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New truck, new trailer, new to this!


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I'm in the process of picking out a truck for the trailer we plan to purchase.  I'm hoping to go with the chevy Silverado 1500 as this will also be my commuter.  I need halfway decent gas mileage.  Dry weight of the trailer is roughly 5700 tongue weight is roughly 650 length is 28 and some change.  Will the 1500 be adequate for pulling?  I plan on getting a sway bar system.  I'm still reading up on the Silverado.  Not all trucks are created equal.  A lot of this has to do with the axel ratio, tow package, bed length etc etc.  a lot to consider here.  Help is appreciated :)

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If you get the max towing package you’ll be ok. 2500HD and you’ll never think twice about towing. The weak spot for the 1500 is the payload capacity of the trailer tongue weight and people in the truck


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 I think that with the MaxTow package you would be fine. Get the Trailering Mirrors - they are great even for daily driving and essential for towing a TT. That engine loves to rev and thinks 3500-4000 RPM is fine. Watch what you put in the bed and remember that the tongue wt often does not include batteries and lpg which add around 100lbs directly to the tongue.

 

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I have a 2015 max trailering package, 6.2 with 3.42 gears, Crew cab, short bed, 4x4. I pull a 36' travel trailer, 9600 lbs fully loaded and 1,000 lb tongue weight. I've filled the bed full of wood and pulled it for miles. Changed out the crappy passenger tires for 10 ply michelins and have a propride 3p hitch with 1400 lb spring bars to distribute the weight. Added bilstein 5100 shocks all the way around.

 

 

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There are a couple of things to consider,  cargo capacity and length / mass of the towing vehicle.

 

So the dry hitch weight is 650.   Right off with a 1500 that leaves about 1200 or so capacity.  Add in weight for bikes, coolers, people and you start inching towards your limit.  Add more stuff to your camper, the hitch weight goes up as well. 

 

Most people end up adding about 1000 lb of stuff in their camper.  Dishes, food, chairs and clothes. If you are dry camping then add 4-500 lb of water. Just be conscious and realistic about your load out.

 

Then you can consider the ratio of trailer weight to the tow vehicle weight.  a 7000lb trailer being pushed by the wind or passing semi's will win over a 5500 lb truck every time.  And the shorter wheelbase the truck, the easier it is for the trailer push it in different directions.

 

I started off in a 2015 GMC 1500, 5.3, 3.42 gears.  I added sumo springs and Bilstein shocks, P3 brake controller and equalizer hitch.

 

My camper was about 7200 lb loaded, 31 ft long.

 

It would start and stop just fine.  But wind, bad roads, semi's, really made some of the trips pretty scary.  We had a close call with a semi that cut us off. 

 

Then I moved up to a 2500 hd Duramax.  The difference is amazing.  When I get where we are going I am not as worn out.  The trip is much more enjoyable and safer.  And only about 10% of that difference is due to the diesel.  Diesel is awesome for the gas mileage and the power but the safety comes from the 2500 chassis. 

 

You can do it with the 1500.  I would do max tow if you do.  If I were daily driving the truck and only tow about 3 times a year, 1500 would be a no brainer.   We camp prob 12-14 times a season with at least two as longer trips.

 

If your camper were a little heavier or a little longer I would vote solid to the 2500 side.  But you are in an area on both where I think you can do a 1500 better than what I did.  But.... a 2500 will always tow easier.

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I pull pretty much the same trailer set up you have (5,500 dry, 8,000lbs gross) with absolutely no issues. Vacation the past 5 winters in Florida (from Ontario). 

Couple weeks ago traded in my 2014 on a 2017, but both trucks have the same driveline (5.3L, 4x4, crew with 3.42 gears). The only difference is the 2017 has a standard box up from the short box.

When looking for a 1500 truck, the biggest thing you need to be mindful for is the GEAR ratio.

Stay away from 3.08s if you are going to pull anything bigger than a popup, they are only rated to pull 6,000 lbs or so.

The 3.42 gears are good for 9,100 lbs. 

Good luck in your search.

 

Edited by BrianVV
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The LT tires make sense.  Just don't pump them up too much.  Get the load pressure chart from the tire OEM and inflate accordingly.  Pressing the edge of the envelope, but should be doable with a 1500.  Like has been stated, watch the load out.  

 

The only other observation is, a good 2500 has significantly more overall capability than a 6.2 1500.  Maybe not off the line, but it will pull a house down and can carry 1000 lb more.  Frame and brakes are beefier in a 2500.  Beefed up trans, engine oil, and radiator cooling.... standard.   A 6500 lb trailer will feel like nothing is back there with a 2500.   Even the 6.0L gasser is rated for over twice that and the new ones have 1700 lb tongue rating, stock and without a WD hitch.  And in most cases, cheaper in buying price as well by a good margin.  There has always been sound wisdom in buying a little more truck than what you think you might need, just like in computers, you always buy a computer with more RAM than you think you will need.  And the engine in a truck is just one part of the equation.

Edited by Cowpie
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Something to consider is the engine choices - 5.3 vs 6.2 both have an available NHT MaxTow package for them but the other components wheels/tires, transmission, rear gears are different. It would probably be worthwhile to run a full comparison between the two - esp if you plan on getting the LTZ trim where you have the choice. I did notice that the CGWR for the 6.2L combo is 17,700 vs 16,700 for the 5.3L. So that tells me that there is slightly more power to the wheels with the 6.2L. The 6.2L also requires premium fuel which may or may not be an issue.

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The LT tires make sense.  Just don't pump them up too much.  Get the load pressure chart from the tire OEM and inflate accordingly.  Pressing the edge of the envelope, but should be doable with a 1500.  Like has been stated, watch the load out.  
 
The only other observation is, a good 2500 has significantly more overall capability than a 6.2 1500.  Maybe not off the line, but it will pull a house down and can carry 1000 lb more.  Frame and brakes are beefier in a 2500.  Beefed up trans, engine oil, and radiator cooling.... standard.   A 6500 lb trailer will feel like nothing is back there with a 2500.   Even the 6.0L gasser is rated for over twice that and the new ones have 1700 lb tongue rating, stock and without a WD hitch.  And in most cases, cheaper in buying price as well by a good margin.  There has always been sound wisdom in buying a little more truck than what you think you might need, just like in computers, you always buy a computer with more RAM than you think you will need.  And the engine in a truck is just one part of the equation.

The reason I went with the 1500 6.2 is because I daily drive it. I get 18-19 mpg and a 6.0 2500 might get 12 mpg. If I ever went 2500 it would be a diesel. Higher gears in the diesel vs the 6.0 equals a little better fuel mileage.


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Like is many times the case, how a vehicle is driven accounts for MPG more than any one factor.  My 2015 2500 has averaged 13-14 mpg  over its life and 17-18 mpg on road trips.  It is generally true that taller gears can equate to better mpg, but it is dependent on many other factors also, like do the gear put the engine RPM at cruise in the optimum band of the engine in question.  Lower RPM does not always equate to better mpg.  

 

But still, the 6.0L 2500 does not have some of the goofy stuff the 1500 series engines have, like AFM.  And it can tow over 13,000 lb and even full of fuel with two people on board and a few hundred lb of tools and such in the back, it will still comfortably haul 2300 lb and still be in the OEM rating.  And a 6.0 2500 is cheaper off the lot than any comparable equipped 6.2L 1500.  More capability for less money.  And the 6.2, one is pretty much limited to Premium fuel, maybe mid grade, to get full performance.  The 6.0 2500 is a flex fuel engine.   E85 right now is $1.20 less per gallon than Premium in my area.  And my 2500 has averaged 11-12 mpg on E85.  Premium at current price of around $2.99 in my area at 18 mpg is about 16.6 cents a mile fuel cost.  E85 at about $1.79 in my area at 12 mpg is about 15 cents a mile fuel cost.  Cheaper to run.   Even using E10 at $2.29 in my area now and say 14 mpg average that mine has gotten, the cost is   about 16.5 cents a mile... no more cost per mile than a 6.2L using Premium at 18 mpg.  And a 2500 6.0 compared to a equivalent 1500 6.2, the 2500 is much cheaper off the lot by a considerable margin.

 

Lower cost, more capability, and no more cost to operate..... no brainer.

Edited by Cowpie
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I think your thoughts to go with a Silverado 1500 are absolutely bang on for the type of driving and towing you want to do. Yes on every forum there will always be people who will say anything more then a utility trailer requires a heavy duty to be safe but thats simply not true with the modern GM trucks, the hyroformed steel frame, brakes, suspension and transmission of the 1500 is more then capable of handling a 6-7,000lb trailer safely. I tow my 8.5x24ft enclosed trailer about once a month loaded to around 7,500lbs and usually travel anywhere from 200-500 miles with 4 guys in the cab of the truck, it squats about 2.5 inches but rides very smooth I have never experienced any major sway or undulation when on rough roads.

 

Yes if towing/hauling is all you do there is no doubt a 2500+ series truck is a beefier platform and would be more suited to that lifestyle but a heavy duty is a pig to daily drive compared to the 1500, and the difference in ride quality is night and day, I would not want to commute for long periods unloaded with a heavy duty. If you are like me and tow occasionally and tow less then 10k do yourself a favor and stick with your initial gut feeling, a 1500 is the right truck for you. Plus the majority of the time when you need your truck to just be an unloaded commuter vehicle the 1500 blows the heavy duty out of the water, it has vastly superior fuel mileage when unloaded as well as a smooth quiet ride.

 

There are only three options you need to have on your new truck:

-Tow Package (max is great but not necessary)

-3.42 gearing

-trailer brake controller

 

 

Edited by True North Truckin
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Well, you do have a point. My 2500 is not a daily driver.  For a daily driver, even a 1500 would be a stretch for me.  It was one thing when gas was a buck a gallon or less.  But times have changed.   Heck, I only put 2600 miles on my 2500 from June 2016 to June 2017.  Have only put 1600 miles on it since June.  

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I just upgraded from a 14 1500 high country, 5.3 3:42. I had air lift 5000 setup. Ran e85 only, saw on highway 20, street 14. Truck hauled whatever i could throw at her, once had a payload of around 3k lbs. You felt it but air bags helped. Traded in for a 15 high country 2500 6.0, i bought a 38' travel trailer 8500lbs. 2500 pulls it, diesel prob would have been better as mpg towing through mountains is 7mpg. Truck is my DD, i run e85 cause its 1.59, 87 is 2.69. Street driving 8mpg highway no tow 13 14mpg. I do a ton of city driving atleast 85% is street so couldnt afford to buy a diesel.

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Heidi,

 

Welcome!!!

 

As mentioned, the 1500 is capable towing the weights your posted. But you will have to be mindful of what is loaded in the truck bed (coolers, firewood, etc) depending on what your loaded tw (tongue weight) ends up being, and what the occupant (passenger) weight is in the truck. 

 

While you are considering your first tt, there is the issue many of us have after a year or two owning the first rig: twofootitis!!! IF you remotely think you may end up buying a bigger tt in a year or two (or three), seriously consider the 2500HD now. MY 2500HD 6.0 is my daily driver, but I only have a 10.5 mi commute which helps. BUT it tows our ~10k lb (loaded for a trip) Jayco just fine.

 

A Reese Dual Cam, Reese SC, or the Equal-I-Zer 4 way system are all a very good wdh with integrated sway control. The Husky Centerline and Recurve R6 also have pretty good reviews, but are newer than the Reese or Equal-I-Zer systems.

 

Good luck shopping!!!

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