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Old 06-06-2023, 01:35 PM   #1
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Yukon as Tow Vehicle

Hey everyone,
My wife and I are considering upgrading our trailer to a Grey Wolf 25RRT from our Popup and we need to start with the TV.

I'm a commercial photographer and admittedly don't think a straight up truck will do for the amount of equipment I haul around that needs to be out of the elements while traveling. (yes I know Bed Caps exist).

We are looking at a Yukon Denali, Yukon Denali XL or corresponding Tahoe/Suburban. Probably in the 2015-2020 year ranges or so.

Internet says 6.2L is capable of 8100lbs of towing, and the trailers GWVR is 7690 so we would be below that even if absolutely fully loaded out which I'm not sure we would ever do? (Dry weight is 5103 but I know not to really look at that number). I know payload is in question but It's ONLY me and my wife when we go traveling, although I could see occasionally our nephew (who is currently 8).

Is looking at a Yukon, or Suburban the wrong choice?
Reasons why?

We are located in Indiana, so mountains and whatnot are a non issue unless we get a hair up our bums and decide to drive cross country, which is unlikely currently.

***Edit we are looking at the possibility of a toy hauler for ease of taking kayaks and Bikes with us. Yes I know these could go on top of the TV or on the back of the Trailer****

Thoughts appreciated.
Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-06-2023, 02:42 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhotoMac View Post
Hey everyone,
My wife and I are considering upgrading our trailer to a Grey Wolf 25RRT from our Popup and we need to start with the TV.

I'm a commercial photographer and admittedly don't think a straight up truck will do for the amount of equipment I haul around that needs to be out of the elements while traveling. (yes I know Bed Caps exist).

We are looking at a Yukon Denali, Yukon Denali XL or corresponding Tahoe/Suburban. Probably in the 2015-2020 year ranges or so.

Internet says 6.2L is capable of 8100lbs of towing, and the trailers GWVR is 7690 so we would be below that even if absolutely fully loaded out which I'm not sure we would ever do? (Dry weight is 5103 but I know not to really look at that number). I know payload is in question but It's ONLY me and my wife when we go traveling, although I could see occasionally our nephew (who is currently 8).

Is looking at a Yukon, or Suburban the wrong choice?
Reasons why?

We are located in Indiana, so mountains and whatnot are a non issue unless we get a hair up our bums and decide to drive cross country, which is unlikely currently.

***Edit we are looking at the possibility of a toy hauler for ease of taking kayaks and Bikes with us. Yes I know these could go on top of the TV or on the back of the Trailer****

Thoughts appreciated.
Thanks in advance!
while i cannot comment on the Yukon as a tow vehicle, i can tell you that a toy hauler is a fantastic choice for hauling your kayaks and bikes in! so much easier to load and unload. plus if you get the rear screen door put on, its like a popup that you can close up and be a lot more comfortable in!
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Old 06-06-2023, 02:48 PM   #3
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Payload is not just people it is everything you put in the vehicle that didn't come with it. It also includes the tongue weight of the trailer (real, not published) probably close to 1k pounds and the hitch. Check the sticker on the door jamb of the vehicle you look at for the payload of that unit. The payload listed in brochures or the internet are averages or estimates only.
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Old 06-06-2023, 03:06 PM   #4
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GREAT choice.

Full size, frame-based SUVs have ability to use WD hitch, will tow a decent amount, and have the potential to be 2500 or (the very rare, commercial fleet only) 3500 capacity (prior to 2020). Watch payload (as mentioned, on the door jamb sticker) as that's a real limitation here.

Figure your tongue weight at a real world 150% (maybe up to 200% for safety) of listed dry number, remember to add in weight of the hitch and WD setup.

Only downside is how thirsty they are. You can look around for a diesel, just keep in mind that diesel and higher capacity frames come at a price premium. Plus fuel costs and maintenance.

Good luck, partner!
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Old 06-06-2023, 03:08 PM   #5
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Check the door sticker.

The Tahoe is a bigger SUV.

Historically these SUV's because of the glass have lower payloads that pickups.

The loading of a toy hauler is sort of tricky. They are often designed for heavy loads in the back. Sometimes squirrely if not loaded properly.

We had a 96 Tahoe and used it to haul a #7,000 sailboat boat 200 miles per year. It was swell.
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Old 06-06-2023, 03:58 PM   #6
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Talking

I have a 2021 GMC Yukon XL Denali. 6.2 gas engine and 10 speed transmission. A 3.23 rear differential.

I tow a 34' travel trailer rated at 7600 pounds empty.

The GMC tows the trailer with plenty of surplus power. It also handles the weight stability with ease!

I have NOT towed in Colorado or mountainous areas. Longest trip was Texas to Michigan. Absolutely no towing issues!

VERY statisfied with the tow vehicle!

Equipped with 10,000# weight distribution hitch.
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Old 06-06-2023, 03:59 PM   #7
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I got a standard 2003 Yukon Non XL
my trailer about 100 pounds less hitch weight



if you go toy haulers ... double check tongue weight..



no problems towing with myself and wife and ordinary light stuff in the rear ... tows reasonably level

I add a few pounds of air to the rear tires when I got the trailer attached

am considering adding air springs to coil suspension



I got the 5.3 liter hauls Ok on interstate at about 60 -65mph
Tahoe and Yukons are the same just different badges
had both but only towed a boat with the Tahoe
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Old 06-06-2023, 04:16 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by tomkatb View Post
We had a 96 Tahoe and used it to haul a #7,000 sailboat boat 200 miles per year. It was swell.
Threadjack: that's racer talk. What boats did you campaign, Capt Tomkat??
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Old 06-06-2023, 04:25 PM   #9
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Iíd recommend a Ford Expedtion XLT EL/Max with the max tow package. The Expedition has the highest tow rating for SUVís. Payload capacity will vary depending on the trim package and extras in it.

I have towed our Grey Wolf 23MK the last two seasons with my 2017 Expedition XLT EL with max tow package. Over all it tows great. Super windy days not so great. Towing through the mountains it did great. The 3.5 twin turbo Ecoboost v-6 pulls like a beast. Plenty of power. I could easily tow at 80mph without worrying unless it was a very windy day. I did upgrade the tires to load range E for stronger sidewalls and higher load bearing tire. That helped greatly with winds and sway a lot. I also added some sumo springs and larger sway bars to just add a bit more stiffness in the suspension as SUVís are geared more towards comfort. I also use a 10,000/1,000lb Equalizer weight distribution hitch. I also upgraded my brakes too because you can never have too much brakes.

I also junked the stock mirrors for real tow mirrors. Not those junky clip onís. You can never have too much mirror while towing or not towing.

Pay attention to payload capacity. Youíll quickly exceed it towing with an SUV and a lot of 1/2 ton trucks. I think my Expedition has about 1,500lb payload capacity. With fuel, people, gear, hitch weight, trailer hitch weight and anything else you put in the truck. Youíll eat that capacity up real fast.

What ever SUV you tow with. I highly recommend replacing the shitty tires that are on it with some nice load range E tires. It will be the best upgrade you can do on an SUV.

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I did up grade my truck game this year with a low mileage 2020 F350. With a payload capacity of 4,330lbs. I will never have to worry about being overloaded or over loading the axles. Iíd recommend the most capable truck you can afford. You can never have too much truck. But you can easily have too little truck.
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Old 06-07-2023, 02:20 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by tomkatb View Post
Check the door sticker.

The Tahoe is a bigger SUV.
Huh? It's short a short-wheelbase vehicle, as is the Yukon. The Suburban and corresponding Yukon XL are longer and would provide better stability when pulling a trailer.

The Denali trim package adds a LOT of weight which reduces the payload (how much hitch weight) the vehicle can tow safely. Check the yellow stripe area in the door jamb of some showroom models where it says "The overall weight of passengers and cargo should not exceed XXX lbs."
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Old 06-07-2023, 10:09 PM   #11
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Thanks for the responses everybody!
They pretty much solidify what we were thinking, but even if you are sure you know something you never know what someone else might say.

If anything else comes to mind please add it, but otherwise THANK YOU!
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Old 06-08-2023, 05:48 AM   #12
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Thanks for the responses everybody!
They pretty much solidify what we were thinking, but even if you are sure you know something you never know what someone else might say.

If anything else comes to mind please add it, but otherwise THANK YOU!
As mentioned, aside from the lesser payload capacity found in SUVs, which I think you will be butting up against with that trailer, they also have a much shorter wheelbase than any pick-up truck:

Suburban: 130"
Yukon: 121"
Expedition: 122"
Expedition Max: 132"

Attached is a frequently mentioned chart on the subject.

Since you have options at this point, I would reconsider the pick-up and cap option. Even a shortbed (5.5') F150 will have a 145" wb in crewcab configuration. Crewcab gets you 4 doors and a full backseat plus plenty of room for gear in the capped bed.

Personally, my choice would be the 3.5EB engine (had one and loved it for towing) with the max tow option. If you stay in the XLT type trim level figure 1800 or so pounds of payload.

Same truck with 6.5' bed gives you a wheelbase of 157", so even more towing stability.
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Old 06-08-2023, 05:59 AM   #13
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Iíve been a photographer for over 40 years so I understand the cargo area an SUV provides. My 1984 Mercury Marquis station wagon was the best vehicle I ever owned for moving equipment, children and whatever.
My 2008 Expedition with tow package is wonderful. Ive never had problems towing my camper. I even had an emergency-slam-on-brakes stop when someone went to a lot of trouble to pull in front of me.
Iíd love to have an F250 crew cab with camper shell but so far I havenít found what I want. So Iíll continue driving my Expedition until I either find the truck Iím looking for or have no choice but to buy another Expedition.
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Old 06-08-2023, 08:51 AM   #14
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Iíve been a photographer for over 40 years so I understand the cargo area an SUV provides. My 1984 Mercury Marquis station wagon was the best vehicle I ever owned for moving equipment, children and whatever.
My 2008 Expedition with tow package is wonderful. Ive never had problems towing my camper. I even had an emergency-slam-on-brakes stop when someone went to a lot of trouble to pull in front of me.
Iíd love to have an F250 crew cab with camper shell but so far I havenít found what I want. So Iíll continue driving my Expedition until I either find the truck Iím looking for or have no choice but to buy another Expedition.
Too bad you no longer can get an Excursion.
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Old 06-08-2023, 06:09 PM   #15
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Too bad you no longer can get an Excursion.
You can. Just not one thatís very new.
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Old 06-15-2023, 08:07 PM   #16
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GREAT choice.

Full size, frame-based SUVs have ability to use WD hitch, will tow a decent amount, and have the potential to be 2500 or (the very rare, commercial fleet only) 3500 capacity (prior to 2020).....
The 2500s and 3500s were only sold to the public up to 2013. It came back for fleet sales in 2016 but went away completely after 2020. For anyone looking to buy new, they are at best equivilent to a half ton pickup.
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Old 06-15-2023, 09:28 PM   #17
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Our '21 Tahoe has the newer independent rear suspension. Much better ride but awful towing for anything other than a couple of jet skies. The hitch sag is pronounced at anything over 500#. There is zero solution to this problem as you cannot buy air bags, Sumo Springs to get the ass end up.
Buy a '20 with leaf springs and get bags to tow a camper. I'm about to install Bilstein adjustable shocks to see if that will fix the awful towing sag. My Andersen WDH hitch only will take out 1" of the 3" sag when putting 650# on the ball. The hitch is rated for 840# per owner manual or 10% of tow rating. I can't get the camper to tow level bc the coil over damper suspension isn't adjustable as is one with leaf springs.
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Old 06-15-2023, 09:36 PM   #18
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Old 06-16-2023, 07:17 AM   #19
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Unfortunately, neither products have fitment on 2021 and newer Tahoe/Yukon/Escalade because they went to IRS. That newer suspension can only be adjusted by ordering an air ride package. $$$ I'm going to try Bilstein 5100 now that they're off back order.
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Old 06-16-2023, 01:56 PM   #20
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Toy haulers probably out of the question as their tongue weight and overall weight are extremely high and beyond any 1/2 ton vehicle. Look for a 2500-3500 Chevy, GMC or Nissan passenger van. They have v-8 engine, 1 ton chassis and can possibly fit bikes and kayaks with a seat of two removed. Nissan seats are split so easier to remove.
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