1500 vs 2500 for towing travel trailer (downhill)

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rchaze4

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I plan on purchasing a 1500 5.7 Hemi with tow package to tow a 28’ travel trailer with GVW 6,000. Know the 1500 has plenty of performance to tow, but have been told by some that a 1500 will get pushed around downhill and I should buy a 2500 instead.

With the tow package and conservative driving, any feedback on a 1500 being pushed downhill by a trailer?
 

rzr6-4

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Rolling hills of Nebraska, makes no difference. Several miles down a mountain pass in Colorado, I could definitely see it being a noticeable difference, just depends what your terrain is like. Your profile says you are in Kalifornia which to my understanding has a little bit of everything so that may be up to you to decide. If this is a once in a while thing then adequate driving skills should make up the difference but if you will be towing somewhat frequently then it's worth the upgrade.
 

ppine

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A 3/4 ton truck is superior in every way going, up and down or on the flats.
Some of the approaches to a place like Death Valley are really steep. Sometimes you have to let your engine cool off and sometimes you have to let the brakes cool off even with a big truck and a diesel.
 

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It won't so much be the "pushing downhill" that will be the issue, you should be able to gear down enough to take care of most of that. It will be that huge sail you're towing behind you catching the wind and yanking you all over the place - to include when a big rig blows by you at 75 MPH.
 

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I have a 31’ TT that I tow with my Cummins equipped 2500. Even when going down the interstate and I get passed by a semi, I usually tow at 65, I get pulled in a little so I watch for them and prepare for it. Couldn’t imagine doing that with a lighter tow vehicle. You’ll pay more for an HD but in my opinion it’s an all around better towing experience, especially with a longer TT.
 

Fake-Account27

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The issue is payload. The tongue weight on that trailer will be at least 750 lbs, potentially up to 900. If you get one with 1700 lbs of payload you will be ok, but some trims are 1400 lbs or less which would not be ideal.
 

jr27236

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Do you have any experience pulling a travel trailer or any trailer in that case? I wouldn't say your gonna get "pushed around" the trailer is of course gonna want to run if you not controlling it with your braking or gearing and of course the trailer itself has brakes that you can set with your brake controller in your tow vehicle. My concern would be the braking system and on the 2500 the brakes are larger than on a 1500 and I'd also be upgrading them to slotted and drilled rotors and ceramic pads so they cool better and handle the heat. Power train wise in gassers 6.4 is gonna be a little better than a 5.7 diesel is gonna put out them both, but with a diesel you sacrifice payload. (Bigger isn't always better). Also transmissions. A 6-speed or an 8- speed. I have an 8 in my 1500 and love the hill decent feature which automatically gears down and holds that on hills, even without a trailer. Not familiar with the 6-speed so wonder if that has it also (others can chime in please). Diesels will has an exhaust brake that will assist hill also for you. But diesels are more $$ and more fuel cost but will provide greater mileage. You have a lot of research to do to make a responsible decision and not put yourself or others at risk.
 

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Lot's of good advice here I see, so won't repeat. I was in similar situation several years back with what I was needing to tow being at the upper bandwidth of 1500 capacity and spent a lot of time deciding, researching, etc. Even with many years of towing experience I was trying not to take the $ plunge in going up another level of truck. The main deciding factor for me was safety tbh. Have been witness to so many discussions with polar opposite views, but at the end of the day for me I don't want to be one of those countless accident scenes (some on video) where the occupants of the vehicle are all over the place after things go wrong (for many reasons). The right tool for the job comes to mind here.

Looking back am very happy with my choice and have no regrets. Good luck with your choice.
 

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Do you have any experience pulling a travel trailer or any trailer in that case? I wouldn't say your gonna get "pushed around" the trailer is of course gonna want to run if you not controlling it with your braking or gearing and of course the trailer itself has brakes that you can set with your brake controller in your tow vehicle. My concern would be the braking system and on the 2500 the brakes are larger than on a 1500 and I'd also be upgrading them to slotted and drilled rotors and ceramic pads so they cool better and handle the heat. Power train wise in gassers 6.4 is gonna be a little better than a 5.7 diesel is gonna put out them both, but with a diesel you sacrifice payload. (Bigger isn't always better). Also transmissions. A 6-speed or an 8- speed. I have an 8 in my 1500 and love the hill decent feature which automatically gears down and holds that on hills, even without a trailer. Not familiar with the 6-speed so wonder if that has it also (others can chime in please). Diesels will has an exhaust brake that will assist hill also for you. But diesels are more $$ and more fuel cost but will provide greater mileage. You have a lot of research to do to make a responsible decision and not put yourself or others at risk.

It's not so much the truck getting pushed around, it's the trailer getting pushed around. A 2500 weighs about 2000 lbs more than a 1500. That equates to vehicle stability. The tail is going to have a much harder time wagging the dog.
 

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Tow 30 ft 6500lb trailer and have never felt like I was being pushed around at anytime. Would invest in some michelin defenders for truck or some other high ply tire though.
 

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Tow 30 ft 6500lb trailer and have never felt like I was being pushed around at anytime. Would invest in some michelin defenders for truck or some other high ply tire though.
A travel trailer, or a utility trailer? The weight and length wouldn't be a problem for you; it's the height that becomes an issue for some.
 

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With the tow package and conservative driving, any feedback on a 1500 being pushed downhill by a trailer?
Getting the trailer WDH set up properly along with distributing the load in the truck and trailer correctly the 1500 will handle the trailer just fine. To adjust the load and WDH you'll want to use the actual weights from going over a CAT scale. Tow/Haul mode is a must and don't try to outsmart the transmission (it's smarter than most people realize).
 

dhay13

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The 6.4 6 speed has hill descent. I tow a 9000lb boat and have went down a hill near me called mile hill. About 6% grade and 1 mile long. Don't even have to touch the brakes. Actually have to give it a little throttle 1/2 way down.
 

mtofell

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You could likely do it in a 1500 but a 2500 is a much better tool for the job. The 1500 is like having to turn your stereo up to 9 while the 2500 is like turning it up to 3. A stereo at 9 still puts out music but it starts to crackle, pop and distort. If you already had the 1500 I'd be on board with making mods, etc. to make it work but opting for a tool that is 90% maxed out right from the start isn't the best methodology.
 

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You could likely do it in a 1500 but a 2500 is a much better tool for the job. The 1500 is like having to turn your stereo up to 9 while the 2500 is like turning it up to 3. A stereo at 9 still puts out music but it starts to crackle, pop and distort. If you already had the 1500 I'd be on board with making mods, etc. to make it work but opting for a tool that is 90% maxed out right from the start isn't the best methodology.
You can use a push mower to mow 2 acres. But a zero turn gets the job done a heck of a lot better.
 

Ckidd_21

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I tow a 24’ trailer when fully loaded is close to 5,000 with my 1500. I pull it all over Colorado, including all the steep passes we have. While I have never encountered any issues going up or down, it definitely is nicer when I can use my dads 2500. In my truck I can set it in 3rd gear coming down Loveland or Berthoud pass and be fine but it’s screaming pretty good. My dads 2500 barely even blinks at it. We will probably be upgrading here in then next few years to a 2500 with the towing and hauling we have been doing with the 1500 and would like some extra payload and comfort when doing either.
 

crash68

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In my truck I can set it in 3rd gear coming down Loveland or Berthoud pass and be fine but it’s screaming pretty good. My dads 2500 barely even blinks at it.
What does the truck being a 1500 have anything to do with the engine "screaming pretty good"?
It has to do with gearing, tire size and vehicle speed not that the truck is a 2500/3500. Don't even think that because a 2500 is heavier that it slows the trailer down more, if anything gravity working against you.
The only advantage a HD truck might have an edge on is the slightly larger displacement of the Hemi engine, if it's a Cummins under the hood it's not even a mentionable comparison. The Cummins has an exhaust brake that's capable of holding back trailers in excess of 20K lbs.
 
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jejb

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Diesels will has an exhaust brake that will assist hill also for you. But diesels are more $$ and more fuel cost but will provide greater mileage.
Not to open a can of worms, but while the diesel option is expensive, it will hold its value over time much better than the rest of the truck will. I've owned both gas and diesel 3/4 ton's over the years. In my experience, diesel is pretty much always going to get about 40-50% better MPG. So the fuel cost per mile is generally in the diesel's favor, depending on the delta between regular and diesel in your area.

I'm not advocating diesel per se. Just trying to give you more information.
You have a lot of research to do to make a responsible decision and not put yourself or others at risk.
Agreed. Safety would be at the top of my list for wanting an HD for towing anything of this size. You may want to think about stepping up to a 1 ton SRW. Only like a $1000 more. Unloaded ride will likely be worse, but it will allow you to step up to a much larger camper, should you ever want to.
 
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Tulecreeper

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What does the truck being a 2500 have anything to do with the engine "screaming pretty good"?
It has to do with gearing, tire size and vehicle speed not that the truck is a 2500/3500. Don't even think that because a 2500 is heavier that it slows the trailer down more, if anything gravity working against you.
The only advantage a HD truck might have an edge on is the slightly larger displacement of the Hemi engine, if it's a Cummins under the hood it's not even a mentionable comparison. The Cummins has an exhaust brake that's capable of holding back trailers in excess of 20K lbs.
He said the 1500 was "screaming" when he had it in 3rd going downhill, which I take to mean the RPM's are really up there.
 

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