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Old 01-11-2017, 02:26 PM   #1
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Trying To Talk Myself Out Of A 2500HD

Yeah I know....can't have too much truck, but....

This will also double as my daily driver with a 7 mile one-way trip from home to the office, so it will be driven very little during the week with zero highway miles. We have many moons before we can even dream of retiring, that will be 3-4 vehicles down the road.....

Our TT completely loaded weighs 3,700 lbs. (GVWR is 3,750 lbs.) and the tongue weight is right at 500 lbs. (on a separate note, the TW seems high and I was surprised when I weighed it with my Sherline LM 1000 scale, but the only underbelly storage is up front so that probably explains the higher TW of 13.5%).

I've owned a 2006 F-350 SRW (6.0L ) and really enjoyed driving it and didn't really mind the extra maintenance cost. But I did mind the 6.0L fuel pump failure at 3,500 miles and the EGR failure at 4,000 miles, the turbo failure at 6,000 miles, and.....yeah.

I've been hearing a few horror stories from an owner of two 2500HD's w/ Duramax engines, his 2014 allegedly had a fuel pump failure that transferred metal throughout the fuel system, resulting in a $11k repair bill? Not sure if this is a common failure, but if I spend $45k on a used Duramax and it suffers that kind of failure I'd be kicking myself. Others I've talked to swear by them, so there's always isolated incidents I know.

No plans on upgrading to a larger TT anytime in the near or distant future.

As of now we are pulling the Hummingbird with a 2012 FJ Cruiser that is close to its limit on both payload and tongue weight, so we will need a little more TV once the weather warms up and we want to haul the kayaks and mtn. bikes along with us. Granted, the FJ actually has more than ample power to pull in (keeping it out of OD) and with the Andersen No-Sway WD hitch it handles excellent at 65 MPH both on hills and while being passed by semis. Saw fuel mileages of 12-14 mpg on flat, 16-18 down hill and 8-10 uphill on our last trip. It also stops really good.

I'm pretty set on a GMC this time around, have owned F-150's, Tundra's, F-350 so I figure I'd give GM a try.

I've been looking at used '16 GMC Sierra 1500's w/ 5.3L and I'm sure it would pull our little TT fine, but wondering if it would be enough if we decided to take an extended trip and travel out West at some point. Also looking at the standard 1500 with the factory brake controller, doubt I'll have any luck finding a used truck with the Max Trailering Package around here.

I realize this has been asked about 1,001 times on here, but I've done a lot of searching around and still can't fully talk myself out of a Duramax

Appreciate any opinions or insight - thanks.
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:37 PM   #2
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Interesting question.

If you want the bigger truck, you should get it. You certainly don't NEED it to tow your Hummingbird. If it were me, I probably would not get a 2500/250 model unless I had other circumstances where I needed the extra payload and towing capacity.

Since you have no plans to upgrade from the 'Bird, I'd say you don't need a big truck. Nothing wrong with a 1/2T GMC for what you want to do with it. Should have plenty of payload to handle the tongue weight, along with whatever "toys" you want to throw in. They come quite nicely equipped these days. I still miss mine every now and again (2012 Sierra Crew Cab).

But then, I LOVE my Ram 2500. But I USE the 2500 like an HD truck; hauling 250 gallon water totes to the back of a 1600 acre deer lease (on roads that are questionable at best), along with a couple dozen bags of feed, towing the trailer, and hauling camping gear in the bed while towing, etc. The truck has served me well, and I do enjoy it.

If I weren't so close to (or over) payload capacity on my Sierra, I would still have it. No need for over 3K of payload if you'll only ever use 1K of it.

IMO, get the best tool for the job. Unless you just really want a big truck. Then more power to ya!
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:38 PM   #3
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From what you are saying you do not need a diesel, so why not consider a 2500 gasser. From what I read, it still is way more truck than you need. You can load up the box with everything you might want on a trip plus some more and go. You may not have as much torque, but with your light load, I bet the gasser would preform as well.

A properly equipped 1500 will still be more than enough TV, 95+ percent of the time.
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:43 PM   #4
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My only reservation with the 1500 is payload capacity.

I could see us possibly wanting to throw a little firewood and some cast iron dutch ovens and pans in the bed at times, along with the 25-gal grey/black water tote if needed.

If I add in all of that on top of the kayaks and bikes I could see us adding about 325-350 lbs. more payload than what we're currently able to haul.

I really haven't thought about a 6.0L much strictly for fuel mileage unloaded. That's why I would make the jump from a 5.3L to either a 2500HD or SRW 3500HD.

If I went with a diesel my plan was to not drive it much since I'm keeping my '03 Tacoma also. I could drive the Tacoma to work and drive the diesel on weekends a little and for pulling the TT. But I'm afraid I'd quickly become spoiled with all of the gadgets and fancy buttons and only drive the Tacoma when it snowed.....

Also forgot to mention, any truck I purchase will be a 4WD due to the terrain we live in.
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:52 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by 01tundra View Post
My only reservation with the 1500 is payload.

I could see us possibly wanting to throw a little firewood and some cast iron dutch oven and pans in the bed at time, along with the 25-gal grey/black water tote if needed.

If I add in all of that on top of the kayaks and bikes I could see us adding about 325-350 lbs. more payload than what we're currently able to haul.

I really haven't thought about a 6.0L much strictly for fuel mileage unloaded. That's why I would make the jump from a 5.3L to either a 2500HD or SRW 3500HD.
Even with 500 lbs of "extra stuff", you'd still be okay IMO. My Sierra was on the low side for payload capacity, and I still had 1400 lbs (maybe a bit more, I don't remember now) which is enough to deal with what you're talking about. On the later models, it isn't uncommon to see them with 1700-2000 lbs of payload.

Anyway, even with all the extra "stuff", I don't see you needing 3/4T payload capacity. Well, unless by "a little firewood and some cast iron" you mean filling the bed up to the rails and bringing the entire Lodge cast iron line to pile on top!
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:54 PM   #6
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IMO the 5.3L paired with the 8 spd transmission will make plenty of power for your needs, even in the big hills. several years back I pulled an enclosed cargo trailer around 4k lbs from WA state to Ohio. I have the 5.3 with a 6 spd and I had no problems.
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:56 PM   #7
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On our last trip the Cat scales gave us a combined gross weight (TV+TT) with all occupants inside at 8,880 lbs. That was after just filling the fuel tank on the FJ.

The FJ gross was 5,680 lbs. (with the TT hitched) and the TT was 3,200 lbs. TW was measured just under 500 lbs. with TT loaded.
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Old 01-11-2017, 03:07 PM   #8
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my '13 has a payload of 1647 and the newer ones do even better. you can carry that tongue and still have at least 1100 lbs of payload for passengers. I think you will be very happy with a '16 1500, but if you want the 2500 don't let me steer you away.
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Old 01-11-2017, 03:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 01tundra View Post
On our last trip the Cat scales gave us a combined gross weight (TV+TT) with all occupants inside at 8,880 lbs. That was after just filling the fuel tank on the FJ.

The FJ gross was 5,680 lbs. (with the TT hitched) and the TT was 3,200 lbs. TW was measured just under 500 lbs. with TT loaded.


Tundra, we're pulling our 17RK with a Dodge Durango (V6) and have no issues pulling it fully loaded even with a full fresh water tank. If you are wanting to stay in an SUV it's a pretty good option.


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Old 01-11-2017, 03:11 PM   #10
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my '13 has a payload of 1647 and the newer ones do even better. you can carry that tongue and still have at least 1100 lbs of payload for passengers. I think you will be very happy with a '16 1500, but if you want the 2500 don't let me steer you away.
+1

Sometimes all the justification we need is that it makes us feel good. Even if we don't technically need something, there's often a "softer" side to the equation.
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