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Just finished a 5,000 mile trip in the Trail Boss, so I feel like I know it now.

Tokolosh

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I have the LT with the 5.3L and we were pulling our 30' RV. It weighs about 6,000 when loaded so well within the TB's specs but still a load when climbing mountains and driving through any wind.

I was a bit worried about power on the mountain passes, rear squat with the trailer (the Ranchos are solid for the truck but I don’t think towing is their strong suit), and definitely worried about transmission cooling.

I would absolutely love to have the 6.2L V8. However, I now must fully admit that desire is entirely because I am a V8 snob who would cold start that thing over and over just so I could stand around making Tim Taylor grunts. The 5.3L did not leave me wanting at any point on this trip. Acceleration and passing were never a problem and I always had more I could have coaxed out with added pressure on the gas pedal. It never felt like engine power was a limiting factor. Yes, I want the 6.2L… or even the supercharged 6.2L that is destined for the Bison trim... but the 5.3L is absolutely solid.

I have said it before but adding a weight distribution hitch is a game changer. Truck rode flat, sway never took me off track, I felt the wind but always felt in control of the vehicle. If you’re towing on freeways… or really more than neighborhood towing get yourself a properly installed anti-sway hitch. Had exactly the squat I’d want to keep weight on all four wheels. It gave the Ranchos the help they needed to keep the ride smooth and comfortable.

I watched the transmission heat anywhere I thought there could be trouble. A couple of spots took the temp to 200 but never above that. I still think I’d like to look into more robust cooling as I think current design on this is a bit of a weakness for Silverados. But overall it never took me too high and stayed in normal temps regardless of terrain and weather.

Really the truck did as well as or better than I could have hoped for. While I have moments where I think a 2500 would be a better tool, especially when towing, this 1500 is doing the work really well. I’ve loaded the bed a few times and pushed it’s cargo limits. So far so good as a tow vehicle, as a church camp support truck, and as a weekender for projects or outdoor fun. Plus the off-road focus of the Trail Boss is what pulled me in. I am definitely a fan of the Trail Boss.
 

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I’ve got 3500 miles on my 2022 refresh custom with a 2.7ho engine and have pulled my lund 1875 crossover boat about 2000 of those miles. I like the way it tows, love the camera for hitching and that little engine pulls great, as good as the 5.3’s we use at work. The only thing I miss is the sound of the v-8. I think these trailboss’s are a lot of truck for the money. I have the pleasure of driving all sorts of trucks and SUV’s usually the higher end ones up to raptors ect… and I have to say this is my favorite to date. I also get tons of compliments on it. Just hope it ends up trouble fee.
 
I have the LT with the 5.3L and we were pulling our 30' RV. It weighs about 6,000 when loaded so well within the TB's specs but still a load when climbing mountains and driving through any wind.

I was a bit worried about power on the mountain passes, rear squat with the trailer (the Ranchos are solid for the truck but I don’t think towing is their strong suit), and definitely worried about transmission cooling.

I would absolutely love to have the 6.2L V8. However, I now must fully admit that desire is entirely because I am a V8 snob who would cold start that thing over and over just so I could stand around making Tim Taylor grunts. The 5.3L did not leave me wanting at any point on this trip. Acceleration and passing were never a problem and I always had more I could have coaxed out with added pressure on the gas pedal. It never felt like engine power was a limiting factor. Yes, I want the 6.2L… or even the supercharged 6.2L that is destined for the Bison trim... but the 5.3L is absolutely solid.

I have said it before but adding a weight distribution hitch is a game changer. Truck rode flat, sway never took me off track, I felt the wind but always felt in control of the vehicle. If you’re towing on freeways… or really more than neighborhood towing get yourself a properly installed anti-sway hitch. Had exactly the squat I’d want to keep weight on all four wheels. It gave the Ranchos the help they needed to keep the ride smooth and comfortable.

I watched the transmission heat anywhere I thought there could be trouble. A couple of spots took the temp to 200 but never above that. I still think I’d like to look into more robust cooling as I think current design on this is a bit of a weakness for Silverados. But overall it never took me too high and stayed in normal temps regardless of terrain and weather.

Really the truck did as well as or better than I could have hoped for. While I have moments where I think a 2500 would be a better tool, especially when towing, this 1500 is doing the work really well. I’ve loaded the bed a few times and pushed it’s cargo limits. So far so good as a tow vehicle, as a church camp support truck, and as a weekender for projects or outdoor fun. Plus the off-road focus of the Trail Boss is what pulled me in. I am definitely a fan of the Trail Boss.
You went through my stomping grounds. Just 5 weeks ago I was in Four Corners, Moab, Monument Valley & Durango. Towing my 7,000 LB + trailer. My reports are very similar to yours, 5.3, 10sp 2021 LT loving this thing. I would not worry about your trany temps too much. I'm in Phoenix. I have torture tested mine in the desert many times and keep an eye on it. I have not broken 200 degrees yet. I agree about the power too. More would be fun but I have never "needed" it. 5.3 comfortably handles everything I want it to do.

Kind REgards,

Steve
 
I think the transmission cooler is set up to keep it around 190-205 degrees? Mine is always around there even while towing. The fluid 10 years ago didn’t start degrading until 270 same with seals ect so there quite a buffer there and fluids are all synthetic and much better now.
 
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You went through my stomping grounds. Just 5 weeks ago I was in Four Corners, Moab, Monument Valley & Durango. Towing my 7,000 LB + trailer. My reports are very similar to yours, 5.3, 10sp 2021 LT loving this thing. I would not worry about your trany temps too much. I'm in Phoenix. I have torture tested mine in the desert many times and keep an eye on it. I have not broken 200 degrees yet. I agree about the power too. More would be fun but I have never "needed" it. 5.3 comfortably handles everything I want it to do.

Kind REgards,

Steve

I’m in Texas now but I grew up out west. Weekends were for playing in the mountains or taking my bike to the red rocks. I still consider Utah my stomping grounds despite living in Chicago and DFW over the last 12+ years.
 
I have the LT with the 5.3L and we were pulling our 30' RV. It weighs about 6,000 when loaded so well within the TB's specs but still a load when climbing mountains and driving through any wind.

I was a bit worried about power on the mountain passes, rear squat with the trailer (the Ranchos are solid for the truck but I don’t think towing is their strong suit), and definitely worried about transmission cooling.

I would absolutely love to have the 6.2L V8. However, I now must fully admit that desire is entirely because I am a V8 snob who would cold start that thing over and over just so I could stand around making Tim Taylor grunts. The 5.3L did not leave me wanting at any point on this trip. Acceleration and passing were never a problem and I always had more I could have coaxed out with added pressure on the gas pedal. It never felt like engine power was a limiting factor. Yes, I want the 6.2L… or even the supercharged 6.2L that is destined for the Bison trim... but the 5.3L is absolutely solid.

I have said it before but adding a weight distribution hitch is a game changer. Truck rode flat, sway never took me off track, I felt the wind but always felt in control of the vehicle. If you’re towing on freeways… or really more than neighborhood towing get yourself a properly installed anti-sway hitch. Had exactly the squat I’d want to keep weight on all four wheels. It gave the Ranchos the help they needed to keep the ride smooth and comfortable.

I watched the transmission heat anywhere I thought there could be trouble. A couple of spots took the temp to 200 but never above that. I still think I’d like to look into more robust cooling as I think current design on this is a bit of a weakness for Silverados. But overall it never took me too high and stayed in normal temps regardless of terrain and weather.

Really the truck did as well as or better than I could have hoped for. While I have moments where I think a 2500 would be a better tool, especially when towing, this 1500 is doing the work really well. I’ve loaded the bed a few times and pushed it’s cargo limits. So far so good as a tow vehicle, as a church camp support truck, and as a weekender for projects or outdoor fun. Plus the off-road focus of the Trail Boss is what pulled me in. I am definitely a fan of the Trail Boss.
It appears you have the LT, which I believe means you have the 10-speed? I had a 2019 Custom Trail Boss prior to my new one, it had the 5.3 and the 6-speed. It did feel a little sluggish when pulling, but I strongly believe it was the poorly tuned 6-speed transmission and not the 5.3's fault. Because I had a 2015 Silverado with a 5.3 and it didn't feel sluggish at all.

I saw on Superchip's website when they came out with the tuner for the 2019+ Silverados that the 5.3 with the 10-speed was getting more power to the tires than the 5.3 with the 6 or 8 speed. So I don't think that 5.3 is a slouch if you can get it with the 10-speed. My wife's Tahoe has the 5.3 and 10-speed and it is pretty snappy for a 5800 pound vehicle lol.

I think GM does have their oil cooling system down pretty well, but I agree that they could use a bigger and better external transmission cooling system. I wonder if there are any aftermarket, bigger external radiators for the transmission that also allows for more fluid capacity? I would be interested.
 
I have the LT with the 5.3L and we were pulling our 30' RV. It weighs about 6,000 when loaded so well within the TB's specs but still a load when climbing mountains and driving through any wind.

I was a bit worried about power on the mountain passes, rear squat with the trailer (the Ranchos are solid for the truck but I don’t think towing is their strong suit), and definitely worried about transmission cooling...
Thats great to hear Tokolosh: I put my order in for my TB in January and originally ordered it with the 6.2, but then the gas prices started going crazy. My dealer called me in February to let me know about a constraint on the running boards I had ordered and I asked him if I could change to the 5.3 (honestly, it didn't hurt that they were building the 5.3's without DFM either). I received it couple of weeks ago, broke it in and was ready to tow our Mini-Lite (6000 lbs also), BUT I got the dreaded "Service Trailer Brakes" warning. The trailer is new (second season) and I've towed it with several other vehicles without issue... soooo I'm thinking the truck, and it seems to be a common issue. I did change out the plug on the trailer as read that the GM receiver side can be fussy, but it didn't help. It will work for several applications and then I get the warning and no brakes. First oil change tomorrow (seems crazy to me to do 7500 miles of break in before an oil change), so I'll see what the dealer says, but my fear is heading down the "no it cant be the truck, it must be the trailer" rabbit hole and never getting resolution... the darn trailer season is almost over here in CO!
 
The transmission probably has a circuit in the main radiator. While I don't know about Silverados for certain, this is very common in American-made vehicles, and has been standard for many years. So if your main radiator coolant is at 210 deg F ... which it probably is all of the time ... getting the trans to 200 is no big deal at all. It means the trans is cooling really well, because it should be the same as the engine coolant.

When I saw trans temps of over 225 in my Corvette, I installed a trans cooler with its own fan and thermostat in place of one of the fog lamps. But it was getting that hot probably because I need a new radiator. Original radiators with 80,000 miles on them are very difficult to clean, and in a Corvette the radiator is really close to the road surface.
 

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