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TxSmallFry

Towing a TT with a Tahoe

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I am planning a trip from Houston to Louisville, KY and then over to Ft. Bragg, NC in the next few weeks. I have a 28 foot Ultralite Keystone travel trailer that weighs about 4900 lbs. dry.

It has a GVWR of 6550. The tongue weight is 525 lbs..

My question is, in your opinion, will a 2016 Chevy Tahoe be able to sufficiently pull this trailer through the mountainous terrain between KY & NC?

The Tahoe has a 5.3L engine with the 3:42 rear end. It has the Chevy stock towing package (tranny cooler, electric brakes, etc.). I will be using a friction anti-sway control bar.

I have pulled this trailer with my Chevy 1500 p/u many times with no problems.

The Chevy 1500 also has the 5.3L engine with the 3:42 rear end and stock towing package and I use the anti-sway bar.

However, most of where I pull this trailer in this part of Texas is relatively flat.

I have not really tried it hilly or mountainous terrain.

Your suggestions or comments will be appreciated.

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Edited by TxSmallFry

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The 5.3 is a good engine and the 6-speed tranny on your 2016 Tahoe will put you in a much better place than the 4-speed in my 2005. We were also towing a slightly heavier TT (just over 7,000 GVWR/5,400 empty). We just had to be patient and put up with 3,500 RPM in the mountains of western North Carolina and east Tennessee. Use tow-haul mode, go down the hills at the same speed you went up, and let the motor do as much of the braking for you as possible. Don't ride the brakes... just stick to the truck lanes and "hang with the big boys and you should be OK.

 

Happy camping!

 

Rob

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The 5.3 is a good engine and the 6-speed tranny on your 2016 Tahoe will put you in a much better place than the 4-speed in my 2005. We were also towing a slightly heavier TT (just over 7,000 GVWR/5,400 empty). We just had to be patient and put up with 3,500 RPM in the mountains of western North Carolina and east Tennessee. Use tow-haul mode, go down the hills at the same speed you went up, and let the motor do as much of the braking for you as possible. Don't ride the brakes... just stick to the truck lanes and "hang with the big boys and you should be OK.

 

Happy camping!

 

Rob

Thank you Rob, for your response.

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Welcome.

 

First off, in your owners manual find the max allowable weight for the trailer. If your at 80% or so of that you're in a good place to start.

 

Secondly, which cab configuration is your P/U? What I'm after is the wheel base difference if any. A Tahoe is pretty short. And short is not your friend in the tail wagging the dog game. The shorter the less stable.

 

The engine should be OK, the 6 speed is a big help. Do you have a tranny temp readout on your Drive Info Center?

 

So, assuming you're well within weight limits for the Tahoe I would make sure the trailer is a light as possible. Waste tanks empty, enough water for enroute needs and easy on the stuff. Yes, use a load leveling hitch. And, make sure your tongue weight is at about 12% of trailer weight. You can determine tongue weight by going to a scale and with the trailer hitched weigh the tow vehicle. (trailer axles NOT on the scale) Now dump the trailer and weigh the tow vehicle again. The difference is your tongue weight. Move stuff around the trailer if necessary.

 

If you keep it lean and mean and keep an eye on the temps it should work. Lastly, if the truck seems to be working too hard, plan your most mountainous sections in a time other than the mid day heat. 20º makes a big difference.

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Welcome.

 

First off, in your owners manual find the max allowable weight for the trailer. If your at 80% or so of that you're in a good place to start.

 

Secondly, which cab configuration is your P/U? What I'm after is the wheel base difference if any. A Tahoe is pretty short. And short is not your friend in the tail wagging the dog game. The shorter the less stable.

 

The engine should be OK, the 6 speed is a big help. Do you have a tranny temp readout on your Drive Info Center?

 

So, assuming you're well within weight limits for the Tahoe I would make sure the trailer is a light as possible. Waste tanks empty, enough water for enroute needs and easy on the stuff. Yes, use a load leveling hitch. And, make sure your tongue weight is at about 12% of trailer weight. You can determine tongue weight by going to a scale and with the trailer hitched weigh the tow vehicle. (trailer axles NOT on the scale) Now dump the trailer and weigh the tow vehicle again. The difference is your tongue weight. Move stuff around the trailer if necessary.

 

If you keep it lean and mean and keep an eye on the temps it should work. Lastly, if the truck seems to be working too hard, plan your most mountainous sections in a time other than the mid day heat. 20º makes a big difference.

Great advise.

Thanks for the response.

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What I experienced from my older Tahoe was "wiggle". I would suggest putting near the max pressure that the tires allow. After travel let the air out back to the vehicle recommendations or you will get a stiff ride on your daily drives.

Also if your Tahoe does't have a Tranny Temp Gauge I would get one, so you know right where the temp is. It may surprise you.

Edited by travelinbob

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I would suggest putting near the max pressure that the tires allow.

 

With all due respect, this does nothing in the greater scheme being discussed here. GVWR's, tongue weights, load leveling hitches yes. A few pounds of air, no, certainly not to address "wiggle".

Edited by oscarvan

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There is a relationship between tongue weight, load leveling hitches, air pressure & fishtailing. Too much weight in the rear = fishtailing;

improper adjustment of hitch = fishtailing & low air pressure = fishtailing. All 3 = mucho fishtailing. Also shorter distance from rear axle to hitch = fishtailing.

A travel trailer is sensitive to all of these. We pulled. 25' TT behind 4 different vehicles for 23 years & learned over time what affects towabllty.

Ron

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We towed our 32ft offshore fishing boat which weighed more than 10,000 with the trailer from Wisconsin to Fl. a number of times with our Suburban and never a problem.

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We towed our 32ft offshore fishing boat which weighed more than 10,000 with the trailer from Wisconsin to Fl. a number of times with our Suburban and never a problem.

A boat is a lot more aerodynamic than most travel trailers and the trailer will have a significantly larger frontal area. To use a boating analogy think dragging a sea anchor.

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I am pulling a 2016 Dutchman Kodiak 291 resl about 6500 dry weight , I never load it up with the tanks , just basic cargo . I am looking to pull with a 2015 Chevy Tahoe 3.4 axle 5.3 V8 or a 2016 GMC Yukon 5.3v8 3.4 axle ratio ?? Thought in which is better?! Or even a good idea???

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5 hours ago, Val_alo said:

I am pulling a 2016 Dutchman Kodiak 291 resl about 6500 dry weight , I never load it up with the tanks , just basic cargo . I am looking to pull with a 2015 Chevy Tahoe 3.4 axle 5.3 V8 or a 2016 GMC Yukon 5.3v8 3.4 axle ratio ?? Thought in which is better?! Or even a good idea???

Welcome to the Escapees Forum!!!

This calculator will help you figure out what trailers you can safely tow with a proposed tow vehicle. Unless you know the actual loaded weight of the trailer, it is best to use the trailer's GVWR un the calculations.

Another issue that is not discussed as often as weight is the relationship between tow vehicle wheelbase and trailer length. This website gives a good overview of this important consideration. According to online specs, the Kodiak 291 is 32'4" in length.

Again, welcome to the Escapees Forum!!

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Another welcome to the Escapee forums! We are happy to have you here.

I suggest that you follow the advice from Trailer Traveler as it is the best way to know what you can tow. For us to advise we would need to know far more details about the truck and the trailer. The trailer's dry weight really doesn't mean much since you will never use the trailer with it empty. We use the gross weight ratings because of that but the only way to be certain is to load the trailer for travel and then take it to a scale and weigh it, detached from the truck. 

One suggestion for you is that you probably would be wise to start a new thread with most of your questions here as this one is more than 2 years old and some members don't look at threads which are that old. We are here to help so do ask anything that you wish to know as someone here probably has dealt with the problems.

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Hello All,

i tried using the calculator but was having some difficulty. I have a 2018 Chevy Tahoe 5.3L 4x4 with tow package. 8400 total towing capability and 14,000 GCVWR I believe. I am looking at a Nash 24b with a tongue weight of 655 and a dry weight of 6200. The trailer is about 28 feet total. Would I be unsafe on the road? My calculations show I would be about 400 under the 14000 with cargo/people etc..  I appreciate any advice. 

 

Thank you,

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10 hours ago, Ddd said:

I am looking at a Nash 24b with a tongue weight of 655 and a dry weight of 6200.

Do not use the dry weight of the trailer unless you won't ever put anything inside of it when traveling. Dry weight means empty, with no water, food, personal belongings or anything else. It is just as it comes off of the assembly line at the factory. What you need to consider is the gross weight or GVWR.

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Like noted, use the trailer GVWR, not dry weight.  Also, do not use the brochure tongue weight.  A properly loaded travel trailer will have a tongue weight of about 10 to 15% of the trailer GVWR.  Lighter than 10% and the trailer will tend to porpoise and sway.  

I do not like short wheelbase and high center of gravity vehicles for towing much weight or longer trailers.  Get a good sway control hitch, set it up properly so that the truck and trailer are level when loaded.

You will get a push/pull effect every time you pass or are passed by a larger vehicle.  Keep you speed below 65 mph and take it easy.  Most ST trailer tires are rated for a maximum speed of 65 mph....stamped on trailer side wall. 


Ken

Edited by TXiceman

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On 5/25/2016 at 3:54 PM, trailertraveler said:

A boat is a lot more aerodynamic than most travel trailers and the trailer will have a significantly larger frontal area. To use a boating analogy think dragging a sea anchor.

Also note that a slab wall will push the Center of Gravity rearward at highway speeds.  A 4' x 8' surface protruding above the tow vehicle has 32 square feet exposed to the wind.   At 65 MPH that's 364 lbs of force pushing towards the rear of the trailer, about half of the 655 lb. tongue weight.

Suction at the rear wall will also shift the CoG to the rear.

The amount of force increases with the square of the wind speed, which can explain why trailers with low tongue weights get unstable at higher speeds, but are OK at lower speeds.

Trailers are stable as long as the center of gravity stays ahead of the axles.  Moving the the CoG behind the axle is when things get unstable:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jk9H5AB4lM

Edited by Lou Schneider

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On 5/25/2016 at 8:08 AM, travelinbob said:

What I experienced from my older Tahoe was "wiggle". I would suggest putting near the max pressure that the tires allow. After travel let the air out back to the vehicle recommendations or you will get a stiff ride on your daily drives.

Also if your Tahoe does't have a Tranny Temp Gauge I would get one, so you know right where the temp is. It may surprise you.

Exactly!  P car tires have soft sidewalls, maximum air pressure as printed on the sidewall is necessary. LT truck tires would be best, as they are built for heavier loads with less sidewall deflection; and still run maximum air pressure for best towing results.

Edited by Ray,IN

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I can only tell you what I found towing a 19' travel trailer with a 2011 Tahoe LT.  The trailer was the tail wagging the dog.  I bought the trailer from a private seller who gave us a weight distribution hitch, but did not explain it and we were too ignorant to understand its importance.  The weight was fine, but the length was not.  I have since moved to a 15' trailer and am finding it much more appropriate.

If you check your loaded weights to be appropriate to your Tahoe configuration and have a proper weight distribution hitch you will likely be ok.  

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9 hours ago, lg61820 said:

I can only tell you what I found towing a 19' travel trailer with a 2011 Tahoe LT.  The trailer was the tail wagging the dog. 

Proper towing configuration is a much more complex issue than most realize. While it is important to consider the weight ratings for the tow vehicle and the trailer and to have a proper hitch that is adjusted properly, very often the relationship of the wheelbase of the tow vehicle as compared to the trailer is overlooked. We towed a 19' travel trailer with a Kia Borrego but the trailer weighs only 4k# and the Borrego has a tow capacity of 5k#.  I would not have wanted to tow at the 5k max. even though technically one could. When using an equalizer hitch the adjustment of the tension bars plays a major roll in proper towing. With a lite weight trailer such as ours, an anti-sway device is also of critical importantce. We have since aquired a Dodge/Cummins, 2500, 4 door truck that we tow with and with it and the same 4k trailer the configurations are much less critical because the truck weighs more than the trailer and it has a wheelbase that is as long as the trailer. Even though the trailer has little impact on the larger truck, I still use anti-sway to keep the trailer where is belongs in a crosswind. 

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On 8/13/2019 at 10:01 PM, Ray,IN said:

Exactly!  P car tires have soft sidewalls, maximum air pressure as printed on the sidewall is necessary. LT truck tires would be best, as they are built for heavier loads with less sidewall deflection; and still run maximum air pressure for best towing results.

I just noticed; why am I replying to a thread created in 2016?????????????? Old age is inconvenient.

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