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Old 01-24-2012, 10:58 AM   #1
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I was confused before but after reading these posts I am lost if my Sierra will tow

Wow am I ever confused. We finally found the hybrid that we both like, but our Colorado is to small. So that sent me to the internet to research. Found a new truck in the budget but now I am concerned about it. 2011 Sierra 1500 4x4 crew cab Vortex 4.8 L V8 with a GVWR of 5500. (axle of 3.42) I hear back today if I qualify. the bigger
the trailer that we are looking at is a Palomino Stampede S -238 here are the specs
DRY HITCH WEIGHT - 436 lbs
UNLOADED WEIGHT - 4154 Lbs (sent email to salesmen to check the actual trailer door for this weight after reading many threads on this site this weight is from the website right now)
CARGO CARRYNG CAPACITY 1,234 lbs
EXTERIOR LENGHT - 23'8"
EXTERIOR HEIGHT - 9'3"

We are the type that we would only take minimal gear with us as that is the reason for the upgrade from tent trailer to hybrid. We usually go to "town" the next day for our supplies.

So in closing would this truck be okay to tow this trailer.

Thanks so much for any answers
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Old 01-24-2012, 12:23 PM   #2
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The only numbers you care about are the trailers GVWR, which according to the MFG website is 5388 lbs. and the hitch weight 436.

Then you need to find a TV that has a GCWR high enough to hold the weight of any items you load into the TV plus the weight of the passengers, hitch, and fuel plus the trailers 5388 lbs.

The weight of the passengers, fuel, cargo, hitch and tongue weight of the TT cannot exceed the GVWR of the TV.

The GMC you are considering has a GVWR of 7000 not 5500 the 5500 is the max trailering rear axle pounds.

Here is a good reference site and a calculator to help you figure out what you really need.

Travel Trailer Weight Calculator


Also IMO I would want the 3.73 over the 3.42 if you plan to tow very much or live in a hilly area.
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Old 01-24-2012, 02:15 PM   #3
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That 4.3L motor and that 3.42 rear end are an extremely poor choice for towing. get the 5.3L motor as a minimum. Fuel economy is almost exactly the same empty. And there is no substitute for cubic inches. As for the rear end ratio. It will be horrible for anything except fuel economy.
Dry numbers are totally meaningless, so please forget them right from the start. You need to look at the trailers GVWR.
A properly equipped 1/2 ton will tow it just fine. By properly equipped, I mean a 5.3L motor at minimum and the 3.73 rear end ratio. 4.10 would be better, but I doubt it is available in a standard 1/2 ton grocery getter.
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:44 PM   #4
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It will tow it and I'm sure you will see people doing it every day. But neither you nor your vehicle will be having much fun. Look for something with the 5.3.
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Old 01-24-2012, 04:11 PM   #5
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the 238 is a copy of the 23SS model, but from Palomino. i have a 23SS and tow with a 5.3 v-8 and 3.73 rear end and it's a great combo.

a 4.8 v-8 with only a 3.42 rear end ratio will struggle pulling it.

why get the lower powered 4.8 when the 5.3 gets about the same gas mileage and can tow way more.

i didn't even know they were still selling the 4.8. it's not a well-reviewed engine.
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Old 01-24-2012, 05:05 PM   #6
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I agree with everything that has been said. If you're going to spend the money go with the 5.3. I think the TT is light enough you could get away with the 3:42 rear end but like it's been said, the 3:73 would be more ideal for towing power.
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Old 01-24-2012, 07:52 PM   #7
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There is only a 10% increase in engine power from the 4.8 to the 5.3. Not that much really. Where it jumps up for the 5.3 is when they have the heavy duty cooling package. There is nothing wrong with the 4.8 at all. It is the cooling package that you are missing. If you have an after market tranny cooler installed you would probably be fine with that truck. You will be right about at the max of 5500 lbs but there is nothing wrong with that.

Don't worry about the 3.42 gears either. Many people don't understand the final drive ratio on the direct gear (4th) is 3.93 due to a 1.15 gear ratio vs. the old 1.00 gear ratio. I don't think GM even offers 3.73 gears on the 1500 except with the 6.2 engine.

Bottom line IMO the truck will be fine with if you add a tranny cooler.
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:43 PM   #8
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i didn't realize you already bought it.
did you get the tow package with it? that's an important question.
the max towing, with the 3.42, is 5500lbs., not the GVWR.

and there's a 4000lbs. towing difference between the 4.8 and the 5.3 because the 5.3 has more torque and you get the 6spd. tranny while the 4.8 only has the older 4spd. tranny available.
and the 5.3 gets better gas mileage, due to the 6spd. and the v-4 AFM feature.

here's a link to all the specs:
http://www.gmc.com/sierra-1500-picku...short_box.html
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:12 PM   #9
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The 2011 Silverado Owner’s Manual states for the 1500 Series 4WD Crew Cab:
4.8L 3.32 axle ratio 5500 lbs max trailer weight
5.3 3.08 “ “ 6000 “ “ “ “
5.3 3.08 “ “ 6700 “ “ “ “ with HD Cooling Package)

5.3 3.42 “ “ 9500 “ “ “ “ (with HD Cooling Package)
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:47 PM   #10
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I own a 1999 half ton GMC with the 4.8 and 3.42 rears. Ran out to Indiana from Rhode Island to pick up our 27ft Kodiak TT. 21 mpg going out and 12-13 coming home. I have had no problems whatsoever. Truck has 169,000 miles.
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