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Discussion Starter #1
I do not yet own a 2.8 Duramax, but I plan to order a GMC Savana van this year. I currently have a 1999 Suburban 2WD with a 6.5 diesel. It's a great truck, and it does everything I want, but it's getting old. When I heard that GM was going to put the baby Duramax in the full-sized vans, I was intrigued.

I tow a 30' travel trailer that weighs 5,000# dry, and a 24' car hauler that weighs 7,500# max (100 pounds over the tow capacity of the Savana 2500). The car hauler will only be towed once a year at most. My Suburban diesel is curiously rated at only 5500# capacity, and I'm always over that with no ill effects (the 3500 pickup with the identical power train is rated at 13,500?)

I am not new to towing, and I'm not naive. I think this van will meet all my needs. I also have a 50-mile commute each way, so the fuel economy is attractive.

Any thoughts?
 

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Welcome.

The 2.8 has a little less power than the 1999 6.5L (195hp/430tq) but the 2.8 is backed by a 6 speed which helps it. This is my first diesel but it tows better than my 05 tundra (4.7gas) or 03 suburban (5.3gas) ever did. Those were both a little under 300hp/tq with 4 speed trannys and towed fine. Should mention that i tow a 18’ steel floor flatbed with my toyota on it and weighs 5500lb loaded plus gear but usually under 6000lb (scale tested)

The 2500 van probably weighs a bit more than the Colorado. My Colorado weighs 4770lb (scale tested) it’s a crew cab short bed 4x4. My gross combined weight is under 11,000lb truck and trailer. I’d shy away from a GCVW of 12,000+ (Van and trailer) On a 2.8L unless you want to tune it

I found the 2.8 in stock form to be fine towing. It got the job done but where it lacked was maintaining speed and passing on the highway.

I got mine tuned and it’s a beast now. It tows fantastically, pulls at any speed on any grade without downshifting. Off the line it will spin both rear tires with 800lb of tongue weight pulling 6000lb trailer. (i have a Vid on YouTube) Tuning isn’t for everybody but I recommend looking into it.
 

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Thanks for the input. I am happy to hear that your towing results have been positive. The van is about 1,000 lbs heavier than the Colorado. It also has an 8-speed transmission, which should be a big help.

As far as tuning, what have you done to yours? Any reliability issues? Does it affect the warranty?
 

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I thought I had heard that the 8 speeds (which can be found in the gas engine Colorados and Canyons in 2017 and newer) were having problems compared to the 6 speeds?
 

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Thanks for the input. I am happy to hear that your towing results have been positive. The van is about 1,000 lbs heavier than the Colorado. It also has an 8-speed transmission, which should be a big help.

As far as tuning, what have you done to yours? Any reliability issues? Does it affect the warranty?
I’ve been curious as to what trans they are putting in the vans.

I have tunes from Duramaxtuner along with some other bolt on mods. Reliability has been 100%. Yes it probably effects the warranty negatively but I haven’t needed to test that.
 
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