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Old 03-11-2006, 11:38 PM   #1
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1974 25' Tradewind
Lake Oswego , Oregon
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Tahoe...is it sooo bad as a TV?

Well, I am totally confused now. I have read everything that has been posted related to towing... and asked for and received lots of help, yet I am still concerned that I will make a bad choice. I need a TV for my 1974 25' Tradewind. I plan to use my vehicle for everyday use most of the time, and I don't have a lot of money to spend. I really appreciate that when I am towing I want to be safe....but I will not be towing much for the next 2 years. I have read posts from some who say they tow with a 5.7/3.73 with no difficulties....they just go slower and enjoy the ride. When I research the vehicles in my price range, I am looking at 1999 Tahoe, Yukon, and Suburban. I find that the Tahoe actually has a bigger towing capacity then the Suburban (6500/7000lb vs 6500/6000lb respectively). I have been told this is because the Suburban is heavier and its weight is added to total weight. The Yukon has 7000lb capacity. I would like to buy a Tahoe, put in a tranny cooler and use my WD hitch. Would I really be completely screwed? Or would I just be looking for a bigger rig in 2 years. Again thank you for your indulgence...Pam
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Old 03-12-2006, 02:58 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pamelake
Well, I am totally confused now. I have read everything that has been posted related to towing... and asked for and received lots of help, yet I am still concerned that I will make a bad choice. I need a TV for my 1974 25' Tradewind. I plan to use my vehicle for everyday use most of the time, and I don't have a lot of money to spend. I really appreciate that when I am towing I want to be safe....but I will not be towing much for the next 2 years. I have read posts from some who say they tow with a 5.7/3.73 with no difficulties....they just go slower and enjoy the ride. When I research the vehicles in my price range, I am looking at 1999 Tahoe, Yukon, and Suburban. I find that the Tahoe actually has a bigger towing capacity then the Suburban (6500/7000lb vs 6500/6000lb respectively). I have been told this is because the Suburban is heavier and its weight is added to total weight. The Yukon has 7000lb capacity. I would like to buy a Tahoe, put in a tranny cooler and use my WD hitch. Would I really be completely screwed? Or would I just be looking for a bigger rig in 2 years. Again thank you for your indulgence...Pam
Pam,

I towed a 1971 TradeWind with my 97 Suburban. 5.7l, 3:73.
I can recommend the engine/axle combination for a trailer like yours, but not any bigger. I am not sure how much worse or better the Tahoe tows than the Suburban. But why not just get a Suburban, if you have doubts. Some months I drive mine daily, and it is quite pleasant. I undersand that 99's have better brakes, and bigger wheels than 97's, which is a plus.
I have done nothing whatrsoever for mods to my Suburban. It already had a tow package and trans cooler from the factory.
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Old 03-12-2006, 03:50 AM   #3
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No Problem...

I've been towing my '74 27' Airstream for 9 years with my 1993 Blazer (5.7L, throttle body injection - automatic overdrive trans - 3.73 rear end -- all stock). As far as power goes, it's just fine! I've pulled many times over Snoqualmie Pass in Wa. at no slower than 55mph. It keeps up with traffic with no problems. Brakes are probably the weakest point with this vintage 1/2 ton Chevy -- not a safety concern, they just wear out quickly. My biggest concern has always been the short wheel base of the Blazer. But to be honest, I've never had any stability issues either (I use the Reese Dual Cam sway control system). If I towed alot, I would like something bigger and more powerful, but for someone who just tows maybe 15-20 days a year, I compromised and put more emphasis on my everyday needs rather than towing. Hope this helps

Curt
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Old 03-12-2006, 12:18 PM   #4
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Pam, As far as the engine rear combination, I pilled a 31' WITH a full dressed Harley motorcycle in the bed of the truck two years, with the same engine, but with 3.43 gears! Yours will just drag that trailer anywhere without a problem. I would be much more concerned with the wheelbase length. SO FEW PEOPLE EVER GET THEIR TRAILERS SET UP PROPERLY!. If you do, it will be an adequate tow vehicle (Tahoe), yet the longer wheelbase vehicles will make the tow more pleasurable, to the point sometimes you can forget it is back there.
Just remeber, the engine is the same in the smaller vehicle as the larger, and will provide similar MPG's in each. Before I get flamed, I said similar, not the SAME! Anyway, the trans cooler addition behond what most GM's have (unless they were ordered with an auxillary one) is an excellent plan. I even ordered an engine oil cooler from the factory on my '97.
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Old 03-12-2006, 02:24 PM   #5
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Thanks!

Uwe, Curt, and Steelbird, thank you so much for taking the time to post. I truely appreciate it. I have been looking at my Airstream sitting in my driveway for long enough. With your encouragement I think I will stop researching and go buy the exceptionally nice Tahoe I have located and join my brothers in the campground this summer! Pam

BTW, I hear you about the wheel base. I think I am willing to compromise for now since I won't be towing that often. Much more frequently I will be trying to parallel park in downtown Portland. Then when I am towing I will be slow and careful!
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Old 03-12-2006, 03:19 PM   #6
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Pamelake:

The opinions of most bonafide towing experts (the kind that get paid for their advice) that I have read say that the ratio of wheelbase to rear overhang or the distance from center of rear axle to hitch ball divided into wheelbase is the most important number for stability. The Tahoe and Suburban are about equal on this number. There are several mobile home factorys not far from me and I see them pulling 84 foot mobile homes most every day with trucks that have no longer wheelbase than Tahoe. They do not use WDH or sway control and when they hit the interstate they run al least the speed limit and I have never seen one sway. These are heavy trucks and hitch ball is as close to rear axle as possible though.
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Old 07-04-2007, 11:23 AM   #7
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Follow up

Just wanted to get back to this thread and post an update for anyone interested... I just completed my most challenging trip. A 6% grade going up to 5000 feet in a pretty short distance. (Oakridge to Crescent Lake for those who are familiar). I was quite concerned, since this was my 'first time', and everything went very well.

On the way up, I never dropped below 50 MPH, and that was because I wasn't anticipating the next hill and let my speed drop down. The engine only heated up by 2 of the little hash marks... no more then it does on the freeway at times and it was 75 degrees out. My brother had advised me to not be intimidated to use the passing lanes to get past the big rigs and so I just kept my speed up and had no problems.

On the way down, I had my step father who is an ex trucker ride with me to school me in how to use my transmission and stay off of my brakes. The Tahoe did great! I only used the brakes a couple of times and just stayed at the speed limit and followed the warning signs for curves.

I am very happy after all of the worry about what to purchase. I love my Tahoe! BTW, I stopped at the scales on the way and the Tahoe weighs 6400#’s and the Airstream 4850#’s…. Pam
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Old 07-04-2007, 12:53 PM   #8
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Sounds like yer in good shape. More than 5500lbs or longer trailer I'd start to look for a different tow vehicle, but for now, seems like you have a good combo!
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Old 07-04-2007, 01:06 PM   #9
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Hi Pamelake,

It sounds like a good combo to me. You will see a general bias for larger tow vehicles here. However, I was next to a 1972 AS the same size as yours once. The cover of the owner’s manual was a photo of one being towed by a Dodge Dart! I think you more than have that covered. Enjoy!

Vaughan
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Old 07-04-2007, 01:11 PM   #10
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Sounds like you made a good choice Pam. You are smart for checking in at the forums BEFORE making your decision. You may get some varying opinions, but you can usually disseminate some good advice. Happy traveling! Steve
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