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Old 04-29-2018, 08:12 PM   #1
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Tow Vehicle

Iím looking to upgrade to a GMC Sierra 3500 from a Chevy Silverado 1500. Does anyone have a 3500 that they tow with? Whatís your fuel economy when youíre towing?


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Old 04-29-2018, 10:31 PM   #2
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8-9 mpg.
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Old 04-30-2018, 01:32 AM   #3
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Assume you would be getting a diesel? Maybe 12 mpg. You might want to visit a Duramax forum where there will be all kinds of feedback on this subject.

Weight will be a huge factor as will tow speed. I have a Ram diesel and on that forum all kinds of arguments break out.

If you are looking to upgrade for fuel economy only I donít think you will ever justify but if you are going from a 1500 gasser to a 3500 diesel your overall towing experience will be night and day different. Accelerating, braking, handling will all be much nicer. And the fuel economy will be a plus with less frequent fuel stops because if that plus a bigger tank.


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Old 04-30-2018, 01:38 AM   #4
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Assume you would be getting a diesel? Maybe 12 mpg. You might want to visit a Duramax forum where there will be all kinds of feedback on this subject.

Weight will be a huge factor as will tow speed. I have a Ram diesel and on that forum all kinds of arguments break out.

If you are looking to upgrade for fuel economy only I donít think you will ever justify but if you are going from a 1500 gasser to a 3500 diesel your overall towing experience will be night and day different. Accelerating, braking, handling will all be much nicer. And the fuel economy will be a plus with less frequent fuel stops because if that plus a bigger tank.


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Thank you. Iíve been contemplating switching to a diesel but Iíve never owned one. I have driven plenty of large trucks but never owned a diesel. My 1500 tows the camper alright but it is challenging sometimes. Within my towing capacity.


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Old 04-30-2018, 03:34 AM   #5
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This will be entirely your call. If you are within your trucks capabilities and occasionally are near the limit you will save a ton of dough if you can tolerate it.

But, if you think you might get a bigger trailer someday and take good care of the 3500 that should be a great tow vehicle for a really long time. But keep in mind diesel maintenance is very costly, even if the engine will last a long time. For instance, new injectors at the 150-200k mike mark will be $600 a piece installed and for that price you clod replace and entire gas engine.

In my opinion, and mine only, unless you tow heavy or tow frequently you might be better off with the 1500. Easier to drive and park when not towing and not sure where you live but also easier in cold climates. Just my two cents.

Good luck. And do lots of research before you buy, especially if it is a used truck.


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Old 05-08-2018, 11:33 AM   #6
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If it's towing performance, you can greatly improve the performance by swapping out the rear end. If your truck has the 3.42, changing to a 4.10 will make a big difference in performance. It will cost about $800Ī ($1600 for 4 wheel drive). Lot cheaper than buying a new truck.
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Old 05-09-2018, 02:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsol View Post
This will be entirely your call. If you are within your trucks capabilities and occasionally are near the limit you will save a ton of dough if you can tolerate it.

But, if you think you might get a bigger trailer someday and take good care of the 3500 that should be a great tow vehicle for a really long time. But keep in mind diesel maintenance is very costly, even if the engine will last a long time. For instance, new injectors at the 150-200k mike mark will be $600 a piece installed and for that price you clod replace and entire gas engine.

In my opinion, and mine only, unless you tow heavy or tow frequently you might be better off with the 1500. Easier to drive and park when not towing and not sure where you live but also easier in cold climates. Just my two cents.

Good luck. And do lots of research before you buy, especially if it is a used truck.


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I wholeheartedly agree, if you're not towing with it every time you drive it the maintenance cost on a diesel is ridiculous. I've never gotten out of the dealership for less than $800 any time the light comes on. Actually I take that back, once they only raped me for $350 to change the fuel filters.
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Old 05-09-2018, 09:27 PM   #8
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Another 2 cents. I have a 2015 F-350 diesel dually. It doubles as my daily driver (mainly local), but also hauls my 21,000 lb toy hauler to Florida every year (plus wherever else we go) as well as my 3,500 lb boat. Downside is it is a bitch to park if you want to keep it dent free. Plan on the end of the lot. Wife doesn't like to drive it for that reason, plus it is pretty big. Mileage is around 10 mpg towing and 14 or so when I'm not. Other than a water pump going out at 40K (covered under 6 year standard power train warranty), I've had zero problems. Tows the trailer like it's not even there. Brakes with standard brake assist are excellent. While repairs, if and when they occur can be more expensive with a diesel, I went with an extended warranty (I know, this is another can of worms for another thread) as I'm not mechanically inclined. I keep my vehicles for a long time and fully expect to get my money's worth. Plus resale on diesels are thru the roof. If there is even a chance you're going to go bigger, go with the dually. Just my experience. Good luck.
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Old 05-09-2018, 09:59 PM   #9
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Thank you everyone for your suggestions. Sounds like diesel wonít be the best option for us. From an expense stand point.


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Old 06-07-2018, 04:05 PM   #10
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Have a 2013 F250 6.2 gas. I tow 5000 lb boat, 12000 lb 5th wheel, and drive it in town. Got 9.6 mpg (truck computor) on a 8000 mile trip. Diesel was $10,000 more than my $50,000 Lariet. 50,000 miles and it's been a great decision.
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