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Sierra 3.0

2039 Mile Tow with GMC 3.0 SLT

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I just got back from vacation and thought I would let anyone who wants to know what it was like to tow with my 2020 GMC SLT 3.0L diesel.  I will include my towing fuel mileage for the trip.  I purchased my truck on April 15th of this year.  I had an initial build quality issue with it as it was leaking oil when I brought it home.  Turns out there was an improperly installed gasket and seal leading from the oil pump to the engine causing the leak.  The engine leaked 2 out of the 7 quarts of oil before the problem was found.  The dealership fixed the issue and I have been trouble free since.  

 

The truck has 6700 miles as of today.  Overall I'm very happy with the power/smoothness of the 3.0 and 10 speed transmission.   In everyday driving it's a really nice combo.  I know this engine is an unknown in many ways but I wanted better fuel economy and after an abundance of research I took the gamble on the GMC.  I really like the look of the truck and I have wanted a 1/2 ton GMC for some time.  I'm coming from a 2007 new style Chevy 2500 6.6 Duramax.  My average MPG for the 166,****** miles I drove it was right at 14.  I kept it stock and used it for occasional towing but mostly commuting.  I had very little issues with the truck other than rust that developed over the rear wheel wells.  

 

Last week my family and I took a trip from Missouri to Lake Superior and Lake Michigan on the US side.  We left on June 20th and got back on the 28th.  We used RV Share to rent a travel trailer in Iowa on our trip to the lakes.  The trailer was a 32' Keystone Bullet 277BHS,  GVWR 7600lbs.   I did not weigh the truck and trailer but I'm sure the trailer was at least 8500 lbs with our gear etc. 

 

I did use a weight distribution hitch that was provided by the owner.  It was set up for his Ford F-150 and not for my GMC.  I'm sure I could have adjusted it to better control my rig but it worked OK.  The only issue I had towing was bounciness on rough roads.  If I were to own a travel trailer I would add air bags to the rear of my truck and make sure the weight distribution hitch was completely dialed in.  

 

The truck did a great job hauling my family of 4 and the trailer.  I had plenty of power and I did not feel like I needed more engine at anytime during the trip. 

 

The overall comfort in the front seats was fine for long periods of time but the rear seats are too hard and too straight up and down to be comfortable for a long trip.  My wife suggested GM could add a slide to the seat bottom so the seat bottom would slide a short way towards the front seats creating a reclining affect.  Everything else in the truck worked well. 

 

The trucks GPS was slightly below par compared to google maps but it did get us from destination to destination and was OK while navigating.  Using my voice to search for addresses etc did not work well.  The voice calling also does not work well when trying to get a contact to pull up from my phones contact list.  GM needs to fix this. 

 

I hand calculated my mileage at every fuel up using my trip meter and the gallons needed to fill the tank.  I allowed the pump to run until it stopped then waited 20-30 seconds and ran it again until it stopped.  I have attached a pic of the spreadsheet along with the trucks computer read out.

 

In all I averaged 11.73 MPG over the entire 2039.2 miles of towing the trailer.  The trucks computer average was 11.31 MPG.

 

I hope this helps anyone who is curious about this truck and engine combo for towing.

 


 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for the report.

 

Interesting that for every fill the actual mpg was better than the dic mileage.

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That's been very consistent with regular driving as well.  The hand calculation is always better than the computer.

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Thanks for the write up!  How was your DEF consumption?  Mine goes in tomorrow for an oil leak and a DEF recall

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4 hours ago, BurnsMax said:

Thanks for the write up!  How was your DEF consumption?  Mine goes in tomorrow for an oil leak and a DEF recall

I filled up before I left.  I used about 15 gallons during the trip.  Just FYI...I hate DEF.  Its not too bad if you fill up at a pump but if you use the jugs it overflows and leaves nasty white crystal mess all over your truck side.  It also makes your hands all sticky.  

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Yeah that's what I heard about the DEF.  I haven't I had to fill it up yet.  I have about 3400 miles on the clock and about half a tank of DEF left.

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Great write up! thank you 

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Great write up! This is so similar to my set up.  32 foot 7k lb trailer that we will be setting out in on Friday for a 1000-1500 mile roadtrip.  My previous tow vehicle was 2006 LBZ duramax.  I did at the airbags to my 3.0 and set up my distribution hitch.  It improved trailer ride dramatically from my first camper run.  I think I will hit the scale on this trip just to see where I am at.

Did you measure sag at the hitch or wheel well at all?  Have you done this trip with your old Dmax to compare against?  

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No, I did not measure the drop but I could see it.  The steering felt fine and not loose.  When I picked it up I just used the same setting he had for his F-150. 

 

I did tow a camper with my 07 Duramax.  We took a trip to Texas and went across the entire state and along the Gulf Coast.  I seem to remember getting about 10 or 11 MPG for that trip but it was a lighter trailer than the one I towed last week and the computer usually overestimated my mileage instead of underestimating it.  

 

I hope you guys have a great vacation and I know you will enjoy the pulling experience!!

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