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Open Roads Forum  >  Tow Vehicles

 > How much 5er should I get for my truck? 454 Chevy

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wormy

NC

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Posted: 08/01/11 03:00pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a 2000 Chevy crew cab 3/4 ton with a 7.4l 454 gas engine with 3.73 gears. This is not your average 2000 model truck. It is immaculate. The previous owner never towed anything and was meticulous with his maintenance. It has had Amsoil in the motor since it was new.

Anyway we currently have a travel trailer weighing around 6500lbs. This trailer is NO problem for my truck. We live in the mountains and most of the time my truck never changes gears.

We are looking for a new 5er and of course the wife wants the biggest she can find. Im trying to stay as close to 8000lbs as possible. My truck is rated for max trailer weight of 9500 lbs.

Anyone have this motor-gearing combination and can comment on trailer weight? Also Ive never pulled a 5er. Does it pull much better than a tag along and having the weight over the axle can you increase trailer weight any compared to a tag along?

skipnchar

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Posted: 08/01/11 03:11pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Your main factor will be the PIN weight of the fully loaded trailer. check your ACTUAL weight and subtract that from the GVWR listed on your door post. That will give you the weight available that must include the PIN weight, the weight of your hitch and all passengers, cargo and optional equipment in the truck. You will more than likely reach your maximum GVWR before you need to worry about the trailer weight. For a quick figures for loaded PIN weight use either 20% or 25% of the trailers GVWR.

Good luck / Skip


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Peg Leg

Anderson, IN

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Posted: 08/01/11 04:05pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a 97 with the 7.4 and 3.73 gears. The only problem is since I went to 19.5" tires it likes to pull at 73 mph. This is where it would run all day long and not drop out of OD. I prefer a more moderate pace so I have to baby the gas pedal to hold the OD.

My TT is about the same weight as yours and the truck tops 10,000 loaded. I had tire issues, 7 tread seperations, so I solved the problem with the 19.5's. I just got back from Alaska with a TC tipping the scales at 10,500. When the truck was new I got 13 mpg on a 60 miles loop going to work. I averaged 12.43 for the 12,800 mile Alaska trip. The truck has 205,000 plus and the tires nearing 50,000. I also have Air-Lift bags.

A 5er will pull easier. Tires will be your limiting factor for the weight.


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SoCalDesertRider

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Posted: 08/01/11 06:59pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Peg Leg wrote:

I have a 97 with the 7.4 and 3.73 gears. The only problem is since I went to 19.5" tires it likes to pull at 73 mph. This is where it would run all day long and not drop out of OD. I prefer a more moderate pace so I have to baby the gas pedal to hold the OD.
The fix for that problem is to change the axle ratio to account for the taller tire diameter. If you went from say a 30" tall tire to say a 33" tall tire, that is a 10% change in tire diameter. Changing the axle ratio by 10% will correct the road speed and engine rpm relationship for the change in tire diameter and bring your optimum cruising speed back down to where it was before the new tires. A 10% change from 3.73 is 4.10. A 10% change from 73 mph is 66 mph, which would be your new cruising speed with 4.10's to maintain the same engine rpm you have now at 73 mph.


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LIKE2BUILD

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Posted: 08/01/11 09:34pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wormy wrote:

I have a 2000 Chevy crew cab 3/4 ton with a 7.4l 454 gas engine with 3.73 gears. ......Im trying to stay as close to 8000lbs as possible. My truck is rated for max trailer weight of 9500 lbs

.......having the weight over the axle can you increase trailer weight any compared to a tag along?

Your truck will most likely have a 8,600# GVWR. That really is your limiting factor. Check your door pillars to be sure but I think it wasn't until 2001 when the HD line was introduced that a 2500 was available with 9,200# GVWR.

KJ


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camping man

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Posted: 08/02/11 06:56am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had a 96 Vortec 454 with 4.10's, and I pull 8k, and had times here in our Florida mountains, I had to go down to 2nd, at about 45mph to get up some of the hills. The trick was, get up to 70mph coming down one, to be at about 50mph at the top of the other, to stay in third. That's when my wife said get another truck , this scares me.[emoticon]Maybe some 4.56 gears would of done the trick, but couldn't imagine my fuel mileage then. 5ers just have too much darn wind resistance.


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SoCalDesertRider

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Posted: 08/02/11 08:13am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There's mountains in Florida?

blt2ski

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Posted: 08/02/11 08:51am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you can get a non bedroom slide 5w, with smooth sides, according to a fellow that delivers trailers that posts on here, that is the rig he gets his BEST mpgs pulling an equal wt trailer. Aerodynamics as mentioned, does play a part in whether or not a given rig seems to be powerfull enough.

As campingman mentioned, this combo will put you at about 45 in 2nd gear pulling most typical 3-5% freeway grades. At least it was for me with an 88 tbi 454 I had. The 3.73 combo may get you a few more mph to about 48-50.

The issue with your combo frankly, is the way too tall IMHO 1st gear of the 4l80e. you do not have as much low end as one would like at times. but still, with 440 lbft of torque, 290 or so HP IIRC, you have the power to pull a bit, and do well. Your GCWR with that combo is 14500, 4.10s nets you 16000. Reality is, your 3.73 geared rig has as much or more umph than a 4.10 geared TBI or 4bb like my 88 and 89 rigs with TH400's. So going up to 15-16K total should not be a real issue. The truck chassis can handle it. Yes you will go slower than if you stay under 15K. That should be a given no matter what the rating is. lower wts, smoother more aerodynamic trailer performance will be better!

I'm also not sure what mtns in FL CM is talking about, maybe he went a bit north to find some molehills.....altho a 5% grade is a 5% grade be it on a bridge going up and over a river or body of water at sea level, or thru the rockies at 10K'....altho the rockies you will be down 20-30% HP due to elevation issues with a nat aspirated motor......I guess the latter makes some difference...LOLOLOL

marty


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Engineer9860

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Posted: 08/02/11 12:33pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I-10 between Pensacola, and Tallahassee has some bumps in it. I suppose they would qualify as hills, but mountains? Hmmmm.


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mkirsch

Rochester, NY

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Posted: 08/02/11 01:26pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The truck might have an 8600lb GVWR, but it's also a lighter truck than something made since 2001. I bet it's 5500lbs empty, leaving you 3100lbs of payload before hitting GVWR.


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