Originally Posted by Tbeuler
I am looking to purchase a new TV because my last trip the TV really could not pull my TT. The TT is a Jayco 26BH and has a dry weight of 4850lb usually when were loaded up its closer to 6000lb. My TV is a 2009 Silverado 4.8l and 4spd. I was wondering if I should go with a 2009 2500 Silverado 6.0l 6spd or just the Silverado with the 5.3l 6spd. Any help is greatly appreciated.
I tow a '13 26BH, 5500 lbs loaded and ready to camp with my '13 Toyota Tacoma SR5 4.0 v6. I just returned from a 1500 mile trip around Lake Michigan and had zero issues. I did my research first, and the people on this forum were very helpful. See these threads:
The result of my research and CAT scale results revealed that I was very close, but within the safe limits of all of the important measurements (payload, GVWR, GAWR (front/rear), and tongue weight). I made sure to buy the best WDH and Brake Controller I could afford (Equal-I-zer and Prodigy P2). I also bought a ScanGuageII so I could keep tabs on the transmission temp. Other than that, I have made no modifications (air bags, tires, etc) to the stock Tacoma.
Here's what I can tell you:
Sway: I get virtually no sway at all. I've been in 30MPH+ winds passing semi trucks and while you can feel them pass, the WDH does a great job of correcting in a very short amount of time. I've never experienced unprovoked (i.e. not caused by wind or a passing vehicle) sway. I've never felt like the "Tail is wagging the dog" even though my TT is a little heavier than my TV.
Brakes: Never felt out of control when it comes to stopping, and I've already had at least one quick stop. The trailer brakes, when adjusted properly, do a great job. I can barely tell the rig is back there when braking except after coming to a complete stop sometimes I feel a light "push" a second or two after stopping.
Gas Mileage: I get between 8 and 12 MPG. Wind speed and direction determines MPG.
Power: Sure, I could use more power, but in my opinion the Tacoma does very well, even on moderate hills. That being said, I've never taken the rig into the mountains and I don't think I ever would (luckily I live in Iowa). I usually keep the speed around 60-65. I've learned to speed up on the down grades and use the momentum built up to get me up hills without the need to downshift to 3rd (5 spd auto trans). Rarely do I need to downshift to 3rd to make it up hills. I usually keep it in 4th but if there isn't any significant wind or grades, it will go into OD if I let it. On my last trip, transmission temps stayed below 200F while in 4th but crept up over 230F in OD so I just kept it in 4th unless going down a long grade, even though I'm sure I could have kept it in OD for most of the trip and stayed under 250F.
So in summary, here are my thoughts:
1.) First and foremost, you need to do the research and go to the CAT scales to make sure you are within your tow limits. This is your responsibility to ensure the safety of you and others on the road.
2.) Beyond that, it depends on your comfort level. Personally, I'm willing to deal with the lack of power if it means I don't have to find a way to squeeze a Diesel or 2500 into my garage and spend so much money on gas to drive it to work every day. Also I only go on 1 or 2 long trips per year, the rest of the time I camp close to home so I can put up with it. Actually an added benefit on longer trips is that it forces me to stay alert at all times.. If I were towing and couldn't feel the weight back there, I think I'd be less secure and more prone to forgetting what I have behind me. In any case, I would suggest going with the best hitch and brake controller you can if going on the light side.. That has really paid off for me.
Hope that helps!