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Old 04-02-2015, 07:28 PM   #1
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1972 27' Overlander
bremerton , Washington
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Tow vehicle mod on an older Suburban

I have a 1969 1/2 ton suburban. I have touble towing, and stopping my 3 ton air stream. What would anyone suggest I do? Getting rid of this truck is not an option, what can we do to improve this trucks use?
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Old 04-02-2015, 07:39 PM   #2
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Any idea what the rated towing capacity is of your Suburban? So far, all I can offer is to make sure the brakes on the trailer are as good as they can be to help get it stopped.

What engine, transmission, and rear end ratio?
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Old 04-02-2015, 07:52 PM   #3
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1972 27' Overlander
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thanks for your quick response. I have been told that this truck should be able to handle it. But I've also been told switch to a 3/4ton.
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Old 04-02-2015, 07:55 PM   #4
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1972 27' Overlander
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I have been told that there are some mod's that can improve it's towing and stopping. what do you think? Is it possible?
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Old 04-02-2015, 08:02 PM   #5
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You first indicated that you won't get rid of the 'Burb. My 1st inclination is keep the 'Burb, get a 3/4-ton to tow the trailer. By the time you upgrade the 'Burb, you could buy a decent used 3/4-ton vehicle. If you're going to keep the 'Burb, I don't think you'd go wrong with upgrades......

Oh, what to do???
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Old 04-02-2015, 08:03 PM   #6
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1972 27' Overlander
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I know there are things I can do to upgrade it. I just need some advice about how to go about doing it, and whether I can do this without spending a whole lot of money. Has anyone done this? And was it successful?
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Old 04-02-2015, 08:07 PM   #7
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Thank you for that info. My wife and I just bought it. We thought that it would be really cool pulling a vintage air stream with a vintage truck, from the same era.
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Old 04-02-2015, 08:12 PM   #8
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I know that my brakes will need modified. But I'm not sure how to go about boosting my engines horsepower. Any suggestions?
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Old 04-02-2015, 08:16 PM   #9
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I agree, it's a neat combination. Seems like the easiest "upgrade" would be a rear-end ratio change. Is the 'Burb struggling just to get going? Are your trailer brakes good?
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Old 04-02-2015, 08:57 PM   #10
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Give us a little more info on the TV. Engine, transmission, rear axle ratio??? How many miles, and is it worn out? Do the trailer brakes work? All of these items are importand information needed to give you any help or guidance. Chris
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Old 04-02-2015, 09:37 PM   #11
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Just how tired is your 'Burb? I also have a 27' Overlander, a '74, when we got it, I had a '78 1/2 ton Suburban with a well worn 350 and TH 350 trans to tow it with. Towed it from Tacoma to Bothell, then from there to Twisp, the only place it struggled was going over Blewett Pass. Since then, I've had 3 other 'Burbs as tow vehicles, a '79 3/4 ton and an '88 1/2 ton, both with 350's and automatics, and my current TV is Suburban #4, a '96 3/4 ton with a 454 and auto trans (don't like manuals for towing). The current beast doesn't even know it's there, but none of the others had any issues, either, and they were all stock trucks. If yours is struggling, there's something wrong that needs to be addressed, before you start throwing money at "upgrades". Properly working trailer brakes and a good brake controller are also very important. Good luck!

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Old 04-02-2015, 09:58 PM   #12
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We have a '96 K1500 Suburban with a similar towing capacity. Our Argosy tips the scales at 3800# give or take dry weight with an additional allowable of 2400# for a total of 6200 GVW...well under the Suburban's capabilities. Our Sovereign is about 400-500# heavier dry weight with a similar GVW...still well within our TV's capabilities. I added spring assist rear shocks to help the towing stance.

What kind of gear ratio & transmision do you have?
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Old 04-03-2015, 01:50 AM   #13
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Disc brake conversion and swap in a higher HP engine with a trans that can handle the higher HP and towing.

You could get a more specific answer if you told us what engine and trans you have now.
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Old 04-03-2015, 06:02 AM   #14
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Are you using a brake controller? What rear ratio on the burn? Peace,jim
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