New Silverado 4.3 Opinions - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-31-2016, 03:47 PM   #1
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New Silverado 4.3 Opinions

I have been fence sitting for a long time on a new tow vehicle. My plan to retire in a couple of years has been accelerated due to the down turn in the oil and gas business here in Houston. Sometimes decisions get made for you. Short story, I am looking to buy a used truck to finally start some long over due travel adventures - still leaning towards a 5th wheel and see a few Escape 5.0's come on the market occasionally. Depending on what's available can be happy with just about any 16-19 ft fiberglass trailer.

I had made my mind up that the Frontier was pretty much the go to truck, but then looked at a 2015 Silverado with the 4.3 ltr 6cyl and 6 speed tranny and it seems like the perfect truck. More HP (285 vs 261), more torque 305 vs 281), more payload (2108 vs 1266), more towing capacity (7011 vs 6100), less weight (5104 vs 5815) and better mpg (17/22 vs 15/21). These are for 4 wheel drive bare bones trucks.

Anybody out there with any experience with the Chevy? Sounds like a winner. I know Ford makes a great truck too but the used Chevy W/T are more available and typically less money. I see mileage used ones are being offered in the low $20.0ks. Lots of oil field service companies selling off surplus equipment.

Thanks for any advise you can share.
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Old 03-31-2016, 07:54 PM   #2
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Pulled a Scamp 5r with a Chevy 2003 S10 Extended Cab V6 with absolutely no problems.
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Old 03-31-2016, 08:11 PM   #3
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I loved my 2002 chevy S10, 4.3 vortech extended cab! Towed like a dream. Miss that little truck bad. Had no idea chevy was going back to the 4.3 so that's good news. I had to switch to a wheelchair van, and that will most likely be my daily driver as long as my brother is alive. If I could afford to keep two vehicles, I'd buy another chevy 4.3 in a heart beat. Great little truck, torquee motor and packed a punch. Wasn't great on gas at the time but that wasn't a big deal to me. Sounds like they've made lots of improvements all around. I say go for it!


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Old 04-01-2016, 08:53 AM   #4
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I have a 2006 Chevy 1500 (bare bone model) and towed a Scamp 5th wheel over 10,000 miles with it. I love the truck, but hated the transmission. Over the life of the truck, and I still drive it, it has cost me about $12,000. At 71,000 miles it needed a new transmission. Again at 161,000 it needed to be taken out and rebuilt. AAMCO did the work, don't think I would ever use them again. Since they fixed the transmission, it has been in their shop 5 more time for repair. It isn't the cost of the repairs, it is also waiting, paying a RV park to stay when out off town. I also have the 4.3 lt. engine and have had no problems with it, and it always had plenty of power to pull up hills at least at 45 mph.
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Old 04-01-2016, 12:09 PM   #5
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New Silverado 4.3 Opinions

I have a friend with a 2004 Chev. truck that had to replace the transmission when he had 174000 miles on it. He now has a bit over 300000 mile on the new transmission. The work was done a the Chev dealer and had a new Chev trans installed . From what I remember it cost just over 2500 dollars to have it replaced. I would say thats not to bad of service on the new unit.
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Old 04-01-2016, 12:37 PM   #6
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I have a friend who purchased a Chevy pickup at about the same time I purchased a Toyota truck...he regretted that purchase.

Another friend has a Ford Eco-Boost V6 F150 pickup and tows a huge camping trailer...he loves his choice.

All things considered the Ford F-150 Eco-Boost would give you the best gas mileage and towing performance. Normally I'd vote for the Toyota product but the Tundra is a gas pig and the Tacoma has a composite bed that might make towing a fifth wheel problematic.

Facts: of the choices out there for towing the 5th wheel the Ford will be more dependable than anything GM has to offer.
Toyota has best dependability record of the bunch but the gas mileage on the Tundra will not make you happy...Tacoma's composite material bed could be a problem for the 5th wheel.
Nissan trucks might be worth exploring.
Mixed reviews on Dodge trucks..transmission problems.
Based on my past historical record with anything from GM they would never be on my list for anything. Too many reports of bad transmission problems to even consider GM.

Buy Consumer Reports latest car buying guide for unbiased ratings of both new and used models.

Good Luck
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Old 04-02-2016, 08:13 AM   #7
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I'm a Toyota guy through and through, but I've driven a lot of Chevys for work. I was in the market for a truck last fall, and I came really close to buying a Chevy. More stable (bigger) than the smaller Tacomas or Frontiers, bigger engine, heavier suspension, similar gas mileage, likely better gas mileage once pulling a load.

It still annoys me that my small Tacoma (pre 05 when they got bigger) gets about the same mileage as a full size V8 Chevy (at least without the bigger engine), but once towing, I get worse.

If it hadn't been for the fact that my friend was selling a Tacoma that I had known since it was brand new in '98, and was still in great condition, I might have bought a little regular cab short box 4x4 Silverado...

They aren't as trouble free as Toyota, but they're good trucks.
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Old 04-02-2016, 08:49 AM   #8
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All good info here on the various trucks. Did not know about composite bed in Tacomas either.

I forgot to mention I had to have a new (used) rear end put in my chevy. Had about 68000 miles in it at the time. That was kind of annoying. 😁

I hear from other truck owners that the F150 Eco Boost is a great truck but in Western New York climates they seem to rot out faster. Frankly, anything you drive around here must be under coated or oil bathed or you'll be replacing fuel and brake lines quicker than jack sprat.

I love the lines on a tacoma and was unaware of crappy gas mileage. I was thinking Tacoma as I love the bed area of a truck when camping and don't need a big truck pulling a 13. Anyway, I'm driving the wheelchair van so that is for love. The selfish part of me still wants a truck. Ouch


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Old 04-02-2016, 05:15 PM   #9
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I don't know what it is about Toyota, but they either can't seem to or don't care to build a truck with good mileage. Even the old little 4x4 4cylinders, that I love, never got more than 24mpg for me, and that was on flat ground going a steady 65mph.
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Old 04-03-2016, 07:18 AM   #10
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Three years ago we bought a very clean 54k miles 2007 NBS (new for 07 body style) Silverado Z71 (4wd) "Extended cab", 6'6" bed with a 5.3L V8, 4 speed and 3.73 differential ratios with LT trim package. We are very satisfied riding in the truck and it's perfect for towing our 17' Casita SD. It's very comfortable and roomy, my feet are not cramped that is important for me. I thought about the new Colorado but I must have feet room for comfort. I was never a Chevy fan but GM seems to have hit the mark equipping Silverados for towing with travel trailers in mind. I get the mileage figures you mention (17/22, towing 16-17) and the LT trim level is how I would have gotten if I had bought new. The LT has "a heavy duty" towing package with 7 pin RV standard plug as opposed to the regular towing package that has a flat 4 connector
The newer V6 with a 6 speed transmission should work very well for you but research what axle ratios are available.
For our model year there were 3.43 and 3.73 ratios available and the 3.73 might sacrifice a little in MPG but towing wise is a good combination.

I took me a year to find a used truck that met my criteria. Only regret was getting one 6 years old that's now 9 years old instead of newer one but "she who must be obeyed" put on a price ceiling of $20K tops.

If you look in the right places you can find horror stories about ANY brand. My truck now has 81k and I had to replace all 4 radio speakers...lol

Joe
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Old 04-03-2016, 08:22 AM   #11
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In the March Trailer Life magazine there is a wonderful article starting on page 80 that give the tow ratings for most vehicles. It also give the rating based on the gear ratio and some information on transmissions. Might be worth getting a copy of the article, I refer to it often as I waffle on my decision of which truck I want to buy. Of course it doesn't tell you which trucks have or might have transmission problems. But still give you a lot of info in a couple of pages.
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Old 04-03-2016, 08:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Romas View Post
Three years ago we bought a very clean 54k miles 2007 NBS (new for 07 body style) Silverado Z71 (4wd) "Extended cab", 6'6" bed with a 5.3L V8, 4 speed and 3.73 differential ratios with LT trim package. We are very satisfied riding in the truck and it's perfect for towing our 17' Casita SD. It's very comfortable and roomy, my feet are not cramped that is important for me. I thought about the new Colorado but I must have feet room for comfort. I was never a Chevy fan but GM seems to have hit the mark equipping Silverados for towing with travel trailers in mind. I get the mileage figures you mention (17/22, towing 16-17) and the LT trim level is how I would have gotten if I had bought new. The LT has "a heavy duty" towing package with 7 pin RV standard plug as opposed to the regular towing package that has a flat 4 connector
The newer V6 with a 6 speed transmission should work very well for you but research what axle ratios are available.
For our model year there were 3.43 and 3.73 ratios available and the 3.73 might sacrifice a little in MPG but towing wise is a good combination.

I took me a year to find a used truck that met my criteria. Only regret was getting one 6 years old that's now 9 years old instead of newer one but "she who must be obeyed" put on a price ceiling of $20K tops.

If you look in the right places you can find horror stories about ANY brand. My truck now has 81k and I had to replace all 4 radio speakers...lol

Joe
We looked at many small / midsize trucks over the years ( S 10, Ranger , Canyon , Colorado) . Being 6'2" with 2 arthritic knees , the leg room ,head room and ability to easily enter / exit just wasn't there. We have taken several trips in my wife's Pontiac G6 and after a day of driving I need help to stand up.
We just made a 7500 mile trip to the Western US and If I didn't have a fullsize truck I never would have made it .
A fullsize truck is not for everyone but it sure works for us.
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Old 04-03-2016, 11:23 AM   #13
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I getcha Steve. I'm only 5'2" and found in my S10 after a long drive I felt stiff and cramped. Often would out on cruise control to move my legs around a bit.

I would have no problem with buying a full size truck to tow my 13er around, or as a daily driver. In the end, I've never owned a vehicle that's been great on gas, love the versatility of a truck, and would definitely buy one again.

Wish those mobility equipped silverados weren't 60 freakin grand! I'd jump on one if I could find used. I would love having a truck again and simultaneously being able to take care of my bro Jimmy.


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Old 04-03-2016, 11:50 AM   #14
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Yep, and that's kind of my point with my Tacoma. Compared to a full-size truck, it looks like a reasonable, well-sized, efficient truck. But as far as that goes, it's just image. A full size truck can get the same mileage empty, and better mileage towing.

In terms of gas mileage, many full size trucks are actually more fuel efficient/environmentally friendly than my little Tacoma.

But I just love Toyotas...

But in that sense, you don't really need to feel any "full-size guilt".
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