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Hummer 2 is a Hum-dinger pulling machine.

 

Hummer 2 is a Hum-dinger pulling machine.

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! Hummer 2 is a Hum-dinger pulling machine.

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 4×4 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 wide view!

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 outlets.

With the H2, I could drive right to the beach to unload here are Estes Lake in Estes Park CO.

The ole 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 crew.

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.

 

We 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 snow storms. Rode hard and put up muddy. Road trips make you appreciate the couch and remote control.

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

MSRP: $58049.00

Check us out  www.MrTruck.com

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