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1500HD as a tow rig?

Discussion in 'Tow & Trailer' started by blowedupmotor87, Mar 26, 2007.

  1. blowedupmotor87

    blowedupmotor87 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I have been kicking around the idea of getting my first pickup/tow rig. I have had various cars and SUVs over the years but no pickups, now I need a tow rig. I won't be towing or hauling all the time and need a good DD. I am looking at a 1500HD at the Chevy dealership, looks like a decent tow rig on paper:
    6.0L Vortec 300HP, 360LBFT, 4L80E, 4X4
    4.10 gears=9,900LB trailer rating 8,600LB GVWR, 16,000 GCWR
    Crew cab short bed so, plenty of comfy stretch out space (though about getting an extended cab but, I like the idea of more interior space). Towing tasks will be (when I get done building it) a K5 Jimmy on 1 ton axles, 37-39s, some tools, spares, etc on an appropriate trailer. Probably only towing about once a month but for a pretty good distance (short distance I'll just drive the trail rig). Do y'all think this enough truck for the task? I'd like to get a diesel but that's about $7,000 more, is it that necessary? Seems like a gas might make a more pleasant DD though, no? Thanks for your forthcoming opinions!:D
     
  2. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    Bigger trucks have bigger brakes and stronger parts which is a good thing for towing. I would personally look at a 2500 or 3500. Towing once a month with at least 7K behind you is enough to worry about bigger brakes and stronger parts.

    If you are going to spend that much money on a truck you might as well get a diesel IMHO. Towing with a gasser vs diesel is night and day not to mention that the diesel will get better mileage and last longer. There are extra costs associated with diesels but in my mind they are TOTALLY worth it.

    I personally have a 98 Dodge Ram w/Cummins and I know for sure I will never even think about towing with a gasser again or even owning a gasser for a DD. My diesel gets 18mpg as a rule if not better. The worst tank I have ever gotten was 16 mpg driving intown with a heavy foot. Towing I still get 12-14 mpg with 7,500+ lbs behind it.

    Ultimately it is your choice but I personally would really look at a 2500 diesel. Take it for a test drive and see what you think. The Dmax is very refined as a diesel and will DD just like a gas rig except it will get better mileage and have more power.

    Harley
     
  3. 54inches

    54inches 1/2 ton status

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    I have towed with the chevy 4.8, 5.3, 6.0 and the cummins 12v.

    Of course the diesel kicks ass, but it rode like a pogo stick.

    The 4.8 w/ a 3.42 was ok for the 3500 lbs I was towing, but the 5.3 w/ a 3.73 would have been ALOT better.

    The 6.0 has ALOT of power and can tow up to 10,000 lbs with out a blink and so can the duramax, but saying to JUST go ahead and spend another $7000 is a tad bit absurd.

    By that rationale, you might as well go down and buy a Peterbuilt, it's only like another $80k, RIGHT! :)

    Anyways, I am just trying to give you some REAL world experiences with the engine YOU actually asked about.

    BTW, I was towing on hills with the 4.8 and it seemed to downshift alot.

    The 6.0 was a 4.10 manual. Alot of truck and alot of filling up the tank too!
     
  4. badger red

    badger red 1/2 ton status

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    Here's my 2 cents: I've owned an 01 2500 HD for 6 years with the 6.0. The wife uses it as a daily driver and we're very happy with it in that capacity. Don't tow often, but seems to have all the power necessary when towing another truck. I don't have a thing against a diesel, I just can't justify one. At the time we special ordered, the difference between a 2500 and a 2500HD was $300--that was a no-brainer--for $300 more we got a stouter frame, a 4L80E (don't think it was available in the 2500 at the time, just the 4L60) a full floating axle and bigger brakes. We have an extended cab, and I regret buying it (should have opted for the crew cab) because it's a pain the butt to work the rear doors in the parking lot and even more of a pain loading and unloading small children from the rear seat. If I had to do it all over again, I'd buy another one just like what we have, except crew cab.

    Jeff
     
  5. 88sub4x4

    88sub4x4 1/2 ton status

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    I'm in the same boat with my '05 2500HD. Unfortunately when I bought it there were no crew cabs around so I had to settle.

    As for the 1500HD, IIRC it is essentially a 8 lug wheel, 2500 with lighter springs, so it should tow your truck no problem. That 9900 lb. trailer rating is only 100 lbs. lower then my 2500HD so you will be fine. Looks like you will get the capabilities of the 3/4 ton with a nicer ride when empty.
     
  6. blowedupmotor87

    blowedupmotor87 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I appreciate all the responses! About the diesels, I really would love to have one (we have a bunch of them at work and I love driving them), but the buy in to a diesel is out of my price range (unless I go to something older with more miles). I found a really beautiful 2500HD crew cab 4x4 2004 with 47,000 miles a 6.0 gas, full LT leather package I think I can get for $23,000, a similar diesel seems to go for about $30,000. When I typed my post, I was wanting to get a new 1500HD but now, I don't think it'd be wise to put myself into that kind of debt. So, I am looking used but I want to get as new and low mileage as I can (without getting totally unreasonable cost) so, I think a diesel is out of my league but, I can try!:D Thanks!
     
  7. blowedupmotor87

    blowedupmotor87 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Just thought of a pretty randomn question:
    If I were to get a new truck how many "break in" miles before I can tow with it? I know they talk about break in for engine, trans, and rearend in the cases of swap and this would be the whole thing new, does anybody know? Thanks!:D
     
  8. 79k20350

    79k20350 3/4 ton status

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    The 1500 hd is a 2500... It was a 2500 but released as a 1500 so chevy could redesign the nose to fit the duramax for the 2500 and 3500...
     
  9. az-k5

    az-k5 1/2 ton status

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    There are 1500HD, 2500, and 2500HD's. I don't know if the 1500HD gets hydroboost. My dad's 2500 has hydroboost (makes stopping so much easier) the 4L80E, but a 14SF, the 2500HD have hydroboost 4L80E and a 14FF.

    Our 6.0 is a good engine. With the hypertech programmer we see 16-18 mpg now. It tows better, but not a deisel.
     
  10. badger red

    badger red 1/2 ton status

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  11. blowedupmotor87

    blowedupmotor87 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    If I were to get a new truck (kind of an option, my dad works for GM so, I get a discount), what kind of break in procedure/mileage does it need before I could tow with it? I am trying to find used but, most I have found seem to be kinda dogged or have sketchy backgrounds (couldn't even figure out the car fax on the one today!):D So, would I be able to break in a new truck in a week? Thanks! :D
     
  12. bowtiepower00

    bowtiepower00 1/2 ton status

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    As stated, the 1500 HD and 2500 (non-HD) are 8 lug trucks with the 4L80e and SF rear. For occasional towing you will be fine. The 6.0 is the same as the bigger trucks.

    However, for the money you're talking ($20k+), you can pick up a clean used D-max. Look on Autotrader and the Bay, not to mention other sites. I've seen sub 100K mile D-maxes in clean shape for under 20K. I've seen 2WD WT's with the D/A starting around $15K, for a truck that isn't all beat.

    You can also buy one hell of a used Cummins for that price.

    If you are thinking of buying new, right now, Chevy is really clearing out the Classics- or whatever they have left of them.

    I think it really depends on where you live and how much and how heavy you're planning to tow. I picked up my 07 brand new for $23K out the door and it stickered for $29K. Yes, it is a 1/2 ton, but it's more economical for DD duties. I get 16 MPG in town, and over 20 on the highway. To get that kind of mileage from a bigger truck, I'd have to buy a diesel. It's not going to keep up with a diesel in the hills, but if I keep my trail rig light I shouldn't have any problems.
     
  13. 83ZZ502_Jimmy

    83ZZ502_Jimmy 1/2 ton status

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    I read its either 500 or 1000 miles prior to towing...

    I think I could get awfully close to that in a week.:D
     
  14. gmc4cw

    gmc4cw 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I sell GM so I'll give you the info they give us. 500 miles minimum before towing or using cruise control. 1000 would be better. change the oil after the first 1000 also.
     
  15. blowedupmotor87

    blowedupmotor87 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I appreciate the info, thanks guys!:D
     
  16. blowedupmotor87

    blowedupmotor87 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Mighta found a sweet truck! Specs:
    2004 GMC Sierra Xcab SWB SLT
    6.6 diesel, alli, 4x4, 37K
    $28K at Carmax, Sweet!
    Getting it shipped here to look at, I really hope I like it 'cause shipping is $149, will be here in supposedly 7 days, gonna look it over. It's from kinda up north though, I am really paranoid that it might be rusty like the last truck I looked at was, anybody know if Hopkinsville, Kentucky is in the rust belt? Thanks!:D
     
  17. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    1500HD is all the truck you'll need, but if you like this Dmax that you are going to look at, thats a good route too.
     
  18. blowedupmotor87

    blowedupmotor87 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    That Carmax diesel didn't work out, turned out to be dogged looking, witha fifth wheel, a bent front bumper (with paint overspray), a deleted cat and muffler with straight flex pipe, 2 previous owners, and some rust underneath (too much for my taste), I felt sketchy about the truck so, no buy. What I did buy is sweet though, an '07 six speed Dmax extended cab shortbed, LT1 (clothseats but power everything, XM too), graystone exterior dark charcoal interior for about $6k more than the sketchy used one. Yep, I bit the bullet and bought new (I am sooooo in debt now). All the used ones I could find seemed too sketchy. I pick up the truck tommorow (it is being transfered from SC so some old man gets to put 150 miles on it before I do. :( Oh well, I guess that'll be good for the break in miles. Here's the plan,
    Various duration city and highway mix:
    500-600 miles before any towing (gotta do 'em all this week!)
    10 hours straight highway:
    approx. 500 miles with empty trailer (approx 1500 lbs.) friday the 13th
    10 hours straight highway:
    approx. 500 miles with full trailer (approx 5500 lbs.) sunday the 15th
    oil change at approx. 1800 miles to flush out any junk
    oil change at approx. 5000 miles
    start normal 5000 mile intervals
    Does that sound like a plan? I think that will be the best that I can do but, does anybody have any suggestions? Thanks!:D
     
  19. blowedupmotor87

    blowedupmotor87 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Anybody out there running 285/75 R16 tires on the stock 2500HD aluminum rims? I want to run E rated BFG all terrains 285/75 R16's on my stock alloys. I went to the tire place, and they said the tires won't ever be balanced due to the width of the tires being to wide for the rims. Anybody out there running this tire/rim combo, how's it working out for ya? Also, I am planning to get the speedo recalibrated for the tire size (at the dealership), has anybody out there had difficulty with a warranty claim due to putting on larger than stock tires? The dealer says it won't cause a problem but, you now how they'll say whatever it takes to make a sale sometimes...(no offense meant to dealership guys out there, I used to work at one). Thanks for info!:D
     
  20. bowtiepower00

    bowtiepower00 1/2 ton status

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    The 285's will work with the 6.5" wide stock wheels. Many people do it. A 7-8" wide wheel would be ideal, however. Take a look at the BFG MT in 255/85R16. It works out to a 33x10.5 or so, or a little taller and narrower than the 285's. They are also cheaper, per tire, than the 285's.

    I've seen guys run 305's, though usually on 8" wide wheels. 315's will fit with some trimming.
     

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