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Old 08-09-2016, 07:02 PM   #1
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Location: Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
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This is for all those who tow at max capacity

Yes, I was one of those who towed at close to max capacity and thought it was fine. I had a 2014 Suburban rated for 8000lbs towing a 6250 dry, 7100 loaded Rockwood trailer. We towed up and down the California coast, and some into central California along I5. I added a tranny cooler, LT tires and new reflex shocks. The only real grade was the "grape vine" which is 6-7%, but not sustained. The Suburban would heat up, but then cool down, going 35-45mph. Then my DW planned a 12 day trip to Yellowstone, in August. We barely made it to Las Vegas, going 18 mph in first gear up most grades. The 2000 mile trip was filled with sustained 15 mile or longer grades, temps in the 100s, head and cross winds 20-30mph most of the trip. We limped into the Chevy dealer in Las Vegas with a melted drive belt, blown A/C and a transmission that saw sustained 215 deg temps. We traded the suburban in for a Chevy 2500HD Duramax. I am a convert. I finally felt like I was on vacation. No towing stress, no DW asking on every trip if we were going to make it. The lesson learned, know your limits when towing at max, and they are many, before you end up with a $3k repair bill. The biggest thing I learned is what a stress free towing experience is. I was the guy poo pooing the weight police and the guys always recommending an upgrade to the TVs. Now I know why. So if you're towing at max and experience the constant stress, and you may not even realize how stressed you are, consider the upgrade, you will not regret it.

2016 Rockwood 2702WS
2016 Chevy 2500HD Duramax 4x4 High Country
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Old 08-09-2016, 07:50 PM   #2
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Welcome to the world of a diesel truck, enjoy!

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Old 08-09-2016, 08:00 PM   #3
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And here's the truck.
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2016 Rockwood 2702WS
2016 Chevy 2500HD Duramax 4x4 High Country
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Old 08-09-2016, 08:21 PM   #4
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So true. I love my 6 speed manual diesel.
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Old 08-09-2016, 08:35 PM   #5
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I hope to join this club soon. Went on many 1000 mile trips with our 6000 pound loaded minilite and my 07 F150 with a 7000 pound tow capacity. Always over the rear axle weight rating by 400 pounds. I was stressed and exhausted. We just upgraded to an F350 diesel and our planning our first trip in it. It will probably be a 2-3000 mile trip and I am less worried then I ever was on the shorter trips with the little truck. Click image for larger version

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Old 08-09-2016, 08:45 PM   #6
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I think the difference you are experiencing is between 1500 and 2500 series trucks. I have towed at 98 percent of my max for 25000 miles with my gas F250 over the past six years and it has never skipped a beat. HD trucks are designed to work hard day in, day out.

2010 F250 5.4L 3.73
2011 Flagstaff 831FKBSS
Equal-i-zer 4pt 12K

2011 Flagstaff 831FKBSS
2010 F250 4X4 5.4L 3.73 LS
EQUALIZER E4 1200/12000
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Old 08-09-2016, 08:52 PM   #7
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Location: Oregon
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Not always practical but I prefer the TV to be heavier than the TT, That's why we have 1 ton truck (7000lbs ) dragging a 5000lb trailer.
TT- 2016 Grey Wolf 21RB
TV- 2004 GMC3500 4x
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Old 08-09-2016, 10:25 PM   #8
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Posts: 32
This is why I went with a GMC 2500HD diesel when I went from a motorhome to a TT. It pulls the hills like there's nothing behind it. The only time I need to slow down is on curvy roads. The peace of mind is well worth it.
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Old 08-09-2016, 11:19 PM   #9
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Delaware
Posts: 43

Thanks for sharing your experiences. There's no question that there's no comparison in towing performance between a 5.3 liter Suburban and a Duramax, but the Suburban towing performance that you describe sounds unreasonably poor for a 7100lb loaded trailer. 18mph in first gear up most grades to Vegas! Are you sure there wasn't something else going on there? Did the Burb have the towing package with the 3.42 axle ratio or the standard 3.08? Suburban loaded down with people and luggage in addition to the trailer? Possible something wrong with the truck? Unless you were WAY over your GCWR I would expect better power than that.

I tow a 23IKSS that's about 800lbs less (loaded) then your trailer with a 2003 Suburban 5.3 (285hp)/4sp/3.73 vs your 5.3(320hp)/6sp/3.42. Assuming you have the factory towing package, your drivetrain should tow considerably better than mine. I've had to drop to second gear to maintain 50-55 mph up some grades in western MD and upstate NY, but never anything close to crawling in first gear. Loaded and ready to camp I'm generally at or just below my GVW and GCVW.
Steve, Barb, and 5 daughters who love to camp
2017 Shamrock 23IKSS, Yellow sticker: 5314 lbs, Equil-i-zer 4pt. 1,000/10,000
2006 Fleetwood (Coleman) Niagara: Sold!
2003 Suburban 1500 Z71, 5.3/3.73, airbags, LT tires, Big Brake Upgrade, Prodigy P2
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Old 08-10-2016, 01:14 AM   #10
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Welcome to the wonderful world of diesels. I too was a convert after having struggled up and down a 7% grade towing a 5700 lb dry/7300 lb loaded tt with an armada that had a 9100lb towing capacity. I was over payload by about 200 lbs. My final straw was after not having enough TV to safely control the tt on a 7% long winding downgrade. When I got home I parked the tt and told dh it wasn't touching another hill until I got a better TV... enter my old f250 PSD. Same road as the one I had issues on, I tackled with the f250 and same tt. I touched my brakes 1-2 times. The engine did the rest... and that truck did not have an exhaust brake. I swore then and there, I would never tow over specs again and I would always have a diesel TV. Was the difference from the longer wheel base? Yes. Was the difference from the heavier truck? Yes. Was the difference from the beefier brakes? Yes. Was the difference from the diesel engine? Absolutely. My point is, the upgrade made a world of difference. I now have a 3500 srw that I carefully matched to my fiver. It is within all specs and tows the 12,300 lb fiver beautifully up and down steep mountain grades. Do I think everybody needs a diesel? No but everybody needs a properly matched TV/trailer combo.

Enjoy your beautiful new diesel. It will be a long time before you can wipe that grin off your face when towing.

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2014 Crew Cab Chevy Silverado 3500 4wd Duramax/Allison
2014 Sabre 34REQS-6
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