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Old 09-13-2020, 11:57 AM   #1
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Upgrade?

I'm towing a 6000# trailer with a 1/2 ton silverado with the 5.3 engine,3.43 rear end. I need to upgrade so I can get up the steep grades out west like between Phoenix and Flagstaff. I'm thinking about the Silverado 1/2 ton with the 6.2 or should I go to a 3/4 ton?
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Old 09-13-2020, 12:11 PM   #2
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Randy, you may want to read through the parallel forum on this site which focuses specifically on towing and load related discussions. Lot's of good objective contribution, I learned a lot there.

We have a friend who said the bigger the truck the more you can do with it (he moves hay bales). We chose to downsize our TT rather than upsize the truck once we realized we were overweight. But check out the other forum on this site, lots of sage advice
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Old 09-13-2020, 12:23 PM   #3
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Use what you have. Losing money on a trade in and paying more for the sole purpose of reaching the top of a pass a few seconds or minutes faster doesn't make sense economically.
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Old 09-13-2020, 12:34 PM   #4
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Whatever you get, go 3.73 or lower gear ratio.
My old Silverado 5.3 with 3.73s towed a 6klb boat fairly well over Snoqualmie Pass. Braking was its weak link.
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Old 09-13-2020, 01:06 PM   #5
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I tow about the same weight trailer with a 5.7 tundra with a 4.30 rear end. It has pulled every grade at speed limit so far. The hardest grade so far has been Cuesta grade by San Luis Obispo. My truck was definitely working but I was able to maintain 60 and the truck had a little left because I was able to push to 65 getting around semis. The grape vine in between LA and central California was the longest but itís not as steep so the truck didnít really mind that grade at all.
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Old 09-13-2020, 01:12 PM   #6
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Going up is the easy part of the equation. So it takes a few minutes longer. Coming down is the real issue. This is white knuckle territory. The 3/4 ton truck has far better brakes and is more stable when towing. With a diesel you also get the engine brake.
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Old 09-13-2020, 02:13 PM   #7
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it should be no problem, put it in the TOW/HAUL MODE and put your foot in it. i tow 6500 to 7000 T/T with my 2010 GMC CREW CAB 4X4 with the 5.3 and 342 gears and have absolutely no problems. i've been from the Oregon coast to Alaska back to South Dakota and everywhere in between and never had a problem with mountain passes. mine will do 60mph up anything at around 4000 rpms that's right where the engine is making it horse power. and for going down that's the easy part, you just tap the brakes and the engine holds you at apr. 55 mph i regularly cross the Cascades and go down 5-7% grades for 5-6 miles or more and rarely ever touch my brakes. i have a friend that has the 6.0, it has a lot of power BUT it likes gas non towing poor mileage.
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Old 09-13-2020, 02:18 PM   #8
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Use what you have. Losing money on a trade in and paying more for the sole purpose of reaching the top of a pass a few seconds or minutes faster doesn't make sense economically.
this right here^^^^ if you don't want to run the engine just drop a few gears and pull into the slow lane and relax. you'll only be a couple minutes slower. it not a race to see who can get to the top first.
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Old 09-13-2020, 02:44 PM   #9
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3rd member gears is the key.
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Old 09-13-2020, 02:55 PM   #10
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You guys concerned with 1/2 ton trucks brakes, don't your trailers have brakes.

In my towing days, I didn't need big brakes on the tow vehicle. I had proper brakes on the trailer I towed.

As far as final gear ratio, a downshift is as good as a new gearset. Both will raise RPMs to the power range.
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Old 09-13-2020, 06:20 PM   #11
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Only takes one bad butt splice to lose ALL the trailer brakes. That said, a half ton should be enough if that is a 6000 pound gross weight trailer. if it is 6000 dry weight you need more truck.

If you trade you should definitely go 3/4 ton or even 1ton since there really is no difference from the drivers seat or outside dimensions. Then you will not need to trade again in 5 years when you get a 5th wheel.
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Old 09-14-2020, 06:47 AM   #12
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Dry weight of trailer is 5300, My main problem towing up these grades is overheating. My trans temp goes up to 125 and engine temp starts to rise. the air temp was 90. Maybe I just need to replace my radiator.
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Old 09-14-2020, 08:40 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by randy2828 View Post
Dry weight of trailer is 5300, My main problem towing up these grades is overheating. My trans temp goes up to 125 and engine temp starts to rise. the air temp was 90. Maybe I just need to replace my radiator.
125? Most trans temps I've seen start at 160 and go up some. My current truck is at 168 under normal driving but will see the upper 170's going up hill in hot weather. Had a 2010 F150 that started in the 190's and went into the 200's at times.
Whats you normal everyday trans temp?
A larger trans cooler could help as well. Does your truck have a trans cooler and a tow package.
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Old 09-14-2020, 10:36 AM   #14
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Upgrade?

Probably meant 225, which is still not that bad.
Never seen temps over 192 on my Ram 8 speed, towing 5,700 lbs all over the NW mountain passes.
My advice would be keep what you got unless your unhappy with the truck in other areas. But definitely stay 1/2 ton.
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