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Old 08-02-2014, 05:54 PM   #15
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Well, we picked up the RV in Muskegon, MI today, drove it to my aunt's house in Kalamazoo, MI, about 1.5 hour drive. Could tell the truck was working , but the 5.7 liter seemed okay. Going uphill was tough, and I wasn't sure if I should have shifted to 2nd or not once we got down to 45 mph a few times.

Monday we leave for Nashville, about 550 miles. Little nervous, but praying it will be okay.

BTW, what does the transmission gauge tell me? Pressure? Didn't have time to get a trans. temp gauge so I'm hoping the trans. gauge on the dash will give me some help in monitoring the tranny. Yes, no, maybe?
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Old 08-02-2014, 06:21 PM   #16
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one time cautious tow is one issue, traveling many times with an overloaded set up will either wear out tow vehicle quickly and will keep you in the danger zone, where you have used up all possible safety factors. If something goes wrong it could go very bad very quickly..
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Old 08-02-2014, 06:39 PM   #17
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Why not start by asking around to see if someone who has a bigger truck set up to tow will do the job for you? My first choice would be the dealer and my second the RV Resort owner. Both have people that tow for them. Both have an added incentive of getting the trailer over there.
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Old 08-02-2014, 07:07 PM   #18
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I am not goign to research your truck, but I will give you some info.

Too many variables.. how far from Dealer to RV park, Hills, flat, freeway, secondary and more.

Towing over your rating at low speed for short distance on flat ground I have done that.. I can not recommend it but I have done it.

Towing over limit in the mountains, on freeway or long distance.. NOT recommended.

You can hire it moved. Or ask the dealer if they deliver.
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Old 08-02-2014, 09:39 PM   #19
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From the dealer to our house was 600 miles at $1.85 per mile. Too expensive for my blood.
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Old 08-02-2014, 09:40 PM   #20
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My truck specs, and the trailer specs are at the beginning of the post...and where we're going from and to also.
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Old 08-02-2014, 11:09 PM   #21
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Keep the shifter in 3rd gear, avoid overdrive and let that good old 350 sing along at 2700 RPM or so. Don't follow anyone too close, have a very well thought out driving route and slow down plenty early for stop signs. Friends of ours have a 2011 Toyota and pull a 35 foot travel trailer quite often in the summer months. Prep the truck well and have tools and spare tires and you'll be fine.
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Old 08-03-2014, 05:35 AM   #22
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Keep the RPM up and coolant temp. Down and you will be fine.
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Old 08-03-2014, 10:31 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiefGeek View Post
BTW, what does the transmission gauge tell me? Pressure? Didn't have time to get a trans. temp gauge so I'm hoping the trans. gauge on the dash will give me some help in monitoring the tranny. Yes, no, maybe?
I don't know about a GM, but on a Ford it is an idiot tranny temp gauge. It doesn't give you temp but has color zones. And it's an idiot gauge because it's not analog. It might appear to be analog, but it jumps from one temp to the next.

It's better than no tranny temp gauge at all, but you have to watch it like a hawk. The instant it jumps from green to yellow, your tranny is too hot. If it goes to red before you notice it, your tranny is probably toast.

The instant it jumps from green to yellow, get off the gas and look for a safe place to pull over and park. Keep the engine running with the tranny in park. Elevate the idle RPM to about 1,200, and sit there twiddling your thumbs until the gauge jumps back into the green.

The cause of overheated tranny when towing is usually an unlocked torque converter. The unlocked torque converter when towing throws a volcano worth at heat at the tranny cooler(s), thus overcoming the cooler capacity. So figure out how to keep the torque converter locked. On a Ford all you have to do is maintain your speed over about 45 MPH. I suspect your GM is similar.

And yeah, you want to be in direct drive with 1:1 tranny ratio - that's usually 3rd gear in a 4-speed automagic tranny. Yeah, you'll burn more gas, and yeah your engine RPM will be screaming, but it won't hurt the truck nearly as bad as overheating the engine or tranny.
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Old 08-03-2014, 11:35 AM   #24
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I pulled our 24 foot travel trailer for 8 years and then our now 29 foot 5th wheel with my 2000 Chevy 3500 with the 5.7 in it for 2 years. The truck has 35 inch tires on it with 4.10 gears so it runs only about 1550 rpm at 55. It is still my daily driver with almost 190,000 on it and runs and drives like new yet. I have an '03 GMC with the 8.1 and Allison for camper duty now but I always ran the old 2000 in 3rd gear when pulling either camper. It ran about 2800 rpm at 65 mph and didn't seem like it worked very hard and the engine tone was not annoying at all. I did change transmission fluid and filter every summer while putting about 15,000 miles a year going to and from work. Tranny is still in great shape and when pulling the pan the bottom was always very clean.
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:08 PM   #25
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Thought a follow-up was appropriate, so here goes...
Drove from K-zoo, MI to Nashville, TN yesterday pulling my 8700 lb. Puma TT. Kept speed around 55-60 with the GMC in 3rd gear all the way down. Engine temp got a little hot on some long inclines in KY, but all in all it went well. One more leg on I-40 from Nashville to Gatlinburg in November, but with this trip going well I'm not too concerned. Temps will be lower outside, and the trip is much shorter. Thank you to everyone for your help and advice, God bless you all.

- Steve
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:23 PM   #26
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Glad to hear it went OK for you Steve! Thanks for the follow-up.
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Old 08-06-2014, 12:39 PM   #27
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BTW, how does one go about knowing the tongue weight when towing?
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Old 08-06-2014, 02:45 PM   #28
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Coming late to the game on this one but one other option for future moves might be a rental. The Enterprise rental company up the road from us rents 1 ton trucks for a couple hundred bucks, at least last time I checked.

Glad you made it safe.
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