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Old 11-11-2011, 12:32 PM   #1
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Towing with a Jimmy

After a few years of camping in our popup we are looking at makeing an upgrade.

We have been looking at the 23LB and 2306 and a couple other smaller trailers from other manufactuers.

I know with our Jimmy I am comfortable with the weight of the units even with cargo and extra people.

I am wondering if pulling a 23' camper will be to much for our Jimmy.

I hear alot of mention about wheel base on the tow vehicle(mine is roughly 109") what effect does this have on towing.

I know if I went to the dealer they would give me a 5000lb 28' trailer and say that I am good to go, but I know they would say anything to get a sale. On here I know people will tell you the truth.
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Old 11-11-2011, 01:07 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darrenandmelissa View Post

I am wondering if pulling a 23' camper will be to much for our Jimmy.

I hear alot of mention about wheel base on the tow vehicle(mine is roughly 109") what effect does this have on towing.
The logic says that a TV with a longer wheelbase helps to keep a straighter course when towing. Hence, the longer the tow vehicle's wheelbase and the heavier the tow vehicle, the less apt sway is to begin.

The problem is when people start to apply a wheelbase-to-length "formula". There is no law that says what the best combination of tow vehicle length is to trailer length. However, there are several "guidelines" floating around (pretty much forever and no one really knows where they came from or how they got to these conclusions). Here's one:

20' of trailer for the first 110" of TV wheelbase. Add 1' of trailer for each additional 4" of wheelbase.

That means you, with your GMC Jimmy, are relegated to towing no more than 19'10" of trailer. That may be the most you want to tow, but maybe you can tow more. Or not.

In reality, the weight and length of the trailer and truck all come into play, as well as the speed while towing, center of gravity of your TV and wind conditions.

I know you are looking for a concrete answer, but I do not think its clear cut and you will need to weigh the opinions. Personally, I would not enjoy towing a 4,700lb 23 1/2" trailer with your Jimmy on the freeway. My truck weighs more than yours and is about 1' longer, and my trailer is a little heavier but about the same length.
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Old 11-11-2011, 01:47 PM   #3
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Not much information included with the Jimmy. Year, final drive ratio, tow package, 2 or wheel drive, 2 or 4 door ???

For the 2nd generation S10 Blazers and S15 Jimmys (1996 and newer), the wheelbase for the 2 door was 100.5", and the 4 door was 107".

The information on my 1996 Blazer stated "All trailers towing over 2000 lbs. require the special heave-duty trailering equipment option (RPO Z82) which includes a weight-distributing hitch platform, a 7-wire trailer wiring harness and a heavy duty flasher". Make sure your Jimmy has that option.

The 3:08 final drive ratio was listed as towing 4000 lbs., and 3.42 and 3.73 would tow 5000 lbs.

The hitches were made for a maximum tongue weight of 6000 lbs....I think.

Like Triguy stated, there are no "laws" stating TV wheelbase to trailer maximum length. The guidelines that were given by Triguy are recognized by some, but are not written in stone anywhere. Another formula is to take the wheelbase (in inches) of the TV, divide by 5 and that is maximum trailer length in feet that should be towed. Not that the Jimmy wouldn't tow a light weight 23 footer, but sticking to a shorter trailer will probably result in a safer, more pleasant towing experience.
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Old 11-11-2011, 01:59 PM   #4
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I should have added it is a 97 Jimmy(4 door), 4x4, not sure on drive ratio I can't find that info anywhere, with the factory tow package. I believe the tow rating is 5000lbs.

We currently tow our pop up(2000lbs) and we don't even know it is there. Not sure how it would respond to a 4000lb taller camper behind it. I am fortunate that 95% percent of my camping is on flat land and see very few hills during a camping season.
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Old 11-11-2011, 02:09 PM   #5
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Flat land towing is a big plus.

There was a question recently on towing with an S10 pickup: Towing a Wolf Pup 17RR

If you do decide to go with a conventional camper, keep it short, lightweight, get a good brake controller, and use a WDH with integrated sway control.
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Old 11-11-2011, 02:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
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If you do decide to go with a conventional camper, keep it short, lightweight, get a good brake controller, and use a WDH with integrated sway control.
X2 -

I would guess that the 23LB will weigh between 4,200 and 4,500 lbs loaded with propane, battery, some water and your luggage. That's getting close to your GVWR. But, its not over the limit so its really up to you how comfortable you are with the setup.

I take it from the trailers you are researching that you have 2 or 3 children?
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Old 11-11-2011, 03:09 PM   #7
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We have two kids, that is why we need something with bunk beds. We were looking at hybrid but want to get away from canvas all together, and for about the same price as a hybrid we could get into a smaller travel trailer. Once we can get a different tow vehicle we will probably get a bigger camper.
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Old 11-11-2011, 04:07 PM   #8
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take your VIN to your local GM dealer. they should be able to tell you all the info you need.
you also don't say if the engine is 6 or 8cyl. nor auto or manual tranny.

with the short wheelbase, you'll need a good WDH with sway control, like the Reese Dual-Cam or the Equal-i-zer. and a brake controller, like the Prodigy.
there's a lot more involved pulling a full-height TT, than pulling a popup.
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Old 11-11-2011, 04:11 PM   #9
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I think the only available engine in the 97 Jimmy was the 6 cyl. 4.3 vortec engine (190 hp).
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Old 11-11-2011, 05:43 PM   #10
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It would be a V6 4.3L, automatic. I know one tranny gives you more tow rateing(can't remember if it is auto or manual that gives you more)

Thanks everyone for your answers, so it looks like I am not far out in left field for thinking this is possible. Unlike the posts where someone with a minivan wants to pull a 3200LB hybrid in the mountains, although there dealer says it won't be no problem.
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