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Old 02-28-2009, 12:10 AM   #1
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2007 25' International CCD FB
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towing with 1/2 ton 07 silverado ext cab

I have addressed a similar question several months ago, before I purchased my 25' international OB. I remember that one suggested at the least a trade out of the 3:43 for the 3:73. So far we travelled about 6,000 miles with no modifications. The truck seems to pull the trailer well, both up and down rather steep hills. At times on the interstate, I have to look into the rear view mirror to remind myself that I am still towing a 6,000+lb unit, and therefore should reduce my speed to a conservative 65-70 miles an hour from 80 mph. The Reese Straight Line, weigh distributing, and sway control seems to work just fine. (what would it do if it were not working fine) I have had one panic stop whereas the wheels just locked up. If I were paying attention, this probably would not have happened. No one got hurt, and no contact was made. Other than that incident, I am concerned that I just don't know if I am missing anything here. Although my setup seems fine, am I pushing it? The truck does not seem to complain, it does everything else I need it to do, when it is not towing. It gets a respectable 17 - 18 mpg aroung town by itself, and awywhere from 9 - 13 mpg towing depending on winds and the speed I drive. I have never tried hooking up the Airstream to a 3/4 ton truck, because I really don't want to go there unless I absolutley need to. So, all of your expertise would be appreciated. Thank you,
Barry
Please advise.
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Old 02-28-2009, 12:36 AM   #2
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Slow Down?

Hi, I think you are alright with your set-up, but 80 MPH on trailer tires rated at 65 MPH. You are obviously not the only person who has towed at high speed, but that's a lot of mass to control and stop. Your conservative speed should be more like 60 - 65 MPH. [my opinion]
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Old 02-28-2009, 12:43 AM   #3
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What engine does it have? Does it have a trans cooler? Outside of the dash computer telling you the trans may be overheating, do you have any gauge to id trans temps? The DIC (dash computer) only goes off if it's too hot. More times than not you want to know well before the DIC warns you.

3.42s would be fine on flatland, but in the mountains, you *could* overheat the tranny pretty quick. In the end the 1/2 ton and 3/4 ton tow ratings have blurred. The only thing you get with the 3/4 lately is upgraded trans, suspension, full or semi floating axle (larger axle, more robust), hubs and in some cases, engine. In 3/4 land you also use to get a trans gauge.

Do I think your in a bad place? Not really. Could it be better? Sure, but at least you are not one of those Dodge Intrepid folks towing a 34' Airstream.

I think you'll be fine. I would NOT suggest going 80mph with the trailer in tow and would suggest you make a very conscious effort not to go much faster than 65ish. Several reasons for this both personal and also mechanically that I won't bore you to tears typing out the novel about it.
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Old 02-28-2009, 08:00 AM   #4
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2007 25' International CCD FB
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It has the 5.3 flex fuel. It does have the HD towing package with transmission cooler and a separate temperature guage. On several occasions the temperature has gone as high as 195 degrees, but then moves around in the 180s most of the time. Driving without the Airstream, the temp is usually about 160 to 170 fully heated up. What would be a critical temperature? The dealer could not give me a resonable answer.
I also did a flush at 30k miles just before our last trip that covered 4500 miles.
What I meant to say about my driving speed, is that I try to keep my speed no more than 70, but on one or two occasions, I found myself at around 80 mph. I immediatly slowed back down to a cruising speed of 65.
The cruise control seems useless, because it downshifts earlier and more often than I do. I also use the tow / haul mode switch, and was told to always do so.
The specs say I can tow up to 6800 lbs with the 3.43, but if I had the 3.73, it jumps to 7800 lbs. And as I mentioned before, I just don't know if I am pushing my luck here. The Airstream weighs 5400lbs by the specs, and I would think that with all gear and fluids we are closer to 6400lbs. I also carry tools and gear in the bed of the truck under a lightwieght cover. All seems fine, but is it? I am not sure if I would know the difference without experiencing towing with a bigger rig.
Thank you all for responding.
Barry
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Old 02-28-2009, 09:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Parkof View Post
It has the 5.3 flex fuel. It does have the HD towing package with transmission cooler and a separate temperature guage. On several occasions the temperature has gone as high as 195 degrees, but then moves around in the 180s most of the time. Driving without the Airstream, the temp is usually about 160 to 170 fully heated up. What would be a critical temperature? The dealer could not give me a resonable answer.
I also did a flush at 30k miles just before our last trip that covered 4500 miles.
What I meant to say about my driving speed, is that I try to keep my speed no more than 70, but on one or two occasions, I found myself at around 80 mph. I immediatly slowed back down to a cruising speed of 65.
The cruise control seems useless, because it downshifts earlier and more often than I do. I also use the tow / haul mode switch, and was told to always do so.
The specs say I can tow up to 6800 lbs with the 3.43, but if I had the 3.73, it jumps to 7800 lbs. And as I mentioned before, I just don't know if I am pushing my luck here. The Airstream weighs 5400lbs by the specs, and I would think that with all gear and fluids we are closer to 6400lbs. I also carry tools and gear in the bed of the truck under a lightwieght cover. All seems fine, but is it? I am not sure if I would know the difference without experiencing towing with a bigger rig.
Thank you all for responding.
Barry
What brand and rating hitch will you use?

Also, what type sway control?

Andy
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Old 02-28-2009, 10:17 AM   #6
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Reese Straight line with Dual Cam sway control. I am not sure of the rating. The dealer installed it. The truck is pretty much level, maybe down two inches in the rear at most, but the trailer rides perfectly level.
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Old 02-28-2009, 11:42 AM   #7
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Barry, by the numbers alone, you seem to be pretty close. A 25er can weigh upward of 7000lbs wet. The 5k is most likely a "dry" weight meaning no water, LP, food, clothes, etc. The fact is that with a 6800lb tow rating, you deduct each weight in the truck (fuel, passengers, cargo--tools, etc). I'd bet you are closer to about 6200 or 6300lbs of remaining tow capacity depending on how many passengers.

That said, you should be ok on flatland but in mountains or good hills, with the 5.3L, etc, you may have some issues. The 3.73 will give you an added margin of capacity but you will be working the truck hard in the mountains, even with the 3.73s should you choose to change the gears back there.

You are from what I can tell at or exceeding the stated tow capacity of the truck and a 3/4 ton with the added upgraded engine, driveline, suspension and transmission might be a better option if you have many mountain or "in the hills" type towing plans.

Your trans temps are consistent with what I see with my truck. I like my trans temp to be no warmer than 195 peak and between 175 and 180 when towing. Cooler is always better when towing...if I could keep it to 165, I'd be even happier, but that may not be realistic with the factory equipment, even on a 3/4 ton.

In the end, where you go would dictate to me what I would do in terms of either upgrades or truck replacement. If you had less than a 25er I might say something totally different, but I tow a 25er and they are the widebody beasts and they start to really add up in terms of weight pretty quickly. Filling my water tank adds about 325lbs alone.

I also have the reese dual cam and find it a good hitch setup. I would be careful what bars you use...because the heavier the bars, towing with a truck is not a good idea. I started with 1200lb bars, dropped to 800, then 600 based on the info on this forum. I found towing with the 800s was better and more effective than the 1200s and the 600s even better than the 800s. Using too stiff of a bar can lead to something called overhitching.
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