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Can 5.3L Pull A Trailer?

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#16 dougmac



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Posted 28 November 2001 - 08:26 PM

How big would a 5000 lb camping trailer be?

It's 18' but it is heavier than most of the 18 footers I have seen. So you can probably find trailers that are bigger that weight the same.  The 27 footer that Shaners has posted doesn't look like it weights much more than my 18 footer does.


#17 Jpshostr


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Posted 26 November 2001 - 06:14 PM

With a trailer of that size I would want more vehicle under me than an Avalanche, something more in the line of a Silverado HD.  The 5.3L can pull trailers, but I'm thinking a 26-28' travel trailer is a bit much to be asking from it.
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#18 Shaners


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Posted 26 November 2001 - 07:51 PM

There are alot of nice trailers out now that are very towable with the Av.  The Holiday Rambler Alumalite and the Coachman Futura series are both built well and have alot of light weight composite and aluminum materials in them.  They would be OK in the 26-28 foot range.  I had a 30' Coachman that I towed with my '89 G20 conversion van.  I worked it hard but it did OK.  The biggest problem I had with it was the BFG radial T/A's weren't up to the task.  They just didn't have enough sidewall strength.  You'll want load range C or D tires (preferably D).  They claimed the G20 to be a 3/4 ton van but it wasn't.  It had 5-bolt wheels and a wimpy frame and mushy brakes.

The second big tow vehicle I had was a '97 light-duty F250 excab shortbed 4x4 (7700 GVW).  I had load range D tires on it and it handled the load well.  This time I had my 32' Jayco with the 14' slideout.  The truck was up to the task but the Triton 5.4L (first year production) and the E4OD automatic weren't.  Even with the shift kit the tranny was like mush with that much weight behind it, and the motor was screaming in second gear whenever I pulled a hill (even on the interstate).

Then I bought my '00 Silverado.  It had a stronger motor and tranny.  I never towed with it though because I only owned it about 9 months and that was in the winter.  I did however replace the lightweight tires with some load range D anticipating some towing this summer.  Well, I bought the HD because I needed a bigger cab, and it tows just fine.  Nice tranny/motor combo and load range E tires.

To make a long story short.  Your tires are an important link in towing safely.  Your truck will tow a trailer of that size, but not at the speed of sound!!!  The 5.3L makes good power but it has to rev a little.  My 6.0L is the same way...  Once you get used to seeing the tach reading between 2400-3200 RPM you won't mind a bit!!!  My friends are towing car-haulers every weekend with there 5.3L and they like them...

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#19 chevy4x4trucks


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Posted 27 November 2001 - 08:53 AM

I pulled a 22' car type hauler trailer that was made into a stake bed type thing.  It's a work trailer and weighs about 3,000 pounds and I loaded in a bunch of wood so it weighed a good 4,000 - 4,500 pounds.  My truck w/ the 4.8 had no problems pulling it, starting, stopping, or manuvering.  Ther trailer didn't have any brakes on it (heck I didn't have the wires hooked up since I didn't have a connecter that adapted for it.)
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#20 ryr8828



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Posted 27 November 2001 - 04:59 PM

The way I justified trading my Expedition for the Av was the increase in fuel economy. Which I got. 8.1L wouldn't have given me an increase in the 13.5 MPG the Ford was getting. It would have been neat to have though. I thought about the camper (versus keeping the motorhome) because the Av is such a blast, and so comfortable. I realize I can't have the best of both worlds, since I got the 3.73 gears for fuel economy. I had a 1988 Chevy ext cab long bed w/350 and 2.90 gears (if I remember right). I know 2.90 sounds mighty high. I pulled a trailer from Albuquerque NM to Marion, IL loaded with the kids Pinto and furniture, and the truck loaded with furniture. 4 adults and a baby. Truck was new. I recall yanking it around like it wasn't there. Used up my brakes tho. This 5.3 should make more HP than that 350, so maybe I remember things better than they really were.

#21 CapnDean



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Posted 29 November 2001 - 02:41 PM

I have towed a 20' flatbed with a Ferd 8N tractor & bushog on it. (Give or Take 6K lbs).

My 4.8 handles it okay so long as you don't try to get in a hurry.  I am more concerned about the ability to stop this unit than I am my ability to PULL it!

I dislike the tow/haul mode as I feel it holds the truck in gear waaayyyy toooo long.  I prefer to just drop it into D (avoid the 4th gear of course) and go.

I agree that the 350 in my 1989 Silverado had bigger balls than my 4.8 (or the 5.3 that I drive)...  But that came at a fuel economy price too.

Overall?   If you don't tow a whole bunch...stick with whatcha got.

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