I am about to pull the trigger on a new HD, fully loaded, silver and black.
I have been agonizing over this truck and the Silverado SS.
There are just two features on the SS that I really wish I could get on the HD.
1. Towing capacity.. The HD at 4500 LBS really stinks. I am fairly sure that the towing is derated form the standard F-150 supercrew because of lower/softer springs. My plan is to augment the springs with air bags. My hope is that I can tow a bit more when necessary and just deflate the bags when not in use. My towing chores will be minimal in length but the weight wonít be. My boat and trailer combined are in the neighborhood of 6000 LBS.
2. XM radio. I really want the sat radio setup with the steering wheel mounted controls. I know I can go aftermarket but I have not been able to find a head unit that will fill the dash hole completely. Any suggestions?
As for comparison of the vehicles the local Chevy and Ford dealers let me take both trucks home for the evening back to back. My impressions are:
a. Interior, SS has the more comfortable seats, highly adjustable with lumbar and side lumbar, bottom and back heating, both driver and passenger. The ford seats while comfortable were just not as nice. The gauge layout on the SS is really good with everything you need, even a trans gauge, gauges with actual numbers. The HD gauges were nice and looked pretty trick but not very readable at dusk, full daylight and darkness were fine. The HD dash and the console area were way better than the SS, no contest. Back seats in the SS are a joke in comparison so I wonít even mention them.
b. Exterior, The HD smokes the SS, the HD has so many trick parts where the SS looks cheaper than the standard Silverado. In fact the front towing hooks on the SS were covered by the plastic bumper! The wheels on the SS and the HD are both nice, personal preference = HD. BED in the SS is bigger but the HD has the flip out extender.
c. Performance, Do I even need to go here? I will.. The SS is not even in the same league as the HD. They really screwed up with this. What they need to do is ditch the all wheel drive crap and drop in the Z06 motor, now you have an SS! Sadly the SS defiles the badge. The HD on the other hand, WOW! This thing really moves out. I can only imagine what one goes like when itís got more than 30 miles on it. My current car (soon to be replaced by the HD) is a BMW 540 with a 6 speed and a powerdyne blower. While the HD canít match this setup it dose not feel too far off. I canít wait to get the power mods.
check the msrp for both. the HD can be had for many thousands less . . . money that could be invested in such things as better seats (recaro) and xm with wheel mounted controls
as for the tow rating, I think the 'weak link' in the HD is a combination of things. Things like Ford's knowledge that Ford owners tend to always Ford trucks as the workhorses they are and overload them. Things like a SuperCharged engines need for high octane fuel and vulerability to detonation, especially when towing a heavy load. Sever damage could come pretty quick if crappy fuel is used while towing 8k and Ford likily doesn't want to encourage use of these supercharged trucks as heavy duty tow vvehicals (that's what the SuperDuty is for) Also, those 20's the HD rides on can't contribute much to the load rating . . . just look at the load rating on the tires (GY Eagle) that must be reduced 10% for use on a pick-up or suv.
With the small amount of towing you mention, I wouldn't worry about going with the HD unless you: 1. expect to get a bigger boat soon, 2. expect to tow mush greater distances that will include lots of hilly or moutainous roads, 3. just don't care for the HD logo al over the truck (these items can be removed and sold for a nice sum on ebay but you would be killing your resale value)