Can I tow with my current SUV?

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by robalan88, Apr 3, 2004.

  1. robalan88

    robalan88 New Member

    A friend of the family who doesnt know much trailers (along with myself) wants to sell their 30ft. 1999 Traveline Enterprise trailer. The trailer total weight is 5142 lbs and the hitch weight is 710 lbs at 19" from ground according to the manual. Stamped on the outside of the trailer the GWR is 7000 lbs. I dont know if my existing SUV can tow it. I have a 2002 4wd Trailblazer with a 3.73 axle ratio. I dont have a trailer hitch package (ball mount). I dont know much about weight distributed hitches or sway bars, etc... The specs in my book says it can handle 5700 lbs max trailer wt & 10500 lbs GCWR. I realize the specs can say one thing but what realistically and safely can be done be something completely different. Can I realistically tow this trailer? Is this a black or white question or are there several shades of gray to it? What accessories do I need to buy still to do it (sway bar, hitch, etc...)? Also, where can I go for advice on this? Will a local RV dealer be willing to help me even though I am not buying the RV from them or go to a mechanic, etc?
     
  2. Gary B

    Gary B Senior Member

    Can I tow with my current SUV?

    Hi robalan88, I don't think you have enough tow vehicle for a TT that large. Lets check the weights, first off the weight of the trailer is most likely more than 5152, if any options have been added, then you need to add 60 lbs for LP, 250 to 333 lbs for water (8.33 lbs X gals of the tank) add 125 lbs for food/beverages etc., + clothes another 125 lbs, then theres stuff like BB grill, chairs, firewood, dishes, flatware say 150 lbs, hitch and sway control etc 100 lbs. water hose, sewer hose, bathroom supplies another 150 lbs. Lets see where we are: trailer 5500+60+250+125+125+150+100+150= 6460 lbs well over the Trailblazer rating and loading the TT to 7000 lbs would be very possible. The Trailblazer is on the edge of having too short a wheelbase for a 30' TT and don't forget you need to add the weghts of the folks in the tow vehicle plus gas and the stuff you load in the tow vehicle. Good luck and welcome to the forum. :) :laugh: :cool: :bleh: :approve:
     
  3. Ed H.

    Ed H. New Member

    Can I tow with my current SUV?

    Well, you did the first thing right by checking you vehicle's tow rating. For the horsepower they put in those things, the rating is conservative, but for the suspension and brakes it is the absolute limit. From the weights you gave, it may be possible, but you would have to more weight concious than a fashion model and with a trailer that long, cross winds could be a challenge.
    My wife had a Toyota rated to tow 5000 pounds and we have a trailer rated for 5500 GVW. By packing light, we were able to handle it on regular roads, but the turnpike was not fun. We bought a Chevy rated for 7000 pounds and it now is more like a vacation to drive.
    Ideally, you should have a tow rating of more than the GVW of the trailer so there is some room for tow vehicle payload.
    Weight distribution and sway control are mandatory on a trailer that size even when towing with a ton crew cab.
    All in all, I would not reccomend towing that size trailer with your Trailblazer. It maight possibly do the job, but at what point (or speed) will an overloaded chassis component fail?
     
  4. ccm

    ccm New Member

    Can I tow with my current SUV?

    HI i have a 2003 chevy trailblazer 4wd it pulls are 4,150# TT but if you get ne more weight I would go with a silverado. I have to have a sawy bar instaled. I could not pull with out it.
     
  5. kevivoe

    kevivoe New Member

    Can I tow with my current SUV?

    I have a 2002 Chevy TrailBlazer with the 5700 lb towing capacity. We recently purchased a 30' Fleetwood Dakota untralight TT @ 4459 lbs empty. I figure we added another 800 lbs in propane tanks, battery and gear. I NEVER tow with water in the system and fill at the campground.

    I use a Reese weight distributing hitch and have just ordered the dual cam sway control option. The first trip out we had experienced 25 mph crosswinds. At 55 mph everything was manageable, at 65 mph it was white knuckle. With the wind in our face we managed 60 mph without excessive transmission shifting. With the wind at our backs we managed 74 mph at times. Overall gas mileage was a poor 8.2 mpg.

    We are now shopping for a larger tow vehicle. The Trailblazer is just not adequate for anything over 4800 lbs in my opinion. Our previous trailer (pop-up) came in at 3500 lbs and was a breeze to pull 75 mph without WDH or sway control.

    Kev
     
  6. connorm

    connorm New Member

    Can I tow with my current SUV?

    No you can not puul that big of a trailer because the truck can't handle it we have a 19 ft travel trailer it weights about 4500 and it pushing the limts. That is with hills and if you are going in to the wind forget about it.
    Connor m
     
  7. frogbert

    frogbert New Member

    Can I tow with my current SUV?

    I also have a 2002 Trailblazer with the 3.73 gear and 5700# tow capacity, a 2004 Dutchmen 26' Sport Lite @ 4370#, Reese weight dist hitch and sway bar. I can easily get up to highway speeds of 60-70 mph and maintain without any problems...I don't use the OD gear so the rpm's can creep to 3100 @ 70mph so I tend to stick around 60mph and 2600 rpm.

    While this seems to haul pretty good, I too would like something with a little more gusto even tho I don't really plan on increasing my travel speeds. It's really more for the stop and go, merging and long trips where I'm more likely to hit larger grade changes than are seen in the Southeast Michigan area.

    I have talked to a few people who have the new (2004) Trailblazer XLT with the 5300 V8, 4.30 gear, 7100 towing capacity, 11,000 Max GCWR and they say it is much better and have seen a small increase in fuel mileage. The '04 GMC Envoy XLT's have the option of a trans cooler that I don't belive the Chevy offers.

    Basically, I think the I6 engine is a bit small for this size of trailer. I guess I'd like to know if anyone has a Trailblazer with the V8 and how their experience has been. :approve:

    Just my two cents worth :cool:
     
  8. fredman

    fredman New Member

    Can I tow with my current SUV?

    Is there a place a person can go to find out the towing capabilities of most trucks ? I am in the market for a Tag or a 5W, but I am not a 'truck driver', so I will be shopping for a used truck of some sort, something inexpensive as I don't plan on using it much, maybe a 1995 model year or so.......

    The last thing I want to do is come on here with a big list of possible truck/motor combinations trying to get a clue.....
     
  9. frogbert

    frogbert New Member

    Can I tow with my current SUV?

    Hey fredman,

    I've looked around myself for comparisons on used but really haven't found anything good yet. New trucks you can go to any manufacturers website (ford.com, chevy.com, etc) and they have comparison links.

    I think a bunch of us can give a general rule of thumb for buying a truck for trailer towing. My rule of thumb is based on my general trailer towing experience, what I've seen in my years of camping/talking to people while camping, and people I personally know who have been rv'ing for some time.

    Minimum 3/4 ton truck:
    Ford F250, GM 2500, Dodge 2500
    Diesel engine, but if gas then bigger is better.
    The size engine usually dictates which rearend gear is in there and is typically 3.73 or 4.10...either will give plenty of capacity.

    Recommended - 1 ton truck
    Ford F350, GM 3500, Dodge 3500
    Diesel engine, but if gas then bigger is better.
    As far as I can remember, a 1 ton diesel only comes with one rearend gear - but I'm sure someone will correct me on this one.

    A couple of things to think about: If thinking about diesel, how available is it in your area? Even if you don't use it that much, how many miles will you be towing when you do use it? Will you be using the truck in subzero weather? What's the terrain you'll be pulling through (flat or decent grade changes)?

    I'm kind of in a similar boat...I currently have a 2002 Chevy Trailblzer towing a 26' TT. I don't think I'm going to be able to convince my wife that a new 3/4 or 1 ton pickup is in our future so I'm going the used route. The Trailblazer can tow the trailer fine, but it doesn't have the gumption for traffic merging or big grade changes. Darn good thing in south and mid Michigan things are pretty flat!

    Hope this helps a bit...
     
  10. fredman

    fredman New Member

    Can I tow with my current SUV?

    Yes, I was thinking of somewhere that they had the 'towing' numbers, what will be able to tow how much weight. For as little as I plan on using it, I would hope I don't need to go with a dually..... I sure hate to go to that expense if I don't need to.
    I don't know the weight of what I will be towing, but I do know it won't be over 32', still not sure if it will be a Tag or a 5W.
    I will be looking for something probably 8 years old or so.....

    If I was rich or towed a lot, I'd go find something with the Allison tranny I keep reading about......
     
  11. frogbert

    frogbert New Member

    Can I tow with my current SUV?

    I found at Motortrend.com you can look up specs on used vehicles or I could just give you this link:

    http://www.intellichoice.com/search/usedCarSearch.cfm?Cobranding=MT

    You will have to bring up each truck/year up individually, but at least you can see the towing capacities for the older vehicles. And the specs aren't as detailed as what you would find for new trucks on mfg's websites...but this may get you started.
     
  12. ClarksterYN

    ClarksterYN New Member

    Can I tow with my current SUV?

    I have a 21' Starcraft Starlite that states it weighs approx. 2700 dry and 4700 loaded. Do you think that I can pull that if the max tow weight is 5700?
     
  13. turnipbwc

    turnipbwc New Member

    Can I tow with my current SUV?

    fredman & frogbart,
    Check out this site www.curtistrailers.com
    On their homepage on the right side you will see a box that says "Tow Ratings". Click on that and it will tell you some tow ratings.
    Hope this helps.
    turnip
     

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