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Old 06-08-2011, 12:24 AM   #1
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Towing a 2012 Wildcat 29BHS

We recently purchased a 2012 Wildcat 29BHS. The dry weight is about 6,500 lbs and the hitch weight is 920 (factory specs). We have a 2001 Chevy Suburban 2500 3/4 ton with about 140,000 miles on it. It has the factory transmission cooler and temperature gauge.

I towed a trailer for the first time ever this week and was surprised at how it felt. I hear people talk about how going up inclines they don't even know the trailer is there. I could defiantly feel it. Uphill the vehicle slowed to about 40 mph and shifted into second gear.

Is this normal? Is the trailer too much for my reliable but seasoned Suburban?
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:44 AM   #2
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How many HP did you have when your vehicle was new?
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:46 AM   #3
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Well, your dry weight is 6,500 pounds, but your GROSS weight rating is almost 8,000. Plus, that trailer is over 32' long. That's a lot of trailer. How much additional weight have you added to the trailer (gear, water, batteries, gas, etc.)? How much do you have in the Burb?

Your Burb may be reliable, but it may not be right for this job. On the other hand, that may be the way it was designed. By that, I mean for the Ford gas engines (5.4L and 6.8L), they were designed to rev at high RPM's and work best that way. It takes some getting used to.

If you're looking to upgrade, you sure can't go wrong with a diesel. It would tow the trailer much better, at lower RPM's, keep your speed better, and you would like it better (should anyway). And with proper maintenance, would be just as reliable.
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Old 06-08-2011, 09:14 AM   #4
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Is it normal? Well that depends on how big the hill was. Under normal conditions a 2500 Suburban should not have any issues pulling your trailer, at times it may drop down a gear to maintain speed that is how it is designed to work, even going down hill (as a brake). You stated it slowed to 40 mph are you saying that as you stepped on the gas you had no more peddle (floored)? I use to tow my searay 30 dancer with a burb and that was a lot more weight (over 12,000) than your TT with no issues.
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Old 06-08-2011, 10:10 AM   #5
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The 2500 is a 6.0 litre. Factory specs are 315 hp @5,000 rpm, 365 pound feet of torque @4,000 rpm. Combinded vehicle weight is 14,000 lbs. The truck factory weight is 5,760. Add the wife, 4 kids, gear and everything we are pretty close to the 14,000 lbs
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Old 06-08-2011, 10:46 AM   #6
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Sounds like you are just guessing on your weights. Next time you go camping you need to take it across a CAT scale. You are probably over 14K.

My factory spec weight was 6,250. Actual dry weight on the sticker on the trailer? 6,901. What is the UVW weight actually printed on the trailer sticker? Forest river does not include 'little things' like A/C units and awnings in their factory specs so I suspect your dry weight is around 6800-6900 lbs. Add another 100+ lbs for propane and battery.

Don't be afraid to step on the gas. Your burb should be able to handle it.

When someone says 'can't even feel it back there' just ignore them. I feel it, you feel it, everyone feels it. To differing degrees yes, but everyone feels it.

Another thing. Make sure all of your tires, both truck and trailer, are aired up to the max on the sidewalls. This will reduce your rolling resistence and help you handle this heavy load.
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:59 AM   #7
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Yeah, that is baloney or truck bragging when people say they can't feel it back there... After driving with my 7000# camper, my Excursion after unhitching feels like a sports car (for a little while anyway). You feel it but it should be manageable and not a white knuckle experience.
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyinAB View Post
The 2500 is a 6.0 litre. Factory specs are 315 hp @5,000 rpm, 365 pound feet of torque @4,000 rpm. Combinded vehicle weight is 14,000 lbs. The truck factory weight is 5,760. Add the wife, 4 kids, gear and everything we are pretty close to the 14,000 lbs
315Hp new. 140000miles wear on the engine would reduce that to say 280hp and if it is need of a good service and tune up then could be way down.

I say this because I did my own oil changes plugs,etc for years on a old car I had but never checked much else. But over a long period of time you don't realise how much power you are missing until it gets tuned right. I only did this because consumption seemed to be getting a bit high. Maybee something or nothing, just a thought.
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:02 PM   #9
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Nowhere do I see what the final drive ratio of the Burb is. A high (low numeric number) ratio could contribute to the hard pulling.
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:11 PM   #10
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the 2500 has 3.73 gears. The only model they made with a larger ratio was the 8.1 litre model with 4.10.

GM says its rated to tow 8,300 lbs. Of course that is new. I also forgot to mention it has a cold air intake. I bought it used so I don't know if the previous owner took care of it but it doesn't burn oil and I added a fuel system cleaner to the gas tank and ran it through before I started towing.

Is towing at 3,500 rpm in second safe for the vehicle?
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