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Old 02-19-2011, 08:51 AM   #1
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Tow Vehicle-2011 GMC Yukon Denali-FC 23/25FB

I plan on purchasing a Flying Cloud 23'FB or Flying Cloud 25'FB and towing it with my GMC Yukon Denali. Denali tow rating is 8,300# with 6.2 V8 rated at 403 HP & 417 lp-ft torque, mpg=14/18.

23'fb = 4,726# dry weight/467# hitch weight
25'fb = 5,443# dry weight/837# hitch weight

I will have equalizer hitch and understand that fluids and other items will add 700-800 pounds to tow weight.

My questions:
Does anyone have experience with this tow vehicle equiped as above towing either of these flying clouds?
What will miles per gallon drop to on highway driving (assuming 14/18 is accurate which based on my driving habits is about right)?
My experience is limited to towing 17" Casita (2,500 lbs) with small V-8 GMC Pick-up and would like feedback on what I am in for jumping to either these Flying Clouds towing with the Denali?

Thanks in advance for your comments.
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Old 02-19-2011, 09:08 AM   #2
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Similar question: For the same Airstreams, how about a 2001 Yukon Denali XL (i.e. long wheelbase)? This has the 6.0 litre motor, 315 hp, 365 torque. It also has the "Autoride" suspension system and automatic rear leveling -- do these affect how to set it up for trailering? Thanks ......
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Old 02-19-2011, 09:16 AM   #3
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04 Denali did great with my 29 footer on the 1 tow I have done with it. A few hundred miles from fl to ga.

My limiting factor is exceeding max payload of the Yukon. I definitely can not pack the Yukon with weight inside on a trip.

Also, I have the fancy tow package with airbags.

I am no expert but I believe the Hensley hitch made it so nice to pull. It did not sway once and from what others have said it never will.

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Old 02-19-2011, 09:18 AM   #4
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Oh, and with the 6.0 I got 11 pulling.

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Old 02-19-2011, 09:24 AM   #5
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

First off, welcome to both of you. We're glad to have you with us here at Airforums.

We have a 2005 25FB, named Lucy. We have spent 800+ nights in Lucy and have towed her 70,000 miles all over the country. We now tow with a 3/4 ton Suburban with the 6 liter. We formerly towed Lucy with a 1/2 ton Tahoe with the 5.3 liter.

The Tahoe did OK, but struggled on severe upgrades. The 2500 Suburban does super in all situations.

Your 700# estimate for fluids and gear will probably be closer to 2000#. Ready to go camping, Lucy weighs 7400# (weighed on a Cat Scale).

Gas mileage on the Tahoe went from 17 mpg not towing to 9 mpg with Lucy in tow. The 2500 Suburbans (we have two, an '05 Yuk XL and an '04 Sub) get 14 mpg not towing and 11 mpg with Lucy tagging along. We cruise at 70 mph.,

Both of the Subs have Autoride and we have never done anything special accordingly. Some will tell you that you can't tow with the Autoride. We have not found that to be the case in 70,000 miles of towing Lucy. We use a Hensley Arrow Hitch System. They are quite pricey, but work as advertised.

Good luck to both of you in choosing the right Airstream for your wants and needs.

Brian
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Old 02-19-2011, 09:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMay View Post
I plan on purchasing a Flying Cloud 23'FB or Flying Cloud 25'FB and towing it with my GMC Yukon Denali. Denali tow rating is 8,300# with 6.2 V8 rated at 403 HP & 417 lp-ft torque, mpg=14/18.

23'fb = 4,726# dry weight/467# hitch weight
25'fb = 5,443# dry weight/837# hitch weight

I will have equalizer hitch and understand that fluids and other items will add 700-800 pounds to tow weight.

My questions:
Does anyone have experience with this tow vehicle equiped as above towing either of these flying clouds?
What will miles per gallon drop to on highway driving (assuming 14/18 is accurate which based on my driving habits is about right)?

My experience is limited to towing 17" Casita (2,500 lbs) with small V-8 GMC Pick-up and would like feedback on what I am in for jumping to either these Flying Clouds towing with the Denali?

Thanks in advance for your comments.
I have experience with a 2010 Yukon with the same engine and HD tow package with a 2010 25'FB FC. I use a ProPride a my hitching "gizmo". I used the Yukon for about 4 months until migrating to a 3/4 ton diesel. For me, the issue with the Yukon was primarily transmission temp. Even with the factory cooler that comes with the GMC HD tow package, I never saw a trans temp below 205 while towing. Mostly stayed north of 215. Service shop would tell me that yes, that was above spec, but, "you should be ok".

I think the issue with the 25 and the Yukon is payload. When I finally discussed the #'s with the manager at my GMC dealership service shop, he agreed that I likely was right at or over the payload capacity on the Yukon, thus creating the trans stress. Then there was nothing left to do but get a TV where I don't have to worry about whether or not I can handle the additional weight of my 7 year old's bicycle.

Also, for what it's worth, I averaged about 9.5 mpg while towing with the Yukon (3000 miles total using the Yukon as I recall).

As you'll read here in many of the "can my TV handle..." threads, "just because you can, doesn't mean you should".

Take care,
Chris
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Old 02-19-2011, 04:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cms4140 View Post
I have experience with a 2010 Yukon with the same engine and HD tow package with a 2010 25'FB FC. I use a ProPride a my hitching "gizmo". I used the Yukon for about 4 months until migrating to a 3/4 ton diesel. For me, the issue with the Yukon was primarily transmission temp. Even with the factory cooler that comes with the GMC HD tow package, I never saw a trans temp below 205 while towing. Mostly stayed north of 215. Service shop would tell me that yes, that was above spec, but, "you should be ok".

I think the issue with the 25 and the Yukon is payload. When I finally discussed the #'s with the manager at my GMC dealership service shop, he agreed that I likely was right at or over the payload capacity on the Yukon, thus creating the trans stress. Then there was nothing left to do but get a TV where I don't have to worry about whether or not I can handle the additional weight of my 7 year old's bicycle.

Also, for what it's worth, I averaged about 9.5 mpg while towing with the Yukon (3000 miles total using the Yukon as I recall).

As you'll read here in many of the "can my TV handle..." threads, "just because you can, doesn't mean you should".

Take care,
Chris
CMS4140,
Thank you very much for your comments. Just to verify, did your Yukon have the 5.3 or 6.2 V8 (I know you said equipped the same - but I just wanted to verify to be certain)? The 6.2 has about 1/3 more horsepower and 1/3 more torque than the 5.3 V8. I wanted the 5.3 for gas mileage, however I jumped up to the Denali to get the 6.2 V8 hoping it would be more than adequate for the 25fb (there is a lot of difference between the 23fb and 25fb in comfort levels so we were hoping the Denali would handle the 25fb). I was limited to the Denali as a tow vehicle due to its external dimensions would allow it to fit in my garage whereas extended bed pickups or Yukon 3/4 ton would not fit.

Please advise.

BMay
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Old 02-19-2011, 05:38 PM   #8
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I'm looking at moving up from an '06 GMC 4x4 crew cab 2500 with the 6.0 engine and 4:10 gears to a Suburban/Yukon 3/4 ton 4x4 with the 6.0 and 3:73 gears to pull an '06 Safari 25' FB. What caught my attention here is the comment about the transmission temps. I'll hit 250 going over Wolf Creek Pass and as soon as I start down the other side, the temp drops to 150 or so. Wonder if this is a function of the gear ratio rather than the load?
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Old 02-19-2011, 05:58 PM   #9
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BMay,
Our Yukon has the 6.2 engine.

Chris
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Old 02-19-2011, 07:15 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Denis4x4 View Post
Wonder if this is a function of the gear ratio rather than the load?
Denis-
That's a good question. I had long conversations with two area GMC dealers. Both service managers indicated that in tow mode, tranny temps consistently greater 200 would be cause for concern (you know, the excess heat and transmissions - not a good combo concern). I believe owners manual spec is 180 degrees max while towing in tow mode. I initially thought that the trans cooler wasn't working. They replaced it under warranty and still the same result. All of my towing experience with that AS/TV combo was here in the deep south - no steep grades.

-Chris
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Old 04-09-2011, 11:24 AM   #11
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28' Ocean Breeze--Denali 6.2 or Expedition 5.4?

We've been towing our 2009 28' Intl Ocean Breeze (6100dry; 7300 GVWR) with a 2000 3/4ton Suburban with the 6.0, 4 spd, and 3.73. We tow all over the West and from CA to TX, so we occasionally encounter steep grades (7%) and heat of 90 plus. We are going to replace our TV this year, and have been looking at the Yukon XL 6.2/3.42/6sp but a knowledgable someone strongly recommended the Expedition EL 5.4/3.73/6sp instead, claiming a flatter torque curve even though it generates less torque and considerably less hp than either of the GMC offerings. I recently obtained a copy of the 6.2 torque curve and it is VERY flat, achieving what looks to be 380 of the 417 ft lb of torque (at the crankshaft) by 1800 rpm. But the 3.42 diff would reduce this by about 8 1/2 percent (compared to the 3.73) so that should translate to about 350 at 1800 rpm, and 382 (from 417) at 4200--which is what the 6.0 litre does with the 3.73. So theoretically, the larger engine with the smaller differential outputs the same torque to rear axle, and that may be why Chris is experiencing the same transmission fluid overheat that we saw in the 3/4 ton Suburban. We had been hoping that the move from 4 spd to 6 spd would solve this problem.

In the 3/4 ton Suburban, transmission temps hold under 200 except in the extreme conditions above. Like Chris, we've been told by our Chevy service guy that it's OK, but for safety, we've been flushing the transmission and replacing the fluid every time it happens (maybe twice a year). We'd like to avoid this, and it sounds like the Denali 6.2 with the 6sp is not going to do it.

Has anyone had experience with towing Airstreams of this weight with the Expedition EL's 5.4 and 6 speed in hot and/or steep conditions? Although that engine achieves peak torque at 3600 instead of both GMC's 4200, the peak is limited to 365 instead of 382. And the hp is only 310 against 355 and 368 (the 6.2 reduced by 8.5% because of the 3.42 differential instead of the 3.73).

If we didn't need 8 feet of storage for our sport utility gear, we'd be very seriously looking at the Ford F-150 with Ecoboost (365hp/420torque; 6 spd; 3.73), but with room in the cab for dog, we need at least a "supercab" which makes the truck with an 8' bed over 2' longer than the extended length SUV's--not a real practical option for us.
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