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Old 06-11-2016, 08:58 AM   #1
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Souped up Tahoe as TV

Another newbie question - we are learning about tow vehicles - and right now we are thinking 1 ton just because of safety and fact we are getting at a 28' or larger. We intend to have our two labs sit in the cab. But here is the problem - we wd also like to take friends along on various trips - so we really need to seat six- but am not interested in using a regular SUV and praying - particularly since we will be seating six.

I have heard mention of a Canadian shop that beefs up Tahoes (?) or some other SUV and that these can pull 28' AS.

My questions-

Who are they?

Do they really provide towing capabilities of a 3/4 or 1 ton - particularly on the downhills?

And how much do they set you back in the pocketbook?
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Old 06-11-2016, 09:37 AM   #2
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That Tahoe will require a LOT of "beefing up" to do what you want. Unless you have six small people, the Tahoe will either be overloaded or close to it (without the trailer). We briefly used a Yukon to tow a 24' offshore boat and it was always downshifting from 4th to 2nd at highway speeds. Not good.
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Old 06-11-2016, 09:39 AM   #3
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Look up Duraburb in Florida.
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Old 06-11-2016, 09:58 AM   #4
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Can-Am RV will help you set up your Tahoe for towing, but everything has it's limits, even Airstreams which accommodate two people and a couple of kids nicely. Ask your friends to meet you at the campground, that way they can leave early when they get tired of living like a can of sardines.

Here's the site for Can-Am, it's about hitching, weight distribution, tires, shocks and driver technique. If your transmission shifts down constantly, select a lower gear and leave it there. Expect the engine to rev to higher rpm's when climbing hills for peak power range, and to get enough compression when shifting down to assist truck and trailer brakes downhill.

http://www.canamrv.ca/towing-expertise/
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Old 06-11-2016, 10:14 AM   #5
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Besides the debatable ability to tow a trailer that large and heavy with adequate performance with a Tahoe, you will almost certainly exceed the payload limits. This is not a set off risks I would even consider.

Welcome to the world of people wishing they still made 3/4 ton SUV's!
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Old 06-11-2016, 10:16 AM   #6
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I love my Tahoe and it's great for towing a 24' Tradewind.

But it's a really short wheelbase. I compensated for that by using an aftermarket hitch and going to the extreme with shortening the axle to hitch ball dimension.

You can repower it but I don't know how you would fix the wheelbase without going to an XL or Suburban.

Lots of PPP (pivot point projection) hitch users will now tell us that a Hensley or Pro Pride will fix all that.
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Old 06-11-2016, 10:22 AM   #7
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Souped up Tahoe as TV

Quote:
Originally Posted by markdoane View Post

Lots of PPP (pivot point projection) hitch users will now tell us that a Hensley or Pro Pride will fix all that.

To the greatest extent, it will.





Superat stultitia.

(FWIW, I wasn't going to say anything at all till I read what I just quoted)

#JustSayin...
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Old 06-11-2016, 10:27 AM   #8
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3/4 ton SUV

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Originally Posted by RAH View Post
Look up Duraburb in Florida.
Second that.

My very first tow vehicle was a 2500 Suburban - 2003. In some ways I wish I still had it. (It was a gas HOG getting about 13 mpg when not towing and 11 when towing.) BUT OH my it towed smooth and nice with lots of storage space in the rear, and carried 6 people with the third seat down. And it was "car like" rather than truck-ish. Another thing that I liked was not having to buy a truck cap. Seems like you spend 50K on a new big truck, then another $5K to make it work as a tow vehicle/stow vehicle. The 2500 burb was all that off the factory floor.

The Dura burb is all that and a diesel with engine brakes. AND the newer 2500 diesels get 20 mpg on the open road when not towing (flat land Virginia but still).

Mercedes Benz and a long talk with Can-Am Andy if you want another alternative. Cha-Ching, too.

Happy Trails, Paula
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Old 06-11-2016, 12:21 PM   #9
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Sometimes, its a lot better decision to listen to people who have been towing trailers for years, instead of trying to reinvent the wheel....some of the newer 1/2 tons would handle a 28, maybe a 30' Airstream, if you really paid attention to the weight/balance/hitch....but for a bit more money, a 3/4 ton will do a lot better job. Diesel has it's advantage, and disadvantage, but overall, that's my first choice.

Projected point hitches are OK if you want to spend a lot of money $2,000 to $3,000 for a hitch that's difficult to hook up, and require constant maintenance. My personal preference is the Reese Straight Line (or Dual Cam). It's reasonably price, easy to set up and hook up.....

Most any vehicle will "pull" the trailer, but it takes a "tow" vehicle to safely tow it, and STOP it......stopping can be more important than "pulling" especially in heavy traffic, or downhill in mountains.

There are people on here who "pull" Airstreams with some of the damnedest combinations you'll ever think of.....thank God, I don't often have to contend with them in heavy traffic, or be ahead of them when they're on a 6 to 8% downhill decline....

For whatever it's worth...

Larry C
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Old 06-11-2016, 12:37 PM   #10
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Use a 3/4 or 1 ton diesel, srw or drw crew cab for you and the dogs. Great for towing and stopping. Friends should follow in their own car.
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Old 06-11-2016, 12:52 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Larry C View Post
Sometimes, its a lot better decision to listen to people who have been towing trailers for years, instead of trying to reinvent the wheel....some of the newer 1/2 tons would handle a 28, maybe a 30' Airstream, if you really paid attention to the weight/balance/hitch....but for a bit more money, a 3/4 ton will do a lot better job. Diesel has it's advantage, and disadvantage, but overall, that's my first choice.

Projected point hitches are OK if you want to spend a lot of money $2,000 to $3,000 for a hitch that's difficult to hook up, and require constant maintenance. My personal preference is the Reese Straight Line (or Dual Cam). It's reasonably price, easy to set up and hook up.....

Most any vehicle will "pull" the trailer, but it takes a "tow" vehicle to safely tow it, and STOP it......stopping can be more important than "pulling" especially in heavy traffic, or downhill in mountains.

There are people on here who "pull" Airstreams with some of the damnedest combinations you'll ever think of.....thank God, I don't often have to contend with them in heavy traffic, or be ahead of them when they're on a 6 to 8% downhill decline....

For whatever it's worth...

Larry C

To the OP: this post provides excellent advice, and worth reading carefully.
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Old 06-11-2016, 01:35 PM   #12
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If it were me - I'd get a tow vehicle I like and will be able to enjoy. Then I'd (and we do in fact) tell our friends to meet us where we will be and give them a list of nearby hotels ...

Our TV is a stock 1997 Tahoe LS 2-door and it does just fine all over Colorado ...
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Old 06-11-2016, 02:41 PM   #13
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We pulll the 25' Trade Wind with a 2005 Tahoe. It's not as fast uphill as I'd like, but I don't have stability issues. Of course, we don't have six people in it, either.

We use a Reese Dual Cam hitch.
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Old 06-11-2016, 03:27 PM   #14
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2003 Ford Excursion 6.0 diesel with anti sway bars and air springs. 28 ft FC. 380,000 miles strong with room for 4-7 passengers and more gear than you need. 17.8 mpg driving, 11.5 towing mountains at 70-75 mph. No blue def required.
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Old 06-11-2016, 03:34 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry C View Post
Sometimes, its a lot better decision to listen to people who have been towing trailers for years, instead of trying to reinvent the wheel....some of the newer 1/2 tons would handle a 28, maybe a 30' Airstream, if you really paid attention to the weight/balance/hitch....but for a bit more money, a 3/4 ton will do a lot better job. Diesel has it's advantage, and disadvantage, but overall, that's my first choice.

Projected point hitches are OK if you want to spend a lot of money $2,000 to $3,000 for a hitch that's difficult to hook up, and require constant maintenance. My personal preference is the Reese Straight Line (or Dual Cam). It's reasonably price, easy to set up and hook up.....

Most any vehicle will "pull" the trailer, but it takes a "tow" vehicle to safely tow it, and STOP it......stopping can be more important than "pulling" especially in heavy traffic, or downhill in mountains.

There are people on here who "pull" Airstreams with some of the damnedest combinations you'll ever think of.....thank God, I don't often have to contend with them in heavy traffic, or be ahead of them when they're on a 6 to 8% downhill decline....

For whatever it's worth...

Larry C
Larry, Can-Am RV is a second generation dealership, been in business forty years, set up thousands of RV's for towing. That's not reinventing the wheel. We have taken their advice for much the reason you mention, best to listen to experience, and have wonderful towing set up and daily driver, takes the mountains and brakes with excellent results.

Our ProPride hitch is very easy to hitch/unhitch, requires only routine grease for the w.d. bars and hitch ball. It stays on the airstream, no lifting, and positions the trailer back for tail gate clearance to open. It is absolutely stable in all traffic and weather conditions, two fingers on the steering wheel control.

It is fine to tow with larger trucks, but there are no free lunches. They may be more expensive to buy, maintain, difficult to control if you have to, and can be a rough ride for you and your Airstream. The significant advantage is load carrying capacity, with a sense that bigger must be better.

We have towed our Airstream all over the country many times with our half-ton pickups and found them perfectly suited for the job. You're right, the newer ones are much more capable than just a few years ago. I think the 8 and 10 speed transmissions offering seamless selection of engine power, and great compression braking is probably the greatest improvement to the lighter trucks.

I agree, a Tahoe would be challenged with six passengers, gear and large Airstream. My suggested solution is less passengers and high quality hitch setup. Reducing speed provides a great safety margin. I doubt the Tahoe is much less stable than the longer wheelbase suburban because the distance of hitch ball to rear axle is less. We just traded a 120" wheelbase Ram for a 140" wheelbase Ram, with our ProPride hitch there is no detectable difference in stability. They are both rock solid.
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Old 06-11-2016, 03:58 PM   #16
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We have a 2013 TAHOE LTZ and did over 9,000 miles last summer. I did change to 16" Michelin on the AS and never had a problem with power or towing.

I always thought that trailer live was to take it slow and enjoying the trip.
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Old 06-11-2016, 04:00 PM   #17
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I use an Anderson hitch, easy on easy off.
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Old 06-11-2016, 04:14 PM   #18
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TAHOE has a great tow package and the Air Condition seats can't be beat.

We get 13 to16 miles to gallon and have traveled from AZ to Glacier National Park, Yellowstone and Colorado on all different grades of road and only had one flat tire on the Tahoe while in Glacier park and I call OnStar and while we had lunch at the Lodge they show up and fixed the tire.
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Old 06-11-2016, 09:43 PM   #19
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Can-am sounds like the place but I am pretty convinced that I will be going 1 ton diesel.
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Old 06-12-2016, 10:13 AM   #20
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A full size van is a better choice than a one ton. Short rear overhang and better accommodations for people and gear.
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