Do I have enough truck?

Azjeff

Member
Truck is a 2018 Nissan Titan 4wd with the 5.6/7spd GDI engine. Specs are 390hp & 395lb/ft @4000 rpm, 1650 payload and 9300 max trailer. New trailer is 5500 lbs dry with GVRW of 6700, 450 tongue weight & 27' long, 11' high. Came with a 10,000 lb Equal-i-zer hitch that I think is set up just about perfectly, it was previously on a Tundra. Bought the trailer in southern Phoenix and towing north to home is mostly all uphill with some fairly steep grades and all Interstate. Elevation gain from 1300' to 5000'. On the level at 65 it will run in 5th some @ 2200 but is mostly in 4th @ 2800 with any little grade. With any sort of grade it will drop to 3rd @ 3800 and I dropped to 60 or even 55 to bring the revs under 3400. We will be making a 3 week Az to Md trip the next 2 summers plus other long weekend trips then we'll both be retired and want to travel where and when and how long we want. I've never been one to push up against max specs and I don't think I'm very close except for the truck payload. I've calculated that with nothing loaded in the front pass through storage and not much in the bed I'm at 1250 lbs. Are these RPMs considered normal, am I going too fast?

Thanks for your thoughts.
 

Wayne

Administrator
Staff member
Jeff,

I don't like risking being over any of the weights. If you are over weight and nothing happens, then nobody knows the difference. If an accident happens, even if you couldn't avoid it, and you are over any of the placard weights, then you are teed up for a potential financially painful lawsuit. Many people will argue, "what's the chance of getting sued?" I don't know, but I have seen how things work in a court room and I know for sure that I don't want to knowingly take any risks. "Knowingly" is the operative term. Let's say you own the truck, hitched it, loaded it up, put gas in it, you drove it and you were 500 pounds over payload. You get into an accident where unfortunately someone was seriously injured and you get sued for negligence. You have to testify, the opposing attorney will establish that you are the owner of the truck and trailer, you hitched it, you loaded it, you put gas in it, and you drove it on the public roadway while 500 pounds over the placarded max payload. You couldn't stop and you are now negligent. Opposing attorney will say you were a reckless hazard to everyone on the roadway and you did it knowingly. Guilty. Your insurance company can and will say that since you were over the placarded max payload they are canceling the contract you have with them and only cover you with minimum public liability which they are required to do by law. You loose the lawsuit and your insurance only pays out the minimum they are required to do so and the rest comes from your savings, retirement, etc.

I've heard so many people on public forums say, "what's the big deal?" being over any of the weights on your vehicles placard is deadly serious. Don't do it.

It's fantastic that you have a anti-sway hitch. Read my "Towing Safely" post, I'm a big fan of using a good weight distribution anti-sway hitch.

The RPMs are ok, but towing lots of miles with the engine screaming will shorten the service life of the engine and I find it to be annoying.

My $.02
 
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ls1mike

Member
So fully loaded your tongue weight will probably be closer to 600-700lbs. The trailer is going to eat up some payload. It will be tight.
4 people 600 to 800lbs, anything in the bed of the truck and you are at your limit. Best thing to do is load it up and find a scale. Find your actual weights and make adjustments.

I have an Equalizer for mine and I can't say enough good things about it. I have the 800lbs bars but with the 1 ton not sure it really matters. What it does do perfectly is control sway with the dual friction bars.

I have been towing for years with gas motors. My old crappy Big Block Chevy had 200,000 miles on it when I got rid of. Towed one of my trailers and the previous owners 34 foot 5th wheel for years. Didn't do anything fast but was reliable.

Lots of GM 6.0 out there with 250,000 to 300,000 miles and a lot of heavy towing.

Guy I camp with has an 02 2500HD with 190,000 miles(finally got a 2020 Duramax this year) He towed his 32 foot 8000lbs Sunset Trail all over with it. He would routinely see 4000 to 5000 RPM out here in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Wyoming and Montana.

The only things he has done were the transfer case for pump rub and the A/C had a leak. I can't say for Nissan but I know in testing for LS engine the amount of time they ran it at 4000 to 6000 rpm is more than I will ever see even if I were towing everyday. Only extra maintenance I do is change my oil and transmission fluid more frequently. Don't be afraid of 3400 RPM, I don't really care unless I am getting close to 5000 rpm and there are only two places I do that in my local area of 300 miles and even then that is what is was designed to do.
 

Wayne

Administrator
Staff member
Just a bit off topic, but a consideration if you're going to be in the market for a new/different truck. We currently have a Chevy 3500HD Duramax. I love the way the diesel pulls and love the engine brake. However, now that GM has the 6.6L gas, I can't honestly say if I would go gas or diesel, because there are benefits to both. I would love to take a trip with a 6.6L gas so I could compare the two.
 

Azjeff

Member
Thread starter
Hi. I had a 2007 Sierra Duramax from 2012 to 2016 anticipating a bigger 5th wheel. It never happened so I sold it. We did pull a small older 5th wheel with it and you couldn't even tell it was there. I have no need for that much power or relatively expensive upkeep. A 3/4 ton gasser will be more appropriate for this trailer with a safety margin I'm comfortable with. Poor time to be looking for any truck unfortunately.
 

ls1mike

Member
Hi. I had a 2007 Sierra Duramax from 2012 to 2016 anticipating a bigger 5th wheel. It never happened so I sold it. We did pull a small older 5th wheel with it and you couldn't even tell it was there. I have no need for that much power or relatively expensive upkeep. A 3/4 ton gasser will be more appropriate for this trailer with a safety margin I'm comfortable with. Poor time to be looking for any truck unfortunately.
Truck prices are ridiculous right now. I can't believe what people are asking.
 

Azjeff

Member
Thread starter
Hi Mike. I'm looking at ordering something instead of used.

You went from the old 6.0 to the new 6.0 and you tow a bigger trailer than we just bought. I know you've said on BITOG it pulls so much nicer, can you elaborate? What diff gear do you have? On flat ground at 65 what RPM are you seeing and how about up hill?
 

Azjeff

Member
Thread starter
It must be a shortage in supply of new trucks, I've noticed the prices on used trucks are nuts right now.
There was a GM strike early in the year then Covid hit and caused supply chain problems. My BIL tried to buy a new 2020 2500 6.6 LTZ and there were none to be found so he ordered a new 2021 in August I think and just got it a month ago. Right now my local Chevy garage has 1 new Silverado, a 2500 WT 2wd standard cab 8' bed. Dealers that have any new trucks won't trade they away.
 

Wayne

Administrator
Staff member
My brother ordered a new Dodge Cummins in September and is being told delivery will be sometime after the first of the year. Whatever that means.
 

Azjeff

Member
Thread starter
I actually have a 2500HD Custom trim configured on the Chevy website. Might go in Monday and see what they say. Also have an F250 worked out for the same money. Can't get excited for a Ram at all. The new Silverados have a face only a mother could love, but with no chrome and darker shades of paint we can live with it. We drove that WT the other day and man is it big. The hood is really high.
 

Wayne

Administrator
Staff member
I would suggest to look at the Chevy 3500 as well. The only difference between the 2500 and 3500 is the rear leaf springs. The ride is stiff in both, but you'll get considerable more payload with the 3500 if you ever want to pull a larger 5th wheel, you'll have the payload to do so. It is my opinion that both 2500s and 3500s should have air bags. Take a look at my review of air bags below. The difference in ride quality is substantial.

 

ls1mike

Member
I will echo what Wayne said the difference between a 2500HD and 3500HD is one rear leaf spring. You won't even notice.
You are going to love the Ford, it is a monster of a gas truck. I am a GM guy and the 6.0/6L90E 4.10s handles my 8000lbs without sweating. Heck my old 02 2500HD with 300HP, 360FT/lbs of torque, 4 speed and 4.10s did ok too, but the 2 extra speeds made a huge difference.
The 6.6 is 40 more HP and 80 more ft/lbs of torque than my current 6.0. I drove one it wasn't enough for me to make the switch as it uses the same 6L90E and only has 3.73s as a rear gear option. When it gets the 8 speed wit 4.10s I am going to take another look.
 

Azjeff

Member
Thread starter
I'm not set on buying an F250 but I built one on the website as close as I could to the Chevy Custom. I'm a lifelong GM guy too with a few other brands along the way. I never gave a 3500 a look so I tried to build one like the 2500 Custom trim and can't get close to the package we like and both of us like the no chrome look. Also this truck will be our main vehicle for any trips out of town so I'm not sure it needs to ride stiffer. We may go a little bigger sometime down the road but I can't ever see us pulling a 10k trailer.
 

ls1mike

Member
Hi Mike. I'm looking at ordering something instead of used.

You went from the old 6.0 to the new 6.0 and you tow a bigger trailer than we just bought. I know you've said on BITOG it pulls so much nicer, can you elaborate? What diff gear do you have? On flat ground at 65 what RPM are you seeing and how about up hill?
So in the old truck starting out in 1st gear is like starting out in 2nd gear in the 2017. First gear in the 2017 works very well to get the load moving. On the flats going 65 I maybe see 2000 RPM. I don't tow much faster than that unless I am in the center of Washington and there is nothing around me. My trailer tires are rated to 81 MPH. I really like to stay around 62-65mph. The 2002 and 2017 both have 4.10 gears

Depends on the hill for rpms, but I will use Vantage out here in Washington. ( The grade is 11 miles. The top half is 3-4% grade and there are about 2 miles of 5% grade and some shorter 7% grades) It is an 11 mile hill. I pull it only in the summer. It is desert out there so hot. Both trucks never see over 190 trans temp, but the 2017 is the stock factory cooler, the 02 had an aftermarket 40K Tru-Cool aux cooler. Running up Vantage the 02 would see 4000 to 5000 rpms at times to go 62 mph. The 2017 Might see 4200 to go 65. I imagine I am over 3500 rpms for 5 minutes at most. It always feels longer, even in a diesel because it is a 11 miles. The old 02 made the trip towing probably 30 times and never missed a beat. The 2017 has done it twice.

Snoqualmie, which isn't big but has a few steep grades. (This portion of I-90 is a two- to three-lane, divided freeway, with a 65 mph (104.6 km/h) speed limit. The alignment includes numerous curves and has grades of up to 5 percent for 38 miles) The old truck on the steeper parts would see 4000 to 4500 to go 62ish. This past summer I pulled it at 70 in the 2017 and didn't see over 4000 RPM. Most of this pass I am well under 3200 rpm. The 2017 wasn't even sweating yet. 175 was the highest I was saw the trans temp.
This is all fully loaded of course.

Gas mileage is a wash. I don't daily drive it but it gets about 14 to 16mpg empty and for a 1 ton I think it rides pretty good, way better than the 02 2500HD I had.
 

ls1mike

Member
I'm not set on buying an F250 but I built one on the website as close as I could to the Chevy Custom. I'm a lifelong GM guy too with a few other brands along the way. I never gave a 3500 a look so I tried to build one like the 2500 Custom trim and can't get close to the package we like and both of us like the no chrome look. Also this truck will be our main vehicle for any trips out of town so I'm not sure it needs to ride stiffer. We may go a little bigger sometime down the road but I can't ever see us pulling a 10k trailer.
My goal in the land of RV is to stay under 10,000, plenty of good choices out there. I think once you pass 10,000 it is time to seriously consider a diesel. I am at 8000lbs if I am really heavy. I had to pull my buddies 2018 Grand Design Imagine 29 something (I can't remember but is a rear lounge he scaled out at 9200) about 70 miles. Didn't feel any different with the extra 1200 lbs. He got called into work 2 days early and his family wanted to stay, so he left and I got his trailer home.
 

spasm3

Member
I don't have enough truck with my newer trailer. I'm shopping, but waiting to buy as prices are just nuts. I may can buy a 3500 for as much or maybe less than a 2500, but i'm watching. I really want a 6 1/2 or so bed, not an 8 ft.

My trailer is 5540 dry, so i'm guessing close to 7k loaded, hitch and all.
 
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ls1mike

Member
Spasm, unless you daily the truck I really don't think you will notice the difference between the 6 1/2 foot bed and the 8 foot bed. I wouldn't let it be a deal breaker.
 

Wayne

Administrator
Staff member
Spasm, unless you daily the truck I really don't think you will notice the difference between the 6 1/2 foot bed and the 8 foot bed. I wouldn't let it be a deal breaker.
The longer truck does ride better. We have the 6'6" box and like it, but it can get full quickly. Another 1.5' would be nice at times.
 

spasm3

Member
Spasm, unless you daily the truck I really don't think you will notice the difference between the 6 1/2 foot bed and the 8 foot bed. I wouldn't let it be a deal breaker.
The longer truck does ride better. We have the 6'6" box and like it, but it can get full quickly. Another 1.5' would be nice at times.
I really need to drive both. probably not an issue as i can usually drive anything. But some campgrounds i've gotten to late at night can be a pain.
 
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