Towing a trailer

Discussion in 'Chevy Suburban Forum (GMC Yukon XL)' started by METZCOOL, Aug 4, 2009.


    METZCOOL New Member

    I have a 2002 suburban with 5.3 and tow package with the Nivomat self adjusting shocks, I will be towing a travel trailer with a equalizer weight distributing hitch with anti sway bars rated at 12,000 lbs capacity and 1,000 lb tounge weight capacity. A prodigy brake controller.
    The trailer weighs in at 5,974 lbs and plus whatever we pack in it(clothes, food, dishes, chairs, etc.)
    I believe we will be at 7,000 to 7,500 max camp ready weight and the trailer has center kitchen and elecyric brakes.
    Anyone on here have any experience towing close to this weight and your thoughts?
    In Ohio, Michigan, Indiana mostly, so no major hills.
    Thanks for any input.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2009
  2. vncj96

    vncj96 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    i have used a tandem axle care hauler (2600lbs) twice, once with a 95 grand prix and the other time with a 99 plymouth breeze. Obviously you wont have the acceleration, and the truck will ride a different because of the extra weight and them getting bumps from the trailer. But other then tht i really had NO problems, didnt even lose any MPG. No rear end sag either
  3. L0sts0ul

    L0sts0ul Rockstar 100 Posts

    I need some more information. like, 1500 or 2500? 2wd or 4wd.

    but, from what I Can see you have probably a 1500, and probably a 4wd which is what I will assume for right now.

    2002 Chevrolet/GMC Suburban/Yukon XL 1500 4WD 5300 V-8 8600
    Requires 4.10:1 axle ratio.

    the website I use says your truck can haul about 8600 lbs in a standard travel trailer, HOWEVER, read the GVWR on your truck door to see what the ACTUAL amount is.

    you wanna give yourself about a 5-7% buffer to work with. My trailer is only 7700lbs total weight even loaded, but I prefer to use my 2500 because of the suspension.

    I personally think you are really pushing your truck with the setup you are using but thats just my opinion.
  4. meash20

    meash20 Rockstar


    METZCOOL New Member

    Well everyone,
    I got my hitch put on and filled it with water and loaded the wife and dogs up for a test ride.
    Started out in town and all good, ventured out onto the backroads and handled the dips and bumps at 55 fine.
    Got on the highway and all good untill about the 80 mph speed and was a little floating going on, but 65 to 75 mph and with a semi passing me and some hard braking when no one was around me, I have to say it handled extremly well.
    The setup seemed to like the prodigy set on 7.0 and B2 setting, trans temps stayed constantly good in OD and 3 with tow haul mode engaged.
    Shifts were crisp and was not searching on the biggest hill I could find around me ( for Ohio thats not real big).
    It looks like i'm ready to go - thanks for all the input![​IMG]

    It is a 1500 2wd.
  6. meash20

    meash20 Rockstar

    SWEET! Enjoy the rig! be safe!
  7. kingsman19

    kingsman19 New Member

    I own a 2000 26' TT 5,700 lbs empty
    replaced the tires in '07.
    What I remember on my tire research was - all the tires I was considering had a speed rating of 65 MPH
    That I understood that to mean was 65 MPH max...
    Please be carefull if you go over 65 MPH and consider road conditions.
    Towed the TT for years with a '95 k1500 extended cab short bed 5.7 engine no problem....had to use the slow lane on some of the hills in PA mild temp increases.
    Now have a '05 k2500 diesel crew cab long bed and looking to upgrade to a 5er
  8. moosetags

    moosetags Rockstar 100 Posts

    Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

    I regularly pull my 26' Airstream travel trailer with a 2500 Suburban. My trailer weighs 7400# ready to travel. This is an actual weight from a truck scale, and not an estimate. I have pulled this trailer over 50,000 miles in the last three years in all parts of the U.S. I use a Hensley Arrow hitch system. This system has both sway control and weight distribution.

    We have two 2500 Sub Quadrasteers that share the towing duties. We also had a 2004 Tahoe, 5.3, 2WD that we have used to tow the trailer.

    The 2500 Subs do an excellent job of tow this amount of weight. The Tahoe did OK, but was not exactly confidence inspiring. It was a little strained on steep inclines and a little week in the braking department.

    Another important consideration in this heavy towing business is the tow vehicle tires. 1500 Suburbans generally come equipped with load range C tires. This is adequate for most uses, but not for pulling a 7500# trailer with an 800# tongue weight. To pull heavy, I would recommend at least D's or preferably E's.

    This next item is Super Important. The OEM hitch receivers on late model GM trucks are JUNK! They are Class III's and are shoddily welded to a round bar. These work fine for light duty towing, but cannot hadle the pressures of heavy trailer with weight distribution equipment. This WD equipment puts some pretty extreme pressures on the receiver. Several years ago, the receiver on my 2005 Yuk XL 2500 failed when the welds cracked between the receiver box and the round bar. Fortuneately, I noticed this problem before going out on the highway. I immediate replaced the receivers on both my Subs with heavy duty Class IV's. I later found out on an Aitsream Forum that this is a fairly common problem with GM Trucks' OEM receivers. Keep a close eye on your welds.

    Also be aware that trailer tires (ST's) are somewhat different than light truck tires (LT's). ST's are only rated to 65 mph. I usually pull a little faster than that. Also ST's are usually good for only about 25,000 miles, if you are lucky. Many Airstreamers go to 16" wheels and mount LT's for better speed rating and wear. This is an expensive proposition, though, as you have to buy new wheels, and quality LT's are nearly twice the price of ST's.

    Be safe out there with your trailer.

  9. 2COR517

    2COR517 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    What he said about tires and stuff. Especially the hitch issues.

    Moosetags, is the Hensley as good as they say it is? What do you use for brake controllers?
  10. moosetags

    moosetags Rockstar 100 Posts

    The Hensley is the best there is. It's expensive ($2500) but I think that it is well worth it. I have 50,000 miles on my Hensley. I have never experienced any sway in any conditions, ever. Passing semis are meaningless.

    As far as brake controllers. The '05 Yuk XL has a Tekonsha Prodigy. The '04 Sub has a Tekonsha P3. Both operate very well, but I would recommend the P3.

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