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Love those Texas Cadillacs!

Here in the Lone Star State, the Texas Cadillac is the Chevy or GMC Suburban. I have to say I am most partial to them as well. The Suburban has been in production since the 1930’s and went to the 3 row seating in the early 70’s which allowed you to carry nine people in comfort. Plenty of what we do in the excavation business revolves around brute power and big equipment and the Suburban fits right in!

So maybe you are thinking right about now  “How does this have anything to do with a recreational vehicle blog?”  If you have spent any time on any of the RV Internet forums what is one of the recurring topics?   Yep, you probably guessed it!  How much can my vehicle tow? I relish these threads because as soon as the unsuspecting newbie starts the thread my favorite internet commando, the dreaded Weight Police will jump in with their holier than holy derisive BS.   I imagine the Weight Police would be completely unsettled by what I do every day with the Suburban.  To heck with them!  I hope it does rattle them right down to the bottom of their black socked little feet.

The numbers on Suburban are impressive. It was a working man’s truck long before it became the favorite of the Cheerleader Moms.  My ’04 4×4 2500 Chevy Suburban weighs almost 6000 lbs and will pull a 12000 lb trailer per the specs!

The "New" 'Burb --2004 Chevy Suburban 2500 4X4

The "New" 'Burb --2004 Chevy Suburban 2500 4X4

The 8.1 liter big block gas (496 cubic inch) will certainly move those big loads down the road. An interesting note is that it develops almost as much horsepower and torque as the Duramax diesel. One of the pathetic weak points in the Chevy HD line is the OEM receiver hitches. I managed to bend and mangle mine right off the bat and replaced it with the heaviest Class V hitch I could find which is the Putnam XDR which is rated at 15000 lbs — that is not a misprint.  It also has a receiver hitch on the front of the Ranch Hand bumper which works great when we have to use the Suburban as the deadman on a stuck vehicle and put a snatch block in there.

My Suburban is a work vehicle pure and simple.  I put over 60,000

Only front seats in my Suburban!

Only front seats in my Suburban!

miles on it last year.  As stated in an earlier blog post,  we work quite a ways from home base much of the year and we try to be self sufficient.  That means we carry  plenty of parts and tools and such.  Outfitting the Suburban for work duty involved a few things.  The rear seat was gone and stored in the garage — forever!  The middle seat was folded down.  The entire rear cargo area and the front foot wells are protected with rubber cargo mats.  The front seats were covered with canvas protective covers. I installed a bluetooth cell phone hook up and powered it up with a Wilson signal amp and an external antenna — just like I have in the Fish Bus. I am very seldom with out a cell signal.  Next thing was to get some plastic footlockers from Amazon. The  JTT 2851-1B Large 37-by-17-1/2-by-14-Inch Wheeled Storage Trunk at less than $45 each really help to organize and protect everything. Plus I can stack them for more room if necessary. I really like these footlockers.

I keep the area where the second row of seats are folded down reasonably open.  That makes it easy to load groceries or whatever.

Second row cargo area

Second row cargo area

Keeping that area clear also allows easier access to the long guns which are stored in camo scabbards in his pic. On the day this picture was taken the scabbards contained a scoped Ithaca 37 12 gauge slug gun which is very effective on the wild hogs that are such a nuisance to Texas landowners.  There was also a  Ruger 10/22 which is good for the smaller critters like those rattlesnakes I hate so much. The last long gun I usually carry on board  is a Remington 7615 223 pump which is effective on larger 4 legged or 2 legged  varmints.  This picture also gives you an idea of what the seat covers on the front seats look like.  The fit well and are absolutely necessary .  When they get grimy and greasy, I just take ’em off and throw  ’em in the washer.

I don’t know if it is by design or just circumstance but we are all GM on the jobsite.  As a matter of fact, we don’t care much for the Fords, especially the Ford King Ranch. We have another Suburban, an Avalanche,  a 1500 pick up and a 3500 service truck with a Duramax. It pains me to think GM may be history with the present state of their business.  They discontinued the big block gas engine in the Suburbans in 2006 and I have actually

1996 GMC Suburban 2500 4X4

1996 GMC Suburban 2500 4X4

thought about finding a low mileage last year of production big block and just putting it in storage until the 2004 is worn out.   But then again I already have a spare Suburban.   My 1996 GMC Suburban 2500 4X4 was retired from active duty in 2006 when I bought the newer Suburban.  The kids called it the “War Wagon” and it was/is a big horse.  I have that affinity for  big blocks and the ’96 has the 7.4 liter (454 cubic inch) engine.  I parked it with 315,000 miles on the odometer and it is still in fully functional condition and ready to go at a moment’s notice.

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