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Old 04-30-2012, 02:36 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Seann45 View Post
Peter get the 6L instead of the 5.3... when towing you will be near the max of the 5.3 and mileage will suffer.. with the 6L you will have a little power left over and that will get you better mileage....
You have to step up to a 2500 to get the 6.0 gas motor. There is a 6.2 available in the half ton, but mileage will be worse when not towing (not necessarily because it's a bigger engine, but because you have to get 3.73s with it).

The 5.3 will do just fine with a load of 7k lbs. A bigger truck with more power will ALWAYS tow a given load better than a smaller one, but 95% of the time, the smaller one will do a very good job as well. Not everyone needs (or wants) a dually to tow a 25' camper.
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:57 PM   #12
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You have to step up to a 2500 to get the 6.0 gas motor. There is a 6.2 available in the half ton, but mileage will be worse when not towing (not necessarily because it's a bigger engine, but because you have to get 3.73s with it).

The 5.3 will do just fine with a load of 7k lbs. A bigger truck with more power will ALWAYS tow a given load better than a smaller one, but 95% of the time, the smaller one will do a very good job as well. Not everyone needs (or wants) a dually to tow a 25' camper.
Last I saw, they did not make a 1500 dually with the 6.2 ltr engine.

I think Seann45 was offering excellent advise. The 5.3 will be at its max, just as Seann45 pointed out. If you tow 7K lbs, especially in the mountains, you will not be happy with the 5.3.

The 6.2 would be a much stronger engine for towing. Personally, I would choose it over the 5.3. But, that's just me.

Trust me I've been in the same shoes. I had a Chevy 1500 van with a 5.7 ltr engine and 3.42 gears. It struggled towing a 5500 lb trailer on inclines, not mountains. So, I spent the money and had the gears swapped with 3.73's. Better, but still had issues. Bit the bullet and bought a Suburban with an 8.1 ltr engine and 4.10 gears. That was a tow beast. Allowed me to get a larger trailer with a slide (see sig).

Been there, done that....
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Old 04-30-2012, 05:25 PM   #13
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I've made a conscious decision during trip planning to avoid steep grades whenever possible. An interstate highway is out of standard if it has a grade > 7%.

My 2012 Chevy Silverado 2WD EXT CAB with a 5.3L/6 spd/3.42 powertrain delivers maximum hp at 5200 rpm and maximum torque at 4000 rpm.

On a recent trip from Flagstaff to Phoenix AZ I drove 6.5% grades at 4500 rpm. During these short segments of the trip I passed semi trucks and was passed by vehicles not towing.

On level highway my pickup cruises 65 mph in tow mode at 1900 rpm. I don't see the need for either a larger engine or truck.
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Old 04-30-2012, 05:54 PM   #14
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I've made a conscious decision during trip planning to avoid steep grades whenever possible. An interstate highway is out of standard if it has a grade > 7%.....
Most of Colorado will be out of the question....
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:55 PM   #15
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Last I saw, they did not make a 1500 dually with the 6.2 ltr engine.
I didn't say that they did. The point I was trying to make is that you don't need a 1 ton truck to pull a trailer, even though most of the internet would have you think so.

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Originally Posted by drfife View Post
I had a Chevy 1500 van with a 5.7 ltr engine and 3.42 gears.

Been there, done that....
Unless it had one of the new 6sp transmissions, it was a completely different animal. I had a Chevy 1500 with a 350, 4sp auto, and 3.42 gears and it couldn't even get out of it's own way, much less pull a trailer. That is really no comparison to a 2012 Chevy with a 6 speed and 3.42 gears though.

I agree that in the old days, bigger motors and lower gearing always pulled a trailer better. Today, however, you can get a half ton truck that pulls very well (but not perfect) and still get better than average mpg when not towing. That's not easy to do with a big block and deep gearing.

The original poster didn't ask if he should get a bigger engine, different gearing, or a different truck. He asked if anyone had experience with something similar to what he is/was looking at. The advise to get a bigger truck is ALWAYS *good* advise, but it is not ALWAYS necessary. The truck that the OP is looking at is more than capable of what he is asking it to do.

Rant over.
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:10 PM   #16
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I have the 2010 Silverado version. 5.3L 6spd with Tow Package and IBC. We don't normally go further than 2 hours from home while towing the 28BHS. The numbers are all within the limits. It likes to settle in at about 103Km/h. I can run at 110km's (spd limit), but it shifts a lot more. I also pull in the mountains west of Calgary, Alberta going into British Columbia, and can hold my speed ok up the long grades... Of course i would love the HD Diesel, but this truck gets great city mileage with the cylinders that shut down. We chose this over the HD, because our camping season up here is about 4-5 months so the HD would be overkill for the remaining 7-8 months
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Old 05-01-2012, 05:54 PM   #17
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Chevy indeed has a 6.2 available in the 1500 series, it has 403hp and 417ft lbs of torque. It comes with the Max Tow package. The only draw back to me on this motor is that it has an aluminum block. Almost forgot that it gives the 1500 a 10,700lb tow rating....
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:53 PM   #18
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Get at least a 3/4 ton long bed or better yet go for a real truck and get a 3500 4x4 crewcab longbed dually, mines a GMC but any of the big three.
The longer wheelbase and wider the better.
Otherwise with a dinky 1/2 ton the tail will wag the dog, seen a few with the dog and tail napping on the ground not quite how they should be...there is no having too much truck.
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:52 PM   #19
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Are you brand loyal? Have you looked at the Toyota Tundra's with a 5.7 tow package?
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:35 PM   #20
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I have a 2005 Chevy 4x4 crew with the 5.3 I tow a 2011 264BH. The truck tows great and the only problem I had was the trailer really pushed down the rear of the truck if i had much of anything in the bed. I have a weight distribution hitch and it still sagged the rear pretty bad. I put on a set of Firestone airbags and I was able to level the ride and improve the towing greatly. I was amazing how much smoother the ride was with the airbags.
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