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Old 04-05-2016, 03:01 PM   #1
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What does your truck do on steep inclines?

Hey all!

We pulled our 35' Apex 300bhs, 5900 lbs through the mountains 2 weeks ago and were surprised at the amount of power the truck lacked on the steeper passes. We watched our temp climb as we went up a 6% grade, and the 7% grade later was just pitiful. We have a 2005 5.7 Silverado Z71 4x4 with the tow package. The truck was floored and losing speed.
Is this normal? Husband is now on a truck shopping binge, but I think many may experience this, just not sure. We stayed in the right lane and just kept it floored. We made it, though our alternator decided it was time to go. (That's another story).

What do you drive? What does your trailer weigh? What are your experiences? What are your thoughts on this?

P.S. The truck has 4:10 gears.
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Old 04-05-2016, 03:14 PM   #2
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That's pretty common for TV's with gasoline engines. Also 5900lbs is the UVW, so you're probably close to 7000lbs towing. Add a few things in the TV and you're pretty heavy.

If you plan on towing in mountainous areas regularly, I'd suggest looking seriously at something with a diesel.
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Old 04-05-2016, 03:23 PM   #3
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That's pretty common for TV's with gasoline engines. Also 5900lbs is the UVW, so you're probably close to 7000lbs towing. Add a few things in the TV and you're pretty heavy.

If you plan on towing in mountainous areas regularly, I'd suggest looking seriously at something with a diesel.
My husband can't stand the smell of diesel (he's an ASE Master tech,too!) with some of the gas vehicles towing 8k-9k lbs, I have to think there are other options.

Our tow capacity is around 8500 #. What good is a tow capacity if you can't even tow less than that?
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Old 04-05-2016, 03:26 PM   #4
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The reality is is that you need more truck if you want to tow safely and comfortably.

Some may say my truck is overkill, but you will not hear me complaining.
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Old 04-05-2016, 03:32 PM   #5
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A 3/4 or 1 ton gasoline TV would tow it pretty well, but it's still gonna wind the RPM's in the hilly country. Probably not as much as your current unit though.
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Old 04-05-2016, 03:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Our tow capacity is around 8500. What good is a tow capacity if you can't even tow less than that?
That 8500lbs is rated in perfect conditions and on flat ground.
And winds, air resistance, passengers/cargo in truck and inclines and that 8500 number isn't as relevant.
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Old 04-05-2016, 03:56 PM   #7
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I have a 2008 F350 and a 7800# 32iks. My truck barely notices the weight behind me. I gone up some steep hills on I25 in NM and Colorado with my cruise control at 65 and no hesitation from my truck. The only time I really feel anything is when there are side winds a-rocking the trailer.
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Old 04-05-2016, 03:59 PM   #8
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No reason a properly equipped Gasser can't pull your trailer. We went down through the Smokies with our unit. All up almost 18k truck and trailer with 4 adults and yes the truck revved but held it's speed going up. Get the most gear and biggest engine you can get in whatever brand you decide you want. In a Super Duty Ford you can get 4:30 gears, 4:10's in Ram/Dodge and the GM Twins.
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Old 04-05-2016, 04:08 PM   #9
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My little 6 with 3.31's don't struggle at all on steep hills. My Apex is about 500lbs lighter than yours though.
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Old 04-05-2016, 04:20 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 04-05-2016, 04:37 PM   #11
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Also consider that your 05 runs in the range of 285HP and 335lb-ft torque...

Compared to the newer GM 5.3L V8...355HP and 383lb-ft of torque...

So even just upgrading to a newer 1/2 ton would help. A 3/4 ton plus would be bonus...just my penny...
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Old 04-05-2016, 04:41 PM   #12
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Towing 12k to 13k up a 6% grade with my Cummings is like its towing on flat ground. No increase in temps or downshifting. No lose of speed either. Best TV I ever had .
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Old 04-05-2016, 04:54 PM   #13
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That Cummings sounds as strong as the Ecoboost!
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Old 04-05-2016, 05:01 PM   #14
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I've often wondered why I waited so long to buy the diesel that I have now. My trailer's not as heavy as yours and I'll never go back to towing with a gas engine. Inclines where I used to struggle with the truck in 3rd and revved up to 4400 rpm don't even rate a downshift. The diesel grunts a little louder and pulls up the hill. On the other side going down I hear the exhaust brake working and I'm still sitting at 65 mph, not heating and wearing the brakes on the truck or trailer. There are too many good things about the diesel towing experience to ignore... and I very seldom experience any diesel smell, certainly not while towing.
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Old 04-05-2016, 05:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Red and 30WR View Post
Towing 12k to 13k up a 6% grade with my Cummings is like its towing on flat ground. No increase in temps or downshifting. No lose of speed either. Best TV I ever had .
I am tempted to call BS on you Big Red. I have a Cummins pulling a 8K TT and mine sure downshifts going through the Rockies. Also the trans and engine temps do increase although not to a degree to concern me. I guess it could be the 6 speed auto.

Is it like towing on flat ground? No way!

But I will agree with you on this.... It's the best TV I ever had.

Happy Camping to all
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Old 04-05-2016, 05:05 PM   #16
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That Cummings sounds as strong as the Ecoboost!
Wanna back 'em up and hook 'em together? Just kidding... I'm really not 19 anymore... The EB is a great towing platform... My only problem with it was that at the time what I bought was not much more money.
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Old 04-05-2016, 05:11 PM   #17
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DIESEL, DIESEL, DIESEL.need I say more. You will love it, I promise.
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Old 04-05-2016, 05:21 PM   #18
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2015 Fordlong bed srw 400+hp, 88+torque I smile all the way up hills. With def no diesel smell, plus you can carry a conversation in the cab.
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Old 04-05-2016, 05:24 PM   #19
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If you aren't among the --you need a 3/4 or 1 ton truck for a Scamp, and want to stick with a nice comfortable truck to drive when NOT towing, I have the truck for you.
The Ram half ton with HEMI, 392 geared rear end, along with 4 corner factory air suspension with automatic leveling is the truck for you!
My Laramie equipped as described above, tows our 33' wildcat MAXX (7,500 lbs empty) out to Seattle and back to Iowa at least once a year (some years twice). It maintains the MPH within 5 mph on the 6% grades, does not heat up and stays at the speed I dictate going down the "other side". Mileage is not great. in the area of 7-10 mph when towing. Of course, it's much better when not towing and gets around 17-19 mpg.
We couldn't be more pleased with our Laramie when towing and appreciate the size and convenience of the half ton pickup during the 90% of the time we're not towing.
We use the Blue Ox Sway Pro WDH and travel about 60-62 mph and are very secure and comfortable with this setup!
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Old 04-05-2016, 05:37 PM   #20
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Wanna back 'em up and hook 'em together? Just kidding... I'm really not 19 anymore... The EB is a great towing platform... My only problem with it was that at the time what I bought was not much more money.
I'm just having fun with the Diesel or nothing crowd. No seriousness at all.

But seriously...the OP can have a very well matched truck for his trailer with several gas options in a half ton.
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