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Old February 22nd, 2010, 10:25 PM   #41
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My truck (above) is a 1997 1/2 ton with a 350 and 4L60E. It was downright scary towing in factory form. First thing I did was add the WD hitch. It helped, but was not enough. Then came air bags. They made a HUGE difference. Then the trans upgrades - +3 aluminum pan, extra cooler with e-fan, transgo shift kit, synthetic fluid, and trans temp gauge. That kept the trans shifting firmer under load and much cooler - always 100 over ambient except in SERIOUS hills that even made the diesels get hot. The next culprit was stopping. The Tekonsha Prodigy is an awesome brake controller - highly recommended. Brakes on BOTH trailer axles are required. I put expensive brake pads on the front of my truck and it did not help at all. I put new brakes on the back, and got in the habit of adjusting them before every time I towed. I helped some, but they still sucked. My friend tells me the larger, 12-bolt Suburban axles stop a lot better than my 10 bolt does. Also very important is a stock size tire, in a higher load range. I went with C and the "drifting" I was experiencing went away. I also did synthetic fluids all throughout the truck. Power in my truck is adequate. Unfortunately, the way I have to get up the larger hills is in 2nd gear, which mean 3000 RPM at 50 MPH. 3rd gear just won't pull the load. The real serious problem is stopping. Its scary. I'm talking both feet on the pedal, and it hitting the floor, and grabbing the brake controller, and still being worried sometimes.

I made 3 trips to Harlan, KY, several to Silver Lake, a few to Badlands, and one to Rausch Creek, PA. The PA trip is what really broke me. The Midwest flatlands are fine, but once you get into the hills, it gets worse in a big hurry.

Also doesn't help that I have a heavy rig. Probably close to 8000# truck, trailer, gear, and two quads. I'm sure somebody with a light rig like a Jeep would not have near the problems I did.

I always drove VERY carefully and treated the truck like it was made of glass. Accelerated slowly, went easy on the throttle. I never beat on it. Always looked WAY ahead to plan ahead to stop. My truck now has 165,000 miles on the original trans and engine, and both are still working flawlessly. I'm sure if I drove it hard, I could have burnt it up.

If anybody has any more questions, let me know.
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 10:59 PM   #42
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I drive a 2006 F-150 5.4L 3:73 airbags and brake controller. Works just fine, but if i could do things over I'd go 3/4 ton with a Powerstroke. hi chris
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Old February 23rd, 2010, 01:08 AM   #43
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Quote:
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I can tell you a lot about 1/2 ton towing. It sucks, even when you put $2000 in aftermarket parts on the truck. Buy a diesel, it makes for a much more enjoyable experience!
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I'm in the market for a 2007+ GMC 1500 pickup. I DO NOT want a 3/4 ton truck, so let's not go there.

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Old February 23rd, 2010, 09:28 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knaffie View Post
My truck (above) is a 1997 1/2 ton with a 350 and 4L60E. It was downright scary towing in factory form. First thing I did was add the WD hitch. It helped, but was not enough. Then came air bags. They made a HUGE difference. Then the trans upgrades - +3 aluminum pan, extra cooler with e-fan, transgo shift kit, synthetic fluid, and trans temp gauge. That kept the trans shifting firmer under load and much cooler - always 100 over ambient except in SERIOUS hills that even made the diesels get hot. The next culprit was stopping. The Tekonsha Prodigy is an awesome brake controller - highly recommended. Brakes on BOTH trailer axles are required. I put expensive brake pads on the front of my truck and it did not help at all. I put new brakes on the back, and got in the habit of adjusting them before every time I towed. I helped some, but they still sucked. My friend tells me the larger, 12-bolt Suburban axles stop a lot better than my 10 bolt does. Also very important is a stock size tire, in a higher load range. I went with C and the "drifting" I was experiencing went away. I also did synthetic fluids all throughout the truck. Power in my truck is adequate. Unfortunately, the way I have to get up the larger hills is in 2nd gear, which mean 3000 RPM at 50 MPH. 3rd gear just won't pull the load. The real serious problem is stopping. Its scary. I'm talking both feet on the pedal, and it hitting the floor, and grabbing the brake controller, and still being worried sometimes.

I made 3 trips to Harlan, KY, several to Silver Lake, a few to Badlands, and one to Rausch Creek, PA. The PA trip is what really broke me. The Midwest flatlands are fine, but once you get into the hills, it gets worse in a big hurry.

Also doesn't help that I have a heavy rig. Probably close to 8000# truck, trailer, gear, and two quads. I'm sure somebody with a light rig like a Jeep would not have near the problems I did.

I always drove VERY carefully and treated the truck like it was made of glass. Accelerated slowly, went easy on the throttle. I never beat on it. Always looked WAY ahead to plan ahead to stop. My truck now has 165,000 miles on the original trans and engine, and both are still working flawlessly. I'm sure if I drove it hard, I could have burnt it up.

If anybody has any more questions, let me know.

Have you ever actually weighed your setup? I would bet you're closer to 10k then 8k but even at 8k pounds your problem isn't that you're towing with a 1/2 ton, your problem is that you're way the fukc overloading it.
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Old March 21st, 2010, 08:22 PM   #45
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So I had my 35's pulled off the truck and went back to a stock 265/70 R17 tire with a highway type tread.
I also picked this up today.

And orderd these from Amazon.

I will have less than $120.00 into this setup.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 02:43 PM   #46
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Stock tire size will help a lot with the power to get the load going and keep it going. The smaller tires will cause you to rev just a litlte higher, but the reduction in rolling mass, resistance to rolling, and better leverage point to the ground will allow your truck to be a lot happier hauling.

I used to tow with a 1/2 ton blazer with the 6.5 turbo diesel and never had any issues. From hauling my jeep and popup on my 20' car trailer, to a 3/4 diesel burb on the car trailer, to a 12,000# Dump trailer, to a 32' sea ray sundancer, it always did well. The sea ray was a little scary, but I am not 100% comfortable hauling it with my 3/4 ton crew duramax either or my buddies topkick... just don't like hauling that much down the road held on with one 3/8" cable on the bow.

With all of the trailer except the boat I used a WD hitch, and it made a WORLD of a difference and the 6.5 Turbo had GREAT power to tow.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 02:45 PM   #47
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Yeah, well things change.
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Old March 24th, 2010, 05:26 PM   #48
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So I recieved my parts today and have everything set up now

This is nothing like my old tires but this truck is now my tow rig not my toy.



The WD hitch did make a difference today. But I would like to get a Drop Reciever to level the trailer out a bit more.
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Old March 24th, 2010, 05:34 PM   #49
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I would recommend you put a sway bar on there too. If a semi passes you too fast, or you get into a strong wind, you'll be wishing you had one. They make a big difference.

Your safety chains look suspect to me. I've only seen those type of chain links on little ornamental type chains. ???? For $20, you can get a set rated for like 10,000 pounds.

Also watch out for the fender-less trailer. I've been pulled over a few times for mine. Making fenders is on the list this year for me!
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Old March 24th, 2010, 05:52 PM   #50
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I would recommend you put a sway bar on there too. If a semi passes you too fast, or you get into a strong wind, you'll be wishing you had one. They make a big difference.

Your safety chains look suspect to me. I've only seen those type of chain links on little ornamental type chains. ???? For $20, you can get a set rated for like 10,000 pounds.

Also watch out for the fender-less trailer. I've been pulled over a few times for mine. Making fenders is on the list this year for me!
I think I will get some new chains, and at some point maybe an anti sway bar I am going to see how this set up feels. Im sure it will be better than no WD hitch and the 35" tires I had before. And thanks for the heads up on the fenders I did not know that was law
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Old March 24th, 2010, 06:31 PM   #51
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You need a 3/4 ton truck and do yourself a favor, do not by gas get the diesel. Just switched to diesel and there really is no comparison. And, for Christ sakes please put a REAL SAFETY chain on that thing. That thing is for locking up your small dog.............
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Old March 24th, 2010, 08:06 PM   #52
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x2 on the new safety chain. that one is scary.
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Old March 24th, 2010, 08:39 PM   #53
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here is my set up, and by mine I mean as long as I don't finish my dads commanchee, I use his truck

our travel trailer


headed to drummond with a weeks worth of gear and what not, jeep was a little further foward than normal, but was alright.
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Old March 24th, 2010, 09:14 PM   #54
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I found sway bars to be trailer dependant. I had a 24' enclosed and had terrible sway. I now have a 20' enclosed and I never use the sway bar.
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Old March 25th, 2010, 09:56 AM   #55
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New Chains

10,800 lbs strength
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Old March 26th, 2010, 02:14 PM   #56
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Those new chains look much better. Your old ones were smaller then what I have on my 10' aluminum snowmobile trailer.
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Old April 13th, 2010, 09:58 PM   #57
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!!

I just noticed, your rears are tickling the limit of stock size E rated tires! Guess I wont be going to D tires on my SD after all
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Old April 29th, 2010, 01:10 PM   #58
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nice
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Old April 29th, 2010, 04:11 PM   #59
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what price would u take 4 it
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Old April 29th, 2010, 08:50 PM   #60
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Quote:
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!!

I just noticed, your rears are tickling the limit of stock size E rated tires! Guess I wont be going to D tires on my SD after all
im running a toyo open country at's in 305/70/16. they are rated at 3540lbs at 65 psi e range. i messed up, i should have got the 285's they are rated at 3750lbs at 80psi. i got around 40k on them they have about 25% tread left. i will get new ones b4 winter. my factory aluminium wheels are rated at
3600 lbs per wheel. ive seen a few tires in 17 and 18 inch sizes rated over 4k per tire.

on the super duty, the difference between the 3/4 ton and one ton is tires and wheels. same frame, brakes, axles, springs, shocks, ect...
i figure im ok at the one tons ratings. im good on axle ratings, gvcw, and tire ratings. gvw im over though. ive been heavier than on that ticket, thats about average. if i really go on a diet i could get down to about 14,800. to test the hitch i really loaded it up and tried to rip it off. seems pretty sturdy.

go E range all the way!!! unless you can afford vision wheels in 19.5 size with g range tires. its a common swap in the truck camper crowd.

Last edited by joe_jeep; April 29th, 2010 at 08:57 PM.
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