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Old 01-19-2016, 11:54 AM   #1
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Chevy Silverado Towing

Hi all, we are in the process of ordering a Chevy Siverado 1500 double cab with 5.3 V8 to tow our new Escape 21. I can't decide if I should get the max tow package with 3.73 rear end or if the 3.42 rear end . I have always had heavier trailers and always fought with the mountain grades. The Escape is much lighter. I would like to go through the mountain grades with less effort and stress. I'm sure the 3.73 would be fine. I'm interested more in how the 3.42 performs. Thanks, Kevin
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Old 01-19-2016, 12:07 PM   #2
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We've owned a 2011 Ram 1500 with a 3.55 rear end and a 2014 Ram 1500 with a 3.92 rear end. Mileage is a little less with the 3.92
but the towing experience is much better especially when towing in the mountains. IMHO. ( Truck is a tow vehicle not a daily commuter vehicle)
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Old 01-19-2016, 12:55 PM   #3
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Nineteen thousand miles and counting. I bought a new 2014 Silverado crew cab short bed, 5.3L V8 (355 horsepower, 383 lb-ft of torque, 7,200 lb GVW rating, rear axle 3.42 rear axle ratio.)

Has easily towed my Escape 19 up and down big and little mountains, with no noticeable effort. Best ride I ever had.
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Old 01-19-2016, 01:08 PM   #4
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the 3:42 with the six speed transmission is very well matched set up for overall use of daily driving and towing. If you tend to pack a lot of stuff around with you the 3:73 may be a better option. Btw , the new direct injected 5.3 makes very nice power all the way through the torque curve
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Old 01-19-2016, 01:14 PM   #5
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I would suggest the 3:42 rear end for a little better economy. I have the Ram 5.7 with 8 speed and 3:21 rear end, the bigger motor and transmission combo will allow the higher ratio and give you better mpg town. I'm averaging 14-15 mpg cross country towing the 21' Escape @ 4300 lbs.
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Old 01-19-2016, 01:37 PM   #6
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We bought a 2014 Silverado double cab , 5.3L V8 without max tow. Its got a 7,200 lb GVW rating & 3.42 rear axle ratio.
It tows our loaded 21' effortlessly up and down mountain passes.
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Old 01-19-2016, 01:48 PM   #7
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Mileage

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I would suggest the 3:42 rear end for a little better economy. I have the Ram 5.7 with 8 speed and 3:21 rear end, the bigger motor and transmission combo will allow the higher ratio and give you better mpg town. I'm averaging 14-15 mpg cross country towing the 21' Escape @ 4300 lbs.
Jim
Sounds right, if you didn't make
those cross country trips at Gumball Rally speeds, you would probably do even better. Just kidding, 75 mph seems about right.
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Old 01-19-2016, 02:18 PM   #8
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Actually Dave, as I age I go slower.....
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Old 01-19-2016, 02:35 PM   #9
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Me too. It's all relative. I usually tow at about 62mph except Chicago where 62 would get you run over. There, it's about 68 or 70 in the slow lane. To see around the trucks, gotta bump her about 7 and get in the next lane. Concentration and a prayer that starts with, " brakes, don't fail me now."
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Old 01-19-2016, 03:33 PM   #10
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Reminds me of what Bruce Jenner had on his sweatshirt "Feet, don't fail me now" during the Olympics.
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Old 01-19-2016, 03:49 PM   #11
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Hi Kevin

We used to tow with the 5.3, 3:42 six speed Sierra and it did OK. We have recently purchased a 2015 Sierra with the 6.2, 8 speed with the NHT or Max Trailering package which gives you 3:42 gears. This has been awesome and gets better fuel economy and tows far better then our 5.3 did.
It is rated at 420HP and 460LBS of torque.

Cheers
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Old 01-19-2016, 10:31 PM   #12
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Hi Kevin

We used to tow with the 5.3, 3:42 six speed Sierra and it did OK. We have recently purchased a 2015 Sierra with the 6.2, 8 speed with the NHT or Max Trailering package which gives you 3:42 gears. This has been awesome and gets better fuel economy and tows far better then our 5.3 did.
It is rated at 420HP and 460LBS of torque.

Cheers
Doug
Kevin. If you are ordering a 2016, you will be getting an eight speed transmission. Get the 6.2 engine with the 3.42 rear end and you will have the best of both worlds. We were planning on getting a Casita when I ordered my GMC with the 5.3 engine and the 3.73 rear end. If I would have known that it was going to be the Escape, I would have ordered the 6.2. We were through a lot of mountains in bringing the trailer home and the truck knew it had something behind it. Highway mpg is 21 not towing and 14 towing. Loren
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Old 01-20-2016, 01:09 AM   #13
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If you have a choice, go with the max tow and 6.2 ltr engine. We love ours!
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Old 02-03-2016, 12:01 AM   #14
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Loren, how do you think the 2016 5.3 would be with the new 8 speed transmission with 3.42 ? Are you using premium fuel in the 6.2? Kevin
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Old 02-03-2016, 07:31 AM   #15
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I have a 2011 Siverado, with the towing package, 4wd- it has the 5.3 with the 3.42 transmission. I have towed many miles - from British Columbia, to Nova Scotia, and from Nova Scotia to Florida twice- I barely know the trailer is behind me.When I was in Chilliwack to pick up the trailer I took a lesson from the Truck place next door- two things he told me - always tow in the truck/haul mode ( he said everyone should) and when I replace my current Michelin tires to get the thicker, heavier duty ones, I'm not sure what they are called.
I love the truck for towing and breaking . I am getting ( while towing) more itr less the same gas milage as I was with my 17B and the 6cyl RAV4. It also gets half decent gas milage when not towing, considering what it is.
Just my opinion.
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Old 02-03-2016, 07:41 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Chapitre View Post
I have a 2011 Siverado, with the towing package, 4wd- it has the 5.3 with the 3.42 transmission. I have towed many miles - from British Columbia, to Nova Scotia, and from Nova Scotia to Florida twice- I barely know the trailer is behind me.When I was in Chilliwack to pick up the trailer I took a lesson from the Truck place next door- two things he told me - always tow in the truck/haul mode ( he said everyone should) and when I replace my current Michelin tires to get the thicker, heavier duty ones, I'm not sure what they are called.
I love the truck for towing and breaking . I am getting ( while towing) more itr less the same gas milage as I was with my 17B and the 6cyl RAV4. It also gets half decent gas milage when not towing, considering what it is.
Just my opinion.
I can understand the reasoning behind towing in "tow mode" while in the mountains, but why is it better all of the time?
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Old 02-03-2016, 08:13 AM   #17
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keeps your transmission cooler and operating better, on flat or hills.
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Old 02-03-2016, 08:19 AM   #18
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keeps your transmission cooler and operating better, on flat or hills.
That's interesting. I have a transmission gauge, haven't noticed a difference in temp between tow or non tow mode, and it seems to shift better when its not in tow mode. I'm not disagreeing, just seems to be counter to my experience.
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Old 02-03-2016, 08:22 AM   #19
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mine also changes shift points of the transmission...
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Old 02-03-2016, 08:25 AM   #20
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mine also changes shift points of the transmission...
I think my next trip will be in tow mode 100% so I can make a sound judgement on whats best. Normally I only use it in the mountains.
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