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Towing Capability

2906 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  halftrak0414
Hi guys- any help is appreciated:

I own an 04 1500 4WD Burb, 5.3 V8 w/trailer tow pkg, 3.73 gears, oil & trans coolers. Owners manual states towing capability of 7500 lbs. We're looking to upgrade travel trailers and are looking at a 30ft. trailer that has a dry weight of 7135 lbs. My gut tells me not to consider it because the dry weight is too close to the Burb's max capability; guys who are "in the know" (have towed for years) tell me not to worry because the Burb will pull that trailer just fine. I want to get the most trailer I can but I don't want the trans to explode as I'm going down the road either. Any suggestions?
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I have an 00 Silverado 1500 Z71 and tow a 28RKS Golden Falcon with it. 9435 lb. My truck is a 5.3 4x4 with a 3.73 rear end. No problem towing either on the highway or through fields to get to the beach.
Hello and welcome to the site.
I cannot tell you what you can and cannot tow with your Suburban, but coming from experience, you should look at factors like towing flat or towing up and down mountains and such.

My wife has a 2001 Suburban 1500 5.3 w/3.73's. We have a 24' Weekend Warrior toy hauler that we towed for 2 years with the Burban until I bought my Duramax. I can't accurately tell you what the weight of the trailer was either loaded with racebikes, or empty but it was a strain on the Burban due to the fact that we live in and around mountains. Towing on flat ground was no problem though so like I said, look at all the factors. When we bought the Burban in 2004, it only had 23K miles on it and it now has 95K. We just had to put a new transmission in it a month ago and the burban burns a little oil between changes so the towing did put premature wear on the motor and tranny (my opinion).

If you do upgrade to a 30' trailer, consider upgrading to a 2500 with either a bigger gas engine (6.0 or 8.1) or a diesel.
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There is no doubt that your burb will pull that trailer and much more, (I've seen people in ford rangers pulling 25' boats). The question is, how well do you value your safety? Factor in all of the additional weight you are going to add to that trailer and you quickly exceeded the vehicle's tow rating.

GM engineers (and probably lawyers) recommended the maximum tow rating for your vehicle. Anything outside of those parameters is deemed unsafe.

But, like I said, its your call.
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I appreciate everyone's input. I figured the Burb would pull at least 7k lbs. and more- hell, I see people do it all the time but is it really safe? We live in Mid-Michigan and rarely go North enough to hit the hills and we don't go out of state yet so it's pretty much flat-towing. I might be bordering on being over-cautious but I don't want to get a trailer and then either blow up my truck or have to upgrade (one big expense at a time. right?). Again, thanks.
I don't know where they get those rating from but I own a travel trailer that weights about 3500lbs loaded. My '04 silverado can pull up to 8400 according to the OM. I have about 340 hp and close on 400 ft/lbs with my 5.3 after some mods. I'm OK on the hills but when its windy .... that trailer seems to double in weight. I think your getting close but its's your truck.
Have you taken a look at your hitch? It has all the specific towing weights on there that are usually more accurate than the manual. I believe mine says alot more than 7500 and its the same platform as a burb.

Those towing weights are not only governed by how much the engine and transmission can take, properly maintained, they can probably handle 15k+ lbs on them and be fine...BRAKING is a major issue though, but as long as you have good trailer brakes and good truck brakes, you should be fine with anything up to about 13,500. ROUGH estimate.

Before doing so though, I suggest you put in a very high quality gear lube in your rear diff (such as Amsoil Severe Duty 75-110), and have your transmission flushed.

But if you will be towing that trailer ALOT, either you should be prepared to assume more frequent maintenance schedules, or trade in to a 3/4 ton.
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I myself have a 00 tahoe 5.3,3.73 gears and I pull a 94 Hornet 30ft travel traler with it. My loaded weight on that old LEAD SLED:lol:is 7700lbs and my dry weight is about 5500lbs,I don't doubt that you can tow with your truck,but I would double check the info on the weights,the sound kinda HIGH,just thought I would add my 2 cents in since I did do alot of research on this subject this past summer,before I bought the Tahoe(280hp stock).:great:
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