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Opinion on "must haves" for new built family/work truck

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Hey everyone, new to the forum and wanted some opinions on what you think is a "must have" for a new Silverado work truck if you were to build one off the website.  


I've been in the market for a Silverado 2500HD Duramax crew cab for a short bit and the used market pricing is absolutely terrible with this chip shortage going on.   I'm not cool with paying 5-15k+ over MSRP considering my father works for GM and with a decent employee discount I can get a brand new one in a few months.


 I haul a relatively loaded 7x16 enclosed work trailer,  as well as lumber and building materials most of the week and have opportunity to use my uncles 14k dump trailer if I ever get a truck that can pull it.  As of now, no large machinery on goosenecks or 5th wheels but hopefully down the road.  When I'm not working I have a wife and two very young children and my current 1500 Silverado double cab is not cutting it with spacing for their car seats. I drive all over the lower peninsula of Michigan for our work and haven't been thrilled with how my 2016 5.3 Silverado 1500 handles a medium sized trailer that's not over loaded.



Truck options:

I've pretty much selected all the convenience packages that have the remote starter, heated cloth seats and other "basic luxuries" but I've never dealt with paying for an aftermarket install for anything such as 5th wheel packages, snow plow kits, power take off, high idle switch, dual alternators, heavy duty front springs/camper package, 10650 vs 11350 GVWR with the 3.42 vs 3.73 gearing change, the multi-flex tailgate vs power up/down tailgate, upfitter switches, etc.


Some of these options are only $150 to $350 to be factory installed and warrantied which makes me want to select as many as I reasonably can if it only bumps my pricing up a thousand and future proofs my truck. 



TL;DR guys, without building a $85,000+ loaded Silverado High Country or Denali Sierra but maintaining some luxuries while also futureproofing and bulletproofing a new truck, what options would you include if you could build a "reasonably priced" new truck that you mainly work in but need space to take your two kids around in.



Have any guys been in a similar boat here?

Thanks in advanced!



Edited by Stephen Groesser
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Well, I bought my truck last year as a custom order last year - It is a gas version but here is some of the things I added or that I like.  I tow a 36 foot travel trailer, a dumper trailer, lots of building materials: Plywood, dry wall etc etc


2500 HD, 4x4, Long box, crew cab


18" steel rims and the better tires: I detest how aluminum rims corrode and then typically leak once you change tires, plus the steels up the load capacity

Convenience Package I and II

I opted for the leather interior with the bench seats (so you can lift the middle console and it is a seat) - under seat storage package for the rear - keeps things organized.  The storage behind the seats is nice for work gloves, safety glasses - some cold weather gear, bungee cords etc

Extra Battery and higher capacity alternator:  Cheaper to add as a factory install.  The extra battery only supplies a 30 amp source to the trailer.  Can be handy if you boon dock or run a fridge through your trailer batteries.  Some trailers have interior lights etc that you may wish to have operational when you park your truck.

There is the Advanced Trailering system that may be included in the Convenience package.  If so add the tire pressure monitors - cheap to add at build time - you still need to put them into your trailer tires afterwards

Spray in Bed Liner - I did this after market but can come with the truck.

All weather mats - they are not bad - Weather Tech would be better but also more cost

I have a cap on the truck so I did not add the rear view mirror/bed view camera - I think the rear view mirror can use the tailgate camera and would have been handy.

Trailer mirrors : if you upgrade you can get them with the rear lights that come on and the curb light - I did not do this and it would have been nice to have in certain times.

I have the up/down tailgate - it is very nice option, especially when you are going to load things or someone else is and you just need to push the remote instead of running back to the truck.

I have the upfitter switches - I added this outside the truck build and for some reason got it very cheap.  It is, however, an option you have to install yourself.  It is not bad, but does take some skill and farting around.  I use it for a rear bed radio, LED lighting in the cap, air compressor and thoughts on a small fridge....

I added the front camper springs as it was inexpensive.  Not sure if they will help for the camper per say, but a quality increase is always nice.

I do not have all the safety stuff, like the proximity alerts, back up alerts or the birds eye camera stuff - I did not feel it necessary and I find the alarms etc to be very annoying (my wife has these things in her car)



If you are thinking on something put it out there, I know I looked into a lot of options but it was tricky finding out how and what they affected - some things you add and they take away other things you may want 



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You are honestly better off getting what you need now than trying to add later on. It'll save you on cost and headache when trying to add later on. For what upgrades you need, that'll have to be based upon what you believe you will be using the truck for. Given what you've described, you'll probably at least want to get the gooseneck/5th wheel options. For other accessories that I'd highly recommend; The all weather mats, spray on bed liner, and wheel liners are all things you'll probably want to protect your truck from wear and tear. Get a set of running boards/steps would probably go a long way with keeping the wife happy and help the kids getting in and out of these tall trucks. Many of the other accessories are nice, but are typically not necessary


The GVWR and gearing options you noted are the differences between the gas and diesel options (Gas = 11650 GVWR and 3.73 axle, Diesel = 11350 GVWR and 3.42 axle), so you don't really get to choose those once you decided on what engine you are going with. If you are trying to save some money or needing a bit more payload, you could go with the 6.6 gas engine and get the other options you want/need instead.

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Get the front and rear parking sensors...lol I have to park downtown sometimes and I do not want to damage my truck or the other vehicles either, no big metal chrome bumpers on most vehicles these days.

2020 RST without them is a Biotch.

Leather or as mentioned above good seat covers, cloth stains easily and with kids it could be a mess after a few years.

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My two cents is $.01 As said above get running boards, they protect the edge of the seat as you don’t tend to slide out of the seat every time.  $.02 As said above get seat covers.  I like neoprene ones by wet okale out of Hawaii.   If your a working guy they protect the seats from that screwdriver in your back pocket, as a dad they protect them from the kids.

     Other options could work for you also but I personally will never go without either of these again.   

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As minuscule as this sounds, get some really good seat covers. I have a set of vertex covers and love them. Actually ordered them the day I ordered my truck . 


Looking at the Vertex website and the seat covers look nice.  Which model/style did you get?  Happen to have any pics?  Thanks!

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24 minutes ago, Kjduvall said:

I have the x-factor synthetic leather and the fit is amazing. my truck is a reg cab so i only have front pics. I dont think you could go wrong with the neoprene covers either, vertex makes a high quality product. 



Seat covers have come a long way, I almost couldn't tell these were covers. Any concerns/issues with having covers like these and using heated seats?

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13 minutes ago, Random said:

Seat covers have come a long way, I almost couldn't tell these were covers. Any concerns/issues with having covers like these and using heated seats?

good question, i only have the base cloth non heated so i have no clue, but i cant see it being a problem.

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21 minutes ago, Kjduvall said:

good question, i only have the base cloth non heated so i have no clue, but i cant see it being a problem.

Checked out Vertex's website and they state the covers don't effect the normal operation of seat heaters. I hadn't considered getting covers in the past since they tend fit bad, but I'm reconsidering after seeing your covers. Thanks for the info.

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The only must have is a crew cab. Child seats take up a ridiculous amount of space. I've never been into all the other electronic gadgets that are outdated before your warranty is up.

The only recent tech improvement I like is android auto for mapping, but I think that comes on all new vehicles now.


I will second (or third) that if you even think you want any electronic function, get it factory installed. It won't be easy/fun/cheap to install later. Every damn thing is run through the computer and if you want your truck to work right, get it installed off the bat.


I would recommend the plow prep package though for someone in Michigan, who sounds like you do contractor work. Definitely nice to have that income in the winter. That gives you better upfitter switches and wiring for the roof light (at least it did last time I looked closely at the package)

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The perfect or must haves for me. Extended cab, real V-8, cruise control, phone plug in, just anti lock brakes, E-85, car like stick shift, keyless entry, 373, bed cover, AC. The closest I came to this was a 98 Ford sport. I put a super charger on it because it was a dog. It was a blast.

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