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Old 08-10-2015, 08:35 AM   #1
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Enough truck?

I know this question gets asked a lot, but I just have to ask it. We are new owners of a 2014 Jay Flight SLX 264bhw. Dry weight is 4550 lbs.

Our tow vehicle is a 2006 Chevy Silverado crew cab 1500 4WD with a 5.3L V8 engine and 3.42 rear axle. It also has the Z71 off-road package and has a factory installed tow package. The GVWR is 7000 lbs. (I hope I'm saying all of this right!) The owners manual says that the maximum trailer weight is 7400 lbs., or GCWR of 13,000.

The Jayco dealership told us our truck should easily be able to handle this load, and set us up for towing with weight distribution and anti-sway. Everything looks good and level and we don't notice any sway.

Trailering is great on level roads; however, on hilly interstates the truck seems to be struggling. Moving along at 60 mph, we approach a hill - RPM between 2500 and 3000 and by the time we reach the top, we're down to 45 mph.

Is our truck too weak to handle this trailer, or do we just need to push it harder on those hills and not worry about the RPMs?

Thanks in advance for any input!
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Old 08-10-2015, 08:43 AM   #2
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I had essentially the same combination, except I had the 3:73 ratio, and my trailer was the '12 26BH.

In my case the only issue was the mountains, specifically the 4-speed transmission. Had my truck been a bit newer and had the 6 speed I'm sure it would have performed much better.

In your '06, I believe that it still has the 4 speed transmission. The 4 speed combined with a 3:42 would give me some concern, if I'm mistaken and it's a 6 speed with the 3:42 I would have much less concern.

In the end your truck will pull that trailer, but I would expect the mountains/hills to be challenging.
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Old 08-10-2015, 08:57 AM   #3
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We just picked up our 2016 26BH (dry weight 5009) on Friday. Our TV is a 2004 Silverado regular cab 4.8L with 3.73. Towing through the hills of eastern NY and PA I was able to maintain 60-65 with max RPM of 2800. I was a little concerned before picking it up but the combo seems to work for me. It may be worth a gear swap to get a little more oomph. Hope it works out for you.
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Old 08-10-2015, 09:04 AM   #4
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Without weighing everything, it's difficult to tell if you're within capacities. It seems like you should be with 7000 GVWR. Is that what the door placard says? Don't go by manuals or online references; the door placard on your specific truck has the most important figures.

Another thing about the 5.3 I see a lot is "it revs really high". Keep in mind that that engine reaches it's peak HP and torque very high in the RPM band. So for brief times, it's okay to let the motor wind up. This was the case with my Sierra, and as long as I wasn't hauling along the whole day at 3500 RPMs, it was okay to let it rev when it needed to.

I agree that the 4 spd with 3.42 is unfortunate; my 2012 had the 6 spd with 3.42 and would've handled that trailer nicely.

And remember, it's not a race. If you're going up a grade and you are down at 45 mph, just scoot over to the right most lane (if you're not there already) and let the truck do its job, and watch your transmission temp.

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Old 08-10-2015, 09:22 AM   #5
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Yes, according to the RPO code (M30) in the glove compartment, it's a 4-speed.

And yes, the door placard is where I got the 7000 GVWR.
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Old 08-10-2015, 09:30 AM   #6
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I had essentially the same TV combo - 2007 1500 (4spd, 3.42, 2WD) pulling or 26BH and had the exact experience you are having. I'd leave it in 3rd most of the time and let it rev but it just bogged down and didn't seem like that combo was up to the task.

If you can swing a truck payment, look for a 5.3 with a 6 speed or a 2500 with the 6.0 and you will be happier.
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Old 08-10-2015, 09:40 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Iraqvet05 View Post
snip ...

If you can swing a truck payment, look for a 5.3 with a 6 speed or a 2500 with the 6.0 and you will be happier.
+1, the bigger truck will tow nicer. But consider yourself warned; If you go with a 2500/250 series truck, you may find yourself with a bad case of "two-footitis".

I upgraded my truck, but my trailer upgrade dreams were shut down in short order by the boss. It's okay, we have enough trailer...

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Old 03-28-2016, 09:16 AM   #8
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I pulled this model TT with a Toyota Sequoia which has a 7000 pound towing capacity. It tows just fine. You may want to turn off the overdrive if you find the truck constantly shifting in and out of overdrive and revving the engine. Any half ton truck is going to know it's back there and work harder on hills. As others said, just take your time and you will be ok. I assume the truck has a tranny cooler? If not you may want to add one. It's a pretty easy install.
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Old 03-28-2016, 10:12 AM   #9
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Your engine and gear ratio combination may be a little on the weak side for towing. That is not to say it is not good though. As Camper Bob says, "its not a race." If you are pulling a grade and drop to 45mph, so be it. You have enough truck for the job according to the weights.

A quick reference tale to hopefully put your mind at ease. In my previous set up, my TV was a 1981 Ford F-250 LB. It had a Dana 60 limited slip rear end, the Borg-Warner 4 speed manual transmission (with the compound low 1st gear) and the 300 Cu.In. straight 6 cylinder with the single barrel Carter carburetor. My TT was my old Komfort 5er. Per all the specifications regarding weights for the trailer, and truck, I was not near any maximums fully loaded. Yet, whenever pulling a grade, I always ended up around 45MPH and in 3rd gear. There were times out in Northern Nevada where on a flat out across highway 50 I was hit by strong head winds and could only maintain 55MPH in 4th gear. Otherwise, for all normal conditions she would purr along at 60-65 towing that 5er. The one thing I miss about that old truck with that engine, tranny and rear end, was that I got 15 MPG whether I was fully loaded and towing or when I was empty.

So sit back, be comfortable, when you come to a grade drop a gear, let your engine at the low end of your RPM power band, and watch your transmission temperature (if you have a transmission temp gauge, if not consider having one installed (many people forget, that all trucks do not always come with trans temp gauges unless they are less than 3-5 years old)). Consider doing the same going down hill too. That gear ratio may let you run into overspeed going downhill if you are not careful.
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Old 03-28-2016, 04:58 PM   #10
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For 2014 season, we had a 2006 Tahoe with 5.3L and 3.73 gears (and 4 speed trans) - it did ok, but the spacing between the trans gears caused it to kick all the way to 2nd gear at times on steep grades and the engine would be screaming at 4,000 rpm. For 2015, I bought my current 2010 Silverado with 5.3L and 3.42 gears (and 6 speed trans) - the difference is night and day with the 6 speed transmission! And, I get way better mileage driving the Silverado every day... If you can do it, I would move up to a newer truck with a 6 speed one day!

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