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Old 01-01-2016, 12:20 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 7
2011 Yukon-XL Denali AWD w/ 2016 FC-27FB

Ok AS Towing gurus......I need some straight forward advice.

For those that ARE familiar with the GMC Yukon-XL, AWD, 6.2L/403HP vehicles......I need to know if I "really should" pull a FC-27FB TT.

TV Max Trailer Wt = 7800# / GCWR Max 14000# (TV Curb Wt = 6069#)

So.... EMPTY (TV-6069# + TT-5868#)=11937#

14,000 - 11937 = 2063# remaining for (3-People, Dog, FUEL, gear in both TV and TT, TT Options to be installed, etc.

Have I answered my own question, in that we would be overloaded??

We look to drive up, down, and through the mountains throughout the USA/Canada.

Some honest feedback would be greatly appreciated, as it seems many TV's are underrated for the TT behind them.


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Old 01-01-2016, 01:36 PM   #2
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2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 6,845
You already own it so of course you should. You could also give as much thought to your weight distribution sway control hitch and it's proper set up.

You will also learn to load the vehicle light behind the rear axle and the Airstream light in front to control hitch weight, truck payload, and ease of weight distribution. While keeping loads within the capacities of each.

And you will learn to use the transmission to select the best gear for towing, climbing grades, and the transmission and brakes as needed to descend grades.

Nice all-around family vehicle. Evaluating an ideal tow vehicle is often more about the owner than the vehicle's capability.

Doug and Cheryl
2012 FC RB, Michelin 16, ProPride 1400
2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X4 Ecodiesel 3.92 axles

The Truth is More Important Than the Facts
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Old 01-01-2016, 02:57 PM   #3
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2008 23' Safari SE
2007 Base Camp
Santa Ynez , California
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 343
You certainly will get different opinions on this question! You have already been given the most important point by dkottum: "Evaluating an ideal tow vehicle is often more about the owner than the vehicle's capability." Your standards for performance, and your use of the TV when it is not towing are critical factors that only you can judge.

We tow with a 2001 Yukon Denali XL with the 6.0 liter motor. We have four trailers, including a couple of ranch trailers, and I have towed one or more of them every week for the past twenty years. Like your plans, most of our Airstreaming is in the western mountains which absolutely require a stronger TV than flat land and/or sea level.

My opinion: this setup has you in the "OK" range for towing in the western mountains -- not way too little, and certainly not overkill. The other important thing to calculate is payload, or total weight on the chassis and axles of the Denali -- it has the most powerful motor in its class, but the half-ton chassis presents the payload limitation.
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Old 01-01-2016, 05:45 PM   #4
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1999 34' Excella
Currently Looking...
Round Rock , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2013
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Hey, Catfish!
Of course your TV is capable! How many miles on TV?

The AS you chose has 791# as tongue weight listed here 2016 Airstream Flying Cloud Floorplans & Specs | Airstream ..

Do you have a completely rectangular receiver hitch? Is it good shape? There were some "round" cross tube mounted ones that have failed.... Replace with proper/upgrade...

Think of this as setting up a "weight and balance" on an airplane...where you place your "load" will affect balance and /or running level....

There are a bunch of threads on "weight distribution" hitches. Also on YouTube!!!

In case you don't know, these hitches transfer SOME weight from the trailer tongue and rear bumper/axle to the FRONT. This process goal has goal outcome of a slightly "nose high" trailer when FULLY LOADED for trip and restoring manufacturers specs.

Next time I am in Arlington visiting our Grandkids and their keepers, you might want a "test" pull with our Rig... That will give you an idea of capability...
Peace and Blessings..
WBCCI# 30676
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Old 01-02-2016, 10:10 AM   #5
3 Rivet Member
2012 25' FB Flying Cloud
Grand Rapids , Michigan
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 148
I tow a 25 FB with a 2015 Yukon 4WD - smaller engine - no problem. However, I don't have any experience in the mountains. Hitch set up for me was critical and I took it to CAN AM in London, Ontario to get that set up right.
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Old 01-02-2016, 10:31 AM   #6
2014 30' International
Scarborough , Ontario
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 21
You'll have no problem, BUT to be really sure and to put your mind completely at rest, call Andy Thompson at CanAM RV - he's the real towing guru:
Can-Am RV Centre | #1 Airstream Dealer in Customer Satisfaction Worldwide | Your Full-Service RV Dealer
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Old 01-04-2016, 04:56 PM   #7
2014 27' FB Classic
Quesnel , British Columbia
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 9
Catfish72: I towed a 2006 25' Safari FB with a 2007 Escalade ESV for several years. It had basically the same power train as your Denali XL ( AWD 403 hp 420 lbft torque 3:42 axle ratio ). As you would already know the 6.2 engine will go pretty much as fast as you are prepared to pay for fuel. It's a great engine. Although you are considering a slightly heavier 27' Airstream, I wouldn't have hesitated to pull a 27' with my Escalade. I drove it over most of the common highway passes in BC and Alberta, including the 97C connector between Merritt BC and Kelowna, the Salmo-Creston etc. These routes are relatively steep for long grades, but admittedly don't reach the same altitudes as some of your American highways. ( 6000ft max versus your routes that are closer to 10000ft) I never disabled the Escalade levelling feature at all. I used a conventional Reese weight distributing hitch etc. I did have to be a bit mindful of the rear axle loading. Fortunately in our area of BC we have free access to the Ministry of Highways weigh scales so it was always easy to check my axle loads. As far as engine power it would keep up to the deisels on any of our highway grades as long as you are prepared to let the engine rev into the 4500 to 5000+ range. I drove on cruise control much of the time because the computer did a better job of speed control than I could when towing the trailer, because of the VVT feature on the 6.2 engine. I switched to a diesel after a few years but only for the fun of trying a diesel. The diesel does burn a little less fuel and has better grade breaking as you might expect. It runs quieter due to much lower engine RPMs but on the hills I wouldn't claim it is any quicker than the 6.2. Infact for all out acceleration I'm pretty sure the 6.2 is/was quicker.
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Old 01-05-2016, 06:02 AM   #8

2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , WNY
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Thumbs up

The hardest thing about Airstreaming can be clearing our head of how others feel itís supposed to beÖ.don't obsess, learn & do.

AF #1

"Sticks & stones can break your bones...and hail will dent your Airstream"

So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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Old 01-05-2016, 06:21 AM   #9
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Oswego , Illinois
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I towed my 30' Classic, weighing in at about 8500#s with Denalis, and Escalades from that vintage. Rear axle capacity is your only concern. Watch, carefully, what you load in the back of the TV. It is a very well mannered tow vehicle with very adequate power. I only towed the Smokies with them, but had no problem maintaining 60 mph and didn't try to push more, as I felt that was a safe speed for conditions. You'l be a couple thousand pounds less overall, so I wouldn't be worried at all.

"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." - Red Green
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Old 01-05-2016, 09:01 AM   #10
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Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 7
Thanks to everyone and their knowledge and experience. As with any forum, and any topic, there are always both sides of the fence. It is good to compare the experience of people who have used the "same TV", to the technical data.

I am going to call Andy Thompson at CanAM
I am going to research the ProPride 3 Anti-sway Hitch a little further, as I really like it
I am going to research the Voyager Wireless WiSi back-up camera system a little further.......very leary of drilling/mounting a camera on a $100K new toy!!!!
And I will definitely get the TV and TT weighed on a scale to get an accurate # for all the axles.

Again, thanks for all the input!!! Keep it coming, as we look to possibly make a purchase this Spring.

TV - 2011 Yukon-XL Denali, 1500/AWD
TT - TBD??? FC-27FB w/Twins
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