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Old 04-07-2012, 05:07 PM   #1
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1971 31' Excella 500
Sacramento , California
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Chevy Avalanche & 71 Sovereign LY 31' Road Trip

Hello All,
Sorry for the newbie questions.

I am taking a once in a lifetime 1 month cross country, 4,000 mile (RT) road trip this summer and need some advice on the best setup. My tow vehicle is a 2004 Chevy Avalanche 1500 4x4 5.3L w/about 110,000 city miles on it. Towing Capacity is 7,100 pounds. Everything on it is stock, P265/70/R16 tires, 295 HP @ 5,200 RPM, 330 pound feet torque @ 4,000 RPM

I am towing a 1971 SOVEREIGN INTERNATIONAL LY - 4910 lbs dry weight. The truck is still under warranty but I would rather make mods that are best for this trip over worrying about that. My questions are:

What modifications should I make for this trip and what brand is recommended?
Larger tires?
Lift kit?
Tranny cooler?
Sway bars?
Electric brakes/controller?

Thanks for the advice.
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Old 04-07-2012, 05:18 PM   #2
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1986 31' Sovereign
Miami , Florida
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Weight distribution and anti-sway are critical. Tranny cooler problably a good idea. Larger tires and or lift kit not important. My humble opinion.
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Old 04-07-2012, 05:54 PM   #3
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you might also want to take a serious look at the rated capacities of your P rated tires. Thats a fair amount of tongue weight added to the normal load. A brake controller seems like an obvious choice too with the extra tonnage trying to push you along.
tim
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Old 04-07-2012, 06:12 PM   #4
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Absolutely do NOT attempt this trip withOUT a transmission cooler...especially with the mileage you have on that truck.

Towed a 24ft Coachmen Catalina with a 5.3L Sierra for a family member and it was starved for power on even moderate hills. But, the Coachmen was ridiculously tall (and boxy) and as such towed nothing like an Airstream...even with a properly set-up hitch and running gear.

Trust me...transmission cooler is a MUST.
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:58 PM   #5
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1971 31' Excella 500
Sacramento , California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n2916s View Post
Weight distribution and anti-sway are critical. Tranny cooler problably a good idea. Larger tires and or lift kit not important. My humble opinion.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rumrunner View Post
you might also want to take a serious look at the rated capacities of your P rated tires. Thats a fair amount of tongue weight added to the normal load. A brake controller seems like an obvious choice too with the extra tonnage trying to push you along.
tim
Quote:
Originally Posted by ggoat!!! View Post
Absolutely do NOT attempt this trip withOUT a transmission cooler...especially with the mileage you have on that truck.

Towed a 24ft Coachmen Catalina with a 5.3L Sierra for a family member and it was starved for power on even moderate hills. But, the Coachmen was ridiculously tall (and boxy) and as such towed nothing like an Airstream...even with a properly set-up hitch and running gear.

Trust me...transmission cooler is a MUST.

n2916s - any particular brands you favor for the Weight distribution and anti-sway? I've read a bit about the Reese setup.

rumrunner - thanks, I'll take a look at upgrading the tires. Obviously I was planning to put a new set on anyway. Any brand recommendations for the brake controller?

ggoat - same thing, any brand for the tranny cooler?

Thanks all for the input! Anyone else, feel free to add to it if you have time!
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:14 AM   #6
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Eugene , Oregon
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Your Avalanche may already have a transmission cooler if it's rated to tow 7100lbs. Take it to a reputable shop that specializes in towing. They will be able to recommend a transmission cooler that should meet the needs of your vehicle. As for the brake controller, we have a Tekonsha P3 and it works great. The price difference between the most basic Tekonsha and the most expensive is only about 100 bucks if I remember correctly; get the best one you can afford because its worth it.
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