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Old 04-04-2015, 10:37 AM   #1
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2015 GMC Yukon Denali 4WD & 2015 Flying Cloud 30 ?

From what I can tell, our 2015 GMC Yukon Denali 4WD (not AWD) limit is either 8100 or 8400 lbs. The shipping weight on the Flying Cloud 30 is about 7800 lbs. Not sure what the 2nd AC unit would add to that in weight, but we're getting close to the limit of the Yukon.

As long as we don't travel with full tanks and don't carry a lot of lead... are we likely to be ok with this travel combination? We just got the Yukon and really don't want to have to get rid of it now as we consider getting the FC 30.
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Old 04-04-2015, 11:54 AM   #2
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Mr. Hart,
I couldn't get the actual specs from the GMC web page on your vehicle, but if it's 8100 lbs, ahh...that leaves you three hundred pounds. Let's see..I weigh right @ 170, and I think my wife is about 120 soaking wet. That wouldn't leave much for groceries, ice, dishes, pots, pans, silverware, bedding, towels, grill, flashlights etc.

If it were me, I would be looking to find a good used 2500 series truck or a Yukon XL 3/4 ton. Keep the Denali as your day vehicle. I'm sure there will be all kinds of folks on here that will say "go for it" & use the Denali, but you're damn near at your max when you & your better half so much as SIT in the Denali. Be safe, and don't stress the limits of your tow vehicle. You're about to have THIRTY FEET of trailer behind you. How much do you have in front of it? Can that Denali really keep control of that much TT behind it?
Sea ya down the road,
Gavin
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Old 04-04-2015, 12:30 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by DHart View Post
As long as we don't travel with full tanks and don't carry a lot of lead... are we likely to be ok with this travel combination? We just got the Yukon and really don't want to have to get rid of it now as we consider getting the FC 30.
It would be better if it were a Yukon XL, you can make it work with a properly setup, quality weight distribution hitch, but I would wager you won't like towing with it. Just my opinion.
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Old 04-04-2015, 12:32 PM   #4
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There are a couple of mix-ups in the above post, the biggest being confusing published towing capacity with payload. Your wife's weight has zero to do with the first and only a little with the second.

The payload of the car is 1517lbs for the 4WD vehicle. If you assume a tongue weight of 900lbs, this leaves you with 600lbs of payload before weight distribution. Let's assume that WD transfers 200lbs back to the trailer wheels and you've got 800lbs of payload left to play with - ample for all but the heaviest of passengers I should think.

The biggest difference between payload and published tow capacity is that I believe in taking payload very seriously indeed but use tow capacity as a guideline only.

Your Denali should make a stable and reliable tow vehicle. You do not need a 250 truck to tow any Airstream. The answer to the question of whether the Denali can control an Airstream is "yes, of course it can", just as well if not better than a truck which comes with a high centre of gravity and a suspension setup that was developed in the 1950's.
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Old 04-04-2015, 03:16 PM   #5
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DHart

We have a 15 30FC with 2 A/C's and the empty weight is 6712# (I'm sure the BH is more). We tow with a 3/4 T diesel however we also have a 2WD Tahoe (8500# TC, with the tow package) and I wouldn't hesitate to tow with it.

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Old 04-05-2015, 12:42 AM   #6
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I have reviewed the weights again and the Flying Cloud 30 has a base weight of 6382. So, even with a full fresh water tank (432 lbs.) and 2nd AC unit (102 lbs.) the rig comes in at about 6916 lbs. I can't see food, clothing, and every imaginable extra goody adding more than 1000 additional pounds, for a grand total of 7900 lbs. And with the Yukon Denali having a 8100 lb. rating, and the large 6.2 liter engine, it would seem like it would be a reasonable tow vehicle.
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Old 04-05-2015, 12:46 AM   #7
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DHart

We have a 15 30FC with 2 A/C's and the empty weight is 6712# (I'm sure the BH is more). We tow with a 3/4 T diesel however we also have a 2WD Tahoe (8500# TC, with the tow package) and I wouldn't hesitate to tow with it.

Terry
Terry.... thanks for the info. Reconsidering the numbers, it certainly looks like the 2015 Yukon Denali 6.2L 4WD can handle the 30FC.
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Old 04-05-2015, 12:55 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by andreasduess View Post
There are a couple of mix-ups in the above post, the biggest being confusing published towing capacity with payload. Your wife's weight has zero to do with the first and only a little with the second.

The payload of the car is 1517lbs for the 4WD vehicle. If you assume a tongue weight of 900lbs, this leaves you with 600lbs of payload before weight distribution. Let's assume that WD transfers 200lbs back to the trailer wheels and you've got 800lbs of payload left to play with - ample for all but the heaviest of passengers I should think.

The biggest difference between payload and published tow capacity is that I believe in taking payload very seriously indeed but use tow capacity as a guideline only.

Your Denali should make a stable and reliable tow vehicle. You do not need a 250 truck to tow any Airstream. The answer to the question of whether the Denali can control an Airstream is "yes, of course it can", just as well if not better than a truck which comes with a high centre of gravity and a suspension setup that was developed in the 1950's.
andreasduess... thanks for the clearly thought-out analysis. Makes good sense. I'm 185 lbs and the little lady is about 130 lbs. Our Golden Lab is 90 lbs. That totals 405 or so pounds. So it sounds like with some extra goodies, we will be quite OK with payload in the Denali.

And it looks like we will come in comfortably under 8100 lbs with the loaded 30FC.

It's looking like keeping the Denali and using it to pull the 30FC is a reasonable scenario.

Thank you.
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Old 04-05-2015, 01:12 AM   #9
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DHart

We have a 15 30FC with 2 A/C's and the empty weight is 6712# (I'm sure the BH is more). We tow with a 3/4 T diesel however we also have a 2WD Tahoe (8500# TC, with the tow package) and I wouldn't hesitate to tow with it.

Terry
Terry... on another topic... do you have the "L-shape" sofa in front? If so, do you have any idea of the feasibility of removing the L-sofa for the purpose of running with 2 recliners? I think there is some equipment underneath the sofa on the roadside of the trailer. Does it look like that equipment could be easily covered over with a small cabinet of some sort?
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Old 04-05-2015, 02:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DHart View Post
From what I can tell, our 2015 GMC Yukon Denali 4WD (not AWD) limit is either 8100 or 8400 lbs. The shipping weight on the Flying Cloud 30 is about 7800 lbs. Not sure what the 2nd AC unit would add to that in weight, but we're getting close to the limit of the Yukon.

As long as we don't travel with full tanks and don't carry a lot of lead... are we likely to be ok with this travel combination? We just got the Yukon and really don't want to have to get rid of it now as we consider getting the FC 30.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
It would be better if it were a Yukon XL, you can make it work with a properly setup, quality weight distribution hitch, but I would wager you won't like towing with it. Just my opinion.

Hi, if you have the short Yukon, and they still have a 116" wheel base, I think a 30'er would be too much for it.

My Lincoln has a higher tow rating and a higher payload and my 6,300 lb 25'er is as much as I would tow, especially in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.


I cringe when people say "I will tow an empty trailer to keep the weight down." This tells me that you already have accepted that this trailer might be too much for your tow vehicle to handle.


On the other hand, you might be just fine with this combination; People have towed with much less and are happy doing it.
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Old 04-05-2015, 02:56 AM   #11
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Never a bad idea to go with a bigger tow vehicle.

The weight numbers are all below limits, so we'll see how the combination works and if it feels like it isn't a good pairing, changes can be made. I'm downsizing from a 43+' Class A Coach because we aren't RVing as much as we once did. The Airstream would only be getting light use for short trips. So, we'll see how it goes.
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Old 04-05-2015, 05:45 AM   #12
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The GVW of the Airstream 30' models (excluding the Classic) is 8,800 pounds. According to the 2015 Flying Cloud parts manual, each axle is rated 4,500 pounds. The four factory tires (GoodYear ST tires) are rated at 2,540 pounds each. So the suspension of the trailer is adequate for the listed GVW.

I think a trip across the scales with all folks and dog aboard and the stuff you plan to carry inside the TV and a loaded camping ready trailer will give you real world numbers rather than the guesses posted here. Only with real numbers can one adequately determine the suitability of a particular towing combination.

What was not mentioned so far is the GCVW or the total combined weight of the TV and trailer posted on the door post. You will be able to read the axle weights on the weight ticket and see if you need to adjust the weight distribution hitch so the front axle is not unloaded too much when connected.

When all the numbers are dialed in properly, you will know if the existing TV is the proper one for your specific situation.
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Old 04-05-2015, 07:08 AM   #13
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DHart

An inverter is under the street side of the L-sofa.

Terry
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Old 04-05-2015, 08:42 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by andreasduess View Post
The payload of the car is 1517lbs for the 4WD vehicle.
The 1517# figure is the published payload figure. This is usually the maximum payload, for a vehicle with no options/accessories. The actual payload of your vehicle can be found on the door sticker on the driver side B-pillar, where they specify the tire pressures. Usually, the actual payload is a few hundreds of pounds less. A few examples, my friend has a Toyota Sienna with a published payload of 1450#. The door sticker says the payload is 1150#. Our Mercedes' payload is also 300# less than the published figure. You are better off planning based on the actual payload of your vehicle, rather than a generic number that's only applicable to a stripped down vehicle nobody buys.

Good luck.
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