Silverado Model for Towing

Discussion in 'The BS Topic' started by mgd1790, Aug 18, 2019.

  1. MadMike

    MadMike Administrator Staff Member

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    I tow with a 1500 99 suburban (long wheelbase - stable). Vortec 350, 255hp, 4L65 (custom built 4l60) with 4.10 gears. 18' open trailer. Camaro or Corvette is the typical load. I don't live at elevation (i.e. colorado 5000'+) , but this setup will pull fancy gap VA or Franklin/Otto/Asheville NC without a problem. i.e. it'll stay locked up in 3rd gear (1:1) and maintain 55MPH without downshifting. I've hauled on many 1000+ mile trips (up & down I81). My truck has the tow package, so I have oil and transmission coolers and a heavy duty radiator. Keeping stuff cool makes stuff live. Then there's brakes. The brakes in my rig are marginal. I can barely stop everything with my brakes alone - obviously my trailer has brakes and that helps, but... I don't own a 5.3 but I have friends who have the gammut of newer trucks. I like mine better. The 5.3 needs to downshift too much. The 6.0 is potent, but it gets big block gas milage. The big block is overkill - unless you'd like to tow a 28' trailer with 5000# in it. So with all that BS said - for simply towing a car on an 18' trailer, locally (within 100 miles) - almost any truck will do. For long distance, I'm stepping up to a dmax dually. So I'll be hauling safely & economically. That's a whole nuther story I probably should have started with 1st. Safety. With any SRW truck you have ZERO margin of safety. Regardless of what engine and brake package. I've seen several folks scatter enclosed trailers and I nearly lost a load myself in my suburban when I had a rear tire fail.

    This is actually me this morning, hauling my 74Z locally (20 miles). Effortless. I get 14MPG doing it too. MPG is important too if you wish to go anywhere.
    P8180008.JPG
     
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  2. xten

    xten Veteran Member

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    Mike, your 74 Z looks so much better than the last time I saw it at the Nats a couple years ago on the trailer. Nice work!
    I also used my suburban to tow a 26' enclosed trailer. With race car, quad, tools, jack etc, tipped the scales at over 9,000 pounds. Lots of hills here, not much problem going or stopping. Vortec with cam, TB spacer, Magnaflow cat back, K&N MSD 6A, headers. What bothered me was interstates with tractor trailers and dumps flying by. Got a little tail happy. Even had sway and stabilizer bars. Very critical where the car was placed. An inch forward or back made a difference. Usually 10-11 mpg on long haul. Suburban001.JPG Suburban009.JPG
     
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  3. flht99b

    flht99b Veteran Member

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    Went through this decision late 2017 till I finally made a purchase on March of 2018. Had a 5.3 LS 1 GMC Yukon and towing 6k pounds here in the Smokey mountains was laborious. In March of 2018 I bought an one owner 50k mile 2012 RAM 1500 quad cab 2 wheel drive pickup with the 5.7 Hemi,6 spd auto, 3.55 gears on 20 inch wheels. Towing became a pleasure, easy. Mpg around town is about 16, on a trip from Knoxville TN to Indianapolis with no trailer it got 20.9 mpg and towing even with the hills in KY, TN and NC, 12 mpg is pretty easy to get. I have 71k on this truck now and really like it even though every other car I own (4) are GM products.
     
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  4. badbrooster

    badbrooster Veteran Member

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  5. badbrooster

    badbrooster Veteran Member

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    I am pulling a 20 foot enclosed Haulmark trailer with a 78 z28 Camaro in it,total 6500 lbs. Using a 2017 LT Silverado with max towing package. 5.3, 3:73 gears, big mirrors, heavy duty cooling and rear leaf springs, built in trailer break controller, 20 inch wheels. Going between 65 and 70 mph with no wind or tail wind-10-11 mpg. Head wing 8 mpg. With open trailer you should get better mileage with same type of setup.
     
  6. krazy3

    krazy3 Veteran Member

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    I towed my '80 Z 500 miles through the Ozarks from Central Illinois to Northwest Arkansas.

    I used my 2011 Silverado with the 5.3 and a Uhaul car transport.

    I really couldn't tell that the car was back there. :)
     
  7. 1980RS

    1980RS Veteran Member

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    That's why I sold my 99 Subby to my son as it had sheety brakes. I know you can upgrade but the newer Sub tows pretty good at this point. On the bright side the 350 does indeed have more torque for sure.
     
  8. gramps

    gramps Veteran Member

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    I use my ‘05 Chevy with the 4.8. Pulls my trailer around just fine. Even with the 90’s Chevy pickups loaded on. The ls motors lack the low end grunt of the old 350’s but make a ton more power up top. It was a little bit of a learning curve but it’s all good now.
     
  9. dcozzi

    dcozzi Veteran Member

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    Try to find a 2004.5 to 2007 diesel 2500 2wd. They work well and are fun to drive. Also, they can be found for as little as 12k.
     
  10. 351maverick

    351maverick Veteran Member

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    and are worthless in the Chicago snow
     

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