I drove an hour to purchase this truck after looking for several weeks for something exactly like this. We had purchased a new travel trailer and my aging 1500 just wasn't up to the task of yanking 6500lbs. all over town. The truck was well optioned and in excellent condition. These trucks are difficult to find (especially with the 6.0L gas engine) without high mileage and being beaten to death.
I've owned my 2005 Chevrolet 2500HD for over 3 years now and I'm still happy with it. Its a 4x4, standard cab, with the 8.1 liter and Allison transmission, 3.73 axle and the LT trim. The best things I like about the truck is the comfort, that brute of an engine, the capability and ride and handeling for a 4x4 is great. This is a work truck for my business, but i still wanted a comfortable truck with a nice ride and this one definitely delivered in that area. The air conditioning is just awesome. Even on the 110 degree days I can't have it on the highest and coldest setting for more then 20 minutes and then its just getting too cold in there. Thats partly because its a standard cab so there isn't as much room to cool in there compared to the big 4 door. The truck rides great for something with a 9200 pound GVW and the handeling is great too. Steering is very precise compared to the comparable Fords I've had. The seats are great, the position of everything is great, with the exception of one minor thing: I drive with the steering wheel tilted all the way down to the lowest position and with it there I can't see the top of the speedometer without tilting my head down. Not a big deal but I'd like the speedo to be set down one inch lower. This has the 8.1 liter engine and I LOVE it. There is always power to spare. I have no problems passing cars up hill, merging on to the freeway, towing anything...this engine will do anything I ask of it without complaining. The Allison 5 speed automatic transmission is the best transmission I have ever had too. It shifts great, it always has the perfect gear, which was sometimes a problem with the Fords I've had before with the 4 speed auto. Especially with a lot of weight in the mountains. The way thetransmission works is very impressive too. Its like its pluged right in to my mind and knows exactally what gear to stay in when driving at lower speeds. I drive almost always in the mountains on curvy roads and one complaint I've always had with other automatic transmissions is they would be shifting gears way too much. Like if you're going up a hill with curves every time you let off the gas to slow for a curve the transmission would up shift, then downshift again once you put the gas back down to acclerate out of the curve. Somehow this Allison transmission knows I want it to hold the gear when driving in that situation and it will. It will stay in 3rd or whatever gear it may be even when easing off the gas for turns. Some people may not even notice something like that but to me it was always an annoyance. I think this transmission is great with how it does that. As I said, this is my work truck, and its loaded up at all times almost right up to the GVW of 9200 pounds. Doing that required air bags on the back to maintain a level ride as any truck would. Even with that weight, the 8.1 liter engine moves this truck like its empty. Even on all the mountain highways here. With all that weight, maintaining 75 mph on a 7% hill is nothing at all for this engine. If you don't want the diesel, and you want something that will move you along with a heavy trailer, the 8.1 is a must. I bought the truck with 10,000 miles on it and now after 3 years I have 61,000 on it. In that time there has been a few problems but nothing I would consider to be excessive. at approximatley 20,000 miles a knock developed when I would make a turn on a rough road. usually it would do it with a pothole patch or a pavement seam, but only when I was going around a corner. The knock sound was minor, but it could be felt in the steering wheel. To fix that, the steering shaft was replaced under warranty. Another problem I've had is sometimes (maybe once a month) the idle speed will surge between 600 and 700 rpm's while backing up. It only does it in reverse, and only when idling it. I have not had anything done with that problem as it's not a big deal and it doesn't do it very often. The only other problem I've had is after 60,000 miles the overdrive could not be turned on or off by the button on the shifter. It would do it intermitintly, and would start working again then quit again. I think its due to a loose connection in the shifter or steering column because if it won't work, I can tap the shifter or move it to a different gear and it will then work again. I have not had that problem looked at yet but I will when I have the time. And one other weird thing is the brake light bulbs don't last any longer then a year or so. As I said this is a work truck, and I'm not gentle with it. I work it and I work it hard, and to only have those issues with it in 3 years and 60,000 miles is acceptable to me. With other trucks I've had previously there was many more serious problems in that same time. The one and only thing I hate about this truck is the gas milage. My driving is mostly all mountain driving and with the extra weight on this truck I have never broken in to 10 mpg with it. Its usually anywhere from 8.5 mpg to 9.9 at best. If I drove more conservativley I'm sure it would improve though. but hey, if you want power and capability, (and not a diesel)thats the price you pay. If I had to do it all over again I would still buy this truck.