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Old 08-08-2013, 05:32 PM   #1
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2002 gmc 1500

Hello all, my current tow vehicle is a 2002 gmc Sierra 2wd 1500 with the 373 rear end and tow package. It currently pulls my jayflight 26 bh with no issues with a dry weight around 5000lbs. I am looking at trading it in for a whithawk 28dsbh which weighs 5800lbs. The tongue weight is about the same. Yes I use an equalizer hitch. I was wondering if installing 4.10s in my truck and adding an extra leaf to the springs would help it tow the extra load easier? Owners Manual says it will tow 8500 with the current 373 rear end. Thanks
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:44 PM   #2
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You did not note what engine you have, but in my opinion the mods would make your truck a better tow vehicle; however, the real question is are they really necessary. Other factors to consider are the terrain you tow in, ie: level, hilly or in the mountains. The 4.10s would be an asset in mountainous terrain but a negative if you're a flatlander. The extra leaf or the addition of supplemental air bags, such as the Firestone Ride Rite, would be a definite asset to any 1/2 ton truck.

Either method of beefing up the rear suspension is a winner in the cost benefit analysis in my book. Sometimes the net gain from say the gear change might not justify the expenditures.
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Old 08-08-2013, 09:18 PM   #3
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Oh sorry I forgot to put the engine type in. It's the 5.3. I will be towing mostly flat but maybe twice a year be dipping into the ozarks. It's been such a good truck I just don't want to get rid of it for a 3\4 unless I have to. I could put a catback exhaust, cold air intake and a programmer I suppose for a little more hp. Will I notice a big difference in 800lb more of a trailer?
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Old 08-08-2013, 09:40 PM   #4
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Personally I'd really consider the supplemental air bags. You can adjust the pressure when towing and lower them when not towing. I had the Firestone Ride-rite bags on my old Class A motorhome for 10 years and they required no maintenance so I really feel good in recommending them.

The 3.73 is a good tow gear, (same as mine). I'd stick with them and see how it works with the new trailer. You may not notice a great deal of difference since drag is more enemy than weight. If you use it and find it needs help, then re-evaluate your options.
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Old 08-08-2013, 10:42 PM   #5
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Your money best spent would be the air bags. In all probability you won't notice much difference on level ground.
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:03 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies. I'll look into the airbags. I use them on my Buick for drag racing, never thought of them for my tow rig.
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:51 AM   #7
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You stated that the tongue weight is the same so why would you bother with heavier springs? Unless your having trouble now.... Tow with it as is see how it handles and go from there.. by the way dry weight means nothing.. you never tow like that the fully loaded weight is the important number...
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Old 08-09-2013, 11:27 AM   #8
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Many talk about air bags... You should also check into Timbren's. They are a heavy duty bump stop that goes in place of the factory bump stops. When installed, there should be roughly a half an inch clearance between the bump stop and axle so you notice no change in ride with no load, but when you put a load in the bed or tow a trailer, it makes contact with the axle and transfers the load off the springs onto the frame and still provides a decent ride. Other than the sag issues from a half ton, that truck of yours will do everything you want it to do and more just as it is. Check out www.timbren.com for more info on them. I use them on my truck and love them.
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Old 08-09-2013, 05:34 PM   #9
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Dry weight means plenty to me. My current trailer weighs 5000 and the new trailer weighs 5800. The extra lbs from loaded weight will transfer straight over to the new camper. It's the extra added 800 lbs that I was curious about but it sounds like the truck will be suitable. Thanks for all the input guys.
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:22 PM   #10
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If you don't already have E rated tires, I'd consider that also. When towing or hauling with my 3/4T I fill them to 80# and when I'm not, I run them at 65#
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