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Discussion Starter #1
I'm buying a 01 Suburban 2500 4x4 w/6.0L and wanted to know others experiences good or bad towing over 8K. I plan on using this to occassionally tow my 31' travel trailer that weighs about 8,700lbs. Also any suggestions on mods for hp/tq?

Thanks
 

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Run it as-is. I'm going to be towing my 9100 pound camper with my stock Chevy 350/5.7 and 700R4 transmission. With the 6.0 and the 4L80E you have, you shouldn't even know the trailer's there.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Wow I haven't heard of that combination towing that heavy yet. My salesperson towed the same travel trailer as mines with a newer Tahoe with the 5.3 and 4l60 trans but everyone at the campgrounds or on the rv forums have big blocks at the least and mainly diesels. Let me know how it works out. Are you beefing up the trans with shift kit or cooler?

Joe
Run it as-is. I'm going to be towing my 9100 pound camper with my stock Chevy 350/5.7 and 700R4 transmission. With the 6.0 and the 4L80E you have, you shouldn't even know the trailer's there.
 

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My transmission does already have a shift kit in it, and I do have an auxillary cooler running as my only cooler at the moment, but I plan to start using the radiator cooler too again. The early 90s 3/4 ton trucks came with the 5.7/700R4 combo, so there's no reason I can't, or so I hope.

A diesel would be a better way to go, but there should be no reason the 6.0 can't handle it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Have you towed it yet?

I think it all depends on your personal requirements for performance/safety. My 98 Explorer 5.0 AWD was rated for 6600# and I towed my 25' boat/trailer for a few seasons until I scaled it at 8,000#'s and still tow it now with my 06 Explorer 4.6 4wd that is approaching 100K miles. When I bought my travel trailer I wasn't sure which vehicle to get so I towed it home from the dealer (40 miles) completely empty figuring it weighs just a little more than my boat and I made it but I realized then that I needed a truly heavy duty truck. The tongue weigh had the rear sagging severely and the wind drag had the electronically control (adaptive learning) trans shifting funny for a few days. The drag at expressway speeds is intense compared to the sleek boat. The last variable is the difference between flat lands and hills. I have pulled this trailer to FL and back a few times with an Excursion v-10 w/4.30 gearing through the mountains (scaled both at 17,300 lbs loaded) and also locally with E350 van V-10 3.73 geared and 99 Suburban 2500 7.4L and 96 GMC 3500 7.4L CC DRW, I can notice differences between the towing power with the gears.
 

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I honestly cannot say that I've ever hooked my camper up to the suburban. As of now, I'm just going off of specs to tell me what it can handle, and comparisons to similar vehicles that are rated to tow those kinds of weights. If it isn't capable of towing my camper.....I don't know what I'm going to do. But, I have total faith in that it's gonna drag the camper around with little issue.

Stupid question, but were you using a weight distributing hitch when you bought the camper? That'll make a huge difference in how the truck's stance sits and how it handles on the road.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
No questions are stupid :)

Yeah I had the Equalizer hitch (better brand) set up by the dealer which does a lot of campers, trailers and fifth wheels but the rear sagged REALLY low! As a matter of fact before I really understood the trailer loading the Excursion rear was sagging enough to change the aim of the headlights. In my trailer a lot of the storage space is up front under the bunk so loading there really adds to the already heavy tongue weight. The tongue weights of campers are more than vehicle trailers and boats it more like 15% instead of 10%. On my barely weighing 9000 trailer that worked up to more than 1200 pounds when loaded hence the Excurions sagged. I have since learned to distribute some of the heaviest items all the way to the rear of the 31' which acts like a leverage and takes some of the weight off of the tongue.

I want to be clear I have no doubt the Suburban will indeed pull that trailer. It just depends on how fast you want to accelerate and whether you mainly do flat land towing or across the hills. Check out Rv.net for a wealth of info and vehicle information under the thread Tow Vehicles.

Good Luck

On the RV forums most tell me the Suburban 2500 with the 6.0L isn't enough, but if a driver has patience and doesn't mind the rev's going higher where the engine makes it torque it is doable.
I honestly cannot say that I've ever hooked my camper up to the suburban. As of now, I'm just going off of specs to tell me what it can handle, and comparisons to similar vehicles that are rated to tow those kinds of weights. If it isn't capable of towing my camper.....I don't know what I'm going to do. But, I have total faith in that it's gonna drag the camper around with little issue.

Stupid question, but were you using a weight distributing hitch when you bought the camper? That'll make a huge difference in how the truck's stance sits and how it handles on the road.
 

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the diesel will outpull the 6.0 all day but the 6.0 wont be bad either. what gearing does the suburban have in it. 4.10's would probably be a good upgrade if it has the 3.73's. unfortunately I havent done a lot of heavy hauling in my 6.0 but it has done well when I have towed with it. after I lifted and put 35's on it struggles a bit on hills since I didnt jump to 4.56 gears but as you stated before just need some more patience on the hills.
 

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A 6 liter has plenty of power/tq.
In WW2 those trucks you see hauling and towing large loads are just 6 cyl gas engined- probably made well under 120hp( they were no doubt big 6's-plenty of low RPM torque-but not as much as a 1998 5.7).
A 5.7 makes 250 hp-plenty enough motor to tow.
The motor/gearing determine how fast you can accelerate with a load.
If you don't mind very slow acceleration the motor isn't the problem.
Now all the rest of the running gear and BRAKES and weight/wheelbase of your vehicle have lots to do with towing safety, and reliability.
A 3/4 ton drivetrain in a big long heavy wide vehicle like a Suburban should be up to handling 9000 lbs or so.
Now some older Suburbans- my 1998 1/2 ton- have kinda whimpy brakes- I don't think I would care to tow more than 3500 lbs or so with these sissy brakes.
I would get some sort of aftermarket brake kit-rotors calipers etc- if I towed much at all.
The motor is rarely a limiting factor in towing- all the other stuff is-size/brakes/trans/gearing/weight/wheelbase/track etc.Light Little short wheelbase vehicles don't tow well.

PS- Diesels are great tow vehicles, but they probably aren't overall cheaper to own. The FI systems are expensive to repair,and seem to regularly break.
A SBC is cheaper to buy cheaper to own cheaper to repair- a BBC- probably cheaper also- but very thirsty even when not towing.
Most folks don't run their vehicles past 200,000 miles, so how long a diesel can last isn't too important.Plenty of SBC last 175,000 plus miles.
Diesels make better tow vehicles, but they aren't cheaper than a SBC or a BBC- even considering the HUGE thirst of a 7.4 or 8.1.
The whole point of the bigger small blocks in 3/4 ton is to have an inexpensive to buy and own tow vehicle. The Duramax option adds $6000 or more to price with the expensive maintenance to boot
Resale is pretty good on diesels, but they are so expensive to buy and own(new)
 
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