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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Truck upgrade?

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dodge guy

Bartlett IL

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Posted: 08/10/21 07:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Anytime anyone says it can’t weigh much more than XXX lbs I kind of chuckle. I tell everyone to always add 1200-1500 lbs to the dry weight and this will get you very close without actually weighing. I know that section on I90 at the Missouri River. Although not huge it will tax the most non tow setup vehicle there is. A TV that is rated properly will pull that at 65mph without issue. So your 50mph really isn't all that bad. But for towing beyond IL I would want a truck with a V-8 and proper towing gears. Even if you got a V-8 1500 and you got the highest gears (numerically lower) you will be in the same position you are now.


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hikingst1ck

Illinois

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Posted: 08/10/21 07:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

@Dadoffourgirls & JIMNLIN - Thank you for the perspective. Not having pulled a trailer long distance before it's really helpful to hear others' experience and technique.

2112

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Posted: 08/10/21 07:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Anticipate the grades. Start speeding up when you see an approaching incline before you get to it. Get a running start at it. Take it off cruise control. Play the hills. When you're on a decline and see an approaching incline, speed up. Give it a little more gas just as you get to the incline. Play it like a roller coaster. When your wife gives you the look, don't make eye contact. If she says anything, tell her you can't hear her over this screaming engine.

Is this truck your daily driver as well?


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MitchF150

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Posted: 08/10/21 08:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

yeah, it's gonna be a learning experience hearing the engine run over 5000 rpms.

It's normal and going to the full beans at around 5000 rpms, like has been said, is not out of range when on the grades.

Also, slowing down to 50 mph up the grade is nothing to fret about either.. Just part of the deal when towing a heavy brick behind you.. [emoticon]

If you ride bikes, what happens when you hit a grade? You gotta downshift, pedal faster (rpms) and you slow down and you work harder.. [emoticon]

V8 will rev just as high and be just as loud. My little 3.5 V6 turbo F150 is still the top engine over the 5.0 V8.

Anyway, I'd keep what you got and just learn to adjust your towing expectations to a level equal to the task at hand.

Good luck! Mitch
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Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 08/10/21 09:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

hikingst1ck wrote:

Any more than a slight grade and it’ll start losing speed and then shift again and we’ll be running around 4500-5000rpm which gets me a take-your-foot-off-the-gas-before-the-engine-blows look from my wife.


First, welcome to the forum!
And while I haven't driven one of the new turbo 4 banger Silverados, they are seriously impressive on paper and also, real world if you think about it. You've got basically V8 power in a tiny little package.
Yes there's a component of "How long do I run this thing wrung out at 80% + of it's max rpms?" And the other component is how often are you towing where you feel the need for extra power vs the rest of the time when it has more than enough to do the job and gets a few mpgs better than a N/A V8 truck?
I can't speak for the longevity of the engine, and not many can since it's relatively new on the market still, but that would be my only concern. Can you get 150k-250k miles out of it in a pickup truck, especially if you're running it hard sometimes. Or on the flip side, do you even care, if you upgrade trucks rather regularly?

The one bit of advice is that if you "upgrade" to say a 5.3L Silverado, you'll still drop a few gears towing your TT into a headwind and still be 4000rpms+ if you're pulling a grade and maintaining highway speeds. Yes, it will feel more composed. I had my '20 Silverado 5.3/10speed locked in 5th or 6th gear gear pulling the boat (6klbs) up a grade. Couldn't hear that it was running 4000rpms any more than around 2000 on the flats. Forgot until I was down the road a bit and saw the tach still on the wrong side of top dead center!
I haven't personally pulled any steep or long grades with my new 2020 5.3. Our son pulled the boat to Montana this year with it and coming up from the Columbia River eastbound said he was flat peddled at 55mph, by comparison.

If you upgrade now, you'll get premium $ selling yours, but pay a premium for a new one, so about a wash.
Personal opinion, I'd rather have the 5.3 vs the strung out 4 banger, but real world, unless it leaves you with a big repair bill in the future, it's very capable of pulling the occasional grade with your camper.
And to add to it, if you get into high altitude, it will do as good or better than the normally aspirated V8s if it stays cool because it won't lose significant power due to being forced induction.

* This post was edited 08/10/21 09:32am by Grit dog *


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Grit dog

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Posted: 08/10/21 09:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Regarding up sizing to a HD truck. There are advantages like zero need for a wdh for most travel trailers (if you can get over the RVer mantra that those contraptions are somehow a requirement regardless of the tow rig).
What you won't gain is much if anything in the power department vs the big V8 1/2 tons and Eco Boost (6.2 GM, 5.7 Hemi and 3.5 EcoB will all pull about the same as the 3/4 ton gassers).

Bottom line, unless personal preference or skepticism about the longevity of the 2.7, your truck already does most of what the bigger engines does and the rest of the truck is the same.

valhalla360

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Posted: 08/10/21 09:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

hikingst1ck wrote:


I did almost always immediately back off after that 2nd shift it made that pushed it to the 4500-5000rpm range. I can just let it go as long as it's still within the range? It just sounds so wound up! It could be that with my normal driving habits my ears just aren't used to hearing the engine in my vehicle operating at 5K rpm [emoticon] Slowing down is fine too, I'm not trying to set any records, just safely make it to the destination.


If you aren't in a rush, just get in line with the semis. That way, you aren't causing any problems and it's a more relaxing ride (keeps the wife happy too).

As 2112 suggested, on shorter up and down sections, play the hills speeding up near the end of a downgrade and let that speed gradually bleed off on the upgrade (presuming you aren't messing up traffic by doing so). That will allow you to hold a higher gear most of the time and keep the RPM down. Learn how much throttle you can give it before it wants to downshift and try to give it as much as you can without downshifting on the up hills (on longer hills, it will eventually downshift but you can minimize how often).


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hikingst1ck

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Posted: 08/10/21 10:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

@2112, MitchF150 & valhalla360 - Thank you! I try to cruise a couple MPH slower than the speed limit so I can stay out of the left lane as much as possible which keeps us near what most semis are doing.

I really appreciate ALL of the advice! You all have calmed my nerves about it and we'll stick with what we've got for now.

Next time we're out we'll hit the scales first and I'll experiment with getting a running start when we approach those hills. Sounds like it's mostly experience and since this was our first long road trip with it, we were out of our comfort zone and worried we were going to break something [emoticon]

hikingst1ck

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Posted: 08/10/21 10:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

@dodge_guy - I do need to get everything weighed.

The truck isn't my daily driver. Other than pulling the TT it's only driven when I've got stuff that won't fit in or is too dirty for the back of the CRV.

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 08/10/21 12:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

hikingst1ck wrote:


The truck isn't my daily driver. Other than pulling the TT it's only driven when I've got stuff that won't fit in or is too dirty for the back of the CRV.


That's a nice new truck to have for only camping trips and home improvement duties.
Seems your only real "issue" was having to wind 'er up to climb hills. Presumably you feel the chassis handled the trailer fine (which it should).

I don't think you'll take much hit, if any, selling your truck. Especially if you got it for anything under MSRP. Truck prices are nuts right now.
But that translates to cost of whatever you replace it with.

If your happy otherwise, I'd just keep it. If going with a gas truck as a replacement, save for a 3.5 EcoBoost, or a deep geared new Ram or Ford 3/4 ton, everything else will actually be lacking a bit in the HP department if you get into real high altitude towing out west. You lose 3% power approx per 1000 ft elevation increase on naturally aspirated engines.

Translation, bigger NA gassers will give you some more power East of the Rockies. Trips through the Western mountains will level the playing field though.

If you're set on a new or almost new truck and value warranty, new truck features and low miles, then IMO, I'd stick with what you have.

My personal perspective, I'd buy something older (sub 10 year old range, 50-75k miles) with a big engine in the size and configuration you want and lower overall capital expense.

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