Best GM Tow truck for 22 Foot enclosed trailer with 4000 LB GS?

Discussion in 'The Choo-Choo shop' started by Rich Johns, Dec 19, 2007.

  1. Rich Johns

    Rich Johns Platinum Level Contributor

    Just bought a new Haulin 22 foot enclosed car trailer.
    My concern is that my Regular cab shortbox 1500 4x4 does not have enough weight/mass to adequately or legally haul this trailer with 4000 lb GS on board
    Trailer weighs 3400 lb so trailer and car will be 7500 lbs.
    How much truck do I need ?
  2. 70 gsconvt

    70 gsconvt Silver Level contributor

    In my opinion, you will need a 3/4 ton truck. I think most 1/2 tons are only rated to about 6,000 lbs. You don't need a diesel, but they're nice. Tons of torque and better mileage. Plus they last a looooooooong time as long as you change the oil and keep the fuel clean. I have a 2005 Chevy 2500HD with the duramax diesel and allison trans. Very nice and will pull a house off of it's foundation.
  3. RudyE

    RudyE Well-Known Member

    Most half tons are rated to tow into the 7k-8k range. You are at your truck's maximum, for sure. Keep in mind that most trucks will start showing the strain at 70-80% of capacity. I am sure you have trailer brakes, and you wil surely need them at that weight. Weight distributing bars will help, too. I am partial to Dodge Heavy Duties, but a 3/4 or 1ton of your preference will be a night and day improvement over the 1/2 ton. You can get good results with the gas motors, but expect fuel consumption in the 6-8 mpg while towing that much weight and wind drag. A diesel is your absolute best bet without a doubt. A personal example from my files: I had a 2000 Ram 2500 HD 2wd quad cab with the gas V10 and a 5 speed manual. I now have an 06 Cummins 3500 single rear wheel 4wd quad cab automatic. My v10 truck towed like a champ, maybe as well as the Cummins when the 2wd vs 4wd is added in. However, the v10 would get 11 mpg empty and about 9 mpg while towing a car on my open trailer. The Cummins truck gets 17 empty. My cousin borrowed my truck and open trailer, and ran over to Houston empty--about 5 hours one way. He picked up a Z06 Vette on the trailer and hoofed it back running 75-80 mph with traffic both ways. The Cummins averaged 16.1 round trip. Downside? Most diesels cost 4-5k more than a comparable gas truck. I see that you like the GM trucks, and the Duramax/Allison combo is a great one, too. Keep in mind that 3/4 and 1 ton trucks have stouter suspensions, heavier frames, and larger brakes than 1/2 tons. The extra margin of safety provided by that could be a life saver. Good luck on your choice. Rudy E.
  4. MikeM

    MikeM Mississippi Buicks

    I have similar concerns. I'd like a clarification from anyone who knows what the advantage of dual rear wheels is. Personally I don't want to drive a truck that wide but at what stage do you need them? Are they mainly for weight of a goose neck trailer, or stopping power, or what? Incidentally, my 06 GMC Sierra 4x4 is getting an average of 17mpg overall since I got it new with 26K miles so far. It's a 1.5 cab with towing package. I've got a 20' open trailer and it's probably okay. But am interested because as Rich mentioned he's bought, I'm interested in an enclosed one someday too.
  5. evil16v

    evil16v Midwest Buick Mafia

    I just did all of this. you cannot pull an enclosed car hauler with a 1/2 ton truck with very few exceptions if any. i have heard of some have the small gm 14 bolt iin them and have a larger gross, but thats few and far in between.

    I bought a three quarter ton suburban and all the numbers are inline, it has 8600 gvwr, and is rated for 10k with 4:10's. Massive upgrade in brakes here.

    No matter what the "tow rating" is you still have to stay in the gvwr. you must add the true weight(go weigh) and a minimum of 10% of your trailer loaded, you and all your stuff and passengers. I guarantee you can't make it add up. these are the numbers in your drivers door jamb. this is a really good indicationof what your truck can do.
    when shopping for a truck go directly for the gvwr. ignor the tow rating. that is a BS number. ford f 150's have some huge tow ratings, but if you go to the f150 site and find the gvwrs... guess what? the numbers don't jive. there is no way you can load the trailer correctly, get the gvwr in check and pull that number:error: :error:

    As far as the dually thing...look at it this way, you get eight sidewalls. this gives you WAY better stability. I have ridden in Mike g's dually and it is night and day with the duals, to anything i have pulled with. very stable. this also allows more weight to be loaded. with single rear wheel one tons you will find the weight limit of your tire before anything else. you can't find a single tire that can handle the load of the two. if that makes sense.

    I would have a one ton if i could afford it, and didn't have to daily drive it ($$TIRES$$). I plan to pull my 4300 lb 24' enclosed with my 3/4 ton burb. running all the numbers i believe it will be a good match @ a shade over 9k(realistically)
  6. RudyE

    RudyE Well-Known Member

    Mike, you would see the dually really shine if you had huge tongue weight or a trailer in the high end of the weight scale. A friend of mine just switched from an airbagged, helper springed, etc. 3/4 ton to a Mega Cab dually. I joked with him that anything larger than his current camper trailer would probably be a single wide mobile home! He has a gooseneck monster trailer in short. His concerns were safety margin with the dual rear tires and stability over heaves in the roadway. His 3/4 ton was being steered around over bumps by the trailer, and was making him very nervous. The dually is a night and day difference. No more sway or tail wagging the dog. The bad part of the dually deal is carporting or garaging clearance in some cases, an extra set of tires to wear, slightly less fuel mpg. For an enclosed unit like you have, a single rear wheel truck will have no trouble. Rudy E.
  7. Keith Seymore

    Keith Seymore Well-Known Member

    It also depends on how often you are going to tow: if you are only going once or twice a year you can get by with a smaller truck than if you are going to be pulling long distances nearly every weekend.

  8. campfamily

    campfamily Well-Known Member

    I found an excellent towing weight calculator on another forum ( a few years ago, it's an Excel file and I don't know how to attach it here. Send me a message and I'll email it to you if you'd like it. It's set up for a travel trailer, but just put zeros in the cells where they don't apply (water, waste, propane, etc.), and it will work just fine. I second the opinion that GVWR on the tow vehicle is quite often the limiting factor, not tow rating. Also, tow rating & GVWR is based on a "stripped" vehicle with only the driver on board. Every pound added beyond that (factory options, stuff you've added, extra people, misc. crap that always accumulates) comes straight off your tow rating and GVWR.

  9. 70 gsconvt

    70 gsconvt Silver Level contributor

    A dually pickup has those dual wheels for one reason only: to distribute the weight to the ground. You would only need that if you had a fifth wheel or a really heavy trailer. And if it was that heavy with a high tongue weight, you should consider a fifth wheel anyway.

    By the way, my truck gets about 18 mpg overall in my normal driving, about 16 when I'm towing just my car on 18' open trailer, and around 12 with my 31' camper and the back packed with everything my wife can un-nail from the house to take with us.

    Here's a web site that I go to frequently concerning Chevy/GMC diesel trucks. There is a wealth of info here as well as a good for sale section. Just click on market place in the upper left hand area of the main page. Good luck.
  10. Rich Johns

    Rich Johns Platinum Level Contributor

    Thanks to everyone who has chimed in.
    I will probably look at a used 2000-2004 GMC/Chev quad cab 2500 4x4 .
    Is Diesel better than gas truck?
    I have heard the diesel trucks get good mileage pro/cons of diesel vs gas?
    Thanks Again
  11. SS-TRUCK

    SS-TRUCK Stage 1 X

    The initial cost of a diesel will be more than gas plus the price of diesel is higher , but a diesel will last much longer than a gas motor . With the weight you are talking about hauling a diesel would be a plus for you . With that much weight I would prefer a goose neck . I have a 26' goose neck and have pulled it with a shortbed 1/2 ton and that works real good , but it is much less weight than you are planning on .
  12. racenu

    racenu Well-Known Member

    I have owned a few GM diesels, 94 6.5 non turbo, 98 6.5 turbo, 02 duramax (still) and a new 07 duramax. The Duramax is the ultimate, and the allison tranny coupled to it is a huge bonus. I would stay away from the old 6.5 diesels as they have many issues with the fuel systems, especially the fuel pumps!!!! Changing spark plugs, rotor and cap is way cheaper and easier than changing an injection pump..
  13. Rich Johns

    Rich Johns Platinum Level Contributor

    Is a regular gas 6 litre with auto trans OK?
    Seems to be most common and possibly what I will end up with .
    Any one have one?
    Feedback with this drivetrain?
  14. 70 gsconvt

    70 gsconvt Silver Level contributor

    Between the 6.0 and the 8.1 gas engines, the fuel economy is actually all but identical. I checked out several web sites and that was the general consensus amongst the various owners.

    The 8.1 liter engine is a much more efficient engine. You'll get a lot more torque out of the larger engine for towing. I know they're a little tougher to find, but I'd try and hold out for one if possible.

    Here are a couple on ebay right now:
  15. avc1966

    avc1966 Well-Known Member

    Hey Rich, I have a 2000 Chevy 2500 HD extended cab with a 6 foot bed. It is a 6.0 auto 4 x 4 with 4.10 rear gear. It pulls my 24 foot haulmark enclosed perfectly without a problem. I installed a cat back magnaflow high flow exhaust, a hypertec reprogrammer, and a K & N air induction kit. It has tons of power and more than enough suspension to handle even my old lesabre in the enclosed. I get 10 - 14 pulling on the highway. Back and forth to work it usually gets around 15, but better on the highway. It is one of the nicest pulling trucks I have ever owned, even better than my old body style 98.

    My friend has an 05 with the 8.1 (same truck as mine) and his mileage is around 10 regardless if he is full or empty, highway or around town. When he and I lined up one day, I had him by 1.5 truck lengths. The diesels make alot of power, but their is alot of associated maintenance that goes along with them you need to evaluate. Plus their additional cost up front.

    I don't think your black shortbed is enough truck to pull a big trailer comfortably. Just my 2 cents. Take care Tony
  16. Rich Johns

    Rich Johns Platinum Level Contributor

    Thanks for your feedback Tony
    That is real world feedback that I was hoping to hear.
    Diesel's sound good however availablility is lowerer and cost is higher.
  17. evil16v

    evil16v Midwest Buick Mafia

    Diesel is what i wanted, and is arguably way better. but he cost of getting your hands on one is way out of my range right now. I bought my k2500 with 454 cheap. cash. no payments. yes it wil suck gas, but not bad enough to make a 4-500 dollar car payment each month. this get it in my driveway NOW, and have time enought ot put it straight so i can go to nationals and a few other things :3gears:
  18. 8587GN

    8587GN Well-Known Member

    judging by your sig,you bought a 95. You should of bought a 96 -up,then you would would of had the Vortech 454. Mine gets 10 mpg pulling a 24' Classic with a car in it,thats with a dually.

    Hows the 1500HD`s????? thinking of getting one. they have the 8 lug wheels[3/4 ton] plus I`ll have a true 4 door truck
  19. evil16v

    evil16v Midwest Buick Mafia

    I like what he head do but have had it doing intake gaskets. ihad a 98 with vortec. did those... did my mom's 2000 gs......... I hate those plastic intake gaskets.

    so i completely avoided it. that and i don't like the a/c on 96 up. it works but not antiquate on a suburban. might work better on your dually with less cab room. something to do with that style compressor. the 95 still has the old style. i like those better, and are still 134a to start with.

    i plan on changing to aftermarket heads/mild cam to fix the "power/ efficiency" issues.
  20. Rich Johns

    Rich Johns Platinum Level Contributor

    Another question
    On a 2000-2005 or so Chev or GMC 2500 extended cab or quad cab truck what gas mileage can one expect from 6.0 Litre gas auto trans empty and towing vs Duramax diesel/allison drivetrain combo empty and towing?

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