Anyone using an GMC AT4 or any other GM pickup for overlanding?

Pete Walker

New member
I'm going back and forth between ordering a GM 3500 and a Ford F350. I'll occasionally be carrying a 1100 lb slide in camper sometimes while towing a trailer with a snowmobile. Not going to do any real overlanding or off-roading but I'll be on some dirt roads and FS roads (though not with the trailer!)

I'm not a mechanic and don't have a lot of real world experience with newer trucks; but I like that the GM IFS is supposed to provide for a better ride and I'll probably be upgrading stock tires and shocks anyway. My wife's daily driver is a Colorado Z71 Duramax, which is a great truck and has been awesome in the snow and rough roads out here. So I'm leaning towards the GM. However, at my job as a Paramedic we've had Ford chassis and GM chassis on our medic units that have been driven hard. Over the years the Fords have proven to be much better rigs in performance and durability.

Anyone have opinions or input?
 

Wrathchild

Active member
@Pete Walker IMO opinion it depends on whether you want diesel or gas. You’d likely be happy with either in a diesel that you plan to keep stock or slightly upsize tires. If gasser I’d choose the Ford these days.

Having the options of a selectable rear locker as well as more favorable gearing choices in the ford make it a better choice for me.
 

plainjaneFJC

Goofball
Pete look under both trucks. The GM wax frame hangs low, the torsion bar front end has virtually zero flex of you plan to ever cross anything slightly off camber that truck will get tippy. I’ve had both and don’t consider myself brand specific, I’d get the ford.
 

Pete Walker

New member
@Pete Walker IMO opinion it depends on whether you want diesel or gas. You’d likely be happy with either in a diesel that you plan to keep stock or slightly upsize tires. If gasser I’d choose the Ford these days.

Having the options of a selectable rear locker as well as more favorable gearing choices in the ford make it a better choice for me.
I'm going diesel but your totally right. From what I understand the 6 speed GM tranny sucks. We got the new Godzilla gasser in a rig at work and it's pretty nice.
 

Explorerinil

Observer
I'm going diesel but your totally right. From what I understand the 6 speed GM tranny sucks. We got the new Godzilla gasser in a rig at work and it's pretty nice.
The 7.3 gas is the ticket for hd gas engines. Large displacement v8, forged internals, no auto stop start or cylinder deactivation, 8 spark plugs not 16 and a simple pushrod single overhead cam. Plus they have 430 Ho and 475 lb torque, in my opinion it’s the best v8 gas on the market now, I only have 15k on mine but it’s been problem free and a blast to drive.
 

wirenut

Adventurer
I'm going back and forth between ordering a GM 3500 and a Ford F350. I'll occasionally be carrying a 1100 lb slide in camper sometimes while towing a trailer with a snowmobile. Not going to do any real overlanding or off-roading but I'll be on some dirt roads and FS roads (though not with the trailer!)

I'm not a mechanic and don't have a lot of real world experience with newer trucks; but I like that the GM IFS is supposed to provide for a better ride and I'll probably be upgrading stock tires and shocks anyway. My wife's daily driver is a Colorado Z71 Duramax, which is a great truck and has been awesome in the snow and rough roads out here. So I'm leaning towards the GM. However, at my job as a Paramedic we've had Ford chassis and GM chassis on our medic units that have been driven hard. Over the years the Fords have proven to be much better rigs in performance and durability.

Anyone have opinions or input?
I've run GM trucks for years, not so much that I'm "brand loyal" but because they have earned my business. The trucks are very reliable, ride nice, handle nice, etc. My work trucks are used in my electrical contracting business and they haul and tow heavy a lot. I often take them off road to reach remote job sites. I put close to 20,000 miles a year on my DD truck, all of it hauling, lots of it towing, and I'm off road several times a month. I have never had any problems with the IFS in any GM HD truck. I had to replace a CV joint in an '87 Blazer but that's about it. I've driven some Fords with the solid front axle and they handle like crap on the highway.
My current 2005 dually that I bought new has 298,000 miles on it. It used to carry my 4,000 pound TC while towing my 4,500 pound boat with my family of 4 in the cab. I've carried that camper from VA to FL, MI, and CO and it did a great job, even being about 1,600 pounds over GVWR.
 

herm

Adventurer
This thread is making me regret my 21’ diesel Silverado 1500 now …
they all have their issues... fords death wobble and infotainment systems, remember the 6.0 and 6.4 ? GM and the afm system, and you have to discount 50% of all of it you hear about because people do stupid stuff.

without the AFM stuff, the 5.3 and 6.2 are fantastic. nothing wrong with the 6.0 either. I am on the hunt for a 3/4 burb. cant decide between the 8.1 or the 6.0 though.

only issue i have had with my gm trucks from my dad and I is the current 5.3 in the garage that is getting new afm parts and a programmer. I ignored the warnings of others on this one. between the 2 of us, it must be over a million miles on maybe 6 trucks starting in 1986.
 

moose545

Active member
they all have their issues... fords death wobble and infotainment systems, remember the 6.0 and 6.4 ? GM and the afm system, and you have to discount 50% of all of it you hear about because people do stupid stuff.

without the AFM stuff, the 5.3 and 6.2 are fantastic. nothing wrong with the 6.0 either. I am on the hunt for a 3/4 burb. cant decide between the 8.1 or the 6.0 though.

only issue i have had with my gm trucks from my dad and I is the current 5.3 in the garage that is getting new afm parts and a programmer. I ignored the warnings of others on this one. between the 2 of us, it must be over a million miles on maybe 6 trucks starting in 1986.
Thanks and true to a point, there’s just no aftermarket on the 3.0 diesels. Not sure what I’m going to do, good thing is I can break even or even get ahead depending what I decide. Just sucks to discover it after the fact.
 

Wilbah

Adventurer
I like the AT4 but question if its worth the upcost v another model (SLE, SLT etc) with the X31 off road package. The AT4 has different seats but from what I see the only mechanical distinction (I think?) Is the 2" body lift. But with the same 18" or 20" wheels as a SLE, SLT there is no increase in ground clearance so I'm not sure the point. I'm a fan of the GM platforms and have had success with them over many miles w/o any significant mechanical issues.
 
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