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Towing Survey/Question

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This will be two part for me as a project. Part one is ask the question, what do you tow your trailered boat with? Moving from a 2013 226 SSi to a 2018 247 SSX I feel the 2013 Tahoe we have been using is now maxed out. Up grades having to turn the AC off in the desert when it's 110 outside is not fun. Nursing the climb with a thermostat rising to 3/4 is not fun. We need a bigger truck. I don't like Fords and Dodge for no logical reason, I have just always been that way. I do like GMC and Chevy. I think truck is better than SUV at this point. Is 2500 too much? Is 1500 too little? I would like the truck to run at 50 - 75% capacity in maximum conditions, uphill, AC on, temp pegged at center. 2 wheel drive? 4 wheel drive? This question is more about trailering I think. I don't plan to go off road. Thank you for your input.

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Oh ya, part two is go look at signatures in other posts and see what people use.

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just a thought. you mentioned in an earlier post that you may move to Texas.  in which case, a 2500 is not too much truck.  3/4 ton and larger are the norm for Texas from what I have seen - irrespective of trailering needs.  F250 and F350's are the norm.  You may get the stink-eye for driving a 2500 in Cali ??  Go for it.  

that's a big boat.  it would look better behind a 2500 with the AC on full.  

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3 minutes ago, VAboater said:

just a thought. you mentioned in an earlier post that you may move to Texas.  in which case, a 2500 is not too much truck.  3/4 ton and larger are the norm for Texas from what I have seen - irrespective of trailering needs.  F250 and F350's are the norm.  You may get the stink-eye for driving a 2500 in Cali ??  Go for it.  

that's a big boat.  it would look better behind a 2500 with the AC on full.  

HA! Love that. No stink-eye issue here, we are in Orange County (OC) and it is a very red dot in a blue state. Outside Austin in the Lakeway Dripping Springs area (Lake Travis) it is a red dot in a blue city in a red state. Any way towing from here to Havasu AZ everyone has 2500's, so no stink-eye! Thank you for the advice and I agree.

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tow mine with a 2018 ford f150 ecoboost - 375 hp  470 torque  10 speed tranny 3.55 rear end.  tows my boat with ease in 115F degrees weather and ac full blast - tons of torque down low.  you won't get that in a chevy/gmc.  ford just announced their 2019 model will have 510 torque.  

you're about 4700 lbs dry and then add trailer.  probably around 7000 lbs.  you'll probably feel safer in a 2500 i'm thinking.

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With my '06 GMC 1500 (3.73 rearend)I had the same problem out in OK, AZ, NM, towing the Toddler. But it pulled it. When I was shopping  was supprised that GMC had 3.42 rearend and 6 speed trans in their towing package. But after a road test with the boat in tow, it does a fantastic job, even in the Ozark hills the AC stays on. 

But your in TX and everybody loves their 2500 and 3500s, you might sneek into a 1500 cheap........

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.

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I've got a 1500 5.3L 6 speed, 3.42 gears and it's rated at just over 9K. The best setup in 1500 would be the 6.2L with the "Max Trailering" package which gives you 11,700 lbs. That engine combined with the 8 speed and 3.42 rear end is a beast, BUT if you're going to be hauling it a decent distance on a regular basis, I think you'd be happier with the performance of a 2500.

Also, keep in mind, ride comfort around town is going to change quite a bit going to a 2500... if that's something that's important to you.

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Boat is 8400# and i tow up 6% in 110* heat with my F250 Diesel all day long... You can buy a gasser that will pull the load and replace it every couple years or buy a diesel that tugs along for 200,000 miles....

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4 hours ago, Phillbo said:

You can buy a gasser that will pull the load and replace it every couple years...

I've told you a million times not to exaggerate! 

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9 hours ago, 247SSX said:

I don't like Fords and Dodge for no logical reason,

The reason is because you're a Chevy guy! 

Ford, built tough!  :) 

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We have the marina do the towing.

Safer, less stress.  We do not buy & do all that expense over the years.  We only do in & out each year.  On a trip we borrow group members & their tow trucks.

I hate old brains.

I do p[ick up all costs plus dinner & bar bills of my driver.

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I owned a ‘14 Chevy 1500 6.2L max trailer that towed very nicely.  

I now own a ‘17 Chevy 2500 Duramax that doesn’t even notice anything’s behind it even with around a 10k lbs travel trailer. Using it to pull the <5k boat thru the Ozark mountains is child’s play. 

With that being said it would probably have gotten the SRW 3500 Duramax if I had it to do all over again.  

Chevy payload:

3500 DRW- 5k

3500 SRW- 4k

2500- 2500

1500- 2000 w/ max trailer

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Thank you for all the advice. This is helpful. Seems like two best choices are the 1500 6.2 with tow or go all in with a 2500 Duramax. 

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In general with a properly equipped and set-up pick-up, below about 7,000 pounds, a 1/2 ton.  Above, a 3/4 ton.  To me, this rule of thumb leaves enough margin for payload, hills, hot conditions, a/c, drivers you can't predict, etc.  (And if a 3/4 ton, diesel.)

I believe though there's another consideration that makes trailering not only safer, but less fatiguing, the type of trailer brakes. 

Not dwelling on the obvious safety aspects of the difference between these styles and which axles to equip, etc., once weight gets to around 6,000 pounds, I prefer electric over hydraulic and stay away from surge.  Surge brakes cause the trailer to bounce back and forth on the ball.  Surge brakes don't engage until the weight pushes forward on the tongue, and when in an emergency stopping situation, this pushes the truck and can cause loss of control or loss of load.  Plus, backing-up, including up modest inclines, is much easier since surge brakes aren't pushing against you.  Most trucks these days, when purchased with any of the many trailering packages available, come equipped with a controller so the extra $500 or $600 for the electric over hydraulic option is just worth it.  Compared to the $50,000 boat, $50,000 truck and $7,500 trailer, we're talking an extra 0.5%. 

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Thank you Curt. I know mine is a Heritage trailer with 4 disc brakes. When I drove it back from Mo the trailer behaved great.

 

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Even if you don't currently have the electric over hydraulic option, you have a high quality trailer with disc brakes, so an easy retrofit that takes about an hour.

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4 hours ago, KSJ08 said:

Toyota Trundra

Nice trucks but not for towing heavy. 

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Go for the diesel. You will not regret it. Try a new Ford F-250 before crossing it off of your list. GN’s Duramax is a great truck, too.

brick

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Think you need to get weights then go from there.  IMVHO if the boat is under 5k any half ton out there is more than capable of towing that load and if you are for the most part a local boater that tows a dozen times a year or so, a half ton is great and anything more is sort of a waste. 

 

My advice after owning all three major brands of trucks and having diesels myself is this.  3/4 ton gassers are a complete waste either go with a half ton or get a diesel pusher.  Modern day half tons can tow up to 8-9k lbs  and can tow 5k or less with ease.  Also don't get caught in the cheaping out mentality and tow with something you shouldn't and also don't get caught up in the need a diesel to tow jet skis mentality either.  With that said after owning just about everything the truck that pound for pound has towed the best has been the F150 ecoboost.  I have no qualms towing your boat with one, just make sure you get 3.55 or higher rear end. 

Either way you making a good choice, towing with SUVs is not a great idea IMO unless your towing small as in 3-4k lbs or so. 

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On ‎7‎/‎27‎/‎2018 at 11:58 PM, Phillbo said:

Boat is 8400# and i tow up 6% in 110* heat with my F250 Diesel all day long... You can buy a gasser that will pull the load and replace it every couple years or buy a diesel that tugs along for 200,000 miles....

One thing I hate about forums, is unsubstantiated claims.  Your first sentence is great experience and important to share.  The second part has nothing empirical to back it. 

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Overkill is never a bad idea if you can afford it. That said, if you look at the towing capacity of the 1,500 series GM offerings, increased towing capacity involves several factors beyond simple tow vehicle spring rating. If you change from a 342 rear axle ratio to the 373, you go from #6,000 to 7,000. GM won't mate the 10 speed transmission with the heavy duty towing package so if your Tahoe has the 6 speed then that is not an issue. Auxiliary transmission cooler,  load distributing trailer hitch, upgraded 3 pass aluminum radiator, and factory engine oil cooler too which come standard with the trailing package. 2 quart oil filters are a simple screw on upgrade that throws another quart of oil into the mix. Then you have to decide how much gear and passengers you are going to cram into your Tahoe, as that weight gets subtracted directly from your available towing capacity. Max tire inflation for sure, and a pair of rear air bags takes away some punishment from the rear springs. Synthetic gear oil in the rear axle trans, and engine, and as long as your are removing the rear axle cover anyway, replace it with a higher capacity finned aluminum replacement. They make high capacity aluminum transmission pans too which help with heat. Start with your rear axle ration and if it's a 373, then focus on the cooling system upgrades as your Tahoe can handle that boat. A new 2500 HD still uses the same engine, and trans, and your Tahoe frame, brakes, springs, and hitch can handle a 247 with the right upgrades, even with the AC on full blast. Heat is heat and you just need to design around it and get rid of it. Actually even harder to do with a heavier tow vehicle and if you like your Tahoe, spend a couple grand and upgrade it.  W

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1 hour ago, Wingnut said:

Overkill is never a bad idea if you can afford it. That said, if you look at the towing capacity of the 1,500 series GM offerings, increased towing capacity involves several factors beyond simple tow vehicle spring rating. If you change from a 342 rear axle ratio to the 373, you go from #6,000 to 7,000. GM won't mate the 10 speed transmission with the heavy duty towing package so if your Tahoe has the 6 speed then that is not an issue. Auxiliary transmission cooler,  load distributing trailer hitch, upgraded 3 pass aluminum radiator, and factory engine oil cooler too which come standard with the trailing package. 2 quart oil filters are a simple screw on upgrade that throws another quart of oil into the mix. Then you have to decide how much gear and passengers you are going to cram into your Tahoe, as that weight gets subtracted directly from your available towing capacity. Max tire inflation for sure, and a pair of rear air bags takes away some punishment from the rear springs. Synthetic gear oil in the rear axle trans, and engine, and as long as your are removing the rear axle cover anyway, replace it with a higher capacity finned aluminum replacement. They make high capacity aluminum transmission pans too which help with heat. Start with your rear axle ration and if it's a 373, then focus on the cooling system upgrades as your Tahoe can handle that boat. A new 2500 HD still uses the same engine, and trans, and your Tahoe frame, brakes, springs, and hitch can handle a 247 with the right upgrades, even with the AC on full blast. Heat is heat and you just need to design around it and get rid of it. Actually even harder to do with a heavier tow vehicle and if you like your Tahoe, spend a couple grand and upgrade it.  W

Some good ideas, its not just about the engine, rear end/tranny/brakes all have a play. 

But Ive said this before and people can really simplify their truck selection.  The only number you really need to look at is your payload capacity which you can find in the door jamb.  You will always bust this number before anything else.   Payload is anything you put in the truck that it didn't come with from the factory(gas and fluids are already factored), and yes that means you and your tool box you threw in.  Payload you must figure tongue weight which is 10-15% percent of what your boat and trailer ways.  I always buy half tons with ratings as high as possible my current F150 can do 2200lbs, more than enough for most things seen on here, but if I had one of these trucks with 1400lbs or so I would be concerned. 

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Ram 2500 Cummins.  Just do it.  I like the Chevy and GMC though.  Always had problems with every Ford my family owned (many over the years).  You won't find a 1500 or F150 "cheap" in Texas...they're just as popular as the 3/4 tons (actually probably more so...at least more populous).  Of course, if you go with a diesel, you can change the programming and blow black smoke as you leave Orange County!  :)

 

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