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Old 10-21-2020, 04:40 PM   #1
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2015 28' International
Ofallon , Missouri
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 551
Trip report - New Chevy 1500 w/ 28’ Airstream

We have been towing our 28’ AS (7600 lbs GW) with a Nissan Armada (9000 lbs rating). We have towed 30k miles with no issues. We’ve been across the continental divide multiple times. Going DOWN the 10,000 ft, 10% Grand Teton Pass was the most “puckering” experience but we took it slow and made it fine.

I had the opportunity to buy a new truck so our new TV is a Chevy Silverado 1500 crew cab short bed rated for 9600 lbs towing, 1980 lbs cargo. I started out looking at a 2500 w/ 6.6L V8 but after driving one thought that while it would be a super TV it wasn’t what I wanted for a DD. So I decided to spend the difference in cost on creature features instead of the 1500/2500 cost delta. The RST trim with leather, Bose sound, trailering features, hitch cams, etc are all really nice.

We just logged the first part of a 2 week fall trip and I can say for sure I am happy with my decision. We have only driven rolling hills of MO and TN, no serious mountains, but am confident I have moved up to a better TV. I would hit the road with Sali in tow behind the Armada tomorrow in a heartbeat but the 1500 is a better TV IMO.

The 5.3 V8 has plenty of power, 55hp more than the Armada, but it is the 8 speed transmission that I love and one if the things that is most noticeable. It is smooth shifting and does a superior job of shifting down then back up on hills compared to the Armada’s 4 spd plus OD. The smaller deltas from gear to gear make shifts far less noticeable but still get you the higher RPMs / torque when needed. Quite often I would down shift the Armada manually because sometimes it would stay in 3rd longer than I felt necessary before dropping back to 4th. Around town, not towing, I am getting around 19 mpg with the digital fuel management. Not bad!

The other most noticeable difference is of course a firmer ride than the Armada. I had been driving an older model 1500 (only 7000 lbs tow rating) so I expected this. The firm ride was only annoying on a few pretty rough highways. The plus side of that stiffness is of course that I don’t feel the impact of Sali’s weight on the truck as much as I did on the Armada. I’m happy with how much more “comfortable” it feels while towing.

I’m well within tow limit and tongue weight, and the cargo capacity of almost 2,000 lbs is more than enough for our use and quite a bit higher than our Armada.

All in all I’m happy relegating the Armada to the family vehicle and moving up to my new Chevy Silverado.

See y’all down the road!
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