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Old 03-29-2004, 02:34 PM   #1
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Tahoe vs. Trailblazer

Hello from Wisconsin!

This is my first message/question that I've posted on this site. My girlfriend and I bought the cart b/4 the horse and our 1967 Caravel sat in the driveway all last summer. I'm driving my self crazy with trying to make the right choice for our tow vehicle. I've been interested in 2000 or 2001 Tahoes. Is this overkill for our airstream? Would a Trailblazer get the job done? I plan on keeping this vehicle for a long time.

Thanks for your help! I love this site!
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Old 03-29-2004, 03:58 PM   #2
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Tahoe vs. Trailblazer

Greetings TDOW!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Airstreaming!

If you haven't discovered the Wisconsin Unit of the WBCCI, you might want to consider joining us. There is an active group of Vintage owners in the Unit including our Past President Ed Emerick. PM me if you would like more information.

Quote:
I'm driving my self crazy with trying to make the right choice for our tow vehicle. I've been interested in 2000 or 2001 Tahoes. Is this overkill for our airstream?
If you are considering a Tahoe/Yukon with the factory heavy duty trailer towing package, you will have a nice margin of comfort with your Caravel. You will likely be loaded to something in the vicinity of 60% to 65% of the trailer tow rating (again, assuming that the Tahoe/Yukon has the heavy duty factory trailer towing package). What this will mean to you is that you will have better stopping power when towing, and will experience far less wear to the the tow vehicle than if you chose a less-able tow vehicle where you might be within a few hundred pounds of the GCVWR. In addition, the more lightly loaded tow vehicle (relative to its trailer tow capacity) may actually return better fuel economy than the tow vehicle that is loaded at or near its GCVWR - - I know that was the case when comparing my K1500 Z71 (5.7 Liter) Chevrolet pickup with my current K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC) - - the Suburban actually averages close to 2 MPG better than the Chevrolet did when it was loaded to very near its maximum GCVWR. The only thing that you might notice is that with a 4WD version of the Tahoe/Yukon you will need a deep-drop draw bar to get the correct hitch height with your Caravel. Another benefit of going with the Tahoe/Yukon is that if the Vintage "bug" bites again, you would be able to consider a "slightly" larger trailer and still be within the comfortable capacity of your tow vehicle. It is rare to hear of anyone being unhappy because they have "too-much" tow vehicle, but there are many threads regarding experiences with "marginal" tow vehicles.

Quote:
Would a Trailblazer get the job done?
A Trailblazer MAY be able to handle the job if it has the factory heavy duty trailer tow package. Your Caravel when fully loaded should still be slightly to somewhat below the maximum trailer tow rating for the Trailblazer with the factory heavy duty trailer towing package, but you would have far less reserve margin than with the Tahoe/Yukon series. Also, since you indicate plans to keep the tow vehicle for a long period of time; you might find yourself locked in to a too-small tow vehicle if you should decide to upgrade to a slightly larger trailer in the not so distant future - - or another Airstream or Agrosy might find you and start you on a collection.

This is one of those areas where personal driving styles and expectations play an important role - - my preference is to be able to maintain 55 MPH when towing on major highways, and especially through the Eisenhower tunnel on I-70 - - if my tow vehicle cannot manage this its performance is not up to my expectations (the very reason that I traded my K1500 pickup - - it was down to 20 MPH in low gear and I didn't think that it was going to make it towing the Overlander which was within about 200 pounds of GCVWR). Someone who doesn't feel uncomfortable when their tow vehicle is just barely able to make the grade may have considered my K1500 pickup acceptable, but I didn't.

Good luck with your tow vehicle decision!

Kevin
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Old 03-29-2004, 06:11 PM   #3
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Thanks Kevin! I'll keep searching for the Tahoe. Beth and I are members of the WI unit and have met Ed and his wife last summer at a vintage rally outside of Sheboygan. He sure has a cool tow vehicle! Thinking of going to U-haul for the hitch. Is this a good idea?

Thanks for getting back to me! TDOW
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Old 03-29-2004, 07:26 PM   #4
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2000 Tahoe

I have a 2000 Chevy Tahoe 4wd. I recently towed my '65 Globetrotter 3,000 miles and was very pleased. The weight distribution hitch adjusted so no drop bar was needed. I'm a happy camper.....literally!
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Old 03-29-2004, 07:28 PM   #5
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TDOW,

I currently own a Trailblazer but just traded it in. The Trailblazer will tow your Caravel with ease but if you have a choice go with the Tahoe. They are not that much different in size but the Tahoe is much more substantial and will tow more and thus will tow with more ease and with less wear and tear on your tow vehicle. Had I bought a Tahoe instead of a Trailblazer in my pre-Airstream days I probably would still have it. Now I am soon moving on to a Nissan Titan. Titan's motto is, "LIVE BIG". That motto stands for all tow vehicle. Don't cut corners.
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Old 03-29-2004, 08:14 PM   #6
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I rented a Trailblazer last week while travelling for work. It was anemic - I can't imagine towing anything with that vehicle!
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Old 03-29-2004, 08:54 PM   #7
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We have a Yukon, 6.0 liter engine with tow package, pulling a 25ft Classic. The Yukon is a very comfortable vehicle; we love it.

Don't just consider the towing requirements, which are needless to say very important, but also think about the extra room a little larger vehicle would give you; especially if you are planning on keeping it for awhile.

No matter how much we try to reduce we amount of stuff we pack we always seem to have a lot of stuff in the vehicle- not to mention our 60lb Siberian Husky (she also loves the Yukon).
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Old 03-29-2004, 10:08 PM   #8
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I'd lean toward the Tahoe too, but the 6.0L Yukon....even better!
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Old 03-30-2004, 06:55 AM   #9
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Tahoe vs. Trailblazer

Greetings TDOW!

Quote:
Beth and I are members of the WI unit and have met Ed and his wife last summer at a vintage rally outside of Sheboygan. He sure has a cool tow vehicle!
I was at the Sheboygan Vintage Rally as well. My Minuet was parked between the Scheuermann's coaches (Scott and Lise on one side in their '60 Overlander and Scott's parents on the other in their Avion). Ed and Sandy were either one or two trailers away from Lise and Scott. I too am a member of the Wisconsin Unit and have been since the mid-1990s.

Ed's Vintage 1975 IHC Travelall can't be equalled as a classy tow vehicle for a Vintage Sovereign. I suspect that half or more of Vintage trailer owners dream of discovering a pristine Vintage tow vehicle like Ed's.

Kevin
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