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Which has better Fuel efficiency while towing: 6.2L EcoTec3 or 5.3L E


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I was wondering which engine/axle gearing will have better fuel efficiency while towing a 7,000 lb trailer. I am looking at four combinations: the 6.2L EcoTec3 engine with 3.73 gears, the 6.2L EcoTec3 with 3.42 gears, 5.3 L EcoTec3 with 3.73 gears, or the 5.3 L EcoTec3 with 3.42 gears. My thinking is that the 6.2 w/3.73 gears (more power, torque) would not have to work as hard, so should have better mileage. Am I looking at this correctly? Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

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3.73 gears with either the 5.3 or the 6.2 if you plan on towing that much regularly would be my opinion. The taller gearing might help with the mileage while towing and may allow AFM to work more while towing. The 6.2 being a larger displacement may also allow for more AFM useage regular driving and towing.

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For 7,000 lbs, I would only look at 6.2/3.73; it'll be easier on many things all the way around.

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I probably should clarify: The dry weight of our trailer is 5,100 lbs. I figure we will add 1,900 lbs in camping equipment and "stuff". (Maybe a combined gross of 12,800lbs for both trailer and truck) I've read where the new Silverado 1500, equipped with the 6.2L/3.73 gears is rated at a 12,000 lbs towing and a GCVW of 17,700 lbs.) We too are retired and plan on spending more time traveling. Historically, we have traveled once a year to Breckenridge, CO. I have had some problems towing at that altitude with the Tahoe and a smaller trailer, so I want to make sure we do not re-live those experiences. So, I need to make sure I get the right configuration on the new tow vehicle. If we get the right configuration for towing in Colorado, we will be able to tow our trailer anywhere. Again, thank you for your responses.

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There won't be much difference in mpg when towing. All else equal, a smaller displacement motor running higher rpm is more efficient than a larger motor running low rpms. Things usually aren't equal, though, and you probably won't see much difference. The 5.3 should do a little better unloaded, but it's not a huge difference (according to GM's specs).

 

I think I'd be happy towing my 7k lb camper w/ either motor and 3.73 gearing. I'm doing it w/ my current 5.3/4-spd/3.73 now, so either of those options would be "better" for power/torque, and the 6-spd/3.73 provides more gearing options. I've towed over 10k ft in the Rockies w/ this setup. The 6.2 should handle that situation better, but nothing beats a turbo at high elevation. I remember worrying myself about those mountains before our trip, but they never bothered me. Yes, we slowed down, and I had the pedal to the floor for some long climbs, but it wasn't stressful. The winds of TX and the great plains were what wore me out some days, and the only thing that would have helped there would have been a DRW diesel :) Power wasn't the biggest issue, and neither was sway, it was just the constant pounding of wind gusts for hours on end.

 

What does the 6.2 option cost over the 5.3? I suspect that will over-ride whatever mpg differences there may be, but I'd lean that way if the difference isn't huge.

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Thank you to everyone who has posted to this thread. Keep your opinions coming. Update: With your opinions in mind, I have ordered a '14 Silverado 1500 LTZ 4WD, with the 6.2 L and the Max Trailer (3.73 gears) Package. Thank you again for your opinions.

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