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Old 12-09-2010, 03:45 PM   #1
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How hard to you push your vehicle while traveling?

I finally got my first TT and found out it loves wind! I may have to nickname it “My Sail”. Anyways I have 2005 GMC sierra 1500 which is 4 speed tranny. I found that running in 4th gear it falls on its face and no power in wind or with no wind. I found running in 3rd is best choice even though some hills it will slow way down. I run about 2600 to 3000 RPM in third. The kicker is I have to be above 55 miles a hour or my power range is horrible and maybe have to go down into second. My truck is 7000 GVWR and camper is 5500 dry.

Okay the question is here? First of all am I beating on my truck or just towing nice and heavy? Or is this normal with a 1500 truck.


Second is how do others drive in wind? Do you prefer to go easy on truck? Or its fine to push it hard. Any info to ease my mind that this is okay for my truck ?
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Old 12-09-2010, 04:29 PM   #2
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hii tow a moderate 5er roughly 7500lbs with a f-250 5.4gas5speed auto it will not stay in 5th except dead flat no head wind 60-65mph i don,t like it when it drops back to 3rd and the tac gets close to 4grand but it seams to take it ok i feel like i am working my truck prity hard. sounds like you are working yours prity hard like i am. probably we both should have heaver trucks but it dosen,t look like that will happen for me any time soon so i looks like i will be using my truck harder than i would like if i want to move my trailer around lee
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Old 12-09-2010, 05:22 PM   #3
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Your gas mileage is going to be trash....
I tow a 4500lbs (wet) hybrid tt with a 05 Toyota 4-Runner (V-8) My GVRW is 7200. If it's semi-flat it will stay in over-drive (5th) at about 1750 rpm. hit a little grade it will bounce up to 2350rpm....As far as gas mileage if I stay at 58 mph I'll get 12 to 12.5 mpg, but if I'm hitting a head wind it will be the low 11's. Tail wind 13mpg....

I remember a few years back I saw a guy pulling a 30 tt with guess what a V-6 Toyota 4-Runner. He was so over-loaded...He said his RPM's were 3800 if and when he got up to speed on a freeway.....

When I'm in my 1750 rpm range, the motor seems to be very relaxed, and just kind of cruising, but if I try to pick the pace up to 62 mph + then the rpm's are 2400.....mileage 10 -11 mpg.....
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Old 12-09-2010, 05:53 PM   #4
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My gearing is horrible I can't use 4th its too tall.with third gear seems good but about 8 mpg
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Old 12-09-2010, 06:33 PM   #5
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Your tranny should have a Tow/Haul mode - use it and it should elminate some of your problems as it changes the shift points on the transmission and often times will not allow it to shift into 4th gear (which is an overdrive gear and was never reccommended for towing). As for the RPMs, both the 4.8 and 5.3L engines are designed to put out peak torque at around 4400 RPM and peak HP at around 5200 - however the torque curves are quite flat from 2000 to 4000 RPM. Running those RPMs will put a damper on your MPGs, take it easy on the throttle - however it is not uncommon for the MPG to be cut in half when towing vs light - esp as you approach the CGWR for the truck (not the tow rating). At 5500 lbs dry (and probably closer to 6000 lbs wet) you are most likely pushing the limits of your truck. I presume that you have the 5.3L V8 (not a 4.6L V6 or 4.8L V8). As far as your gearing goes, as long as you have a tow package it should be either 3.42 or 3.73 Go to your glove box and find the RPO code list the rear end codes are as follows: GU4 3.08 GU5 3.23 GU6 3.42 GT4 3.73 GT5 4.10 if you have a trailering pkg you should also have a G80 Locking differential. IMHO you have too much TT for that truck and you would be better served with a 3/4T that has a larger engine and better suspension to handle that kind of load. I see where GM is limiting the Max Tow package with the larger V8 to only the LTZ and Denalli trucks - and it costs a fortune compared to a 2500HD with the same equipment. If you are really serious about toting the trailer around then look hard at a diesel powered truck. You know the old adage - you can't have too much truck.
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Old 12-09-2010, 07:33 PM   #6
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Adehaan86, not sure but you may have bitten off more than your truck can handle. I had a 95 Chevy Heavy Half 4x4 with the 5.7 L pulling a 24' TT with a dry weight of approx 4600. Flat was ok, but hills were another thing. I don't know about an 05, but the 95 manual stated not to use 4th gear when towing, but it didn't have the Tow/Haul mode either, came a year or two after. I finally put in a Hypertec chip and low temp thermostat and had to run on prem gas and it helped, but would still struggle up steep grades, but it did make several trips from Western NY to central FL with no real problems, just slow through some of the PA mountains. I'm now on my second Diesel and a mid-sized 5er.
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Old 12-09-2010, 09:59 PM   #7
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No plans to go cross country probably about 700 miles to my sister like once and rest will be within 500 miles of home.
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:14 PM   #8
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500 mi is 5x more than I usually travel to camp so to me that seems like a long trip. I hated my 100 mi trips with my 99 Tahoe and my 5600 lb TT - I would have hated 500 miles. That is why I went to my current 2500HD.
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:26 PM   #9
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My TV is a 1 ton diesel, and it's not recommended to tow in OD in a head wind, or an upgrade.

If on flat ground, I let it run in OD and at 2100 rpm. If the auto tranny ever downshifts, I lock OD out and just keep the same rpm for fuel economy. I loose about 15 mph though, but being retired, who cares?
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy the sly old fox View Post
500 mi is 5x more than I usually travel to camp so to me that seems like a long trip. I hated my 100 mi trips with my 99 Tahoe and my 5600 lb TT - I would have hated 500 miles. That is why I went to my current 2500HD.
It was about 450 miles on the way home that is over 2 days. It wasn't horrible bad besides if family was with they would of complained. I guess the longer the trip the more fun i hope i get out of it.
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Old 12-10-2010, 01:44 AM   #11
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camping is fun - getting there should be fun as well. The right tow vehicle can make this happen. Yes I used the Tahoe with my AF during the 05 and 06 season - again we stayed close to home and allowed extra time to get there. I got tired of trying to keep momentum on hills - driving in 1st and 2od and crawling up hills at 25-35 MPH was just no fun. However I waited until the new body style 2500HD trucks came out - I wanted the new interior and exterior along with the 6sp tranny and integrated brake controller and the great new GM towing mirrors. I had a fleet buyer friend who let me know when the order queue opened - he gave me a call in January 07 - I went in, had a cup of coffee and speced out the truck I wanted. I went home and to the bank - got the DWs approval and a loan - called him up and placed the order. I got the truck in early March of 07. Now I do not balk at 250 mi 4 day weekend in southern Oregon. I even planned and almost took a trip to Glacier Park (650 mi over two days) this past summer (Unfortunatly my work got in the way).
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Old 12-10-2010, 01:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
My TV is a 1 ton diesel, and it's not recommended to tow in OD in a head wind, or an upgrade.

If on flat ground, I let it run in OD and at 2100 rpm. If the auto tranny ever downshifts, I lock OD out and just keep the same rpm for fuel economy.
I do the same thing, when I see a grade coming, I'll pop it down to 4th, and once I crest the top and get back to my 57 -59mph comfort range I'll pop it back to OD 5th.

The newer Toyota 4-Runner's(2010 & 2011) did away with the V-8, but added a 6 speed tranny. I'll have to either go with a Tundra or wait till the V-8 comes back into the 4-Runner line. I have had 3 (RED) 4 Runner's (1990, 1999 & 2005) so you can say I'm a 4-Runner fan. But you can't pull a 5er with a SUV...In the future we want a Carriage Cameo......
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Old 12-10-2010, 07:14 PM   #13
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Sounds like you are severely overloading your truck. If you wish to run the numbers use this Travel Trailer Weight Calculator . It does not pull punches, and is 100% accurate-if you plug-in accurate weights, which must be actual scale weights for some blanks.
Your truck may not last as long as you wish with your present trailer.
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Old 12-11-2010, 08:25 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZgl1500 View Post
My TV is a 1 ton diesel, and it's not recommended to tow in OD in a head wind, or an upgrade.

If on flat ground, I let it run in OD and at 2100 rpm. If the auto tranny ever downshifts, I lock OD out and just keep the same rpm for fuel economy. I loose about 15 mph though, but being retired, who cares?
Yeap... Same here I back out of 5th in 4th take the tach up to 2K and hold it which happens to be about 50 MPH... I can pull over and 7% grade without thinking. No need to rev clear up to near redline (3,200 RPM).

It does help to have a vehicle with the muscle... (381 HP / 831 TQ)
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