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Old 07-28-2005, 08:37 AM   #1
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Post Tow vehicle question re: Suburban

Do I have to have a 2500 Suburban to pull a 68 Overlander dry weight 4170 or would a 1500 Suburban do. Used 1500's are easier to find. Thanks.

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Old 07-28-2005, 09:03 AM   #2
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1992 34' Limited
Grand Island , Nebraska
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 248
I used a 1994, 5.7L (pre-Vortec) 1500 Silverado pickup the first two years I pulled my Limited (scale weight, 8400#). It did OK, although it had to work real hard to do it. I had 3.73 gears and before I started to use it I had an auxiliary transmission cooler installed. If you have the 3.73 gears you ought to be OK with the Vortec engine. Definitely have an auxiliary transmission oil cooler installed before you pull.

'92 Limited 34ft (now sold); '96 Dodge Cummins 4X2, 5speed
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Old 07-28-2005, 09:34 AM   #3
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1964 26' Overlander
1974 31' Sovereign
Milton , ON
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Our 1999 Suburban 1500 does fine pulling our 1964 Overlander.
Grant Davidson
Milton, ON

1946 Spartan Manor
1954 Va-Ka-Shun-Ette
1964 Overlander
1965 Avion C-10 Truck Camper
1974 Sovereign
2005 F-350 SRW 4x4 crew cab long box
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Old 07-28-2005, 09:43 AM   #4
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2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
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New(er) 1/2 ton Suburbans are rated:

1/2-ton 2WD (lbs.) 7400 3.42
1/2-ton 2WD (lbs.) 8400 4.10
1/2-ton 4x4 (lbs.) 7200 3.42
1/2-ton 4x4 (lbs.) 8200 4.10

All have the 5.3L engine.

So the answer is yes a 1/2 would do and I would suspect that the older models pre 2000 would also have similar ratings. I would make sure that there was also a trans cooler on it or add one.

My feeling is that once you start to pass somewhere between the 6,000 to 7,000lb wet range the 3/4 ton does provide additional support items not found in the 1/2 tons.
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Old 07-28-2005, 09:53 AM   #5
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2004 30' Classic Slideout
Fenton , Missouri
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The other part of the equation is that apart from the engine many 3/4 ton trucks are better equipped, frame, brakes, shocks, heavy duty transmission, to deal with the riggors of heavy towing. My own experience with towing my previous '01 27' Safari with a 1/2 ton van and and 3/4 ton van showed a remarkable difference in suspension. Most noticable was dealing with dips in the road. You know those nasty dips where the trailer goes nose down then pitches back up pulling the back end of the tow vehicle up, then back down again. Nasty stuff.

White knuckle when I pulled with the 1/2 ton, just a small dip and then back in control with the 3/4 ton. Difference? Bigger springs and shocks. Now you can get into a case of overkill and too big a vehicle carries its own issues like transmitting road shock back to the trailer which is no good either. So while bigger is sometimes better, its all relative to what you are towning.

Interestingly enough, it wasn't that I was unhappy with the performace of my half ton van. I just didn't realize how much better a 3/4 ton vehicle would make it.

Jack Canavera
AIR #56
'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500,'14 Honda CTX 700
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Old 07-28-2005, 12:00 PM   #6
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1970 27' Overlander
Colo Spgs , Colorado
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 89

Have you thought of a vintage tow vehicle to tow the vintage trailer ????
I just got though contacting since I want to pull our vintage 1970 AS in the 2006's Grand Finalle Parade*. After I assured them I was going to use the event vehicle ( a 1 of 1,010 produced '62 Imperial Crown Coupe ) the Parade Gods said OK.

Rodger & Gabby
Colo Spgs

* I want to go through the parade and then hit the hwy for home. To go through the parade and then hook up the AS would put me in the middle of the night ( & Nev ).
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Old 07-28-2005, 01:42 PM   #7
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1972 31' Sovereign
Oakdale , Minnesota
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Originally Posted by bdogz
Do I have to have a 2500 Suburban to pull a 68 Overlander dry weight 4170 or would a 1500 Suburban do. Used 1500's are easier to find. Thanks.
We pull our's with a 2001 1500 Suburban with no concerns.
72 Sovereign: L couch, mid-twin, rear-bath
"When you come to a fork in the road, take it"
"It was impossible to get a conversation going; everybody was talking too much."
"If you don't know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else." - Yogi Berra

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Old 07-28-2005, 02:05 PM   #8
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2002 31' Classic
Wheaton , Illinois
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We towed a 31ft excella 1984 vintage with a 1500 5.7 and even a standard read-end ratio.

No problems with 40,000 miles from coast to coast.


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