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Old 02-14-2016, 12:32 PM   #1
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Large SUV Options for Towing/Newbie

Hello Everyone,

So I followed a lot of advice from friends and internet searches, to include this site and this what I have done thus far:
  1. Made sure to buy my second camper first.
  2. Buy camper first and then get the right vehicle.
  3. Researched towing vehicles & respective towing guides cover to cover.
  4. Read the camper owner guide cover to cover.
Now I am trying to figure out the right tow vehicle. I feel a Large SUV can meet our needs. I need some advice before I commit to a vehicle. I have some experience towing trailers with larger equipment on them but never a camper.

Large SUV Ratings Avg (Examples: QX80, Armada, Navigator, Tahoe, Yukon)

Curb Weight = 5600
Payload Capacity = 1700
GVWR = 7300
Towing Capacity = 8500
Class IV Weight Dist. Hitch & Sway Control = 10k Rate & Tongue 1k

2 Adults & 2 Children + Luggage = 500

2015 Salem 26tbud

Dry Weight = 6068
Cargo Weight = 1709
*Tongue Weight = ? (Need to be 10 to 15% of GVWR of Trailer?)
Estimate Cargo/Camper Equipment = 500

Questions:
Can you provide good or bad experience by towing with Large SUVs?

How does a Weight Distribution Hitch affect Tongue Weight? I read a few things but still confused. I need this number to make sure Payload capacity isn't exceeded.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-15-2016, 03:47 AM   #2
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I can't speak to the large SUV but I have the same trailer and pull it with a 2012 Silverado with the max towing package which is rated to pull 9600lbs and it tows the trailer with no problems. You will probably never max out the trailer but if you did getting something with a towing capacity around 8500lbs doesn't leave a lot of wiggle room. What I would do is look for a Suburban and get the 2500 it gives you the 6.0 and is rated to pull the same as my truck and gives you a payload over 2klbs. Just a thought at least
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Old 03-15-2016, 09:35 AM   #3
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FYI,
The Expedition comes with 3.55 axles, with 3.73 and 4.10 axles being optional. IIRC, the Navigator comes standard with 4.10 gearing. For both trucks, the 3.5L Ecoboost and 6-speed auto are the only option.

Interesting thing is that all 3 axle choices give you the same tow ratings. That's right, the 3.55 axles get the full 9000 rating with the HD towing package, while the 3.73 and 4.10 get no more. This tells me that these vehicles are structure limited at 9000 lbs (likely it's the independent rear suspension bits).

That trailer will be 7000 lbs once loaded. If going with the standard length, I'd go for the Expedition to get the 3.73, and the chance for slightly better gas mileage when not towing. If going EL, the 4.10 might be a good choice.
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Old 03-15-2016, 10:02 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebrakeman View Post
FYI,
The Expedition comes with 3.55 axles, with 3.73 and 4.10 axles being optional. IIRC, the Navigator comes standard with 4.10 gearing. For both trucks, the 3.5L Ecoboost and 6-speed auto are the only option.

Interesting thing is that all 3 axle choices give you the same tow ratings. That's right, the 3.55 axles get the full 9000 rating with the HD towing package, while the 3.73 and 4.10 get no more. This tells me that these vehicles are structure limited at 9000 lbs (likely it's the independent rear suspension bits).

That trailer will be 7000 lbs once loaded. If going with the standard length, I'd go for the Expedition to get the 3.73, and the chance for slightly better gas mileage when not towing. If going EL, the 4.10 might be a good choice.
4.10's are serious overkill with the EB and offer no benefits. You don't need the extra RPM's to produce power. The 3.55 gears will work perfectly. You'll cruise at 65 at ~2K RPM in 5th on the flats. You'll catch 4th for typical interstate inclines and chug along at ~2800.
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Old 03-15-2016, 11:33 AM   #5
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I tow a 26RR (5400# with water, about 6900 loaded) with an 08 Escalade ESV (7800# towing capacity) and a 10K WDH, and other than 7-8 MPG, no issues. I run about 60-65 down the road. This is typically about 2000 RPM in 5th on level ground, or about 2600 RPM in 4th for hills. Occasionally on longer/steeper grades it will downshift into 3rd, but it definitely isn't lacking for power.

And to brakeman's point, the main difference between the Escalade and the Silverado Max Tow package is the rear coil springs which limit the towing to 7800# vs the higher limits for the Silverado. Everything else (403HP 6.2l, 3.42 G80 rear, and 6L80E transmission) are the same.
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Old 03-15-2016, 12:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dustman_stx View Post
4.10's are serious overkill with the EB and offer no benefits. You don't need the extra RPM's to produce power. The 3.55 gears will work perfectly. You'll cruise at 65 at ~2K RPM in 5th on the flats. You'll catch 4th for typical interstate inclines and chug along at ~2800.
I don't doubt that. But without driving one myself, I was hesitant to claim that the 3.55 ratio was up to the task.

The 6-speed in my Mountaineer is primarily responsible for the full 7000 lbs rating with 3.55 axles, versus the previous generations 5-speed, which required 3.73 axles for that same rating. With 4 & 5 speed autos pretty much gone, recommended axle ratios have understandably dropped.
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