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Open Roads Forum  >  Tow Vehicles

 > GM 6 liter vortec what are you towing with it?

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Whangler

Northern CA

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Posted: 05/05/22 12:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What are you towing with your 6 liter 2500hd or 3500hd?
What’s the gvwr of your trailer and how’s the towing experience?
I tow an Arctic Fox 25r with my 2015 2500hd 6 liter vortec. Trailer weighs about 9,000 lbs loaded. I’m happy with it’s performance and reliability for the most part. Throughout the mountain west, It’s averaging 8 mpg per 400 miles. It goes over Donner Summit in CA at 60mph towing. Handles comfortably while towing. But………
I’m considering a 30’ 5th wheel that weighs about 12,000 lbs. No doubt a diesel would handle it better. Would I be miserable towing a 12k 5’er with my 6 liter gasser?

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 05/05/22 01:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

First, handling and power are just about mutually exclusive.
It will handle different. Better in some ways. Likely require additional rear suspension to handle pin weight though.
Power?
Higher profile and 25% heavier, the venerable LS motor and 6 speed you have will run all day long. But you won’t pull grades as fast.


2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29

Sandia Man

Rio Rancho, NM

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Posted: 05/05/22 01:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We tow a 32' TT toyhauler with ours, at a bit over 10K# when loaded with toys and water, it handles it well, although I wouldn't want to go much heavier as towing comfort will spiral down to where I would have much disdain even hitching her up.

Our Chevy Silverado HD2500 with over 3.2K# of payload capacity (label on door frame) has plenty of power, and we don't mind letting her rev up into the power band. Still a 12K# 5er would be more than I would take on, especially here in the mountain west.

Virtually every where we go we are at high elevation detracting approx. 3% of engine power for every 1K' elevation, we average 20% derated engine performance making it all that more difficult, anything more than 12K# would certainly hasten wear and tear.

We did think about going with a 5er when shopping a couple of years go, and we did find some nice light 5ers to fit the bill that were 10K-11K gvwr, we don't shop by so called dryweights, particularly when a gasser tow vehicle is involved.

My DW prefers flat floorplans so we decided to keep TT toyhauler for RV adventures that lead us off road, and purchased a used class A more suited for couples living and extended stays. Our Silverado is in good condition, getting a heavier 5er would require getting a new truck sooner than later.

blt2ski

Kirkland, Wa

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Posted: 05/05/22 02:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Something to think about, EVERY RV hauler thru the approx 20 yrs I've posted on here, has mentioned non slide 5w trailers with smooth fiberglassed walls get the best mpg for a given wt. Worst is a TT with corrugated aluminum siding. Best aerodynamic setup vs worst!
With this said, power wise, I'd be surprised if the 6.0 could not pull a 10-12k lb trailer over most freeway, st highway type roads. As also noted, take into account HP loss for elevation. You WILL go slower at higher elevations.
Chassis wise, a 3500 be it diesel or gas, assuming same payload etc, will generally speaking handle the trailer the same. Power wise, diesel will win generally speaking due to a turbo at elevations etc. Depending upon how many miles you tow at elevation, for me that is around 6000 ft or higher, will depend upon if I need to spend the PREMIUM for the diesel.
For me any how, I would not spend extra on a diesel, the 6.0 with a properly speed low aerodynamic trailer will work fine in 80-90+%, of the situations I get into.

Marty


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IdaD

Idaho

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Posted: 05/05/22 02:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Some people would be miserable with that setup, others wouldn't mind it. Smart thing to do is upgrade the trailer and see how the setup works. If you're fine with it, cool. If not, pick your favorite diesel and enjoy - if we're talking new model diesels, I'd personally pick a Ram or GM.


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BurbMan

Indianapolis, IN

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Posted: 05/05/22 03:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

IdaD wrote:

Some people would be miserable with that setup, others wouldn't mind it. Smart thing to do is upgrade the trailer and see how the setup works. If you're fine with it, cool. If not, pick your favorite diesel and enjoy - if we're talking new model diesels, I'd personally pick a Ram or GM.


X2 on all points. As Marty mentions there are also offsetting factors like wind resistance. You won't kill the 6.0 trying.

Lwiddis

Cambria, California area

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Posted: 05/05/22 04:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I wouldn’t try 12,000 pounds of trailer with my 6.2.


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, WindyNation 300 watt solar-Lossigy 200 AH Lithium battery. Prefer boondocking, USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state camps. Bicyclist. 14 yr. Army -11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad


Nodaker

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Posted: 05/05/22 05:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

2009 Silverado LS, 6.0l, 6sp, 4x4, extended cab, 8' box. I towed a Jayco 321RSTS which had a GVW of 12,500 (we usually towed lighter but were probably close on a 3 month Alaska trip). Max tow rating for the Chevy was 12,300. It was the work truck model which meant more payload capacity that loaded models.

It towed the Jayco very well. As others have said, when climbing you have to just let the 6.0 liter rev.

Towed through MT & ID which has some long interstate climbs and all the way up the Alcan & Back the Cassiar with no problems. The Chev 6.0 handled it well.


Nodaker
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blt2ski

Kirkland, Wa

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Posted: 05/05/22 06:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lwiddis wrote:

I wouldn’t try 12,000 pounds of trailer with my 6.2.


Assuming 20-25% hw for a 5w as the OP is asking about, your measly widdle 1500, or my 1500, could not handle the potential 2400-3000 lbs of hitch wieght! Plus occupants etc.
Power wise, your drivetrain will shrug off that 12000 lb trailer no problem if you keep the truck with in it's payload specs. This is per a few folks that I know pulling 10-12k boats. Granted easier to pull thana boxy RV trailer....my little V6 pulls upwards of 8500 lbs with out speed issues too! Granted my trailers aren't boxy......but wieght is not going to be the issue for OP.
I realized I forgot the "non bedroom slide" part of 5W aero dynamic part of the equation for best mpg. About .5-1 mpg more than a bedroom slide, add another drop of that for an aluminum TT. Note, not talking airstream TT. Those do slightly better than the non slide 5W rigs. Titanium 5W if still made are one of the best trailers from an mpg standpoint. Again, assume similar length and wieght of trailers.

Marty

FishOnOne

The Great State of Texas

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Posted: 05/05/22 06:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Whangler wrote:

What are you towing with your 6 liter 2500hd or 3500hd?
What’s the gvwr of your trailer and how’s the towing experience?
I tow an Arctic Fox 25r with my 2015 2500hd 6 liter vortec. Trailer weighs about 9,000 lbs loaded. I’m happy with it’s performance and reliability for the most part. Throughout the mountain west, It’s averaging 8 mpg per 400 miles. It goes over Donner Summit in CA at 60mph towing. Handles comfortably while towing. But………
I’m considering a 30’ 5th wheel that weighs about 12,000 lbs. No doubt a diesel would handle it better. Would I be miserable towing a 12k 5’er with my 6 liter gasser?


At one time both my parents and my wife and I had similar 30 ft 5th wheel campers and we pulled our campers to Pigeon Forge on a trip we took together. My parents had a 01 2500 6.0 and we had a Super Duty Power Stroke diesel. Long story short about a month later my dad purchased his first diesel powered truck.

Until that trip he was good with the performance of his 6.0 gas engine, but he simply didn't know how much better a diesel performed for both fuel economy and towing performance.


'12 Ford Super Duty FX4 ELD CC 6.7 PSD 400HP 800ft/lbs
"200k Mile Club"
'16 Sprinter 319MKS "Wide Body"


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