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Old 07-18-2013, 08:34 AM   #1
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Question Towing 27ft Airstream with Duramax Chevy Tahoe

I have an 09 Tahoe, upgraded rear-end to 14 bolt, 4.10 gears, stiffer rear suspension and an 06 LBZ Duramax swap with 6 speed Allison transmission. Power wise I'm convinced I can handle the weight. The rear question I have is will my wheel base be sufficient?
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:54 AM   #2
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You don' provide gvw of your trailer or tow ratings of your vehicle.
The vehicle will have a tow rating and a gross combined vehicle weight rating and a carrying capacity.
Airstreams have a high hitch weight and this is subtracted from the carrying capacity of the vehicle.
You are likely to be near your gross combined vehicle weight rating without adding lots of passengers or cargo.
I live and drive most of my miles in Colorado. Steep, sharp downhill corners are the biggest challenge for a marginal rig. A bumpy or rutted road adds to the sensation of being pushed by the trailer. I have a 25 foot Safari and a diesel Excursion and can feel these sensations in my rig.
If you don't have your trailer yet, I would consider a 25 foot one.
If you have your trailer and are determined to forge ahead, I would consider a premium hitch such as a Hensley and above all else, drive conservatively particularly on downhill stretches.
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:07 AM   #3
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Towing expert Andrew Thomson from Can Am Airstream tells us it is not the wheelbase alone that determines stability, but also the distance of the rear axle to the hitch ball. This distance on a Tahoe is relatively short making the Tahoe stable as for example, a Suburban with a longer wheelbase, but also a longer rear axle to hitch ball distance.

We use a 120" wheelbase Ram pickup which was "sort of okay" with a conventional hitch, but completely solid with a Hensley/ProPride style hitch (which through its geometry effectively reduces the axle-to-hitch ball distance to only a few inches).

doug k
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by handn View Post
You don' provide gvw of your trailer or tow ratings of your vehicle.
The vehicle will have a tow rating and a gross combined vehicle weight rating and a carrying capacity.
Airstreams have a high hitch weight and this is subtracted from the carrying capacity of the vehicle.
You are likely to be near your gross combined vehicle weight rating without adding lots of passengers or cargo.

Yes I know, those numbers should in theory be out the window. I don't have the same rear-suspension setup that is stock, I have modified sub-frame connectors and a few other additions for extra weight. For the past couple of years we've been over-landing with our vehicles. I could make some estimates. My concern is trying to understand wheelbase in regards to towing power.

Heck even my rotors and calipers are not stock, they're 14inch with SS lines to compensate for added rotational mass of larger tires. Even with the extra weight, my stopping distance is shorter than a stock Tahoe.

Money invested, so .....

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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
Towing expert Andrew Thomson from Can Am Airstream tells us it is not the wheelbase alone that determines stability, but also the distance of the rear axle to the hitch ball. This distance on a Tahoe is relatively short making the Tahoe stable as for example, a Suburban with a longer wheelbase, but also a longer rear axle to hitch ball distance.

We use a 120" wheelbase Ram pickup which was "sort of okay" with a conventional hitch, but completely solid with a Hensley/ProPride style hitch (which through its geometry effectively reduces the axle-to-hitch ball distance to only a few inches).

doug k
Thanks, this is the kind of information I was looking for. It's wheelbase in relation to stability that I didn't understand. Power and stopping are easy to fix.
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Old 07-18-2013, 01:22 PM   #5
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If you have raised the suspension this causes less stability due to the higher center of gravity. Suspension mods and tire changes will affect it as well. Do some research on towing vehicles to find the best setup; always keep handling and braking in emergency maneuvers in mind, such as avoiding another driver or a tire blowout. Extra weight lowers the payload capacity of the vehicle. A good weight distribution hitch will be needed. Many considerations.

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