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Old 02-03-2011, 11:19 AM   #1
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1500 or 2500 HD?

Hello,

I am planning on buying a new truck this summer, having driven a 4runner all my life. I am buying the truck in anticipation of owning an airstream in the 23-25 foot range within the next few years.

If tow capacity was not an issue, my preferred truck would be a Silverado 1500 z71 4x4. I would get the integrated brake controller, and any optional tow gear.

My question is, can I safely tow a 25 foot AS long distance across the U.S. with this truck or will I have to get a 2500 HD? Will the 1500 z71 make it through mountains?

Thanks!
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Old 02-03-2011, 11:28 AM   #2
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I have towed with both, although experience towing our Classic 30 with the 1500 was pretty limited.

My guess is that in a pinch, with that size trailer, you'd be ok with the 1500, especially if it has the 4.10 diff which is what I had if I remember correctly - of course gas mileage will suffer a bit with that ratio.

I suppose it might depend on how often you plan to be towing in mountains.

In my case, I just felt that since I'm only going to go around once, and since circumstances were such that it wasn't a major financial issue, I might as well enjoy our RV trips in the most relaxed and confortable way possible. Hence the switch to
a 2500D crew cab diesel.

It is everything I hoped it would be and more. Just love the truck - since we are retired and don't do a whole lot of daily driving when at home, we also use it as our daily driver - although summers see me taking the bike whenever I have a chance and when my Mrs will tolerate it!

Brian.




Having said that, I decided to move up to the 2500HD diesel becasue
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Old 02-03-2011, 11:35 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by alp6783 View Post
...I am buying the truck in anticipation of owning an airstream in the 23-25 foot range within the next few years...
if u want a new truck now, buy whatever u like now.

because in a "few years" there will be newer options, more/different towing features and so on...

and your anticipated a/s MAY change significantly in size or weights when finally purchased.

IF/when the time comes, buy an a/s u like or fits the needs AT THAT TIME...

then upgrade the tv to meet your real and then current towing needs.

cheers
2air'
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Old 02-03-2011, 11:39 AM   #4
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Yes, the truck you have picked out will safely tow a 23-25' or longer airstream. It will make it through the mountains, perhaps with some downshifting on the hills. It will ride better empty than the 2500.

We towed our 25' airstream with a Ford 150 with the small v8 for a while. But I also went the 2500 diesel route when we bought a new truck and have not been sorry. One reason I got the 2500 was at that time I was not sure we would always have the 25' airstream, and I wanted something that could pull a small 5th wheel if we decided to change. We have towed a lot with the 2500 and I like it. We get 14-17 towing with it as opposed to 9-11 wth the 150.
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Old 02-03-2011, 11:53 AM   #5
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I would love to get that 2500 duramax but it's extremely pricey. Also, since this truck will be my primary daily vehicle (my only vehicle, for that matter) I feel like driving a huge diesel engine will be a bit outrageous.

I just wanted to make sure that the 1500 (with the biggest V8 - the 6.2 liter) was doable. I've heard some people say "no problem," and others say that it is unsafe to tow a 7,300 GVWR trailer with anything other than a 3/4 ton truck. I've done a lot of reading, and am still a bit confused about how GVWR works.
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Old 02-03-2011, 11:59 AM   #6
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I have the exact truck that you mention - 09 Silverado Z71 4x4 1500 w/ towing package & int. brake controller. It pulls our vintage 22' Safari very well. Gets 12 -14 mpg towing & 19 - 20 mpg without trailer. I have towed a 26' Overlander with no problem. I have the 5.3 V8 and am very happy. The truck costs about $7000 - 8000 less than a 2500 diesel and rides much smoother. But you should buy what you want.
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Old 02-03-2011, 12:26 PM   #7
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I have the exact truck that you mention - 09 Silverado Z71 4x4 1500 w/ towing package & int. brake controller. It pulls our vintage 22' Safari very well. Gets 12 -14 mpg towing & 19 - 20 mpg without trailer. I have towed a 26' Overlander with no problem. I have the 5.3 V8 and am very happy. The truck costs about $7000 - 8000 less than a 2500 diesel and rides much smoother. But you should buy what you want.
That's great to hear. If you could go back, would you get the 6.2 liter v8 or is that a waste of money/gas?
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Old 02-03-2011, 12:31 PM   #8
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I also say to buy what you want and will work the best for you. The new GM truck with the 6.2L and six speed should do a fine job. My understanding is that you can go with either 1/2 or 3/4 ton with the same drivetrain, but I could be wrong. I know that I have plenty of power with my Tundra. The weak link is the gvwr since it is only a 1/2 ton. My only complaint with all the big trucks is that they are all HUGE. I don't see where running errands with a big diesel would be any differant than with a big 1/2 ton truck. The diesel weighs more, but they are all HUGE.

Dan
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Old 02-03-2011, 12:33 PM   #9
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That's great to hear. If you could go back, would you get the 6.2 liter v8 or is that a waste of money/gas?
1500 available with Max Tow package rated at 10,000 pounds trailer weight with wd hitch. That'll pull up to a 30 footer (non-slide) with ease.

You'll also want to watch what you plan to carry in the bed. Research the GVWR, and GAWRs and compare with the "stuff" you want to "stuff" in the bed.

I plan on a 1500 Max Tow for my next truck. (unless something new comes along in the next few years)
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Old 02-03-2011, 12:40 PM   #10
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Get the 1500 if you don't mind going up the mountains at 20 miles per hour. We recently took our 31' Airstream through Colorado and Utah. It was a terrible experience. We towed with a 2004 Suburban Z71 4 X 4 with trailering package and transmission cooler. The truck pulls the trailer fine on flat ground but not well at all going up hill. I would choose the 2500 Diesel or an F 250.
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Old 02-03-2011, 12:58 PM   #11
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Get the 1500 if you don't mind going up the mountains at 20 miles per hour. We recently took our 31' Airstream through Colorado and Utah. It was a terrible experience. We towed with a 2004 Suburban Z71 4 X 4 with trailering package and transmission cooler. The truck pulls the trailer fine on flat ground but not well at all going up hill. I would choose the 2500 Diesel or an F 250.
Understand, this is a 5.3 liter...the Max Tow (only availabe in a PU) is a 6.2 liter w/402 HP, as I recall. BIG DIFFERENCE! I think also Max Tow includes 4.10 gears.
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Old 02-03-2011, 01:23 PM   #12
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My husband loves his 2500 GMC Duramax. He has a Bully Dog chip and it has improved our gas mileage. We bought it slightly used from the owner.
That's the way we buy most of our vehicles. We look for vehicles under 10k with a warranty. In GA you do not pay sales tax if you buy from an individual. We have saved a lot of money through the years.
You would not believe the number of vehicles out there that go on the market within their first year on the road. My current GTI was purchased new in October, traded in December for a BMW and shopped to a lot that specialized in exotic used cars. I purchased it in January and did pay tax but I really wanted that car in that color! Still saved Ks off new.
The BMW was one of the most expensive models so I can only wonder if the GTI was a fun fill in car while the guy waited for his BMW to arrive.
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Old 02-03-2011, 01:31 PM   #13
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For a 23' or 25' trailer, the 6.2 liter should be fine. And, if this is to be your only pickup, keep in mind the diference in ride quality between a 1/2 T and 3/4 T pickup. Diesels are great for lots of towing, but I much prefer a gas engine for everyday driving. Also keep in mind that the diesels will cost a lot more for routine maintenance such as oil changes, fuel filters, etc. Plus, if the fuel prices continue along the same line as they have in the past several months, diesel is a lot more expensive. We have both, and prefer the half ton for every day driving, and for towing or 20' Safari. The diesel is put in play for hauling really heavy loads. For your stated use, I would go for the half ton. Just my 2 cents worth.
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Old 02-03-2011, 01:43 PM   #14
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That's great to hear. If you could go back, would you get the 6.2 liter v8 or is that a waste of money/gas?
A friend of mine has the 6.2 and it tends to be a gas hog compared to the 5.3. I've never subscribed to the "bigger is better" concept.
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