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Old 09-30-2011, 02:30 PM   #31
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As for chevy vs ford...I know a number of chevy owners and they seem to have more powertrain issues than ford owners and get better gas mileage.
Honestly I would be more worried about drivetrain issues with the Ford. However, at the same time, that's what warranty is for, so don't sweat it.

Had a friend complain that @ 35,000 miles his F150 tranny blew up, he didn't even have a hitch on it, never once towed, barely hauled. He said he would never buy a Ford again, but I told him that was not really fair to Ford. Vehicles have problems, even gently used ones, so buy the warranty and don't sweat it.

I know of several issues Chevy's have but bought one anyways (electrical problems come to mind). Then again, the people who experience the problems will tell everyone about them, but are likely a minority. The people who never have problems only say they never do when directly asked.

Would the well known tranmission problems of Ford keep me from buying one in the future? Not really, it's always a gamble with a new truck, and it's always a tradeoff of some sorts.

Also, I do get really solid MPGs with my Silverado (mostly 20.5MPG on trips longer than 30 minute hwy, 15 - 17 city), but I drove my Father-in-laws 2006 F150 3.73 w/ 5.4L engine CC LB to Dallas a few months ago (5+ hours). He said he loved his truck but never got better than 17 on the highway. I got 18.9 on my trip with his truck.

Most people complain about MPG, but most trucks are capable of within a few MPGs the same, the only difference is driving habits.
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Old 09-30-2011, 02:49 PM   #32
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Every brand has it's issues now and again. With the fords it may depend on what trannie - there is the 4R70 and a 4R100 - the 100 is the one you want for towing and it depends on what year F150 you have what came in it and then it may depends on options or a mix of other variables.

I've had transmissions last a long time and some that didn't...some that failed and left me walking and others that gave plenty of warning, stick and auto...can't say I can pinpoint any one brand or variable as to being at fault.

and ford's not perfect either - the list of 'common' issues with my expy/F150 is a long one and the previous owner experience most all of them. My experience with GM isn't much better nor with Chrysler. I worked at several foreign brand dealerships, indie repair shops and trust me, each brand has it's issues. You just have to figure out which issues you can live with and which you can't.

My issues are hassle - I don't want 10 little problems that keep me going back for repairs over and over again. A warranty may make the repairs free but my time has value too. My wife wants reliability - things can be broken or fall off the car, just don't leave her stranded on the side of the road -ever.
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Old 09-30-2011, 03:46 PM   #33
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Well said. It is always a compromise. If there was a perfect truck out there there wouldn't be such discussions as these.
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Old 09-30-2011, 05:47 PM   #34
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MacDaddy,

Sorry, could not get back to you. Was driving from Cave City, Ky to Montgomery, Alabama. Yes I do monitor the transmission temp and the temp has never gone over 196 degrees. And, that was on flat ground in city traffic. Pulling grades I have not seen over 185 degrees and that was in 95 degree weather. The new Silverados are a whole new animal. I might add the transmission cooler that is on my truck does have a fan. I installed it when I first bought it. I saw so much about transmission temps that I figured it couldn't hurt. You may also note that I said my 2011 Silverado is fulling equipped for towing. If it is not fulling equipped for towing it is not capable of towing the load I am pulling.

Like I said, make sure you are within the vehicle GVW's and you will be fine. One other thing I should have said for those who don't do the the research, make sure you do not go beyond the axel weight limits. The best thing to do is put your stuff on the scale!!!

As for the Ford vs Chev thing, I think both are great. I have friends who have Fords and they are happy with them. I bought a Chev because the price was right. Don't know what to say more about that.
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Old 09-30-2011, 05:55 PM   #35
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Also, to add with my 2011 Silverado w/ HD Tow (Factory, haven't added any fans).

Trans temps 165 - 175 towing 4000# TT. Hills, not mountains. Holds 5th @ 2000 RPMs @ 65MPH, downshifts on hills, temps never above 175F. Very impressed, but even 200F wouldn't bother me a bit.
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Old 09-30-2011, 07:50 PM   #36
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200F is about the perfect temp for a working trans. There is no cause for worry unitll your pushing over 220F. Im sure there was a sticky somewhere on this forum that referenced this
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Old 10-02-2011, 12:57 PM   #37
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Well I finally had to let the silverado go. It had 233000. miles and had been a good one. I traded for a 2007 GMC sierra with 14000. miles and a 5.3 with a 3.73. 4 X 4 and loaded. will tow more than the 2 wheel drive chev. Love this truck. can't wait to hook up and head out.
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Old 10-02-2011, 04:07 PM   #38
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Here goes a long post with a lot of math, but this is what I'd figured out regarding my truck and what it's capable of. I hope this helps the OP or other people towing with a truck like mine to figure out what's safe and legal.

Truck Details:
Chevy Silverado 1500 5.3L w/ 3.42 6 speed + Z85 + HD Trailer Package - Crew Cab

Curb Weight: 5100
GVWR: 6800
GCWR: 15000
Max Trailer: 9600
Max Tongue: 1100 (WD Hitch - 750 without)
RGAWR: 3950
RGAW: 2500

-----

Trailer Details:

Trailer Dry: 3600#

Trailer Wet: 4100#

Trailer GVWR: 5400#

Additional Weight that could be added = 5400# - 4100# = 1300#
Excess not used: 1300# (from above line)

-----

Tongue Details:

Hitch Weight Dry: 310

Propane Tanks: 40
Deep cycle battery: 20
Tongue Jack: 10

Actual Tongue Wet: 310 + 40 + 20 + 10 = 380#

Weight of WD Hitch: 60#

Dry Weight of WD Hitch + Wet Tongue = 440#

** Now Add 10% of weight added to TT will add to the tongue too**

Loaded weight of the TT Normally = 4100#

3600 dry - 4100 Wet = 500# additional @ 10% = 50# more to tongue

Total Loaded tongue weight: 490#

Max Possible using 5400# weight of Trailer: 1300# additional weigth @ 10% = 130# + 490# = 620#

-----

Truck payload information:

Adjusted Payload (per door sticker): 1400#

Me: 200
Wife: 120
Dog: 15
Loaded Tongue: 490
Box Cargo: 200
Full Tank of gas: 162# @ 26 gallons (Will divide in half since payloads generally assume 1/2 tank of gas) = 80#

Total Payload: 200 + 150 + 15 + 490 + 200 + 80 = 1135#

Margin: 1365# - 1135# = 230# (This would allow for additional people in truck, and possible moving some cargo from bed to the trailer)


<<---- Cheat Sheet ---->>

Normal Operating Weights:

Payload Margin: 230#
Tongue: 490#
Trailer Loaded: 4100#

Max Operating for a heavier Trailer assuming I remove the 200# of additional payload:
Tongue: 920# with WD hitch
Trailer: 7333# loaded

In this scenario this trailer, with a Wet Weight of 4100# actually comes close to maxing the payload on my truck long before it maxes the trailer towing capabilities. Also, a trailer which weighs in at HALF of what I am capable of towing with the truck just about maxes it out. However, since this is all well within my safety margins and I'm using a dual cam WD Hitch, I can say that this Silverado tows the holy mess out of othis trailer and doesn't even break a sweat.

My max trailer, which would really involve some sacrifices in payload, would be 920# Tongue w/ WD hitch and 7333# loaded.

Anything bigger, or even towing that much constantly, would require a larger truck.

The real kicker is the payload.
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Old 10-02-2011, 04:30 PM   #39
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I'm always amazed at how these big towing numbers vanish into thin air when you figure in all the other real world numbers such as payload, tounge weight, etc.

My 'small suv towable' trailer maxes out my full size SUV and I"m nowhere near "full" in what could fit in the trailer or truck.

Makes you wonder how many are out on the roads well over their rated loads...either from believing what they read or were told by the salesman (truck or tt).
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Old 10-02-2011, 05:18 PM   #40
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Yep I agree, I posted this hoping that someone who's trying to figure out what's safe for their family will at least understand there's more factors than the "Max Trailer towing" capability.

My father-in-law's TT is on the upper end of this spectrum and he's towing with an F150. It tows well but I bet he's over his payload. It's just crazy to me that I upgraded from a Tacoma to a Silverado and if I chose to go much bigger, I'll need a 2500 HD to do it.

However, I really don't plan on going much larger, and if I need more sleeping space, I'm going to go for a 24' - 25' expandable (or hybrid) TT with pop outs.

I just wanted to share these numbers since it really in informative to see how quickly they all dwindle down your safe loads.
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