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Noob to Truck, Towing questions

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  • Noob to Truck, Towing questions

    I also posted in the Ford forum, I hope a cross-post is ok since I don't have my heart set on a Ford or GM/Chevy...

    We've been using a parent's truck when we tow our 5th wheel, but we're going to be losing access to it so now I'm in the (Utah) market for a Bi-fuel truck... Would you all mind helping me with a few Q&A please?

    The 5th wheel is 36' with the following factory specs:
    Unloaded Dry Weight: 9216 lbs
    Hitch Dry Weight: 2040
    GVWR: 12192
    Additionally, it can be filled with up to 46 gallons of Fresh Water, so best to plan on that weight and 4 adult passengers in the truck.

    My questions if you can help me, please:

    1. What models can correctly and safely tow the above? We will also occasionally add a trailer with a couple ATV's behind the 5th wheel, so I really do need some "extra overhead capacity". I am absolutely not looking to burn out a transmission or something by trying to get by with something that "could" get the job done but isn't designed for it.

    2. Are there model years to try to prefer and avoid because of known issues? I don't want to throw away money just to get a newer model year, but I'm not afraid to buy a newer model to keep away from problems known to be common in older models.

    3. Are there any expensive parts I really ought to have checked out before purchasing a vehicle? In the Ford forum they mention the Compuvalve on F-Series trucks, don't know if there is a Chevy equivalent. Are there any other tips to keep in mind when looking at a vehicle?

    4. Does the factory warranty cover everything or are Chevy/GM trucks aftermarket conversions? What model year/mileage would still have a warranty on the Compuvalve or other expensive items?

    5. Anything else I'm too noob to think to ask, feel free to comment thanks!

  • #2
    Re: Noob to Truck, Towing questions

    avoid trans problems ford or chevy buy a standerd shift hopfuly a 5 spd as a standerd dosnt build heat on long pulls and will hold back much better on down grades and make sure that your second trailer has working brakes as it will push the whole mess into a pile of junk if you are going to pull two trailers I would not get less than a 1 ton truck keep in mind you will be grossing over 20000 pounds with truck and two trailers so I would buy lots of cubic inchs happy travels cowboy


    • #3
      Re: Noob to Truck, Towing questions

      I would 2nd the 1 ton class truck. I would also recomend a diesel. They really do tow nice. The newer auto transmissions do a good job - but make sure you have a real temperature guage. I love mine, it downshifts automatically going down hill as well to help regulate your downhill speed.

      The only factory bi-fuels I am aware of was the F150 - But, I really don't think it is enough truck for even just your 5th wheel.


      • #4
        Re: Noob to Truck, Towing questions

        You may want to look at the 2000 Chevy 1 ton. It was made as a bi-fuel. The system is very similiar if not the same as the Cavalier (HPR, LPR, Gass Mass Sensor, etc.) I believe they came with a 10 GGE tank. I have seen a few for sale on Craigslist. If you want to test drive one, I can hook you up with someone who owns one.
        Mountain Green, Utah
        2003 CNG Cavalier
        2003 CNG Silverado 2500HD


        • #5
          Re: Noob to Truck, Towing questions

          When I tow with my factory bi-fuel GMC Sierra it really sucks down the CNG while under load, probably in the area of 5-6 MPG. The power loss versus gasoline is a huge minus also.
          I now always tow on gas, I get at least twice the mileage with a lot more pulling power.

          For what you're looking to do with your truck, I too would recommend a diesel.
          2003 GMC Sierra K2500 ex-cab, factory bi-fuel