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> New Tow Rig
trackbird
post Oct 2 2022, 05:50 PM
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After 7 glorious years, I finally retired my faithful 2015 SIlverado 1500. It was a 5.3 with crew cab and the electronic transfer case with the AWD option. We have been using it to tow our camper for about the last year and it did an admirable job overall. Sadly, the brakes were not up to the task and on more than one occasion I ran completely out of truck brakes and the trailer stopped the truck. That finally convinced me that it was time for an upgrade.

Last Monday, I drug home a new Silverado 3500 HD (Crew cab, short bed, 4x4/AWD, diesel with the 10 speed allison, 5th wheel/gooseneck prep, Z71 protection package, etc). I'm trying to put break in mileage on it before the next time I have to tow the camper, but so far I'm really impressed. It feels a lot larger than my last 3500, but it feels remarkably light on its feet with all that torque. GM was supposed to do a facelift and a power upgrade for the diesel in 2023, but they held it until 2024. I picked the truck up Monday, Tuesday I went to the chevrolet.com site and they are now "Introducing the 2024 Silverado HD". Awesome....

Despite that, I really like the truck and the facelift isn't really an improvement (I really think these trucks are rather ugly, but the chrome front end on mine is "less bad") and the diesel seems to have plenty of power so I'm not sure if I'll really care about the upgrade. Maybe I'll trade it in a few years....maybe I won't.

I've been trying to verify that the shocks didn't change between 2022 and 2023 so I can order Fox shocks for it. The OEM ranchos provide almost zero damping.

Also, I ordered the Advanced Trailering Package with the multiple camera views. However, you have to buy the "technology package" to get all of the camera views. So, I don't have the front bumper view (could be nice for parking) or the trailer side view cameras (that would be great for pulling around tight corners, etc). I'm a little irritated that the "Advanced Trailering Package" isn't the complete package unless you take lane departure warnings, parking assist, etc....all stuff I specifically didn't want.

So, be aware if you order one, check that stuff out. I ordered this one June 19th, give or take and got it last Monday. I hope I'm not sorry I bought a diesel.
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GCrites80s
post Oct 3 2022, 12:53 AM
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QUOTE (trackbird @ Oct 2 2022, 01:50 PM) *
I've been trying to verify that the shocks didn't change between 2022 and 2023 so I can order Fox shocks for it. The OEM ranchos provide almost zero damping.


Like the Recaros in the '82 Recaro Edition Trans Am, it sounds like they are "Ranchos in Name Only"
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trackbird
post Oct 3 2022, 01:58 AM
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QUOTE (GCrites80s @ Oct 2 2022, 08:53 PM) *
QUOTE (trackbird @ Oct 2 2022, 01:50 PM) *
I've been trying to verify that the shocks didn't change between 2022 and 2023 so I can order Fox shocks for it. The OEM ranchos provide almost zero damping.


Like the Recaros in the '82 Recaro Edition Trans Am, it sounds like they are "Ranchos in Name Only"


I've never had a Rancho shock that was worth a crap. I tried the adjustable 9000 XL Rancho shocks on my 2015 Silverado. They weren't very good and after a year or so they were pretty much junk. I put them back on the truck to trade it in and pulled the FOX shocks so I could find them a loving home.

I just ordered new FOX shocks for the 3500. Remote reservoir fronts and standard rears (they are out of the remote reservoir rears, but I'll order them and swap them later. The new truck feels like it has no shocks on it. The springs are stiff enough to settle it (or not act like drag springs and bounce it) but over bumps the front just bounces and the rear axle acts like a pogo stick across railroad tracks. The valving is all wrong and they just don't damp anything.
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CrashTestDummy
post Oct 3 2022, 02:28 PM
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Congrats! Seems to be the year for new vehicles.

Unless something goes horribly wrong with that particular model Duramax, you WON'T be disappointed! We're still enjoying our '02, and it was supposed to be the one with all the injector issues. The only problem we've had with it was the priming pump failed to prime after the last filter change, which necessitated a swap of the entire filter housing (not terribly expensive, nor a bad job, except that I kept futzing with trying to make the old one work and even attempted a rebuild kit which failed to fix the issue). I guess 20 years is about as long as they last. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/dry.gif)

The light lenses fogged as any 'good' cheesy plastic lens fogs, but the light assemblies, front and rear, were fairly cheap and easy to replace (and still available from GM!). They made the truck look new!

The factory shocks were the first thing we replaced on our truck. Strano, correction, Sam's Mom (it was that long ago) sent me a set of Bilstiens while we still had the paper tags on it. I did give the torsion bar adjusters a turn to keep the control arm off the bump stops 100% of the time, but that's it.

It's been a great truck for us, and we pretty much forget the race car is hitched to it when towing to events. We net a consistent 14.6 MPG, even with the larger tires (got ~19 towing to Topeka the first year we went, but I think the upsized Michelins have really hurt the mileage). The thing is hardly out of the shop w/o the race car hitched to it.
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GCrites80s
post Oct 3 2022, 03:20 PM
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QUOTE (trackbird @ Oct 2 2022, 09:58 PM) *
QUOTE (GCrites80s @ Oct 2 2022, 08:53 PM) *
QUOTE (trackbird @ Oct 2 2022, 01:50 PM) *
I've been trying to verify that the shocks didn't change between 2022 and 2023 so I can order Fox shocks for it. The OEM ranchos provide almost zero damping.


Like the Recaros in the '82 Recaro Edition Trans Am, it sounds like they are "Ranchos in Name Only"


I've never had a Rancho shock that was worth a crap. I tried the adjustable 9000 XL Rancho shocks on my 2015 Silverado. They weren't very good and after a year or so they were pretty much junk. I put them back on the truck to trade it in and pulled the FOX shocks so I could find them a loving home.

I just ordered new FOX shocks for the 3500. Remote reservoir fronts and standard rears (they are out of the remote reservoir rears, but I'll order them and swap them later. The new truck feels like it has no shocks on it. The springs are stiff enough to settle it (or not act like drag springs and bounce it) but over bumps the front just bounces and the rear axle acts like a pogo stick across railroad tracks. The valving is all wrong and they just don't damp anything.


Ha, the train tracks by your house used to be our "subframe connector test" back when my buddy lived over there. Go over the tracks without 'em, have them put on, then go over them again. Ahh, much better. I can't remember which exact crossing it was, but it was rough ~10 years ago.
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trackbird
post Oct 7 2022, 01:20 AM
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So far I've added a BAK Revolver X4 roll up tonneau cover (Same one I have advertised from my last truck). Expensive, but I love these covers.

Today, I put Fox shocks on it. Remote reservoir fronts and non remote reservoir rears (they were out of the other ones, but I'll swap to them later). It drives like a whole different truck. It actually drives like it's on "Koni's". I really like these shocks and I'm sure I'll buy them again for the next thing they fit.

The truck was ordered with "in bed lighting", but I didn't get it on the truck. I added the lights from GM aftermarket accessories. Turns out, you have to program them to get them to work. So, I have that an appointment to have the lights turned on. Crazy.

And the new console vault is in. The center console in this is tiny. I can't believe how much smaller the storage is inside the cab of this truck considering how big the truck actually is inside.

I think I'm done with "upgrades" at this point and we are ready to start towing. We pulled the camper home from the dealer yesterday and the truck didn't seem to notice it was back there. I think I'm going to like towing with this thing.
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CrashTestDummy
post Oct 7 2022, 01:16 PM
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QUOTE (trackbird @ Oct 6 2022, 08:20 PM) *
<SNIP>
The truck was ordered with "in bed lighting", but I didn't get it on the truck. I added the lights from GM aftermarket accessories. Turns out, you have to program them to get them to work. So, I have that an appointment to have the lights turned on. Crazy.

<SNIP>


Yeah, it's amazing the stupid crap you have to get 'programmed' to work on these newer vehicles. We're planning to swap the steering wheel on our '18 Tahoe to a pleather one with the radio volume controls that the OEM one does not have. GM claims the volume controls are 'plug and play' add-ons, but we'll see. If they don't work when installed, we'll go ahead and get the BCM programmed, but it seems stupid to have to do so.

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trackbird
post Oct 12 2022, 11:33 PM
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https://www.byerschevy.com/used/Chevrolet/2...0da41465b09.htm

Here's the link to my old truck.
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GCrites80s
post Oct 13 2022, 12:14 AM
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^You don't have any extra wheels and tires for the old truck do you? I remember yours got jacked once. Buddy of mine just got a 2014 RCSB 4X4 (took him a while to find one of those) and he wants stock type wheels and tires for it.
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trackbird
post Oct 13 2022, 10:36 PM
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QUOTE (GCrites80s @ Oct 12 2022, 08:14 PM) *
^You don't have any extra wheels and tires for the old truck do you? I remember yours got jacked once. Buddy of mine just got a 2014 RCSB 4X4 (took him a while to find one of those) and he wants stock type wheels and tires for it.


I don't have any spares. Unfortunately they took them when they stole them. lol. They appears online pretty regularly if you poke around.

Today I got the computer flashed to make the in bed lighting work. The tech said "these are just plug and play, who said it needed programmed". I said "Well, they don't work and the paperwork said something about tuning". He asked "The internet said it needed tuned?". So I got him the paperwork that came with the lights and he had to call support to get the feature "added to my truck" so any future flashes will have that option in the BCM. Spent 2 hours at the dealership. The service writer was a good dude and knocked it down to $100 total plus tax. Considering it took two hours and they said they bill for 3500 and up (Heavy Duty truck) work at $175 per hour, I was expecting to get a $350 bill for making the lights work (that I had added to the order before they placed it). Luckily they didn't try that and they actually took pretty good care of me.

I also ordered an exhaust "tip" for it. I hate even typing that. But, guys are having the regen cycle on the diesel heat the exhaust enough to melt the front of their trailers/campers. There are pics at the link below that explain the "tip". The dealer considers the "cooling" or "air mixing" vents on the factory exhaust tip to be "part of the emissions system" so I didn't want to risk a voided warranty or any related issues. This tip lets you keep the vents and just cut off the pipe 3" behind them and place a turn out tip on the truck. That seems to do the trick....as much as I can't believe I bought an exhaust tip. Ugh.

https://mbrpexhauststore.com/mbrp-t5154-tip...gree-bend-t304/
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CrashTestDummy
post Oct 14 2022, 12:39 PM
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The 'plug and play' then reflash bit is disconcerting. Our new Tahoe PPV is missing the radio volume controls on the steering wheel. I've been considering swapping wheels to get that capability back. GM states in the parts catalog that the volume controls are 'plug and play'. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/dry.gif)

I may still do it because we'll get a better wheel, but really hope we don't have to make yet another trip to the dealer.
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GCrites80s
post Oct 15 2022, 12:53 AM
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QUOTE (trackbird @ Oct 13 2022, 06:36 PM) *
QUOTE (GCrites80s @ Oct 12 2022, 08:14 PM) *
^You don't have any extra wheels and tires for the old truck do you? I remember yours got jacked once. Buddy of mine just got a 2014 RCSB 4X4 (took him a while to find one of those) and he wants stock type wheels and tires for it.


I don't have any spares. Unfortunately they took them when they stole them. lol. They appears online pretty regularly if you poke around.




He's probably going to hit some of the big SW Ohio flea markets then. They usually have at least one vendor selling take-off wheels and tires for trucks. Could be part of your problem -- I hope those vendors aren't supporting that kind of stuff.
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nape
post Oct 18 2022, 02:16 AM
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$100 for any programming is very fair.

When we bought our 2008 Suburban, the key fobs didn't work. No worries, $65 remote lock module and... still didn't work. Online snooping revealed it needed to be programmed to the truck. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/rolleyes.gif) Might as well get remote start enabled too.

$150 later for 1hr labor, we had working fobs. No remote start since the call in authorization service had been deactivated... (IMG:style_emoticons/default/rant2.gif)

After that BS, I jumped on a used GM MDI for $500 when the opportunity presented itself. It's $65 for 3-day, one VIN access but I'll bet I end up money ahead by the end of the decade... ain't technology great?
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trackbird
post Oct 19 2022, 10:38 PM
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Yea, I'm not mad about the $100 price. I ultimately wound up with the lights for "Free" (using GM points) and the tuning cost. So, it was $25 cheaper than ordering them on the truck (I may have mentioned that already), but it's a really nice feature to have and I'm glad I could add it.

We towed the camper 191 miles each way last weekend. We got 11-ish MPG at 70 MPH with some wind. On the way home we had 15-20 MPH head winds and we got north of 9 MPG. ON the way up the truck stayed at 1500 rpm and never shifted, even for the hills. On the way home with crazy winds, it occasionally downshifted one gear for a few moments and then went back to 1500 rpm. The old truck struggled to get 7.5 MPG on flat ground and in 17 MPH winds (gusting to 23 MPH or so) the old truck got 3.5-5 MPG and got the crap kicked out of us in the wind. This truck is super stable. The trailer blew around a little, but the truck was very stable.
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GCrites80s
post Oct 20 2022, 01:09 AM
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I saw a tow truck that was made for semis pulling a(n) (empty!) 1-2 horse trailer about a month ago. The trailer was swaying like the dickens but of course a truck that big and heavy didn't care a bit. I was stuck behind it a long time and almost got so sick that I turned off. Trailer sway literally makes me sick. I can barely watch the Top Gear segment where they raced all those airport vehicles like the luggage train, bendy bus and the stairs truck around the tarmac.

This post has been edited by GCrites80s: Oct 20 2022, 01:10 AM
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trackbird
post Nov 27 2022, 09:20 PM
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At this point I've towed 720 miles with the new truck. It doesn't even care that there's a 9,000+ lb camper behind it. The biggest issue is speed. My 1/2 ton had "enough" (nearly enough?) power to get the job done, but it wasn't in a hurry to tow the camper at 70+ mph. So it was pretty easy to stay at reasonable speeds. This truck will happily drag the camper at 80, likely 90 and probably 100 mph. I haven't had it over 75, and I didn't mean to be going 75 at the time. It's so easy to stack on speed that you really have to be careful. I use cruise constantly to avoid speed issues. We are showing an average of 8.9 mpg towing the camper (per the towing tracking section of the factory ECM). 200 miles of that was into a 20 mph headwind. So we are likely doing better than the average. We have seen 50 mile average fuel economy of 11.3 mpg while towing. As the truck breaks in and we get more miles without a head wind I think that fuel economy will improve.

I still dislike feeding this thing due to the cost of diesel, but I really love the truck. I'd certainly pay a bit more for fuel for the capabilities that this truck has (if it was gas and I could use premium or super premium or some mythical fuel to get this level of performance....I'd pay for it). So, paying for diesel is a worthwhile trade off for the towing performance.
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CrashTestDummy
post Nov 28 2022, 04:09 PM
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Glad you're enjoying the new truck, even if you're hating paying for diesel. We still dig our old '02, even with the price of diesel. Unfortunately, when we bought the '02, diesel was cheaper than gasoline, and was for a while. Then, the switch 'flipped' and hasn't returned, sadly.

Note that you be careful 'upgrading' the tires to anything larger. It will hurt the MPG, if you care about that. We were in the 18 MPG range, then went up a couple of sizes of tire on ours, which brought MPG down in the mid-14 range. Still, though, that's almost 100% of the time with the car getting dragged to different events.
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Hardrvin
post Nov 29 2022, 05:35 AM
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The diesel prices are a bit crushing. With that said, I’ve done side by side pulls to tracks with similar trailer setups, and at “normal” towing speeds, I’d get almost double the fuel economy compared to a gasser. But with the diesel, it’s always tempting to tow that 5~10mph faster just because it can. And that just drags the fuel economy down incredibly.
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trackbird
post Dec 10 2022, 03:20 AM
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QUOTE (CrashTestDummy @ Nov 28 2022, 11:09 AM) *
Glad you're enjoying the new truck, even if you're hating paying for diesel. We still dig our old '02, even with the price of diesel. Unfortunately, when we bought the '02, diesel was cheaper than gasoline, and was for a while. Then, the switch 'flipped' and hasn't returned, sadly.

Note that you be careful 'upgrading' the tires to anything larger. It will hurt the MPG, if you care about that. We were in the 18 MPG range, then went up a couple of sizes of tire on ours, which brought MPG down in the mid-14 range. Still, though, that's almost 100% of the time with the car getting dragged to different events.



This thing has 34" wheels on it from the factory with 20" wheels. I don't have any plans to increase the size of the tires on this truck. GM actually put 3.42 gears in it with the 10 speed and I'm happy with the combination.

QUOTE (Hardrvin @ Nov 29 2022, 12:35 AM) *
The diesel prices are a bit crushing. With that said, I’ve done side by side pulls to tracks with similar trailer setups, and at “normal” towing speeds, I’d get almost double the fuel economy compared to a gasser. But with the diesel, it’s always tempting to tow that 5~10mph faster just because it can. And that just drags the fuel economy down incredibly.


I agree. I struggled to average 7.5 mpg with my 5.3 liter gas truck...that was including the times we ran around unloaded. Otherwise we were getting 3-6 MPG much of the time. I've heard these trucks will increase fuel mileage once they break in. A friend said that took about 20k miles on his last two diesels. I don't know exactly what the break in looks like on these trucks. I am doing a fair amount of towing. I'll likely tow 4,500 miles next summer.

I took it through the mountains of western MD and through WV and down into VA. We "reset" the "best 50 mile average" to 21.3 mpg with the cruise on 72 MPH.
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CrashTestDummy
post Dec 12 2022, 09:52 PM
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QUOTE (trackbird @ Dec 9 2022, 09:20 PM) *
<SNIP>

I took it through the mountains of western MD and through WV and down into VA. We "reset" the "best 50 mile average" to 21.3 mpg with the cruise on 72 MPH.


That's some GREAT mileage there!
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