I believe Im going to be only getting the 1500 if I can find a max tow so I have more payload wiggle room. Other life factors maybe changing so Im going to keep Silverado HD and even Chevrolet Express 3500 as options when I start shopping (after this covid madness is over).
Yes this is true and happens a lot depending on where in the country you live. There are a lot of 2 lane roads in Texas with 70MPH and 75MPH speed limits. Really bites when your behind a gravel hauler doing 68 MPH and a nice passing zone comes up. Most passenger cars that have limiters because of tires etc are set around 110MPH which is a lot more practical for passing safely in some scenarios. Its nice that RAM trucks have a bit more speed in them. Been that way for a while. I bet its a combination of engineering recommendations and the company lawyers.
Being that its a used truck, you never know how the vehicle was operated or in what conditions. Hot temps, stop and go traffic, short trips and especially towing can all reduce ATF fluid life. I agree, that fluid is toast, change it now. I hate when service people say lifetime fluid or 100k changes blah blah blah. The manual typically says on the 6L80E in most vehicles, 100k for "normal" driving and 50,000 severe service but if you look up the definition of what they say severe service is, it encompasses like 95 percent of drivers at least some of the time. Throw any heavy towing and or really hot temps I can easily see the ATF only lasting to 39,000. Obviously these intervals are estimates meant to encompass most preconceived conditions. But best bet is to keep an eye on your fluids, and your trans temps when you are towing, off roading, etc and if you ever run it hot, be prepared to change it sooner than later regardless of mileage for maximum transmission life.
The way the vehicle is equipped varies and so does the speed limiter. 2019 Silverado crew cab short bed 5.3L 8speed with 17 inch wheels limited to 98MPH. 2017 Silverado WT 4x4 crew cab, 17 inch wheels 5.3L 6speed did 106MPH. 2020 K2XX police package Tahoe has no electronic limiter and with 5.3L/6speed/3.08 (2WD version) does 139 and if I remember correctly, acheives this speed at the top of 4th gear. I doubt a half ton truck would be able to acheive faster than that unless is was a 6.2L.
Very true. Most of the non NHT trucks I have been looking at are LTs and if they are 2WD many of them have 1800 + payload ratings which is fairly decent for a crew cab comparatively. One thing I am finding is that its rare to find a factory brake controller on a 2WD truck that does not have MAX TOWING where most of th 4x4 trucks Ive have found (no max towing) have the factory brake controller. Weird.
Thanks so much for sharing your input. This is about as close as it gets to a real world review. I have pretty much your exact trailer minus the 2nd door, the couch and about 4 feet. Ive been very happy with the Imagine trailer. Thanks for letting me know about your payload situation. Im gonna try to find a 5.3L max tow truck for some extra payload but its nice to know if I cant find one a 3.42 truck will get the job done. Maybe I'll lean towards a 2WD for a little extra payload. My trailer is lighter of course and my hitch weight is usually around 600 lbs with WD hitch installed. I see you live in Colorado. My main question would be how does your truck handle the mountains out there with that weight? Are you able to maintain the speeds you wish to drive up to and including 65 MPH on most of the grades (if conditions permit)? How does the engine and trans temp respond once you are in the mountains with that much weight. If your truck can handle it my slightly lighter and shorter trailer should be even less strain. I just don't know what to expect with the grades and the toll elevation takes on a NA engine. Although I rarely drive in the mountains, I'm not wanting a TFL Truck Ike gauntlet experience on every grade where you have it floored and the truck is upshifting and down shifting constantly between 2nd and 3rd gear just to maintain 55-60 MPH like when they tested the 2016 Silverado pulling that grade to the Eisenhower tunnel with a 6500 boat and trailer although that was a 3.08 geared six speed truck. In this rare situation I can see why some say the 2nd/3rd gear spread is too wide on the the 6L80E. So glad you chimed in. After I got my trailer and pulled it 10 or 11 times around the state, I noticed that these imagine trailers seem taller than most competing travel trailers are in this class. They definitely seem a bit heavier than most similar size trailers with the same amount of slides but they seem built better in some ways, at least that's my impression after a year of ownership combined with all the horror stories that you hear when people find out your buying an RV. Im a first time RV owner with now a year under my belt. And coincidentally, I'm taking my GD Imagine 2400BH to Colorado this summer.
Wow! You were loaded pretty good. My combined weight with the same weight trailer is usually just north of 10,000 with the 91. Is this the same trip you were talking about when you had to slow to 55 going to Flagstaff? I take it you were floored in 2nd gear/ over 5000RPM at that speed and with that weight? I have a WD hitch and with my 91 it tows level without air bags but Im noticing as I truck shop that my old truck has more payload than most modern 1500 trucks (aside from max towing set ups and regular cabs). I dont have air bags now but Im sure I will need them with a newer truck. I only like the 6.2L for the increased performance but I dont like the packages most of them usually come in. Basically Im trying to avoid the situations I now have with my current truck in the hills. When I get in the hills, the truck will lose speed. I never use over drive but even in 4th (direct) It wont pull hills and some longer hills even 3rd (1.40:1) wont pull hills. If I leave in third on longer hills I end up crawling over the top at 40 MPH. I have found that I can attack pretty much any hill of any grade in 2nd gear meaning my max speed is 55 at 5000 RPM. Its just really working the truck over. I realize I could throw a 3.73 under this thing and it would tow significantly better but still would not be as good as a K2XX truck. I would like a set up that can maintain reasonable speed on hills. Constantly down shifting a manual to 2nd gear on roads like US 281 where everyone is driving 75-80 gets exhausting. And this is with a mostly empty trailer. I like to keep the trailer at least between 55-60 when Im on farm roads, State Highways and US Highways. I want to option of driving 70 on Rural Interstates when appropriate. My buddy has a 2018 GMC Sierra 2500 HD 4x4 6.0L(360HP/380 TQ)/ 6L90E/4.10s and last year he was able to maintain 70 MPH from Kerrville to Davis Mountains on IH-10 west no problem with a longer and heavier trailer. I would like to think that the GEN V 5.3L with almost identical power and maybe even a slightly better torque curve and lighter curb weight would have comparable pulling performance (Note: I didnt say towing performance) despite the gearing disadvantage the 1500 has. I live in the Hill Country, New Braunfels area but have family in Kerrville so I use that quite often as my launching pad for my westward trips.
Thank you for sharing! Your trailer looks to be about identical to mine in size and weight. What type of terrain are you typically towing in? I'm gonna look for a max tow but if I happen to come across the right 5.3L 3.42 6 speed LT truck with a 6'6" bed that is low mileage and under warranty still I may jump at it. I can always add the tow mirrors, upgrade the shocks and tires and maybe even upgrade to the max tow radiator. I am curious though for all the guys that chimed in about their 6.2L, are you running premium fuel like is recommended?
No doubt. I heard a Ford presentation on their upcoming "Ford Telematics". Scary stuff in my opinion. All of the OEMs will be doing it soon. It wont be long before we are all placing the responsibility of our safety, and our freedom in the hands of Apple, Google and the like. And the guy over in silicon valley programming the behavior of our autonomous vehicles likely has never driven a car himself, and depends on Uber and public transportation to get around. I'm holding out as long as I can to stay out of a vehicle that can be hacked into.
I have a theory on bearing failure on these so called "maintenance free" hubs. Obviously on older vehicles where you had to pack grease at least everytime you did the brakes it kind of forced you to change them, inspect them or re-pack them and they lasted. In the police fleet, we see some cars/trucks got 100,000 miles + on the original hubs without failure. Some fail in as little as 15k. This is with many sustained high speed runs in pursuits and just routine emergency response where speeds reach triple digit speeds multiple times just in one busy shift. Now I know some designs are just faulty or at least less than desirable. I think on average the GMT800 trucks showed higher than normal rates of failure compared to other vehicles than came before and after. That being said, I'm convinced that duty cycle is a huge factor in bearing failure when there is no routine maintenance that can be performed. In the police car world, I believe it comes down mostly to how many times and or how long the vehicle has been driven in water, mud, etc deep enough to submerge the hubs (which happens all the time on police cars believe it or not) over the life of that particular set of hubs. Another factor is violent curb strikes, pot holes etc, rough roads, side loads from high speed cornering that occur during the life cycle of that particular hub or hubs. In trucks, all these same things can be variables with the addition of increased loads caused by larger wheels, tires, left kits etc. When its just one side that fails, it could be a combo of duty cycle along with an extraordinary wheel strike on a curb, pothole or other road hazard, that you either don't know about because someone else was driving the vehicle, the vehicle was purchased used, or maybe you just forgot about that huge ladder you ran over on the highway 3 years ago that is just now catching up to your bearing hub? Not too different from someone that has engine failure 5 years and 100,000 miles later because jiffy lube started the engine without oil and let it run for 2 minutes before realizing their mistake, then filling it up with oil and sending it out the door with the customer none the wiser. Engine is working fine at that moment but just lost 150,000 miles off its expected life...
You guys are awesome. Love the real world accounts you guys are giving. Thanks so much! By the way, YEGbluesilverado, that's an awesome photo! great looking rigs and what awesome scenery!
Thank you, that's very encouraging and what a testament to the 4.3L! Thats a great engine, and its too bad they dont offer it in more GM vehicles these days. I usually tow 55-60 but when I get out on I-10 West of San Antonio, the speed limit is 80 and its very difficult not to kick it up to at 70.
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