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Towing with a 5.3 engine and 3:42 rearend


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So I have the above set-up and I'm curious what others are experiencing when they tow.

 

I tow a 22 foot Pontoon boat, trailer has surge brakes on one axle. Total weight is roughly 4500 pounds.

 

Maybe I'm expecting to much but I'm not impressed, just curious what others are experiencing.

 

My trailer does have surge brakes, and I'm using a 2" drop tow pindle. I'm wondering if that could be part of the issue as the trailer neck is certainly not level.

 

I'm so dissapointed that I almost pulled the trigger on 2015 with 6.2 ltr until I saw that the differential was 3.23, intially I thought it would be a 3.73. After I discovered that, I killed the deal.

 

I also considered the HD 6.0 ltr but the only rearend offered is a 4.10. 3.73 is only offered in the diesel.

 

Anyway, any insights are welcomed.

 

TIA,

MIke

Edited by mzodarg
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is there a question?

 

I have towed ~5k car trailer and it pulled just fine, albeit that I live in Houston so it is mostly flat here. not sure what you expect out of the truck. I feel that people feel like that since these trucks have almost 10k trailer weight ratings that if they tow half of that the truck should pull the weight without you knowing it (i.e. like a diesel would). these trucks are not diesels and do not have the massive amount of low end torque that they do. if you are towing 4500 lbs then you are going to feel the trailer back there and your engine will rap up a bit to get the entire setup moving.

 

now your truck should not feel like it's about to break or have trouble keeping it's speed with that amount of weight.

 

it should not have trouble stopping either. obviously it's going to take longer to stop and a little more brake pressure to get everything to a halt. but if you have a it in tow / haul mode when braking the engine should down shift and the engine should act as a sophisticated air brake, helping you stop.

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The experience has a lot to do with where you're coming from. Comparing it with my 2005 Chevy 2WD crew cab short bed 5.3 with a 3.23 and my 2015 GMC 2WD crew cab short bed 5.3 with a 3.42 is way better. I've towed a 99 2 door 4x4 Tahoe and a compact tractor (both in the 5,000# range) on a couple different occasions and the GMC has performed great. Now you're not going to get out on the road and set the cruise at 70 and kick back.

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Pontoon boats are big air sails. Are you towing it with the top up? Check and see if you can lower the awning for towing and storage. I routinely pull a scout trailer loaded to the gills. The only time I had trouble was when a surge brake was hung up and dragging me back. I pulled into a parking lot and back the trailer up about 200 feet to clear the brake. Everything all good after that.


Double Post edited away

Edited by MTB
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I tow the pontoon in my sig which is about 5K lbs fully loaded. I've been pretty happy, but not blown away by it. I picked it up in Atlanta and hit some steep grades coming back and truck did great and everything stayed cool. It's much better than my '00 5.3. My trailer is a tandem axle with surge drum brakes on both axles. I'm using a 2" drop ball mount and have Firestone air bags and Bilstein HD shocks coupled with a Hellwig front sway bar.

 

Two things add:

 

1) With the cover on my boat is a parachute it's so tall and creates so much drag. It tows different than a regular boat of the same weight.

 

2) You will see all kinds of people mention: I towed 5K 6K lbs and it was like it wasn't back there. That's just BS if you cannot notice a load like that back there then you're simply a bad driver.

 

 

Measure your tongue weight and dial it in from there. The air bags coupled with more tire pressure and my Bilsteins made it much more pleasant to tow.

Edited by RobZ71LM7
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I'm towing a 2010 Sun Tracker Party Barge 25XP3 Tri-Toon which is really about 27' and the trailer is almost 33'. I forget the total weight, but loaded down with water in the tank for the sink and full of gas, it's pretty heavy and sometimes I need my FWD to get it up my steep driveway, but otherwise, I'm pleased with the way it tows over my 2001 GMC Denali with a 6.0L motor and a 4spd transmission. I was concerned about going down in engine size until I compared the horsepower and torque specs. Then I figured the 6spd transmission was going to make a lot of difference and it does. It helps get up to cruising speed faster. Don't expect to race up any hills with it though...

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  • 5 years later...

I have this setup I a 2015 Silverado. I pull a 2201DS TT weighs 5000# dry. The the truck definitely struggles with it at times. When we went to the Rocky  National Park it actually stated to over heat and I had to keep pulling over before I got up to our camp. Believe e when I got back I went around and around with my dealer and their maintenance mangers with no results.

il should easily pull this camper and sometimes it does like when there’s no wind and no hills. Any suggestions 

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57 minutes ago, Jackie Donnals said:

I have this setup I a 2015 Silverado. I pull a 2201DS TT weighs 5000# dry. The the truck definitely struggles with it at times. When we went to the Rocky  National Park it actually stated to over heat and I had to keep pulling over before I got up to our camp. Believe e when I got back I went around and around with my dealer and their maintenance mangers with no results.

il should easily pull this camper and sometimes it does like when there’s no wind and no hills. Any suggestions 

I have a similar setup same truck but 2018.  25ft TT, 5000 dry.

If you are expecting it to pull like a diesel, forget it.

They do fine on flat roads no wind. Add a little headwind or some grades or both and the 5.3-3.42 just don't have enough ass to keep up. Leave it in 4th gear and let it spin. The 5.3 likes 3000+ rpm and will do it all day long. As for the overheating mine gets up to 220-230 on long grades but cools back down on the downside. If you are planning on going 70-75 mph don't bother. All you can do is keep it around 60-63 mph and go. If it's windy plan on 55mph and a few downshifts to 3rd.

 

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