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Open Roads Forum  >  Tow Vehicles

 > Chevy Express 3500 with 6.0

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BurbMan

Indianapolis, IN

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Posted: 01/31/22 07:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The 6.0 is a workhorse, it likes to rev but it runs hard and long. The vans pull as well as the 3500 pickups with this drivetrain. Since you don't have a lot of passengers in the van you should be fine with a 7k-ish loaded trailer in tow.

I-Can-Am-Can-You

Licking County, OH

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Posted: 01/31/22 07:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a 34 foot class C with the 6.0. It weighs 14,000 pounds. I pull a 5000 pound trailer with it no problem. You’ll be fine.

Dadoffourgirls

China, MI USA

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Posted: 02/01/22 02:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you have not installed a hitch yet, I would recommend the Curt class V. It has a tongue capacity of 2400 lbs, and the 2 in opening.

I guess that my trailer has around 1200 lbs tongue weight most times, and I occasionally do not install the weight distribution bars.

I also installed my P3 in the corner of the dash to the right of the steering wheel, next to the motor cover. It allows me to see and reach the brake controller from that location.


Dad of Four Girls
Wife
Employee of GM, all opinions are my own!
2017 Express Ext 3500 (Code named "BIGGER ED" by daughters)
2011 Jayco Jayflight G2 32BHDS

trucker11

Midwest

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Posted: 02/01/22 02:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

6.0 = Good,

The transmission it is mated to is another story, more specifically the OEM torque converter, especially since 2015 or so. When it goes south which it will, often within the first 60K-80K miles your, transmission is toast and filled with metal. Get out the checkbook.

Junk TQ.

APT

SE Michigan

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Posted: 02/01/22 05:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It's a solid powertrain and excellent towing platform. I have the same engine/trans in a 2500 Suburban which weighs a little bit more than your van, but also has 3.73 vs. 3.42 axle. I have no issue recommending up to 8000 pounds dry. I also recommend replacing the OEM receiver with the Curt XD.

* This post was edited 02/05/22 03:11pm by APT *


A & A parents of DD 2005, DS1 2007, DS2 2009
2011 Suburban 2500 6.0L 3.73 pulling 2011 Heartland North Trail 28BRS
2017 Subaru Outback 3.6R
2020 Chevrolet Bolt

carringb

Corvallis, OR

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Posted: 02/01/22 05:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

GCWR is 16,000 pounds. Weigh your van and deduct your empty weight and cargo and doggos accordingly. The OEM shocks are complete garbage and towing a heavy trailer is unwieldy on some roads (anything with large umps or dips or frost heaves) but that's also a very easy upgrade. Any aftermarket monotube shock will be an good upgrade.


2000 Ford E450 V10 VAN! 450,000+ miles
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bug512

Washington, NJ

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Posted: 02/01/22 07:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dadoffourgirls wrote:

If you have not installed a hitch yet, I would recommend the Curt class V. It has a tongue capacity of 2400 lbs, and the 2 in opening.

I guess that my trailer has around 1200 lbs tongue weight most times, and I occasionally do not install the weight distribution bars.

I also installed my P3 in the corner of the dash to the right of the steering wheel, next to the motor cover. It allows me to see and reach the brake controller from that location.


Thank you for the recommendation. I do have the Draw-Tite Ultra Frame Class V receiver.


Gene & Ginger


bug512

Washington, NJ

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Posted: 02/01/22 07:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

carringb wrote:

GCWR is 16,000 pounds. Weigh your van and deduct your empty weight and cargo and doggos accordingly. The OEM shocks are complete garbage and towing a heavy trailer is unwieldy on some roads (anything with large umps or dips or frost heaves) but that's also a very easy upgrade. Any aftermarket monotube shock will be an good upgrade.


Thank you for the recommendation on the shocks.

wowens79

Georgia

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Posted: 02/01/22 07:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Like others, I've got the 6.0 in a 2002 truck, and it is very solid, I've had it 19 years, and 260k miles and it still pulls strong. It's only had external things done like starters, waterpumps etc.
It does like to rev, so expect to be over 3000 rpm on most rises, and 4000+ in hills.


2002 Chevy Silverado 1500HD 6.0l 241k miles and climbing
2016 Heritage Glen 29BH
2003 Flagstaff 228D Pop Up

ktosv

Grand Rapids, MI

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Posted: 02/01/22 08:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We towed a Keystone Passport 2910 GT with a 2011 Express 3500 and had five kids and two dogs at the time.

We had previously towed the same trailer with a 2005 Suburban 1500 with the 5.3L, 4 speed and 3.42 axle for a short time. We replaced the 1500 with a 2004 Suburban 2500 with the 6L, 4 speed and 3.73 axle.

All I have to say is the 6L/6speed/3.42 in our Express out towed the 2500 Suburban. Examples are that the Suburban couldn’t maintain speed on level ground towing in OD. It did fine in 3rd. Our Express actually would shift into 6th while towing and would maintain speed on level ground. It obviously would shift with any grade out of 6th, so I typically limited to 5th and was on my way.

I don’t know where you are towing, but here in Michigan I will be honest that with any sizeable hill the van would shift from 5th to 4th. I did scale the setup and with all 7 of us, two dogs and misc stuff in the van I was 1000# under the vans GVWR. We had the 12 passenger regular wheelbase.

As was mentioned, the ride and handling was drastically improved after putting Bilstein shocks on.


Kevin and my...
Wife and six kids
2017 Suburban (5.3L/6A/3.08)
6x12 Enclosed Utility

Sold...2011 Express 3500 (6.0L/6A/3.42)
Sold...2010 Passport Ultra Lite 2910

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