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I'm so confused....I don't want to let my beloved gasser go....


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We are looking at buying a 15k fully loaded 5th wheel.  It of course falls into specs of what my 22 gasser will tow and payload rated.  But will it?  That's the very expensive to me question I've been asking myself since we decided on buying the Grand Design 2903RL  I know it falls into specs of what my gasser is rated for but should I?  Will it be ok with that kind of weight without dogging it too much or should I just send up the red flag and say screw it?  Buy a damn diesel and get it over with?  The thing that bothers me so much is that my gasser has been amazing from day 1.  It's friggen perfect to me, I absolutely LOVE it.  But....and I say But....I don't "think" it will tow that much weight all over the US with ease....if any of you are towing a 5th wheel with a gasser that weighs that much, with the 6 speed trans, please comment....I would like to hear what you all think.

Edited by Jettech1
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Can't speak on towing experience with a 5th wheel camper, but I'm going to say that shopping by GVWR of the trailer is always important.

 

Looks like that model camper is GVWR of 15,000lbs and base curb weight is 11,800lbs.  Hitch weight is 2190lbs.

 

Gross combined for your truck should be 24000lbs, towing with 5th or goose 16650lbs.  You'd be within the rated limits of your truck.  Will it pull it?  Yes.  Would a diesel maybe have a better time doing it?  Probably, if you gotta win a race sure.  

 

Would a 2024 6.6 gas with the 10 speed do it better than the 6 speed?  Most likely.  They are rated to tow more too.  Crew gas 4x4 is 18400lbs for 5th/goose.  

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Jettech1 said:

We are looking at buying a 15k fully loaded 5th wheel.  It of course falls into specs of what my 22 gasser will tow and payload rated.  But will it?  That's the very expensive to me question I've been asking myself since we decided on buying the Grand Design 2903RL  I know it falls into specs of what my gasser is rated for but should I?  Will it be ok with that kind of weight without dogging it too much or should I just send up the red flag and say screw it?  Buy a damn diesel and get it over with?  The thing that bothers me so much is that my gasser has been amazing from day 1.  It's friggen perfect to me, I absolutely LOVE it.  But....and I say But....I don't "think" it will tow that much weight all over the US with ease....if any of you are towing a 5th wheel with a gasser that weighs that much, with the 6 speed trans, please comment....I would like to hear what you all think.

You want a diesel, you want a diesel 🤪

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An old timer told me once that that the GVWR is determined by how much it can handle safely (stop), and not determined what it can pull. 

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I'd put a Whipple or Harrop on it before I played the emissions problems in the middle of nowhere game of a diesel. Will come out ahead too with the prices of new trucks these days.

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I have a 2022 GMC AT4 2500HD with the 6.6 gasser/6 speed tranny combo and pull a 5th wheel camper similar in size to the new one you're considering. This is our 4th fifth wheel camper and my 5th 2500HD so it's not my first rodeo. The other 4 trucks had Duramax diesels which I absolutely loved and I had no issues with any of them. To me when towing a camper like that weight really isn't as much of a factor as wind drag, the 6.6 gasser pulls my camper fine when the wind isn't blowing but on a windy day it's not much fun, don't get me wrong as it gets the job done but it works the gasser pretty hard. With my Duramax trucks I can't ever recall a time where I felt like the truck was out of power or that it was being worked hard, the power and torque the Duramax produces is so impressive and really shines when towing on windy days.

 

I bought this 6.6 gas truck mainly because I liked the idea of saving the $10k versus buying the diesel and I wanted to give it a try but I will for certain be getting a Duramax for my next truck as I miss the power. Not putting the 6.6 gasser down at all as it does what I ask it to do and it's a huge improvement over the old 6.0 but when it comes to raw power there's no comparison. 

 

I have no doubt that your current truck will pull the new trailer just fine and honestly I don't think it will ever fail to get you where you're going. It sounds like you really enjoy your current truck so if I were you I would try pulling the new camper on some trips and see what you think before you go out and drop the cash to replace it. One more bit of advise, don't test drive a Duramax unless your prepared to buy it...

Edited by MrChips
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I believe you know my story on our 5th wheel. A 337RLS pulled by (second one) 3500 Gasser. I have at least 10k miles towing this trailer with the 2 trucks, one a 6 spd and one a 10 spd. 

The unit your looking at is very close to the specs on mine. The 337 is known to be a pin heavy unit. I cant speak for the one your looking at. I do know that after running the cargo numbers many many times, I came to a 3500 because I felt that a 2500 would be over the cargo capacity. It was fine in all other categories but not in cargo. We typically carry our generator (4500w Champion inverter gen) some firewood, extra gasoline, cribbing, a spare 20# propane cylinder and my 6 ft fiberglass ladder. our 337 also has a Splendide combo washer/dryer in the front closet. I weighed the rig in December loaded for a trip with no water on board and it scaled at just under 13k with all of this cargo and trailer combined. 

I dont have any issues pulling this setup with the gasser. You do however have to actually drive this truck when towing heavy. There are times when the cruise can be used but its about 20% and you have to be on flat terrain with minimal headwind. Otherwise you need to control the throttle or you will end up shifting too often. I have driven a lot of trucks in my day. Many of them were underpowered and some were not maintained and had poor brakes. 

For me the cost and complexity of the diesel doesnt outweigh the extra work driving this setup. 

This truck has not been farther West than Nebraska, if we were planning on traveling out west frequently I would have to reconsider the diesel. My decision was made based on my circumstances and my history of driving and some inside baseball on the current GM truck issue. 

You have a lot to consider.  Feel free to reach out if you have any questions. 

 

Scott

 

On edit. I dont think the 6 spd suffers in comparison to the 10 spd. When towing I locked out 6th gear on my first truck and now lock out 9 and 10 on the new one. I didnt see much advantage to the 10 spd other than a small one in acceleration when loaded. 

Edited by 64BAwagon
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9 hours ago, Another JR said:

Jettech - How often do you expect to tow that big trailer, and over what distances and type of terrain?

In a few years we will be going full time in it.  We want to spend our summers in Maine where we both are from and winters around the Hollywood/Ft. Lauderdale area.  In between I'm sure trips out west and all over.  So If I had to guess, probably 10k plus a year.

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To me it comes down to exactly one thing... how much do you like hearing a gas engine rev for hours on end?

 

I went from a 1/2 ton 5.3 to a 1 ton diesel, the 1 ton feels a little more secure towing our travel trailer but the ride is punishing so that was a wash. Fuel mileage is the same towing, though unloaded I can get slightly better mpgs out of the 1 ton (until it does a regen). 

 

Practically speaking the gas engine would be fine, but in the back of your mind the the diesel will be calling out.

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Well I would keep an eye on the lot of my favorite dealer in case a 3500 SRW Duramax with all the features you want becomes available.

 

But... if you don't see anything that is a great deal or has every feature you want wait until you get the 5th wheel, tow it behind your current rig and see how you feel.

 

Make sure to hook it up on windy days, take it up a few hills (I do see you're in Texas so no big climbs nearby but plenty of wind!) and make up your mind.

 

It's good that you have the gas truck first so you don't have to guess how well it will pull the trailer. 

 

You may also want to do some mileage checks to see how far a tank of gas will take you pulling the new trailer. 

 

You will get farther with the diesel if you go places where range between stops is an issue like boondock camping.

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You can second guess until your blue in the face...at the end of the day you already own the truck.  Hook up and go, see what you find out.  It's not like you bought the trailer without a truck and have to make a decision on gas vs diesel.  You have the perfect situation on your hands.  Your current truck is safely capable, is it comfortable?  That's the question...only you can answer that, not us knuckleheads on the internet.

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Whats the cargo capacity listed on the door sticker on your current truck ? 

 

The pin weight on my trailer is somewhere in the area of 2750 #. I figure the unladen weight of my trailer with my wife and I and a full tank (36 gal) of fuel, whereas the cargo capacity takes those numbers and adds them to the cargo weight. All in figuring pin weight, cargo, my fat ass, my wifes delicate self and a FULL tank of gas we are at least 3400#

 

Edit, plus a 55# insane Boxer 

Edited by 64BAwagon
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