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Old 01-30-2011, 02:52 PM   #1
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Feedback on possible tow setup.

Greetings everyone, I spent a few hours today searching and reading through the forums regarding tow vehicles, trailer weights, wheelbases and hitch/swaybar/weight distribution topics. As I'm about to retire after 22yrs in the Air Force my family and I will have a little more time to go camping so it's time to buy.

I am looking to buy a trailer and have somewhat come to the conclusion that my desired purchase is not in the optimum catagory but it should be ok if I follow some of the guidelines I have read on here.

I have a 2007 Tahoe LTZ, 5.4V8 6200lbs tow cap. I want to by a 25-27ft lite trailer. I have found one close by in Arizona. Its a 27ft Alumalite with a UVW of 4324 (so the brochure says). I plan on buying a WDS hitch and brake controller.
I am interested in hearing any feedback on this possible tow combination, both positive and negative.

Any advice you can give will be greatly appreciatted.
Thanks,
Phil
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Old 01-30-2011, 03:19 PM   #2
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Well first off that UVW you sited is pretty much worthless. No one will ever see or much less tow at that number. It is a purely fictitious number designed to drag in unsuspecting buyers. So please forget that number. Instead, lacking any real numbers please use the trailers GVWR for your base line calculations.
Now as to the Tahoe. That 6200 towing capacity is also very misleading. That number is based on a stripped vehicle with 1/4 tank of fuel and one 150 pound driver on board. So, in the real world every pound added to your vehicle above that reduces your towing capacity pound for pound. And all this does not take into account the wheel base vs length debate. So before you go spending a lot of money on something, load your Tahoe up like you will be loaded for a camping trip and go to the scales. Then, search out the vehicles GCWR, that is Gross combined Weight Rating. Subtract your scaled weight from that and you will have a very close estimate as to how much capacity you have left over for a trailer. Personally that is way too long, and way too heavy tor your vehicle. But that is my opinion and you really need to run the numbers for yourself to satisfy your burning desire to spend your money.
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Old 01-30-2011, 04:10 PM   #3
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Pulled a 28' Rockwood with a 2005 Tahoe LT easily. You will need a Reese Dual cam setup or Equal-i-zer hitch with a good brake controller and perhaps some LT tires
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Old 01-30-2011, 06:24 PM   #4
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Also, not sure what Tahoe wheelbase is, but you should be at about 135" to tow a 27' trailer. You must have a rather low (numerical) axle ratio to have a 6,200 rating. Most say to tow at 80%. I suspect you may be at the upper limits with your vehicle with the trailer you are considering. If you are not towing far, may not be a big deal. It you are towing 000's of miles and/or in mountainous regions, you will not be happy IMO.
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil-NV View Post

I have a 2007 Tahoe LTZ, 5.4V8 6200lbs tow cap. I want to by a 25-27ft lite trailer. I have found one close by in Arizona. Its a 27ft Alumalite with a UVW of 4324 (so the brochure says). I plan on buying a WDS hitch and brake controller.
I am interested in hearing any feedback on this possible tow combination, both positive and negative.

Any advice you can give will be greatly appreciatted.
Thanks,
Phil


Hi Phil,
Thank you for your service and congratulations on your upcoming retirement.

If you are asking if you can tow "by the numbers", then some more detail is needed on your truck, your family and the trailer.

Truck:
What is the truck's GCWR and what is the weight of the truck? You gave the tow cap as 6,200lbs but I'm curious anyway. Axle ratings would be nice to have, too. This should be listed on the door sticker.
Is there a hitch weight limitation in the manual or on the hitch itself?

Family:
Total weight of family, pets and cargo you intend to carry in the truck? Even better is to weigh the truck with your family at a CAT scale if its handy.

Trailer:
What is its GVWR and its CCC? If you have already seen the trailer, it might have a yellow sticker on it that lists this information.

That information is really needed to give a more specific answer.
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:38 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info so far. Here is some additional info on my Tahoe and the trailer.

Tahoe - 3.42 gears = 6200lbs (so chevy says)
GVWR - 7100lbs
GVWR Front - 3200lbs
GVWR Rear - 4100lbs
Tongue - 550lbs

Trailer
Length 27’1”
Width (w/o Awning) 96”
Height (w/AC 9’10”
Awning Length 18’
*Hitch Dry Wt. (Appr.) 450
*Axle Dry Wt. (Appr.) 3972
GVWR 7350
Total Dry Wt. 4322
Load Cap. 3028
Fresh Water Tank Cap. 40gl
Grey Water Ca . 40gl
Black Water Cap. 40gl
Cheers,
Phil
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:08 AM   #7
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Phil, even though you may be able to keep the weight of the trailer under the 6200 lb. tow limit of your Tahoe, there are other factors at play here. The Tahoe has a fairly short wheelbase at 116". SUVs have softer suspensions compared to their truck counterparts. It might be difficult to keep the gross weight of the Tahoe under 7100 lbs, depending on the passenger count and gear in the back, in addtion to the trailer tongue weight. I would be reluctant to tow that trailer with your Tahoe.

That trailer would be better matched to a long wheelbased, big engine, lower geared Surburban. Or the Tahoe would have a better fit with a shorter, lighter weight trailer.
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:33 AM   #8
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It might work. I’m not going to go into the trailer length issue as I believe that, while one piece of the puzzle, it is less important than the paying attention to weight limits and properly loading the TT.

Chevy states the truck can tow 6200lbs so that is the weight of the loaded trailer that you can tow. But, the real limiter here is the 550lb tongue weight.

You might want to confirm if that tongue limit is with or without WD hitch. I am guessing that might NOT be the hitch weight rating with a WD hitch. You should have two figures listed in the manual: one that is lower called weight carrying and one that is higher called weight distributing.

If the tongue weight with WD is truly 550lbs, than you are really limited: 550 / 13% = 4,231lbs for a fully loaded trailer and this TT is out of the question.

Check the manual and confirm first. I am almost certain the WD max tongue weight is more like 1000lbs for the Chevy Tahoe, but you need to confirm.

With a WD hitch and your confirmation that the real WD hitch limit is 1000lb, your TV and TT combo looks like it might work if you can keep your cargo down in this trailer. But, you haven’t given the TVs cargo cap or its GCWR – its on the sticker in the door and these items need to be checked.

Just working off of what we have, the TTs GVWR is much higher than what you can tow so you need to make sure not to exceed 6200lbs fully loaded. You can easily add another 300lbs in options and mods, 100lbs WD hitch, 75-150lbs batteries, 60lbs propane, and 100lbs for a little water to that fictional dry weight of 4322. Your trailer will probably weigh closer to 4,900-5000lbs before you even load your cargo. That still leaves you with a very respectable 1200lbs of stuff to pack before you hit your max tow limit.
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:37 PM   #9
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It might work by the numbers, but I wouldn't do it.

I have a 2005 1/2 ton Suburban (5.3 engine), 23 ft trailer, with my length to wheelbase ratio I feel pretty good, the engine has enough power to pull my trailer marginally, but where the weak link is - the transmission. I put an auxillary transmission cooler on the truck and I have a Scangauge II which monitors my transmission temperature. I find myself slowing significantly on moderate grades because the transmission temperature is nearing 250 degrees. As soon as I exceed 65 MGP my mileage drops below 9 mpg. I have not had my trailer/truck combo on the scales, but it won't be as heavy as the 27 foot trailer.

My opinion, you will be dissatisfied in the longrun. As for me, I am currently seeking trading the Suburban for a 3/4 ton diesel.
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:16 PM   #10
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Exceed 65 mph???

No wonder you are questioning your Suburban's tow capacity.
Your tires on the trailer are rated for 60 mph. Anyone towing over 60 mph needs to rethink what they are doing towing a travel trailer. (I am being nice with that comment)
Even if my tires were rated at 70 mph 60 is safe speed and any need to go over it just plain dumb IMHO.
I towed a 23' trailer with a miniscule 2001 Pathfinder and felt totally in control at a safe speed (60)
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