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OT, Towing a Heavy load with a Tahoe?
Posted by: moomba32 ()
Date: July 08, 2018 06:25PM

I just thought I'd throw this topic out for arguments. I have a 2002 Tahoe, think the 5.3 is rated at 330 HP or something like that. My wife was looking at a camper that had a dry weight of 9200 LBS. Now I know the Tahoe is not 'Rated' for that much weight but I also think it'll pull it, within reason. We used to have a 7500 LB camper that we towed without problems, pulled it over our baby 4500 foot tall mountains and still had pink tranny fluid when I got home, top speed on the grades up and down was 25 mph. I actually had the master cylinder fail while towing this camper, pedal to the floor, nothing until the trailer brakes came on. I started thinking back in the 70s and 80s people were towing with 3/4 ton rigs that had less power than my Tahoe so I looked and couldn't locate any towing capacities for the older trucks, like it's a more modern invention. Before I owned the Tahoe my towing truck was a K5 Blazer, shorter, less ponies but towed my toys quite well. So question is, how much can I tow with the 2002 Tahoe.
PS, The Tahoe now has a Class IV hitch because I broke the Class III factory hitch towing my car trailer with 8,000 LBS of gravel.

Don Marlowe
66 Monza 2Dr 140/pg
64 Spyder convertible now, 110/pg
Eutawville SC



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/12/2018 07:21PM by MattNall.

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Re: OT, Towing a Heavy load witha Tahoe?
Posted by: American Mel ()
Date: July 08, 2018 06:44PM

9200lbs. dry weight.
Plus how much gear do you usually take with you?
Do you "dry camp"?
Or do you do RV parks?
If you are "dry camping" add in the weight of a full tank of water. How many gallons capacity does this new trailer have?
At almost 8 pounds per gallon, that adds up fast!
Fully loaded, gear and water, you are probably looking at about 11,000lbs.
I am sure that the "safety nerds" around here will tell you not to exceed the factory rating by one single ounce.
Can the Tahoe do it?
Probably.
BUT, if you were ever in an accident, would your insurance company stand behind you?eye popping smiley

Oh, by the way, "Campers" are those boxy structures that go into the beds of Pick-up trucks.grinning smiley
What you are describing is a "Camp Trailer" or "Travel Trailer". winking smiley

.
-----------------------------------------------
WA. state, 1 mile south of the Canadian border,
I am not at the end of the world, but you can see it from here.
'66 Monza Coupe - 4spd, 140 Daily driver beater
'67 Monza Vert. - PG, 140 Daily driver beater

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Re: OT, Towing a Heavy load witha Tahoe?
Posted by: RKF ()
Date: July 08, 2018 06:53PM

In my opinion, towing 9,200 lbs with a Tahoe is a recipe for disaster. While there is probably enough horsepower to pull the load, the Tahoe's short wheelbase and 1/2-ton suspension would make the rig dangerous on downhill curves or during emergency manuevers.

I would not attempt a to tow a trailer of that size without a one-ton dually.

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Re: OT, Towing a Heavy load witha Tahoe?
Posted by: American Mel ()
Date: July 08, 2018 07:02PM

RKF is correct on that!
For ultimate stability, NOTHING beats have a Dually.
But how often are you pulling a trailer around?
Frequently?
Or just 2 three-day week-ends per year?
If you are not pulling a trailer on a frequent basis, a Dually is a LOT of truck to just be tooling around town in.
Ever try putting one of those into a parking space at the local coffee shop?
Those rear hips will be stretching from one white line to the other with ZERO space left over!
Wanna take a quick detour through the Burger King Drive-thru? Ha Ha Ha!
Just ask me how I know.

.
-----------------------------------------------
WA. state, 1 mile south of the Canadian border,
I am not at the end of the world, but you can see it from here.
'66 Monza Coupe - 4spd, 140 Daily driver beater
'67 Monza Vert. - PG, 140 Daily driver beater

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Re: OT, Towing a Heavy load witha Tahoe?
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: July 08, 2018 07:08PM

Ultimate tower ggg

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Re: OT, Towing a Heavy load witha Tahoe?
Posted by: American Mel ()
Date: July 08, 2018 07:13PM

Now that's a Lead Sled ! thumbs up

.
-----------------------------------------------
WA. state, 1 mile south of the Canadian border,
I am not at the end of the world, but you can see it from here.
'66 Monza Coupe - 4spd, 140 Daily driver beater
'67 Monza Vert. - PG, 140 Daily driver beater

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Re: OT, Towing a Heavy load witha Tahoe?
Posted by: TerribleTed ()
Date: July 08, 2018 07:15PM

I dunno Matt might not have enough suspension travel to handle a big load and tongue weightsmiling smiley Cool looking very low chopped dually tho!!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Avid Corvair hobbiest since 1984.
I have personally performed ground up restoration on over 20 Corvairs.
I currently work full time at restoring and repairing Corvairs.
Located in the Atlanta Georgia area.
[www.facebook.com]

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Re: OT, Towing a Heavy load witha Tahoe?
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: July 08, 2018 07:20PM

Airbaged.... 28k Gross weight loaded towing a 28ft Toybox..

real truck

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Re: OT, Towing a Heavy load witha Tahoe?
Posted by: TerribleTed ()
Date: July 08, 2018 07:34PM

Nice so it is done right!!!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Avid Corvair hobbiest since 1984.
I have personally performed ground up restoration on over 20 Corvairs.
I currently work full time at restoring and repairing Corvairs.
Located in the Atlanta Georgia area.
[www.facebook.com]

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Re: OT, Towing a Heavy load witha Tahoe?
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: July 08, 2018 07:42PM

Rode like a Cadillac.... pulled like a Mack! Stocker 454 TB , custom billet 700R4 with hydraulic "lockup" in 2-4th gears...

19 mpg @ 70 mph unloaded 2100 rpm 3.73's with 225/70's

Never averaged less than 13 loaded...1300 ft.... over 4400 ft.. 100+ miles of flat desert and back..





MODERATOR
Sea Mountain, between Charleston Harbor and Coos Bay! SW Oregon Coast
Click HERE for My Website...Click HERE for My TechPages!
..............................110-PG.................................................Webered-Turbo

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Re: OT, Towing a Heavy load witha Tahoe?
Posted by: TerribleTed ()
Date: July 08, 2018 07:50PM

I assume it is on air? A well built air suspension is excellent. Great ride and adjustable for varying loads.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Avid Corvair hobbiest since 1984.
I have personally performed ground up restoration on over 20 Corvairs.
I currently work full time at restoring and repairing Corvairs.
Located in the Atlanta Georgia area.
[www.facebook.com]

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Re: OT, Towing a Heavy load witha Tahoe?
Posted by: TerribleTed ()
Date: July 08, 2018 07:52PM

Looks just like the Chevy my son had a while back just in considerable better condition. The semi-wheel look works so nice on those.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Avid Corvair hobbiest since 1984.
I have personally performed ground up restoration on over 20 Corvairs.
I currently work full time at restoring and repairing Corvairs.
Located in the Atlanta Georgia area.
[www.facebook.com]

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Re: OT, Towing a Heavy load witha Tahoe?
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: July 08, 2018 08:23PM

TerribleTed Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I assume it is on air? A well built air suspension
> is excellent. Great ride and adjustable for
> varying loads.
=========================================


Yup in rear "C'd" frame with 3 leafs... then bags.. hidden hitch





MODERATOR
Sea Mountain, between Charleston Harbor and Coos Bay! SW Oregon Coast
Click HERE for My Website...Click HERE for My TechPages!
..............................110-PG.................................................Webered-Turbo

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Re: OT, Towing a Heavy load witha Tahoe?
Posted by: moomba32 ()
Date: July 09, 2018 05:58AM

RKF Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> In my opinion, towing 9,200 lbs with a Tahoe is a
> recipe for disaster. While there is probably
> enough horsepower to pull the load, the Tahoe's
> short wheelbase and 1/2-ton suspension would make
> the rig dangerous on downhill curves or during
> emergency manuevers.
>
> I would not attempt a to tow a trailer of that
> size without a one-ton dually.

Brings up another question in my mind. What is the difference between a half ton and 3/4 ton suspension? How does the modern 1/2 ton compare to the older 3/4 ton trucks? My Tahoe parts look more substantial to me than the parts on the 72 3/4 ton truck I owned back in the 80s.
Mel's comment on insurance is more of a concern to me than anything else, they're always looking for a way to not pay.
The deal is dead on that particular trailer so no worries at the moment, just curiosity. I plan to buy a diesel in the next year or so, should be retiring and plan to hit the road a lot more.
As far as the ultimate towing rig, the 38 foot motorhome we had with 22.5 inch tires was a solid tow vehicle that had its own bathroom, couldn't tell anything was back there unless you looked on the video.

Don Marlowe
66 Monza 2Dr 140/pg
64 Spyder convertible now, 110/pg
Eutawville SC

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Re: OT, Towing a Heavy load witha Tahoe?
Posted by: gnvair ()
Date: July 09, 2018 07:28AM

moomba32 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> RKF Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > In my opinion, towing 9,200 lbs with a Tahoe is
> a
> > recipe for disaster. While there is probably
> > enough horsepower to pull the load, the Tahoe's
> > short wheelbase and 1/2-ton suspension would
> make
> > the rig dangerous on downhill curves or during
> > emergency manuevers.
> >
> > I would not attempt a to tow a trailer of that
> > size without a one-ton dually.
>
> Brings up another question in my mind. What is the
> difference between a half ton and 3/4 ton
> suspension? How does the modern 1/2 ton compare to
> the older 3/4 ton trucks? My Tahoe parts look more
> substantial to me than the parts on the 72 3/4 ton
> truck I owned back in the 80s.
> Mel's comment on insurance is more of a concern to
> me than anything else, they're always looking for
> a way to not pay.
> The deal is dead on that particular trailer so no
> worries at the moment, just curiosity. I plan to
> buy a diesel in the next year or so, should be
> retiring and plan to hit the road a lot more.
> As far as the ultimate towing rig, the 38 foot
> motorhome we had with 22.5 inch tires was a solid
> tow vehicle that had its own bathroom, couldn't
> tell anything was back there unless you looked on
> the video.

There is a lot more difference between a half ton and a 3/4 ton than a 3/4 vs 1 ton.
On your Tahoe there are some things to consider besides the shorter wheel base......
It has a light duty transmission (4L60E), light duty semi floating rear end (8.5 10 bolt), lighter frame, smaller brakes, Load range C tires which typically have a max inflation of 40 psi and rather soft coil sprung rear suspension.
The 3/4 ton GM trucks have a heavier duty transmission (4L80E which is based off the turbo 400 architecture), full floating 14 bolt rear end with either 9.5 or 10.5 ring gear depending on engine and cab style, larger brakes, Load range E tires which are about 80 psi. Stiff leaf sprung rear suspension.
A good friend of mine towed his travel trailer with an 04 Tahoe for several years. He had a lot of issues with sway with the heavy trailer. He added Firestone air bags to the rear which helped a bit.
He then swapped to an 09 half ton Suburban which had a longer wheel base and still had the same issues. He actually blew up the rear in the 09 Tahoe.
After dealing with that he traded it in for a 2015 2500HD crew cab with a 6.0
The difference in towing between the suspension, brakes, tires, etc are like night and day.

Lee J

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Re: OT, Towing a Heavy load witha Tahoe?
Posted by: moomba32 ()
Date: July 09, 2018 08:40AM

Good info Lee. I do have 80 tires on it, it has the larger brakes and a limited slip rear, was set up for 3 rows of seats and towing so it's a little tougher than some. Does have wimpy tranny and mushy springs, thought about the inner-spring air bags. I've had 2 travel trailers, 5,000 and 7,500 lbs. The lighter one was a handful to tow, started the wag way too easy, the heavier trailer was super well behaved, could forget it was there. My car trailer will follow me anywhere as long as it's loaded right, I borrowed a dump trailer and got some gravel, well within its capacity, I couldn't tow it over 35, trailer setup and tongue weight make a big difference too.

Don Marlowe
66 Monza 2Dr 140/pg
64 Spyder convertible now, 110/pg
Eutawville SC

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Re: OT, Towing a Heavy load witha Tahoe?
Posted by: Richard ()
Date: July 09, 2018 08:50AM

From first post.
>>used to have a 7500 LB camper that we towed without problems,.................................top speed on the grades up and down was 25 mph.<<

And you want to go heavier?

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Re: OT, Towing a Heavy load witha Tahoe?
Posted by: Brizo ()
Date: July 09, 2018 09:56AM

MattNall Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Ultimate tower ggg


Like trying to park a school bus!!

Dan Brizendine,
'64 8door Greenbrier 140 PG. "In beautiful Wanamaker Indiana...with one stop light and 5 pizza shops"

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Re: OT, Towing a Heavy load witha Tahoe?
Posted by: Phil Dally ()
Date: July 09, 2018 10:21AM

Time for a diesel pickup Don.

I highly recommend a 5th wheel too.

More stable and easier to turn around.

You're a Chevy guy and Duramax is good.


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Re: OT, Towing a Heavy load witha Tahoe?
Posted by: gnvair ()
Date: July 09, 2018 10:46AM

moomba32 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Good info Lee. I do have 80 tires on it, it has
> the larger brakes and a limited slip rear, was set
> up for 3 rows of seats and towing so it's a little
> tougher than some. Does have wimpy tranny and
> mushy springs, thought about the inner-spring air
> bags. I've had 2 travel trailers, 5,000 and 7,500
> lbs. The lighter one was a handful to tow, started
> the wag way too easy, the heavier trailer was
> super well behaved, could forget it was there. My
> car trailer will follow me anywhere as long as
> it's loaded right, I borrowed a dump trailer and
> got some gravel, well within its capacity, I
> couldn't tow it over 35, trailer setup and tongue
> weight make a big difference too.

80 tires? Do you mean Load Range E?
The 1/2 ton brakes are much smaller than the 3/4 and 1 ton. The calipers are also smaller and rotors thinner. The GMT800 chassis only had one sized front brake set up on the half tons.
The limited slip rear has nothing to do with towing ability or capacity. But I will say that the weak point on the 8.5 10 bolt on those trucks is the Gov Lock limited slip differentials.
Again, big difference between 1/2 ton and 3/4 & 1 ton.

Lee J

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