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Old 11-19-2010, 02:57 PM   #1
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Please help

We are new to this forum but have some experience towing a trailer.
We have just bought a 2010 silverado with 3.42 ratio, 6 speed transmission and full tow package. Max towing capacity is listed at 9600# ( minus the usual such as passengers etc). We are looking at the Rockwood 2604 which has a gvwr of 6600.( dry weight listed at 5200#). 29 feet. We will add sway control/weight distribution. We tend to travel light but do tavel through the mountains . Can we pull this properly and safely? The numbers suggest that we can but it would be reassuring to hear from others.
Thank you very much for your input.
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Old 11-19-2010, 03:02 PM   #2
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The ratio is not the best for towing. Is this a 5.7 liter engine ? You sure won't break any speed records especially going uphill with that 3.42. Worst comes to worst, you could spend some money and have it reduced to 3.73 or 4.10.

I am sure others will chime in now, and someone might have the exact ratio you have and voice their opinion.
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Old 11-19-2010, 03:22 PM   #3
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Sorry I forgot the mention that it has a 5.3 L engine. I was told that the 6 speed transmission helps make up for the gear ratio?
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Old 11-19-2010, 04:47 PM   #4
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PAUL..... We recently bought a 29' Salem that dry weight is in the neighborhood of 7400 lbs. We started towing it with our 2007 Ford Expedition. The numbers all are in range if I could get enough weight transferred to the front of the tow rig.
We did a 3 week trip...2600 miles total and did just fine with a tail wind. A 35 to 40 mph headwind between St. Louis and Memphis was a killer.
We decided we were so close to being over the edge of overloaded we went today and made a deal on a new tow rig. 2011 Ford F350 dually, thinking if we ever decided to upgrade to a 5th wheel we will be ready.
Good luck with your combo.
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Old 11-19-2010, 05:13 PM   #5
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We have an 08 Denali XL (6.2L) that we tow our 2501ss with. We had an '03 Yukon XL with the 5.3L. They both have the 3.42 rear end. The 5.3L with that rear end just didn't have the umpph, especially towing up into the mountains here in Colorado. The Denali of course has a bit more HP and Torque on the 5.3L and is passable. Looking at a new HD in the event that we trade up to 5er in the near future. As stated...you can do it, you just won't be the front runner in any race.
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Old 11-19-2010, 05:31 PM   #6
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The 3.42 gears are a little stiff, but the 6 speed transmission will help with that some. If Chevy says you can tow up to 9600 lbs., then a trailer with a GVWR of 6600 lbs. should be OK, but like others said, you won't win any races at the red lites. Just so you got enough acceleration onto the interstates is the important thing. I would compare the 5.3 Liter, 3.42 gears, and 6 speed transmission close to the 5.4 Liter, 3.73 gears, and 4 speed transmission of my 2006 F150........doable, and can usually get up to speed getting onto an interstate without revving the engine or 3500 rpms or so. If need be, I can wind that puppy a little higher, but rarey need to. MInd you, my trailer does appear to be about 500 lbs. lighter, but the gross weight of mine is actually higher.

I would think in the mountains that the 6 speed transmission should really pay off. I have to pull a steep pass here in 2nd gear, with torque converter unlocked. With the close ratios of the 6 speed, I could probably find a gear where I could keep the torque converter locked up, which would help keep the tranny cooler.

In all of the information that you gave, you failed to mention the cab/bed configuration. Wheelbase has a lot to do whether you can safely tow a 29 foot trailer.

If it were me, and the wheelbase is enough, I would give it a try.
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Old 11-19-2010, 06:07 PM   #7
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Thanks for your response. It is an extended cab with a wheel base of 143.5 inches
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Old 11-19-2010, 06:25 PM   #8
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Here is an awesome calculator to let you see where you stand weight wise.
Travel Trailer Weight Calculator

IMHO, while the two overdrive gears in the transmission will help fuel mileage in cruise, the six banger will be taxed quite a bit from a standing start with those rear end gears. You most likely will have trouble starting out on hills, too.
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Old 11-19-2010, 06:42 PM   #9
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I have exactly the same truck and couldn't be happier with it. Of course, I tow a 20-foot Surveyor with a gross weight of about 5,000 pounds. I figure I tow it at a little over 4,000. I know my unit is lighter than yours, but it is effortless towing for me, even up the mountain grades here on the East Coast. And the tow/haul mode works great. I hope it works out for you. I'm not an expert on these things, but I'm guessing you will be fine.
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Old 11-19-2010, 08:34 PM   #10
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I think you would be fine with this combination. The 6 speed has a lower first gear to get you going and (I believe) a 1.15 4th gear. Combined with the 3.42 gives you a 3.93 4th gear final drive ratio which ain't too shabby.
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