Jump to content

What can I tow with a Chevrolet Tahoe, 5.3L?


Recommended Posts

2008 Tahoe with 5.3L, 3.42 rear axle ratio, pretty much plain-jane. Thinking about a 22' TT, something relatively light.

My previous TT was a 32' Airstream towed by a F250HD so I am totally aware the Tahoe is not even in the same category. 22' is max, maybe even smaller than that like 19'.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wrong question - should be what can I stop! or what can I control going down a steep grade.

Better question is what is a suitable tow vehicle for the trailer I want.

But to answer you - look for the tow rating for your SUV, and especially, what hitch weight without exceeding its GVR. You need to find out for the tow vehicle, its GVWR, GCVWR, and for the trailer , its GVW. Then do some math.

You may find that it is able to tow (say) 5000 lbs, then you would be better with a 3500 lb (fully loaded) rig.

John

Link to post
Share on other sites

Both of the above are good choices, but keep in mind the tow rating is the absolute maximum for your vehicle and means the combo will have the minimum acceptable performance.

Every pound you add to the tow vehicle not only subtracts from the hitch weight it can carry, but also from the allowed trailer weight.  If you start out with a 5000 lb tow rating and have passengers and cargo in the truck that totals 500 lbs, you can tow 4500 lbs, not 5000.

And the tow ratings are set using a low profile trailer with a concrete block or bricks on it.  Not a wide and tall RV trailer.  That extra frontal area means you need more power to carve a path through the air, especially if you're facing a headwind.  Those tall and long sides create more sail area for sidewinds to push against so you need a larger vehicle to keep the tail from wagging the dog.

All of the above is why experienced RVers try to tow no more than 80% of their vehicle's maximum tow rating.   RV travel should be a pleasant experience and that 20% cushion can make the difference between a nice drive vs. having to constantly fight to keep things under control.

Edited by Lou Schneider
Link to post
Share on other sites

I towed a 28 foot TT weighing 4000 to 4500 lbs MGW with a 5.2 V8 2 wheel rear drive in flatlands of Texas using WDH with no problems.   HOWEVER, I towed the same trailer in the Rockies and mountains of west coast Oregon, Calif and Nevada with a Dodge 2500 V10 4X4 for several years.  No way would I try to tow same trailer in mountains with a small V8.  Better safe than sorry for my own comfort level.

The V10 was a towing monster and YES I could easily afford the gas. Gone fishing now and will check back next month.  Happy Camping.

https://www.facebook.com/CaptBillPerkinsUNRescuePilot

xBwIKKJm.jpg

 

 

 

 

Edited by NamMedevac 70
Link to post
Share on other sites

You may have a transmission overheat problem and also a tail wagging the dog issue. I towed a light 25' TT with my Tahoe and had these issues. In the flatlands on a non windy day you'll be OK as long as no trucks are passing you.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, hiljoball said:

Wrong question - should be what can I stop! or what can I control going down a steep grade.

 

John

I get tired of hearing this in the what can I tow.  The trailer has trailer brakes and they should be checked for proper operation.   If we depend on the tow vehicle to stop the trailer unbraked, we will all be driving class 8 tractors.  

The issue with the Tahoe is the short wheelbase and the limited cargo capacity with passengers, cargo and trailer tongue weight.  If you go over about 22 feet or so (maybe 25 feet) you will get the tail wagging the dog.  The other issue is the P series tires and the softer side wall.

Anyway, that is my 2 cents worth.

 

Ken

Link to post
Share on other sites

Is the 22’ the overall length or the box length of the trailer?  It’s possible the Tahoe could handle a 22’ overall trailer, but there’s more to towing than length and trailer weight.  I found with SUVs especially that either the tongue weight rating or the payload was more limiting than the overall towing weight rating.  What does the sticker on the driver’s side door say for payload for that particular vehicle (it depends on vehicle options)?

I towed a 21’ overall length trailer (16-1/2’ box) for 2 years with a V6 Jeep Grand Cherokee (wheelbase 114”).  My biggest limitation was the 620 lb. tongue weight rating - I had to work to keep my 5500 lb. GVWR trailer’s tongue at 600 lbs.  I, personally, didn’t have that much trouble keeping the Jeep under it’s 1050 lb. payload because I’m solo, tiny and didn’t carry much in it, so I didn’t take up all of the 400 lbs left after I hitched up the trailer.  The Tahoe is bigger (116” wheelbase), could potentially have a greater payload capacity (look at the sticker) so could possibly tow a trailer a foot longer than mine and probably one weighing 500 lbs more.

Read about tongue weight and how much you should have.  Most SUV manufacturers say their tongue weight ratings are 10% of their tow rating.  Since 10% is the MINIMUM you should have for safe towing, that’s a more limiting number than the tow weight rating.

The comments about having problems in strong cross-winds are true - slowing down helps in winds but one particularly white-knuckled trip from Tucumcari to Albuquerque convinced me that I would sit out really windy days in future.  I ended up getting asked about going to Alaska with friends on a type of trip that would require a generator, a second battery and solar.  The second battery put my trailer over the tongue weight rating for the JGC and I couldn’t figure out how to carry a gas can in a space that wasn’t an occupied space, so I bought an F150.

Good luck with your search for a trailer.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...