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Old 08-29-2015, 12:28 AM   #1
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HD Trucks for Large Family?

I want a big truck. We currently have a Ford Expedition and things are tight both I roominess and in payload. We have 4 kids and I have never seen a truck that would fit all of us plus 2 dogs.

Would prefer to not be piled on top of each other. Having kids all sit like sardines in back and one in the middle of driver and passenger doesn't sound pleasant.

What are our options for the day we'd like to upgrade from our half ton? Or, if we had to stick with a half ton which ones have most passenger seating and payload?
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Old 08-29-2015, 03:53 AM   #2
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Looking at a suburban with third row, or more likely a one ton Transit van are my guess for a family of 6 with big furries.

Trailer life just did an article on the transit. Looks like a nice truck. I think you can. Get a 3/4 ton "wagon" style, but the 1 ton has duals, but no seating. Unless ford will customize it from the factory?
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Old 08-29-2015, 06:52 AM   #3
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GM still makes a 3/4 Suburban. That might be your best bet.
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Old 08-29-2015, 08:32 AM   #4
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For shorter trips, <3 hour, we squeeze in just like you describe with dogs crated in the back. Most of our trips are shorter.

For a long trip, we take two cars. It actually is pretty nice to have two cars when we get to our destination. If I go fishing with a kid or two, the second car means my wife isn't stranded should she want to run out any where. For us this arrangement is rare and usually on the summertime week+ vacations.

Only other option I could come up was a van -- I have no interest in owning a van or any sort so we went with two cars. Problem with 2500 suburban is with six occupants and two dogs you run out of payload.
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Old 08-29-2015, 09:50 AM   #5
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My good friend has a Chevrolet 3500 4X4 van that seats 15 normally. He takes out the front row seat and still has room for his 4 kids and two dogs, plus pay load. He has gone wood cutting with me and takes out all the seats and easily fits a cord of wood inside.
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Old 08-29-2015, 10:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
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GM still makes a 3/4 Suburban. That might be your best bet.
GM is indeed producing the 2500 Suburban again, but unless something has changed it is a fleet only vehicle. May be a little tough to get one for a while unless it's used.

Other than a 2500/3500 van, the 2500 'Burb is probably the only option.

If you go the van route, go with a 3500/350 for the extra payload with 4 growing kids!
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Old 08-29-2015, 11:59 AM   #7
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On the truck side the largest cab you can get is a Ram Mega cab that gives you some space for 2 dogs to lay down should that be an option. If there are real big (over 100#'s) then I would also suggest the 2500 series Suburban if you can find one.

Truck crew cabs I would rank like this. Ram Mega, Ford, Ram, Chevy in terms of overall sq ft.
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Old 08-29-2015, 12:13 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by clubhouse View Post
For shorter trips, <3 hour, we squeeze in just like you describe with dogs crated in the back. Most of our trips are shorter.

For a long trip, we take two cars. It actually is pretty nice to have two cars when we get to our destination. If I go fishing with a kid or two, the second car means my wife isn't stranded should she want to run out any where. For us this arrangement is rare and usually on the summertime week+ vacations.

Only other option I could come up was a van -- I have no interest in owning a van or any sort so we went with two cars. Problem with 2500 suburban is with six occupants and two dogs you run out of payload.
for 11 years, I put my wife, 5 kids, and a dog in a 3/4 ton suburban. I had a car-top carrier for those trips without the trailer. The suburban wore out, the kids started having their own lives, so I "downsized' to a 3/4 cclb truck. for the past couple of years, even with only 3 kids at home, we have ended up taking two cars camping due to work schedules.

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Old 08-29-2015, 03:15 PM   #9
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Thanks for the suggestions! I just looked up the Chevy Suburban. Wow, the payload is something like 2900#? That solves that problem. Although the towing capacity is around 9600# I think it is not that much more than my Expedition but still plenty. Found a couple used ones not too far away. Now just to convince my husband to think about it. Maybe if we sell the Expedition it won't be such a financial hit. How do these look? 2004 Chevrolet Suburban 2500 LS in Corona, CA | Used Cars for Sale on EasyAutoSales.com
Used 2008 Chevrolet Suburban SUV in Fontana, CA near 92335 | 3GNGC26K08G129784 | Auto.com
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Old 08-29-2015, 04:15 PM   #10
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If you get a 4spd trans, s, TRY to find a 8.1L 'Burb unless the 6.0/ 4psd has a 4.10 rear end. The 6.0 with the 6spd trans is a great combo, but I would still suggest a set of 4.10 gears to make pulling a little easier.

Also, on the newer 'Burb ('07-?) they are limited on trailer tw. Find APT over on RV.Net and talk to him about his 'Burb and the limitations. It is due to the hitch being integrated into the bumper as a "crumple zone".

Not sure what motor the '04 has, looks clean though. Onyl other thing to watch on the GMT 800 body (2k-06) is the factory hitch is a round tube model, that there have been some issues with. Between "winding up" (twisting) when used with a wd hitch, to the receiver box having failures. If you buy thi gen 'Burb, replace the hitch with a new class 4 or 5.
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