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Old 04-05-2016, 09:32 PM   #51
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The 5.3 is low on torque. I pull a Mini Lite 26', TV had 5.3 with 3.73 gears. Always felt the load on inclines but could hold 45 MPH in Arkansas mountains. I went to a GMC 2500 Duramax. Can't wait till we hit the mountain now.
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Old 04-05-2016, 09:41 PM   #52
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I had an '03 5.3 and remember one trip we were climbing up to the Blue Ridge Parkway. There was a trailer in front of us and I could tell he was struggling. I would have been okay as long as I could stay right in my narrow powerband. He hit a tough spot causing him to go down to about 10mph. This dropped me into first gear and I could never get out of it again. We did the next 10 miles wound up like a top and going 10-15mph. No fun at all. Scary actually.

Fun times!
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:03 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Crusadernoob View Post
35' and only 5,900LBS.? I didn't look up this TT to find specs but that seems light to me. Anywho, a newer GM 1/2 ton would tow night and day difference from an 05
But, being a 3/4 ton diesel driver, Duramax is the ONLY way to go!
All apex's are under 6000
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:37 PM   #54
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I might have missed it, but I didn't see anyone commenting on the fact that at higher elevations, you have thinner air. This really starves the engine's power. You didn't mention the elevation but if you are in mountains with 6-7% grades, I'd wager you were getting into some high passes. When we drove a gas MH through over the Rockies, it absolutely choked on the high elevation grades, spitting and sputtering and half dying to the point where we even pulled off to let it calm down a couple of times. It didn't matter what low gear you put it in, it just could not crank any power. Other than that, it motored through everything like heck. (I believe that was a Ford E-450 V-10, and it was a rental so I certainly can't vouch for it being tuned correctly!)

Now we have a Forester diesel MBS and look forward to seeing how it performs in the mountains with a power "curve" (actually a flat line) of 325 ft. lbs. of torque consistent across 1400-2400 rpm.

The OP is based here in NC so I assume she is talking about I-40 over the mountains in the western part of the state. There is a strong 6% grade heading up west bound near Black Mountain. The elevation maxes out at a bit over 2100 ft so altitude isn't really an issue like you run into with the mountains out west.
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:44 PM   #55
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sounds like you may have been in our neck of the woods...Saluda grade and Old Fort mountain. We just bought an 05 Silverado for towing our 4500 lbs HTT, Very happy so far. My question to him is what 5.3 engine? RPO code will give it. we have the L33 5.3, all aluminum based on the LS6 motor with 310HP. Another vast improvement it towing performance is to find a good tuner to reprogram the computer and remove some of the torque management controls that zap performance.
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Old 04-06-2016, 01:03 AM   #56
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Is the '05 Silverado a 4 speed trans or 6?

Anyhow, we had a "moment" when driving up to Big Bear the short way when there was a sign posted 15% grade. And those hills were in between 180 degree turns so no chance of running room. Started the climb at 1800 ft and ended at 6500 ft. Thought for sure that we were going to come to a stop on one of the hills in first gear- just couldn't get into power band. We were loaded at 7500 lbs. After that trip, the boss okd intake and exhaust upgrades.

Next long trip was to flagstaff then down to Sedona. Couple of 7% + grades where speed started to taper off at max power but came back as the road changed. When we made it to Sedona campground, found another FROG with same TV and lighter trailer. They asked which way we came and how we liked the slow climb up. What slow climb? Held 60 no problem at 4K in 3rd. They were stunned- they were struggling 40-45 up the same hill.

Moral of my long winded story is an intake and exhaust is cheaper than a diesel. If it doesn't work and you end up with a different truck, you will prob get most of your money back on it when you sell to private party.


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Old 04-06-2016, 01:55 AM   #57
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Last year I towed a 2016 TT loaded weight 7000 with a F150 6 cyl EB through the NC mountains with zero problems. Since December I have been pulling a 2016 11000# 5er with a 2016 F250 diesel. Zero diesel smell -. There is no struggle with the diesel even on the 7 mile % grade at the NC/VA border. Nothing like the diesel engine brake coming down that hill either. The 6 averaged 1.5 MPG better without the trailer and nearly 7 mpg less pulling. I drove from the coast to Raleigh and back today ~369 miles and the MPG was 18.9 at 70 MPH AC on during the return. The diesel is my daily driver ~ I leave the Ford Escape in the garage. The list of pros is extreme, the con is parking can be tight as spaces today are not considering more than a Honda. I have had a 4X4 truck since 1976 and will never be without a diesel even if I stop towing at some point. One more con ~~ the cost of an oil change at the dealership is $140. After warranty I'll change it myself for about $85.
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Old 04-06-2016, 09:16 AM   #58
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Whew, lots of great posts!

Yes, we were in the NC mountains, heading to the Smokys of TN. The Saluda pass did our alternator in (or purely coincidental)- C&D auto repair is highly recommended if you break down in Saluda!

The Truck is outfitted with air intake, spacer, and tuned with HP tuners for 93 octane and 4:10 gears. My husband thinks he may have pulled in the wrong gear. We were in 2nd, and he corrected me that he was not floored. He was 1/2-3/4 throttle, 4000 rpm's and maintaining 40mph speed most of the way. He has the LM7 motor. Also, yes we were in tow mode as well.

We will be traveling mainly in the mountains here, but I do want to take it to Grand Canyon and the Grand Tetons eventually. There are mods we can do to the truck to make it more capable if thats truly the issue but part of me just says I should trade in my sedan and get a GMC Denali so we can take the dogs more easily too. I don't REALLY want to do that. His truck has sentimental value, and I don't want him to part with it.

To the poster who said "Don't worry about the mechanics of it, he needs a new truck"- either you're the same kind of guy my husband is, no need for a reason to upgrade, just need to. Or, you dislike Chevy's, in which case I'm not listening to you anyways. hahaha
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Old 04-06-2016, 09:36 AM   #59
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Whew, lots of great posts!


We will be traveling mainly in the mountains here, but I do want to take it to Grand Canyon and the Grand Tetons eventually. There are mods we can do to the truck to make it more capable if thats truly the issue but part of me just says I should trade in my sedan and get a GMC Denali so we can take the dogs more easily too. I don't REALLY want to do that. His truck has sentimental value, and I don't want him to part with it.

To the poster who said "Don't worry about the mechanics of it, he needs a new truck"- either you're the same kind of guy my husband is, no need for a reason to upgrade, just need to. Or, you dislike Chevy's, in which case I'm not listening to you anyways. hahaha
I owned only one Chevy but a few GMC trucks, 3/4 ton 4X4. Once I switched to Ford I'll never go back. The GM Duramax is a great motor and would serve you better in the mountains than any gasser. I ran Wolf Creek Pass in 4th gear except when starting out at the single lane holes in the mountain. The truck never had a problem and would have been in a higher gear if a higher speed was safe. It is in the 860 ft # of torque although 440 HP is nice. Rarely touch the brakes with the engine brake engaged coming down the mountains either.
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Old 04-06-2016, 09:48 AM   #60
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My husband thinks he may have pulled in the wrong gear. We were in 2nd, and he corrected me that he was not floored. He was 1/2-3/4 throttle, 4000 rpm's and maintaining 40mph speed most of the way. He has the LM7 motor.
When I hit a big hill, I let the truck slow down to about 55 mph, let the tranny shift to 2nd, then manually shift to keep it locked in to 2nd. I just sit back and enjoy the scenery doing about 55 mph, or whatever the truckers are doing in the right lane. I think my rpms are around 3500 at 55 mph in 2nd......that seems a plenty to get the job done. The difference between rpms and speed with the OP seem to get 4:10 gears........I have 3:73s.

Because of having to slow down for the curves and 7-8% grades up the Blue Ridge 2 and 3 lane roads, the truck torque converter mostly stays unlocked for extra power.
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