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Open Roads Forum  >  Towing

 > 2014 Silverado 3.42 or 3.73

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soren

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Posted: 01/19/14 10:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hopefully some of you have a bit of experience with the newest GM trucks? As a bit of background. I have towed a considerable amount in the last 15 years, with roughly 1/2 dozen TTs and almost as many 1/2 and 3/4 T GM trucks. The issue here is that I'm buying a new 30' TT. The dry weight is 5600LBS, gross of 7500lbs. I would really prefer a GM 1500 Crew 4x4 to pull it with. My last trailer was about 1000lbs lighter and did well with a 5.3/3.73 older Tahoe.

Now that we are in a world of much higher power from the same 5.3 and things like 6 speed transmissions, I'm not sure what I really need? The issue is that trucks on the lot are typically rate at 9500lbs. with the 5.3/3.43 combo, and every dealer has a pile of them. The upgrade is the Max tow package with the 3.73 and roughly an additional ton of rating. The package is overpriced for what you get, and it's pretty rare. Bottom line is, what can I expect when pulling 7K or so, with the 3.43?

romore

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Posted: 01/19/14 11:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You will be sorely disappointed with the power and fuel mileage, the 5.3 will be barely enough with the lower gears pulling that trailer. You are pushing the limits, it is at the top end of the range for a 1500. We made that mistake with our first combo, it took all the fun out of rving particularly on steep grades.

RoyB

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Posted: 01/19/14 11:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just keep in mind The lower the ratio, the better the gas mileage, the higher the ratio, the better for towing and torque power. You gas mileage will really suffer the most at the highest gear ratio.

If you can live with towing and torque power using the middle ratio provided option then that could be the best of both worlds. On my 2010 F150 Truck I use the 3:73 gears and for my 4200lb non-wind resistant POPUP trailer load I almost get the same gas mileage whether I am pulling my trailer or not...

I agree with the other post on here That you are probably on the bottom end of the towing capability (Need a bigger truck). The old school says 7500lbs max for 1/2-ton guys but there are now exceptions to this rule it seems. I'll still go with the old school haha...

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Wishin

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Posted: 01/19/14 11:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It will definitely pull harder and better than the older Tahoe with the 4-speed and less powerful motor. I don't have direct experience but just doing the math to figure out what transmission gears will give you compared to the old one, it is easy to see. 3.42 rear end with the 6-speed is better than 3.73 gears and a 4-speed. Probably at least as good as a 4-speed and 4.10 gears. The extra power of the new engines is also pretty apparent from the reviews I've read. If you can find a truck with the Max tow package, go for it, but don't sweat it if you can't find one.


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APT

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Posted: 01/19/14 01:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

romore wrote:

You will be sorely disappointed with the power and fuel mileage, the 5.3 will be barely enough with the lower gears pulling that trailer. You are pushing the limits, it is at the top end of the range for a 1500. We made that mistake with our first combo, it took all the fun out of rving particularly on steep grades.


I could not disagree more. The 2014 5.3L has almost identical power to my 6.0L and similar gear ratios. My TT has a yellow sticker weight of 5500 pounds, so I estimate loaded at 6500-7000 pounds depending on what trip we are on. My truck tow my TT easily and so would a 2014 half ton 5.3L with either axle.

I always recommend the shortest axle ratio. There is no measurable difference in fuel consumption, but always a noticeable power difference. But the 3.42 is plenty for that TT. Use Tow/Haul mode, and M5.

6-spd with 3.08 is very close to the old 4-spd with 4.10 axle. 3.42 more like 4.56.


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old guy

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Posted: 01/19/14 01:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

my 2 cents says better to have too much truck than not enough truck. tell you what to do. do you have any hill where you live? tell dealer you want to test the two trucks and hook up your TT and drive them. that's what we do around here. we have a hill called cabbage hill and it is nationally know as a son of a gun hill. ask any OTR truck driver and he will know the hill. any dealer wanting to make a happy customer sale will let you test drive the truck so you will be happy and a return customer. if not go find one.

Goldstalker

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Posted: 01/19/14 02:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

romore wrote:

You will be sorely disappointed with the power and fuel mileage, the 5.3 will be barely enough with the lower gears pulling that trailer. You are pushing the limits, it is at the top end of the range for a 1500. We made that mistake with our first combo, it took all the fun out of rving particularly on steep grades.


Not true. Get the 3.73 and go have fun. I feel this will be a great combo. I tow a similar weight TT and have no issues even with an older truck with 4spd tranny.


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fla-gypsy

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Posted: 01/19/14 08:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The 3.73 will perform the best when towing.


This member is not responsible for opinions that are inaccurate due to faulty information provided by the original poster. Use them at your own discretion.

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owenssailor

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Posted: 01/19/14 10:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have the 2012 Silverado 1500 5.3 6 spd 3:42 towing a trailer 31 ft overall weighing 6500 lb when travelling (5400 lb dry). The truck handles the trailer very well. So far we have traveled Ont to the east coast, Ont to Florida and now Ont to New Orleans to Tucson Az.

I always use tow haul ( and turn on headlights) when towing. I let the transmission choose the gear. When in tow haul the engine braking feature does work - the transmission shifts down to a lower gear to hold the speed on steep downhills.

We get about 10 MPG / US gallon when towing.

The 2014 has some more power than my 2012.

I hope my experience helps.

* This post was edited 01/19/14 11:08pm by owenssailor *


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IndyCamp

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Posted: 01/19/14 10:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

owenssailor wrote:

We have the 2012 Silverado 1500 5.3 6 spd 3:42 Towing a trailer 30 ft overall weighing 6500 lb when travelling (5400 lb dry). The truck handles the trailer very well. So far we have travelled Ont to the east coast, Ont to Florida and nw Ont to New Orleans to Tucson Az.

I always use toe haul ( and turn on headlights) when towing. I let the transmission choose the gear. When in tow haul the engine braking feature does work - the transmission shifts down to a lower gear to hold the speed on steep downhills.

We get about 10 MPG / US gallon when towing.

The 2014 has some more power than my 2012.

I hope my experience helps.


Same experience here.

We tow a 7,200 pound trailer (loaded) with a 2013 5.3, 3.42 Silverado and it is fine. We have towed it though the Smoky Mountains as well as the hills of southern Indiana and Kentucky, and it has actually done BETTER than I expected!


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