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Old 01-24-2013, 09:04 AM   #11
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Hi James- your message is VERY well timed for us. (We were at an RV show
last night!)

I have a 2004 Silverado with the 5.3L v8 Low rear end- don't know the
ratio right now, factory tow package etc etc....
Rated to tow 8800 LBS or there about.

We currently pull a 29' ultra lite trailer that weighs an actual 4300 LOADED
ready to camp at certified truck scales. I sometimes add a 500 LB motor
cycle in the bed of the truck.
We've been to Colorado twice. Over the passes and back. With the motorcycle.
Also lots of traveling on the east side of the Mississippi.

It works well for us. I have air bags to lift the tail if I have the motorcycle.
I have a good sway dampening WD hitch.

I typically drive in 3rd. This gives me about 2900 RPM at 68 MPH.
I run Mobile 1 always.
Some folks cringe when I say that 2900 RPM all day number but the 5.3L
v8 is just the old 327 in new clothes! It's a short stroke high revving little v8.
It's happy at those RPMs.

BUT my point here is we have been dreaming of an upgrade to a 5th wheel.
Even the lightest 5ers we can find weigh in at 6500 on up. Add several
hundred pounds for water and cargo and food and gear and I'm at 7500
easy.
Still under my owners manual max weight and the salesmen just smile and say
"No Problem". Over and over they try to tell me I can do it.
They just about had me convinced until your message gave me a real life
reality check.

Thanks! Guess either we stay with what we've got-- it's PAID FOR.
or we need a new truck $45000 plus and a new trailer $25000 plus plus.....
THAT's scary!!
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:31 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSN46 View Post
Herk : you even ran the numbers for me if I remember correctly and TOLD me at that time that I "might" be able to get away with it but I wouldn't be comfortable on the hills. Thank you... I should have listened more closely and looked at all the angles a little more. James
I have found that if you "come on too strong" telling someone that they are making a mistake; they do it anyway "out of spite" to the guy who did not reinforce what they wanted to do anyway.

Human nature, I guess. Conversely, not coming on strong enough allows the person to be convinced by someone who feels strongly that they can get away with what they wanted to do anyway.

Either way, it is a fine line.

I have since found that just printing the "numbers" and letting the person decide on their own allows me to sleep soundly at night.

Thank you for sharing.
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:33 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KyDan View Post
Hi James- your message is VERY well timed for us.

I have a 2004 Silverado with the 5.3L v8 Low rear end- don't know the
ratio right now, factory tow package etc etc....
Rated to tow 8800 LBS or there about.

We currently pull a 29' ultra lite trailer that weighs an actual 4300 LOADED
ready to camp at certified truck scales. I sometimes add a 500 LB motor
cycle in the bed of the truck.
We've been to Colorado twice. Over the passes and back. With the motorcycle.
Also lots of traveling on the east side if the Mississippi.

It works well for us. I have air bags to lift the tail if I have the motorcycle.
I have a good sway dampening WD hitch.

I typically drive in 3rd. This gives me about 2900 RPM at 68 MPH.
I run Mobile 1 always.
Some folks cringe when I say that 2900 RPM all day number but the 5.3L
v8 is just the old 327 in new clothes! It's a short stroke high revving little v8.
It's happy at those RPMs.

BUT my point here is we have been dreaming of an upgrade to a 5th wheel.
Even the lightest 5ers we can find weigh in at 6500 on up. Add several
hundred pounds for water and cargo and food and gear and I'm at 7500
easy.
Still under my owners manual max weight and the salesmen just smile and say
"No Problem". Over and over they try to tell me I can do it.
They just about had me convinced until your message gave me a real life
reality check.

Thanks! Guess either we stay with what we've got-- it's PAID FOR.
or we need a new truck $45000 plus and a new trailer $25000 plus plus.....
THAT's scary!!
If all folks thought like you, the highways would be safer and the economy would be better.
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:52 AM   #14
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Congrats on Ex. As you can see, I tow with one and the family loves it. I have actually done a lot to upgrade mine, but much of that was also routine maintenance, after 175K miles the leaf springs were shot.

If you have not found it already, you might check out the Ford Truck Enthusiast Excursion Forum: Excursion - King of SUVs - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums

tons of information there about the Ex, the common problems (every truck has something) and the fixes/upgrades.

here is a pick of our rig:
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:04 AM   #15
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When I bought my first 5th wheel in 2000, it was a Fleetwood, 23 foot Mallard, I was told by another customer, who wanted the same RV, I hope you plan to pull that with a 3/4 ton & since I hadn't bought a truck yet, I figured bigger is better. I bought a 2500 Silverado, gas, loved that truck for 10 years & when I replaced my RV for a 38 foot Wildcat, named Puss, I had to replace my truck also, 2500 Silverado, 4X4 diesel, with a Durmax. Went to Newfoundland this summer & didn't feel the 5th wheel behind me. I would say nothing less than a 3/4 ton, when hauling.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:10 PM   #16
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Depends on many factors...

We've been towing a "small SUV Towable" trailer with a full size SUV and the numbers (GCWR) saw we're at the limit.

My problem is mostly the age of my TV - 2001 with 236k miles on it. Back in 01 the expedition was mostly an F250 -but it depends on the year and the specific options on your truck. We have the big trannie (same one used in F350 diesels) for example.

We have plenty of power as i can can accelerate up any kill on the hiway (and we camp in the appalachains). But GCWR is 12,500 and I'm sure we're right there.

Just 'ordered' (over the phone) a new TV - a 2013 1500 crew cab sliverado. The average one is rated to tow a whole 6000 lbs. What a flippin joke. With the right options you can get that to about 9000 lbs and a 14,400 GCWR (we'll see once I get the manual in my hands what small print there is). A good 2k more than we have now, longer WB than we have now, 236k miles less than we have now, integrated brakes/anti sway.

It will be a step up. We plan to keep the TT for at least 8 more years and the truck too and continue to camp weekend and moslty local - so I think the new TV will be more than adequate.

The other challenge we have is the TV is also going to be a daily driver (the expy isn't that) and so a 2500 would, besides being much harder to find and more expensive, ride worse and prolly get worse mileage (hard to say..they don't rate them for mileage...).
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:48 PM   #17
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My cousin learned this lesson with his camper last year. He wanted to tow there new 30ft TT with their Tahoe since it has DVD players in the headrest and it would be nicer for the kids than his 2500HD ext cab. After trying to tow the camper once with the Tahoe he actually turned around and went back home to get his 2500HD. But with the 6.0L, a extcab, short box and even with the Equilizer hitch he hates towing the camper with his truck and actually barrows his grandpas 3500HD crew cab dually Duramax to tow it.

So after thinking he could tow the camper with a Tahoe, this winter he has started looking for a 3500 crew cab Duramax for a tow vehicle...
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:04 PM   #18
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I"ve not yet seen the specific truck and have no money on it, it's an LT, All Star package (5.3, 3.42 gear, 6 spd trans, HD cooling, integral trailer brake).

I considered the tow max and a 2500- both are rarer than hens teeth especially if you need a crew cab. Even the HD cooling is rare - Gm lists it as a separate option and in some lit as part of the all star (same for the 3.42 ratio).
We've got a price quote of $32500 on a sticker of $40,500 or so. I've been looking and cruising lots and stickers run $39 to $42k, some have an all star discount on the sticker and some don't - GM is great (as perhaps others are) for making all sorts of changes during the year on package discount, content, etc.
What I saw on trucks on the lot I can't choose on GMs current online 'spec out your truck' website. Pick this and you can't get that sorta thing.

The 6.2 and 3.73 would aid in towing but also cost in gas mileage. Since we'll tow maybe 700 miles a year (unless we take a long distance trip, which we did do with our pop up) and drive it 12k a year the gas savings alone are worth something. I'm comfortable towing with the expy - the 1500 has 24" more WB, 70 more HP and 20ft lb more torque (assuming the ford's 235k miles hasn't dropped from list specs which if you watch Top Gear where they dyno'd old cars it's likely lost 1/3 of it's power if not more). Similar axle ratios (3.42 vs 3.55, but 6 gears vs 4) I think we're making a good step up in many regards. We also get functional ABS and various anti sway programming built in.

The expy 'can' tow a lot - until you read the fine print which is only in the owners manual. I have the eddie bauer which upgrades a few things (cooling, trans, axle ration, brake wiring) but then adds 17" rims (500 lb GVWr/GCWR reduction) and 4WD reduces it another 500lb. So tow rating is more like 7700ish than 8900 ish, and of course the EB is loaded so the options add something to the TV weight.

And excursion is a different beast - physically and cost wise. I've seen them - but never seen one for sale. Not around here. They get snapped up in any condition in an instant. And you can only buy used ones. And I find fords these days hard (too hard!) to work on - the F150etc have the engine placed so far back most if it's under the dash, theres no room to access anything. And I'm not getting any younger/limber/thinner/better vision to want to be messing about under there anymore than necessary. (did a temp sensor and coil on plug this past summer)

I've heard the silverado had a trans with a short life...so we'll see. If we were full timeing or had a heavier TT I'd consider other options. I think our TT ready to roll is 6-6500lbs so it's not terribly heavy. Our regular CG that we belong to is 75 miles all hiway.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MillerTime View Post
Not trying to hijack thread
- prof. If you get an Ls it only has the 4.8 engine and 3.08 or 3.42 gears, if you get the towmax package it has the 6.2 engine and 3.73 gears, 9.5" ring gear 14bolt rear end and a 6L70 (I believe) tranny. That is why there is such a big diffence. It would be the same a pitting your expedition against a v10 excursion- not even close performance wise and no where near the same driverrain. That's the not so fine print!
Ps. I'm a gm tech at a large dealership.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:13 PM   #19
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Yeah you are going to want the 3.73 gears down the road, the 6L60e tranny you are getting is pretty good but, of course that truck us not designed to tow all the time- thus the towmax package and HDs.
Best of luck to you though!
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:42 PM   #20
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I have to put in my two cents for what it is worth, everone has made some good points about towing with or with out a 1/2 ton, but I have towed with both 3/4 and 1/2 ton.

Up until a year ago I was towing a 2006 8314ss and the tow hitch was a Reese WDS contol system with 1,200lbs spring bars and my tow vehicle in the beginning was a 1992 GMC Suburban 3/4 ton with a 5.7 gas engine, 4:10 rear an and automatic transmission, I had a problem in the beginning with the way the hitch was installed, but forget that...after everything was install correctly the 3/4 ton GMC towed fine and handled well.......

I have also towed the very same camper with a 2008 Chevy pick up 1/2 ton,pick up, the truck is equip with a 6.0 gas engine, 4:10 rear and a heavy duty 4 speed automatic transmission with heavy duty tow package and the four wheel dic brakes are the up graded and are the same brakes that are on the 2500 HD. The wheelbase on the pick is longer then the Suburban which give it a better ride.....Now I don't know if the ride and handling is different becaues of the two different types of trucks but the 1/2 ton pick up did a much better job then the 3/4 ton Suburban and I used the very same hitch system on the 1/2 ton as I did on the 3/4 ton.
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