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Old 12-04-2011, 08:16 PM   #1
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Is my GMC sufficient?

Looking to buy a 29' International Overlander. Will my GMC Yukon 4x4 pull it. I believe it is a 5.8L.
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Old 12-04-2011, 08:19 PM   #2
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I know this will sound sort of simplistic, but if GMC's tow rating on your truck is more than the weight of your trailer, yes it will pull it.

Will it pull it to your expectations?... Depends on your expectations.
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Old 12-04-2011, 08:24 PM   #3
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What year is the truck? Not a 5.8L. If it's a 5.7L, it's and older unit with maybe 280 - 290HP. If it's a 5.3L is somewhat newer and maybe around 320HP.

Is it a 1500 series or a 2500 series? What axle ratio? Yukon or Yukon XL? HD towing package from factory?

Need a lot more info to even start to help.
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:48 PM   #4
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Is my GMC sufficient?

Greetings macstrange!

Welcome to the Forums!

Quote:
Originally Posted by macstrange View Post
Looking to buy a 29' International Overlander. Will my GMC Yukon 4x4 pull it. I believe it is a 5.8L.
More information is necessary to provide a somewhat informed response to your question. The year of the coach will have some impact as will the precise description of your Yukon.

First, I am assuming that you are looking at a Vintage Airstream between 1950 to 1980 give or take a few years. During this time frame, the larger Airstreams were made in the following "varieties":
  • TradeWind -- 24-foot or 25-foot -- during the earlier years as single axle, but tandem axle during the later years of the period. (Probably slightly in excess of 5,000 pounds loaded for travel.)
  • Overlander -- 26-foot or 27-foot -- during the earlier years as single axle, but after 1961 all were tandem axle. (Probably slightly in excess of 6,000 pounds loaded for travel.)
  • Ambassador -- 28-foot or 29-foot -- always tandem axle. (Probably slightly in excess of 6,500 pounds loaded for travel.)
  • Sovereign -- 30-foot or 31-foot -- always tandem axle. (Probably approaching 7,000 pounds loaded for travel.)
An Overlander from early in the period would have a dry weight around 4,000 pounds while the dry weight would be in excess of 4,500 pounds by the end of the period. Loaded ready to travel, the Overlander would likely be apporaching 6,000 to 6,500 pounds -- my '64 Overlander runs on the plus side of 6,000 pounds when it is loaded for a six week extended vacation.

Since you mention Yukon rather than Yukon XL, my guess is that you have the shorter wheelbase version of the SUV. The motor could be a 5.3 liter, 5.7 liter, or a 6.0 liter. One of my previous tow vehicles was a 1995 K1500 Z71 Club Cab Silverado with 5.7 liter and 3.73 differentials -- it was just barely acceptable on the flat roads of the Midwest with the Overlander, and it was sadly lacking for any travel in the Rocky Mountains. Personally, I wouldn't want anything less than a 6.0 liter in a Yukon if any Rocky Mountain towing is anticipated; but if you don't mind gearing down and traveling with the heavily loaded trucks the lesser engines can pull the grade with greater patience.

Good luck with your research and investigation!

Kevin
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:20 PM   #5
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Sorry, it's a 99 yukon sle with 5.7L engine. The overlander is a 68. I'll get back to you on gearing. My feeling is it will pull it, but. Not very efficiently.
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:28 PM   #6
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Is my GMC sufficient?

Greetings macstrange!

Quote:
Originally Posted by macstrange View Post
Sorry, it's a 99 yukon sle with 5.7L engine. The overlander is a 68.
I don't have my '99 GMC literature handy, but I believe that it took the 3.73 differential gearing to attain the maximum 6,500 trailer tow rating for the '99 GMC Yukon SLE. While this is adequate for the '68 Overlander, I know that it will be slow going on montain grades if you plan travel in the Rocky Mountains. The single biggest reason for my purchase of the K2500 GMC Suburban was to get the 7.4 liter and 4.10 differentials for towing in the Rocky Mountains . . . I was totally disgusted with the lack of performance offered by my '95 K1500 Z71 Club Cab Siverado when towing the Overlander in the Rocky Mountains (5.7 liter with 3.73 differentials) -- needless to say, I am very happy with the performance of my '99 Suburban after nearly 13 years and 199,000 miles.

Good luck with your research and investigation!

Kevin
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Old 12-05-2011, 06:28 AM   #7
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Yeah, looks like I'll be headed to the auction to see if I can find something more adequate.
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Old 12-05-2011, 07:41 AM   #8
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Actually, If it has 3.73 gears, and as Overlander 64 indicates you weight, I think you'll be fine under 7000#.

I towed many years with that powertrain and a 5500 - 6000# SOB. It's no speed demon, but I've pulled through the Rockies OK.

Check on your gearing and if it has a factory HD towing package. If it doesn't, you'll need to add a trans cooler, etc.
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Old 12-06-2011, 03:59 AM   #9
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but if you don't mind gearing down and traveling with the heavily loaded trucks the lesser engines can pull the grade with greater patience.


This is a perfectly good outcome, IMO. Especially if the price of the TV (and subsequent modifications to replicate a HD Towing Package) can be kept low, overall. It was a fact of life for big cars pulling big trailers for decades and never anything to worry about.

MICHELIN tires of the proper load range, Bilstein shocks, new poly anti-roll bushings, etc, are worthwhile after fluid/filter changes and the like to keep system integrity high. So long as engine compression is near-new, and the trans shifts according to the FSM the same way, I'd imagine that there are some good candidates out there.

Can't go wrong with stiff rear axle gearing TV's with 3 or 4 speed transmissions.

Good luck.
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