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Old 11-06-2015, 08:07 AM   #1
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Further experience with GMC Sierra 1500/6.2/max trailer tow pack truck

Posting now from Sioux Falls,SD, having left Washington DC on October 26 and driven here by way of the Great Lakes route through Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Trailer is FC 27. TV is 2015 Sierra 1500 with 6.2 liter 420 hp DI gas engine 8-speed tranny and max trailer tow package rear axle (1960 lbs rated payload). For all you would be diesel-heads wanting a 3/4 ton, this is an alternative. This engine maintains 60 mph on 9% grades in WVa @3300 rpm and will control speed on downhills, downshifting automatically even to engine speeds over 4000 rpm. Typical cruising rpm is 1800. Observed fuel consumption is 11-14 mpg @ 60 mph, depending on terrain. The one downside to this power train is the requirement for premium gas, which is more expensive than diesel. This truck is not as heavy as a 3/4 ton and doesn't drive like one when empty. When GM puts this tranny on the smaller V-8 (5.3), the combination would seem to be excellent for 25 or 23 foot AS's as the payload (with the max trailer tow package) would be the same. Price wise, this loaded SLT model was the same as an LT Chevy 2500 with the Duramax, without the trailer towing mirrors, among other things. My route thru West Va. took me through the highest part of the state (Canaan Valley/Davis), so I got the steep grades and twisty 2-lanes. This combination has worked really well and is, IMHOP, a viable alternative to a diesel 3/4 ton and all of the issues that seem to plague contemporary, emission-controlled CRD Diesel engines. Remember, too, that for another 2-300 lbs of rated payload, you are carrying around 12-1500 lbs more vehicle weight with a 3/4 ton.
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Old 11-06-2015, 08:40 AM   #2
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What rear axle ratio do you have in the truck?
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Old 11-06-2015, 08:48 AM   #3
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Is this the Denali truck? What is the price?
Denali's are the poor man's Escalade, but still plenty pricey.
If you are willing to go with fewer bells and whistles and a slightly rougher ride you can get a Ford or Chevy 3/4 ton with the 6 liter engine for about 10k less.
I agree with the poster and I am an old time diesel head, gas engines offer a better alternative to the newer smog controlled diesels.
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Old 11-06-2015, 09:19 AM   #4
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Say what you want but the gas engines are not in the same playing field as the newer diesel pickup engines, especially that V10 and 6 litre ford engine, I've been around both of them......
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Old 11-06-2015, 09:39 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by tjdonahoe View Post
Say what you want but the gas engines are not in the same playing field as the newer diesel pickup engines, especially that V10 and 6 litre ford engine, I've been around both of them......
There have been significant changes to Gas V8s with 8 (and soon) 10 speeds. Torque curves are improved and peaks at much lower RPMs. While they are not diesels, for our AS purposes, they are getting VERY close....both in performance and mileage (because of DPF).

I have driven both in the last year with my 30' Classic, and balancing all the variables (discussed ad naseum here), my dollars will be going, in all liklehood, to 6.2L gas. It is quite impressive.
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Old 11-06-2015, 09:59 AM   #6
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I am one of those 3/4-ton diesel lovers, and I wouldn't give up my 7.3L PowerStroke voluntarily. However, your report DOES sound like one of the best non-diesel alternatives that I have heard about.

I guess that, worst case, if my PowerStroke bites the dust ( God forbid!!!! ), that truck would be a viable option.

I could always keep a diesel-soaked rag in the cab so I could still enjoy that awesome diesel smell!!!
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Old 11-06-2015, 10:08 AM   #7
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Plethora of Good Choices

One of the most hilarious lines from the movie "Master and Commander" was when the doctor was asked to choose between two weevils which had been coaxed out of the sea biscuits by gently tapping them on the table prior to eating the bread. The doctor chose the larger, stronger one - and was reprimanded by the captain with the tongue in cheek advice that

"one must always choose the lesser of two weevils"

The truth is that as far as tow vehicles go, there are plenty of pretty darn great choices - probably more now than ever before. The biggest REAL difference for all of us is "what is your towing style, skill level, budget - and what ELSE do you need the tow vehicle to do?" I chose to upgrade to a 3/4 ton diesel with all of the bells and whistles because:
  • I probably have a max of 10 more years before I age out
  • I've had ONE other luxury vehicle in my whole life and I simply wanted all the bells and whistles this time.
  • I've been in one wreck in my life - with my 2nd Airstream - and walked away largely because I was in a big honkin' Silverado 3/4 ton diesel
  • have a 10 meter Avion - yep I am crazy - but not crazy enough to try to pull THAT thing one more time with an EcoBoost
  • I don't HAVE to "get by" with a half ton truck

Get the BEST tow vehicle you can afford for the safety of your family (and anyone else you might be able to avoid hurting by having an extra margin of engine braking, steering control, etc.) Live ... and let live.

These new gas engines are great, and my goodness gracious me, I am getting 18.8 mpg in the CITY with a 2013 diesel! The sun shines today on the towing world, let's enjoy it.

See you down the road. Paula
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Old 11-06-2015, 11:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
One of the most hilarious lines from the movie "Master and Commander" was when the doctor was asked to choose between two weevils which had been coaxed out of the sea biscuits by gently tapping them on the table prior to eating the bread. The doctor chose the larger, stronger one - and was reprimanded by the captain with the tongue in cheek advice that

"one must always choose the lesser of two weevils"

The truth is that as far as tow vehicles go, there are plenty of pretty darn great choices - probably more now than ever before. The biggest REAL difference for all of us is "what is your towing style, skill level, budget - and what ELSE do you need the tow vehicle to do?" I chose to upgrade to a 3/4 ton diesel with all of the bells and whistles because:
  • I probably have a max of 10 more years before I age out
  • I've had ONE other luxury vehicle in my whole life and I simply wanted all the bells and whistles this time.
  • I've been in one wreck in my life - with my 2nd Airstream - and walked away largely because I was in a big honkin' Silverado 3/4 ton diesel
  • have a 10 meter Avion - yep I am crazy - but not crazy enough to try to pull THAT thing one more time with an EcoBoost
  • I don't HAVE to "get by" with a half ton truck

Get the BEST tow vehicle you can afford for the safety of your family (and anyone else you might be able to avoid hurting by having an extra margin of engine braking, steering control, etc.) Live ... and let live.

These new gas engines are great, and my goodness gracious me, I am getting 18.8 mpg in the CITY with a 2013 diesel! The sun shines today on the towing world, let's enjoy it.

See you down the road. Paula
like your response best of all.
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Old 11-06-2015, 11:42 AM   #9
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I have a 2000 Dodge Ram 4x4, 5spd diesel with 3.73 gears. I tow a 23FB, set the cruise at 62 - 65 mph and get 16.5 mpg in the mountains of VA and 18 mpg on flat ground towing. Without the AS hooked up I can average 20 mpg at 70 mph or drop it down to 55 mph and get 24 mpg. Best damn tow vehicle I have ever owned, period.
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Old 11-06-2015, 12:19 PM   #10
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Lightbulb Tuned and deleted

"a viable alternative to a diesel 3/4 ton and all of the issues that seem to plague contemporary, emission-controlled CRD Diesel engines."


You could get a diesel truck that has been "tuned and deleted" from these guys if you don't care about emissions.


http://youtu.be/A7MZLbUDAjA
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Old 11-07-2015, 07:17 AM   #11
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Answers: if memory serves, the max trailer tow package has a 3:42 rear. However, the 8-speed tranny has a much wider spread than any 6-speed, so comparisons with other trucks using 6-speeds are not apt. This is the highest rear axle ratio offered by GM in this truck. The package includes a physically different rear axle (larger ring gear) and different rear suspension. The GMC "SLT" trim level is one step below the "Denali" trim. You can't get the max trailer tow in the Denali trim nor can you get the 6.2 engine with the 8-speed in any lower trim than SLT.
As for the diesels, the pre-emission diesels (Cummins 5.9, Powerstroke 7.3, etc.) while of lower output than today's engines beat them in fuel economy and longevity. The comparison has to be with what's available today. And, if you compare output of those old diesel engines (horsepower and torque) with the 6.2 or Ford's 3.5 liter "Ecoboost" they're not all that different. Yes, you can get a shade tree mechanic to delete some of the emission controls on the new engines and (perhaps) get better longevity and fuel economy, but you both will be violating Federal law, subject to criminal penalties and extending your middle finger to everyone you drive past. Diesel exhaust not only smells bad, it is carcinogenic and creates other problems, as our friends in Western Europe (who have incentivized the purchase of diesel autos for 40 years) have discovered.
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Old 11-07-2015, 07:32 AM   #12
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The problem is finding one of these trucks. Typically, if a dealer gets one it is ordered blinged out and they won't budge on the price which approaches diesel prices. If I remember correctly, you had to travel to Denver to purchase it preowned. The other issue I have with it is the 26g tank.

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Old 11-07-2015, 07:34 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
One of the most hilarious lines from the movie "Master and Commander" was when the doctor was asked to choose between two weevils which had been coaxed out of the sea biscuits by gently tapping them on the table prior to eating the bread. The doctor chose the larger, stronger one - and was reprimanded by the captain with the tongue in cheek advice that

"one must always choose the lesser of two weevils"

The truth is that as far as tow vehicles go, there are plenty of pretty darn great choices - probably more now than ever before. The biggest REAL difference for all of us is "what is your towing style, skill level, budget - and what ELSE do you need the tow vehicle to do?" I chose to upgrade to a 3/4 ton diesel with all of the bells and whistles because:
  • I probably have a max of 10 more years before I age out
  • I've had ONE other luxury vehicle in my whole life and I simply wanted all the bells and whistles this time.
  • I've been in one wreck in my life - with my 2nd Airstream - and walked away largely because I was in a big honkin' Silverado 3/4 ton diesel
  • have a 10 meter Avion - yep I am crazy - but not crazy enough to try to pull THAT thing one more time with an EcoBoost
  • I don't HAVE to "get by" with a half ton truck

Get the BEST tow vehicle you can afford for the safety of your family (and anyone else you might be able to avoid hurting by having an extra margin of engine braking, steering control, etc.) Live ... and let live.

These new gas engines are great, and my goodness gracious me, I am getting 18.8 mpg in the CITY with a 2013 diesel! The sun shines today on the towing world, let's enjoy it.

See you down the road. Paula
Yep !!! Nicely said, Paula.
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Old 11-07-2015, 01:19 PM   #14
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OP,

thank for the post. For my next TV, I am going diesel as I plan to keep it until I die or it dies. Have you tried going for mid grad fuel? When I bought my 2014 BMW GSA, it said premium fuel only. I said hell no! I've ridden all over with my GSA with 85 octane and it purrs with no issues.

I like GMCs but it is a rip off for the priced they are asking. While the price is not a real turn off, that box under the passenger drive on the diesels is what drives me nuts.

I am still searching but I am between RAM and GMC/Chev (same deal, different branding)
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