View Full Version : Chevy Silverado 1500 - any first hand experience?

05-05-2006, 10:06 PM
Hey I am looking at a 2001 chevy silverado 1500 with the 5.3l engine. Is there anything good or bad I should know about these trucks? I will regularly (2-3 days a week) be pulling with it, about 3-4,000 lbs.

05-05-2006, 10:19 PM
Hey I am looking at a 2001 chevy silverado 1500 with the 5.3l engine. Is there anything good or bad I should know about these trucks? I will regularly (2-3 days a week) be pulling with it, about 3-4,000 lbs.
Excellent trucks, but please do yourself a favor and plan ahead and get at least a 3/4 ton. You'll make the money up by having a bigger truck. Good luck and post pics whatever you decide to buy!!


05-05-2006, 11:25 PM
I have a 98 silverado 1500.. Nice truck.. but when the weight is back there.. you can tell.. the truck tends to sag alot. Other than that, it has nice power, and can do alot of work.. I would say go for the 2500hd..

05-06-2006, 12:59 AM
Any ideas on gas mileage? I would love to get a 2500hd...unfortunately money will determine that I won't be able to afford one. I want to pay cash..I don't want a loan. I have a feeling though what ever I will by will be my estimating vehical and the I will be buying a 2500hd when I get my crew built up.

05-06-2006, 08:37 AM
ive only hauled cars on a trailer with my 93 1500 short bed, 2WD. does fine when loaded properly. mileage with my 350 is about 13 around town empty.

lawnboy dan
05-06-2006, 09:07 AM
i think thats too much weight for a 1500. i have a 93 w/305 and it pulls my trailer ok but its not that heavy. any thing more and it would really struggle. milage is suprisingly good about14mpg

05-06-2006, 11:58 AM
I have a 1996 2500 4x4. Hauling or towing a trailer I get about 13 MPG, combination driving, heavy right foot. Highway driving and I get 15 to 16 MPG.

I have moved tractors, (International H) fire trucks (1950 Internation L-150.) Won't talk about mileage pulling the fire truck. It was up hill into a stiff South Dakota head wind.

Up North
05-06-2006, 01:03 PM
I have a 2000 Silverado 1500 ext. cab. Bought it in 2001 with 24,000 on it and it's now got over 114,000 on her. Just replaced the rear brakes at 104,000, change oil frequently and that's it. It's towed my equipment, four wheelers, snowmobiles, and snowplowed with it and not a problem yet. Been an excellant truck.


Up North
05-06-2006, 01:22 PM
Here's a link to some pics of my 1500. Take care of them and they'll last.



05-06-2006, 03:01 PM
Pretty nice looking truck.

05-06-2006, 03:09 PM
I have a 99 1500 with nearly 150K miles, previos owner took very good care of it. I have only had 1 problem and that was the PS pump broke, but my buddy is a mechanic and he said that is very very rare, just happens sometimes. It will pull that weight and more no problem. I would be worried about stopping more than pulling. Ive had mine loaded down with firewood (i built some 2' high bedsides so it was a a large load), dirt, rock, etc and you will definitely notice it when you go to stop, not so much when accelerating.

05-06-2006, 04:57 PM
I have a '93 1500 with over 141,000 on it. Runs great. I have only had a small electrical problem in the last year since I have owned. I use it to plow and my daily driver. I would recommend it to anyone!

lawnboy dan
05-07-2006, 10:53 AM
the brakes on these are very powerfull and stoping mine is no problem. like every one else has said-dont try to tow more than 3500lbs. i like theses trucks so much i would buy another tomorrow.

05-07-2006, 11:13 AM
Typically I pull about 4000 lbs, about once or twice a week I jump up to 7000 lbs. About 1/2 the time I don't pull much of anything. According to the specs I should be able to pull this.

I really like the gas mileage these trucks are supposed to get...the only way I am doing to see that kind of gas mileage on a 3/4 ton is to go to a diesel, which seems to be out of my budget!

lawnboy dan
05-07-2006, 03:12 PM
we artn discussing 3/4 tons here just 1/2 tons. of course 3/4tons get lousey mpg! they weigh more

05-07-2006, 04:12 PM
With trailer brakes, you should be able to pull more than 3500 pounds easily. Heck, my Dad's Dakota is rated for 6500.

Jason Rose
05-07-2006, 04:51 PM
I have a 1500 Z-71 (2000 model, GMC). It's not my "work" truck, dosn't have the hauling capacity (bed demensions) and the interior is just too nice to be crawling in and out of all day covered in grass and sweat! The gas mileage on mine SUCKS. I get 13 or so around town, 16 on the highway, and closer to 10 pulling ANY trailer. I added overload springs to the rear (super springs) because the ass end will sag low with anything over 1,000 lbs. (go figure, it's a 1/2 ton!) It will pull and stop my 20' trailer loaded with lawn equipment, but this isn't much more than 3,000 lbs. I never installed a brake controler on this truck so it has to stop it all and the brakes do quite well.

Mine has about 62,000 miles and Iv'e had quite a few things done to it, most covered by an extended warranty I had purchased. The power steering pump was one item replaced as it was groaning and vibrating the steering wheel in turns. THe new one groans too (is that NORMAL?) but at least dosn't vibrate and also the steering isn't so stiff as it was. I'd rattle off what all else was going wrong but Iv'e slept since the reapirs and need to consult the tickets... lol!

Overall, good truck. They are going to have good points and bad. I'd definately advise you to look into a 3/4 ton as well. nearly everything about them is bigger better and will hold up and last longer then an abused 1/2 ton. Find one that's more stock inside, vinal seats and floor, etc. You can get more truck for the money that way as most guys want the cushy cadilac interior these days.

Always look towards the future... Don't buy something that's just "good enough" for today, it will just cost MORE in a couple years to replace it with a bigger truck anyway. For doing landscaping I would look hard for a dually, probably a long wheel base, something you could put a 10' flatbed on. (Even better would be a DUMP BED with a TOMMY LIFT) This would eliminate the need for a trailer on a lot of small jobs.

Speaking of trailers... if you do go with a standard truck, have you had any thought about a dump trailer? Would make hauling materials to a jobsite a breeze to unload! Of course, better to have a 3/4 ton truck for pulling a dump trailer, loaded with dirt you can get 10,000 lbs easy on there, and many dump trailers weigh in close to 2 tons EMPTY!

05-07-2006, 09:06 PM
Thanks for the responses guys.

Jason I had thought about a flat bed...but I really didn't know how well it would work for what I do. Usually my landscaping jobs I have quite a few materials...but I guess I might be able to cram everything on there. Thats an interesting though at least.

05-07-2006, 09:26 PM
For the ost part a 1500 will do the work of a 2500, it just won't stop well, and will require more repairs

05-07-2006, 10:55 PM
we artn discussing 3/4 tons here just 1/2 tons. of course 3/4tons get lousey mpg! they weigh more

Negative! I am getting the same mileage with my 3/4 ton as most people are getting with their half ton. Same engine.

05-07-2006, 11:21 PM
Add two extra leaf springs per side to your 1500 and you officially have the weight capacity of a 2500. Total cost $150.

05-07-2006, 11:49 PM
When I started out all I used was a 1/2T Chevy E-cab with the 5.7L and it did just fine as far as pulling, the only thing I hated was when I was hooked up it would sag with a 7-1/2x12 open trailer with a ZTR and a 48"Wb, that was with the ZTR loaded towards the rear. I solved this problem by installing air shocks from NAPA. Pump 'em up and it took care of it. It rode a little stiffer with no load going over bumps but it wasn't a problem. Invest the $ in a 3/4T if you can, if not the 1/2T will do the job just fine.

Up North
05-08-2006, 03:50 PM
With my 1500 I consistently get 15 around town and a couple weeks ago while on a turkey hunting trip got 17mpg down to where I hunted and 18 back. Depending on what and where I tow I get between 11-16.


lawnboy dan
05-09-2006, 08:12 PM
mine dosnt sag at all when hooked up to the trailer even with the zmaster abord. i t must have some ki nd of optional heavy duty springs on it

05-10-2006, 12:38 AM
I have a 01 1500 with 102224 miles on it. It runs really well. I pull a 21ft trailer with a 21 and 36 wb not alot but it sags a little. I am going to put some air shocks on the back and it should take care of the sag. I also have a lesco 100 gal spray rig in the bed so that helps with the sag. I am going to put the rig on a smaller trailer. I get about 13 mpg. I only mow part time and don't pull the 21 footer all the time.

lawnboy dan
05-10-2006, 08:10 PM
booster shocks are better than air shocks. air shocks will leak and wear out over time. booster shocks cost less and will last the life of the truck. i put these on my 83 toyota long bed and hauled a wb+ a 21 and all the other gear to prevent it from sagging and boast its payload capasity. boastershocks are regular shocks with a coil spring wraped around them. any big auto supply store can get them . monroe and gabriel both make them

05-10-2006, 08:19 PM
Well kids I bought a 2500 Suburban. I shouldn't have any problems towing with it! I willl post pictures tomorrow hopefully. Thanks for the help.