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Towing with 2005 Suburban

Old May 3rd, 2012, 11:53 AM
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Question Towing with 2005 Suburban

Hi,
This is my first time posting here. I have a 2005 Suburban and I'm planning a trip out West this summer. I would like to pull an 8,000 lb camper.

I called Cheverolet twice (to see if I would get a different answer) at (866)222-1020 and after 10 minutes of being on hold, lo and behold, they gave me two different towing capacity weights.

The first time they told me that my vechile can tow 8400lbs. They second time they told me 7400lbs.

Does anybody have experience with pulling this amount of weight and distance with this vechile?

Thanks,
T.
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Old May 3rd, 2012, 12:42 PM
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I have a 2005 Suburban 5.3 3.42 4x4 and do a lot of towing with it. I recently bought a larger enclosed trailer and shortly after that, a tougher truck to tow it with, because the Suburban hates it. The trailer weighs around 4000# empty and has a very large front area (similar to a big camper/TT) so there is a lot of wind resistance to contend with.

I found that I was in 2nd gear more than 4th gear on a relatively flat stretch of I-75 and I-64 in Kentucky, keeping up with highway traffic around 70 - 80 MPH. If I would have been happy going a little slower, I think it would have been fine in 3rd gear, but I don't like being the guy who is slowing everybody else down and creating clumps of enraged drivers around me!

I think you will probably want a larger truck to tow your camper. I also got conflicting information on my tow rating, but my experience suggests you will not be very comfortable with the tow you are considering. If you have the 6.0 and taller gears it may be better but you might still be over the legal towing limit on your truck.

Be sure to check the rating on your hitch receiver. My factory receiver is rated at 6000# and 600# tongue weight. If you need to upgrade the receiver you can do so for a few hundred dollars. I just ordered a 15K one for my other truck for $240.

Here is a picture of my trailer:
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Old May 3rd, 2012, 12:50 PM
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lol, that photo makes it look like you are towing the house... the angle of the house lines up as does the chimney part
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Old May 3rd, 2012, 1:12 PM
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tsenior,

If you like, we can look into the maximum trailer weight for your vehicle. Please send us the last 8 of your VIN and we will get that information your way. I know you've spoken with us twice on this matter already, but we can hopefully confirm which is the correct figure.

Best,
Sarah (Assisting Louis)
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Old May 3rd, 2012, 8:23 PM
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I found that I was in 2nd gear more than 4th gear on a relatively flat stretch of I-75 and I-64 in Kentucky, keeping up with highway traffic around 70 - 80 MPH

Just looking @ your situation, and having plenty of experience with our 37ft. motorhome towing a car behind us, your looking for a serious situation. Trying to keep up with traffic will get you in trouble, find your place on the highway and forget about what's going on around you. As far as the speed.............forget it, you will melt your vehicle down. 60 to 65 is plenty fast. If your vehicle cannot tow @ 55 mph comfortable on flat ground, you need another vehicle. Our motorhome is perfect between 58 and 65, only shifting out of overdrive when approaching slight grade.
I know this is probably not what you want to hear, but JMHO, I've been there. Good luck. If this set-up is all that will work for you @ this time, raise the front of the trailer up from what I see in the photo, it's too low which creates bad handling.
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Old May 3rd, 2012, 8:39 PM
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Originally Posted by justimagination View Post
If this set-up is all that will work for you @ this time, raise the front of the trailer up from what I see in the photo, it's too low which creates bad handling.
The photo is probably a bit deceptive since the rig is on a hill there. The Suburban was up to the job of ferrying it back home, but with a load in it, I have to be cautious of the tongue weight and hitch setup.

You are probably right that I should just suck it up and adjust my driving habits while towing. At 55 it can't stay in 4th gear, not enough torque at low RPM, but is pretty much fine in 3rd.

I got a Dodge 2500 V10 so I am not planning to tow that big one with the Suburban anymore. I don't want to "melt my vehicle!"
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Old May 4th, 2012, 11:50 AM
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I bet that some of the confusion/differences in max tow is, that there is more than one Rear End Ratio that can be used, plus if you have a Towing Package installed. (I'd still follow through with Sarah/Louis' offer to look that up for you)

But you can look in your Glove Box, and there's a little tag in there with several Letter/number codes. Those are the actual build for your vehicle, and the rear end would be listed as one of the "G" numbers (I think) it is on mine. Then you can look up that code and find exactly what ratio you have. I'd give you a link to that list, but my other computer is in the shop.

PS:
Uoops, I think I was wrong about the "G", that is what type Differential you have (standard/locking/etc).
The Gear Ratio has a different prefix (letter).

Last edited by SWHouston; May 4th, 2012 at 11:54 AM.
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Old May 4th, 2012, 1:17 PM
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I believe in 2005 the K1500 5.3 was only sold with 3.42 gears.
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Old May 4th, 2012, 1:32 PM
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Thanks for all the helpful feedback!! Chevrolet Customer Service, I just emailed you the last 8 of my VIN. Any supporting documentation you can provide will be most helpful.

Tsenior
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Old May 5th, 2012, 7:56 AM
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tsenior,

Which address did you send it to? I haven't received anything from you yet. Did you PM through the forum or use my direct email?

Louis
GM Customer Service

*Update
Please disregard. I just received your email. Thank you!

Last edited by Chevrolet Customer Service; May 5th, 2012 at 9:00 AM. Reason: adding
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