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Florida -> Oklahoma And Back


Charter Member
Full Member
Apr 3, 2002
Orlando Florida
just got back from vacation. 2600 miles round trip. The AV drove like a dream on the way up there.

Couple of observations on the trip back:

1. Had the bed filled with furniture and crap, roof rack loaded, and had a utility trailer in tow. Ride was NOTICABILY rougher! I kept wondering how the Z71 could ride so soft on the trip up. Well loaded I can tell you it is rough as s__t! :C:

2. Can't use cruise control on hilly country with load above. The transmission shifted at EVERY little hill on the interstate at 75MPH. Took AV off cruise and drove it myself ... with a little antisipation I was able to keep the AV from down shifting and reach peaks with only the torque converter unlocking. But even then the torque converter seemed to work over time.

VERY disappointed by the tranny performance. :7:

3. Avg Gas milage 18-19 on trip up. :D

4. Drove trough the most hellasious rain storm in LA I-49. MAJOR down pour and wind gusts!! At one point the streering wheel was turned 1/4 to the right to keep the truck straight. My wife couldn't believe it!

And guess what ... no leaks!!! :love:

Overall? Kinda upset about the tranny thing. And the Z71 ride wouldn't have been so bad if it hadn't kept waking up my 20month old! Thank God for DVDs!!!!

Wish I had gotten the 4:10 and/or 8.1
Sorry to hear about the fact your dissapointed with the tranny....maybe some tranny mods could fix it right up and get you on the road to happiness..... :B:
hey teking....just out of curiosity...were you using the two/haul mode switch on the way back or did you try just putting the truck in 3rd instead of using the overdrive? Perhaps one of those approaches would have eliminated a lot of the tranny kick-downs on the way back when you were loaded down? ???
Thanks for feedback on towing. We will be leaving in January from FL with our 2500/3.73 towing a 30 ft travel trailer, headed for CA.
wfbarto said:
hey teking....just out of curiosity...were you using the two/haul mode switch on the way back or did you try just putting the truck in 3rd instead of using the overdrive? ?

Yep tried the TOW/HAUL mode. Made no diff on the highway. Did change the shift points from a start, but at highway speed did nothing. Didn't try 3rd. maybe next time. Found that if i got a slight run at the hills the truck didn't have to downshift. I think the problem is that the cruise waits to long before it realizes it is going up a hill when towing.

Honestly - I now believe that the engine is too small for this truck. It is ok for driving around ... but if you are going to haul ANYTHING you will need the 8.1 and or 4:10. This truck is just too darn heavy for the engine.
You got it. ?The 2500 with the 8.1 AND the 4.10 rear end is a whole different truck.

Wonderful power under any load or grade and brakes that are twice that of the 1500. ?The 10-ply tires and the rear axle are also made to haul. ?Interestingly enough, the fuel economy is decent.

When we were searching for our new rig, we got down to the 2500 Suburban or the 2500 Avalanche. ?Surprisingly, the Avalanche drove better and rode better. ?In my opinion, the 2500 Avalanche also gave a superior ride to the 1500, loaded and unloaded. ?

Our testing drove the sales creeps crazy (especially when I towed both of our trailers with THEIR new rigs). ?We finally bought from the guys who protested the least about our trying the trucks out under different load conditions. ?

Hey, when you are spending 40K to 48K (Avalanche and Suburban) the customer IS RIGHT. ?

After all of the testing, we settled on a fully-loaded 2500 Avalanche. ?I could never ask for more than my 2500 AV gives me.