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Travel Trailer question... did I just mess up???


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tkdgirl's Avatar
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April 19th, 2017, 8:18 PM   #1  
Travel Trailer question... did I just mess up???

I just bought a new travel trailer for my 2004 Tahoe LT which has a tow package. The trailer is 30ft and weighs 5,664 with a hitch weight of 790lbs. It comes with a brand new weight dist. hitch and sway bar. Did I just get too much trailer for my Hoe???? Scared to death since I signed papers today on it.

VIN: 1GNEK13T34J271282

 
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April 19th, 2017, 11:51 PM   #2  
Couple of potential issues:

1) Short wheelbase tow vehicle with a long trailer. That's going to want to sway, especially in crosswinds. You might want to look into some kind of anti-sway hitch like the Hensley Arrow.
2) Is that the dry weight of the trailer, or the max rating of the trailer? If it's the dry weight, then it's likely that once you're loaded up, it'll probably be closer to 6500-7000 lbs. That's quite a lot for a Tahoe.
3) You have the 3.73 gear ratio - that's good for towing heavy. Check the sticker in the glove box with all the three letter codes. If you see GT5, that's the 4.10 ratio, and that's even better.
4) Look at the payload sticker in your driver's door jam. I'm guessing your payload is about 1500 lbs. Subtract the 790 lb hitch weight, plus about 50 lbs for the weight of the actual hitch on your truck, and that leaves you with about 660 lbs for you, your passengers and all of your gear. That's not a lot.
5) What kind of trips will you be taking? Short 1 or 2 hour trips, or cross-country trips? For a short trip, you'll probably be ok, for longer trips, I'd be concerned.

Bottom line - that's a lot of trailer for a Tahoe. If you're planning short trips, you'll probably be fine. But if you're planning long road trips around the country, it's too much trailer.

You have 3 days to cancel your purchase. Use that time wisely.

Glove box sticker:


Payload sticker (my max payload is 2088):

 
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April 20th, 2017, 8:28 AM   #3  
Posted By: intheburbs Couple of potential issues:

1) Short wheelbase tow vehicle with a long trailer. That's going to want to sway, especially in crosswinds. You might want to look into some kind of anti-sway hitch like the Hensley Arrow.
2) Is that the dry weight of the trailer, or the max rating of the trailer? If it's the dry weight, then it's likely that once you're loaded up, it'll probably be closer to 6500-7000 lbs. That's quite a lot for a Tahoe.
3) You have the 3.73 gear ratio - that's good for towing heavy. Check the sticker in the glove box with all the three letter codes. If you see GT5, that's the 4.10 ratio, and that's even better.
4) Look at the payload sticker in your driver's door jam. I'm guessing your payload is about 1500 lbs. Subtract the 790 lb hitch weight, plus about 50 lbs for the weight of the actual hitch on your truck, and that leaves you with about 660 lbs for you, your passengers and all of your gear. That's not a lot.
5) What kind of trips will you be taking? Short 1 or 2 hour trips, or cross-country trips? For a short trip, you'll probably be ok, for longer trips, I'd be concerned.

Bottom line - that's a lot of trailer for a Tahoe. If you're planning short trips, you'll probably be fine. But if you're planning long road trips around the country, it's too much trailer.

You have 3 days to cancel your purchase. Use that time wisely.

Glove box sticker:


Payload sticker (my max payload is 2088):
I do have avery good WD hitch and sway bar. It's mostly short trips 1-3 hours. There are two annually that are longer (8 hours) but I usually break those in half to 4 hours.

I've removed all the passenger seats and hardware in the Hoe and have 4 dogs crates for y 5 dogs. Crates are less than 20lb each and dogs are 40lbs or les.

 
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April 20th, 2017, 8:59 AM   #4  
Here are the stickers:


Glove box



Door sticker

 
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April 20th, 2017, 12:29 PM   #5  
Ok, so based on your payload, you have about 500 lbs left after you hitch up. That's you, passengers/dogs, and gear.

You have the heavy-duty cooling package (KNP and K34), so at least the Tahoe is set up for towing heavy.

The advantage of a hitch like the Hensley Arrow over a standard sway bar is that the Hensley eliminates sway. I hate to sound like a commercial, but it does. It actually locks the vehicle to the trailer in a straight line, so it acts as one unit. Pulling a 30-foot trailer with a Tahoe is going to generate sway, no matter how much you crank down on the sway brake.

Realize you're going to be at your limits, and understand that it's possible that something might break. I had two vacations interrupted because of major mechanical failure on my '01 Suburban. Both times it was the rear axle. The same rear axle you have in your Tahoe. In my opinion, that's the weakest part of the powertrain of these trucks.

Lastly, do you have any experience towing? Me personally, I wouldn't be averse to driving your rig, but I've also logged over 20,000 miles of heavy towing all over the country, in crosswinds, the Rocky mountains, etc. If you're a rookie, this might be a bit too much to handle safely.

 
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April 20th, 2017, 3:47 PM   #6  
Thank you for help

Posted By: intheburbs Ok, so based on your payload, you have about 500 lbs left after you hitch up. That's you, passengers/dogs, and gear.

You have the heavy-duty cooling package (KNP and K34), so at least the Tahoe is set up for towing heavy.

The advantage of a hitch like the Hensley Arrow over a standard sway bar is that the Hensley eliminates sway. I hate to sound like a commercial, but it does. It actually locks the vehicle to the trailer in a straight line, so it acts as one unit. Pulling a 30-foot trailer with a Tahoe is going to generate sway, no matter how much you crank down on the sway brake.

Realize you're going to be at your limits, and understand that it's possible that something might break. I had two vacations interrupted because of major mechanical failure on my '01 Suburban. Both times it was the rear axle. The same rear axle you have in your Tahoe. In my opinion, that's the weakest part of the powertrain of these trucks.

Lastly, do you have any experience towing? Me personally, I wouldn't be averse to driving your rig, but I've also logged over 20,000 miles of heavy towing all over the country, in crosswinds, the Rocky mountains, etc. If you're a rookie, this might be a bit too much to handle safely.
Yes,. I towed a. 22ft trailer with my old Grand Cherokee. Good news... I'm.moving to a smaller TT, under 5,000lb, a few feet shorter. Feel much more comfortable now. Sad because the original one I signed for was the ideal set up. But I don't want to max everything out either.

 
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April 20th, 2017, 4:21 PM   #7  
IMO you aren't overloaded, but real close. There was no mention of trailer brakes, that's a must. We bought a retro travel trailer, pulling it with an 2000, and an 03 1/2 ton suburban. It is a single axle, I was concerned with sway, pulling it through southern Oklahoma hills, no problem. Your Tahoe is going to pull different because of a shorter wheelbase, regardless, you need to remember the GVRW on your Tahoe, you are close to maxed out.

 
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April 20th, 2017, 8:40 PM   #8  
Posted By: tkdgirl Yes,. I towed a. 22ft trailer with my old Grand Cherokee. Good news... I'm.moving to a smaller TT, under 5,000lb, a few feet shorter. Feel much more comfortable now. Sad because the original one I signed for was the ideal set up. But I don't want to max everything out either.
That's probably for the best. Good luck with your new rig!

 
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April 21st, 2017, 9:21 AM   #9  
I don't think you messed up at all. My 2000, 1500 4x4 burb has a weight rating of 8200 pounds. I bought a 5500 pound, 27 foot, travel trailer. With the weight distribution hitch and trailer brakes it should be fine. I can't imagine a suburban with anything less than 8000 or so pounds. With that said, I added Sumo SuperSprings to my rear suspension. I would highly recommend you add those or the Timbrens. They install easy. The first side took me about 20 minutes, the second side took about 5. The Sumos are a little cheaper then the Timbrens.

 
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April 21st, 2017, 6:07 PM   #10  
Posted By: falconbrother I don't think you messed up at all. My 2000, 1500 4x4 burb has a weight rating of 8200 pounds. I bought a 5500 pound, 27 foot, travel trailer. With the weight distribution hitch and trailer brakes it should be fine. I can't imagine a suburban with anything less than 8000 or so pounds. With that said, I added Sumo SuperSprings to my rear suspension. I would highly recommend you add those or the Timbrens. They install easy. The first side took me about 20 minutes, the second side took about 5. The Sumos are a little cheaper then the Timbrens.
The "weight rating," as you call it is just about a meaningless number when it comes to these SUVs. You'll exceed your other weight ratings (RAWR, GVWR) long before you exceed the trailer weight rating.

Let's say you actually do try to tow an 8,000-lb trailer with your 2000 1500 Burb. Your payload rating (GVWR-curb weight) is about 1500 lbs. A properly-loaded trailer has about 13% of its weight on the tongue. So when you hitch up your trailer, you're putting 1,040 lbs or so on the wheels of your Burb. That leaves you 460 lbs for you, your passengers and all of your gear. I hope you have a small family.

Secondly, the RAWR is only 4,000 lbs. Even with weight distribution, you're going to overload that rear axle, since the SUVs have much more body weight on the rear axle, compared to a pickup.

Here's a weigh slip from when I used to tow with my '01 1500 Burb. This is a trailer that doesn't even weigh 7,000 lbs, forget about 8,000. As you can see, I'm right at my max rear axle weight rating. Also GVWR is 7200, and I'm at 7140.


PS - I grenaded two rear axles on that truck from towing too much weight, and it wasn't anywhere near 8,000 lbs.

PPS - Adding helper springs doesn't change the fact that you have a weak semifloater rear axle, and 7200-lb GVWR brakes. I had the self-leveling shocks, and I think that contributed to overloading the truck because it never sagged.


Last edited by intheburbs; April 21st, 2017 at 6:17 PM.
 
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