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Old 09-25-2015, 10:16 PM   #1
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Tow Setup Suggestions Needed

We are purchasing a Clipper 17BH to tow with our 2010 Enclave and need some insight into what we need for a tow setup. I did my homework on the numbers but I'm looking for some input based on towing experience.

The 2010 Enclave has a dealer installed tow package with transmission cooler, class 3 hitch with 2 inch receiver, and 7-pin electrical connection. Sticker on the hitch says it will handle 6200 lbs trailer weight with 600 lbs tongue weight. Enclave manual claims the maximum towing weight is 4500 lbs with the tow package, but I can't find the maximum tongue weight for the vehicle. Door sticker says max GVW is 6411 lbs, max cargo is 1588 lbs.

The Clipper 17BH has GVWR of 3626 lbs and hitch weight of 406 lbs.

For the most part, the tow vehicle will only carry 2 people with little cargo, so the max cargo weight including driver/passenger would be around 500 lbs. If I understand all the numbers correctly that means a a vehicle load weight (cargo and hitch) of about 900 lbs which seems well within the 1588 lbs limit of the Enclave. Likewise the 3626 lbs GVWR of the trailer seems well within the max 4500 lbs tow capacity.

Now for my questions:
1) Will I need a weight distributing hitch, and if so does anyone have a recommendation for type/brand
2) Do I need some form of sway control on top of the weight distributing hitch?
2) I will need a brake controller, does anyone have a type recommendation (proportional vs time-delayed) for this setup or brand/model recommendation? Can I reasonably install this myself of do I need a mechanic (I'm somewhat handy, changing my own brake pads, etc, but not a mechanic). I assume the trailer brakes will not respond to ABS which I believe works off the hydraulic system rather than the electrical system.
3) A breakaway kit is only required for commercial trailers in NY, but is it a good idea even for RVs and if so what brand/model would one recommend?
4) Enclave engine size is 3.6L V6, 288 hp. Any reason to believe I'd have any problems going up/down reasonable interstate grades of 6-7%? We're looking to hit some of the Rockies national parks like Yellowstone, Mt Rushmore, Grand Teton, etc staying in RV parks and not off the grid (so we won't be climbing Mt Washington type roads or anything).

Thanks for any advice.
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Old 09-26-2015, 02:31 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamoody View Post
Now for my questions:
1) Will I need a weight distributing hitch, and if so does anyone have a recommendation for type/brand
YES. 4point EQUAL-I-ZER
2) Do I need some form of sway control on top of the weight distributing hitch?
YES, BUT EQUAL-I-ZER HAS INTEGRATED SWAY CONTROL WITHOUT NEEDING AN ADDITIONAL BAR
2) I will need a brake controller, does anyone have a type recommendation (proportional vs time-delayed) for this setup or brand/model recommendation? Can I reasonably install this myself of do I need a mechanic (I'm somewhat handy, changing my own brake pads, etc, but not a mechanic). I assume the trailer brakes will not respond to ABS which I believe works off the hydraulic system rather than the electrical system.
PRODIGY P2/P3. EASY INSTALL.
3) A breakaway kit is only required for commercial trailers in NY, but is it a good idea even for RVs and if so what brand/model would one recommend?
YOUR TRAILER COMES WITH BREAKAWAY SWITCH, WHICH REQUIRES THE TRAILER BATTERY INSTALLED TO POWER IT.
4) Enclave engine size is 3.6L V6, 288 hp. Any reason to believe I'd have any problems going up/down reasonable interstate grades of 6-7%? We're looking to hit some of the Rockies national parks like Yellowstone, Mt Rushmore, Grand Teton, etc staying in RV parks and not off the grid (so we won't be climbing Mt Washington type roads or anything).
PROBABLY

Thanks for any advice.
Also the hitch receiver rating is for the hitch alone and has nothing to do with your vehicle's actual capacity.
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Old 09-26-2015, 08:50 AM   #3
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Thanks for your insights.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bikendan View Post
PROBABLY.
I'd probably have problems or I'd probably be OK on the interstates in the Rockies?
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Old 09-26-2015, 08:56 AM   #4
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you can tow it. but you will know it's there for sure. Forget the mountains.
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Old 09-26-2015, 10:07 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by davel1971 View Post
you can tow it. but you will know it's there for sure. Forget the mountains.
^^^^THIS!
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and Zoe the Wonder Dog(R.I.P.)
2016 PrimeTime TracerAIR 255, pushing a 2014 Ford F150 4x4 3.5 Ecoboost w/Max Tow Package
Equalizer WDH and Prodigy BC
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Old 09-26-2015, 12:59 PM   #6
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We tow a Rockwood mini-lite 1906 using a toyota Highlander. We use a weight distributing hitch with a swaybar. The trailer and tow vehicle GVWR numbers are similar to those you list for your equipment in your question. We recently returned from a 4 week trip from Kentucky to Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Mount Rushmore and back home. We had no problems towing the trailer traveling at about 60-65 on expressway and 2 lane roads through the mountains of Montana and Wyoming.

Good luck with your purchase.

Jerry
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Old 09-27-2015, 09:37 AM   #7
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I had a 2010 Enclave in Texas pulling a 3700lb travel trailer (dry weight). Wife and I with 3 small dogs. Traveled light, no fresh water. WDH, but no sway bar. Prodigy 2 brake control installed. Always used tow haul mode. Traveled mostly in the Texas Hill Country. She pulled ok, but really felt it on steep grades. After numerous trips pulling, my front struts needed to be replaced, fortunately, under my extended warranty. Not sure if my towing contributed to the failure. After about 3 years with the Enclave, and plans to relocate to near the North Carolina mountains, I upgraded to a GMC Yukon. I knew that pulling in the Smokies was beyond safe towing with the Enclave. We loved the Enclave, but had to move up. Pulled the TT from Texas to The Carolina's with the Yukon with no problem whatsoever.
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Old 09-27-2015, 02:06 PM   #8
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As a gm tech for 25 yes I suggest you find something to tow with. The transmission in the Enclave is how we stay in business. They don't tow well in any terrain. Vehicle too heavy for the transmission. Let alone a trailer. We repair these 3-4 a week. I MO go with a Tahoe or a Yukon. But that's just MO.
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