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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Any suggestions are most welcome...and apologies in advance for the long post...but didn't want to leave anything out.

My basic question for anyone that has experience and is towing on the heavy side are:
- would a Duramax 3500 drw climb the hills without overheating (I'm not looking to set any speed records)?
- would the overweight issue be the deciding factor?

I have a 5th wheel trailer that weighs between 17K and 17.5K lbs (Teton 36 ft). I'm currently towing it with a Volvo tractor and obviously no issues getting up and down the hills.

However, I'd like to move back into a pickup as the wife would like to get in and out easier etc...

I tow it about 5K miles per year. The Chevy appears to have a max 5th wheel tow weight of 16K lbs, the Ford 450 has a max 5th wheel tow weight of 20K lbs. So I'm legal with the Ford, and not with the Chevy. My preference however is with GM....the Ford motor and transmission concern me a bit.

Thanks for any advice,
Ted
 

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That is too much trailer for even the 3500HD. Do not tow while being overweight.

I would recommend either of these, depending upon your price range............

1)Hauler
2)Ford F450
 

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i live in Fl but i haul about 25k behind my o6 3500 srw reg cab, no overheating, no tranny problems, and good mpg. my friend runs hualing the same equipment behind a new 450 and i can leave him easily plus he gets 6-8 and i get 11-13. my only complaint in my chevy is on the srw you don't get extra overload spring on top but it still handles the load 100x's better my 2500hd with half the weight. anyway you look at it if your worried about dot then stay with a small rig. good luck
 

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There is no attitude in my post.......
No personal attack...........

Why tow overloaded ?

I mean is it this thing about look what my truck will do(ego)? There is nothing safe about it. Manufactors put ratings in place for reasons.

What if one were to be in a wreck because one couldn't get 20k+ stopped while one was "haulin' the mail" down the road ? Let's say one broadsided a wife and her daughter at a redlight and both were killed. Hypothetical......yes, but it happens. Not likely....one is chancing it.

Think about the legal ramifications of towing overweight and getting in an accident.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the thoughts...and your points are exactly what I've been trying to deal with---Duramax has a solid reputation and can pull the load but being legal is going to be the way to go---

....ToddE...you hit it perfectly.

Thanks,
Ted
 

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I personally think that if you did some brake work to the truck and made sure that the trailer brakes are up to par Id be fine with 17k, Ive pulled 21k with my ctd and it went very well. That was without trailer brakes.
 

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i pulled a 1135 Massey tractor with the 140hp perkins turbo diesel here about 3 weeks ago on a 32ft goose neck trailer(i forget the name of the trailer seeing i borrowed it)and with the tractor weighing in at 13k empty and then the tires loaded and with 2 tanks of fuel it weighed roughly 16k and the trailer weighed 5k and my 05 DRW duramax handled it with ease allthough it was a bit scary seeing i couldn't get the trailer brakes to work..so what i'm trying to say is if you would rather run with the legal weight limmit buy a 4500 chevy kodiak with the duramax and the allison tranny and they get better fuel economy then the F-450 PSD but i wouldn't be scared to haul 15k to 30k with the 3500 duallys..
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Good thoughts. I think one of the things going in my favor is the trailer has 3 axles with electric over hydraulic brakes.....and they apply a great deal of stopping power....so that helps a lot.

Ted
 

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Haveing a tri axe will help alot, be kinda nice if you could figure out a way to borow a 3500 and hitch up and see how you like it. Its hard to ask you buddy if you can use his truck then tell him your going to tow 17k with it lol.
 

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I pull a 50' wedge trailer with my 3500 drw w/ 3 cars on it all the time. I can pull 19,000lbs of trailer and still be legal as far as I know. What most people don't consider is that when DOT weighs you your 17k trailer may only have 12k-14k on the trailer axles. As long as you have your truck licensed with the right combination weight you will be OK. The Duramax and Allison has no problem pulling this weight on hills and I have never had any problems with the tranny or engine getting even slightly hot. Just make sure you keep your trailer and truck brakes and brake controller in good working condition and drive with a little common sense and you will be fine.
 

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Its not so much pullin as it is the stopping :) I think you will be fine
 

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sorry if i came off rude but something i didn't mention is my trailer runs electric over hydraulic and with any weight you need to take extra care in checking all systems of your truck and trailer, stay off peoples tailgates and always be checking your mirrors for ways out out of trouble. like monster truck said if you get a truck to barrow with that settup try it and see if you feel safe with it
 

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I pull a 50' wedge trailer with my 3500 drw w/ 3 cars on it all the time. I can pull 19,000lbs of trailer and still be legal as far as I know. What most people don't consider is that when DOT weighs you your 17k trailer may only have 12k-14k on the trailer axles. As long as you have your truck licensed with the right combination weight you will be OK. The Duramax and Allison has no problem pulling this weight on hills and I have never had any problems with the tranny or engine getting even slightly hot. Just make sure you keep your trailer and truck brakes and brake controller in good working condition and drive with a little common sense and you will be fine.
Three cars??...are you Hotshot Hauling?
 

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Trailer weight calculator

I found this trailer loading/weight calculator that lets you get as detailed as you want when examining the capabilities of the tow vehicle. It is an excell spreadsheet and self explanatory to use.:confused: I am using it in my search for a 5th wheel toy hauler.

I tried to upload it without success but it can be found here RV and Tow Vehicle Weights there is a link at the bottom of the page titled Calculate Tow Vehicle / Trailer Weights Using This Excel Spreadsheet Demonstrator.
 

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im not real sure what your legal GCVWR in your states might be....but in kentucky with a farming license plate "farm tags" your allowed 32,001 lbs without cdl...heavy...but legal...i have been right at 32,000 lbs GCVWR...with my dually.....it pulled great..and stoped just fine.....
 

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I'll put in my two cents...

If you think about things from an engineering perspective, Everything on any truck is way overengineered. Think of a bridge, they say its safe to haul 20 tons on, but that doesn't mean if someone runs 21 tons on it, that it'll fall down. I'm sure the duramax is built to handle 25k-30k or more easy, but they rate it at 15-16k to cover their a$$es. It's common practice in any design. In engineering its called the factor of three or something like that. Build it so it can handle 3x its rated capability.

I'd say give it hell with the dmax dually. :rockin Its a GM, it'll handle it as long as the trailer brakes are up for a workout.
 

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ive seen people towing 45 foot toyhaulers to glamis with chevy 2500hds and f250s, they have to weight at least 17klbs... with toyhaulers in them, and a trailer with 3 slides...
 

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Obviously you have a Class A license. Now, the ramifications of towing over the GCWR of the truck. There is a question. I have a customer that runs an equipment business. He hauls a Case 580 Super M (IIRC) and he has his truck registered for 35K GCWR. It is over the manufacturer rating, but registered with the State DOT, so its legal. I would talk to your local Highway patrol or State Troopers about this to get an accurate answer on the legal side of this. The truck can handle it all day long, but you need to look at the legal side of things.
 

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This is what I would buy....They have big steps!

Kodiak C5500 :rockin
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The tough Chevy Kodiak C5500 has the power and versatility to work hard for your bottom line.

Now available as a 4x4 on Regular Cab and Crew Cab — which carries up to six adults comfortably
GVWRs: up to 26,000 lbs(1)
Engine choices include Vortec 8100 MD V8 gas engine or a DURAMAX™6600 turbo diesel engine
Standard automatic new vocational Allison transmission
Frame strength: up to 80,000 psi
One of the best turning diameters within classes 4 and 5 — for turns even tighter than most full-size pickups and some midsize cars(2)
Big windshield and sloped hood — for great visibility
Built to help reduce costs with easy maintenance and service — including an impressive warranty(3)
 

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Possible, but not recommended. I use to haul heavy just 'cause I could, but in retrospect it wasn't worth the damage I caused. I've torn out motor mounts, cracked bell housings, destroyed drive lines and taken out the rear end on my '72 1/2 ton 4X4. My last trip over Roger's Pass convinced me otherwise when the torque converter stalled and the engine sat there pinging. Thinking I was smart, I slid her into low range and took it over the top only to roast the brakes (even the trailer brakes) on the down hill side. My take home was 16,500 lbs of fire wood and a worn out pick-up. 25 years later I know better and fully appreciate dual rear wheels where there is a goose neck trailer in the picture.
Just MHO here...
 
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