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I have a friend that absolutely loves my PSD and 5er set up, so he went out and bought *something similar* and has asked me for help. He bought a 2005 Duramax 2500 with the Allison tranny, 4 door, 6.5 foot bed, split seats, and way to quiet:teaseinside and out as it was *just like* my PSD Supercab Longbed Ford. He then went out and purchased a 2004 Sunnybrook 28.5 5er with a GVWR of 16,000 pounds. Since his truck has not been set up for towing a 5er he asked me to pick up his new trailer with my PSD. My 5er GVRW is 9,000#s, but this one seems to pull almost as easily:cool with it 16 inch tires and its profile.
Here is where I need help (things that have to be done vrs nice options for the future)...I know almost nothing about the Duramax other than everyone seems to love them if they own them. What does he need to do to this truck before he starts hauling seriously (which will be next Spring)??? I have looked at a Reese 18K Slider that is available locally and a Valley (Husket) 16K Slider that is also available locally. I live in Alaska and shipping can get spindy quick. Good choices? Something else that might be available in Los Anchorage???
I have price a Prodigy, P-3, and a Husky Excursion brake controllers. Any comments? Any special problems that I might run into with the GM wiring? Special tricks? Feelings on the Prodigy vrs the P3, seems that the retailer thought the P# was mostly gimmicky.
Does he *need* air bags for this heavy a weight, or is that something he can wait for? Are the stock shocks okay if they are firm now? Is there anything that needs to be done to the air intake or exhaust system?
I see that it has a computerized dash board and there is an actually tranny gauge. Is this gauge accurate or is an aftermarket preferred? Is there some sort of manual that he can get (maybe on line) that tells him what the functions of this dash board computer has, how to re set things, and other things about it?
Do most of you haulers use a chip or programmer? I use a 4 position chip on my PSD and wouldn't be without it.
What do you do about the tiny 26 gallon fuel tank? In bed auxillary? Replace with a larger? Carry fuel cans with you? If there are replaceements other than Transfer Flow, can you send me any links/URLs???
Any recommendations on how to use the tranny for towing? I would guess in the flat country you can use CC. In the hills push the tow button when going up and down hills. Double tap the brakes to have the back pressure brake work. Do you ever need to manually downshift on steep hills?
Lastly, is this to much trailer for this 2500???
Lots of questions, and I look forward to hearing the answers:gearjamin
 

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I have looked at a Reese 18K Slider that is available locally and a Valley (Husket) 16K Slider that is also available locally. I live in Alaska and shipping can get spindy quick. Good choices? Something else that might be available in Los Anchorage???

>> Go with the Reese 18K (if the trailer is really 16,000# GVWR).


I have price a Prodigy, P-3, and a Husky Excursion brake controllers. Any comments? Any special problems that I might run into with the GM wiring? Special tricks? Feelings on the Prodigy vrs the P3, seems that the retailer thought the P# was mostly gimmicky.

>> Go with the Prodigy, and also get the GM wiring harness; plugs right into the fuse block under the dash. No other wiring concerns ... just plug&play, simple as that. Just did mine last month; works perfectly immediately.


Does he *need* air bags for this heavy a weight, or is that something he can wait for?

>> Don't think so; I tow a 5er (29.5') with no problems, but depends on his pin weight.


Are the stock shocks okay if they are firm now?

>> Here he would be advised to install stiffer aftermarket shocks. I installed Monroe Reflex, but from what I read here, Bilsteins seem to be the most popular. I didn't want them quite that firm. I find the Reflex very good for my purposes ... do no off-roading.


Is there anything that needs to be done to the air intake or exhaust system?

>> Need and want are the 2 decisions ... don't really need to unless he experiences overheating. There are numerous threads here on the DMax overheat problems, and being resolved by installing a better CAI.


I see that it has a computerized dash board and there is an actually tranny gauge. Is this gauge accurate or is an aftermarket preferred?

>> The gauge is fairly accurate; it would be nice to see actual numbers.


Is there some sort of manual that he can get (maybe on line) that tells him what the functions of this dash board computer has, how to re set things, and other things about it?

>> Should be in the truck's Owners/Operators Manual. If he didn't get it with the truck, he should order one from the local GM dealer; lots of good info in it.


Do most of you haulers use a chip or programmer? I use a 4 position chip on my PSD and wouldn't be without it.

>> I installed a Hypertech Power Programmer III; has 3 power settings all of which are safe for towing. That was the reason I went for it ... safety for towing. And I have run it on both #2 and #3 going over the mtns into CA from Canada, also in the Rockies here in BC. Works great.


What do you do about the tiny 26 gallon fuel tank? In bed auxillary? Replace with a larger? Carry fuel cans with you? If there are replaceements other than Transfer Flow, can you send me any links/URLs???

>> Stop often to refuel. But then what's the rush?? It's good to take a break every 3 hrs or so.


Any recommendations on how to use the tranny for towing? I would guess in the flat country you can use CC. In the hills push the tow button when going up and down hills. Double tap the brakes to have the back pressure brake work. Do you ever need to manually downshift on steep hills?

>> Use the Tow/Haul mode when towing in the hills or in town. Release it on flat roads. It works great going down hills; the downshift is really useful. I will downshift going up hills to keep the tranny in that gear; prevents overheating.


Lastly, is this to much trailer for this 2500???

>> No, the truck should handle it just fine.


Lots of questions, and I look forward to hearing the answers:gearjamin

Good luck.
Harry
 

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good ?'s,i would recommend doing a exhaust,CAI and programmer but it is not a must just if you want to increase your hp and fuel economy a little.First CAI=S&B,Volant,AFE,Amsoil and Banks.Exhaust=Silverline and MBRP and i would do the 4" Turbo back but if he wants to keep the cat do the cat back system.Programmer=the best for the dollar is the Diablo and Hypertech but the best is the PPE or EFILive...other then that hual away.air bags are the cats meow but you can get by with the OEM suspension.
 

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I've been towing with my 2002 K3500 for two years now. The Duramax engine is now at 365HP,(mine's 300). I tow a 15,500# 5er with ease in the Rocky Mountains, stock. No aftermarket gauges are needed if he leaves the engine alone(stock). To learn about the Allison A/T read: Frequently Asked Questions: Service: Allison Transmission this is an Allison FAQ page that has practically every question and answer imagineable. This Allison transmission will withstand about 70 HP more than a stock Duramax; more HP may cause the computer to put it in limp mode, because of slipping. The factory shocks are designed for a comfortable ride, not heavy duty towing/hauling, and usually are worn-out at 20-25K miles. I suggest either Bilsteins or Monroe Rancho HD shocks, both have a lifetime warranty. He may need air-bags since he will be towing overweight.(Not a sound idea)
For experienced 5er towing responses I suggest visiting iRV2.com - RV information for all types of RV'ers. and post your questions. If you wish to use a 5th wheel to truck calculator, visit: Fifth Wheel Weight Calculator Just plug-in your numbers and it does the math. That calculator is accepted by the RV industry, has been around for many years, and now is computerized.
 
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