The GM 3.0 Duramax diesel

Hello folks. I was browsing and noticed that GM has came out with the 6 CYL duramax diesel in the 2021 model year 1500 series of the Silverado and Sierra models. I was wondering in general since I have a 4,500 pound camper and I currently pull it with a 2020 Ford F-150 with the 5.0 V8. I am wondering whether it’d better with a diesel compared to the gas V8 engine? The truck generally does well with the towing but sometimes there’s some hesitancy especially on the highway. Would a diesel do much better with towing compared to the gas engines?

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It isn’t a diesel.vs gas question. It is a matter of the manufacturer’s tow rating for each. Look that up and compare it to your F150.

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And in response to @Mustangman 's point, the 3.0 1500 has a towing capacity of 9,500 lbs. vs. 11,600 for the 5.0 F-150.

So don’t get rid of your F-150 just yet.

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Turbo diesel engine produce great torque at low engine speeds making towing more peaceful than gasoline engines with less engine racing and less downshifting on grades.

The 3.0 L Duramax engine peak torque output is 460 lb-ft of torque @ 1500 RPMs.

Yes the diesel will be much, much better than the gas. Pure tork, compared to what a gas engine puts out.

I have to add, though… that trading in a 2020 F-150 on a 2021 Silverado is probably not going be in your best interests, financially. Maybe that’s not a issue for you, though.

Just a personal approach, but I tend to think people ought to think holistically about cars in their day-to-day lives, including the costs and role it plays. Does it make sense to take a huge financial hit just so you might be able to tow something slightly easier? IDK, it’s your call.

Good luck.

Keep in mind it must be the towing capacity for your F150. If yours is equipped to tow 11,600 lbs you should not even know your 4500 lb camper is even back there. If there is some “hesitancy” as you describe, your truck likely does not have the equipment to tow 11,600 lbs. The lowest tow rating for a 2020 F150 is 8200 lbs. Still plenty for your application.

This is Ford’s reference document;

It’s hard to believe that trading a one year old truck on a new one is worth it as long as the one you have now does what you want it to.


I didn’t say I was seeking to trade. I was just browsing. And comparing engines.

Even if the OP’s F-150 “only” has a substantial fraction of that 11,600 lb. towing capacity, like the 8,200 lbs. you mentioned, I wouldn’t expect it to be a problem under normal conditions. Anyway, you’re the one who brought up towing capacity. The truth is, we don’t know the full circumstances of this “hesitancy.” It could be a case of turbo lag or the transmission choosing the a less-than-optimal gear, especially if passing or hills are involved. If it’s happening on the highway, as the OP described, it’s unlikely to be a matter of insufficient low-end torque IMHO so a diesel probably wouldn’t improve things. In any event, it doesn’t sound like the problem is severe so my advice to the OP would be to live with it. Until we have more information, we’re all just guessing anyway.

Yeah, the Ecoboost out-torques any diesel offered in a half-ton truck. It’s not the 80’s/90’s anymore. Will it match the fuel economy of a diesel? No. But it has way more horsepower and more torque. With that said. The 10k+ tow ratings for half-tons are a bit deceiving, you’ll run out of payload capacity well before you run out of towing capacity in most real-world situations.

I love the idea of the inline 6 diesel. I have the 5.0 in my 2013 f150. I tow a trailer that weighs roughly a third of what the truck is rated to tow.
It revs pretty high to maintain speed but it does the job. I’d be afraid to dive into a general motors diesel. My next truck will be the new design toyota. A few years down the road

Not on a normally aspirated (i.e. non turbo) 5.0 V8 gasoline engine it isn’t.


There is (or at least was) also a twin turbo version of the 5.0 liter, that’s what I had in mind.

No, you’re thinking of the V6, I think.

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Ecoboost V-8? Nope, those twin turbos are V-6 engines.

Despite the 395 HP rating, small V-8 engines don’t tow big campers with enthusiasm.

The F150 Diesel has a little more torque than the 5.0 and starting at lower rev’s but the max two rating is 12,100 vs 13,000 for the v8 when properly equipped.

Any chance that the tongue weight is too light? That might cause what you describe as hesitation. Actually the trailer is pushing and pulling as you roll along on the highway. If I remember correctly the weight is supposed to be 10% more than the total trailer weight placed on the hitch. 60% on the hitch and 40% at the rear. That is for example: 10 thousand pound load should have around 1000 pounds of weight on the hitch. Anyone has a better solution, feel free to jump in.