My experience will probably be as close as you can get. I have a 2006 Puma 249-RBSS, pretty much the same specs as the 253 your looking at. I towed it for 3 yrs with a 03 Hemi Quad cab 1500 tow pkg with 3:92 rear gears. Towed OK, but if I went away with the family (4) for a couple of weeks, the truck loaded up, the rear suspension would bounce a little. I put an extra set of springs in and that curred the problem, but I new I was overloaded. On one trip I went over the scales down near Harrisburg too see how much over I was. That truck could handle a total of 14,000 lbs GCVWR, which I was at 13,890. The other numbers, well, almost 800 lbs over the RAWR and I won't even say how much over on GVWR I was! So needless to say I went out in search of another truck and now have a 08 1500 MegaCab (really a 3/4 ton) with a Hemi and 3:73 gears. No problem with being overweight and night and day difference in the stabilty of the truck loaded up. For this weight, you don't need the diesel, save your money on the diesel option to buy gas for the next 3 years! My cousin bought a new 2011 MegaCab Hemi with 4:10 gears and tows his FW which is 2000 lbs heavier than mine and loves it. The only 1/2 ton that can even come close to towing this combination would be the new Ford EcoBoosts with the towing and HD payload options. Since your a Chevy guy, go get a new 2500 gasser!
2006 Puma 249 Fifth Wheel
2008 Dodge 1500 HEMI Mega Cab
Reese 16K Signature Series Slider Hitch
I'm hauling an 8400lb 30' FW with my '04 F150 Supercrew, 5.4 motor, 3.73 axle. I am overweight on the pin even though the stock truck only squats 2" when hooked up. I left for FL this past Feb and am on the road now returning to VA. I have had no problems and can comfortably run at 65mph all day, BUT, this is all flat country towing and I'm down to 7mpg if I have a headwind (had one today). I really need to upgrade to a 350/3500 to easily handle this FW, and I want to upgrade to a larger one in the future. So yes, you can probably do it, but you'll probably regret it in the future.
2002 Keystone Cougar 286, 8,400lbs loaded, pulled with a 2004 F150 Supercrew, 5.4, 3.73 gears. Retired and enjoying life
We just bought our gmc diesel 3500 crew cab shortt box 3500. Srw. The cost was almost the same if not cheaper from the place we got it from. I can't wait to drive it, but dh gets first dibs tomorrow. Thanks to the great advice from everyone on this board!
2012 GMC 3500HD, Diesel, Crew Cab Standard Bed, SRW
2013 Cyclone 3010 (to be picked up)
Weights. Our trailer has a GVWR of 8500lb and empty weight of 5400lb. Our loaded weight is around 7000lb (scale weight). Pin weight is just under 1100lb most of the time.
We had a 2006 Toyota Tundra (4.7L, 180hp). The specifics for that truck had an 1860lb capacity. We towed the little fiver just fine. About 15,000 miles of towing from South Carolina to Seattle. A lot of 6% grades and would easily maintain 60mph. Downhill was even easier. I routinely drove 70-75mph on the interstates. And I even managed to go down a 6% grade without the trailer brakes (long story). I didn't realize they weren't active till about halfway down the 10 mile grade.
I did add airbags to level it. Was very comfortable.
Downside was horrible gas mileage and small gas tank. A 27 gal tank at 8mpg is ok. But, when you get a stiff headwind and it drops to 5 or 6mpg you can watch the need drop like a stone.
It was a great truck for around town. More comfortable than any car I'd had.
Yes, we now have a diesel. I needed a truck with 4WD (just to get up our driveway ) so we went shopping for a new one. Found a great deal on the Dodge so ended up with a diesel 3/4T. The truck tows at 75mph up a 6% grade. It is nice to have WAY too much power
If you shop for a 1/2T look CAREFULLY. Not all 1/2T are equal!!!!! For example, the same year Tundra I had, the weight capacities went from 1200lb to 1800lb. Now days there are even heavier duty 1/2T trucks.
DO NOT LISTEN TO THE SALESMAN!!! He knows nothing about the trucks. Look at the door sticker of the EXACT one you are looking to buy. Not the one in red that looks just like it, but, the black one you are going to drive away. Same with any 3/4T you might think of buying, or even the 1T trucks. And don't believe them when they say they can ADD stuff to make it better.
After you drive it away it doesn't matter what the salesman said, it's yours!
2009 Dodge 2500 Double Cab Cummins
2003 Skyline Nomad 24ft Fiver
Me and Wife
Maggie the Old English Sheepdog