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Old 11-14-2019, 09:04 AM   #1
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Chevy Silverado 1500 TrailBoss Custom

Does anyone have any experience towing a 23-25 AS with this version
of the Silverado? We are thinking about buying a new truck and eventually
an Airstream and would like to get this right.
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Old 11-14-2019, 10:06 AM   #2
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Hello reeltime and Welcome to AirForums!

Lots of variables to work with at the moment.

Generally, a 1/2 ton pickup should work with the range of trailers in focus. There are many aspects that will effect the vehicle's actual payload capability (ex: cab size, bed size, towing package (or not), gear ratio, engine size, etc.). So, the answer of which trailer to focus on will depend on the truck's actual ratings.

Another consideration is that I know folks whom have bought their first trailer in the target length range, and a few years after that decided to go bigger which meant a new tow vehicle. Point is to do some deep thought about whether a 1/2 ton vehicle is truly the best choice, or in a few years a 3/4 to 1 ton vehicle will enter the picture.
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Old 11-14-2019, 10:12 AM   #3
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If the truck has displacement on demand aka:cylinder deactivation (taking V8 and turning off some cylinders for fuel economy), I would for sure look into getting a modification in to turn that off. There have been a number of issues with DOD (displacement on demand). Many 1500s have this feature.

https://www.onallcylinders.com/2017/...on-gm-engines/

Offered as-is, but at the very least do a few searches with your favorite search engine on the subject.
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Old 11-14-2019, 10:41 AM   #4
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Chevy Silverado 1500 TrailBoss Custom

Quote:
Originally Posted by reeltime View Post
Does anyone have any experience towing a 23-25 AS with this version

of the Silverado? We are thinking about buying a new truck and eventually

an Airstream and would like to get this right.


The key factor based on my experience is the payload number on the door. We bought a bigger trailer 27 but the tongue weight isn’t much different on the 25s. Our AT4 didn’t have enough payload (1486 lbs) that I was comfortable with long term. Plenty of power, more than enough GCVW. But with us,the dog, normal stuff in the bed we went over payload right away. Net net ended up replacing with a F350.
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Old 11-14-2019, 11:17 AM   #5
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I had a 1500, although not that version. Ultimately the payload was not enough for my 25 tongue weight, the stuff I wanted to carry around in the bed, and a topper. I had a hard tonneau that worked but I wanted a folding bike in the bed. The 5.3 was adequate for towing but it had to do a lot of downshifting even on modest hills, really precluding extensive use of cruise control. I had drums on the rear so the stopping distance was not very impressive. Final negative was the 26 gal fuel tank.
Chapter 2 is a 2017 2500 HD with the 6.0 gas. It is the right tool for the job! Everything that was wrong with the 1500 was fixed by getting the 2500. The only negative, for my wife, is that it sits up higher and she uses a single step stool to get in.
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Old 11-15-2019, 10:49 AM   #6
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In choosing a truck it is ALWAYS best to run the numbers to make sure the truck can handle the tow. There are lots of opinions on this website but the numbers don't lie and it's your safety that matters. You can go here as a guide to doing the research.

how-to-determine-if-your-tow-vehicle-is-right-for-your-trailer/
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Old 11-15-2019, 11:30 AM   #7
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My opinion is 1/2 pickups are usually at or near their limits towing travel trailers if you want to haul the normal camping stuff in the bed. I'd go 3/4 Ton and so I would not have to worry about what trailer I wanted to buy later.
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Old 11-15-2019, 12:19 PM   #8
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We tow a 2019 23ft Serenity with a 2019 Silverado 1500 Trail Boss Custom. More than enough power, nice ride and a definite upgrade from the Colorado we used at first. YMMV.
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Old 11-15-2019, 12:34 PM   #9
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We went with the 2500HD we wanted to buy one and be done. From what many others have posted on here and Airstream Addicts that some of the 25's have higher tongue weights up to 750 or 800. (Published I believe is around 650 tongue weight.)
So keep this in mind. That only leaves you for 700-750 of payload for passengers and gear. For us it didn't make sense to choose a 1500. Even just adding a topper or a retrax cover to cover the bed of the truck will take another 50-100# or more away from your payload. Add a grill and the famous Quick Clam shelter and that takes away another 50-60#'s. It will quickly add up. We carry Hobie kayaks so we were definitely going to be over at the very top of the limit. I did read though one time that someone found a 1500 with quite a bit of payload because it didn't have a lot of extra bells and whistles. There is alot of useful info in this site. I searched alot on previous posts to make the best decision for us. We went with diesel but that's what we felt was good for us. Doesn't mean it's the right choice for everyone.
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Old 11-15-2019, 01:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reeltime View Post
Does anyone have any experience towing a 23-25 AS with this version
of the Silverado? We are thinking about buying a new truck and eventually
an Airstream and would like to get this right.
IMO, that would be a great tow vehicle for a 23 or a 25, especially if you chose the maximum trailering/towing package.

Instead of asking here, find an owner's manual and look at the equipment specifications and load chart.

ps:
We chose the 5.3L engine for economy. We had the larger engine on a prior Silverado but found that not to be necessary.
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Old 11-15-2019, 02:07 PM   #11
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1500 gmc

I have a 2019 GMC 1500 6.2l, 10speed crewcab with Max Tow package. I tow a AS 27 FB Serenity. Just got back to Fla from I-10 Los Cruces Grand Canyon back I-70 to N Carolina. 12 mpg, running 72 mph. Truck is rated for 17800 GCWR, cargo 1760#. Wife has knee problems 2500 is to tall to get in. Truck is a great tow vehicle no problems in Colorado either going up or down grades. Never felt uncomfortable. I have had commercial drivers license for 50 yrs
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Old 11-15-2019, 02:35 PM   #12
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TrailBoss towing

I had a 1/2 ton GMC with the 5.3L (displacement on demand is std and towed perfectly fine) which is the same engine in the Chevrolet you are considering. This powertrain pulled my 2019 23FB adequately. I just purchased a new truck with the GM 6.2L gas engine. Much better pulling experience with the bigger engine (can barely tell it is back there). My experience suggests you go for the 6.2L, it will cover you for a 23 or 25AS and you will like the performance. I have.
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Old 11-15-2019, 03:01 PM   #13
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Give some thought about how you plan to use the AS. short trips, lightly loaded? Or are you approaching retirement and plan on taking long trips and/or want to brink kayaks, ebikes, grills, etc?

This will impact what AS and Tow Vehicle you should plan on.

If you go to rallies or on caravans, you will see everything under the sun in terms of Airstream/Tow Vehicle combinations, and they all “seem to work”. It’s up to you if you’re comfortable exceeding GVWR or GAWR ratings on the truck, when towing.

Pay no attention to the car salesman. Look at the sticker on the driver side door post for GVWR and GAWR’s and payload. You might need to look in the owners manual for GCWR ratings.

Good luck. It will be an exciting experience.

Jim
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Old 11-15-2019, 03:11 PM   #14
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IMHO the new 3.0l Duramax Silverado would give you more leeway as far as towing capability, (automatic exhaust brake), drivability and fuel economy.

That's if you really NEED to buy a truck now, and can't wait until the 21st of November for the unveiling of the all new Tesla pick up truck; or buy a Rivian next year.

Electric or hydrogen electric will be the future of pick ups.

Cheers
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Old 11-15-2019, 03:19 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drbrick View Post
In choosing a truck it is ALWAYS best to run the numbers to make sure the truck can handle the tow. There are lots of opinions on this website but the numbers don't lie and it's your safety that matters. You can go here as a guide to doing the research.

how-to-determine-if-your-tow-vehicle-is-right-for-your-trailer/
That’s a pretty good article but the way he defines GVWR is confusing. I think the manufacturers all define it as total weight of vehicle plus the load it carries (people, add-on accessories like toppers, stuff and, most importantly trailer tongue weight).
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Old 11-15-2019, 04:58 PM   #16
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1500 tv

Quote:
Originally Posted by reeltime View Post
Does anyone have any experience towing a 23-25 AS with this version
of the Silverado? We are thinking about buying a new truck and eventually
an Airstream and would like to get this right.
I have a 1500 GMC that towsmy 1978 31' AS just fine! The current TV is a 2o14 before that I had a 1999 GMC 1500 and towed my trailer many miles with no problems! Good luck! Happy trails.
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Old 11-15-2019, 05:37 PM   #17
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I thought I liked the 2016 Silverado High Country I had for towing my 23 FB Serenity. but I just traded it in. Payload was OK and I managed that. It handled fine. The 5.3, as others have pointed out is adequate. But the engine failure at 23K miles was the last straw, as I had previously had an issue with the transmission as well. Neither of these occurred while towing. The transmission started shuddering badly and while lots of folks have sought remedies, the best solution is probably to replace it which my dealer would not do. He performed the "Triple Flush" (look it up) and it worked better after that.

But as I was driving into the dealership to get the latest recall work performed (Brake reprogramming due to reduced pressure in the braking system... yea, that's all they were going to do, reprogram it), I got a check engine light... And the engine basically failed. There have been issues with the lifters in the cylinder deactivation, and the fuel management system, and that was probably the cause of the failure, but it was worse than that. There was compression loss on cylinder 5 and they had to replace the piston and rings... That was the last straw, as I reiterate, this truck had 23K miles on it. It took five weeks to get it repaired due partly to the strike, and during that time I missed out on camping at several festivals. The day I got the truck back, I drove it straight to the Benz dealership and traded it in on a new 2020 GLS 450. Couldn't be happier!
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Old 11-20-2019, 05:16 PM   #18
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My 2014 ‘Rado 1500 LTZ has a tow mode that, when enabled, will not let the 4 cyl mode kick in. I’m sure the Trail Boss will do the same as it is a higher end ‘ Rado. The manual recommends using the tow mode when towing... duh! But when on flat roads I disable tow mode and enjoy a bit more mpg. The manual should also give you max GVRW rating for your truck set-up. No manual? They are online! I routinely pull 7000 lb trailer, below max for truck, and no handling issues. I tow mainly in the east frequently driving over the Allegheny and Appalachian mountains. MPG
never above 10 in mountains. Have gotten as much as 15 when the wind is right, on flat land and all tires at proper pressure for the temp. Happy campin’!
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Old 11-20-2019, 05:33 PM   #19
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If you are not planning to do serious off road travel then another version of the Chevy with 20" wheels will give you more stable handling. The 20's have about half the sidewall sway of the 18's.

One of our customers has been full timing for 25 years with a 34 Classic. I am sure they have towed an Airstream more miles to more places than anyone and they have always had a 5,7 or 5.3 Suburban. So the truck will easily tow any Airstream you choose. It is important set the hitch up correctly but that is the case with any tow vehicle.

Andy
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Old 11-20-2019, 07:13 PM   #20
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2018 Chevy high country 5.3 motor pulling 1975 27’ Overlander for 10,000 miles never an issue towing even when truck is over loaded. I know, not suppose to do, but I need all my stuff! Been getting 12mpg.
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