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Old 01-24-2016, 08:08 PM   #1
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2005 GMC 5.3 Liter Towing

1st time TT owner. Pulled my Grey Wolf 17BH home from the dealer and thought the engine and transmission worked harder than expected. The freeway was mostly flat with a few gradual hills. I have a transmission switch for trailer mode and used that to start with. Maintaining 60-65 MPH the trans was shifting quite a bit from overdrive to 3rd, even higher RPM on hills. Felt like the engine was really working. I was running around 2500-2600 RPM on fairly flat rood. I have read that I should be driving in 3rd all the time? Change rear gears?
The TT has a dry weight of 4200 lbs.
My truck is a 2005 GMC 5.3 Liter V8 engine Sierra short bed 4x4. Has the factory tow package. Rear gear ratio is 3.42. My owner manual says I call pull a maximum 7,700#. I was no where near this pulling the TT home. I thought I was matching the truck to the trailer in good shape. Maybe I am expecting too much. I plan on installing a transmission cooler before the weather gets warm. I am in Missouri. Hope that someone else has a truck a hauling weight I can compare and get feedback from.
Thanks, Ed
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Old 01-24-2016, 08:13 PM   #2
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that's pretty much normal operation for a small V8 gas engine. Turn overdrive off and use tow mode all the time. Regardless of length of trailer, front wall is the same, and your pushing lots of air.
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Old 01-24-2016, 08:14 PM   #3
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If the truck has factory tow package it should already have a trans cooler, mine does.
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Old 01-24-2016, 08:19 PM   #4
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that's pretty much normal operation for a small V8 gas engine. Turn overdrive off and use tow mode all the time. Regardless of length of trailer, front wall is the same, and your pushing lots of air.
I agree, and the 3:42 does not help.
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Old 01-24-2016, 08:22 PM   #5
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Thanks, just use to seeing those RPMS constant.
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Old 01-24-2016, 08:42 PM   #6
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Your peak HP is somewhere around 5400rpm, and torque at about 4000.

It's gonna rev when you're towing to get into the peak power band when it needs it.
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Old 01-24-2016, 08:52 PM   #7
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Am I doing the engine harm running these higher RPMs on a constant basis for several hours at a time?
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Old 01-24-2016, 09:00 PM   #8
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no, you can run at 2500-3000 all day long. Just make sure you have or get a trans cooler. Keep up on maintenance.
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Old 01-24-2016, 09:13 PM   #9
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Thanks for the input!
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Old 01-24-2016, 09:29 PM   #10
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no, you can run at 2500-3000 all day long. Just make sure you have or get a trans cooler. Keep up on maintenance.
Ditto. Get a big one - your tranny will thank you!

I tow a similar package with a 2014 Tahoe with the transmission and oil cooler on a 5.3 liter V-8. It has the heavy duty trailer package and the tow rating is 8200 lbs max (closer to 7000 lbs in reality). In tow/haul mode it runs about 2400-2600 rpm at 65 mph on flat ground. I keep the tranny fluid monitored and when it starts to darken, it gets changed. I also monitor the oil percentage on the console (you might have that on your truck - check the owner's manual).

Watch the temp on long climbs this summer. If the temp starts to climb, turn off the A/C and the temp will normalize.
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