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Which Chevy for Light Hauling?

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  • Which Chevy for Light Hauling?

    I think I'm finally ready to take the plunge and purchase a truck and trailer. Unfortunately, I know NOTHING about the mechanics and requirements for hauling. Growing up, I learned to haul a 2H BP with my Dad's ancient 2500 Suburban. I can drive and truck and trailer, but the mechanics are a mystery.

    Here are my interests along with some considerations:

    This will be DH's primary driving vehicle, but he only puts on approximately 10,000miles a year at the very most. That is about to go down, as he has started driving a company car to and from work (15min drive). All vacations and road trips are taken in my car which is kinder on the MPG than DH's jeep.

    I plan on hauling one horse once or twice a month, mostly local (3hr. drive max).

    We do not currently own a horse trailer, but I am looking for a 2H BP or gooseneck. Nothing giant, no LQ, but a tack room would be nice.

    4 Doors on the truck would be nice as well, or at least a second seat for the dog (no kids at this point).

    I'm a Chevy girl...but I suppose I can stray to Ford.

    So, which Chevy? 1500? 2500HD? Both truck and trailer would be used, preferably under 60,000miles for the truck and DH is requesting 07 and newer (not really a big deal to me though...but this will be HIS truck, I just get to borrow it).

    I drove an older 1500 Chevy with an older heavy (steel) 2 horse gooseneck with 1 horse on board. It was only a short distance, but I'm not sure I would have been comfortable on the highway with it....so I'm guessing that older 1500's are out.

  • #2
    I hauled my 2 horse BP with 5 foot dressing room with a 2005 Chevy 1500. It has been from SC to TX and back several times as well as all over TX.

    I just recently totaled both truck and trailer (not my fault) a guy ran a stop sign. So, I am on the truck search again. After talking to several dealers I am going back with a 1500 over the 2500HD due to it being my primary vehicle to drive and it will have the heavy duty towing package on it. I feel/felt quite comfortable hauling a 2 horse with the 1500. I have also had several dealers (both vehicle and trailer dealers) that have said the 1500 will pull a gooseneck that was a 2 horse.
    ~Soft hands, Strong legs, Quiet mind~


    • #3
      First let me say...that a dealer will tell you it can haul anything just so they can sell it.

      I prefer to be over trucked than under and went with a 2500HD, but thats just me. We also have a 1500 and it can haul fine...that being said, stay away from the 4.8 engine...its trash and couldnt haul a mouse on a roller skate. If you chose the 1500 you want the 5.3...GMC also started offering a 6.2liter in their 1500's in...2010 maybe? You also want a FACTORY towing package on it.

      Chevrolet also did not start offering a limited slip or locking rear end until 2011...so, if you look for a 2007 and up, make that a MUST HAVE...or always keep a tow strap with you, ask me how I know!!!

      I will say that my 2007 HD has the 6.0 Liter and, up here I get an average of 16mpgs, on a long trip I can squeeze out 20mpgs....now with the trailer that promptly drops to 12mpgs, but the thing gets far better gas mileage than I ever expected it to.
      Never Ride Faster Than Your Guardian Angel Can Fly
      Way Back Texas~04/20/90-09/17/08
      Green Alligator "Captain"


      • Original Poster

        Also, where can I learn about things like Axle Ratio and GCWR? How do I found out what a vehicle can really safely tow?

        I would rather have too much truck than too little, so I'm thinking that the 2500 is the way to go. But what does HD actually give you?

        I wish that the chevy website was less about marketing, and more about facts and education.


        • #5
          HD gives you a sturdier truck frame, generally a better rear end ratio and a better transmisson...my HD also came with a tactory tow brake system. You also need to think about tires...my HD had 10 ply towing rated tires...the 1500's come with regular street tires, something to think about as well. I also have bigger brakes.

          Our 1500 is a 2005 and the HD is a 2007...we special ordered the 1500 with the same rear end the 2500 has but my HD has the bigger engine and an Allison Tranny....also, we can EASILY set the back bumper on the ground of the 1500 when a trailer is hooked up...the 2500 barely moves when loaded down to max weight, its stiffer...which means a less comfy ride, but a safer towing vehicle. I know we have easily maxed out the load range on my truck, and she hauls like a champ. Its just, well, bigger and beefier.

          I am in no way saying you cant tow with a 1500, lots of people do, ours has been used many times...I would haul a light two horse with it.
          Never Ride Faster Than Your Guardian Angel Can Fly
          Way Back Texas~04/20/90-09/17/08
          Green Alligator "Captain"


          • #6
            In my opinion, there is no such thing as "light hauling." Hauling is hauling and you need to be as prepared as you can (within reason) very time. So if you are going to buy a Chevy, buy the 2500 and give yourself the peace of mind knowing that you are not operating at the limits of anything.
            Life doesn't have perfect footing.

            Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
            We Are Flying Solo


            • #7
              PM me with your email address OP, I have the Chevy towing guidelines for their trucks.
              ~Soft hands, Strong legs, Quiet mind~


              • #8
                I have a 2006 Chevy 1500 extra cab, 6.5 foot bed, 5.3L engine with the factory tow package, and it has hauled a heavy steel 2h bumper pull with a five foot dressing room through the mountains (granted, with only one horse, but with tons of equipment) with no problems. I recently upgraded my trailer to a much lighter aluminum skin, steel frame 2 horse slant bumper pull and it pulls effortlessly. The max towing on mine is 7700 GWV, I believe. With the steel trailer I imagine I was probably getting up around 6500 lbs with two horses loaded and full of equipment, but with my new trailer I don't think I'm in any danger of even reaching 6000 lbs.


                • #9
                  LOVE my 2001 Chevy 2500 HD for my GN Featherlite 2 horse S/L. With 4' short wall and tiny LQ.
                  Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.


                  • #10
                    I bought a used 2007 Chevy 2500HD Diesel and I LOVE it. I use it to pull my 2 horse bumper pull and it's probably more truck than I need. I was sure glad to have it when we hauled across the country with it. The Rockies sure are steep!