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Old 05-30-2011, 06:20 PM   #1
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Question Towing with Chevy Avalanche 5.3 V8

I currently have a Dodge Durango 4.7 V8 and a 2011 Salem Cruise Lite 26BH that weighs fully loaded 5400 pounds. The Durango is not cutting it power wise for hills and grades ( which I figured before I bought it) However I am looking at the Chevy Avalanche 5.3 V8 as a tow vehicle and I am looking for feed back on anyone who pulls a trailer of similar weight with one of these or any feedback in general about the Avalanche itself.

Thanks to all that answer.

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Old 05-30-2011, 06:57 PM   #2
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i have an '07 Avy with the 5.3 AFM v-8 and a 3.73 rear end.
my HTT weighs around 5000lbs. loaded for camping. there are just the two of us in the Avy, with hardly anything in it.

i see the "dry" weight is about what mine is, even though my GVWR is more than your 5400lbs., so our trailers are about the same in weight.

we live out west and have many mountains to get over and the Avy does great. you should have no problems towing yours with an Avy.

but, if you expect to possibly upgrade in the future, i'd look for something with more towing capacity.
mine has a max of 7200lbs. with a 150lb. driver.
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Old 05-30-2011, 07:00 PM   #3
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Same drive train as the Tahoe and 1500 Suburban. So it will have very similar towing experiences. Which IMHO will be better but not much. If you can find a 2500 Avalanche with the 6.0L motor in it, then that would be a big improvement.
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Old 06-20-2011, 03:44 PM   #4
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I am towing Rockwood Roo 233S with a 2010 Silverado 1500 with the trailer towing package (5.3L, 3.42 diff, 6 speed, trailering suspension, 9500 lb towing capacity). The "camping" weight of the trailer is about 5000lbs. The truck does an okay job, not great. When I bought the truck I chose the 5.3 over the 6.0 because I didn't want the fuel economy penalty for the 80% of the time I am not towing. The 6.0L is definitely worth considering. However, my other tow vehicle has a 500HP Detroit which probably skews my perception.
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Old 06-20-2011, 07:30 PM   #5
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I agree with donn and kashnelson, the 1500 suburban type setup pulls, but not gracefully. I started with a Suburban and this year I traded it for my current vehicle, if possible, go with anything in a 3/4 ton version.
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Old 06-20-2011, 09:17 PM   #6
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I pull a Rockwood 2901SS (tag on the side lists my dry weight as 5,400 lbs) with my 2007 Avalanche and after returning home from Yellowstone recently am very pleased with how mine tows. I'm not going to win any races and certainly cannot be in a hurry while towing but I only ran into one pass across the Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming where I was concerned about not having enough power. I had my foot in it and could only maintain about 40-45 MPH. Transmission temp climbed to 210 F and then I gave the truck a break. Other than that my trans temp never exceeded 180 F and I was able to maintain 55-65 MPH with what I would consider normal effort from the 5.3 liter engine. Like I said, you just can't be in a hurry when accelerating to that speed.

A 3/4 ton or larger truck will certainly tow better and easier than the Av but the ride is not nearly as nice and smooth, with or without a trailer.
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Old 06-21-2011, 09:00 AM   #7
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I pull my Gray Wolf 28bh with mine, and have no problems. I live in Ohio, and we dont have all the mountains, but it does good.
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Old 06-21-2011, 01:09 PM   #8
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So far so good

Just got a Wildwood 28BHXL (about 5200 empty and GVWR of around 7500 ) We are pulling with our Avalanche 5.3L. So far I am pleased with the results. On the trip home we pulled every grade at around 50 mph, about 2200 rpm. Never really pushed down on the accelerator, didn't want to force it just see how it would do. These weren't steeper grades like we have in some parts of the state but more moderate ones. And of course since the Avalanche is maxed at 7300 I am watching what I load the trailer with. Level road ran about 60 mph and rpm were a little under 2000.

Already priced putting an auxillary transmission cooler on it, going to do some general tune-up (new plugs, wires) thinking of adding cold air intake. An extra hp or two certainly won't hurt.

I also figure that even if I slow down to 40 on some grades, so what? Better then horsing the transmission and besides I'm camping, not in a hurry!!
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Old 06-21-2011, 06:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wvcampincpl View Post
Just got a Wildwood 28BHXL (about 5200 empty and GVWR of around 7500 ) We are pulling with our Avalanche 5.3L. So far I am pleased with the results. On the trip home we pulled every grade at around 50 mph, about 2200 rpm. Never really pushed down on the accelerator, didn't want to force it just see how it would do. These weren't steeper grades like we have in some parts of the state but more moderate ones. And of course since the Avalanche is maxed at 7300 I am watching what I load the trailer with. Level road ran about 60 mph and rpm were a little under 2000.

Already priced putting an auxillary transmission cooler on it, going to do some general tune-up (new plugs, wires) thinking of adding cold air intake. An extra hp or two certainly won't hurt.

I also figure that even if I slow down to 40 on some grades, so what? Better then horsing the transmission and besides I'm camping, not in a hurry!!
I would suggest the CAI as well as opening up the exhaust a little and a tune if you can. I have added an Amsoil drop in air filter and an Airaid Modular Intake Tube. This keeps your stock filter air box which draws cool air in from the fender instead of hot air from under the hood. I have also removed the resonator from my exhaust and replaced the stock muffler with a Flowmaster big block 70 series. It is not much louder than stock during normal driving but both of these mods (along with the Predator Tuner I added) have made a large difference in my towing power according to my "seat of the pants" dyno. My cruise control will now maintain speed going up overpasses without downshifting (as it always did before the mods).
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