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Old 11-19-2019, 12:27 PM   #1
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Towing a 1500 GMC Sierra or Chevy Silverado

Anyone with experience using a recent year version of either of these pickups as a toad? Easy versus complex hookup, along with all other opinions are welcome. will be using a 37 foot Ventana to do the pulling. Thanks

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Old 11-19-2019, 12:35 PM   #2
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Following. I have a Silverado and plan on 4 down

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Replaced a 1998 Fleetwood Bounder 36s...F53 TAG with 460 v8, master tow dolly. 3 furkids
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Old 11-19-2019, 03:13 PM   #3
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We tow an '11 GMC Sierra 1500 4x4 Extended Cab. We tow it with our '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330HP CAT and Allison MH3000 6-spd trans. The truck weighs exactly 5300 lbs when I weighed it. When we tow the truck, it's quite often also loaded with a Rampage motorcycle lift that has our '08 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing in the bed. All in all, we're towing around 6,700 lbs. when we're cruising down the road.

I set the truck up with the base plates and did the wiring. I utilize the trucks tail lights as toad lights. That was easy. When it comes time to hook up the truck for towing, the wife's inside, doing all the needed tasks for prep for towing while I do all the tow bar hook up with cables and electrics. I also installed an M&G brake system in the truck so that the air brake system on our coach runs the trucks brakes for towing. That works slick.

Now, being that the truck is a 2011, there's no need for any battery disconnect or anything like that. I think it was around '14 or so when the need for disconnecting the negative on the trucks battery prior to towing but, I'd verify that. Anyway, we've been towing that truck now for about 7 years or so and, it's worked flawless. Hope this helps some.
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2004 ITASCA HORIZON 36GD, 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 4x4 Toad '08 GL 1800 Gold Wing
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Old 11-19-2019, 04:05 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by PeteDr View Post
Anyone with experience using a recent year version of either of these pickups as a toad? Easy versus complex hookup, along with all other opinions are welcome. will be using a 37 foot Ventana to do the pulling. Thanks

A lot of the Vantana have a 2500 transmission that limits towing to 5,000 pounds. Check the sticker on your hitch to see what it rated to tow. You will also need to weigh you truck to get a accurate weight of your truck with all the options and cargo you will ge carrying in the truck.
2017 Newmar LE 4037 - 2018 Ford Edge
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Past RVs 2006 21 Foot BT Cruiser Class C - 2015 Montana 3711 - 2016 Grand Design 310GK-R
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Old 11-19-2019, 09:03 PM   #5
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I tow my '14 Silverado 4x4. Tow bar setup uses the standard tow hook spaces so no cutting or other mods. I drilled extra holes in the tail lights with snap in bulb holders for a completely independent system. I use the M&G air system for the brakes which works very well. I have the egg crate grill which hides the air fitting nicely. It also hides the 7 prong wire connector.

Mine is one which requires the negative cable to be disconnected when towing. I use a latching relay to connect and disconnect with the switch hidden in the grill up at the top. This way I can lock the doors with the fob then disconnect the battery. When I get where I'm going, again I can connect the battery and use the fob to unlock. No extra keys etc. to keep track of.

The transfer case switch is a rotating knob which you hold hard clockwise for 10 seconds or more. Then the red "N" will glow in the switch. Be SURE before you buy that the transfer case is one which will go to N. Not all do. There is a service bulletin out with the specific transfer cases that have an N position. The dealers had no idea when I was shopping for mine. They all swore that there was no problem, "lot's of people do it". When I asked them to show me neutral, 3 different dealerships couldn't do it. I gave my local dealer 2 days to figure it out and they couldn't. (which supports the person above who said maybe 2014 was the first year for the new system) Dave Smith Motors in Idaho was able to show me. They also had the best price on what I wanted.
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Old 11-20-2019, 08:53 AM   #6
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I pulled a 1500 for 13 years until recently. I went Ford this time, but looked at the 2019 Chevy and GMC. They offer two types of transfer cases now and one you can flat 4 tow and the other you cannot. I believe the one you can tow is a two speed transfer case and is a $300 option
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Old 11-23-2019, 02:20 PM   #7
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Thanks for the informative post. Do you know why the battery negative must be disconnected? Is it only for the locking steering wheel or is there something else. I would rather not have to reprogram all memory every time I tow. Looking to tow a 2019 Tahoe.
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Old 11-23-2019, 10:12 PM   #8
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On my 2014 it has an electric power steering pump which they say can be damaged by towing with battery connected. Use a latching relay and it's an easy job to connect and disconnect the battery.

Three things happen when I disconnect my 2014 Silverado crew cab LTZ.
1. The radio forgets what station it was on. It does not forget the presets, it does not forget the time. Just push a preset button on the touch screen after you reconnect the battery and it's just like it was.
2. The dash screen forgets the last 25 or 50 miles fuel mileage and the best mileage on that one screen. The resettable mileage screens do not change.
3. It tells you to put the drivers side window down and up again if you have the auto windows option.
That's it. Period. Done. No Biggie. Don't worry about it.
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Old 11-29-2019, 05:44 PM   #9
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I tow a 2013 2500 4.4 m and d brake, just put the transfer case in neutral, put the transmission in park, lock the doors and go. Looking at a new ford f150 diesel, hope its as easy to tow.
2005 Monaco Windsor, 40 ft single axle.
TRW GB, Watts front and watts x braces rear. 2013 GMC 2500HD toad.
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Old 12-04-2019, 10:02 PM   #10
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I believe the 2014 and newer GM/Chevrolet trucks require the battery disconnect. As stated, the new trucks have electric steering which is ACTIVE all the time, even when the key is off. If you don't disconnect the battery the truck will try and correct the steering while being towed.

You can disconnect either the positive or negative cable. I use a Roadmaster relay that disconnects the positive side of the battery. It has a switch that mounts in the cab and disconnects the battery. You never have to lift the hood. I use an SMI AF1 braking system. I can still connect it directly to the battery and power the unit while towing.

I towed a 2012 Silverado 4 door for about five years. It's a big truck and can give a little push on the back of the coach in low speed turns. Overall it towed nicely. Since I no longer needed a full size truck, I went with a 2016 GMC Canyon. It tows really well.

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