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Old 04-20-2019, 07:23 AM   #1
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Towing with Chevy Traverse!

We purchased a 2012 23í Wildwood X-Lite last fall & pulled it home with our Chevy Traverse after installing a hitch. Our Traverse does not have a tow package. The only thing that concerned me was the temperature gauge, that usually runs at 210 degrees, was running a notch above that. Would a cooler thermostat remedy this? Also, do I need to have a transmission cooler installed? Also, is it necessary to use an anti-sway bar or weight distribution chains while towing?
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Old 04-20-2019, 07:35 AM   #2
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Towing

What year is your Traverse? We tow our 18 Foot Wildwood with a 2013 Enclave which is rated at 4600 pounds capacity. Our trailer weighs 3000 pounds. Our Enclave has a Tow mode button on the dash. You need to find out what you Traverse is rated for or you could have trouble down the road. Good luck.

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Old 04-20-2019, 08:22 AM   #3
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You need to understand what the TRaverse towing package had to respond what (if any) is needed for your SUV from the engine/cooling stand point.
I would go to a dealer and try to get a list or a copy of the schematics so if it says that the towing package adds a transmission coolling or a different termostat, I'll do those changes.
If that temp. you mention the engine temp or the transmission temp.?
The transmission temp on my truck runs around 195F when I'm towing.
In my opinion both a weight distribution hitch and a sway control are a must.

I use the Curt round bar system with is simple and cheap and recommend it.
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Old 04-20-2019, 08:28 AM   #4
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IMO, that's too much trailer for your Traverse.
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Old 04-20-2019, 08:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PapaBill View Post
[...] Our trailer weighs 3000 pounds. [...]
Correction. Your trailer weighed 3000 pounds. That's not what it weighs as you tow it. (Note: you should correct your signature to reflect the actual name of your trailer.)

You're probably still OK, I just don't want you (and others) to fall into the "Dry Weight" trap.

Good luck.
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Old 04-20-2019, 08:42 AM   #6
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Installing a lower rated thermostat will not help you run cooler if you are overheating. It just let's the cooler water reach your engine before it reaches operating temperature, which is not good.
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Old 04-20-2019, 08:49 AM   #7
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The 7-Pin Wiring

For me, the most difficult part of adding a tow bar to the Traverse (I think it was a 2014 model) with dual exhaust was wiring it for the 7-pin connection. It was a while ago, so I canít remember what the electronics conversion kit was called, but it had to be wired from the front fuse panel and some sort of box, filled with electronics had to be installed and stashed-away inside of a tight space inside of the trunk area behind the driverís side brake lights. I really canít remember the purpose of all of this, but it was a PITA to install. Maybe things are different now. The tow bar installation wasn't a breeze, either ó mainly due to the dual exhaust ó I had to remove and replace a lot of stuff to get the bar installed which, if I had a single exhaust, wouldnít have needed to be done.

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Old 04-20-2019, 10:34 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by CedarCreekWoody View Post
Installing a lower rated thermostat will not help you run cooler if you are overheating. It just let's the cooler water reach your engine before it reaches operating temperature, which is not good.
Exactly! If it were me, I would add a trans cooler and you definitely need a WDH. It is an awfully big trailer for a Traverse, and you need to do whatever you can to help it.

Also, if you donít have a tow/haul button, lock out the top gear when towing.
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Old 04-20-2019, 10:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfman44 View Post
We purchased a 2012 23í Wildwood X-Lite last fall & pulled it home with our Chevy Traverse after installing a hitch. Our Traverse does not have a tow package. The only thing that concerned me was the temperature gauge, that usually runs at 210 degrees, was running a notch above that. Would a cooler thermostat remedy this? Also, do I need to have a transmission cooler installed? Also, is it necessary to use an anti-sway bar or weight distribution chains while towing?
I'm sorry but what you did, is so wrong in so many ways.
First, you illegally towed a trailer with electric brakes because you had no brake controller.
Second, I'm sure that the tongue weight exceeded the regular ball weight because you didn't have a WDH.
Third, did you have a battery on the trailer, to power the emergency breakaway switch?
I believe that the max tow capacity of the Traverse is 5200lbs IF it has the complete factory tow package.
Just adding a hitch receiver isn't enough. You have to duplicate the factory tow package completely.
I suggest you start by reading the car's owners manual's Towing section.
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Old 04-20-2019, 01:03 PM   #10
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Conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by nomad297 View Post
For me, the most difficult part of adding a tow bar to the Traverse (I think it was a 2014 model) with dual exhaust was wiring it for the 7-pin connection. It was a while ago, so I canít remember what the electronics conversion kit was called, but it had to be wired from the front fuse panel and some sort of box, filled with electronics had to be installed and stashed-away inside of a tight space inside of the trunk area behind the driverís side brake lights. I really canít remember the purpose of all of this, but it was a PITA to install. Maybe things are different now. The tow bar installation wasn't a breeze, either ó mainly due to the dual exhaust ó I had to remove and replace a lot of stuff to get the bar installed which, if I had a single exhaust, wouldnít have needed to be done.

Bruce
Bruce, adding a 4-pin or 7-pin connector is much more difficult than it was a decade ago. The former scheme simply applied 12v DC (or not) to:
  1. Running lights
  2. All three brake lights
  3. Left turn signal
  4. Right turn signal
Now, LEDs are used. They could be driven by 12v, 5v, another voltage, or a current-limited source. (The plumbing analogy to the latter is a source with lots of pressure and a flow-rate limiter.)

Another tricky thing is that they now often use the same light sources as running lights and stop (brake) lights. When only the running lights are in operation, they are driven with a 33 or 50% duty cycle (on only a fraction of the time), at a frequency high enough that your eye cannot detect the pulsing.

When the brake lights are also engaged, they switch to a 100% duty cycle and LEDs are correspondingly brighter. The converter box converts this pulsing scheme to 12v on-off signals for the running lights, brake lights, and turn signals.

Yet another scheme that is sometimes used is called CAN (Controller Area Network). In this case, the entire vehicle is networked (CAN Bus) and a body computer sends signals over the (wired) network to each light's tiny computer saying "Turn On", "Turn Off", "Begin Flash", or "End Flash". (These are the same systems that will notify you on the dash that a lamp has failed, reporting the failure over the CAN Bus.) For this case, the converter box contains the tiny computer and receives the signals from the CAN bus and converts them to the old four-wire or seven-wire scheme.

Probably more than you wanted to know.

Larry
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Old 04-20-2019, 01:10 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Larry-NC View Post

Probably more than you wanted to know.

Larry
But now I know.

Thank you,

Bruce
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Old 04-20-2019, 02:25 PM   #12
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towing with Traverse

We have towed our 23ss (4000+ wt.) with both a 2009 and 2017 Traverse and would never tow without the factory tow package. Any dealer should be able to show you the spec's in the Traverse catalog. You are asking for troubles if you keep towing with your present set-up.
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Old 04-20-2019, 05:25 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by 67L48 View Post
Correction. Your trailer weighed 3000 pounds. That's not what it weighs as you tow it. (Note: you should correct your signature to reflect the actual name of your trailer.)

You're probably still OK, I just don't want you (and others) to fall into the "Dry Weight" trap.

Good luck.
That's right, our Trailer Dry weight is 3000 pounds. Sorry I didn't clarify, Loaded we are probably closer to 4000 pounds, I'm gonna have to stop at a scale and check it out. But I'm sure we are within our rated capacity but I will get it weighed and get back to you on it.
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Old 04-20-2019, 05:48 PM   #14
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Well... a ď23í Wildwood X LiteĒ could be a 201bhxl or a 233 RBXL. From 4200-4900 dry weight.

WAY too big to tow with a traverse. Iím seeing towing capacities between 5000 and 5200 maximum.

Rolling death trap.
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Old 04-20-2019, 05:56 PM   #15
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I'm sorry but what you did, is so wrong in so many ways.
First, you illegally towed a trailer with electric brakes because you had no brake controller.
Second, I'm sure that the tongue weight exceeded the regular ball weight because you didn't have a WDH.
Third, did you have a battery on the trailer, to power the emergency breakaway switch?
I believe that the max tow capacity of the Traverse is 5200lbs IF it has the complete factory tow package.
Just adding a hitch receiver isn't enough. You have to duplicate the factory tow package completely.
I suggest you start by reading the car's owners manual's Towing section.
X2 ^ plus a traverse is a front wheel drive vehicle which only adds to the problem. Your drive traction, steering and braking are currently all on the front wheels and they are less than firmly on the ground with this set up. Iím surprised if youíre not popping wheelies. Even with a WDH, a FWD traverse Transmission will be eaten alive in this scenario imho.
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Old 04-20-2019, 09:35 PM   #16
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Traverse without a factory tow option sounds like pop-up territory.
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Old 04-21-2019, 07:20 AM   #17
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Thanks everyone for all the replies. My camper is actually a 2012 Forest River Wildwood X-Lite 181BHXL (22.6í). My Traverse does not have the tow package so is rated to pull 2,000 pounds. It needs the tow package to get it to 5,000 pounds. The first thing I will do is have the bigger radiator installed. I already installed a heavy duty hitch & the wiring harness with relays & fuses. I also have WDH with sway bar. We have three State Parks within 30 miles so not planning to pull it cross country.
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Old 04-21-2019, 09:59 AM   #18
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As stated by a few others, your trailer (~4,500 lbs) is too big to tow with your Traverse. Doesn't matter if it's for 30 miles or 300 miles. Upgrading the radiator won't fix the limitations ... unless you're also upgrading the engine, suspension, frame, and transmission at the same time. Sorry to be flippant, but this one isn't that complicated.

Either tow responsibly and safely or don't. If you choose the latter, you'll probably not get a ton of positive responses as you post about your plans.

I recommend a 2,000 - 3,000 lb pop-up trailer for your TV (and similar car/minivan platforms).
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Old 04-21-2019, 10:06 AM   #19
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When I was first shopping for an RV, I was set on the high wall pop up A-frame, and considered a new Traverse for tow vehicle. But I didn't need 10 row passenger seating, lol.
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Old 04-21-2019, 10:27 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Wolfman44 View Post
We purchased a 2012 23’ Wildwood X-Lite last fall & pulled it home with our Chevy Traverse after installing a hitch. Our Traverse does not have a tow package. The only thing that concerned me was the temperature gauge, that usually runs at 210 degrees, was running a notch above that. Would a cooler thermostat remedy this? Also, do I need to have a transmission cooler installed? Also, is it necessary to use an anti-sway bar or weight distribution chains while towing?
Wolfman - As others have said, you're pulling way too much trailer for a Traverse, IMHO. Especially with no HD oil cooler and no electric brakes. I did this with a Roo 19 for one season, lighter than your rig (WITH an oil cooler and brakes) and was NOT a happy camper. (See my signature).

If you're committed to doing this, I can provide you with information on adding the factory 7-pin connector and brakes, also oil cooler and tow/haul switch. I've done this on both my 2011 and my 2017 Traverses. If you're interested, PM me your email address. But be aware that adding this stuff doesn't give you a warranty for 5200 lbs. If it didn't come from the factory with a V92 package, GM won't honor it; 2000 lbs only.

But my suggestion is a 1/2 ton pickup truck.
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