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Old 02-27-2006, 12:33 AM   #15
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You can safely tow in "D" on a Hummer or any other GM product that has Tow/Haul. The only reason to drive in 3rd with tow haul might be when going up a grade, but other than that, tow/haul modifies the shift patterns and I believe locks the torque converter at a different location, which is one of the main reasons the trans heats up (an unlocked torque converter). By going into 3rd you increase RPMs, which would lock the converter, which tow/haul I believe already does for you..... I've towed in overdrive in our Suburban 6.0L since there is only one "D" with tow/haul mode engaged and have been very pleased. The 3/4 ton has a trans temp gauge and never been to 200 yet, even at significant grade, though on the grade, I did have it in 2nd as it was a very SIGNIFICANT grade I hauled the loaded Safari up. The higher RPM yielded more HP which I was looking to tap into, but I still had tow/haul engaged too.

Not sure if it's just me, but that trailer in the pictures does not look level. If it were me, I would see if adjusting the weight bars can get it better leveled, though I know that the H2 being a bit higher, it may just be that a longer draw bar is what is needed. Just an observation.
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Old 02-27-2006, 01:11 AM   #16
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Silvertwinkie,
If you are refering to my photo, the trailer is as low as I could get it with the longest draw bar available without having a custom hitch made. While I no longer have that trailer, I have a newer one with a similar attitude. I've had it across the scales and the front axle is slightly less weighted than the rear, but both are well withing spec. What is you concern with the levelness of the trailer? If it's sway that is no issue. If it's running the fridge while underway, how far out of level do you consider too far?

And in my case, weight bars don't matter one bit for trailer attitude, because the air suspension will pump the H2 rear back up to level no matter what weight is added at the hitch. However, I do use weight bars to keep the tongue weight within limits and transfer some weight to the front axle. GM says they must be used if the tongue weight is over 500 lbs.

Finally, I only tow in 3rd Tow/Haul with the H2. The larger tires on the H2 result in a higher effective drive ratio that for your Suburban. Plus your 3/4-ton Suburban gets the 4L80 transmission. The H2 gets the 4L65 transmission which is a lighter duty model (but more HD than the 4L60 used in the Tahoe). I figure a little gas mileage (10mpg @ 60mph vs. 11 or 12mpg @ 60 mph) is a good tradeoff to not risk toasting the transmission although I watch the trans gauge and it's never gotten warm on me yet. I suppose 4th Tow/Haul would be fine if on the absolute flats, but in the H2 it does not take much grade in 4th Tow/Haul to cause the Torque converter to unlock or the trans to downshift to 3rd. I get much less of that in 3rd Tow/Haul. My experience is the result of probably 5000 miles of towing an Airstream with the H2.
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Old 02-27-2006, 01:26 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HHP
Greetings H2 owners!

I own a 2005 H2, and we are in the works for a new 2006 23' Safari LS. 5600 GVWR.

I wanted the 19' but the wife wants the 23'.

Do you think I will be ok with the 122.8 wheel base? I wonder now....

Thanks,

Hart
I know the "stadard wisdom" is that wheelbase is where it's at. My experience towing 26' and 25' Airstreams suggests that this is not an issue for the H2, even though by that wisdom the H2 wheelbase is too short for a trailer of this length. I have never had one hint of sway with either trailer (although I'll admit I only tow at about 60 mph, so I can't comment on how it handles at the 80 mph that some folks tow).

My opinion as to why the H2 bypasses the traditional wisdom is that it has a very short rear axle to hitch length as compared to just about anything else you can buy (Suburban, Pickup, etc.). This short distance means that any sideways motions the trailer may try to impart on the H2 are "less effective" due to the shorter lever arm their being applied thru. Another contributing factor is that the H2 is heavy, so it takes more force to move it around. Finally, I usually have the tires pumped up in the 45-50psi range (rated at 50 psi), so the sidewalls don't flex much. This may also limit sway, although it probably has nothing to do with wheelbase.

Anyway, the bottomline is that in my opinion an H2 should have no issue pulling a 23' (2' shorter than my trailer) with a 5600lb GVWR (My '85 25' Sovereign has a GVWR of 6800 lbs, but a fully loaded weight of only about 6000 lbs. as we travel), as long as you keep the normal parameters, like tongue weight, within normal ranges.
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Old 02-27-2006, 06:09 AM   #18
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I'd have to agree with Joe that the Hummer should be ideal tow vehicle for a trailer under 25'.

Joe, regarding the tongue-high attitude and sway, have you towed the trailer without the dual cam bars? Sway control will mask a variety of problems, although you describe that you've done the 'cure' for most of them especially the tire pressure issues. Still, the transferrence of weight to the rear through the tongue being high is not a good thing. It may not be enough transfer in your case to be an issue, but still, a longer drop on your draw bar may be the way to go, even if you have to have one made. If your dual-cam setup is masking sway for you, you won't know it until you really have a problem. That's probably not the time to figure it out.

Roger
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Old 02-27-2006, 06:32 PM   #19
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Roger,
Thanks for the feedback. I had the dual cam with the the 1st trailer (sold it with the trailer). Now all I have is a friction sway control. I have had the trailer up to maybe 45mph without the friction sway control (around town), but with the weight bars in place. Never any sway.

I did pull the old trailer (lighter tongue weight) without even the weight bars (just around town - again up to at most 45mph) until I could get the hitch adjusted properly to allow use of the weight bars. Again no sway.

I have pulled both trailers at highway speeds (60mph max, except in an occasional "passing" situation) with sway control (dual cam or friction) in place and don't feel passing semi's or cross winds any more than if I was driving the H2 alone (the H2 by itself is affected by these things a little because it has the aerodynamics of a brick). It is rock solid with the Airstream attached.

I would like to understand how having the tongue high could affect sway. I can understand that if it was too high due to too much weight bar, it could do so by removing too much weight from the rear axle. This is definitely not my situation because of the air suspension. When I have the weight bars adjusted to put about 100-200 lbs. of the 600 lbs total tongue weight on the front axle, I acheive a 50-50 front to rear weight distribution on the H2 (I only need to transfer this much and not more, because the H2 is a little front heavy to begin with). Also I'm afraid to transfer more weight at the risk of beating up the trailer with the stiff suspension of the H2.

The only other thing I can think of is that the trailer now turns more on the rear axle than the front. This may make the effective trailer wheelbase feel a bit longer than if the trailer was level. This I suppose might make sway more "likely", but we're probably talking inches of effective wheelbase change - not enough that I think it would make any noticable difference.

Thanks in advance for any further enlightenment you can impart to me on this subject.
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Old 02-27-2006, 10:35 PM   #20
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The nose high attitude may overlead the trailer's rear axle and tires. After towing a distance try feeling the trailer tire sidewalls with your hand. You will likely discover that the rear tires are much warmer than the front. The overloaded rear tires will wear prematurely, and could blow. You could get a drop bar welded up, or Equal-i-zer brand hitches have up to a 14" drop shank available (see http://www.equalizerhitch.com/produc...tech_specs.php)
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Old 02-27-2006, 11:53 PM   #21
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Dan,
You raise points I had already considered. I always check tire temps with my hand when we stop. The rears were slightly warmer than the fronts with our old trailer that had bias ply tires. The newer trailer has radials, and generally I cannot tell a front to rear temp difference to the touch (only a slight difference at most).

I have had the rig on the scales and actually weighed each trailer axle independently and both are easily within ratings for both the axles and tires. Without my numbers handy, I think the rear axle had a total of about 400 lbs. more on it that the front (maybe something like 2400 front and 2800 rear with a full fresh water tank and we often tow empty). This repsesents only about 5-10% differential depending upon how you consider it. My trailer's axles are rated for 3200 lbs. each, so even with the rear I have some margin.

I think I have thought this thru pretty well and made checks where necessary, but it is always good to get a second opinion in case I have overlooked something important. Thanks.

And regarding the hitch bar you mention. Mine is at least that long, but when you consider the height of a weight distibution hitch head and the height of the ball that mounts to it, it is only about an 8" effective drop when the hitch head is mounted at the lowest possible point.
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Old 02-28-2006, 12:46 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 66Overlander
However, I do use weight bars to keep the tongue weight within limits and transfer some weight to the front axle.
66o'

i'd agree the short rear overhang is a plus and my negate the wheelbase issue...plus the h2 is heavy and mass is good.

have you tried the t.v. wheelbase as a fraction of ball to trailer axle formula to see how you fit?

also i don't understand the quote above...

as for the trailer slightly up in the front, wd bars wouldn't do much...and might make the nose higher.....also there is some greater potential for dragging the tail...especially when pulling through dips...ever drag?

so you cannot get drop bar with enough drop, or just don't think it's needed? wouldn't a deeper drop help everything? w/d, antisway, air suspension, tires, torsen and so on...

cheers
2air'
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Old 02-28-2006, 06:46 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
66o'

i'd agree the short rear overhang is a plus and my negate the wheelbase issue...plus the h2 is heavy and mass is good.

have you tried the t.v. wheelbase as a fraction of ball to trailer axle formula to see how you fit?

also i don't understand the quote above...

as for the trailer slightly up in the front, wd bars wouldn't do much...and might make the nose higher.....also there is some greater potential for dragging the tail...especially when pulling through dips...ever drag?

so you cannot get drop bar with enough drop, or just don't think it's needed? wouldn't a deeper drop help everything? w/d, antisway, air suspension, tires, torsen and so on...

cheers
2air'
I did the traditional "TV WB" to "Trailer Ball to Axle Distance" comparison a long time ago, and as I remember the H2 with a 25'er fails by some margin, but again that formula (not sure where it is right now) assumes a traditional amount of tow vehicle rear overhang, which the H2 doesn't have. I've never seen a formula that takes TV rear overhang into account.

Not sure what comment you don't understand, but since I have an rear air suspension that always pumps up to level the tow vehicle, using weight bars makes almost no difference to final ball height. If I don't use the bars the hitch should be pumped back up the the unloaded height. If I use the weight bars to transfer some weight to the forward axle of the H2, the rear should be lower only by the amount that the transfered weight lowers the front suspension. The H2 front won't lower much if 100, 200, or even 300 lbs. are added to it.

As for rear drag. I also wondered how much risk I would get towing with the front end high an inch or two (which means the rear is low somewhat less than this amount - maybe 0.5-1 inch). In any case, I've never had it drag in about 5000 miles of towing. I suppose if I had a longer trailer (especially 30'+) it might be more likely.

I really don't want to go for a fully welded hitch setup, as that would really preclude me from ever using it with another tow vehicle as most will have lower hitch receivers. I did inquire with one company about making me a custom longer WD drop shank and they replied that they don't do custom work. I guess I could go to a mom & pop welding shop to see if they would do something for me if they have access to 2" bar stock, but I don't know where to start to find a good one. I don't want to do this and then have the shank fail due to improper welds or bar stock - better I think to stick with tried & true, if possible.

I guess the bottom line for me is that if there is no need to spend the money, why do it. And I am not one to cut corners when it comes to safety. If it is needed, I'll gladly spend the bucks, but otherwise I've got other places to put my dollars. So far my invesigation has indicated that all parameters are within specified limits (axle/tire weights, tongue wieghts, etc.). My towing experience with this setup has not indicated any issues (sway, porpoising, tail dragging, etc.). Probably my biggest concern is if the slight trailer slope has any affect on longevity of the fridge if we tow with it on LP (sometimes do, sometimes don't).
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