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Old 08-25-2015, 10:33 PM   #1
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How terrible would it really be

To tow a 27'FB with a 2015 Yukon Denali?

Trying hard to convince ourselves of a truck (and actually getting closer) but keep looping back to SUV's. At 420hp and 460lbs torque there is no shortage of towing power. Primary usage for the next few years will be ~one weekend/month in Texas/Arkansas/Oklahoma primarily. Mostly flat to some small mountains such as the Ouachita forest, but no major cross country major mountain passes for a while.

But......want to sleep at night and do not want to be nervous about towing during each trip thinking we'll join the ranks of the road carnage stories
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Old 08-25-2015, 10:35 PM   #2
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You need a truck...... a diesel truck....... once you have one, you'll understand.
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Old 08-25-2015, 10:37 PM   #3
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Have the hitch properly set up by a professional and relax. You don't NEED a truck despite what the peanut gallery tells you, although the Denali is still a truck.

If a Saturn Aura 3.6XR can tow a 27' Airstream then sure as hell a Yukon can.

Cheers
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Old 08-25-2015, 10:58 PM   #4
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That is a truck, with a shorter wheelbase than some. But it also has a short rear overhang so the leverage ratio is at least as good. It's the hitch that will make up the difference.

We have a 120" wheelbase Ram 1500 with a worse ratio and stability was fair with a conventional weight distribution hitch; installed a Hensley/ProPride hitch and it is absolutely stable in all weather and traffic conditions. Highly recommend it for your Yukon.

It's not a heavy duty truck, so don't attempt heavy duty loads and you'll be a happy camper.
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Old 08-25-2015, 11:02 PM   #5
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My F-150 (325HP/ 350 lb-ft and 1242# passengers and cargo) did just fine towing my Safari 25 (6300# GVW) on the flat but balked at a 6 mile long 8% grade. In fairness, I probably wasn't managing the RPMs well, and I think the transmission filter was impaired.

You have something on the order of 30% more HP and torque and only about 20% more trailer. You have 1755# of cargo and passengers, a 40% increase. The 1242# limit was the main reason I changed tow vehicles. I considered full size SUVs and pickups with gasoline engines but decided on the diesel for the torque and fuel economy.

Based on my experience, I think you will have adequate towing capacity for the use you described, but I will say the towing experience with the Ram diesel is as close to carefree as you can get. I don't have to worry about what hill is around the next curve.

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Old 08-25-2015, 11:08 PM   #6
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How terrible would it really be

Here we go again ...
Pay no attention to the mud slinging, it serves no purpose.
I'd stay well within the TV and trailer specs and get something you will enjoy - truck or SUV.
We already had a F250 diesel xtra cab short bed when we got our 75 Overlander 27'. The truck doesn't know the trailer is back there no matter the grade. Gusty cross winds similar. Life expectancy for the truck is as much as 500K miles before a major overhaul so we're keeping it.
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Old 08-25-2015, 11:33 PM   #7
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As sure as night will follow day, you will never get a consensus on several subjects on these forums. SUV vs pickup truck is one of them. At times you will find a gem of wisdom, but by and large there is a lot of "whatever I do is best, and other methods suck". In this particular case, had I asked the question, I will have stated that I am only going to pay attention to replies from people who tow similar trailers with similar tow vehicles or people who have done it in the past. As far the rest, you will probably find more than a little "the way I do it is the only right way". My advice would be to read a lot on the specs of both the trailer and the TV, determine your comfort level and find someone you really can trust to advise you on the best hitch system to use for your proposed match up.

Personally, I'm comfortable that you can do it just fine with the proper hitching setup and starting off slowly and cautiously until you're fully confident that you are in control and know what to expect. Someone with experience with that type of setup showing you a few tips would be a big plus.

Ken
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Old 08-26-2015, 01:03 AM   #8
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Pulling power would not be a problem, though with some grades you may or may not wish for more power. That would largely depend on how heavily your trailer and TV are loaded.

The big question, that only you can answer, is will the Denali have the cargo room and the cargo capacity to suit your individual needs. Different people have widely varying situations and needs when it comes to this.

First step, which applies to anyone trying to determine an appropriate tow vehicle, is to add up the weight of all the people that will be in the tow vehicle, add the weight of any pets that will be along for the ride, determine the weight of all the items you may want to carry in the tow vehicle which for me includes such things as:

-two camp recliners
-outdoor table
-outdoor floor mat
-one (sometimes two) CU2000i Honda generator
-5 gallon gas tank for generator use
-small compressor to fill tires and inflatable boat/raft/kayak
-inflatable raft
-chest with a variety of tools
-several gallons of emergency drinking water
-tow blocks and leveling items
-50# bag of dog food (for the 100# dog)
-shovel and a little camp fire wood
-small BBQ
-bag of charcoal
-a variety of plastic containers with some miscellaneous items

Other folks may not take some of these items, some will take these and more.

Let's face this: Airstreams don't offer a lot of storage capacity. In addition, I would not want to put most of the items on my list in the Airstream, even if there was room for them. As it is, with just myself, my wife, and our dog, our 30' Serenity is packed about as fully as can be with items not included on my list above.

Anyway... add up all the weight of the people, pets, and all the stuff on your list, then add that to the tongue weight of your fully loaded trailer. If beginning with AS published specs, add in additionally if you have the 2nd AC, awning options, etc.. That total number is a good starting point to see if you are within or over the cargo carrying capacity (aka payload capacity) of your considered tow vehicle.

Weight distributing hitches can shift that around a little bit, but knowing the initial number is an important thing.

Compare the total weight that you come up with (NOT including the weight of the trailer itself - just the tongue weight) with the cargo capacity rating number printed by the manufacturer inside the driver's door jam. If you are under... that's great. If you are just a little over, the WD hitch might bring you down a bit. If you are quite a bit over, then that tow vehicle is probably not a great choice for your particular situation.

Another factor is whether all the items that you can imagine wanting to carry along can even comfortably fit in the back of the considered tow vehicle. In my case, I had a 2015 Yukon Denali which I was considering using to tow a 30' Serenity. My required cargo capacity number for my particular needs was way over the cargo capacity weight rating of the Denali.

Not only that, but all the items I wanted to take along couldn't fit in the back of the Denali, even if the weight wasn't too much. So, much as I wanted to keep the 2015 Denali (I had only owned it for 6 months and driven it 4500 miles!) I decided to trade it for a 2015 Sierra Denali HD with Duramax/Allison. After some use, the wife and I have been absolutely thrilled with how well this truck performs with our particular 30' trailer and all of our stuff. We like it enough that it is also our regular passenger vehicle when we're not on the road traveling with the Airstream.

Each family's needs are different. Smaller trailer, not as much stuff, the Yukon Denali might be fine. 30' Airstream and our stuff... it wasn't a good choice. Only you can determine what tow vehicle will work for you and your unique needs!

Remember, towing capacity and cargo capacity are two very different factors that are important in your decision. Then, there is cargo space to consider as well. If you're going to dry camp much, you will probably want a generator or two... do you want to carry that, and a fuel tank of gasoline, inside your SUV? Inside your Airstream? When you are in camp and not using the generator, will you keep it in the SUV, or inside your trailer? Do you want to carry the barbeque inside the SUV or trailer? Many folks choose a truck for a variety of other reasons, but also because they make dealing with some of these matters much easier.

Do your homework on towing 101, learn all the factors to consider, determine your own unique needs, make your analysis, then your own decision.

The Yukon Denali is an awesome vehicle; I've had two of them (Yukon Denali and Yukon XL Denali) and loved them. One might work for your particular situation, or it may not. Only you can determine that, we can't do it for you.
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Old 08-26-2015, 02:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DHart View Post
Pulling power would not be a problem, though with some grades you may or may not wish for more power. That would largely depend on how heavily your trailer and TV are loaded.

The big question, that only you can answer, is will the Denali have the cargo room and the cargo capacity to suit your individual needs. Different people have widely varying situations and needs when it comes to this.
Everything DHart said. Ditto!

I've got a 2013 Ford F150 Ecoboost - and it's fine tow, but I'm trading it in for a 2500 GMC pickup. Not enough cargo capacity or enough brakes in the half ton for MY situation. ... and mind you I have a 25' Eddie Bauer. Drove I-80 eastbound from Las Vegas back in June. First 30 miles had me white lipped misery, wondering how red hot my brakes were getting and when they'd fail. I love the engine brakes on the Chevy/GMC diesels! I'm not interested in "a wing and a prayer" towing. No sensible person would ever pull an Airstream down The Tail of the Dragon or Bent Mountain (Google them), but if you ever want to go up into the high mountains, you'll realize that the engine is important, but the size of the brakes is more important.

Chevy used to make a 2500 Suburban, which IMHO was the last robust SUV tow vehicle. Here's a question - suppose Donald Trump were to T-bone your trailer by running a red light while on the campaign trail. He'd want to make a big splash about doing the right thing - so he offers you the choice of a brand new 30 Classic, or a brand new 30' Serenity. (Your tow vehicle wasn't hit). NOW do you have a tow vehicle that will work, or do you need to upgrade?

Most often the advice is to not worry too much about the tow vehicle because you'll keep the trailer long after the tow vehicle has been crushed and recycled... but you'll never hate having a tow vehicle that is a little bit of overkill. Underkill is a different matter.

Paula
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Old 08-26-2015, 04:49 AM   #10
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As others said; "here we go again".
A Denali will have the power, braking and weight capacity to tow your trailer just fine. And it wont beat you, your trailer and it's contents to death like the stiff suspension and hard tires of a 3/4 ton will. It will be a much more pleasant ride.
No you wont have the room or cargo capacity of a 4 door, long bed 3/4 ton. But do you really need to bring the complete contents of your garage (including that spare kitchen sink) to go camping for a weekend?
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Old 08-26-2015, 06:20 AM   #11
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Thumbs up Welcome Aboard....

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
That is a truck, with a shorter wheelbase than some. But it also has a short rear overhang so the leverage ratio is at least as good. It's the hitch that will make up the difference.

We have a 120" wheelbase Ram 1500 with a worse ratio and stability was fair with a conventional weight distribution hitch; installed a Hensley/ProPride hitch and it is absolutely stable in all weather and traffic conditions. Highly recommend it for your Yukon.

It's not a heavy duty truck, so don't attempt heavy duty loads and you'll be a happy camper.

^
X2

Most common newcomer trait.....over worry. You have a perfectly good TV, (TV in caps=tow vehicle), get a quality WD hitch, set it up correctly, pay attention to tire, hitch, axle ratings & weight distribution numbers & start Streaming.

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Old 08-26-2015, 06:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DHart View Post
...determine the weight of all the items you may want to carry in the tow vehicle which for me includes such things as:

-two camp recliners
-outdoor table
-outdoor floor mat
-one (sometimes two) CU2000i Honda generator
-5 gallon gas tank for generator use
-small compressor to fill tires and inflatable boat/raft/kayak
-inflatable raft
-chest with a variety of tools
-several gallons of emergency drinking water
-tow blocks and leveling items
-50# bag of dog food (for the 100# dog)
-shovel and a little camp fire wood
-small BBQ
-bag of charcoal
-a variety of plastic containers with some miscellaneous items
DHart, we'll be buying a tow vehicle soon. Your list above is exactly what our list will be, minus the dog food and possibly minus the gas tank (considering a propane generator). Could you tell me (or PM me) how much you calculate this list weighs?
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Old 08-26-2015, 09:13 AM   #13
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To the OP, please provide the community with all the data you have on this combination. TV specs and limits, Trailer Specs and list them so we can see where this combination is within limits and where (if at all) it is past recommended loads. With this information (provided by you) the community can make solid recommendations on what will be needed to make it as safe as possible. If everything is in spec you have answered your own question. If not then maybe others can provide solutions to modify the rig and please lets not get stuck in a "Us vs. Them" argument (and get this thread shut down too).
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Old 08-26-2015, 09:30 AM   #14
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My previous TV was a Yukon. It had the 5.3 liter engine, tow package, etc. It did a fine job of towing our Airstream. I replaced it only because it was getting up in years and mileage. I replaced it with a new F150 supercrew with the 5.0 liter, tow package, etc. I was hesitant to get a truck as my previous four vehicles were all SUVs. But, I do love the truck and it does a better job of towing. The biggest difference is on winding downhill roads. With the Yukon, the AS tended to push the back end around a bit. That doesn't happen with the truck. But, it wasn't nearly bad enough to run out and trade in the SUV prematurely. Enjoy your Yukon for now. It's a great tow vehicle and shouldn't need to be replaced anytime soon. It may also fit in your garage and a truck may not.
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