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Old 10-18-2012, 02:06 PM   #1
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Urgent Towing Advice Needed

We are considering a trade from our VLite to and fifth wheel. We will also have to trade our 2010 Tundra and my husband refuses to get a diesel truck. We will be driving quite a distance this weekend to look at at 2002 GMC 2500 8.1l 2WD with the 4.10 axle ratio. The trailer we are considering weighs 11,800 dry with a pin weight of 2,062 lbs. Please give me your honest opinions on this set-up keeping in mind that we travel very light, usually only clothes, food, some pots & pans and sometimes 2 lightweight bikes. Any help is greatly appreciated!
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:08 PM   #2
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The 8.1 should give you plenty of power for towing. They have great torque as well. I know many contractors who have gone with that engine, and of course the 2500 burbs that is the engine of choice. Expect to get around 6-8 mpg towing.
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:23 PM   #3
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If a diesel truck is absolutely out of the question, IMO get the biggest V8 available in the GM or Ford trucks, don't settle for the 6.0L engines or smaller, you'll be disappointed. The truck your looking at would be on my shot list of gas trucks to consider...good luck
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:25 PM   #4
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Look at the weight ratings for your particular "as optioned" truck and that dictates what weight trailer you can legally tow.

The other way to do it is choose your trailer and then buy a truck that is rated to tow it.

Since you're looking at a 2002, I'll guess you're like me and.......ahem.......slightly cash flow limited.

A 2002 properly equipped 8.1 will be able to tow a fairly large trailer. A quick google shows a 10,800 lb tow rating for a 2002 2500 GMC, but that all depends on things like axle ratio, tow package, etc.

The max weight I could find for a 2002 2wd 2500 gmc was that 10,800 (http://www.edmunds.com/gmc/sierra-2500/2002/). That is a good 1,000 lbs under your expected dry trailer weight of 11,800...then throw your stuff in there and you can add at least 500-1000 lbs more.

Check the option codes on your 2002 very closely when you look at it. The 10,800 was the max rating. If the truck you're looking has different options (IE: gearing, tow package, etc) then it's going to be rated less than 10,800. That 10,800 also might be with the Duramax, a gas truck may be less.

Like I said, check the option codes on the particular truck you're looking at....

Also, don't expect mileage anything like the tundra gets. Get ready to pay at the pumps for all that displacement.

With a ten year old truck and expecting to tow heavy with it (no such thing as a "light" 5th wheel), make sure you look it over good. Ie: inspection, pay a mechanic, service records, oil change records, etc.....
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:38 PM   #5
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We've had a 2007 Chevy Silverado Classic with the Duramax diesel since new. Over 176,000 miles and have replaced an axle seal, the front bearing assembles and the batteries. Not bad! Oh yeah, got 81,000 out of the first set of tires and 95,000 out of the last set.
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Old 10-18-2012, 03:18 PM   #6
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Do you have to go with a 5th wheel that is over 11,000 lbs ??
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Old 10-18-2012, 03:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackhartjr
We've had a 2007 Chevy Silverado Classic with the Duramax diesel since new. Over 176,000 miles and have replaced an axle seal, the front bearing assembles and the batteries. Not bad! Oh yeah, got 81,000 out of the first set of tires and 95,000 out of the last set.
Jack
Nice truck you have!

I have a 2006 dodge 3500 mega cab 2wd single rear. Very happy with it, and get 14/15 mpg towing new Sanibel.
Too bad dodge doesn't have the Allison tranny, that would be a great package.
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Old 10-18-2012, 04:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwebb6262
We are considering a trade from our VLite to and fifth wheel. We will also have to trade our 2010 Tundra and my husband refuses to get a diesel truck. We will be driving quite a distance this weekend to look at at 2002 GMC 2500 8.1l 2WD with the 4.10 axle ratio. The trailer we are considering weighs 11,800 dry with a pin weight of 2,062 lbs. Please give me your honest opinions on this set-up keeping in mind that we travel very light, usually only clothes, food, some pots & pans and sometimes 2 lightweight bikes. Any help is greatly appreciated!
In my opinion you will probably be disappointed with the choice of tow vehicle only because of towing performance and gas milage. Please don't get me wrong, the GMC is s fine truck if you only go short distances.
I would certainly talk to an EXPERT before you purchase this vehicle. Be safe!!!
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Old 10-18-2012, 04:29 PM   #9
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I'll give you my frank advice with a 12,000 lb 5th wheel (it's at least 12,000 ready to go if the listed dry weight is 11,800) and a pin weight of 2,000lbs but you (and hubby) are not going to like it:

3500, dual rear wheels, Diesel, 2007-2010 or newer.

That's if you want to stay legal and stable with it.

With a 2000lb pin weight you're going to load even a a 1 ton to near it's capacity. A 3/4 ton is likely going to be over the RWAR rating, very likely over the GVWR also.

Chuck in passengers and assorted other bits and you're quickly snugging up to the max rating of a 1 ton.

The older a vehicle is, the lower the ratings are going to be. The big towing ratings are a relatively new "mines bigger" race the OEM's have gotten in to. IE; heavier frames, stouter drivetrains, suspension, engine brakes, larger brake packages, etc.


Remember; it's not just about getting it rolling, it's also about keeping it stable and most importantly of all:

Getting that big suma "b" stopped!

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Old 10-18-2012, 04:33 PM   #10
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Not sure on the truck you are looking at but a 2008 to 2010 F250 or F350 with a V10 and 4.30 gears would pull a trailer like that no trouble at all.
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