From a Dodge to a GMC

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Well-known member
Dec 24, 2006
San Antonio, Florida
In 1999 we purchased our Dodge Ram 2500 diesel, at the time we had a Jayco 5er with a GVWR around 10,000 lb. In 2004, we purchased the larger, heaver Jayco, GVWR 14,950. I had the Edge Juice module installed in the Dodge, the transmission's main shaft replaced and installed "coolers" on the transmission and rear end. I also personally installed the Jacobs exhaust brake. The Dodge handled the heavier trailer without any problems, all you had to do was move your transmission shift point up a little higher. I towed with the Dodge another two years, about 15,000 miles. On NV 160 west outside Las Vegas, the grade is fairly steep. The best I could do with the Dodge was 35 MPH in 3rd gear. The Dodge was very good on mileage, I routinely got around 12 with that heavy 5er.
In 2006 when GM introduced the high output "LBZ" option on their diesel, with the Alison 1000 transmission, I decided to upgrade.
Now, one year later, I'm glad I did and I never looked back.
The GMC isn't broke in yet (10,000 miles), the best I could do towing 15K is about 10 MPG. On that same NV 160 west, the Alison held fourth gear at 55/60 MPH. The "tow haul" feature of the Alison transmission is fabulous! In that mode, the transmission automatically downshifts to keep your speed stable on steep downhills. This truck's 365Hp/650FtLB of torque is very impressive. Just ask the big trucks that moved left when I entered the Interstate, only never to be able to catch up to me, until my speed stabilized at 65 MPH. Not taking anything away from Mr. Cummins, this new truck is a cut above the Dodge.
The 4 wheel disc brakes work great, and after driving a Dodge for seven years, this new GMC's suspension, rides like a car. All in all, I love this new truck it is a pleasure to drive.
One last item, the main reason we downsized our 5er is the price of fuel. When the truck is broken in, with this lighter trailer, I hope to be able to stick it to the oil companies at fill up time!
Good Luck with your new truck! 

I went the other way.  I had a 99 GMC 1500 and traded it in for an 05 Dodge 1500.  Like you, I got improved performace with the new truck.  But my 99 GMC had a 5.3 engine versus the 5.7 Hemi engine in the Dodge.  So I suppose engine size, along with 100,000 miles on the 99, account for some of the difference.  I was happy with my GMC and would have bought another except at the time, the GMC deal (price and warranty) wasn't nearly as good as the Dodge deal. 
Why I Switched

Prior to purchasing my new Duramax; I didn't NEED a new tow truck, my Dodge was in perfect shape. I had recently spent a lot of money on improvements, getting it ready to tow our new 15,000 (GVWR) fifth wheel. The GMC cost me $13,000 more than the Dodge did. If you factor in the Transfer Flow 30 gallon auxiliary fuel tank, it was closer to $16,000; I had to have this because GM's short-bed trucks only have a 26 gallon fuel tank.
Edmund's had posted the results of a test between GM, Ford and Dodge diesel pick-ups. The Duramax/Allison combination in the GM, had soundly beaten the Ford and trounced the Dodge in head to head tests. After reading these test results, I decided to take on loan payments for another FIVE years! Below I have posted the "meat and potatoes" of the test results. I have also posted the website for anyone who would like to read the entire article.

Road Test: Comparison Test

2006 Heavy-Duty-Truck Comparison Test
First Place: 2006 Chevrolet Silverado 3500

By Ed Hellwig, Senior Editor
Date posted: 06-07-2006

Big numbers on paper don't always translate directly to the pavement, but in this case the Silverado backed up its spec sheet. At the test track, the 7,420-pound Chevrolet ran from zero to 60 in just 8.4 seconds and crossed the quarter-mile in 16.5 seconds at 83.1 mph. Those numbers not only leave the Ford (9.6, 17.1) and Dodge (10.1, 17.4) sucking diesel smoke, they're in the range of several mid-size SUVs we've tested recently.

Hitching up the big Axis trailer was the real test, however, and the Silverado walked away from the Dodge and Ford there, too. With the trailer in tow and over a ton of bricks in the bed, the Chevrolet maintained the highest average speed up the pass and covered the 12-mile distance nearly a minute faster than both the Dodge and Ford. On the steepest sections of the grade (up to 7.2 percent), the Silverado was the only truck that could maintain constant acceleration. It also delivered the best overall fuel economy for the climb at 7.3 mpg.

We kept the transmission in tow/haul mode throughout the climb and it worked flawlessly. Every shift was firm and its timing was perfect. With six gears to play with, we thought it might get too busy trying to find just the right ratio, but it didn't jump around any more than the others.

It was the best transmission on the way down the hill, too. As soon as we touched the brake pedal, it downshifted a gear. And as our speed gradually slowed, it kept on dropping gears, all the way down to 1st by the time we hit the stop sign at the end of the off-ramp.

Ed I'm with you on this one.  Previously I had a 99 Ford extended cab (long box) V-10, it was a good truck and I liked it.  Then we decided to get a heavier trailer and I switched to a 2005 Chevy Duramax / Allison.  I was immediatly impressed with the towing power and tow mode.

The Duramax has consistenty provided better power and milage under all circumstances.  There is a vast difference in the trucks and you can't expect the V-10 to compete, but it is like night and day.  If I wasn't going to get a heavyer 5er I would not have changed trucks, but we wanted / needed the increased towing capacity (from 11.5 K on the Ford to 15.6 K on the Chevy)

Yes, they cost more and I probably won't put enough miles on it to justify the increased cost, but I'm towing a nicer heavier trailer than the Ford could manage.  I'm happy with the decision I made.  ;D
I think you would have noticed the same level of improvement had you switched to a Ford diesel with the Ford 5 speed auto. The difference between a gas engine, even a big block V10 or V8, and a diesel borders on amazing when it comes to towing. And the superior transmissions provided with the diesels is another plus.
I agree.  I looked at the Fords but decided that I liked the Chevy better.  Both are strong trucks.

For my money a turbo diesel is the way to for power.

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