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Old 04-17-2013, 11:42 PM   #1
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sunset trail st32rl pulling

I have a 14 Sunset trail st 32rl it weighs 7338# on order . I have tobuy a pull truck I want to buy gm
truck.Am debating Heavy duty 1/2 ton Silverado with the heavy duty pulling pkg. It has 6.2 liter engine and heavy suspension from the 3/4 ton 2500.its rated to pull 10400#.
Or should I go buy the 3/4 ton 2500 truck with the 6.0 engine that can pull 10,000#? Next ? or should I spend extra $10,000 and jump to the 6.2 Duramax diesel.Dealer has told me i'm ok with the heavy duty half ton but 2500 might be better.
I've talked to people that have Diesel that love it for pulling but would not buy now do to price of diesel.
I want people that really pull this size trailer to let me know.I know the 1/2 ton will pull it but I don't want the trailer to be pushing the truck around.
Thanks for all your help
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:09 AM   #2
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I had a CR 28RKX that weighed 7,400 so the same as your unit. I pulled it with a Cadillac Escalade with a 350 HP engine, putting out 428 FP of torque. I had no problems on flat land and up smaller hills...but I soon realized if I was going to take it into any mountains I would be working it very hard...which almost always means extra wear and tear on the TV, which equates to money for repairs. I sold the Caddy and bought an F-250 and it was like night and day. I now have a fifth wheel CR CF34SS and I'm glad I have the TV I do. One thing to remember, you will not be pulling will be pulling over 8,000 easily...and then you always have to take into account what you put into the the truck fuel and family. The only TV that I have heard might work in that range is the new F-150 with the HD tow package...if you want to stay with a gas engine instead of diesel. I know of people who are hauling 9,000 plus fifth wheels with the F-150 and say it works fine. You will be looking in the $40k range for something like that. I opted for an older model with low mileage and feel what I saved over a new unit could be put toward any repairs if they arise. This is a personal choice...but in the end it does come down to safety and feeling secure. I did not feel secure in my old TV...and in honor of others on this forum they told me as much...and they were right. I just don't think it would be good to buy a new 1/2 ton or even a used one and then have to trade it in and lose money. This is just MHO of course...others will weigh in as well...and they will address WDH's and other concerns as well.

Welcome to the forum, good luck with your new unit...and whatever you safe.


Jim & Linda Tator
Watertown, WI
2013 Crusier CF34SS GMC 3500 8.1L Dually
154 nights in 2013 - 4,370 miles
178 nights in 2014 - 5,082 miles
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:04 AM   #3
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Go with the 3/4 ton deisel and never look back. Just MHO.

Jason & Wendy
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:10 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by cw3jason

Go with the 3/4 ton deisel and never look back. Just MHO.
X2, can't go wrong with a diesel, and if in the future you want to go bigger you will have the truck already. Diesel cost more, but you will also get much better mileage when towing.

Chris & Karen- Heyworth, Illinois
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:27 AM   #5
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Of those two choices I would choose the 6.2L NHT package. You don't need a diesel to pull 8500lbs. Unless you plan on going even bigger in the future. Get a nice hitch and I think you will be happy.
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Old 04-18-2013, 02:01 AM   #6
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Get the 2500 with the 6.0, 6 speed tranny, and 4.10 rearend. It will do just fine anywhere you go and will handle many 5th wheels if you upgrade. For $10,000 difference for a diesel you can buy a lot of gasoline.
Dale & Carol
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Old 04-18-2013, 02:24 AM   #7
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lets look at this from another angle. How often are you going to pull the trailer? I have the 6.0 2500HD with the 4:10 rearend. I pull aPF30CK 5th wheel. I am at the max limit for the truck but I don't pull the trailer but 4 or 5 times a year and it is always within 100 miiles of home. I cannot justify the extra cost of the diesel. Now, once my kids are on their own and we can hit the open highway I will no doubt be pulling with a diesel. Sometimes the extra cost of the diesel truck, the oil changes,the fuel.......etc. is not worth it if you are not going to use it. Just throwing out something else to think about!!!

P.S. - I do think you will want to go with a 3/4 ton truck. JMO but I think a trailer of that size needs the stability of a larger truck. Edited by: scott
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:04 AM   #8
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ok here is what I have learned the hard way. No tow vehicle will be able to tow a TT that is all the way up to its capacity (and no your TT won't be at overall towing capacity). the thing you really need to look at is payload. 1/2 ton trucks are really limited by payload. some 3/4 ton trucks are limited by payload also. the key is to check the payload sticker inside the door.Some good examples of this are: my old armada had a towing capacity of 9100 lbs but one loaded with options and passengers it only had 800 lbs of payload available. my current F250 diesel (long bed, crew cab, 4x4 etc) optioned out plus passengers has an available payload of 1400 lbs. This is really low for a 3/4 ton. The tongue weight of your TT will be approx 13-15% of the loaded weight of your TT. on average people add between 1000-1500 lbs of cargo to a TT. if you add 1500 lbs you are looking at a loaded weight of 8800 lbs.that means a tongue weight of 1100-1300 lbs. You need to subtract the tongue weight, weight of all occupants and gear from the payload.

I would skip the half ton. For a little more $ go to the 1 ton so you have enough truck if you upgrade your trailer. that is what I wish I had done when stepping the truck up. As for diesel vs gas. Diesel will cost more to maintain but will give you a better towing experience. the Diesel engine will also weigh more cutting into your payload. I towed with a gasser SUV and then my diesel F250. I have a 30' zinger that weighs about 7000 lbs loaded. I have had some very bad towing experiences towing with my old armada. it really struggled with the hills. it would almost overheat going up and have trouble controlling the tt going dow the hill/mountain. the engine wasn't strong enough to hold the rig back and I would have to use a lot of brakes going down a steep grade. I have taken the same steep grade with new to me diesel and only had to touch my brakes 1 or 2 times. it was a night and day towing experience. this truck loves to tow!I do think you would have a better experience with a 3/4 ton gasser towing than my old SUV but I wanted to show you the difference behind what the engines can do.I would not want to tow without my diesel now. I use my truck as a daily driver and fuel is expensive but the peace of mind when towing once a month is worth it to me.

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Old 05-04-2013, 05:39 AM   #9
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the only 1/2 ton i would consider is the F150 with HD payload and max tow packages
that would pull it fine and have basically the same payload as a 3/4 ton truck
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Old 05-07-2013, 12:34 PM   #10
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We pull our 2013 Sunset Trail with a 2011 Ford F150. We had the Reese Dual Cam Weight Distribution set up installed and have had no issues. We've traveled on all types of roads and highways but surprisingly it handles better then expected. I'll admit we are pushing the envelope.
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Old 05-08-2013, 02:34 AM   #11
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2500 for sure diesel or gas is up to you. I have a 2003 Chevy 1500 HD with a 6.0 V8 and 4:10 gears, it's old so I had to put Firestone airbags so the rear end would not sag. Now I have only 82K miles on this truck but it runs great. For the most part the diesel engines last longer and get better highway miles. What will you do with the truck when it's not towing should be considered as well.

Bert, Cathy, Kylie & Kaitlin
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Old 05-08-2013, 03:27 AM   #12
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I pull my Crossroads Patriot with the '13 F150 full HD setup. No problems. Only mod yet to be put on is the Roadmaster Active Suspension.

Mark & Susan
Lehighton, Pennsylvania

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Old 05-08-2013, 03:41 PM   #13
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I tow a 33Bd (7686) with a 2010 F150. I have airbag spring helpers installed and an Equilizer hitch. I experienced a little sway in 25-30 knot crosswinds with the speed over 65. Slowed down to 60 and it smothed out. I tow in the flat and feel the F150 is very adequate to tow my trailer, but would not want to tow in the mountains with it.

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Old 06-25-2014, 09:37 PM   #14
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I have had the ST32RL for a year now, and towed it with a 1998 Chevy Express 2500, 5.7L, Weight Distribution hitch and have not seen any major concerns. I just purchased a 2011 Express 2500 with a 6L engine, and placed an order for a class V hitch and will be using the same WD as above.

I have pulled this trailer up to Sable Beach, and took a different route than I normally do. I turned north off of Hwy 9 onto Airport Rd. Not a flat drive!!! Pulled with no problem, and engine temp went from just above 40C to 90C (which is 1/2 way on my gauge) and outside temp was high 20's.

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Old 06-26-2014, 07:41 AM   #15
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I have a 2012 ram 2500 with the hemi 5.7 and 410 gears it pulls my 32rl fine, but nobody has mentioned yet about tires. I have e rated tires that are basically 10 ply the difference between my 1500 and 2500 hundred was night and day. the 1500s have smaller drive shafts and rear ends in most cases. I would go with a 2500 it wont get beat up like a 1500 will.
Mike & Berni
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Old 06-26-2014, 07:46 AM   #16
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It takes more than just power to make a safe pull.
Mike & Berni
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Old 06-26-2014, 08:02 AM   #17
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I would definitely consider the 2500 with a diesel. Your fuel mileage with almost be double over a gas motor. I am pulling almost 11k and getting 12-14 mpg. As far as oil changes, they may cost more but, they don't have to be done as often. With the diesel you won't even know the trailer is back there and will give you the peace of mind if you ever want to upgrade in the future. I would suggest looking for something used to keep the cost down. A diesel doesn't get broken in until 75-100k. I went from a gas to the diesel and would never go back.
John and Cindy
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Old 06-26-2014, 08:23 AM   #18
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I'm going to throw out the points that has me stuck between 1500 and 2500.

1) Current 1500 spec'd correctly will safely pull just about any trailer. Some will argue this but I've pulled 12,000 lbs with an ecoboost Max tow F150 and it was fine. It accelerated fine, it stopped safely it didn't get blown around on the hwy. Could it pull over the rocky mountains at that weight I don't know because I don't live anywhere near a mountain.

2) How many days will you tow? For me it's under 20, so it's hard to justify the extra cost of a 2500.

3) Will this truck be your daily driver and if so do you care about the price of fuel? A 2500 series truck will consume more fuel FACT diesel or gas it's going to do worse in town and worse on the HWY. ( I am aware that some diesels can match 1500 gas motors on the hwy but that augment gets killed when you consider the cost of the diesel motor purchase.) 30 Gallons of Gas = $115 30 Gallons of Diesel $128. It works out to about $600 more in fuel a year for me, not bad but it's got to be considered. ( Yes a diesel will return better fuel economy while towing but I stay within 200 miles of home so compared to daily use it's almost not considered.)

4) Maintenance It's about the same, I did however assume that the 1500 would wear consumable parts faster than the 2500 which is why I consider the additional cost of running the diesel 2500 pretty much a wash.

5) Do you like driving a big truck? I found the F250-F350 considerably harder to park and drive around town than my 1500 a much harsher ride unloaded and a bit more utilitarian. ( Disclaimer I can't afford a 2015 King Ranch so I never looked at them. )

To sum it up I've been stuck for nearly 8 months now wrestling with this decision. The EGO and safety side of me says F250 diesel but that's overkill to the extreme for the 340 days a year I won't be hooked up. The practical side of me say properly equipped 1500 because I use my truck every single day. Both will pull my trailer just fine, will I upgrade to larger trailer, sure I will one day. Will I need this truck to pull that trailer as well, probably not.

I'm not sure this will help but the best thing I did was rent a few trucks. I've spent probably $600 renting over the past few months but It's given me time to pull my trailer, drive around town and not get rushed by a sales guy who is desperate to sell anything.

Good luck.
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Old 06-26-2014, 09:14 AM   #19
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the 32rl Tung weight is 995 with out propane or anything in your pass through so you will be more likely sitting at at least 1200-1300 hundred pounds not counting passenger's and gear. so keep payload in mind.
Mike & Berni
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Old 06-26-2014, 09:31 AM   #20
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Someone mentioned tires. I went with a 10 ply this last time on my 1500. Really made a significant difference while towing and even non towing. They don't squish and less affected by wind as they don't flex as much. I can't say it rides any rougher as I have heard some say. That and the air bags made a huge difference.

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