jQuery not supported.



Towing with a 5.3

Towing with a 5.3

Postby LouisianaChevy [OP] » Apr 24 2013, 4:21am

I have 2012 Chevy with a 5.3, 3.42 gears, 6 speed transmission, heavy duty towing package, with some 33 inch toyo MT tires.

Travel Trailer is 32'9 inches and I have a prorpide 3p sway control hitch on it. The trailer weights in dry at about 6,045 lbs so I figured loaded I would be in the 7,000 lb range.

I have not seen a straight answer in browsing the forums for 2 days. Whats the best way to tow this thing based on the truck and the trailer?

From what i have put together it looks like tow/haul when I get going and M5. After I am underway taking the two haul off and let it go. Any input on the topic would be helpful.

Travis
Original Poster
LouisianaChevy
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 4
Topics: 2
Joined: Apr 24 2013, 4:13am
Years of membership: 1 year of membership
Location: Thibodaux
Year: 2012
Make/Model: Chevrolet Silverado
Group Membership:
Registered users

Re: Towing with a 5.3

Postby Machster69 » Apr 24 2013, 4:35am

I would leave it in tow/haul... And in D. There is no 6th in tow/haul anyway...
Your not maxed but your close to your limits so...
Machster69
Shifting into Sixth Gear! [L3]
Shifting into Sixth Gear! [L3]
Posts: 7976
Topics: 105
Images: 79
Joined: Feb 16 2012, 3:03pm
Years of membership: 2 years of membership2 years of membership
Location: Baton Rouge
Year: 2010
Make/Model: GMC Sierra
Extra Info: 5.3 SLE 2wd
Group Membership:
How-to Authors
SilveradoSierra Guru
Registered users

Re: Towing with a 5.3

Postby #32 » Apr 24 2013, 4:35am

Welcome to the site LC! You'll love it here. Tons of great information. Unfortunately, you're right, there is not a lot of solid information on towing with the 5.3. I know, because I've been searching too.

We have almost the same truck, 5.3, 3.42, 6 spd, 33" tires. I don't have tuner yet, but plan to buy one around the same time as I buy my trailer.

To answer your question... this is what I've learned in the month or so I've been shopping for a travel trailer. We want to stay as close to 5K dry as possible. Yes, our trucks could pull the 7K without a problem with the self leveling hitch on flat road. But, we'd have a hard time on an incline. So... Yes you could pull it, but expect to be pushing your truck to the limit.

A special thanks to Stars n Bars for the info. Rob's been my primary source for towing knowledge. He recently upgraded his 5.3 because it wasn't enough to handle his 7K trailer. Rob, any input you could provide is greatly appreciated.
Follow SilveradoSierra on Instagram: @SilveradoSierra

Image
User avatar
#32
Staff Member
Staff Member
Shifting into Sixth Gear! [L3]
Shifting into Sixth Gear! [L3]
Posts: 3325
Topics: 172
Images: 186
Joined: Jan 23 2012, 2:04am
Years of membership: 2 years of membership2 years of membership
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Year: 2014
Make/Model: Chevrolet Silverado
Extra Info: DURAMAX Z71 4x4
Group Membership:
How-to Authors
TOTM Winner
Global moderators
Registered users

Re: Towing with a 5.3

Postby StarsnBars » Apr 24 2013, 4:57am

Welcome to the forum L.C.
My T.T. Is really close to your numbers also. Close to 8000lbs. My old 2011 5.3 with the 3.42 gears would tow it OK. It was just underpowered, labored on steep hills, etc. Tow haul mode was a must. I guess the biggest thing for me was it just didn't seem like enough truck for my set-up. I had very good W.D., duel sway bars, and air bags. White knuckle driving was a constant.
So with that, my future plans, camping and traveling with my family, I decided to upgrade to a 2500 HD,
Not trying to spook you and I'm sure other members will post there info to share. Just my experence ,, see ya,,
Image
Good information for all:
The SilveradoSierra.com Commandments
User avatar
StarsnBars
Staff Member
Staff Member
Shifting into Sixth Gear! [L3]
Shifting into Sixth Gear! [L3]
Posts: 5509
Topics: 239
Images: 63
Joined: Feb 17 2011, 12:48am
Years of membership: 3 years of membership3 years of membership3 years of membership
Location: Davenport Iowa
Year: 2012
Make/Model: Chevrolet Silverado
Variant: VHO/Vortec Max
Extra Info: H.D. 2500 Vortec 6.0
Group Membership:
Global moderators
Registered users

Re: Towing with a 5.3

Postby LouisianaChevy [OP] » Apr 24 2013, 5:03am

StarsnBars,

I had a 4 point equalize hitch with 10,000 lb bars and I would get pushed all over the place. The sway was terrible. It really made pulling my trailer down the highway uncomfortable. I felt like I was on the white knuckle express the whole time. After researching hitch's and such I came across something called a 3p propride hitch. I hooked that thing up and have never looked back. After 2,500 dollars I had no more getting pushed around by 18 wheelers or cross winds. It helped out tremendously. Time will tell if I can get the trailer down the road. I live down in Louisiana so I will mostly be on flat land. Thanks for the info man!
Original Poster
LouisianaChevy
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 4
Topics: 2
Joined: Apr 24 2013, 4:13am
Years of membership: 1 year of membership
Location: Thibodaux
Year: 2012
Make/Model: Chevrolet Silverado
Group Membership:
Registered users

Re: Towing with a 5.3

Postby StarsnBars » Apr 24 2013, 5:13am

Good info bro. I'll have to check out that W.D. system. Good bookmark for future members and others to check out.. ;)
Image
Good information for all:
The SilveradoSierra.com Commandments
User avatar
StarsnBars
Staff Member
Staff Member
Shifting into Sixth Gear! [L3]
Shifting into Sixth Gear! [L3]
Posts: 5509
Topics: 239
Images: 63
Joined: Feb 17 2011, 12:48am
Years of membership: 3 years of membership3 years of membership3 years of membership
Location: Davenport Iowa
Year: 2012
Make/Model: Chevrolet Silverado
Variant: VHO/Vortec Max
Extra Info: H.D. 2500 Vortec 6.0
Group Membership:
Global moderators
Registered users

Re: Towing with a 5.3

Postby tmckenn2 » Apr 24 2013, 5:25am

i cant help with suggestions... but the 33" tires will impact your ability to tow. also in regards to the tow haul mode. while it may feel like it changes more than just shift points... there is no evidence that it does. the stated purpose of the tow/haul is to alter the "shift schedule" aka. it will hold in first gear until the shift to second will be within the powerband (or as close as possible) this is unlike the normal mode where it upshifts as much as possible to keep engine revs low and conserve gas. likewise it will also change the shift points or schedule at high speeds as well and will hold the transmission in a lower gear for longer so that when you encounter rolling hills it doesnt shift up on the down hill and then in a short amount of time down shift for the next uphill... over and over.

lastly im not sure what year you have (because i didnt check before i started) but before..... 2011? i want to say tow haul also enables grade breaking. i believe it also requires the 6L80 so there is that too. but it down shifts on down hills to help the truck maintain its speed without using the breaks. (btw. it also aggressively downshifts during breaking to assist the breaks....)
tmckenn2
Combustion on 2 pistons [L2]
Combustion on 2 pistons [L2]
Posts: 236
Topics: 2
Joined: Apr 19 2013, 6:51am
Years of membership: 1 year of membership
Location: United States
Year: 2013
Make/Model: Chevrolet Silverado
Extra Info: LT 5.3 z71 All Star
Group Membership:
Registered users

Re: Towing with a 5.3

Postby camfire87 » Apr 24 2013, 5:30am

It always surprised me that they put 3.42 gears on trucks with the "heavy duty towing" package. Seems to me that 3.73 or 4.10 would be a much better fit. Nevertheless you've got 3.42's and you can expect to be pretty slow off the get-go, and you definitely will want to keep it in tow/haul mode to help with driveability. Good choice on the WD hitch, that's always my first suggestion to anybody who's towing anywhere near their max weight. I would definitely always make sure your trailer brakes are up to snuff and set up properly. Basically you want the trailer brakes to do the large majority of the stopping , using them to slow the truck down rather than the other way around (getting pushed around by a heavy trailer gets scary). You don't ever really want the trailer brakes to lock up on dry pavement, because that can cause all sorts of horror if you hit the brakes hard, but you want them to come damn near for optimum braking power without being too jerky, which can put a lot of extra stress on your hitch. Making sure that the trailer wheels are all inflated evenly and to the proper pressure will make it pull a lot smoother as well. Also definitely do what you can to even the load inside the trailer out from side to side and front to back. The trailer will be set up to keep enough weight on the hitch without needing to add any inside, so spreading it out a bit will make it ride nice as possible.

Hope those suggestions help.
Image

2" levelling kit
Stampede flares
Eagle Alloy rims with 275/70/18 General Grabber AT's
User avatar
camfire87
Combustion on 4 pistons [L2]
Combustion on 4 pistons [L2]
Posts: 453
Topics: 14
Images: 44
Joined: Jan 29 2012, 12:27am
Years of membership: 2 years of membership2 years of membership
Location: Calgary, AB
Year: 2012
Make/Model: Chevrolet Silverado
Extra Info: 1500 Z71 5.3l 4x4
Group Membership:
Registered users

Re: Towing with a 5.3

Postby cyclepuck » Apr 24 2013, 5:39am

I pull a tt close to 8k loaded with the exact trick as you. Always use tow haul unless on flat land with little to no wind. But like someone else mentioned the 33 will effect towing a bit by reducing your final drive ratio.

As far as hitch most wd hitches will work fine it's just getting it set up right. Took me 2 hours setting it up in driveway according to manufacture specs. I use a basic wd hitch with friction sway control and haven't had any sway issues.
User avatar
cyclepuck
Combustion on 3 pistons [L2]
Combustion on 3 pistons [L2]
Posts: 374
Topics: 8
Images: 9
Joined: May 04 2012, 4:00pm
Years of membership: 2 years of membership2 years of membership
Location: Michigan
Year: 2012
Make/Model: Chevrolet Silverado
Group Membership:
Registered users

Re: Towing with a 5.3

Postby tmckenn2 » Apr 24 2013, 6:14am

its been pointed out a lot in other forums. (not my calculations someone elses) a 6speed with 3.42 is equivalent to a 4speed with 4.56. i believe 4.10 was the max you could get with the 4speed. the first gear in the 6 speed it super steep. its 4.03: 1 from gm powertrain. do higher gear ratios help yes. to some extent. you can over gear it to where your first gear starts near the peak and while you are still at a low speed, it will have to shift to 2nd which because of the way the 6speed is designed... is really far from 1st. so you will end up back to where you started. furthermore. 4wd low is designed to work with 3.42. if you put it into low you will be able to be right at peak torque around 5mph or a slow crawl. that means maximum torque. now im not saying tow in low... because you shouldnt. what i am saying is that the whole thing is tuned by gm to be a system.... the number 4.10 alone doesnt mean anything until you consider all the factors. including the transmission and in this case, the tires. i would look online btw and find a final drive ratio calculator. i think you will need to get 3.72 gears in the rear to get back to stock ratio... and that may not be worth the trouble or money to buy the gears.

honestly there are a lot of factors here. what kind of hills? if its all interstate then its reasonable that 7% is the max grade... which i like to believe is what gm rates the trucks at. i wish the new sae standard was in place but they held out on the 2013 year since ford and dodge didnt change over. they have requirements like: must tow max load with ac on full blast up a road with 5-13% percent grade while maintaining 40mph plus includes passenger. look here for specifics: http://www.caranddriver.com/features/that-dam-towing-test-new-sae-trailering-standards-explained-tech-dept
tmckenn2
Combustion on 2 pistons [L2]
Combustion on 2 pistons [L2]
Posts: 236
Topics: 2
Joined: Apr 19 2013, 6:51am
Years of membership: 1 year of membership
Location: United States
Year: 2013
Make/Model: Chevrolet Silverado
Extra Info: LT 5.3 z71 All Star
Group Membership:
Registered users
Next

Return to Towing/Trailers

 

  • Similar topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post
  • 2014 GM Towing Manual & Recreational Towing
    by Silvery13 » Feb 07 2014, 6:32pm
    7 Replies
    1757 Views
    User avatar
    Last post by Silvery13 View the latest post
    Dec 11 2014, 7:35pm
  • 10 Replies
    44 Views
    Last post by SilveradoSierra.com View the latest post
    Dec 19 2014, 2:31am
  • towing
    lowered 5.3 & towing??
    by 67azzkikr » Feb 01 2012, 6:14pm
    3 Replies
    1372 Views
    User avatar
    Last post by gmctruckguy View the latest post
    Feb 02 2012, 1:59am
  • 5.3L vs 5.7L For Towing
    1, 2, 3 by WRtruck » Feb 09 2012, 2:28am
    21 Replies
    12385 Views
    Last post by Richard Martin View the latest post
    Mar 22 2013, 2:12pm
  • Towing
    by Eddie Don » Apr 27 2012, 10:02pm
    5 Replies
    1068 Views
    Last post by Eddie Don View the latest post
    Apr 28 2012, 4:25pm
  • Towing
    Whats The Best Type Of Tuner?
    1, 2, 3, 4 by arosi425 » Oct 10 2012, 9:45pm
    31 Replies
    2441 Views
    User avatar
    Last post by 2nd Hand Old Guy View the latest post
    Nov 18 2012, 4:00am

Common search terms

tires back help work towing welcome thanks same front looks great think

It is currently Dec 19 2014, 2:31am

  • Sponsor
Login  •  Register
SHOP TALK (Live Chat)
Towing/Trailers Forum
Towing/TrailersDiscuss towing and trailers and plows, or overdrive and hitch towing capacity (gvw) and tongue weight for heavy loads. This is the place for tow hitches, receivers, and trailer wiring as well as snow plowing.
To create a new topic in Towing/Trailers, click this button:
Previous topic Next topic
Sitewide News Sitemaps & Feeds

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Netseer [Crawler] and 5 guests