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Towing With 2011 Chevy 6.0 W/4.10 Did I have the wrong Expectations ?

#1 User is offline   RWRiley 

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 03:24 PM

Got a chance to hook up this weekend and exercise the new truck with a trailer on back. Have to admit I was slighlty disappointed. Tow rating is about 2x what my 97 Tahoe is rated to pull, so I expected to feel a real difference when pulling my 286FK (about 7,000 loaded) when compared to the Tahoe.

The new truck feels solid with the trailer on back - no problem there, in fact a big improvement over the 1/2 ton Tahoe. But, in terms of pure power, I wasn't blown away by the performance vs the Tahoe (it did feel somewhat stronger, but not dramatic). The 350 in my Tahoe (3.73 gears) is rated at 255hp and 330lbs tq. New 6.0L is rated 360hp and 380lbs tq (4.10) gears. My expectation was that 100 extra horses and +50lbs tq, and 4.10 gears vs 3.73 would be a dramatic difference.

Speed limit here in Indiana is 70mph. I did get there, but I had my foot in it pretty good. If I remember correctly, I was turning somewhere in the 3500-4000rpm range.

Other 6.0L owners...Is that about what you would expect from your truck ? Maybe my expectations were wrong - the Tahoe has been a great tow vehicle.

Rich

#2 User is offline   thefulminator 

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 03:36 PM

Were you using the tow/haul mode?
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#3 User is offline   outback loft 

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 04:03 PM

I dropped the 6.0 VortecMax in my truck along with the 5 speed Allison automatic and I cannot be happier with it(I believe it was an 06 or 07 motor that I got. But then again the VortecMax does have higher ratings than the standard 6.0. I have 4.10 gearing and find no problem getting up to 70. Although I generally only travel at about 60-65 when towing, but occasionally my foot gets a bit heavier. I use the tow/haul mode which makes it feel like I have nothing there, but even when I forget to turn it on, I have no problems at all.

#4 User is offline   rsm7 

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 04:11 PM

I would guess you may have been expecting too much. You're trying to guage the difference by the "seat of your pants" so to speak. It's alot of weight and the engine is going to rev up to make its power. Especially a gasser. It may not "feel" fast to you but I would bet if you put the two trucks side by side with the same trailer, especially up a hill, you would "see" the difference in real time. Even with a diesel it revs up and you feel it pulling. We read comments like "I didnt even know the trailer was back there" and it raises expectations. When you're pulling that much weight from a dead stop you're going to feel it with any engine. For what it's worth, I'm a truck driver and a friend of mine, also a truck driver, has the same engine in an 09 Silverado. He pulls a 32' KZ toy hauler with 2 four wheelers, 100 gallons of water, a 3000 watt honda generator, and a third four wheeler in the bed. Gotta weigh 9000+ and he said he likes the power. But then we haven't run together yet with the PSD, he might change his mind... :whistling: :D
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#5 User is offline   Duanesz 

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 07:11 PM

Just went through this with my 2000 f-250 with a 7.3 diesel. When I got is I was disappointed but the more I drive it the more I like it. I kind of had to learn what the truck likes and how it tows. Like when I hit the bottom of a hill I just start to get into it a little to get the turbo spooled up and it carries the momentum alot better than just holding the pedal steady and waiting for the load of the hill to spool the turbo. Just like my 03 f-150 I used to have to get a run at that hill to go over the top at a decent speed. The more you drive it the more you will see how much better the new truck is. Wait till you get behind someone pulling a similar trailer and start climbing a hill together you will see then how your truck pulls.

I got a chance today on a small what we call hill in Michigan to run with a older dodge he was pulling a similar trailer about a 26 footer I was behind him going up the hill about 67mph I had been following him for about 2 miles at this speed. Then about half way up the hill he started to loose speed I moved over to the passing lane and went on by him (not that it was a race or anything but we were both lugging up the hill) after about a 1/2 mile I was about 5 lengths ahead of him going over the top.

#6 User is offline   wolverine 

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 08:52 PM

I just traded my 99 Suburban in on a 2007 1500HD Crew Cab 6.0L with a 4 speed transmission and 3.73 gears. I weighed my 21RS before I bought the truck and it weighed 6,000 lbs loaded. We just got back from Cedar Point and I was impressed with the power after I drove it a while. I ran 65 mph to 70 mph throughout the trip except a couple of times when I had to catch my brother-in-law in his Duramax after going through a toll booth. I used to struggle to go 60 mph to 65 mph with my Suburban. I averaged 8.5 mpg which was about the same as my Suburban. If I had a trailer that weighed close to 8,000 lbs, I would have bought a diesel.

There was a guy who pulled into the Cedar Point Campground pulling a huge 5th wheel (3 slides and weighed 10,000 lbs dry) with a 2010 2500HD Crew Cab with a 6.0L. I am sure he was well over the gcvwr. He came from Iowa and said it struggled a little pulling the trailer.
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#7 User is offline   Justman 

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 09:17 PM

Believe this is a common sentiment shared often with people moving up to the 6.0 liter from a 5.3 or 4.7 engine. Gear ratio helps some, but it's not a cure-all. When I got the Silverado, I was probably expecting more than I should have. After towing the first time, I was initially disappointed. However, the first time I climbed an on-ramp with trailer in tow, I hit the gas and the truck pushed me back in my seat. I wasn't expecting it to have that much power climbing a hill while towing our trailer.

Imagine you'll get used to it after a while. Bottom line is that you have a more than adequate tow vehicle that meets your needs...and it's much more capable than your Yukon. Enjoy it!
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#8 User is offline   RWRiley 

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 06:47 AM

View Postwolverine, on 15 August 2010 - 09:52 PM, said:

There was a guy who pulled into the Cedar Point Campground pulling a huge 5th wheel (3 slides and weighed 10,000 lbs dry) with a 2010 2500HD Crew Cab with a 6.0L. I am sure he was well over the gcvwr. He came from Iowa and said it struggled a little pulling the trailer.


When I bought the truck, I bought it with a possible 5'ver in mind. The truck is rated to pull 14,100lbs (5'ver) according to the specs. So I figured something around 10,000lbs would be well within the capability of the truck if I decided to go that way at some point. So - the truck does an OK job of pulling my 7,000lbs TT, but I believe the truck would have a real hard time with a 10,000lb 5'ver. The comment from the quote above makes me believe that even more.

Thanks for all the feedback. I think the comment about using the 'seat of my pants' to gauge the old truck vs the new truck is also correct. Pretty hard to tell without having them side by side.

Rich

#9 User is offline   Duanesz 

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 10:52 AM

I kind of wonder some times about weight and pulling. I bet if you hooked up a 6000lb trailer to your truck and then hooked up a 8000lb trailer you would not notice much difference. I think its the frontal area that hurts you when moving down the road. I sure the extra 2000lbs you would feel just at the start but rolling down the road not that much difference.

#10 User is offline   Nathan 

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 11:30 AM

pickuptrucks.com jsut finihsed their truck shootout. It has all sorts of crazy tests. Maybe not all real world (drag racing up hill with 10,000 lbs on the back), but they do a decent job of comparing the trucks. You can also see what the Diesel would have given you too.... :whistling:

Notice that their trailers didn't have a big frontal area, so your results may vary. wink_smile

Heavy Duty Shootout
Nathan
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#11 User is offline   KevinSR 

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 11:30 AM

I had the same thing when pulling a 23' TT with my Avalanche (only has a 350 W/ 3:73) until I put a performance Exhaust (Corsa) and a Cold Air Intake. What a difference that made. We go camping in the Adirondacks and one hill on the way there I could never get above 40-45 and our friends would pass laughing. This year I was able to put my foot down and could do 60 - 65 up it no problem, could have gone faster. I was pleasantly Surprised. No more putting my Foot down and hearing it gasping for Air! The exhaust is a little Louder then I was expecting, but only bad when pulling up a hill like that (cant really hear DW or kids talking at that moment). I enjoy the sound most of the time, it is not much louder then Stock when at idle so I don't make too much noise at home or in the Campgrounds. in fact it is still quieter then my Brothers Duramax. I know it is a shame to Modify a new Truck and spend ~$1000 but I am really happy I did it. I am sure it would also Help your 6.0.
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#12 User is offline   Scoutr2 

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 11:39 AM

I have the 6.0L engine with 4:10 rear end in my 2007 truck and I am satisfied with the performance. At 70 mph, with the Tow/Haul Mode ON and the transmission in OD, I am running around 2600 rpm with my 29BHS hooked up (about the same weight as your trailer). I can't imagine why you would be pulling the rpm you are stating, unless you are not using OD (which is OK, with the Tow/Haul Mode ON).

We just finished a 2500 mile round trip to the Black Hills and back and I had no problems pulling my trailer up grades. I don't think I ever got below 60 mph on some of the steepest grades - but the tranny was down-shifted to third gear - which then put me in the 3500 rpm range. But it is a gas engine and doesn't have a diesel engine's torque at the lower rpm.

Fuel economy is another story. We averaged 8.3 mpg over the trip. On flat ground, the economy jumps to a whopping 9.3 mpg.

When we were on our last day on the road, my DW did some calculations, comparing the cost of our 8.3 mpg to a possible 13 mpg with a diesel, and we would have saved about $150 in fuel on that trip alone. I would have to take a LOT of trips with that savings to make up for the $8000 diffence I would have paid for the Duramax/Allison option. I drove both models when I bought new, and surely would have liked to have the diesel, but I could not justify the extra expense - other than it would be really cool. That's a lot of money for "really cool." If I towed more often, and/or if I lived somewhere where the majority of my towing is in the mountains, then I might have decided differently. But living here in central Illinois, and with most of my trips being of the weekend getaway variety, I went with the gasser.

Just my thinking, though.

Mike
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#13 User is offline   rsm7 

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 01:15 PM

View PostDuanesz, on 16 August 2010 - 11:52 AM, said:

I kind of wonder some times about weight and pulling. I bet if you hooked up a 6000lb trailer to your truck and then hooked up a 8000lb trailer you would not notice much difference. I think its the frontal area that hurts you when moving down the road. I sure the extra 2000lbs you would feel just at the start but rolling down the road not that much difference.


You're right Duane. The difference is marginal. In the big truck sometimes I'm 50-60000 and sometimes I'm 70-80000 and there's not alot of difference in feel. I can tell the difference but a newbie wouldn't know. However your equipment does know and you will wear out suspensions, axles, and drivetrains by exceeding the limits. Plus your safety things like roll factors etc change with more weight.

P.S. Like I stated earlier its on hills where you can really tell as the weight will affect your speed up the hill.
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#14 User is offline   RWRiley 

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 07:06 PM

View PostNathan, on 16 August 2010 - 12:30 PM, said:

pickuptrucks.com jsut finihsed their truck shootout. It has all sorts of crazy tests. Maybe not all real world (drag racing up hill with 10,000 lbs on the back), but they do a decent job of comparing the trucks. You can also see what the Diesel would have given you too.... :whistling:

Notice that their trailers didn't have a big frontal area, so your results may vary. wink_smile

Heavy Duty Shootout


Great comparision. You should get that Shoot-Out pinned - I bet others would like to see.

I went through it pretty close, and I actually feel better about my truck. Given the results of the shoot-out, I believe I made the right decision for my situation. It was really nice that they were testing with my EXACT truck.

Thanks to all who responded.

Rich

#15 User is offline   duggy 

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 08:45 PM

View PostDuanesz, on 16 August 2010 - 11:52 AM, said:

I kind of wonder some times about weight and pulling. I bet if you hooked up a 6000lb trailer to your truck and then hooked up a 8000lb trailer you would not notice much difference. I think its the frontal area that hurts you when moving down the road. I sure the extra 2000lbs you would feel just at the start but rolling down the road not that much difference.


I know from personal experience that the frontal area of a travel trailer has a huge impact on the difficulty of towing. I used to tow my 5000 lb, 26' boat with my 4.3 V6. It was about 600 lbs over tow capacity, but I only was taking it about 5 miles to the launch ramp.
When I got my 3300 lb travel trailer, I was amazed at how much more difficult it was to maintain 60 mph, compared to the heavier, but more aerodynamic, boat.
When we got the new Outback, weighing 5800 dry, we still had to tow with the 4.3 for about a month until the new 6.0 litre came in. Although I know it was overworking the drive train, it really wasn't that much different than the lighter travel trailer.

My new 2010 Express van has the 6.0 with the six speed tranny, and while it shifts a little more than I expected, it has no trouble getting up to speed, or maintaining speed going up hills. A little more commotion than older engines with more bottom end, but plenty of power when the revs are up.

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