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Old 10-15-2012, 09:30 PM   #1
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8.1 vortec: gas guzzling overkill or puurrrrfect for the job

I am looking at a 06 Chevy 2500HD with the 8.1 vortec to tow our 2009 25BHS. The truck will be used almost exclusively for towing and I am mostly considering due to tv being at a good price. Thoughts?
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:38 PM   #2
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Might be overkill but you will love it. I recently upgraded to an equally overkill TV for my TT. I now know people mean when they say "you never hear someone complaining about having to much truck".
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:41 PM   #3
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Although you could easily tow a 25BHS with less truck, that one will provide room for expansion to a larger trailer in the future, if the fancy were to strike.
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:37 PM   #4
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I am pulling a 17Z with an E-350 Econoline Chateau, 6.8 V-10 because of the price. The 8.1 vortec is a real stump puller. If the price is right and it isn't an everyday driver, I say go for it.

We only use our van for towing and other duties to the tune of 3,000 to 4,000 miles a year, so the fuel mileage isn't really an issue.
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Old 10-15-2012, 11:56 PM   #5
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You will probably find that the big block 8.1 will get the same mileage towing as the small block 6.0.
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Old 10-16-2012, 02:55 AM   #6
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My buddy has a 8.1 2500 suburban and he gets better gas mileage towing than I get with the 6.0L. On the flip side I am better off without the trailer than him. So if it is your everyday driver you will spend a little more. When we hauled to Florida and back I averaged 6.5 mpg and he got around 9mpg
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:19 AM   #7
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Thanks guys. I am a little nervous about heading into big block territory however 90% of the miles used will be towing so it just might be a viable option. How about maintenance and repairs, I imagine that will be a tad more too? And durability? I have read they tend to be oil burners.
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:46 AM   #8
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They will use a little oil. If the truck is in great condition, it will be a great RV tower. I had the 8.1 in a Yukon XL, with 4 sp and 4.10. It pulled wonderfully. Fuel economy was not great. Mine also changed with tires. Lost 1-2 mpg when going to mud and snow tires.
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:20 AM   #9
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IMO if the price is right and it's mechanically sound, go with it....., wish I had ordered the 8.1L when I purchased my '02' 2500HD new. My 6.0L gets the job done, but the 8.1L would be nice in the mountains with my heavy TV/TT combo.

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Old 10-16-2012, 09:50 AM   #10
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IIRC these engines are also fairly rare in the 2500`s, only a very small percentage of the ones built are equipped with the 8.1. The volume engine is the 6.0 then the Duramax with the 8.1 in a very distant third. So if you want one, better grab it. They may be hard to find.
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