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Old 11-16-2021, 11:47 AM   #1
mjm
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Truck/tow vehicle advice

Good morning,
Some background. Drive 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 4WD crew cab SLT. 5.3L. 76K miles. Always serviced, xlt condition. Last couple hundred miles, engine ticking noise. Repair shop I trust said the high pressure fuel pump & "follower" that connects the high pressure fuel pump to the camshaft need be replaced. Approximately $1,500. If the camshaft damaged & needs to be replaced, total cost approximately $4,000. Anybody have any experience with this or suggestions?

I will be towing a 1950s completely refurbished Silver Streak trailer, 25' in length including a Hensley Cub hitch. Weight of trailer loaded is approximately 5,000 lbs. Will be traveling several months of the year in the West. Up/down steep grades. Even with out towing, when going down hill in GMC if didn't downshift would have to ride brakes.

To date have towed the trailer approximately 750 miles including through the Chiriaco Summit in CA (sea level to 1,700' elevation) and on Hwy 89 between Congress and Yarnell, AZ with a gain in elevation of approximately 1,300' in just under four miles to an elevation of 4,780' without any issue. Pulling the trailer up hill with the GMC is not an issue at all - plenty of power. Have not yet towed the trailer down steep declines with the GMC.

Would appreciate advice if now a good time to upgrade to a Silverado/Sierra 2500 or Ford F250? (from friends/neighbors not heard positive views of RAMS). And if so gas or diesel. The truck would be a daily driver when not towing which would make me lean towards gas if upgraded. However, with a gas engine would I still have to downshift or ride the brakes going down steep hills - or better off with a diesel with air brake.

Thank you and have a wonderful day.
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Old 11-16-2021, 08:26 PM   #2
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For what your towing, I wouldn't worry about jumping "up" unless I just wanted a bigger truck. Some threads here started freaking me out and I did a little searching. In TX, dealers are charging $5-6k over invoice for F250’s. There was lots of flexibility on F150’s, however. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it), I could only find one with better payload than my current TV and I think my F150 2.7ECO tows my 23CB just fine.
Good luck!
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Old 11-16-2021, 09:09 PM   #3
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I tow a trailer that has a dry weight of 4,807 lbs. and a loaded weight of roughly 5,500 lbs. with a similar truck. My truck is a 2018 GMC Sierra Denali 1500 with the 5.3L engine, 8-speed transmission, and 3.42 axle ratio. It’s a 4x4 crew cab. I tow all over the Rocky Mountains in the western US and I have no issues at all. I obviously slow down and downshift when descending steep grades, but it’s very manageable.
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Old 11-17-2021, 06:04 AM   #4
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IMHO there is no need for a "bigger" TV. The 1500 should be fine.

And it seems like now is not a good time to buy a new TV as supply is limited which drives prices up.
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Old 11-17-2021, 06:19 AM   #5
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I would keep driving the truck you own, without doing any repair. My truck has been making a ticking noise when it idles, for years. The dealer/mechanic told me the ticking noise is related to the fuel management system, 4 of the 8 cylinders are diactivated occasionally.
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Old 11-17-2021, 07:15 AM   #6
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As said, some engine noise is normal but of course we can't remotely diagnose.
https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/20...60134-9999.pdf
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Old 11-17-2021, 08:30 AM   #7
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Just want to say in "Rams" defense. I have a new Ram and love it. Put on 13k last summer towing all over the South west. Averaged 12.5 mpg towing.
My main reason for buying the Ram was 3!

Ram Boxes...the best for getting at stuff when pulling into a campsite.
Air Suspension...Levels the truck automatically. (1956 Caravanner 4,000#)
Split Tail Gate ...makes life easy for getting into the bed of the truck.

Ram 1500 Hemi gas. 5.7 3.90 gear. Never once felt that I needed more.
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Old 11-17-2021, 08:58 AM   #8
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I do not currently own a GMC, but have herd of this problem. There are several Youtubes and other articles if you google. Seems to be pretty common with the 1500's?
https://www.carproblemzoo.com/gmc/si...s-problems.php
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Old 11-21-2021, 09:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjm View Post
Good morning,
Some background. Drive 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 4WD crew cab SLT. 5.3L. 76K miles. Always serviced, xlt condition. Last couple hundred miles, engine ticking noise. Repair shop I trust said the high pressure fuel pump & "follower" that connects the high pressure fuel pump to the camshaft need be replaced. Approximately $1,500. If the camshaft damaged & needs to be replaced, total cost approximately $4,000. Anybody have any experience with this or suggestions?

I will be towing a 1950s completely refurbished Silver Streak trailer, 25' in length including a Hensley Cub hitch. Weight of trailer loaded is approximately 5,000 lbs. Will be traveling several months of the year in the West. Up/down steep grades. Even with out towing, when going down hill in GMC if didn't downshift would have to ride brakes.

To date have towed the trailer approximately 750 miles including through the Chiriaco Summit in CA (sea level to 1,700' elevation) and on Hwy 89 between Congress and Yarnell, AZ with a gain in elevation of approximately 1,300' in just under four miles to an elevation of 4,780' without any issue. Pulling the trailer up hill with the GMC is not an issue at all - plenty of power. Have not yet towed the trailer down steep declines with the GMC.

Would appreciate advice if now a good time to upgrade to a Silverado/Sierra 2500 or Ford F250? (from friends/neighbors not heard positive views of RAMS). And if so gas or diesel. The truck would be a daily driver when not towing which would make me lean towards gas if upgraded. However, with a gas engine would I still have to downshift or ride the brakes going down steep hills - or better off with a diesel with air brake.

Thank you and have a wonderful day.

Theres no need for a 2500 frame for that light load. Get a second opinion from a dealer or well known repair shop that gives you more than just a one year warranty of the repair job, and get it repaired, fixed regardless of what it needs. Fixing what you have is cheap compared to buying new. A dealer estimate and diagnosis is important to make sure you dont 'repair' something that is not broken. Some noises are not actually any sign of broken or problem areas other than just a characteristic of certain engines. 75K and a tick noise could be a sparkplug arch or an ignition problem, but might be nothing.


If you have not, change the sparkplugs now. Dont wait until 100K. Thats nonsense. You are already close to when it needs new coil packs anyways. Start buying those and get ready for that around 100K or sooner.

Theres no need to ride-brakes on any vehicle. Thats a good way to end up in the ditch at the bottom or warped and damaged brake rotors. Use your manual shift button and hold it in a gear that keeps your decent in control with intermittent brake use to allow cooling while in motion.
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Old 11-21-2021, 09:58 AM   #10
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Rams

[QUOTE=islandtrader;2555606]Just want to say in "Rams" defense. I have a new Ram and love it. Put on 13k last summer towing all over the South west. Averaged 12.5 mpg towing.
My main reason for buying the Ram was 3!

Ram Boxes...the best for getting at stuff when pulling into a campsite.
Air Suspension...Levels the truck automatically. (1956 Caravanner 4,000#)
Split Tail Gate ...makes life easy for getting into the bed of the truck.

Ram 1500 Hemi gas. 5.7 3.90 gear. Never once felt that I needed more.[/QUOTE

I'm with Trader here...My last 3 pickups have all been Rams, was Chevy/GMC owner before that... Been super happy with the last 2 which were 3/4 ton, but had some issues with a weird noise from the exhaust with the one 1/2 ton (over 20 years ago though)... my in laws have had a couple of 1/2 ton Rams with no issues, and my folks last TV was a 2018 1/2 ton Ram with the Hemi...Pops said that it was by far the best TV he had ever pulled with...
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Old 11-21-2021, 11:52 AM   #11
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mjm, welcome to the forum. You will gets lots of suggestions when you post questions. The challenge will be sifting through all of them. I know nothing about your TV and whether or not you need/should put money into it for repairs. Getting something new is rather exciting though.

You don't need a large truck with your trailer. I pull my 25FB with my half ton without problems. Mine is going down the road just at 6K pounds as I have stopped a few times and weighed it. Now, if you want a 3/4 ton truck no one will argue that those aren't better for towing. Necessary is a different issue. Diesels are much better when it comes to engine braking. No one will argue that. But, you can go up and down the hills safely without moving up to that level. Braking depends on the trailer brake system working with the TV braking. The theory is the truck's brakes will stop the truck and the trailer brakes will stop the trailer. It will be very important to make sure your trailer brakes are working and that you have a good brake controller matched to your set up . Getting into tow/haul mode and manually shifting to lower gears works quite well. I have over 57K miles with my combo and haven't had a problem yet. Good Luck, lots of decisions ahead.
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Old 11-21-2021, 01:34 PM   #12
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Owned 2 rams..6.7 cumalong..6 speed auto..4x4..no problems….13 31’ Classic with a Reese duel cam hitch
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Old 11-21-2021, 01:40 PM   #13
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Service bulletins..14-06-04-004B….it may be normal with unique ticking noise….check it out..save your monies
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Old 11-21-2021, 03:01 PM   #14
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Many many opinions. I agree with above that a 1/2 ton is adequate. I tow 28’ with F150. But I am not close to mountains, and we don’t travel but 4 or 5 weeks a year and only within a day or two from our house in Wisconsin.

Your situation is different.

1. How often do you tow?
2. How much do you bring?
3. Where do you tow?
4. What can you afford?

I bring this last up because a diesel will clearly be a super adequacy. But hey, if you can afford it and want it, go for it. And frankly if I was doing lots of mountain travel if I could afford it I would get a diesel simply due to the exhaust brake.
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Old 11-21-2021, 06:47 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjm View Post
Good morning,
Some background. Drive 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 4WD crew cab SLT. 5.3L. 76K miles. Always serviced, xlt condition. Last couple hundred miles, engine ticking noise. Repair shop I trust said the high pressure fuel pump & "follower" that connects the high pressure fuel pump to the camshaft need be replaced. Approximately $1,500. If the camshaft damaged & needs to be replaced, total cost approximately $4,000. Anybody have any experience with this or suggestions?

I will be towing a 1950s completely refurbished Silver Streak trailer, 25' in length including a Hensley Cub hitch. Weight of trailer loaded is approximately 5,000 lbs. Will be traveling several months of the year in the West. Up/down steep grades. Even with out towing, when going down hill in GMC if didn't downshift would have to ride brakes.

To date have towed the trailer approximately 750 miles including through the Chiriaco Summit in CA (sea level to 1,700' elevation) and on Hwy 89 between Congress and Yarnell, AZ with a gain in elevation of approximately 1,300' in just under four miles to an elevation of 4,780' without any issue. Pulling the trailer up hill with the GMC is not an issue at all - plenty of power. Have not yet towed the trailer down steep declines with the GMC.

Would appreciate advice if now a good time to upgrade to a Silverado/Sierra 2500 or Ford F250? (from friends/neighbors not heard positive views of RAMS). And if so gas or diesel. The truck would be a daily driver when not towing which would make me lean towards gas if upgraded. However, with a gas engine would I still have to downshift or ride the brakes going down steep hills - or better off with a diesel with air brake.

Thank you and have a wonderful day.
How many 'estimates' have you gotten?
I'd get several more.

The part is about 150-200 bucks, cost for a fuel pump replacement is between $220 and $1,062 depending on vehicle and age.
Labor costs are estimated between $150 and $300, while parts estimate between $95 and $900

Bob
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Old 11-21-2021, 08:56 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Daquenzer View Post
Many many opinions. I agree with above that a 1/2 ton is adequate. I tow 28’ with F150. But I am not close to mountains, and we don’t travel but 4 or 5 weeks a year and only within a day or two from our house in Wisconsin.

Your situation is different.

1. How often do you tow?
2. How much do you bring?
3. Where do you tow?
4. What can you afford?

I bring this last up because a diesel will clearly be a super adequacy. But hey, if you can afford it and want it, go for it. And frankly if I was doing lots of mountain travel if I could afford it I would get a diesel simply due to the exhaust brake.
^1.

My limited experience is that when close to home I carry fewer contingencies. Fewer tools. Fewer spare parts. No compressor for emergency winterizing. Less food. Etc. Longer trips means more gear.

So if the payload of your half-ton can accommodate the tongue weight, the hitch weight, the humans and other creatures riding in the cab, and the gear that rides in the bed then you’ll be fine. It’s really all about payload limitations.
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Old 11-24-2021, 10:40 AM   #17
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The issue with your truck is probably lifters. These engine are notorious for tearing up the lifters and cam. I had the same exact truck and paid + 10k for a new engine, the truck was beautiful so I gave it to my son and purchased a Ram 2500 CTD. Love the engine brakes, love driving it. I wouldn’t listen to these people that say your truck is fine, they are not kicking out the 10k
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Old 11-24-2021, 10:54 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aftermath View Post
mjm, welcome to the forum. You will gets lots of suggestions when you post questions. The challenge will be sifting through all of them. I know nothing about your TV and whether or not you need/should put money into it for repairs. Getting something new is rather exciting though.

You don't need a large truck with your trailer. I pull my 25FB with my half ton without problems. Mine is going down the road just at 6K pounds as I have stopped a few times and weighed it. Now, if you want a 3/4 ton truck no one will argue that those aren't better for towing. Necessary is a different issue. Diesels are much better when it comes to engine braking. No one will argue that. But, you can go up and down the hills safely without moving up to that level. Braking depends on the trailer brake system working with the TV braking. The theory is the truck's brakes will stop the truck and the trailer brakes will stop the trailer. It will be very important to make sure your trailer brakes are working and that you have a good brake controller matched to your set up . Getting into tow/haul mode and manually shifting to lower gears works quite well. I have over 57K miles with my combo and haven't had a problem yet. Good Luck, lots of decisions ahead.
Best reply so far IMO. because it includes the trailer brakes role in this….they are paramount all the time, but most especially in hilly/mountainous terrain.

As for the engine ‘tick’, I agree that a bit more investigation is due before deciding if it needs repair or not.

Ray
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Old 11-24-2021, 11:24 AM   #19
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Get a second opinion on the ticking noise

Those GM engines have the active fuel management system with the switching between 4 cylinders and 8 cylinders. It takes a toll on the lifters and it sounds like you have one that is stuck. My guess it’s either the 6th or 8th cylinder. They can be unstuck. Keep the 1500. Im towing a 76 Excella 500 which is also around 5000lbs with a 91 and a 14 1500 Suburban. Both do great. Fix the tick and you have a great truck to tow with.
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Old 11-24-2021, 11:28 AM   #20
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Ram TV

I towed our 25 ft FC with Ram 1500.. loved the truck and absolutely no issues.. but with all of the mountain towing we do in the West I upgraded to a RAM 2500 Diesel.. and I love it.. 20,000 on it and all is perfect. I’m not sure where the negativity about Ram comes from. I now have the best Diesel engine with the Cummins . Granted the 3/4 ton may be overkill for my trailer but it is so nice descending some of those mountain passes!
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