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Old     (Salister)      Join Date: Nov 2013       08-09-2014, 11:55 PM Reply   
I found a pretty sweet 2007 fully loaded, clean Avalanche, 5.3 flex fuel 320hp, 340lbs tq, 115kmiles for like $16k. Says it can haul up to 8k lbs. I am at a loss right now cause I have always had a luxury car that is comfy, monte carlo, buick regal, olds aurora, But i about about to get rid of my truck and my car and get one good vehical. Any truck in my price range is either bare bones, or high miles, I need an extended cab at least, but I need to be able to tow, and I love my luxury cars.

Does anyone know of any issues with these trucks. It has the flex fuel and it cuts off 4 cylinders on the highway when babying it. I just don't know anything about these but its growing on me and right in my price range. Any info good or bad would be appreciated... I am looking at everything lately and don't know where to start.
Old     (nitrousbird)      Join Date: Sep 2008       08-10-2014, 2:04 AM Reply   
I've had my '02 for about 9 years and love it. Has been fairly reliable and not lived an easy life. 5.3 isn't the best towing motor but does well enough to tow our VLX through the mountains without dying on us.
Old     (tyler97217)      Join Date: Aug 2004       08-10-2014, 7:06 AM Reply   
I towed my Supra SC with an Avalanche with the same set up. It was an 09. It did fine. As others have said and others will say the 5.3L does not have a ton of power, but it did just fine for my weekend towing needs. It is built off the Suburban 1500 chasis, so it has the wheelbase to handle it. Mine was an LTZ and had the air leveling rear end and did not squat at all. I think the tranny will probably get a little weak at 115K miles, so have it looked at real good.... Some of my buddies laughed at it and it became known as the Gavalanche, but it is and was a pretty damn sweet rig for all around use.
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Old     (LYNRDSKYNRD)      Join Date: Sep 2012       08-10-2014, 10:39 AM Reply   
I've had an 07 for the last few years, LTZ. It has been my favorite vehicle that I have ever owned. I cant comment on the 5.3 towing mine is a 6.0 with 4.10 gears so it tows great.
Old     (Bakes)      Join Date: Mar 2010       08-10-2014, 11:46 AM Reply   
Ok for Lousiana.....not so much for Colorado
Old     (Jmorlan)      Join Date: May 2013       08-10-2014, 11:57 AM Reply   
She will tow it. But she won't like it.
Old     (codykauz)      Join Date: Jul 2007       08-11-2014, 12:43 AM Reply   
I pulled my Moomba Mobius XLV with an '03 Avalanche for a few years and it did great. It was loaded up and an all-around nice vehicle. I upgraded to an '07 Escalade EXT and did notice a difference in the 6.2L with a 6-speed transmission. Both trucks were very nice, rode excellent, and towed a large boat well. I towed my boat with the Avalanche on an 8.5 roadtrip over 2 days and it did great. Never got hot, never had any transmission smells or slips and brakes always felt firm. I would not hesitate to buy another. Especially when the 5.3 is paired with the 6-speed. My '03 had a 4-speed and I still have no complaints.
Old     (LKASurfing)      Join Date: Nov 2011       08-11-2014, 5:31 AM Reply   
I am on my second Avalanche. The most recent I bought new in 08 has a 6.0 litre with 4:10 gears! Pulls anything with ease. But the load leaving system is great in all of them.
Old     (burban89)      Join Date: Nov 2006       08-11-2014, 6:12 AM Reply   
I tow with my 03 and the only complaint is the gas mileage. Luckily I don't have to tow that far to my normal ramp. I do camp with it and tow distances as well. I would get one again if I had to.
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       08-11-2014, 6:33 AM Reply   
I have a 2007 Avalanche LTZ. It's great for what you describe, rides like a car, looks nice (I get lots of compliments), and does a decent job of towing the boat. The LTZ has autoride rear suspension that starts to need some work around 100k +/- depending on how it was used for hauling. I purchased mine in 2011 with 75k miles, it now has 140k. Issues I have had, burns oil (know issue related to the cylinder deactivation system), rear shocks needed replacement expensive but worth it, A/C system sometimes sticks on defrost. A couple thing too but nothing that I would not consider normal wear and tear for a vehicle with this kind of mileage. I was not happy with the power so I added a supercharger on mine, now it's great. Its a 5.3L with 3.73 gears
Old     (FastR3DN3K)      Join Date: Jun 2013 Location: Midlothian TX       08-11-2014, 8:09 AM Reply   
What is your price range? You failed to mention that in your post, but if you're in the $20k area, I think there are quite a few better options. If you're looking for something to tow with, I'd forget about luxury and the market will really open up for you. You can get by with manual cloth seats and no touch screen radio lol. I think if you're going to look at vehicle with 100k+ miles on them you really need to look into a diesel since that is low mileage for them. You can find plenty of them out there in the 100-150k mileage (just getting broke in really good) range for $20k. I'd avoid any gas burner that has 100k+ on it if you're going to do a good bit of towing with it, especially for longer distances.

Also, the 5.3 is a gutless piece of junk, and even with the cylinder deactivation system, best you'll get is about 20 mpg tops unloaded. That number will quickly drop into the very low teens when you put any kind of weight on it. I had an 05 Z-71 with the 5.3 and hated pulling with it, and that was well before I ever got my heavier RZ4. If you are going to go with a GM product, get the 6.0 gas motor or the 6.6 Duramax. If you're not brand biased, the Nissan Titan is a good choice that can be found cheap and tows well. Just make sure the headers aren't cracked since it's a well-known problem with them and results in a ton of lost power and fuel mileage. You can also get a 5.9 Cummins or Hemi Dodge easily in that price range and they tow really well too. The dealer I traded my 08 Dodge to ended up putting it on their lot for $19k. It was a quad cab Big Horn edition with less than 50k miles on it. You should have no trouble finding something that meets your needs in your price range, just lower your standards on "luxury" a bit and you'll have better luck.
Old     (Salister)      Join Date: Nov 2013       08-11-2014, 9:33 AM Reply   
I would like to stay around 18k as that is really the max I can finance, i guess If i need to I can go up to around 21 absolute highest. I only tow maybe once a a month, so its not alot, my boat is around 3k, plus 1k or so trailer, so Its about 4500 maybe loaded up. my dodge gets maybe 15, maybe, not towing... my olds has a 4.0 v8 that gets 19.5 mpg average. so I am used to the fuel milege. They also have a suburban with 50k miles and 6.0 2500HD, going to look at it now. Well see.
Old     (FastR3DN3K)      Join Date: Jun 2013 Location: Midlothian TX       08-11-2014, 6:57 PM Reply   
Here you go, just a couple suggestions of something you could look for if you want to get into the diesel game:

08 6.7 Cummins Ram 3500, already deleted and tuned (meaning better fuel mileage), with decent miles:

Basically the same truck as above, just 2wd with less miles:

Or one a bit older for way under your budget, but with the bulletproof 5.9 Cummins:

Low priced Chevy that meets your luxury wants:

King Ranch Ford PSD with low miles well within your budget:

I'm not saying that you have to buy any of these, but more of an example of what you can find well within your budget if you're patient and keep your eyes open. When it comes to used dealers, I usually try to stay away from the huge name brand dealerships, as well as the really, really small hometown lots. Try to find a place that is in between those sizes, and you will usually find the best truck for the best price. They move enough inventory so they don't deal on every beat to hell POS just to keep the doors open like the small time dealers, but don't move enough to warrant inflating their prices like the bigger lots do. They will usually buy quality vehicles wholesale, mark them up enough to cover their costs and margins while still being considerably less than the big boys since they don't have to pay all the extra franchising costs. The dealer in those links is one of those types. Usually has around 60-80 vehicles on his lot at all times, and does a majority of his business in HD trucks. My buddy bought his 3500 from them, and I almost bought one too, but they sold it before I could get over to make a deal on it.
Old     (vr6mole)      Join Date: Feb 2009       08-12-2014, 5:13 AM Reply   
I have a 2012 Avalanche LTZ with the 5.3 and it tows my 2001 Super Air 210 just fine. I tow a few times a week 15 miles each way with a fair bit of hills.

To the guy that is posting the links of the dualies…what the heck are you thinking. He said he tows once a month.
Old     (FastR3DN3K)      Join Date: Jun 2013 Location: Midlothian TX       08-12-2014, 6:19 AM Reply   
Originally Posted by vr6mole View Post
I have a 2012 Avalanche LTZ with the 5.3 and it tows my 2001 Super Air 210 just fine. I tow a few times a week 15 miles each way with a fair bit of hills.

To the guy that is posting the links of the dualies…what the heck are you thinking. He said he tows once a month.
Just cause you tow once a month doesn't mean it's not an option. I probably only tow 5-6 times a month these days, but wouldn't consider trading my diesel for anything.

He said he want's something that's fairly nice, tows well, and gets decent fuel economy. He also stated in another thread that he want's a bit more power than his current 5.2 Dodge has, and his budget is in the $20k range. All of those are within his price range, they all have pretty decent mileage on them, and when set up right will get better fuel economy than any 1/2 ton truck out there. They will power to spare for anything he could ever want to tow besides his boat, they have a backseat like he wants, and all of them will be far more reliable than a high mileage 5.3 gasser.

And besides, I'm not saying that those are his only options either. I just suggested that if you have the budget why not go ahead and get more than you need rather than getting something that may just barely be enough for now, but leave you wanting for more in the future as demands change.
Old     (dvsone79)      Join Date: Dec 2012       08-12-2014, 11:10 AM Reply   
I have an '04 Avalanche with the 5.3. It gets the job done. But I'd take Ryan K's advice and widen your search. If towing is a regular thing for you then I'd look close at those diesel trucks he linked to. A diesel will give you more torque at lower RPMs which is where you want it if you're towing so your truck's engine doesn't have to work so hard. I had my avalanche several years before I got my boat. My next truck will definitely NOT be another avalanche. I may look at the F150 ecoboost, or a heavier truck with a diesel.
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       08-12-2014, 9:28 PM Reply   
Well, if you want to be a fast redneck then definitely get a diesel (no slam, he chose his login name so I assume that's a compliment)...

I have an Avalanche it's not really a truck, it's a Suburban in disguise. Yes, the 5.3 with the 4 speed tranny is not going to go up hills at breakneck speed but it does satisfy for most needs. I have the 07 Avalanche with 5.3 and a 2003 Tahoe also with a 5.3. I think it the tranny 1-2 gears are different between the years and I prefer the older format. The 07 is a larger vehicle but it still seems slower than I would expect when taking off from a stop compared to the Tahoe. Big thing with the Avalanche is the suspension. It really rides like a car because it is sprung pretty softly with coil springs. Real trucks usually have rear leaf springs and that is one of the reasons they ride like a bucking bronco going down the highway. After two back surgeries I can't drive a real truck too much.

A couple years ago when my Avalanche flipped over 100k I thought about buying something else. I could think of nothing that would meet my needs better than the Av so I decided to supercharge it instead of replacing it. For less I could have changed both axles to 4.10 gears but I did not want to go that route. In hindsight, it would probably have been a better solution. My Av did burn oil when before the supercharger, research the internet and you will discover that it is a known issue. With the install of the charger it stopped burning oil. However, I also switched to synthetic and now it leaks a bit.

For a 7 year old truck, I still get lots of compliments on the Av.

Known Av issues:
- knocks when cold
- burns oil
- rear autoride shocks should be replaced at 100k (cheapest I could find them was $350 each)
- air conditioning sometimes gets stuck on defroster
- plastic bed trim panels can be hard to clean and keep looking nice

I did have a Dodge Ram 2500 with the Cummins for a couple weeks. It was a rental for work. Tons of power but it was a beast of a truck. That said the Ram is the nicest of the new diesel trucks.
Old     (ilikebeaverandboats)      Join Date: Jul 2007       08-12-2014, 10:07 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by Jmorlan View Post
She will tow it. But she won't like it.
Yup. you can find a nice 2000-2001 7.3L F250 in your price range if you care about towing well. Otherwise, accept poor milage and an unhappy transmission.

You need to ask yourself what your expectations are towing.....
Do you want to be able to go 75mph up hill without turning crazy high rpms? Do you want decent milage whilst towing at 75mph? Or even better mpg at 65 mph? Do you tow often? If not, then get it. To me, if any of those answers are yes, I wouldnt get an avalanche...or any gasser other than the ecoboost (but its expensive!)

Realize that trucks like the avalanche were not designed with towing as a large part of its operating envelope.... yeah, itll pull a trailer, but long term effects will be less than ideal.... its going to be much harder on the transmission, the rear end, the torque converter, the suspension, ect.... If you know this ahead of time, and don't care, then go for it! Get it, love it, be happy with it, but don't expect it to tow well relative to anything other than a honda civic.

I personally will not buy an SUV if the previous owner towed anything other than a tiny pop up camper with it....and an avalanche is an suv with a bed in my book.

Last edited by ilikebeaverandboats; 08-12-2014 at 10:09 PM.
Old     (Jmorlan)      Join Date: May 2013       08-12-2014, 10:22 PM Reply   
I have a hopped up silverado half ton. I towed with it for 2 summers. I hated it.
I'm now sitting in my f350 as we speak lol. Which we use to tow now.
And my 5.3 is cammed with heads and 4.88s. Still sucks
Old     (Blueliner)      Join Date: Sep 2013       08-13-2014, 8:07 AM Reply   
I tow my 07 Mobius XLV with a 2011 Chevy Tahoe with the 5.3 litre (which I bought new BTW) . I have had no problems. I think this is similar to the avalanche. At 60mph it stays under 2K rpm. Keep in mind the temperature rarely gets past 85 here, and the geography is generally flat with the odd bunch or low rolling hills with slight grades. I tow usually once per week for about 25 miles one way (3-4 month season), with one long distance tow of about 400 miles round trip per summer. I just need to get there not necessarily fast, so for now this works for me.
Old     (Salister)      Join Date: Nov 2013       08-13-2014, 11:12 PM Reply   
Well, I went down, and It was already being looked at and I kinda changed my mind any. The sales man, my family has been buying cars from him for a while, this will be my second, my brother just bought a colorado from him, and my parents and aunt buy from him so he knows us. He told me when i was down there he was getting a 07 4 door tundra trade in 5.7 4x4 with 40,000ish miles. wasnt sure what the price would be but said maybe 22ish... so he made me real interested. Untill I was reading about some emmission problem they had that goes out around 40-50k that cost like 4k and takes weeks to get in.... so I really dont know if I want to finance a truck like that that might have some expensive repair bills while i am still paying on it. However, i went down today and kinda fell for a 2004 suburban 2500 HD 6.0 with 55k miles.. has tow package with electric break set up... but get this I looked at the female end of the tow package, its still all painted, not scratches or anything in side. It looks as if a hitch was never put in. So im thinking it may never of towed anything. Plus it has a baddass brush guard where i can put a hitch in the front too, so it would be easier to manuvear the boat around tight spots in the driveway etc... or any trailer for that matter. They want 20,500 for it, gona try to get em down to 18,500. of course its all cloth pretty basic, not a luxury car like im used to but.... once i pay it off ill get back into a nice buick or somthing.
Old     (tyler97217)      Join Date: Aug 2004       08-14-2014, 7:49 AM Reply   
I would be suspicious on that 2004 2500 with the 6.0L.
#1 - people don't buy those unless they are going to tow fairly heavy loads....
#2 - people don't put brake controllers on them unless they are going to tow fairly heavy loads that are non surge breaks..
It is entirely possible, but seems strange. A lot of dealers will re-paint hitches to make them look new and sand off surface rust. Take a close look at that.
That price is also too high for an 04' and sounds like it is an LS or plain LT... No leather or other nice options... It is a bit of a rare find and low miles, so the dealer is going to sit on it and try to get top $ for it.....
Old     (Cabledog)      Join Date: Dec 2013       08-14-2014, 12:10 PM Reply   
You can get a brush guard for a few hundred bucks. Don't let that influnce your decision. Ford Excursion with the 7.3 might fit your need too. They are big but kind of the best of both worlds for a diesel tow rig SUV. Should be right in your price range. My neighbor has a lifted one and its pretty bad ass. Similar to the one in pic
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Old     (tyler97217)      Join Date: Aug 2004       08-14-2014, 12:18 PM Reply   
A nice 7.3L excursion is the unicorn of trucks if you can find one with low miles....
They go for big money, but damn they are sweet.... Hope they bring them back around.


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