Tow Vehicle Modifications

[Kelly] We have a 1999 Chevy Suburban 1500. We have a draw tight hitch with equilizer bars and a sway bar. We also have electic brake controller. We pull a 98 Springdale lite 26 ft. travel trailer. It&#039s dry weight is about 4400 lbs. Are there any other modifications that should be made to the suburban to keep it from getting damaged? It does have a 350 engine.
Tow Vehicle Modifications

[Vern M.] Modifications other than what you list? First would be the right sized auxillary transmission oil cooler. Note "right sized" for your engine. Ask GM.

Second would be adequately sized and installed wiring for the 12 volts to trailer and trailer brake and light controls. Have it measured at the plug for current capability. A properly equipped RV modifier can do that.

Third are adequate tires with load ratings to match your GCVW and load per axle. Did you know the rear axle itself has a never-exceed load rating? It&#039s all in th manual and/or available from GM customer relations. Not the dealer in many places, but always from corporate customer relations.

The rear axle gear ratio may be a factor. We have a GM Conversion van with 3:42-1 rear end. We pull a 24 foot Jayco Eagle with no problem but would have more acceleration and hill climbing power with lower ratio. GM, however, advised against changing it saying that other things are relative and it is not a good idea to tinker here.

And, always pull in high, never overdrive! That&#039s in the manual too.

Service such as oil, radiator fluid, transmission and rear axle fluid changaes, comes more frequent with pulling too. Read up and do as it says and you likely will have no problems. We have more than 90,000 miles on the van now and have pulled three trailers of increased size and weight and are quite pleased with the combination.


Vern M.
The Little House on the Highway (tm)
Tow Vehicle Modifications

[Lee] Kelly,
If you vehicle came with the Tow Package, it should have an oil cooler and a transmission cooler. If not, it would be a good investment. I pulled a 26 foot Coachmen with a 97 Chevy 1500 pickup, 350 eng, and got between 10 and 12 mpg..mostly around 12. Change the trans fluid every 12-15,000 miles, if you do a lot of towing. My Chevy has 105,000 miles on it, still runs like new.