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Old 07-16-2011, 06:50 PM   #1
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Help a girl find a tow vehicle

Hello All -

I purchased a 1999 1500 Suburban in April to tow my 67 Globetrotter. Problem is, I live and tow in Colorado and its gutless.

Here is the story - my trailer weighs in at 2640 dry with a tongue weight of 400 lbs. (after renovation). From what I hear, that's light. The Suburban has no negotiation power....that is, if I need to keep up with or close to traffic in the mountains, its working hard and hunting gears. It has no ability to respond to the hills or passes without a 20 mph drop in speed. I know...be more patient but I feel as though I need more negotiating power to merge and keep up with traffic.

I am not a truck girl and I want to purchase an SUV. Would love to get a diesel truck but it doesn't quite fit my lifestyle when I'm not towing. I am looking at a much newer Suburban, Yukon or Tahoe. But reading through the specs its hard to decipher all that man-talk.

So...please help me out in girls terms which is the best towing vehicle for me. I want power, beefed-up suspension, reliability, affordability and of course...ok fuel mileage. I live and tow in Colorado and there are some serious passes here. I don't want to get passed by the semi's on Monarch Pass anymore!

Thank you.
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Old 07-16-2011, 07:04 PM   #2
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Touareg? V6 TDI or V8 would pull it and you shouldn't have any issues with power.
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Old 07-16-2011, 07:07 PM   #3
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Check out their web site

http://www.clubtouareg.com/forums/

I've got an 08 V8 for my 19' Bambi and love it. I'll be in CO in August and will report how it does in the mountains.
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Old 07-16-2011, 07:35 PM   #4
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star kitty,
If you are looking at a Yukon or Tahoe, the 6 litre engine teamed up with the 4.10 rear end axle ration is a good puller. That engine likes to rev and is better suited to the 4.10 versus the 3.73 axle ratio.
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Old 07-16-2011, 07:46 PM   #5
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What's your budget? There are a lot of vehicles that can happily tow this lightweight trailer.

My Argosy weighs about the same as your Globetrotter. My first suggestion would be a Ford Flex with the Ecoboost turbocharged engine; the turbos should help compensate for the altitude. That Flex yanked my trailer uphill in the passing lane with no problem at all. But that's about $35k (unless you find a used one for less)...

A newer Yukon Denali with the 6.2-liter and six-speed automatic has lots of power too. Not cheap either though...

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Old 07-16-2011, 07:46 PM   #6
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I had a 2006 Envoy Denali with the 5.3 V8. It was a great SUV and really hated to see it go. I thought it would be OK for the trailer we got, but it just did not have enough for the 7,400 lbs. that this one weighs. With what you are pulling, I would not hesitate on using the Envoy Denali. I believe it is rated up to 6,000 lbs. towing. It is a great SUV Happy hunting.
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:00 PM   #7
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Sorry...forgot to mention that I will be buying a used vehicle in the more affordable price range. Hoping between 18-23 thousand.

blmitch - I test drove a touareg as that is my favorite and preferred vehicle. But the one I test drove (V8) had an on-board computer and only once did it tell me I was averaging 10 mpg. Most of the test-drive the computer stated I was getting 7 mpg. Yikes! Plus, the older ones have a poor maintenance record and the newer ones are too spendy for my budget.
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:02 PM   #8
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The Suburban 1500 pulling 4000# should be a piece of cake. I can't understand why it doesn't do better.

That being said, if you want to stay with a Suburban, try a late model (2001+) Suburban 2500 (3/4 ton). They have the 6.0 liter gas engine which should be more than sufficient. To the best of my knowledge, Tahoes and Yukons do not come with the 6 liter.

Brian
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidz71 View Post
star kitty,
If you are looking at a Yukon or Tahoe, the 6 litre engine teamed up with the 4.10 rear end axle ration is a good puller. That engine likes to rev and is better suited to the 4.10 versus the 3.73 axle ratio.

David - is the 3.73 axle ratio what I have now? Sorry...not car-spec savvy.
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags View Post
The Suburban 1500 pulling 4000# should be a piece of cake. I can't understand why it doesn't do better.

That being said, if you want to stay with a Suburban, try a late model (2001+) Suburban 2500 (3/4 ton). They have the 6.0 liter gas engine which should be more than sufficient. To the best of my knowledge, Tahoes and Yukons do not come with the 6 liter.

Brian
I thought it would be plenty of engine too. On the flats of I-25 she pulls like a dream. The hills and passes of highway 285 or I-70 and its a battle to keep it up to speed. My right leg is tired at the end of the day from having to keep my foot in it!
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:05 PM   #11
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Star Kitty,

A 1500 Sub with a 5.3 liter V8 should be more than enough power for the size and weight of your trailer.

However you say it is a 1999. It may worn out. How many miles are on it?

The 1500 either Sub or Yuk are essentially 1/2 ton rated. The 2500 is the 3/4 ton with the larger engine and transmission, cooling, suspension, brakes, etc.

What ever vehicle you get, consider the age as well as mileage and overall condition.

I tow my 22' Safari all over Colorado, Utah, Nevada and California with a 2002 GMC Yuk 1500.

Best of luck on your search.

Dennis
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:26 PM   #12
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Have you had a compression check done on the engine? A compression check might indicate a maintenance issue with the engine that is easily repairable and cheaper than 5-figures.

The check is not hard to perform yourself. You can often borrow the gauge from a parts' store or borrow one from your favorite gearhead. Or, a reasonable mechanic can perform the test inexpensively.

Good luck.
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:26 PM   #13
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A lot of towing life left and will pull your TT through the mountains with ease.
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:44 PM   #14
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Your Suburban may have originally been spec'd with the "soccer mom" rear axle for better fuel mileage instead of better towing capacity. There's also the possibility that something's wrong with it that's keeping it from making the power it should.
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