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Old 06-06-2010, 08:57 AM   #1
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Chevy Trailblazer towing

Hi Guys

We are new here. We are currently looking at a Surveyors, the dealer has shown us the SV 264. Our tow vehicle is a 2008 Chev Trailblazer, 4.3l inline 6, The manual says we are good for 5500lbs. Dealer says we will be okay. We really like the layout and size but are a little concerned about the tow weight. We are planning to add a transmission cooler and equalizing hitch. Does anybody have any experience with this combination of vehicle and TT? Are we trying to tow beyond or capability?
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Old 06-06-2010, 10:28 AM   #2
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Well, if you go by the GVWR (which you should) of 7841 pounds, you will be well over tow ratings for the TB. I have a TB myself (a 2007 with the 3.73, which gives me better tow ratings). But I would not pull that much trailer. In addition to the "potential" weight, that is a very long trailer for a TB. The TrailBlazer is a very admirable and capable truck, but I believe you would be taking on more than you can chew with that trailer. You didn't say anything about kids or pets or how much you plan on taking (what kind of camping you plan on), but after just the initial loading (passengers, gear, etc.), plus the "real dry weight" (what the trailer actually weights, not what is on paper), you will probably at your weight limit for the TB. That leaves you no "fudge factor". And if you have to pull it with some water (waste, fresh, etc), you will really feel it.

But, this is just my opinion (and some experience). Just remember how you can tell when a salesman is lying...whenever he opens his mouth. He is out to sell you a trailer. He will tell everyone that they "should be alright". Run your numbers and you will see for yourself.
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Old 06-06-2010, 10:44 AM   #3
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Thanks Ed.
It will be the two of us and our small dog, Our trips are usually within 4 hours of home and in Ontario it is relatively flat. I think we better look at something smaller.
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Old 06-06-2010, 04:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smeds View Post
Hi Guys

We are new here. We are currently looking at a Surveyors, the dealer has shown us the SV 264. Our tow vehicle is a 2008 Chev Trailblazer, 4.3l inline 6, The manual says we are good for 5500lbs. Dealer says we will be okay. We really like the layout and size but are a little concerned about the tow weight. We are planning to add a transmission cooler and equalizing hitch. Does anybody have any experience with this combination of vehicle and TT? Are we trying to tow beyond or capability?
I sent you a pm. Let me know what you think!
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Old 06-06-2010, 05:08 PM   #5
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Dealers will tell you you can pull a 5er with a motorcycle too if it will make the sale. Don't trust them. Ed gave good advice. Beyond just the engine and transmission there is wheelbase of the TV which must be considred. Add to that the fact that SUVs come from the factories with "car" tires and not LT or "truck" tires that are not up to the job of heavy hauling and suspensions that are tuned for a soft ride not towing. Would trading to a good quad cab pickup to replace the Trailblazer be an option?
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Old 06-07-2010, 01:27 PM   #6
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Ditto to Ed and Jeeper, as you read through any of the posts here you will find that the dealers are less than reliable, you will also find that most 1/2 Ton towables built today are best if pulled by a 3/4 or larger tow vehicle, but you are going to have to be the final judge.

When I was looking at trailers, several dealers told me my 1/2t Suburban would pull any trailer on their lot (even 32 ft with two slides), the dealer I bought from, his first question was what do I have to tow with, when I told him, he directed me to 4 of the trailers he had on his lot, when I questioned the larger trailers, he told me that they are 1/2 ton rated, but that he would not sell one to me as they were too large and that I would be dissapointed.

The trailer I purchased was the Wildwood 23 BHLE, no slides, my suburban pulls it good, no sway, slows on the grades etc., but I am glad I listened to his advice, I would not even think of pulling a larger trailer now that I have experienced this set-up, when my budget affords it, I will be buying a 3/4 or larger truck, most likely a deisel.
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Old 06-07-2010, 03:05 PM   #7
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All the advise here is well founded. I am glad you are looking at other options to pull with your TB.

I recall a terrible accident that once happened here in Colorado on a flat Interstate. A Jeep Grand Cherokee was towing a very large and long travel trailer. It jackknifed during an emergency stop and killed occupants in the tow vehicle. I strongly believe this turned into a battle of mass between the Jeep and the trailer. Whoever sized up that tow vehicle made his decision based on power. I suspect he was quoted once as saying, "Sure, the big engine in my little Jeep has enough power to pull that trailer.". However, no one gave consideration to its ability to overcome the momentum of the trailer during an abrupt stop.

I find that the auto manufactures DO take the mass of the tow vehicle into account (among other factors) when specifying the towing capability of their vehicles. And therefore, their maximum capacities should be trusted, and adhered to.

For our family, our Expedition is rated for 8,650 lbs max. However, we shopped for trailers that would not exceed 7,000 lbs which is approximately 80% of maximum. This self-imposed derating was primarily due to limits on power because of the altitude of Colorado, but it provides us with some spare GCWR so I can carry our family of six at the same time too.

I highly recommend you contact Chevrolet and request their RV & Trailer towing guide specific to your year. I was able to find the one that pertained to us on the Ford website, even though our model-year was 7-years old. These guides provide copious details that will provide any purchaser of a TT with the information they need to make a well-informed decision.
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Old 06-07-2010, 08:43 PM   #8
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And wheelbase is a big and often over-looked factor. Check some of MtnGuy's posts. He has a great table relating wheelbase to trailer length.
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:48 AM   #9
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smeds, as Bob indicated, I tend to be commissioner of the length police on this site.

Here is the chart that Bob is referring to:

110" 20' ******* 150" 30'
114" 21' ******* 154" 31'
118" 22' ******* 158" 32'
122" 23' ******* 162" 33'
126" 24' ******* 166" 34'
130" 25' ******* 170" 35'
134" 26' ******* 174" 36'
138" 27' ******* 178" 37'
142" 28' ******* 182" 38'
146" 29' ******* 186" 39'

The figure on the left of each column is the TV wheelbase, and right figure is the maximum "suggested" total trailer length. You can also take your wheelbase in inches, divide by 5, and that is what your maximum trailer length should be in feet.....it works out pretty close to the chart figures. In my case, I have a 145" wheelbase, and according to the chart that is just shy of 29", and the calculated figure is 29'. I have a 28.5' trailer, and that is just about all that I would feel comfortable pulling.

I have the sister ship to the SV 264......the SV 263. The dry weight coming back from the dealer was 4760 lbs., and the listed dry weight according to brochure was 4139. You can probably expect close to the same weights, although the tongue weight on the SV264 seems to be quite a bit lighter. I regularly travel with about 5500 lbs behind my truck, with a 700 lb. tongue weight. Now your tongue weight might be less, but I betcha your total weight will be near our trailer.

I am not sure what the Trail Blazer wheelbase stats are, but if you have that information, compare those to the attached chart and see what you come up with.
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Old 06-08-2010, 11:37 AM   #10
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mtnguy, Thank you for sharing the chart. It seems to me that this chart is based on the often-quoted rule-of-thumb introduced by rv.org. However, it is not entirely clear if this accounts for sway control or not. My guess is it does not.

Does anyone have a copy of "How to Tow Safely" by JD Gallant? If this book is the source of this rule-of-thumb, perhaps it covers the value in introducing sway control to figuring maximum trailer length.

I know I have sway control between my SV291 and my 119" wheel-base Expedition. However, it tracks very well even in stiff crosswinds and when passing--or being passed--by semi trucks. According to the rule of thumb I am about 7 feet too long . Other than my own limited experience, I am unable to challenge the suggested length.
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