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Old 09-07-2020, 07:53 AM   #1
janders
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Chevy 3500

Iím currently in a 2017 ram 1500 and considering upgrading for my new Passport 292. I found a Chevy 3500 crew cab long bed that the dealer would trade straight across. I know more truck is always better, but Iím wondering about this specific truck.

2015 3500
6.0 gas
113,000 miles
Crew cab long bed
4.10 axle
Work truck package

Hereís my ram specs:
2017 1500
5.7
50,000 miles
Crew cab short bed

Seem like a fair trade? Iíve personally had the worst luck with GM vehicles, in particular their transmissions. What do yíall think?
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Old 09-07-2020, 09:15 AM   #2
JRTJH
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The 3500 will be "better suited" to tow a heavier trailer when compared to your current 1500.

That said, without knowing the "previous use history" (oil field hotshot truck vs driven by grandpa only on Sundays) and prior maintenance records (oil changes, etc done on schedule vs only 2 oil changes in 113,000 miles)....

If the 3500 is in the "same condition with similar maintenance and use history" then it might be a deal to jump on... On the other hand, if the 3500 has a long history of abuse/misuse and is "on its last legs, breathing hard with worn out brakes, slipping transmission when it gets hot and a "strange vibration from the rear end at 45MPH" Well, it's all about how long that truck will "stay in one piece"....

If what you're looking at is reliable, it's a better tow vehicle. If your motivation is "just to get a heavier truck and there's no assurance that the new one is in as good as or better condition than your current truck, then "buyer beware" !!!!!
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Old 09-07-2020, 09:30 AM   #3
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I would talk to a local paint and body shop and have them just look over the truck for damage and re-paints. I have had a body shop foreman look at a truck for about 3 minutes and show me all the repair spots, for free.
Same with a mechanic.
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Old 09-07-2020, 09:45 AM   #4
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Are you having issues with the Ram towing the trailer? I ask because I'm not seeing any benefit to a backward trade in this case - particularly since you will be losing money.

What is the payload on your current truck? I believe my last 1/2 ton Ram was 16-1700? Figure your trailer gvw is about 7200 and tongue might be in the 850 range when fully loaded (that is not gvw but based on approx. 1200lbs. of gear, about what I carried bringing it to 7000lbs. vs gvw of 7200).

If you have a 1600lb. payload you have 750 for folks, gear and hitch in the truck. That's doable. If you want to carry everything including the kitchen sink you may be at the point of picking and choosing what to leave on every trip.

Trucks. The ONLY benefit in the trade would be to gain a small amount of payload with the 3500. After that I see nothing but negatives.

1) 2 year older truck.
2) 130k on a gas engine = very limited lifespan towing an RV
3) 6 speed tranny in Chev vs 8 speed in Ram - HUGE difference
4) The Ram makes considerably more HP and torque vs the Chev - Chev
360hp/380tq vs Ram 395hp/410tq.

In addition to the above, in a quick NADA search using what criteria you posted and standard equipment it indicates the Chevy would be worth about 21,275 clean retail vs 27,850 for the Ram. There is a reason the dealer is willing to trade straight across. I've never met one (hundreds and hundreds) that gives you a break in your favor . JMO

Edit: If you can stay within the weight limits with the 1/2 ton you can always install air bags and LT tires as I did. Doesn't increase your payload and in fact will take some off, but it sure stabilizes the softness of the 1/2 ton suspension. Also, in further reviewing the NADA numbers, the dealer is giving you approx. "rough trade in" value for your truck and you are paying the top "clean retail" price for the Chevy. So not really an across the board swap.
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Old 09-07-2020, 10:53 AM   #5
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You guys are great. Thank you. I haven’t actually picked up the new trailer or towed with it yet. I will be pretty near maxed out by the numbers, but it should be possible to stay within range.

Truck gross is 6900.
Trailer gross is 7200.
Combined rating is 13,800.

I know I’ll be close, but I think we will technically be ok with some planning and a couple trips to the weigh scales. We won’t have anything that has to be in the bed of the truck.

Do you guys have any real world weights of your trailer contents that you can share? I can’t imagine actually packing 1200 lb of stuff. Battery and propane are heavy, sure. So is water, but we won’t usually (ever?) need a full tank on the road. I know things add up fast though.
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Old 09-07-2020, 11:03 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by janders View Post
You guys are great. Thank you. I havenít actually picked up the new trailer or towed with it yet. I will be pretty near maxed out by the numbers, but it should be possible to stay within range.

Truck gross is 6900.
Trailer gross is 7200.
Combined rating is 13,800.

I know Iíll be close, but I think we will technically be ok with some planning and a couple trips to the weigh scales. We wonít have anything that has to be in the bed of the truck.

Do you guys have any real world weights of your trailer contents that you can share? I canít imagine actually packing 1200 lb of stuff. Battery and propane are heavy, sure. So is water, but we wonít usually (ever?) need a full tank on the road. I know things add up fast though.
Tool box, clothes, food, dog, books... When we moved to the new trailer there was more than 30 pounds just in DVD's, I know because I weighed the box The DW's knickknacks are 20 pounds...
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Old 09-07-2020, 11:11 AM   #7
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Way ahead of you on the DVDs. Rip those bad boys to a hard drive and reduce it to a few ounces. As for the knickknacks...those things are a force to be reckoned with!
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Old 09-07-2020, 11:24 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by janders View Post
You guys are great. Thank you. I haven’t actually picked up the new trailer or towed with it yet. I will be pretty near maxed out by the numbers, but it should be possible to stay within range.

Truck gross is 6900.
Trailer gross is 7200.
Combined rating is 13,800.

I know I’ll be close, but I think we will technically be ok with some planning and a couple trips to the weigh scales. We won’t have anything that has to be in the bed of the truck.

Do you guys have any real world weights of your trailer contents that you can share? I can’t imagine actually packing 1200 lb of stuff. Battery and propane are heavy, sure. So is water, but we won’t usually (ever?) need a full tank on the road. I know things add up fast though.

The 1200 I posted above was accurate/scaled. Obviously it varied at times (are we carrying the dehumidifier? About 50lbs. etc.) It all depends on how you camp, where you camp etc. I carry a bbq grill, blackstone flattop, 2 air compressors, 2 8 ton bottle jacks, spare LP tank (5 gal). What about the induction cookers, magma nesting cookware, slow cooker, pressure cooker.....the list is long. Or, you can take a coleman stove, a sauce pan and skillet and be done with it. LOTS of things to consider along with this; you can go with the sauce pan and skillet, but, I can assure you the more you go and the longer you stay....the longer the list is of what will be in your trailer so be forewarned. My goal was, and is, to always stay "comfortably" under the payload/gvw of the truck. With my last trailer (bigger than yours) I could not do that with a 1/2 ton without leaving too many things behind so I didn't. Made one trip with what we wanted in the trailer and truck and went to FL. Immediately upon return (within the month) I had a new 3/4 ton - wasn't "too" bad fully loaded with a 1/2 ton (airbags, bilsteins, LT tires) but not great. More than anything I couldn't deal with driving overloaded mentally - it made me completely paranoid every mile of the trip and worrying about what could happen to us or someone else. The 3/4 fixed that and I smiled every mile I towed with it.
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Old 09-07-2020, 11:34 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by sourdough View Post
The 1200 I posted above was accurate/scaled. Obviously it varied at times (are we carrying the dehumidifier? About 50lbs. etc.) It all depends on how you camp, where you camp etc. I carry a bbq grill, blackstone flattop, 2 air compressors, 2 8 ton bottle jacks, spare LP tank (5 gal). What about the induction cookers, magma nesting cookware, slow cooker, pressure cooker.....the list is long. Or, you can take a coleman stove, a sauce pan and skillet and be done with it. LOTS of things to consider along with this; you can go with the sauce pan and skillet, but, I can assure you the more you go and the longer you stay....the longer the list is of what will be in your trailer so be forewarned.
Folks are always surprised by how much all the little things weigh, I've never weighed it but I'd bet the kitchen utensil draw has 10 pounds of knives, forks and spoons, spatulas, bottle opener, can opener, bag clips etc.. Not to mention 10 pounds of dog food, and another 10 of treats and toys under the island.

Not to mention the whiskey...
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Old 09-07-2020, 02:15 PM   #10
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The Chevy 6.0L Vortec engine is supposed to be pretty reliable and you should have quite a bit of payload allowing for a fairly decent sized camper (up to about 13K lbs) to be pulled down the road. Pay a mechanic to do an independent inspection and keep a close eye on the front end components, brakes, tires, and of course drive components. if I had the chance all all checked out, I would trade. Don't forget that at 100K miles all heavy trucks may want a front end, tires, brakes, hubs, rotors and such so these possible expenses have to be factored in but the Vortec engine is supposed to be pretty bullet proof and this is coming from a Ford guy.
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Old 09-07-2020, 02:25 PM   #11
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The allison transmission is also very good. A huge difference over the transmission I had in the 1500, even though the 5.3 Vortec is also a very good engine.
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Old 09-07-2020, 02:41 PM   #12
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The allison transmission is also very good. A huge difference over the transmission I had in the 1500, even though the 5.3 Vortec is also a very good engine.

Haven't seen a one ton Chevy/GMC with the 5.3L. If you exercise due diligence, you increase your odds of buying a good vehicle but buying used can also present issues that no amount of care can avoid. A pro mechanic being paid to go over a truck with a fine tooth comb is likely the best that can be done.
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Old 09-07-2020, 03:15 PM   #13
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Without intent to outdo Danny's 1200 pounds, our Raptor after removal of bike, sidecar and all cycle gear, we boxed up and hauled off right at 1900 pounds of 'stuff' as we prefer to call it. Yes, I did post a photo of this about three years ago. We live in our RV 9 months out of the year and take a lot of equipment, supplies and the like. I believe that Danny (TT) hauled a similar amount in his 5'ver.
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Old 09-07-2020, 05:18 PM   #14
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Without intent to outdo Danny's 1200 pounds, our Raptor after removal of bike, sidecar and all cycle gear, we boxed up and hauled off right at 1900 pounds of 'stuff' as we prefer to call it. Yes, I did post a photo of this about three years ago. We live in our RV 9 months out of the year and take a lot of equipment, supplies and the like. I believe that Danny (TT) hauled a similar amount in his 5'ver.
Mine dry was 13750k & loaded full-time, weighed 3 different times, was 16525-16550k so considerably more than 1200lbs.
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Old 09-07-2020, 05:44 PM   #15
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Without intent to outdo Danny's 1200 pounds, our Raptor after removal of bike, sidecar and all cycle gear, we boxed up and hauled off right at 1900 pounds of 'stuff' as we prefer to call it. Yes, I did post a photo of this about three years ago. We live in our RV 9 months out of the year and take a lot of equipment, supplies and the like. I believe that Danny (TT) hauled a similar amount in his 5'ver.


Well, in full disclosure those weights were from my bumper pull. When comparing 5vrs, toy haulers etc. there will be some differences. I'm paranoid about loaded weights from my past efforts at trying to meet weights with a 1/2 ton truck. I've moved on from that and now, even though I try to remove something for anything new I put in, I find that all that "open space" in the fifth wheel is either inviting more "stuff" (like my new GMG pellet smoker) or moving a few things aside and making a sleeping space in the pass through...
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Old 09-07-2020, 05:49 PM   #16
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Danny (Traveling Texan) Sorry for the confusion....
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Old 09-08-2020, 02:14 PM   #17
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The allison transmission is also very good. A huge difference over the transmission I had in the 1500, even though the 5.3 Vortec is also a very good engine.
Allison would only come with a diesel. The 6.0L Gas got a 6L90.
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Old 09-08-2020, 02:22 PM   #18
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That is correct, my mistake.
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Old 09-08-2020, 02:28 PM   #19
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Hey janders! Did you get confused with all the opinions? Make up your mind? Inquiring minds want to know! Anyway good luck.
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Old 09-14-2020, 08:08 PM   #20
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Thanks for all the input. I’ve got a couple 2500 trucks I’m going to look at this weekend. I think they will afford me plenty of payload for my goals. That’s all I’ve really decided on at the moment. Unfortunately, they are all out of town and will take all day to check them out. Oh well.
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