So, about a year ago, I joined this forum to get advice about buying a Rockwood Roo 233-S... mainly about TOWING it with our 2004 Suburban 1500. I got mixed reactions. Since all of the wonderful knowledge on this forum culminated into basically "it might work, or you might have problems" type situation, we went ahead and bought.
Fast forward 15 trips worth of towing and what I did to my Burb to make it better. This list isn't complete and I mention these things to make a point.
Swapped out the coils for Z71 coils in the rear - Swapped the torsion bars for HD ones - changed the ring and pinion from 3:73 to 4:10 and added a Detroit Tru-Trac differential - Added Air bags to rear suspension as well as swapped out the factory sway bar for a Helwig model - bought one of the most expensive load-leveling hitches with built in anti-sway - rebuilt the tranny with beafier parts and corvette servo's - added a Tru-Cool 40K lb tranny cooler.... you get the picture? The list goes on and on!
What was I trying to do? Those of you "think" you can... listen please.... I was trying to turn a 1/2 ton vehicle into a 3/4 ton. Ummmm... it didn't work.
The reason? With a tongue weight of 830 lbs and a loaded weight of almost 7000 lbs PLUS all 4 kids and all the "junk" that goes along inside the Burb, I was PUSHING it every darn time I hit the road. No MATTER what I did to make it better. In the flat lands, it stayed in 3'rd most of the time and was pushing 2700 rpms at the slightest grade in the highway. Mountains?
(And I mean REAL mountains) A joke.... really.
I learned a VERY expensive and time-consuming lesson. If my trailer had been a bass boat? I would probably be fine still. But the tongue weight and the frontal area of the camper pushing wind was just too much. So... if you now HAVE a 1500 SUV (notice I didn't say truck), and are thinking of buying one of these mid-size to larger-size travel trailers.. please, please make sure you have worked out ALL of the weights and wind-resistance, how much you will have inside the SUV with you, etc BEFORE you drop $18,000+ on a camper that you may or may not be able to tow comfortably.
Just so everyone understands, I was given GREAT advice from the folks on this forum. But they respected me and didn't try to "tell" me what to do. They just pointed out things I should know. It was MY choice to buy more than my Burb could handle... now I hope that others will read this little testimony of mine and take a step back before making the same mistake I made.
Ok, off the soap box now.
By the way, the "completely upgraded 2004 Suburban" is now for sale. We finally (after a solid YEAR of looking) found a 2005 Excursion Limited with all the bells and whistles. It was actually (get this... unbelievable) a one-owner from a older couple who only bought it to take grand kids places.... never a towed anything more than a 4X8 utility trailer. Never even hooked up the trailer brake harness. Even had less than 60K miles... and a 6.8 Gasser which is exactly what I wanted. I've only pulled our Rockwood for testing on flat roads so far, but wow.. I don't even feel it back there.