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  1. #1
    Site Sponsor 2ACDogs's Avatar
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    2021 GM 2500HD vs 3500HD ride

    We're going to be ordering a 2021 Sierra HD 6.6 gas soon, we have it all spec'd out but the only question left is 2500 or 3500. I understand they're identical except for the rear springs. We'll likely be upgrading the TT in a couple of years and while I don't see us ever getting a monster and I prefer TT vs 5er the cost difference to go to a 3500 is minimal. This truck will be used as a DD quite a bit so my question is for anyone with a 2020 or 21 Silverado or Sierra HD truck, did you test drive both and is there a noticeable difference in ride unhitched? Thanks
    2017 Imagine 2150RB
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    Site Sponsor NB Canada's Avatar
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    Consider licensing costs in your state

    Up here in Canada I think we have it lucky

    It is a small charge every year to make a vehicle legal for the road

    I have heard comments from some saying their 3500 is 600 or more each year??? To me that is insane


    2021 Imagine 2400 BH
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    2021 Imagine 2400 BH
    2018 GMC Sierra 4x4 Crew 1840lb payload

  3. #3
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    New Chevy 3500hd here. Needed the capacity for a Solitude, but you are correct. The only difference is an extra rear spring and about $1000+ cost. The engine and transmission are identical. I didn't test the 2500s but you can turn a 2500 to a 3500 or even more with more springs or airbags if you want to go that route and need the boosted capacity.
    For the negligible price difference, why not go 3500? Better to have an not need than need and not have, IMO.
    Colin & Tracy
    '21 Chevy Silverado 3500HD LTZ/Z71/SRW, Long bed, Anderson UH
    '21 Solitude 310 GK-R

  4. #4
    Site Sponsor Canyonlight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JM0397 View Post
    New Chevy 3500hd here. Needed the capacity for a Solitude, but you are correct. The only difference is an extra rear spring and about $1000+ cost. The engine and transmission are identical. I didn't test the 2500s but you can turn a 2500 to a 3500 or even more with more springs or airbags if you want to go that route and need the boosted capacity.
    For the negligible price difference, why not go 3500? Better to have an not need than need and not have, IMO.
    Colin - I thought in my research over the last year or so that this new generation HD had a couple other differences between 2500 and 3500 too. Seems I recall something different in the rear axle but I cannot find the information now.

    You are right on that the two prior generations (2011-2104 and then 2015-2019) were only the extra spring capacity (750 or so lbs. ?) and that the 2500 was required by the fed to have TPMS.

    If I find this information I will share it on the forum. Maybe someone else knows and can share as well. We have a few new generation 2500 and 3500 owners on the forum.

    Dan
    Dan & Carol
    2014 303RLS Reflection #185 (10/2013 build)
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canyonlight View Post
    Colin - I thought in my research over the last year or so that this new generation HD had a couple other differences between 2500 and 3500 too. Seems I recall something different in the rear axle but I cannot find the information now.

    You are right on that the two prior generations (2011-2104 and then 2015-2019) were only the extra spring capacity (750 or so lbs. ?) and that the 2500 was required by the fed to have TPMS.

    If I find this information I will share it on the forum. Maybe someone else knows and can share as well. We have a few new generation 2500 and 3500 owners on the forum.

    Dan
    I would definitely ask the dealers rather than trust some random crazy person on the internet!
    However, I asked a two different dealers when looking at new 3500s. I wasn't going to buy a 2500, but sitting next to each other you can see they look the same so I asked. Both said the one spring is the only different.
    The one other difference if you want to pay the premium, the Denali and High Country have a slightly different spring setup for a "slightly" smoother ride. I drove a Denali - loved it but couldn't justify the extra 10k - and I really couldn't tell a difference 3500 to 3500.

    Additionally, if you want to save some money - and I don't recall the hierarchy of the GMC line, but for Chevy it's:
    1. High Country
    2. LTZ
    3. LT
    4. WT

    You can build an LT out with all the same options, including leather, and save about 15k between 3 and 1. The LTZ and High Country have more chrome and fancy finishes on the exterior but it's the same truck otherwise. On our LTZ I have the full safety, trailering, Z71 off road, and 5th wheel hitch prep, but not the convenience packages with things like GPS and the power running boards. It came in just a hair under 70k with tax, title, delivery to the house (free), and the paint/interior protection add-on.
    Last edited by JM0397; 03-05-2021 at 02:28 PM.
    Colin & Tracy
    '21 Chevy Silverado 3500HD LTZ/Z71/SRW, Long bed, Anderson UH
    '21 Solitude 310 GK-R

  6. #6
    Site Sponsor 2ACDogs's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. I've done due diligence and know about insurance, registration, and build.

    Arizona registration is value based, you wouldn't want to know what it is first year on one of these trucks but it's a lot higher that $600.

    I've spent a bunch of time looking at this and the only difference in 2021 between identical 2500HD and 3500HD trucks is apparently rear springs. Rear axle on both is an 11.5", the diesel gets a 12". The 3500HD has 4-600 lbs more payload and 600 lbs more conventional trailer towing. The 2500HD shows slightly higher 5th wheel trailer weight (?). GCWR is the same for both at 24000 and the 3500 curb weight is about 120 lbs more. RAWR is 7250 vs 6390.

    Right now if you build and price identical 2500 and 3500 trucks on GMC.com the 3500 is exactly $400 more on the truck I built due to different discounts on packages.

    Agree you can add capacity to a 2500 if needed but you can't change what the legal numbers are on the door jam placard.

    There really isn't much difference in capacity between the 2 but for $400 I'm leaning that way.

    My question is the unloaded ride. Colin, did you drive a similar 2500 and was there much difference? A person could always get the 3500 and take a leaf out and make a 2500 out of it until that extra capacity is needed.
    Last edited by 2ACDogs; 03-05-2021 at 04:36 PM. Reason: correction
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  7. #7
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    I didn’t drive a 2500 as There was no question I needed the 3500.
    Colin & Tracy
    '21 Chevy Silverado 3500HD LTZ/Z71/SRW, Long bed, Anderson UH
    '21 Solitude 310 GK-R

  8. #8
    Left The Driveway
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    I bought a 2021 2500HD Silverado and it has the same rear-end gusset as the 3500HD. Iíll be adding airbags to improve the ride quality while towing.

  9. #9
    Site Sponsor 2ACDogs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayman07770 View Post
    I bought a 2021 2500HD Silverado and it has the same rear-end gusset as the 3500HD.
    What gusset are you referring to?
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  10. #10
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    Gusset are welded reinforced metal plate around the differential.

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