I think the 5.3 is a great motor. For pulling the skier you have you wont even feel it. My buddy has an 02 1500 Suburban with 5.3 and pulls a 30 ft. camper with it. The motor has proven to be reliable but as CP stated there is some piston slap with the pre 04 models. The problem was fixed after that. It is not a real issue, it was just a result of too short of piston skirts which made some noise at start up.
The things have a ton of room and ride like a dream in my opinion.