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Unread 06-15-2010, 06:08 PM   #1
2005X
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2009 5.3L silverado 980 miles tow

headed to Colorado in July and i have 3 options: tow jeep out there, tow atv out there or drive toyota FJ out there. I've already done the toyota twice and i really want an open air feeling with the jeep in the mountains so im really debating on towing the jeep. i drive a 2009 silverado 5.3L with flowmaster exhaust. my jeep weighs in at 4500lbs, plus 2700lbs for the trailer and of course a family of 4 and luggage. i will be within the tow limits but of course it is alot for a gasser to drive 980 miles. the trailer is brad new with brakes on both axles and brake away kit so it will be fine. at 9mpg(estimate from other towing trips) im gonna need some gas money for sure. so on to the question. can my 5.3L handle the mountains of Colorado, mainly I70from Denver to Frisco. im also trying to get a figure on gas cost for the trip out therem i fugure 9mpg on a 27gal tank for 980 total miles one way should cost around $300???

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Unread 06-15-2010, 06:23 PM   #2
2005X
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BTW: it is also a 6spd auto
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Unread 06-15-2010, 06:37 PM   #3
99TJSahara
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I see no problem with it(I believe people underestimate 1/2 tons), as long as you have a good tranny cooler, fresh engine oil, and your cooling system is in good shape( it's an 09 so I suspect it is), I would have no problem doing it, the 5.3(as with all gassers towing) is gonna be thirsty, especially in the mountains, but it shouldn't have a problem.
Have fun
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Unread 06-16-2010, 07:05 AM   #4
2005X
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Originally Posted by 99TJSahara View Post
I see no problem with it(I believe people underestimate 1/2 tons), as long as you have a good tranny cooler, fresh engine oil, and your cooling system is in good shape( it's an 09 so I suspect it is), I would have no problem doing it, the 5.3(as with all gassers towing) is gonna be thirsty, especially in the mountains, but it shouldn't have a problem.
Have fun
thanks, now im trying to figure out if it will be economical to do this
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Unread 06-16-2010, 09:56 AM   #5
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When I figure gas out for towing on trips I double the amount I expect because who knows how thirsty the truck will be. When I towed a enclosed 6x12 for 1800 miles I was getting about 12mpg but that was with a dodge 1500 with the 5.7? that was lifted and not regeared. I would expect around 7-10mpg depending on how heavy a foot you have.
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Unread 06-16-2010, 11:04 AM   #6
2005X
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When I figure gas out for towing on trips I double the amount I expect because who knows how thirsty the truck will be. When I towed a enclosed 6x12 for 1800 miles I was getting about 12mpg but that was with a dodge 1500 with the 5.7? that was lifted and not regeared. I would expect around 7-10mpg depending on how heavy a foot you have.
first off i dont tow in cruise control, once at speed im consistant, but them again 980 miles is a long way to drive with no cruise control. Mo and KS are flat except you start going up in elevation once in middle MO and start gaing there after. i guess my biggest concern is from Denver on I70 to the Eisenhower Tunnel with those long grades
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Unread 06-16-2010, 11:20 AM   #7
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I would do it.
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Unread 06-16-2010, 11:20 AM   #8
elephantrider
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be sure you have a tranny cooler on that 1/2 ton.
i dont think most people under estimate the
1/2 tons, i think most people over estimate it and
think its a one ton. be careful out there towing,
and have fun.
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Unread 06-16-2010, 11:41 AM   #9
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truck has a tranny cooler, also has a tanny temp guage, also has a brake controller and one thing i noticed from this truck compared to my old titan is when in tow mode going down hill and you tap on the brake its almost like an engine brake, the engine revs yet the speed stays the same, then when you hit the gas again you are already where you need to be RPM wise to get going again
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Unread 06-18-2010, 05:52 PM   #10
thantos858
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first off i dont tow in cruise control, once at speed im consistant, but them again 980 miles is a long way to drive with no cruise control. Mo and KS are flat except you start going up in elevation once in middle MO and start gaing there after. i guess my biggest concern is from Denver on I70 to the Eisenhower Tunnel with those long grades
I am like you with the cruise control even more so on long trips because it gives you something to do so you don't fall asleep as easy. As for the I70 when I went over that I had no problems keeping up speed just make sure your in the right gear. Just make sure the truck has a complete tune up and is full of fluids before hitting the I70.
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Unread 06-18-2010, 07:39 PM   #11
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I am like you with the cruise control even more so on long trips because it gives you something to do so you don't fall asleep as easy. As for the I70 when I went over that I had no problems keeping up speed just make sure your in the right gear. Just make sure the truck has a complete tune up and is full of fluids before hitting the I70.
shouldnt be a problem, less than a year old so everything should be in good shape, i also have the option in the truck to manuel shift between 6 gears
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Unread 06-18-2010, 08:58 PM   #12
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Frisco's not too bad - you should be able to make that. Might have to slow down a smidge on the final ascent to the tunnel, but it happens.
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Unread 06-18-2010, 09:49 PM   #13
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For the past 6 years I have flat towed my jeep to Ouray Co.with a 2002 ford explorer with a 6 cyl. On the flats couldnt even tell the jeep was back there,on the passes it would really slow the explorer down but i never had any mechanical problems.I rarely used the cruise control,always serviced the explorer before the trip.The trip to Ouray is 550 miles one way for me.This year I have a brand new 09 z-71 chev tahoe to pull the jeep with.Anyway I think you shouldnt have any trouble towing with you 09 silverado.
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Unread 06-23-2010, 08:22 PM   #14
Jeepinty
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Been towing my TJ around Texas with my 2008 5.3 and it does well enough. I can squeeze about 10.5mpg out of it if I drive 65 but when I get around Kerrville it tends to drop off pretty bad. I don't have brakes on the trailer I've been using but it stops well enough until I get a new trailer.

Planning a moab trip from as deep in SE Texas as you can get going through the middle of Texas to pick up a buddy, estimating 3000 miles round trip and about $1k in gas. Good thing I have a 100,000 mile drivetrain warranty.......
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Unread 07-09-2010, 04:12 PM   #15
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No worries with that load. I'd figure a trip average of 9 to 11 mpg depending on speed and desire to run hard. I've got over 150K miles on my DD 06 5.3 silverado which has the old 4 speed auto and 3.42 gears and I'd hope in it tonight with that load and head that way without worry. I've towed plenty of jeeps on a 18' 10K lb car hauler without any worries for hundreds of miles non stop. Your truck will be right at the 7,000 lb GVW when your loaded with people and tongue weight so it won't be easy for the tail to wag with that weight. I will say once I dumped my P metric tires for BFG ATs in a D range I had zero sway and the truck handled night and day better.
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