Hummer 2 is a Hum-dinger pulling
Hummer 2, you either hate it
or love it. I've never driven such a controversial vehicle. When I pulled
into a gas station, (which was often at 12 MPG) people would flock around
the Hummer 2 asking questions. On the way back from pulling a 3 horse slant
bumper trailer to Estes Park, I was driving through Longmont when a VW van
pulled up besides me, started honking and showing me how they count to
one with their fingers. Then on I-76 a couple of semi-trucks boxed me in and
wouldn't let me pass for several miles. It feels strange to have people
judge you by the truck you drive. I had mixed feelings at first also. I
turned down my first turn at the Hummer 2 not thinking it fit my readers.
But when ever I talked about it, folks got excited, so I thought I better
investigate. I see Hummer 2's everywhere and was surprised how well they are
selling. My first day behind the wheel, didn't impress me, the visibility
isn't good and you feel boxed in with the small windows and low hanging roof
mounted center console. By the third day I was having so much fun, I was
wondering how soon I could buy one!
My oldest son Dave couldn't find
steep enough hills nor deep enough holes to slow down the H2. Well
engineered with skid plates and protective braces all under the H2 along
with the tranny and transfer case tucked above the bottom of the boxed hydroformed
frame, protecting the H2 underbelly. It would be hard to get high
centered and stuck. Both axles are so close to the ends of the vehicle
that getting hung up at the start or end of a climb would be difficult
too as well as the stability it adds for trailer tongue weight..
You just don't find a vehicle that can
off-road like a Jeep, pull 7000#'s of trailer and is quiet and comfortable
on the freeway. At least not until now! With a 8600# GVW rating, the H2 is
in the HD 3/4 ton class, so you won't see the EPA test for gas mileage on
the window sticker, which would just scare you anyway. Maximum tow
capacity is 7000#'s and with the 35 inch tires, 4.10 axle ratio, powered by
the 6.0L V-8 gas engine, 7000#'s would be an easy safe task for the H2. I
pulled a Titan Avalanche 3 horse slant steel trailer, (provided by Scott
Murdock Trailers) up Big Thompson Canyon to Estes Park. Even though the
trailer weighed less than 1/2 the towing capacity, you wouldn't know it was
there without looking out the mirrors. But with the rear axle just inches
away from the receiver hitch, the H2 does make a very stable trailer tower.
After hooking up to the trailer, the tongue weight didn't move the hitch
down. Even with rear coil springs, there was no noticeable rear axle
movement as I took the mountain curves as fast as traffic would allow.
The shorter wheelbase has to be part of the
reason why the H2 is
rated to pull less than a 2500 Suburban along with a 6400# curb weight,
604#'s more than a 4x4 2500 Suburban. Actually a closer comparison is with a
Tahoe/Yukon. The ride is even similar. The H2 has a longer wheel base than
Tahoe/Yukon and is 2 inches wider and taller. They seem to share the same
frame, floor, seats and rear axle, giving you dramatically more room than the
Hummer 1. Even though the H2 has been called the baby Hummer, H2 is actually
taller and longer than the original Hummer 1. Hummer 1 is wider, only comes
in a diesel with the drive train boxed in between the seats at a base price
of over $113,000 in a wagon. Seems strange to refer to a H1 as a
"wagon." The base price of the H2 is $48,800. The one I drove had leather,
heated seats all the way around, 6 disc CD, tubular steps, and a lot of
chrome called the 1SC LUX Series for a retail price of $51,990. New this
year to loaded GM trucks is express down windows on both front side windows.
This came in handy for answering all the questions I got at gas stations.
Maybe they thought I was from Hollywood with the California factory license
plates and the fact that the average Hummer 2 buyer makes over
$150,000/year, but not truck writers.
The spare tire does
take up too much room. I guess the tow hooks are for pulling other folks
out. Or maybe that's where you attach the plow!
If you like clearance lights, the H2 is
covered in them. Comes in handy if you are several floors up in a hotel and
can click your clicker to find where you parked. I need a Hummer for this
years trip to SEMA in Vegas. The windshield sets ahead of you at least 6 inches
farther than most trucks and is almost flat. This gives you more shade from
the sun but makes seeing traffic lights at a stop, a neck twisting event. The
H2 had 9 speakers with great stereo. When we were out in the sand hills
trying to bury the H2 in a blowout, the quiet interior and stereo made it
hard to believe we were going straight up and down sagebrush covered hills.
But the 7 interior grab handles came in handy for loading the 6 CD's at an
40 degree angle. Did I mention how much fun the H2 was? But I couldn't get
it over 12 mpg, no matter have fast I drove it. The H2 seemed solid, with
the stiffer hydroformed frame on this SUV that makes since. Even the running
boards were attached better than what you see on trucks.
You try to get it
stuck, it's a tank. It would probably take me another week to find that
deep hole. The chrome grill looks classy and the lights were great for
The large 17 inch all-terrain tires didn't howl,
handled well and certainly match the H2, though the spare seemed to take up
half of the rear compartment. The rear seats folded nicely without having to
pull out the headrests. The rear doors are larger and easier to get into,
it's such a surprise how versatile the H2 is. It would be easy to replace
your mini-van and SUV with a H2 and maybe the garden tractor.
Even the rear had
heated seats, see the controls, the stereo and yep, two more 12V
With the H2, I could
drive right to the beach to unload here are Estes Lake in Estes Park CO.
man, "I'll be
back" makes you feel like Arnold Schwarzenegger even though his
collection is mostly H1's. The H2 looked good parked in my yard.
The 04 H2
This year's towing adventure with the 04 H2, was
pulling a 34' travel trailer from Laughlin Nevada to Denver Colorado, in an
interstate crazy looking caravan, with a diesel 2-ton enclosed 24' bed that
we shoved a couple of boats into, pulling a car trailer with a camper van
tied on. I love road trips, and the ones with a mission are challenging.
This trips mission was moving my daughter-in laws grandpa home from Nevada.
He had a 30 year old camper van, and a couple of similar vintage motor boats
and a long travel trailer plus all the things a conservative gentle man
would collect over the years. On a adventure like this, you worry about
tires, bearings and lights a lot. We were blessed with no tire problems even
on the Nevada sun checked tires on the travel trailer. The boats had new
tires, but I really didn't want to pull one of the boats home with the 30
year old full size van that had some carburetor problems, no power steering
and no windshield wiper reservoir. Driving across mountain passes means
besides having things in good mechanical condition, you must be able to
squirt your windshield driving through the slosh and magnesium chloride they
treat road ice with. So I measured the boats and figured they would almost
fit in a 24' truck van. We used the car trailer to load the boats as a ramp
and did have to take the sub-frame with springs and axle off the second boat
to get it slid in.
Quite a strange looking caravan we were, a boat
sticking out the end of a truck pulling a trailer hauling a high-top camper
van, which by the way had to be loaded on an angle to fit the tracks on the
car trailer. The air compressor built into the H2 was very handy on a
interstate trailer trip. We aired up the tires on the travel trailer. Then
besides loading everything, we checked the wires and replaced a few light
bulbs to begin the eventful trip home.
Several neighbors from the trailer park in
Bullhead City Arizona helped load the boats. They were amazed to see it all
fit. We did make the mistake of leaving the motor on the rear boat, which
caused some shifting on the road, so we ended up hoisting it up and forward
at the first truck stop on the interstate. These kind of non vacation trips,
always take longer than planned especially in the winter through mountain
passes which are 50/50 for bad weather. You end up with not enough sleep and
more dark road time than daylight. This of course leads to a grumpy tired
Our first snow surprised us early morning in
Flagstaff Arizona. The cars scattered in the ditch gives you the first clue
to slow down. Having the outside temperature readout in the overhead console
of the H2 definitely helps judge the ice on the road. With the GPS we were
able to plot our course, with 24 hour gas stations and restaurants that we
researched for on the screen about 200 miles apart. The diesel rental truck
was governed at 65 mph, so the H2 had to behave. If we were just cruising
with the H2, even pulling the 34' travel trailer, that I estimated to be
around 7000#'s with all the oxygen bottles, TV's and AC's, 80 mph average
would have been doable. We used an Equal-i-zer weight distributing hitch
with built in anti-sway in the spring bars which helped level out the rig
and very little whip, keeping the trailer almost un-noticeable behind you in
submissive alignment. We had our Rock Tamer mudflaps on the H2 to protect
the travel trailer and propane tanks. Rock Tamer's are adjustable and slide
on the shank to the receiver hitch, so they slide back off when you're not
pulling a trailer.
Occasionally when we would pull off for fuel and
get lost from each other, both rigs would do the "circle in the residential
zone" swinging wide and backing up many a time to fit a service station fuel
island. Our second run in with snow was at the famous Raton Pass almost into
Colorado from New Mexico, in the middle of the night during a ground
blizzard. It wasn't so bad going up the pass, but once on top the wind
turned the blowing snow to ice. It's amazing to see semi-trucks fly past you
on roads that are so slick you can't stand up on them. But that's how the
decent of the pass went, looking around each curve to see the road
boundaries so when you get passed by the big rigs and can't see from the
flying snow for 10-20 seconds, that you keep near your lane. After waiting
in Trinidad CO a few hours to listen to weather reports into Denver and call
the state patrol to see if the interstate was plowed ahead of us, we blew
out the windshield wiper hoses on the diesel truck to be ready for driving
in the heavy traffic once in Denver during rush hour snow slush.
Getting 11.6 mpg flying a little above the speed
limit on the way down to Laughlin Nevada from Denver. Coming back pulling
the travel trailer a little slower through a few snow storms, averaged 9.6
mpg. I didn't realize how many casino's are in New Mexico, or Wal-Marts,
which we stopped at a few times to get more cable winches when we would find
cargo shifting on us.
even had to use the air pump on the H2 to get the trailer hitch off when the
trailer jack broke as we unhooked. We let the air our of the H2's rear tire, dropped of the
ball and then aired up again. The air ride is a useful trailering option,
keeping the H2 level with a heavy tongue load. When we got back to
Colorado and unloaded our caravan, I got to play some more with the H2. I wanted to run a motocross track, but too much
snow for the one close to me to open. So I climbed around on some construction
mounds in the snow. The beast climbed up at least 30 degree packed pile of
dirt, using all the buttons to keep the wheels digging. It's nice to have a
vehicle capable of so many things. What do people whom only have cars do?
My youngest son, Eric
navigates his rig pulling the 34' travel trailer for 900 miles and a few
Rode hard and put up muddy. Road trips make you appreciate the couch and
The 2004 H2 had more options
than the 2003 H2 media vehicle.
The extra equipment was what
I wanted. With the 1SB Adventure Series, which includes, air compressor,
air springs, brush guard, floor mats, 6-disc in-dash CD, first aid/super
tool/flashlight and crossbar roof rack. Then the highly useful DVD
integrated navigation, heated seats, front and rear, power sliding
sunroof, power sunroof, off-road brush guard spotlamps, removable
U-Steps, and tubular tail lamp protection.
Total options, $8054.00
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