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Old 06-24-2003, 10:24 PM   #1
5 rivets, 1 loose screw
 
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1966 20' Globetrotter
Saginaw County , Michigan
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Advice please, '71 Caravel and '95 Jimmy

I'm finalizing the purchase of these 2 vehicles and seeking
input as to the compatibility for towing.
I'll be picking the Jimmy up locally then driving 380 miles to pick
the trailer up.
The 18' Caravel dry wt is 3290 lbs and tongue wt 360 lbs. The Jimmy4WD has a 4.3 V6 and HD towing package. Any forseeable problems or suggestions?
Tires: I'm planning to put new Goodyear Marathons on the trailer before the journey home. Will there be a clearance problem with D range or is C range sufficient?
As always, any advice will be gratefully received.
If all goes well, I can hopefully attend the next rally.

Rog
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Old 06-24-2003, 10:41 PM   #2
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Should work

I pulled a Scamp 5th-wheel, 3250# wet with an S-10 with the 4.3 engine and had plenty of power. I'm sure it would have handled anther 500# with aplomb. I wish I would have as good accelleration now with my A/S and Silverado. Frontal area of the 2 trailers should be a wash; the Scamp was taller, but narrower.

My V-6 was the 195 hp Vortec, however. I don't know whether the lower tuned version of the motor would have been as successful.
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Old 06-24-2003, 10:58 PM   #3
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Advice please, '71 Caravel and '95 Jimmy

Greetings Rog!

We have a '94 S-10 Blazer Tahoe with the 4.3 V6, and you should have plenty of power. If the GMC Jimmy that you are buying is a four-door, the wheelbase should be adequate for the Caravel. Fully loaded, you will likely be at about 85% of the trailer tow rating for your Jimmy. Based on our experience with the '94, I would suggest the following before towing:

VERY carefully check the cooling system (ours went into near meltdown just over 100,000 miles). At the bare minimum, I would suggest a flush and fill of the cooling system, a new thermostat, new hoses (if the age of the ones on the truck are unknown). An auxilliary transmission fluid cooler is almost mandatory with this rig. Also, as a precaution, I would suggest having the cooling system pressure checked to be sure that their isn't an internal/hidden leak - - we had one that flooded the valley between the cylinders - - the end result was damage serious enough to require replacing the engine (oil was diluted damaging main and rod bearings as well related damage caused by the coolant thinned oil).

It would also be a good idea to have the attaching bolts on the receiver platform checked for proper torque - - I have been suspicious of all GM receivers after the issues that developed with some of the factory Suburban receivers a few years ago - - now have mine re-torqued at each oil change (both Suburban and Blazer). The typical 4" drop/raise adjustable ball mount will likely give you access to the proper hitch height for your Caravel if the receiver height is similar on your Jimmy to what we have with the Blazer - - you will want to use weight distribution with the blazer as the hitch weight of the Minuet causes our Blazer to squat noticeably without the distribution bars - - the Minuet has a Reese Dual Cam sway control, but it has a hitch weight of 440 pounds when loaded (at least 400 pound hitch weight is required for the dual cam to be effective according to Reese).

It is very difficult to tell whether there will be a clearance issue with the tires. I checked the spare for my '78 Minuet 6.0 Metre which is a Good Year Marathon P225 75 15 (bias ply - - an original from 78) in load range C and it is rated at 1820 pounds at 50 psi maximum inflation. I suspect that load range C tires will be a bit light on capacity for your Caravel given a dry weight of 3,290 pounds. I would suggest taking the trailer to the Good Year dealer and allow him/her to spec out the tires - - especially if they have to be special ordered that way if they don't fit it will be the dealer's responsibility and not yours.

Good luck with your new to you combination. The Blazer/Jimmy makes a very maneuverable, peppy runabout for local errands - - ours averages 20 MPG in all around driving - - not enough towing experience to comment on that side of the equation yet.

Kevin
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Old 06-24-2003, 11:18 PM   #4
5 rivets, 1 loose screw
 
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1966 20' Globetrotter
Saginaw County , Michigan
Join Date: May 2002
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Excellent input, exactly what I was hoping for. Thanks so much.
Yes Kevin, the Jimmy is a 4 door so I'm glad you mentioned that. I'll have the cooling system and other items checked as suggested. Any favored brake controller?
Thanks again.

Rog
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Old 06-24-2003, 11:27 PM   #5
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Advice please, '71 Caravel and '95 Jimmy

Greetings Rog!

RE: Brake Controller

I favor a brake controller that is far from popular, but it is one that I have used for more than a decade - - it is now on its third revision of the model series. It is the Hayes-Lemmerz Energize XPC with manual remote control - - it is a pendulum type. See link below:

Hayes-Lemmerz Energize XPC Brake Controller

I have also used Tekonsha Voyager (currently installed on my Suburban) and a Reese Electronic Control (1980s); but the XPC is definitely my favorite. I like being able to have the panic button within easy reach - - I drape it over the transmission shift lever so that it is quickly available and I never have to worry about having my hand off of the steering wheel except for the very brief moment that it take to grab the control from the shift lever.

As a side note, if you haven't considered trailer towing mirrors for your Jimmy it is something worth considering. My Minuet is 8" narrower than your Caravel if my memory serves correct, and even with the Minuet I find auxilliary mirrors necessary. There aren't any really good solutions for the '94 Blazer, and I am guessing that the same may be true for the '95 Jimmy. I resorted to using the same McKesh Mirrors that I use on the Suburban - - they are a bit pricey, but among the best mirrors that I have ever used - - and like the Airstream and Zip Dee Awnings - - McKesh Mirrors are supported by their manufacturer even after decades of use - - I just purchased new webbing and pads for the '78 McKesh Mirrors that I use with the Minuet on the Cadillac. You can learn more about McKesh Mirrors at:

McKesh Mirrors a Division of Hensley Manufacturing

Just be prepared if you make an inquiry that you will receive the full sales packet on the Hensley Arrow hitch as well as the McKesh information.


Kevin
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1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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