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Old 04-07-2016, 07:05 AM   #101
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My neighbor has a 2014 Duramax/Allison setup pulling a 12.5k 5th wheel. I've ridden with him up the same 6% grade (5-6 miles worth). My setup (7500 with a half ton gasser) has an easier time pulling that grade at the same rpm's. I can jump into the passing lane and leave him behind easily. It's not apples to apples, but does tell me that a matched setup is a matched setup.

Having 90% of available torque between 1700-4000 rpm and turbos with very little loss at elevation makes a great towing engine. Doesn't matter if that's accomplished burning diesel or gas.

No disrespect for diesels. They are the preferred engine. But some of these comments are ridiculous in the scope of what the OP is towing.

If I wanted to spend the money, I'd go diesel too. But don't think it's the only option for a relaxed towing experience. On rolling hills, my cruise is set, no downshifts, less than 2k rpms, and I'm talking with the family while my knuckles are nice and pink. The OP has many options that would do the same for him and not be a diesel.
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Old 04-07-2016, 07:20 AM   #102
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As a vehicle ages (miles), it will loose power. Just traded a 2010 (122k miles) for a 2016. It was starting to downshift on small hills even without the trailer. All my vehicles have done this as they age.

NEW truck!
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Old 04-07-2016, 07:46 AM   #103
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I had a similar experience one time, the pedal to the floor clyming a hill and I found out that my v8 5.7 had a bad sparkplug and my engine was running on 7 cylinder insted of 8 !!
Could not tel mutch difference on flat road.
We had the same issue thing our 97 Silverado. But it was another issue causing the plug fouling. That's led to research and the purchase of a 05 Silverado with the 5.3 and pleased with it....and it pulls the same hill mentioned just fine.
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Old 04-07-2016, 08:04 AM   #104
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By now, DW and DH are probably starting get some direction. Any of the big 3 have a lot to offer. Don't try to compare your 2005 Silverado to any new truck.
There was a tremendous difference between our '08 Sierra and '13 Silverado. The new trucks have 4-wheel disc brakes, more speeds in the trans making for much better towing, fuel management for economy, different suspension, stiffer chassis, back up cameras, more comfort, more quiet, optional integrated brake controller (recommended), OnStar type features, and more.

Ford has an all aluminum body and EcoBoost that owners rave about, Dodge has come a long way since the 2002 we once owned. The new Silverado or Sierra has some aluminum components and would do the job-you would be comparing apples with oranges between the 2005 and the new ones.

Your in the driver's seat. Certainly, your choice will be a good one. Enjoy and happy campin'!!
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Old 04-07-2016, 08:26 AM   #105
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That's why I went diesel a few years back. Not enough motor/ torque for the inclines. Got tired of all the shifting and searching for the right gear while going up hill and that was with a hemi. Since going cummins hills/ inclines are no longer a challenge. You could buy the perfect match, trailer weight to gas truck engine and maybe make your way up the inclines or you could buy a diesel and never worry about. I'm not saying I pull up steep grades at 80mph, but I am saying I can find a comfortable speed and climb without the engine racing or the tranny searching for gears. As long as I pull a trailer, it will be a diesel pulling it.
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Old 04-07-2016, 09:02 AM   #106
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One of my trips to Yellowstone I drove a Silverado with a gas engine pulling a 24 foot Coachmen Catalina. Going west from Billings, I had the pedal to the metal just to maintain 45 mph. My next truck was a Silverado diesel and on the same route l just set the cruise at 60 mph and let it go. I am on my third Chevy diesel now. I have never smelled any diesel fumes from any of them. I have towed through the Rockys and to Alaska with no problems. I would buy another diesel even if I were not towing.
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Old 04-07-2016, 09:48 AM   #107
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It would be suggested to post the years of trucks we are comparing. The OP has a 2005.There is a tremendous difference in features and performance from 2005 to 2016, gas or diesel no matter the brand.

Diesel and gas will always be argued. We were stopped in traffic along side a 2016 Silverado 2500 Duramax yesterday. I rolled down the window and DW asked why. I said I was curious about the smell and sound of the diesel when it started out. The Duramax diesel odor was very faint and it was very quiet on acceleration. I was envious, but I will probably never need one. The '13 Silverado 5.3L 6-speed is doing its job in style.
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Old 04-07-2016, 03:22 PM   #108
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It's not just the diesel that helps, but also the turbo that typically comes with it, right? Naturally aspirated (non-forced) engines will lose effectiveness (not the right term, power?) as elevation increases above sea level. A forced-induction engine is effectively negating that effect (or at least minimizing it).

If hubby demands to stick to gas engines, and you expect to continue headed into significant grades, you should seriously consider a Ford F150 with the 3.5L Ecoboost (turbo). That's what those last 2 folks were referring to as there "little 6".

Another thing:
What transmission in the Chevy. Newer trucks have 6, 8, or 9 speeds. If yours is 5, it will hunt. If it's only 4, God help you.
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Old 04-07-2016, 03:29 PM   #109
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Yep. My little 6cyl gasser is towing 7500lbs and holds the speed limit on extended 6% grades while not going over 2500rpm.
X 2. A fully configured F150 like this has no problem in these conditions. No need to go to a 3/4 ton and or a diesel configuration. Just came back this week going through the appalachians to over 3,000 ft+ and was in the right hand lane all the time at 60 mph and sailed past the the average tractor trailer with about an 8500 LB load. Did the same twice across the Rockies and aon a regular basis twice a year through the Appalachians.
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Old 04-07-2016, 04:38 PM   #110
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It's not just the diesel that helps, but also the turbo that typically comes with it, right? Naturally aspirated (non-forced) engines will lose effectiveness (not the right term, power?) as elevation increases above sea level. A forced-induction engine is effectively negating that effect (or at least minimizing it).

If hubby demands to stick to gas engines, and you expect to continue headed into significant grades, you should seriously consider a Ford F150 with the 3.5L Ecoboost (turbo). That's what those last 2 folks were referring to as there "little 6".
I agree with this comment and the others who have mentioned turbo engines vs. naturally-aspirated engines at altitude. My driveway is at 5,600-feet above sea level, so I have to drive "at altitude" when I go to the neighborhood grocery store. I've lived in Colorado over 50 years and had nearly 40 different cars and trucks and none drive or pull as well in the mountains as the turbocharged ones.

The reason is that every naturally aspirated engine loses approximately 3% of its rated (sea-level) horsepower per 1,000-feet of altitude gain. In other words, any non-turbo gas or diesel engine will lose 30% of its rated power crossing a 10,000-foot pass across the Continental Divide in Colorado. That's why WWII piston-engine airplanes that could climb to 30,000 feet had to have superchargers. And why Sir Charles had to gulp oxygen on the bench when he played against the Denver Nuggets!

The reason new trucks with modern diesel engines or the Ford Ecoboost can tow so well in the mountains is not because of the size of their engines, but because they are all turbocharged. After all, the Ecoboost is 3.5L and my Cummins is 6.7L, but both are turbocharged and both do well with their max loads in the mountains.

So, if the OP wants to comfortably tow that travel trailer through the Rocky Mountain West, I'd advise an engine--any engine, gas or diesel--with a turbo.
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