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Open Roads Forum  >  Tow Vehicles

 > Should I get a 2020 GM 3500 DRW or a 4500?

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Huntindog

Phoenix AZ

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Posted: 07/10/19 06:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well it is getting to be New truck time again.
First off, I am not married to any brand. I have owned them all at one or more points.

That said, The Rams and Fords did not make the cut this time around.
You may disagree, but it's my money, and my rules as to what I will base my standards on.

I was thinking of a GM 4500, but moved away from it, as the overall length would make some garage modifications necessary. And the fact that it is not available with a factory bed like the F450 has. So an aftermarket one of some sort would be needed. The costs seem to vary wildly on these.

When I started reading about the 2020 GM 3500 DRW, it checked off a lot of my boxes.

Then last night, I saw the overall length spec.
A tape measure of the garage confirmed my suspicion. It has grown enoughto require pretty much the same garage mods as the 4500.

So that part of it being a tossup, has me on the fence now.

4500 pros: tougher truck all the way around.
Wide track front axle, for tighter turning radius.
Available now.

Cons: Not sure about the insurance situation. Are they typically insured as commercial? Or is it just another vehicle on my private policy? This may vary with the state and the company. I am in AZ, and curently with Gieco.

Probably a much harsher ride.

The next one could end up in the pro collum.
The aftermarket bed. What do you have? What do you like/dislike about it? Cost?

The niceties are just not as nice.

The tranny. There are several options available. I simply do not know enough about them to decide, which one would be for me.
This too could possibly end up in the pro collum.

3500 DRW pros:
Very nice in the High Country trim. Features such as the virtual trailer camera system are a game changer.
Upgraded capabilities would be more than enough.
10 speed tranny is likely a plus.
Can pretty much nail down the price now, since the bed is included.
Same thing on the insurance.


Cons: Not as stout as the 4500. This may be a long term durability issue.

Not available now.

That is about all I have thought of so far.
Would be interested hearing others thoughts. Especially from those that have already made the decision either way, and what they have learned since.

Oh yeah, a new 5th wheel TH in the 20-24K range is in the future.




Huntindog
100% boondocking
2010 Palomino Sabre 30 BHDS
84 gal. Grey. 84 gal. Black
2 bathrooms, no waiting
2011 Silverado CC DA big dually.



carringb

Corvallis, OR

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Posted: 07/10/19 07:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here's the main reason I'd avoid the 4500 for now: Service

This truck being a joint venture, will have some parts designed and/or supplied by Navistar that won't be in the regular GM pipeline. Or might not be covered in the GM repair guides yet. And GM has a history of rolling out other joint venture vehicles without having enough techs trained initially.

Ford was formerly in the same boat with the F650, before pulling it away from Navistar. Getting work done wasn't always a pleasant experience, and Oregon only has one dealer certified to work on the "Blue Diamond" (the joint venture name) F650/750 trucks.

Also, it probably won't ride as well, since the 3500 likely has a much stiffer frame, especially torsionally. While the MDT frame are strong, they tend to be a little floppy so you feel more judder.


Bryan

2000 Ford E450 V10 VAN! 450,000+ miles
2014 ORV really big trailer
2015 Ford Focus ST


KD4UPL

Swoope, VA

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Posted: 07/10/19 07:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The big question you didn't answer is: What are you going to use the truck for?
I have pushed my '05 Chevy dually well past it's GVWR numerous times with both my TC and my work. I often have the truck's axles supporting over 12,000 pounds while pulling another 14,000 or so pounds. It's done well but I always figured the next truck would be a 4500 and I was excited to see Chevy make them again. But, a new 3500 is so much more capable than my '05 that with my same weights I would be within it's ratings. I've sat in a 5500 and while really nice it is also really tall. I wish they had kept them low like RAM and Ford did, basically still pick-up height. The big problem with the tall cab is that it would be nearly impossible to use it for a truck camper. You would have to raise the camper up to clear the tall cab. That's not something I really want to do.
As for the bed, I run a flatbed with boxes above and below. Previously I had a utility body with storage. Both of these are for my business use but they worked out great with TCs too. I had plenty of storage for tools, fluids, cord, hoses, camp chairs, etc. even with the TC in the bed.
If you want to pull a FW a nice hauler bed would give you lots of storage and make hitching and unhitching the FW real easy.
The real kicker is they lowered the HP and torque on the 4500 and larger trucks. They are still incredible powerful but not absurdly powerful like the 3500.
I've decided my next truck will be a 3500 ordered with no bed so I can have a new utility bed put on it.

Huntindog

Phoenix AZ

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Posted: 07/10/19 07:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

KD4UPL wrote:

The big question you didn't answer is: What are you going to use the truck for?
I have pushed my '05 Chevy dually well past it's GVWR numerous times with both my TC and my work. I often have the truck's axles supporting over 12,000 pounds while pulling another 14,000 or so pounds. It's done well but I always figured the next truck would be a 4500 and I was excited to see Chevy make them again. But, a new 3500 is so much more capable than my '05 that with my same weights I would be within it's ratings. I've sat in a 5500 and while really nice it is also really tall. I wish they had kept them low like RAM and Ford did, basically still pick-up height. The big problem with the tall cab is that it would be nearly impossible to use it for a truck camper. You would have to raise the camper up to clear the tall cab. That's not something I really want to do.
As for the bed, I run a flatbed with boxes above and below. Previously I had a utility body with storage. Both of these are for my business use but they worked out great with TCs too. I had plenty of storage for tools, fluids, cord, hoses, camp chairs, etc. even with the TC in the bed.
If you want to pull a FW a nice hauler bed would give you lots of storage and make hitching and unhitching the FW real easy.
The real kicker is they lowered the HP and torque on the 4500 and larger trucks. They are still incredible powerful but not absurdly powerful like the 3500.
I've decided my next truck will be a 3500 ordered with no bed so I can have a new utility bed put on it.


Will be getting a 5th wheel TH in the 20-24K range.

bobsallyh

Livingston, TX.

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Posted: 07/10/19 07:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Huntingdog, if you are tagged in AZ. make sure to call your insurance agent first!

97chevor

US

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Posted: 07/10/19 08:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I see the big flop with GMs 4500 being the position of the DEF fill. ”Smartly Postioned” as GM puts it on the passenger side front fender.

Every truck stop in the country has the DEF fill nossel on the Driver side.

deltabravo

Spokane, WA

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Posted: 07/10/19 08:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Huntindog wrote:

Well it is getting to be New truck time again.


Your blue text is extremely hard to read.


2009 Silverado 3500HD Dually, D/A, CCLB 4x4 (bought new 8/30/09)
2009 Arctic Fox 811 (bought new 11/9/09)
2015 Nash 17k (bought pre-owned 5/23/18)
2008 Haulmark 8.5x20 toy box trailer

Me Again

Sunbird(Wa)/snowbird(Az)

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Posted: 07/10/19 08:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

deltabravo wrote:

Huntindog wrote:

Well it is getting to be New truck time again.


Your blue text is extremely hard to read.


But but, he said he does not want a blue oval!!

If concerned about 3500 load and ride quality of the 4500, go test drive a Longhorn RAM 3500 daully with rear air, Aisin tranny and 4.10 gears.


2015 RAM 3500 CC SB SRW Our Rig New 2017 Bighorn 3575el. Commuter trailer 2019 Laredo 225MK. Retired and enjoying it!


ksss

Eastern Idaho

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Posted: 07/10/19 09:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I sat in and walked around 6500 CC 4X4 a couple days ago. The interior was done in LT type trim. I thought it as really quite nice. I owned a GMC 5500 4X4 CC for 12 years. I don't think that truck shares much with the current one. I will say take one for a drive. The 5500 was really a stout medium duty truck, pulled and hauled very well even over its GVW. The ride unloaded or not loaded heavy enough was borderline inexcusable. I hated driving it, it was seldom not loaded but it needed a lot of weight to tame it down. The interior of that truck was not to medium duty grade. A lot of plastic and while functionable was not that great and clearly was designed along the lines of the GMT400. The new medium duty has a really nice interior, especially considering its a medium duty truck.


Getting the medium duties worked on in the past was a huge pain at least under warranty. I don't see that quite as big of a deal with the large number of IH and GM medium duty dealers, but it will not be as easy as an HD GM truck.

Things to think about. The warranty on mine was less than typical GM truck warranty, not sure that is still the case.

The power on the MD duty trucks are less than an HD, certainly due to duty cycle math. It may be enough for a relatively light load such as a 24K rv.

The above issue about DEF location not being on the passenger side is a non issue. I fill up at trucks tops and simply use the DEF fill pump on the other side. Not sure what 97chevor is talking about.

As for the bed, I had a flatbed on mine that I had fabricated for the truck. Great for my use, may not be for yours. I would consider mounting a current HD box on the MD truck, not sure if that is possible, but I bet it would work with very little fabrication. May have to cut the frame rails to fit but there are truck upfit shops that do that everyday. I am sure Highway Products does or will have a top of the line product for this truck that will be usable, look great and cost a shittload of money, but most likely worth every dime.

Lastly, I would go with a 3500 HD knowing what you have shared what about your situation. Mostly because the load your proposing would put you at the top of the GVW of a current HD (that would not scare me in the least). However with the 2020 HD you are very comfortably well below its max capacity. With that, you can get it worked on at any GM dealership, there are no HP/TQ reductions. The ride will almost certainly be better. The dealers here have truck loads of the 2020's in route, you could have one in weeks if you wanted one or order exactly what you want and wait about 8-10 weeks.

Some MD upsides as I see them:
The new MD trucks will have a high CDI factor if that matters to you. Medium duties used for purposes like this have a very high resale value. Not abused by employees, maintenance is done on time, and always age better than MD trucks that are in a fleet. The peace of mind that you have way more truck than you need. It was explained to me that these trucks can be ordered with a high degree of comfort, it is all about what you are willing to pay for. I have not speced one out yet to see that first hand.

Insurance will certainly depend on your company. Mine does not care if I use a MD truck for personal or business. I would certainly look into it, but I doubt it will be deciding factor in your decision.


Look foward to seeing what you do.


2006 GMC 3500 CC 4X4 DRW D/A
2013 Fuzion 342
2011 RZR Desert Tan
2012 Sea Doo GTX 155
2018 Chevy 3500HD CC LB SRW 4X4 D/A
2015 Chevy Camaro ZL1

4x4ord

Alberta

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Posted: 07/10/19 10:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For towing an rv I would put next to zero value on the pros you listed for the 4500. I'd get the 3500 without question.


2017 F350 SRW Platinum short box 4x4.
B&W Companion
2008 Citation Platinum XL 34.5

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