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BJames

Towing A20 with Chevy 1500 LT V6

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BJames

Couple of questions: 1.  Has anyone had experience towing with a Chevy 1500 LT with the 4.3L V6?  I am wondering if it is under powered and also how it handles the load.  2.  Also wondering what drop ball hitch you use to make sure the trailer is level.

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UWSkier

It won't win any drag races with the boat attached, but as it has the same body, frame, suspension, and brakes as the 5.3 and 6.2 versions, you should be fine with the A20.  I'd imagine the transmission might be a bit busy in the rolling hills.

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RyanB

To answer your question, yes it will be underpowered. At least in my mind. But everyone has different expectations. 

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ahopkinsVTX
7 hours ago, UWSkier said:

It won't win any drag races with the boat attached, but as it has the same body, frame, suspension, and brakes as the 5.3 and 6.2 versions, you should be fine with the A20.  I'd imagine the transmission might be a bit busy in the rolling hills.

:plus1:

I tow our 20 VTX with my 2018 1500 Silverado (with the 5.3) and it does great. I agree with the above statement and it definitely depends on how far your are towing, what are your roads like, super hilly or mostly flat? Idk if I’d want to make a long trip with the V6 depending on how it does with the boat behind it but if it is just sort trips to the launch you should be fine. 

I use a straight hitch, no drop or rise for our setup. It’s quite level although I haven’t done any specific measurements - just an eye ball test. 

Reese Towpower 21512 Multiple-Ball Ball Mount https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0008FUHWI/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_OrSYCbYP71NNQ

CA313969-2647-44BB-AAD7-50FD833AA171.thumb.jpeg.25aa2e8716ef469b54ffc421f2ef1b37.jpeg

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Falko

What's the 4.3 rated for 200ish hp, with what a 6spd trans? Most V8 truck engines of 20yrs past were rated at 200-220 hp, and they had like 3 and 4 spd transmissions. They did ok at towing. I don't think climate change has affected gravity too much yet.

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RyanB
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Falko said:

What's the 4.3 rated for 200ish hp, with what a 6spd trans? Most V8 truck engines of 20yrs past were rated at 200-220 hp, and they had like 3 and 4 spd transmissions. They did ok at towing. I don't think climate change has affected gravity too much yet.

It is 285/305.  Still underpowered by today's standards.

Quick look online, I can't even see where that is available in a 1500, but I am sure it is.

 

Edit, that is assuming it is the new 4.3.  The old one is much more anemic.

Edited by RyanB

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BJames

The new 4.3L Vortec, also 262 cubic inches, has a different layout with a bore of 3.92 inches and a stroke of 3.6 inches. The engine has a peak horsepower of 285 at 5300 RPM and peak torque of 305 lb-ft at 3900 RPM.  The engine is rated to pull 7,500 lbs.

 

And BTW thanks guys so much for the info, I just joined yesterday and love the feedback!

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Falko
48 minutes ago, RyanB said:

It is 285/305.  Still underpowered by today's standards.

Quick look online, I can't even see where that is available in a 1500, but I am sure it is.

 

Edit, that is assuming it is the new 4.3.  The old one is much more anemic.

Key phrase, "by today's standards". Our kids are going to be driving 800hp electric cars thinking "400hp is pretty anemic".  It's just kind of funny how things progress and our perceptions change so much on what is acceptable. I remember back in '97 I believe, GM brought out the vortec 5.7 which jumped power from 210hp to 275hp. Everyone was like "whoah...."  Things advance. Now excuse me, I need to get my meds and check my depends...

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BJames

So true Falko, I won't be traveling far and don't expect to be doing 0 - 60 in under 6 sec.  If anyone has been to WI we don't have many "hills", I was just hoping someone had my similar truck and engine.  The feedback is great tho, especially the straight hitch, I figured 2" drop would not make the trailer level.  I am asking all of this because I take delivery next week and would like to be prepared. 

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mrothwell

I towed my 20ft VTX for 3 years with my V6 GMC 1500.  It was no speed demon, but it did fine.  I regularly pull 6% grades at 6000+ ft elevation.  It would pull it down, but it did fine.

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dinovtx

I don't tow often but used family members 2014 durango v6 to tow our 2014 Malibu VTX from St. louis to Charlotte NC. Trip was fine no problems even going through the mountains. There was not tons of power but never had to slow down going up a hill. I am sure your 1500 v6 will have no problems as long as your expecations are in line. 

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Hemmy
20 hours ago, Falko said:

Key phrase, "by today's standards". Our kids are going to be driving 800hp electric cars thinking "400hp is pretty anemic".  It's just kind of funny how things progress and our perceptions change so much on what is acceptable. I remember back in '97 I believe, GM brought out the vortec 5.7 which jumped power from 210hp to 275hp. Everyone was like "whoah...."  Things advance. Now excuse me, I need to get my meds and check my depends...

That is funny you say that.  I had a couple Mustang GT's.  I had an 89 and a 91 with the 5.0.  Both of those had about 225 HP.  V6 engines and some of the 4 bangers surpass that now.  Still can't beat the old heavy, loud American V8's. 

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Nitrousbird

Remember boys and girls, it isn't just peak power, especially for towing.  It is power under the curve.

I wouldn't want to tow an A20 with the V6, at least at freeway speeds.  She might do it but it will be running hard.

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oldjeep
31 minutes ago, Nitrousbird said:

Remember boys and girls, it isn't just peak power, especially for towing.  It is power under the curve.

I wouldn't want to tow an A20 with the V6, at least at freeway speeds.  She might do it but it will be running hard.

Meh.  I towed a 16ft car trailer with a jeep on it for a couple of years with a 99 4.0L ranger extended cab and it was just fine.  A 4.3L will be fine for towing 5K lbs

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MFknK

Be careful on how hard you run the truck when towing. It will do it. We have 13 work trucks with the 4.3l. Its no beast, but if you are easy on it, it will get the job done. 

If you are really hard on it towing, expect big compression drops in short time. Most of our trucks tow lighter loads, 3-4000 regularly. Two of these trucks have had engines replaced under 100k miles. 

We have vehicle monitoring so it was easy to tell that the drivers were floor boarding with trailers regularly.

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mrothwell
2 hours ago, Nitrousbird said:

Remember boys and girls, it isn't just peak power, especially for towing.  It is power under the curve.

I wouldn't want to tow an A20 with the V6, at least at freeway speeds.  She might do it but it will be running hard.

Freeway speeds are no problem at all.  Most freeways have little grade and I could tow my VTX at 75 all day long down the freeway and it really didn't work it that hard.  It's the steep grades that kill you, and even then I could usually maintain 60 mph.

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BJames

Thanks for the responses.  I certainly do not plan on beating the truck, hills are a non-issue in our area.  Most lakes are within 15 miles from the house.  We do take 1 trip in summer which the boat will be coming with, 5 hour trip, very little up and down.  I bought a strait ball hitch, somewhat concerned on suspension flex with the boat and trailer attached to keep the trailer level.  ahopkinsvtx says he uses a straight hitch which I will try when we take delivery of the boat next week (weather permitting.  the weather blows here!).

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UWSkier
2 hours ago, BJames said:

Thanks for the responses.  I certainly do not plan on beating the truck, hills are a non-issue in our area.  Most lakes are within 15 miles from the house.  We do take 1 trip in summer which the boat will be coming with, 5 hour trip, very little up and down.  I bought a strait ball hitch, somewhat concerned on suspension flex with the boat and trailer attached to keep the trailer level.  ahopkinsvtx says he uses a straight hitch which I will try when we take delivery of the boat next week (weather permitting.  the weather blows here!).

Post pics when you pick it up!

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BJames
9 minutes ago, UWSkier said:

Post pics when you pick it up!

I certainly will, need that sun to warm things up a bit!

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UWSkier
35 minutes ago, BJames said:

I certainly will, need that sun to warm things up a bit!

You don't say!  This is from this morning on my home lake in NE WI...

DJI_0575B.JPG

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BJames
1 minute ago, UWSkier said:

You don't say!  This is from this morning on my home lake in NE WI...

DJI_0575B.JPG

What lake?  Where is it located.  Looks like a sweet run.

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