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  1. #1

    Default 08 Suburban tow problems

    Hello - I have an 08 Suburban with a 5.3 V8 and 3.73 rear end.

    Towed my 5500 LB camper to disney last week. Got to Orlando and was smelling rear end fluid smell. Went to the dealer and they told me that I had burnt the rear end fluid up and I was towing too much weight. I had both the truck and trailer weighed during the trip to ensure I was under the limit. I was 1000 lbs under the max combined GVW. The dealer changed the fluid and told me to take it easy on the way back. I drove back staying around 50 - 60 mph. I also stopped every 2 hours to let the rear end cool off.

    Does anybody know what might be wrong? I thought the trailer weight limit was 7200 for an 08? I did not see anything in the book about stopping every hour to let the rear end cool off or to not tow on long distances....

    I am pretty dissatisfied with the towing results of this new Suburban. I traded a Dodge truck in for this. Dodge never had any issues with the camper.

    Last edited by tspaden; 04-20-2009 at 08:48 AM.

  2. #2


    Welcome to the site. I don't blame you for being concerned, as it sounds like you had all ypur basis covered. Maybe some of he folks with the newer Sub's will give you some input. Good luck!

    2010 Z/71 Colorado C/C
    Black 4X4 w/5.3L V8
    2007 Winnebago Adventurer
    w/8.1L Chevy & Allison 6spd.
    Canyon Lake, Texas

  3. #3
    Legend bry2500's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Gloucester, MA
    Blog Entries


    Welcome to the site!!!

    Sorry no help with the issue but I'm sure someone will step up with a suggestion.


    02' Avalanche 2500 Onyx Black
    8.1L Vortec
    43,000 miles

  4. #4


    Hi Tspaden. i just bought a 2008 Suburban 4X4, 5.3L V8 and 3.73. I live in Colorado and I bought it to tow my travel trailer with. I have a 2003 Trail Lite weighing 3000 lbs (dry). I did a lot of research before getting this tow vehicle. I have a 2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4.7L HO V8 - 3.73 and have never had any issues towing with it (We are just simply too crowded in it for long distance travel - although I have towed from Denver to Florida and Virginia several times).

    My question for you is - Is 5300 Lbs the "Dry" weight for your camper? The 7200 lb trailer limit is the weight of your trailer, you, your passengers and all your stuff . I usually carry 200 lbs of water,( plus waste water in some cases) a portable generator (about 75 lbs), bicycles (100 lbs), kayaks (100lbs), a bunch of food and drinks ( I figure 100 lbs), 3 100 lb dogs (300 lbs), the 3 of us (400lbs). Also, my camper's "advertised " dry weight did not include optional equipment like air conditioning and a microwave oven, roof ladder and such. I figure that overestimating all this stuff will still keep me within that 7000 lb limit.

    My point is that - it is quite easy to overload your truck even if it is huge and spacious. If your trailer is 5300 lbs "dry" - you may HAVE overloaded it. 2000 lbs seems an enormous amount of weight you can carry (above the weight of your trailer) - But it really isn't.

    You might have to take some weight restricting measures. For instance, if you are traveling to a campground with running water, you only need to carry a few gallons of fresh water in your tank to use along the way. Empty your holding tanks before your trip if you can. This alone could rid you of around 400 lbs. Do you plan to eat out along the way or do some grocery shopping once you get there?

    Not sure where you live, but out here in the west, we like to camp at places that you must be self sufficient. We carry a great deal of stuff with us when we go. Still, I don't like to be heavy, going uphill at 10,000 ft MSL elevation and holding up traffic on Interstate 70. I take only what I really think we will use.

    Anyway, just some food for thought. I am looking forward to towing with my new Sub next month. I will be sniffing around the rear axle near the top of Vail Pass.

  5. #5
    Eddie Z71's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Blog Entries


    Hi, and welcome to the site!
    Eddie , 2000 Chevy Tahoe Z71 (old style)

  6. #6
    Legend tlperry68's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Huntington Beach, CA


    I am sure the burb can handel 5500 pounds easily enough. Sure hills are going to be a bit rough but the flats should be fine.
    Call the dealer you bought it from and complain. The rear should not be leaking from that. Unless of course you did max out the capability of te burb. I'm thining something else is wrong.
    Trevor - Huntington Beach, CA
    2007 GMC 2500 4X4

  7. #7


    Welcome to the site, good luck.

    Bobby - North Carolina
    2008 4x4 5.3L V8
    6" Suspension Lift and 1.5" Body Lift
    20x9 Ballistic Jesters w/35" Toyo Open Country MT's & 1.5" rear wheel spacers
    4:56 Yukon Gears
    Hypertech Speedometer Calibrator
    Baja style bed mount spare tire carrier
    Flowmaster 40 series dual exhaust
    Recon Smoked LED tails/3rd brake lights/black projectors w/switchback LED's in the corners
    N-Fab Nerf Steps
    K&N CAI
    No Fear Pedals
    Tint, Line-X bedliner, Window visors, Rear wheel well liners
    Painted front grill, bow ties and door badges, de-"lettered" tailgate
    Powder coated front and rear bumpers

  8. #8


    Welcome to the site!!
    If you find yourself slipping,.....tie a knot.....hold on tight

    2008 silverado
    1500 crew cab
    5.3 L 4x4
    Borla exhaust, rbp black tip
    tint, bed liner
    2.25 in ready lift leveling kit
    18x9 rbp 94r
    33x12.5x18 toyo mts

  9. #9
    Legend mmorgan1865's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Port Orange, Florida


    and good luck with the dealer.
    2010 Silverado Ext. Cab LTZ 2 WD 6 ft bed
    5.3L 6 speed w\ 3.08 rear end
    Navigation Package
    Westin lighted boards
    Undercover SE tonneau cover
    It's a start!

  10. #10


    Even a few lbs over the limit you shouldnt have burned the rear fluids, what type fluid did they replace it with?
    Probably factory spec, if the factory fluid is burning that easy I think I'd look around for a replacement fluid that'll stand up to heat better. Try looking at synthetics, if your gonna tow a lot they might work better for you.
    High speeds will heat the r/r axle fluids faster than heavy loads, maybe you'll need to drive a little slower when loaded out.

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