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  1. #1

    Default Towing with a 1500

    Can I pull a 21' superlight toyhauler with my 1500? Maybe 7,000-8,00 lbs. Its a 2WD with a 5.3L. Lifted with 33" tires but everything else is bone stock. Pretty sure the tranny will go since it has 190,000 on it. Can you rebuild these trannys and beef them up for towing? Also the rear end has stock gearing, what can I do to make it tow better?


  2. #2
    stephan's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
    Far West, Oregon USA,
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    7K to 8K loaded is pretty heavy for a toy hauler. Are you sure your gross weight is going to be that high?
    Yes trannys can be beefed up to haul heavier loads. You can even buy off the shelf replacements if yours is too far gone. Look up B&M or Jet transmissions online & check out their towing transmissions & torque convertors. As far as your rear gears, if you don't know the ratio go to & plug in your RPG codes that are on the label in your glove box. Depending on what your accurate gross trailer weight is & whether your towing is going to be in hilly terrain you may need to invest in a set of 4:10s to go with those 33" tires.
    1988 Chevy C-3500 2wd (no pic)
    350 c.i. 5.7 L Stock Block, 4 Bolt Mains
    L-31 Vortec Heads, Edelbrock Cam & Intake,
    Holley 650, Flowtech Headers, Magnaflow exh.
    Jet Trans 700R4, B&M Ratchet, 4:10 gears,
    3" susp. lift kit "shadetree"
    No rev limiter, No speed limiter lol

  3. #3


    I would go 4.56 if you are pulling. I had a 2003 silverado z71 with 3.73's and I put a 3" body lift on it with 285x75r16 tires (essentially 33's). It was a DOG in normal driving, with any kind of load it sucked. I think the transmission was starting to go out on it around 114,000 miles (about when I traded it in). When I would load it the trans would whine like no other.

    If you are pulling a lot I would suggest a heavier truck. I found that my 1500 was too soft and didn't have enough power. A 3/4 ton will be well worth the upgrade, or even a 1 ton. The transmissions are heavier, the suspension is heavier, the frame is heavier = more stable towing platform.

  4. #4


    As mentioned by Stephan your Glove Box is a White Sticker and on it you will see your Trucks Vin # Number and a Series of Letters and Number's those Letter's and Number's are RPO Code's........Which stands for Regular Production short what your Truck came with from the Factory.....from the Engine Size to Color of the Interior,

    You will be looking for one of the Following RPO Codes either, 3.23 Gears 3.42 Gears 3.73 Gears

    Link to enter Vin # Number,

    Having the 5.3 liter and being a 2WD..... if you have either....3.42 or 3.73 Gears.....your Max Trailer Weight and your Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) would be the Following,

    With 3.42.....Max Trailer Weight......7,100 lbs........ GCWR is 12,000 lbs.
    With 3.73.......^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^.....8.100 lbs.........^^^^^ is 13,000 lbs.

    As touch on by Stephan & KC8QVO
    ....the Weight you may be Towing is going to be pushing the Max of what you can Tow Safely behind your Truck.

    Last edited by 99'HEARTBEAT; 03-14-2011 at 01:27 PM. Reason: Added Infor.


    5.3 l 3.73 l G80

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