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Old 03-02-2010, 12:40 PM   #1
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2010 Silverado 3.08

Hi- I have decided to buy a 2010 Silverado regular cab 4x4 WT with the 5.3 engine and 6 speed automatic transmission. It will have the trailer towing equipment package. I will be towing under 3000 pounds. Two rear end ratios are available. The 3.08 is rated for 7200 pounds and the 3.42 is rated for 9800 pounds. The 3.08 has an EPA rating of 15/21 MPG. The 3.42 is listed at 14/18 MPG. Both would in theory work.

My question is has anyone towed with either rear end with the 5.3 engine and 6 speed transmission? I suspect I would get better MPG with the 3.42 when towing but have no real life information. Anyone Know?
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Old 03-08-2010, 03:25 PM   #2
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3.42

I decided on the 3.42 ratio. Oddly enough the EPA rating is listed 15/21. The same as the 3.08 ratio. I will never know how well the 3.08 would tow. I believe it would get better mileage empty but have no evidence of that. Since I seldom tow over 55 mph, I think the 3.42 will be the better overall ratio. Time will tell.
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Old 03-08-2010, 03:46 PM   #3
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I had the 3.08:1 ratio in my stock 1972 Big Block 402 Suburban w/TH400...

These gears suck, when pulling uphill. If you're staying on flat ground, you're fine. I was crawling up the incline on I-15, by Vegas, at 25 MPH towing our 1968 29' Streamline. Going up US Hwy 50 past Gunnison, the Suburban slowed to 2MPH...I honestly didn't think I was going to make it.

Good idea to go with the 3.42 gears, especially with a small block engine.
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Old 03-14-2010, 07:11 PM   #4
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I've got a brand new '09 crew with 3:42 and a 5.3. Haven't pulled the Airstream yeat but it's averaged 17.6 mpg overall since I've had it (approx 5,000 miles on it). I did pull a 5X10 enclosed trailer I have and was shocked to see the mileage drop to around 12. Let me know how yours does. TCM
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Old 03-14-2010, 07:28 PM   #5
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I did pull a 5X10 enclosed trailer I have and was shocked to see the mileage drop to around 12. Let me know how yours does. TCM
That's not as uncommon as you would think. We have a 2500 with a 6.0, and 3.73 gears, it gets 11 towing our Airstream. Most people's towing mileage is pretty close to 10-12, no matter what you are towing with. Unless it's our Suburban with the 7.4 and 4.11, it gets 8 towing.
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Old 03-14-2010, 08:24 PM   #6
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I guy with a Ford Ranger with the 4.0 engine and 5 speed auto transmission reported getting 9 mpg towing. I think the narrow Ranger allows the wider trailer to create more drag than a wider truck would. At least I am hoping the Chevy will do better. If the mileage is 11 for both the 3.08 and the 3.42 ratio rear ends when towing, the transmission should do less shifting and stay cooler with the 3.42. I should know in about three months when I start towing.
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Old 03-14-2010, 08:58 PM   #7
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I guy with a Ford Ranger with the 4.0 engine and 5 speed auto transmission reported getting 9 mpg towing. I think the narrow Ranger allows the wider trailer to create more drag than a wider truck would.
Actually, it's more because the engine is having to work harder to tow the trailer. There is a Mini Cooper that when set up and used to tow, it also gets 10mpg. It's the fact the engine has to work harder than a larger more powerful engine, along with the increased drag.
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Old 03-14-2010, 09:21 PM   #8
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I think the 3.08 would have been great heading south but a real bummer heading into the wind or uphill. My foot used to get so tired pedaling our F-150 up hills in front of our 22' International.

We have 2006 Silverado 4X4 496ci with 3.73 rear end. We get 16-18 bobtailing and 10-12 towing. 11.5 towing 2,400 miles 58mph on Interstate all the way at from Bakersfield, Ca, to Charlotte, NC.

Funny thing about our truck's setup -- it sits on 1,500 rpm almost constantly. Crusing the interstate it goes to second overdrive (6th) and stays there most of the time. Just sort of loafing along until I ask for more. I've never had another vehicle cruise highway speeds at this low engine rpm.

My last car had a modified rear end, great for short street but awful for highway. 60mph it was turning over 3,000 -- smooth but pretty busy. Kinda reminded me of old 1974 Toyota Hi-Lux, it was vibrating at 50mph. You really didn't want to do much of 60 in it.
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Old 03-14-2010, 10:55 PM   #9
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Funny thing about our truck's setup -- it sits on 1,500 rpm almost constantly. Crusing the interstate it goes to second overdrive (6th) and stays there most of the time. Just sort of loafing along until I ask for more. I've never had another vehicle cruise highway speeds at this low engine rpm.
Silverado with diesel is the same, pulling my 28 Classic. We cruise in 6th at 1500 RPM, sometime for hours at a time on easy terrain without shifting down. My 480-mile round-trip here in Texas last week and ending today averaged 14.3 MPG.
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Old 03-16-2010, 04:20 PM   #10
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Brake Controller

I added a Tekonsha P3 brake controller to my Chevy today. I removed the ashtray and mounted it in the empty space. I drilled a 1/2 inch hole through the plastic in back to slip the wires through. I can remove the mounting bracket and put the ashtray back in if I ever sell the truck.
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:40 PM   #11
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That's not as uncommon as you would think. We have a 2500 with a 6.0, and 3.73 gears, it gets 11 towing our Airstream. Most people's towing mileage is pretty close to 10-12, no matter what you are towing with. Unless it's our Suburban with the 7.4 and 4.11, it gets 8 towing.
I tend to expect more than is reasonable when it comes to tow mpg's. Pulled the Airstream to South Dakota this past summer and averaged 10.0 with my 2005 1500HD, 6.0, 3:73's. I was shocked then too.....never bought so much gas in my life!! thanks for the reply. TCM
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:53 PM   #12
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I just tested the new 2011 Ford F250 with the Ford built diesel, 6-speed tranny and tow haul system. Hauled a 6000 pound trailer sled for demonstration purposes. Did 112 miles getting 21 miles per gallon. Absolutely unbelievable. These guys are getting their act together. Of course, the price reflects everything great about this new truck.
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Old 03-20-2010, 04:33 AM   #13
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I just tested the new 2011 Ford F250 with the Ford built diesel, 6-speed tranny and tow haul system. Hauled a 6000 pound trailer sled for demonstration purposes. Did 112 miles getting 21 miles per gallon. Absolutely unbelievable. These guys are getting their act together. Of course, the price reflects everything great about this new truck.
Where did you find a hill to coast down that was 112 miles long?
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Old 03-20-2010, 08:52 AM   #14
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mpg

I have an 09 Silverado 4x4 w/tow package and 5.3 v8 w/3.08 gear. I get 18 - 20 no load on highway. Pulled the trailer about 2500 miles last fall at 11-12. My two sons have Ford f-250 Superduty 6.0 for their work. When towing they get 13. Not enough of a difference to cover the huge extra cost. They can pull a much larger trailer. Hope this helps.....Tim
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