Trucks & Trailers - 1500 or HD?

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View Full Version : 1500 or HD?

03-03-2011, 03:01 PM
Anyone have some recent experience towing with the Silverado 1500 (maxed out) or the 2500HD?

Figure 7K of boat (with trailer, fuel, and some overhead).

I know the HD is the way to go, but it's more than I want to spend and is more truck than I need 9 days out of 10.

Figure 80% of my towing is 25 miles or less each way, most of the rest of 75 miles or less each way, and maybe once a year a long drive, 500 miles (and that's not for certain).

The 1500 is rated at 10K (roughly, properly equipped). My last vehicle was rated at 5K and suffered mightily pulling 3500lbs. I don't want that same experience. Nor do I want to go...overboard.

Anyone pulling a similar sized rig with a (newer) 1500?

Thanks for your input!

03-03-2011, 03:11 PM
Do they still make an "HD" version of the 1500? I have an old body style K1500 HD and it is really a beast. 5 leaf springs instead of 3 definitely makes a difference as far as payload. I have yet to load anything in the bed of the truck and squat the rear very much. If they offer an HD 1500 go that route, with the 6 liter if available. I park next to newer 1500's all the time and just am dumbfounded at how little is under that pretty new sheet metal.

03-03-2011, 03:35 PM
One of my friends tows a 30' Sutphen on a tripple axle trailer with a crew cab 1500 with the 6.2 no problems, stops well also. The drivetrain with the 6.2 is pretty stout on the 1500s.

03-03-2011, 03:43 PM
I have a 05' 2500hd and tow my 31 contender with it. Gas engine has done just fine for me in the last 2 years. I have put over 5K miles towing my 31' contender and it is all that I need. Never weighed the contender and the trailer so no Idea as to the weight loaded the way I trailer it. I have pulled it a few times short trips(less than 10 miles) fully loaded and had no issues. Most of the towing has been with a light fuel load and no ice and tackle.

fish factory
03-03-2011, 04:27 PM
Figure 7K of boat (with trailer, fuel, and some overhead).

Anyone pulling a similar sized rig with a (newer) 1500?

Thanks for your input!

I'm in the same "boat" as you, except I tow 2000mi (MOL) twice a year at 70-75 mph. The rest of the time, my K-1500 is empty. I would not trade
the smooth, quiet and economical ride for the extra towing capacity of a K-2500 if it were an even swap.

03-03-2011, 04:30 PM
the 1500 will do what you need. For the longer trips, just make sure the brakes on the trailer are up to par. It's not geting the load rolling, it's getting it stopped. If you need, go to weight dist on the hitch.

03-03-2011, 05:34 PM
My boat and trailer weigh 7700 lbs and I tow it with an 07 4wd GMC Sierra 1/2 ton w/ the 5.3 engine. It tows it pretty damn good and stops it just as good. I know it's back there but the truck never feels unstable whether it's on the interstate or around town.

03-04-2011, 05:46 AM
Thanks, all of you.

Sounds like I'm good to go with the 1500 - not a single naysayer!

03-05-2011, 12:07 PM
I have a 2002 Chevy Crew Cab 1500 HD they do still make them but most of the time u have to order the truck from the lot, the 6.0 that is in my truck is a monster and the truck pulls great i have a 25ft sea pro wa wiht a tandon trailer it pulls it good, yes a 2500 with a duramax would pull better but the price of one of them monsters is out of the roof, my 1500hd really opens up with a load on it, as far as gas milage well this mit turn you off a lil but i drove 120 mile on 3/4 tank of gas (25gal tank) at anywhere for 70 mph to 50 mph with a lil stop and go in there to, as far as no complants on the Chevy 1500HD on my side

03-06-2011, 01:36 AM
I have a 2500hd gasser now. I had a 2002 1500 with the small V-8 If I remember right it was a 4.8 liter. I was towing right around 6k most of the time. The 1500 would do just fine for local towing but it was terrible on the highway. The fuel mileage was terrible and it constantly hunt for the right gear.
The 2500hd towing the same weight is night and day different. The nice thing if you buy a 2500 now you can upsize your boat without worrying about your tow vehicle.If you are buying a new one I would stay away from the smaller v-8.

03-06-2011, 05:00 AM
I was in the exact same boat as you a couple months ago. I think the 6.2 gasser will do fine, but the 2500 will be better. My 1500 5.3 did ok towing, but was concerned of the longevity so I found a very nice used 2500 Duramax and now would never go back. 13 mpg towing verses 8 in the gasser.:thumbsup:

Good luck!

03-06-2011, 11:10 AM
I pull a 27 Albemarle 50 miles a couple of times a year with a 1500 z71 crew cab (not HD). It's not a problem. A lot of guys are pussies when it comes to their trucks. Just hook it up and pull it.

03-06-2011, 04:45 PM
Hook that 27' up to my 1500 with that small v-8 and you aint going anywhere in a hurry . I can guarantee you that. Your Z71 has the 5.2 in it and there is a big difference.

03-06-2011, 05:58 PM
IMO, The way you describe your situation, the 1500 is the right truck. Make sure you get the 5.3 or 6.2 with the towing package and 6 speed. Remember the gas small blocks like to rev- they were made to it wont hurt them.

03-07-2011, 03:36 PM
I pull a 27 Albemarle 50 miles a couple of times a year with a 1500 z71 crew cab (not HD). It's not a problem. A lot of guys are pussies when it comes to their trucks. Just hook it up and pull it.

Yea right!:roll and screams the whole time.

My 2008 5.3 GMC Z71 could pull my 22' ftr, but it was just about at its max. Now my 2500 HD can pull mine, yours and then some.:trout:

03-09-2011, 10:53 AM
As the current owner of a new style Sierra with the 5.3 flex fuel motor, I agree with other comments - for what you are going to do it'll be ok. The motor is going to be working and so is the tranny but who cares. If you were going to regularly tow long distances at that weight I'd say get the HD - but once in awhile, short distances, the 1/2 ton will be adequate. I did have a 2002 2500HD before my current 1/2 ton and it towed great, it was also rougher riding and the gas mileage sucked even worse than my 5.3 (I had the 6.0). That's why I went with the 1500.

03-09-2011, 02:25 PM
1500 all the way. better ride, better mpg. and if you "need" more payload get 2500 springs they fit right in. Did it to my 1500 and got the best of both worlds. 1500HD is a joke to me. Being just a 2500hd with a weaker frame. 6.0 is a gas hog and with rising prices you will shoot yourself. 7k is nothing with it distributed right and trailer brakes. I pull a 10k combined weight of trailer and JD tractor ~25 miles a week. No problems with pulling even with a 4.8 and tow gears and great trailer brakes.

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