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Old 12-03-2006, 10:43 PM   #1
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Chevy Trail Blazer and Bambi

We are seriously considering purchase of a new 16' or 19' Bambi in the months ahead. Would appreciate your advice on the Chevy Trail Blazer (or Buick Ranier- same specs) as the TV.

Trail Blazer (Ranier) has 113" wheelbase, 3.73 ratio axle, towing pkg
4.2L I-6 291 HP rated to tow 5900# trailer
5.3L V-8 302 HP rated to tow 6800# trailer
The 16' GVWR is 3500# and the 19' GVWR is 4500#

I used to tow a 20' SOB TT with a Chevy Silverado extend cab (long wheelbase) 5.3L V-8 and it had more than enough power to pull grades. I have a WD hitch and sway bar.

Does anyone have experience with the Trail Blazer or Buick Ranier pulling a Bambi?
Thanks, Bill
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Old 12-03-2006, 10:56 PM   #2
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Do It!

"Duck" you will love your Bambi whatever the length or style (Safari/International).

I tow my 19' with a 6 cyl Toyota Tacoma - also rated at 6800 lbs. I use a WDH but do not have sway control. I have the Prodigy brake controller. I have had my rig out three times now in a little over 30 days. No problems on the Hwy 80, Hwy 12, or the back roads of the Delta or Wine Country.

If you have an 8 cyl., you should have more than enough power with the rig you describe.

JER
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Old 12-03-2006, 10:59 PM   #3
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The Trail Blazer will do a Bambi OK, especially the 16 footer. If you plan to do any serious over the road trailering, you would probably be happier with something in the Tahoe/Silverado range. If you decide to go with the Trail Blazer/Ranier, I would highly recommend the V-8.
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Old 12-04-2006, 12:05 AM   #4
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Bill

We recently sold our Trail Blazer with the I-6 engine. We were very unhappy with it. When towing it the gas mileage was horrendous. Friends with full sized trucks and V-8 engines pulling far heavier loads were getting far better gas mileage, had more power on hills, and overall a better ride. I'm currently looking for a truck to replace it. Perhaps the V-8 version is better but I wasn't willing to take the chance. We have a friend with a similar Trail Blazer who pulls an SOB that weigh-scaled at 4,000lbs and he finds the same issue - his gas mileage is brutal and it struggles on even small hills to keep up with others with very small V-8's, and he's the first into the gas stations.

I have spoken with others who have them and the general consensus is the the I-6 is far less of an engine than any of us expected and for those of us who had the 4.3 V-6 in the past we felt this engine was far less productive, a lot more noise from it, and I've not yet met anyone who would get another.

Hope that helps.

Barry
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Old 12-04-2006, 07:03 AM   #5
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Arrow Trailblazer question

Quote:
Originally Posted by safari57
Bill

We recently sold our Trail Blazer with the I-6 engine. We were very unhappy with it. When towing it the gas mileage was horrendous. Friends with full sized trucks and V-8 engines pulling far heavier loads were getting far better gas mileage, had more power on hills, and overall a better ride. I'm currently looking for a truck to replace it. Perhaps the V-8 version is better but I wasn't willing to take the chance. We have a friend with a similar Trail Blazer who pulls an SOB that weigh-scaled at 4,000lbs and he finds the same issue - his gas mileage is brutal and it struggles on even small hills to keep up with others with very small V-8's, and he's the first into the gas stations.

I have spoken with others who have them and the general consensus is the the I-6 is far less of an engine than any of us expected and for those of us who had the 4.3 V-6 in the past we felt this engine was far less productive, a lot more noise from it, and I've not yet met anyone who would get another.

Hope that helps.

Barry
With whole honesty I do not understand gripes about the Trailblazer. I have towed my 1973 26' Argosy from Cleveland across the highest point east of Mississippi for 438 miles over Route 80 and only twice did the truck downshifted from OD. My engine is 4.2 liter with towing package. I tow boats with it commercially to 4800 lbs with no ill effects. While I am in the process negotiating a purchase of 2500 series Suburban with 6.1 liter engine and special towing package, I am quite pleased with my Trailblazer. I do not see any reason why 5.3 liter Tahoe or Trailblazer would not do a good job towing a Bambi. It should be kept in mind that Tahoe with longer wheelbase would have stability advantage over the Trailblazer. If I may remind everyone that back in mid seventies 350 V8 with Quadrajet had only 190 Hp. The six cylinder in line is a very powerful engine for it's displacement at 295 HP. While it is true that V8 may consume less fuel at equal power output, it is nonetheless a very good engine when combined with 4L60 transmission.
Thanks, "Boatdoc"
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Old 12-04-2006, 07:35 AM   #6
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Duck,

If going with a 16', either really do just fine would do.

If going with a 19', I'd opt for the 5.3L

The issue as I see it, is that you will no doubt bring "gear" and people with you and the I-6 if you have 3-4 passengers and gear, you could be over what some folks consider the saftey margin of say 80% of tow capacity. I towed a Bambi with a 5.7L sedan and it was a piece of cake, though by the numbers I too was beyond 80% tow capacity. Main issue there was that I had 2.93 gears at the time, where you are looking at 3.73s right out of the gate, which is a plus. But even so, I'd start looking at the 5.3L once you start to get into the 19' if going even larger, perhaps the Trailblazer EXT with the V8 as well.

Fuel economy is important, but frankly, no matter what you tow with, fuel ecoonmy for a non diesel is typically around 10mpg under average conditions (wind, grade, traffic, etc). Though important, it should not be the main factor driving the T.V. decision, unless you plan on full timing or towing tens of thousands of miles per year.
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Old 12-04-2006, 04:31 PM   #7
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Thanks to all for the excellent replies. In light of your good advice, and because I had a good towing experience in the past years with my Chevy 1500 5.3L V8 with 3.73 axle ratio, I am convinced to stay with that same engine/axle combination if we buy a Chevy Trail Blazer or Buick Ranier.

The TV will also be my wife's daily transportation and we like the size of the Trail Blazer in that respect, and I was thinking a Tahoe would be more vehicle than we need for a small Bambi. I am now driving a Colorado with I-4 engine back and forth to work. It's great on mpg and really zips along the expressway, but I won't be towing anything with it!

Thanks again. I'll keep watching if there are any additional comments or words of advice. This is a great site!
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Old 10-01-2007, 04:21 PM   #8
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How about towing a 19' Bambi with a Toyota Four Runner V-6? Does that make sense? We're considering doing that... but are stumped... and worried.....
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Old 10-08-2007, 06:30 PM   #9
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I'm towing my 16' Bambi with a 2007 Tahoe 4wd. Two complaints: can't open the back hatch when the trailer is attached. and the truck is way powerful for that little light trailer!
I would like the TrailBlazer is an excellent choice.
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Old 10-08-2007, 11:37 PM   #10
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I tow our 16' Bambi CCD International with a 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser 4 X 4 with AT, V6, Equalizer Sway Control Hitch and Podigy Brake Control. We have towed to the Sierra's (10,000 Ft Elevation) with no problem. Satisfactory power and decent gas mileage 12 to 15 depending on terrain and speed. Even with the short wheel base we have no problems with sway. The AS follows the FJ like a dream.
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Old 10-10-2007, 11:04 AM   #11
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We've moved on to the idea of a Nissan Pathfinder 4.0 liter, V-6 with a 112-inch wheel base and a tow capacity of 6,000 lbs. The GVWR of the 19' Bambi is 4500. We figure that even with our large selves we should be within the eighty percent rule. Oregon has lots of hills and mountains though so if anybody thinks we'll be underpowered, feel free to comment.
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