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Old 07-27-2003, 01:33 PM   #1
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Another Tow Vehicle Question

I have a 1997 'burb, 350, 373 gears, tow pkg, 4wd. Can I safely tow a 75-80 Excella or Sovereign 29-32' through mountains? I'm a flatlander in Florida, so am not familiar with towing in mountains. Thanks, Jim
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Old 07-27-2003, 01:50 PM   #2
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Re: Another Tow Vehicle Question

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Originally posted by jalewis
I have a 1997 'burb, 350, 373 gears, tow pkg, 4wd. Can I safely tow a 75-80 Excella or Sovereign 29-32' through mountains? I'm a flatlander in Florida, so am not familiar with towing in mountains. Thanks, Jim
Hi, Jim!

Welcome to the forums!

You have asked a question that apparently regularly engenders debate on the forums. I would give you a qualified 'yes' to your question. You can pull a trailer of that size with your 'burb (provided you don't exceed your vehicle's GVWR and/or towing capacity, and you have the towing package including tranny & oil coolers, etc... refer to your owner's manual). Recognize that you are not going to pull it fast, and you'll undoubtedly be gearing down to first and second on some roads with the 350 and 3:73 gearing, but it will pull it.

That combination of engine/gear ratio is much better suited to the flatlands where you live. I tow a 34' with a 6.8L V-10 Excursion 4WD with a 3:73. It does fine around the Midwest.

Equally or more important for safe towing IMHO, are your hitch and brake setups. Make sure that they're up to the task.

Good luck!

Roger
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Old 07-27-2003, 02:52 PM   #3
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Question Funny you should ask...

We've decided to get rid of our 1995 Silverado truck and get a new tow vehicle. We've sort of settled on a 2003 Silverado extend cab. It has a V8 and the brochure says the maximum tow weight is 6100 on this model, and the tongue weight capacity is 600. Our Bambi weighs 4500 fully loaded with a hitch weight of 500 lbs., according to the info we received with it.

We'll need to take the new truck to a camper dealer and get the brake controller we already have installed on the new truck. We need to purchase a new tow package. What do we really need for a Bambi? There must be differences in tow packages, but I don't want to purchase something ridiculous, since I know we will have just the Bambi for many years. Should we order the package via the dealership, or somewhere else?

Any suggestions from someone who already tows with a 1500 Silverado? Or anyone else who might have input? We're signing these purchase papers tomorrow, so any help would be greatly appreciated ASAP!

Cherie
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Old 07-27-2003, 03:36 PM   #4
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Re: Funny you should ask...

Quote:
Originally posted by Kentucky Girl

We need to purchase a new tow package. What do we really need for a Bambi? There must be differences in tow packages, but I don't want to purchase something ridiculous, since I know we will have just the Bambi for many years. Should we order the package via the dealership, or somewhere else?

Cherie
Congrats, Cherie! It's always fun to get a new car/truck/trailer...!

I'm a little confused by your post. Generally, the vehicle comes equipped from the manufacturer with a tow package which includes a frame-mounted hitch receiver, brake-controller ready wiring harness to the bumper, a transmission cooler, an oil cooler (hopefully), some sort of suspension upgrade, and generally a beefed-up electrical charging system and battery. All that stuff can probably be added after-market, but it's going to be very expensive if you don't have it on the truck from the factory. All that 'stuff' is designed to allow your truck to run cooler while handling a heavier load which will extend the life of the vehicle's components.

Is this what you were asking?

Roger
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Old 07-27-2003, 07:39 PM   #5
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Re: Funny you should ask...

Quote:
Originally posted by Kentucky Girl
We've decided to get rid of our 1995 Silverado truck and get a new tow vehicle. We've sort of settled on a 2003 Silverado extend cab. It has a V8 and the brochure says the maximum tow weight is 6100 on this model, and the tongue weight capacity is 600. Our Bambi weighs 4500 fully loaded with a hitch weight of 500 lbs., according to the info we received with it.

We'll need to take the new truck to a camper dealer and get the brake controller we already have installed on the new truck. We need to purchase a new tow package. What do we really need for a Bambi? There must be differences in tow packages, but I don't want to purchase something ridiculous, since I know we will have just the Bambi for many years. Should we order the package via the dealership, or somewhere else?

Any suggestions from someone who already tows with a 1500 Silverado? Or anyone else who might have input? We're signing these purchase papers tomorrow, so any help would be greatly appreciated ASAP!

Cherie
I towed a 99 Bambi with a 2000 Chevy Silverado with the 5.3 V8 & 3.73 gears. The truck was definite overkill for the Bambi but it was nice knowing I could out accelerate most small cars WITH the trailer in tow and got excellent mileage (13.9 MPG on a 2900 miles trip through 5 western states) as well.
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Old 07-27-2003, 09:38 PM   #6
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Steve--Do you ever use OD when towing? Just curious.
Best,
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Old 07-27-2003, 09:43 PM   #7
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Another Tow Vehicle Question

Greetings Jim!

Welcome to the Forums!

Quote:
I have a 1997 'burb, 350, 373 gears, tow pkg, 4wd. Can I safely tow a 75-80 Excella or Sovereign 29-32' through mountains?
I think that you will find that you are 1,000 pounds or more in excess of the factory towing recommendations for your Suburban. You don't mention whether it is a 1500 or 2500 series, but if it is a 1500 series it only has a 6,000 pound trailer tow rating. If it is a 2500 series, you may be in a bit better position as that normally adds about 1,000 pounds to the maximum capacity (assuming factory towing packages were included as part of the original equipment).

My former tow vehicle for the '64 Overlander (4,700 pounds empty, 6,000 pounds fully loaded) was a 1995 K1500 Chevrolet Z71 Extended cab pickup (5.7 Liter V8, 3.73 gears, and factory heavy duty tow package <6,000 pound trailer tow rating>). I only made one trip through the Rocky Mountains and knew that the truck was destined for the used car lot - - it was so underpowered that we were passed by fully loaded log trucks approaching the Eisenhower Tunnel on I-70 - - passing through the tunnel we were down to 15 MPH in first gear and I had serious concerns about whether the truck was going to be able to make it to the end of the trip. Made the same trip with my '99 K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC, 4.10 gears, and factory heavy duty <10,000 pound> trailer towing package) - - at the point where the K1500 pickup was down to 15 MPH, the Suburban was able to maintain 55 MPH in third gear. In both of the above cases, the truck was less than a year old with approximately 15,000 miles on the odometer.

My advice would be to stick to a trailer under 6,000 pounds fully loaded for your Suburban for satisfactory mountain performance. I would be reluctant to consider a trailer larger than a TradeWind with the 5.7 Liter and 3.73 gearing for mountain travel.

Good luck with your decision!

Kevin
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Old 07-27-2003, 10:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by A.E. Milliman
Steve--Do you ever use OD when towing? Just curious.
Best,
I was towing in OD with the transmission set in the "tow/haul" mode. Since the speed limit in CA is only 55 MPH (trailer) I spent the majority of my time running 60 MPH as the trans would downshift into 3rd in the tow/haul mode at 55.

I managed 16 MPG from Ely NV to Reno along highway 50. My worst mileage (about 11) was in AZ running 65 MPH along I-40.
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Old 07-28-2003, 01:51 AM   #9
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Thumbs up Re: Funny you should ask...

Quote:
Originally posted by Kentucky Girl

Any suggestions from someone who already tows with a 1500 Silverado? Or anyone else who might have input? We're signing these purchase papers tomorrow, so any help would be greatly appreciated ASAP!

Cherie
Cherie,

My dad has a 2500 w/ 3.73 gears, the standard tow package that Chevy offers, the factory hitch, the wiring (which might be part of the tow package) the tow/haul feature and the 5.3L engine.

He tows a 6500lb SOB. You can very, very easily get a 1500 with the same options above and tow the Bambi like it was not even behind you. I took his truck for a spin with my Bambi and although my Chevy sedan does a fantastic job, I can't even begin to tell you what a real joy those Chevy trucks are when towing!

You won't be disappointed.

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