.  Pulling the rig is effortless, and comfortable. I have used the Anderson hitch on three legs of four, and I'm not sure on this truck, it makes any real difference. On return leg, without it, I could tell a slight difference, a little less solid feel, but that's it. I purchased it because I originally thought I was going to use my older 1/2 ton GMC.  I don't feel the  need it now. It is a pain to use at times, I may use it on long hauls, but not the shorter close by drives.

 

Only real issue with the Ollie has been with the Truma water heater  -- seems it likes to set a code - resets with power cycle on/off. Will need to figure this out.

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Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 

"Die young - As late as possible"

ALAZARCACOFLIDMTNVNMOKORTNTXUTWAWYd56201524964bac5483378b34b491562080842sm.jpg

 

 

 

 

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About the only thing I have not liked about my 2500HD Duramax is the BIG exhaust pipe sticking out the back.  I think the Ford PowerStroke side exhaust is much better looking.  I want to add a full width rock guard across the back of the truck.  When looking at the available rock guards I came across the RockStar.  The RockStar guards have a metal heat shield for the GM Duramax exhaust.

 

 

 

Heat-Shield.jpg

 

Credit: https://www.agricover.com/rockstar/#gallery

 

I did't like the idea of a "bandaid" solution so looked around for an exhaust that would exit to the side of the truck.  The BanksPower Monster Exhaust fit the bill.   Banks as well as some of the "reviews" on the Banks site claim the heat from the Duramax regen cycle can discolor or even melt the fiberglass on some trailers.  Has anyone had problems with this or has anyone taken temperature measurements on the trailer during a regen cycle?

 

https://www.bankspower.com/i-2653-48947-monster-exhaust-system-4-inch-single-exit-chrome-tip-with-coolcuff-2017-19-chevy-6-6l-l5p-from-banks-power.html#!submodel%3D6.6L%20DIESEL%7C%7Cmodel%3DSIERRA%202500%20HD%7C%7Cmake%3DGMC%7C%7Cyear%3D2018

 

I have not had any problems yet.  I intend to install the Banks Exhaust before my next trip but I'm open to other ideas for exhaust pipes.

 

Thanks,

 

- Randy

 

 

 

 

 

 


2018 LE2 STD #365


2018 GMC 2500HD SLT Duramax 4x4

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Randy

 

Post pictures if you install the banks exhaust.

 

 


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Tom & Cheryl 

LE II #305

2018 GMC 2500HD SLT Duramax

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The RockStar guard looks very cool but it has a couple of serious design flaws IMHO. Are you committed to buying them? I researched a bunch of options and settled on Rock Tamers as the most effective design, before I graduated to the Stone Stomper.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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I had a 2017 Tundra 5.7L. We pulled our LEII from VA to Quartzsite once and Southwest Texas once. All of those trips were not easy with the Tundra and a few times down right frightening. I traded for a 2019 Chevy 2500 HD with the new design Duramax. I’ve had a Diesel truck before (for 20 years) but this one has some real power! My old one had 400 ft/lbs of torque on a good day. The Chevy has 910! That’s just off of idle at around 1800 rpm to around 2200 rpm or so. Right in the sweet spot for cruising on the highway. We’ve pulled our 6,500 lb. LEII to Quartzsite once, meandering home through Southwest Texas, and around the Southeast. We have about 10,000 miles on the truck so far. I use an app called Fuelly that keeps track of mileage and various other fuel related costs. In closely duplicating routes the fuel only cost per mile between the Tundra and the Duramax are just literally a penny or so even keeping in mind that Diesel fuel is more expensive. If you figure in the DEF required every 3,000 miles or so the cost per mile is a little more for the Chevy but not significant enough to worry about. For me the towing experience is much more comfortable (read safer feeling). Power is not a concern and I can descend a mountain without hardly touching the brakes. Less stress on the truck will equal a longer lasting truck. So far I really love the truck.


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We were pulling our Elite II Hull #050 (7200 lbs) with a 2014 GMC Sierra 6.2L with the max tow package. Fuel mileage was never better than 12mpg. We travel all over the country and at less than 40K miles, we started to get overheating in the mountains. We traded for a 2017 Silverado Duramax and there is no comparison. On long trips we’ll average nearly 14 mpg. If you are getting an Elite II, there’s no better vehicle to two with. You will not be disappointed.


Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

      ALAKAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMA       ABBCMBNSYTsm.jpg

 

 

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The RockStar guard looks very cool but it has a couple of serious design flaws IMHO. Are you committed to buying them? I researched a bunch of options and settled on Rock Tamers as the most effective design, before I graduated to the Stone Stomper.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

JD,

 

I am not committed to getting the RockStar over another brand.   The "heat shield" on the RockStar got my attention and sent me down the path of looking at alternatives for a side discharge on the exhaust.  I love everything about the truck except that darn exhaust pipe.

 

I value your input on the design flaws you saw in the RockStar and what swayed you to purchase the Rock Tamers.

 

With the distance the Ollie sits behind the exhaust discharge I doubt there is a problem with damaging the trailer but figured best to throw it out to the forum to see if anyone has noticed any ill effects of the exhaust impinging on the trailer.

 

Thanks,

 

Randy

 

 

 

 

 

 


2018 LE2 STD #365


2018 GMC 2500HD SLT Duramax 4x4

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Randy

 

Post pictures if you install the banks exhaust.

 

 

 

Tom,

 

Sure thing.  I have sent some questions into Banks Power to better understand the differences (power increases, fuel economy, exhaust discharge temperatures and exit flow field) of the 4 inch versus 5 inch Monster Exhausts.  I plan to order one of those unless a better recommendation comes up.  Then I've just got to get the courage up to cut through my tailpipe!

 

- Randy


2018 LE2 STD #365


2018 GMC 2500HD SLT Duramax 4x4

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KountryKamper, that sure is a good looking truck!!!  Color, topper, the whole package.  Going to sell my 2015 Tundra Limited and get one of those trucks.  The desire is simply too great.

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KWR


2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II, Hull#444


2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD Crew Cab, 4WD, Denali, Duramax 6.6L Turbo Diesel V8 Engine with Allison 6-speed transmission

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KountryKamper, that sure is a good looking truck!!! Color, topper, the whole package. Going to sell my 2015 Tundra Limited and get one of those trucks. The desire is simply too great.

 

 

KWR,

 

You won't regret it.  I initially towed the Ollie with a Tundra 5.7.  The 2500HD Duramax is a beast and tows SO much better than the Tundra.  It's not just the huge power increase but better braking and much better in the mountains going both up and down switch backs.  No more tail wagging the dog,  the dog's in charge now!

 

- Randy


2018 LE2 STD #365


2018 GMC 2500HD SLT Duramax 4x4

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This is my third Duramax.   This one is 2017 High country  comfort, plenty of Hp, and torque. For a stock unit  My 2016 towed our 30’ airstream  25.000 miles around the country avg. 12-15 mpg  never had the rpms over 3000 on western mountains. The Ollie is going to be amazing to tow. I’m sure the Duramax owners already towing the Ollie can attest to this. I’m a big fan of upgrades. Lifts. Big tires wheels,  exhaust  performance tuners etc. i had them all. For high mileage towing Stock is the better choice. For me anyway. Less headaches if there is a breakdown,  also photo of 2016 with airstream  Don’t know why the photo went side ways.

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I am not committed to getting the RockStar over another brand. The “heat shield” on the RockStar got my attention and sent me down the path of looking at alternatives for a side discharge on the exhaust. I love everything about the truck except that darn exhaust pipe.

I value your input on the design flaws you saw in the RockStar and what swayed you to purchase the Rock Tamers.

Hey Randy. As I said, they look really cool but IMHO the engineering leaves a lot to be desired. Watch this RockStar video first....

Now, notice how they keep talking about how the flaps won't sail? They seem to think that is a good idea. Their rubber panels go almost all the way to the ground. All the rocks hit the vertical front face and ricochet straight back at the underside of the truck. That causes lots of noise and it chips away at your rocker panels and suspension, and if stones can escape the gap between the flaps and the bumper the stones will end up bonking the tailgate. If you are on gravel and you hit a dip, the flap will drag and throw up a huge roostertail of stones, straight back.

The Rock Tamers are adjustable, you can set the angle. You WANT them to sail, they should run at a 30 degree or greater angle at higher speeds so that stones shooting off the TV tires hit the rubber, get their energy depleted and bounce down onto the road. NOT directly back at the truck. The US instructions do not mention this, but the Australian supplemental instructions definitely do. ....  http://www.clearviewmirrors.com.au/pdf/RT_MANUAL.pdf

The RS bracket is very vulnerable. If you should jackknife you will smash it between bumper and trailer frame. I bet it is pricey and bulky to ship.The RT is also vulnerable but swapping a new tubular arm in would be much easier and you could carry a spare easily.

If you want to remove the RS in the middle of your trip you have to deal with a huge assembly including the weight of the ball and mount.... Where do put it? With the RT you loosen the clamp bolts, slide out the flaps and arms, and stick them in a big trash bag in the bed of your truck. They take up minimal space in your garage too.

The RS is at an advantage in terms of stability, the top lip rests on the bumper in a couple of places. Whether that will cause damage to the bumper long term, I dunno. The RT does not touch the bumper. It will move with the ball mount. A $20 slopper stopper will stop any motion.

If rocks slipping past the gap onto the rear of the TV is a problem with the RT you can get a mesh insert that covers the gap. I made my own with narrow strips of scrap rubber.

RS is way more costly than the RT.

It is hard to find anything but five star reviews for the RS, which is suspicious to me; there is a video by a pro bass fisherman extolling their virtues, but his truck and boat have huge RockStar decals and he is on their payroll. So he is hardly unbiased... If I could read some more reviews for the RS I would have a better feel for how they do in the real world.

Anyway, I used my Rock Tamers for a year on my Ram 3500, and then did without any extra flaps on my Land Cruiser because they don't fit that truck very well (the receiver is too high). I thought they were OK but far from ideal. The Stone Stomper is head and shoulders above any fixed rubber flaps in terms of protecting the trailer and the back of the truck. .... 

The only real negative with the SS besides the fact that the Ollie needs custom support brackets under the frame and in the center to support the fabric, is that all the chaos that is channelled underneath the fabric gets blasted back at the frame and suspension. Soooo there needs to be additional flaps to protect those components, unless you don't mind the hidden damage. The hull and A frame of the Ollie are completely protected.

BTW, the tire design you choose has an enormous effect on how much stuff is thrown up. A tight tread all-season or all-terrain tread is much more likely to throw large amount of the small diameter stones found on graded gravel roads. I notice a significant difference between my Nokian snow tires and the Nitto Ridge Grapplers I run in summer.

I hope this helps. I do ramble on....

John Davies

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Still undecided about extended warranty. I have always been advised that it is a waste of money. I have until tomorrow morning to decide. I have never thought about this type of warranted. The engine and transmission comes with a 100,000 mile as it is. Price of warranty is $2450.

 

So much depends on the warranty coverage, and how long you keep your trucks. We bought a lifetime warranty with the Ram. It has paid for itself several times over in 11 years. It covers pretty much everything but tires, batteries, wipers and belts, with a minimal deductible charge for each repair visit.

 

Most of the time, we have skipped extended warranties, but very glad we bought this one.

 

 


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Like Sherry, I “never” buy extended warranties. But I did for our Duramax. The cost of owning a diesel is higher than that of a gas burner and a future major repair would be financially hard. It’s just an insurance policy.

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Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

      ALAKAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMA       ABBCMBNSYTsm.jpg

 

 

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JD,

 

Thanks for all of the information and the links.  I certainly appreciate you taking the time to put your thoughts down on the forum.  You provided a lot of areas for me to consider as I make a selection.

 

 

 

-Randy

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2018 LE2 STD #365


2018 GMC 2500HD SLT Duramax 4x4

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