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Old 07-03-2003, 05:22 PM   #1
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Towing a 25' Airstream with a Yukon?

Hi, I have a question about towing a 25' Safari or Classic with my Yukon Deanali. My wife and I are interested in getting a 25' Airstream. I have never towed anything, so I am concerned about the towing capability of my Yukon. It has the 6.0 liter engine, has the towing package with the extra transmission cooling, and is rated at a maximum tow weight of 8,200 lbs. We would prefer to have the Classic, however, it weighs approximately 1000 lbs more than the Safari. I want to have a sufficient tow capacity margin to be able to go through the mountains and maintain reasonable speed. I would appreciate any advice on this issue and would like to hear from other 25' airstram owners who are towing with a similar type vehicles.

Thanks in advance for your responses. This is a great forum.
Howard

P.S. I posted a similar message on this forum right about the time of the server crash, so forgive me for posting it again.
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Old 07-03-2003, 06:31 PM   #2
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Towing a 25' Airstream with a Yukon?

Greetings Howard!

Welcome to the Forums. There is something of a consensus among a signficant number of people that remaining below 80% or rated trailer towing capacity will result in a more pleasant towing experience. Since I like to make frequent trips through the Rocky Mountains, I have found that I feel more comfortable towing with 70% of rated trailer tow capacity - - my current Suburban is only at 60% of its rated capacity with the Overlander. At approximately 80% of rated tow capacity, my former Jeep Grand Wagoneer was able to maintain 45 MPH through the steepest of grades on the Interstate system in the Rocky Mountains - - my Suburban easily maintains 55 MPH on the same highways.

I think that you would find the performance of your Yukon Denali acceptable for most mountain driving with a maximum trailer weight in the neighborhood of 6,400 pounds fully loaded.

Kevin
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Old 07-03-2003, 07:40 PM   #3
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Thanks for your reply Kevin. I appreciate you sharing your experiences driving through the Rockies. The 70-80% rule seems to make good sense. Although my wife and I would prefer the Classic, I think that it may weigh a little too much for my vehicle and we would have a more comfortable towing experience with the 25' Safari. The dry weight on the Safari is around 4800 lbs and it has a GVWR of 6300 lbs. It is really helpful to hear from those who have towing experiences. Maybe some additional members will comment. Thanks again.

Howard
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Old 07-03-2003, 09:14 PM   #4
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Towing a 25' Airstream with a Yukon?

Greetings Howard!

I am sure that you will hear from some others. Patience may pay off as I am sure a number are still at the International Rally in Vermont (normally I would be at the International but wheel and tire problems with my Cadillac tow car kept me at home this year). The last full day of the rally in July 4, and a number of people stay over and leave on the 5th so it may be a few days before the International Rally attendees are back on-line.

Good luck with your decision!

Kevin
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Old 07-03-2003, 11:26 PM   #5
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You should have no trouble with your truck. Just make sure to get weight distrubution bars they will help you out alot also get a good brake control. If you still have worries go to your local dealer and the should be able to tell you if your truck will do the job.

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Old 07-04-2003, 05:39 AM   #6
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Re: Towing a 25' Airstream with a Yukon?

Quote:
Originally posted by HowardD
We would prefer to have the Classic, however, it weighs approximately 1000 lbs more than the Safari.
Greetings, Howard and Happy Independence Day!

The Yukon Denali is a gorgeous vehicle. I don't think you'll have any trouble towing a Safari with it. You said something that caught my attention though, and I thought I'd give you a little different perspective.

Tow vehicles are sort of 'disposable', but trailers tend to be around for a very long time. Your Airstream, if properly chosen for your tastes and lifestyle, will last you as long as you care to tow it. Your Denali, however, most likely will be traded off in a few years for something newer.

If you really like and prefer the Classic, and plan on keeping the trailer for many years, perhaps you should consider buying the trailer you really want, and then finding a proper tow vehicle for it. Although there is some expense involved in trading tow vehicles initially, it will probably be much less than trading trailers in a few years to get the one you really wanted to begin with.

We each have to do the math to see what works for our lifestyles, but sometimes a little different view helps.

Best of luck with your choice!

Roger
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Old 07-04-2003, 06:06 AM   #7
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I saw someone yesterday towing a 90's-vintage (I think) excella (30 ft?) with a yukon. We were moving right along on Rt. 89 in the mountains of VT....(that's a pretty rugged highway). I eventually passed him; he was going too slow ....when we went by, I noticed that the driver was fumbling around with a map....so he wasn't really paying attention. maybe thats why he was going so slow.....then again, maybe not.


oh, and Kevin: I was wondering if you were going to make it up there. Oh, well....maybe next year. Its going to be alot closer to you then, anyway.
I didn't walk up and down every single row of trailers there, but I thought it strange that I only spotted one Argosy in the place...over in the vintage area. thought I would have seen more than that.....I did see someone pulling their 60s vintage trailer with a 60's vintage Dodge Coronet. that was cool...
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Old 07-04-2003, 07:25 AM   #8
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Re: Towing a 25' Airstream with a Yukon?

Quote:
Originally posted by HowardD
I want to have a sufficient tow capacity margin to be able to go through the mountains and maintain reasonable speed. I would appreciate any advice on this issue and would like to hear from other 25' airstram owners who are towing with a similar type vehicles.

Howard, you can easily handle a 25' Safari. You might also consider a 27' Safari or as its known for 2004, a 28' Safari. There will be two models of the 28' size for 2004. One will be a slide out which is most likely too heavy for you. The non slide will be in your towing range.

My 27' unit, which is 27' 11", with my normal towing load (food, clothing, TV, etc) without water in the fresh or waste tanks comes in at 6,000 lbs. Again well within your towing capacity. You would be suprised what the additional length will give you.

Regards,

Jack
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Old 07-04-2003, 07:33 AM   #9
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I have a slightly different take on capacities and weights. An empty Classic weighs ~ 6,000 lbs. The maximum it is rated for is 7,300 lbs. So even at maximum weight (an extreme condition) you are still more than 10% below the maximum weight allowance (another extreme condition).

Now, there are other factors, of course. Like what kind of load you are carrying inside the Yukon. You need to stay under the combined weight limit.

But my point is, you are unlikely to routinely take your trailer loaded to its max limits. The 6.0 has a good reputation for its towing abilities, and unless you have really short gears (3.42 or something) I'd go for the Classic if that's what you want.

Mark
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Old 07-04-2003, 08:39 AM   #10
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You don't say that your Denali is a 130" XL, so I'll assume it's the 116" short model. The conservative guideline says you need 110" of wheelbase for a 20' trailer, and 4" of additional wheelbase for each additional foot of trailer. That puts the 116" at 21.5' and the 130" XL at 25' (the 25' Airstreams are actually a big longer than that).

If we say that rule is overly conservative, and many, including myself, believe that it is, and add 3' (tongue length) to the numbers it gives, that puts the 116" at 24.5' and the 130" XL at 28'. I definitely wouldn't recommend a 27 or 28 with a 116" Yukon.

When it comes to weight, ignore the so-called "tow rating." Fuel your truck up, load it with all the family and cargo you'll have in it when towing, and take it to a CAT Scale or other certified scale.

Subtract the actual weight from your truck's Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and that's how much tongue weight (and weight of hitch, sway control, etc) your truck can CARRY. That's wet and loaded tongue weight, roughly 10% of the wet and loaded trailer weight (using trailer GVWR is a good idea).

Subtract the actual weight from your truck's Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating (GCWR - see owners manual) and that's how much wet and loaded trailer weight your truck can PULL.

Look at the actual axle weights and compare them to your GAWR for front and rear. Most of the tongue weight will rest on the rear axle, but you'll try to distribute some of it to the front axle.

Weighing your truck is the way to know for yourself where you stand. Not overloading the carrying capacity (GVWR and GAWRs) is important for safety, and how far below the pulling capacity (GCWR) you are will determine how hard the truck has to work in the mountains. Many recommend not going over 80% of the GCWR, but I'm at 90% and the rig still pulls up hills fairly reasonably.

If you're going to stay with a 25' for a long time, the Classic is appealing, but if you may be selling it to upgrade to a larger model down the road, you may find the Safari easier to turn over since many folks looking for a Classic are also looking for a larger trailer, and many of those looking at a 25' are weight constrained.

Hope this helps,
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Old 07-04-2003, 08:53 AM   #11
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Hi Howard,

I have a '74 27' Overlander (4600# empty minus options). I tow it with a 1993 full size Blazer (pre Tahoe). It tows great! The only thing I was worried about originally was stability with the short wheel base, which has never become an issue. My Blazer has the old throttle body injected 350, with towing package (oil cooler, 3.70 rear end, etc.) and I have pulled it through the Cascades in Wa. several times with no problem. I think your rear end ratio is very important when setting up for towing -- the lower the better! Hope this helps!

Curt
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Old 07-04-2003, 09:47 AM   #12
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Wow, a lot of great replys to my post! I really appreciate your input guys. Roger, what you said has a lot of merit. My wife and I have pondered getting another vehicle with more towing capacity, however, we just bought the Yukon less that a year ago (before we were considering buying a TT) and we really love it. Purchasing big ticket items like vechicles (and travel trailers) is somewhat traumatic for me and not easily done. Although, if we purchased another vehicle we would get one with sufficient towing capacity for at leat 28' model. The extra length does have a lot of appeal.

Maurice, I like your approach to the weight issue. I had been trying to find the GCWR rating of my Yukon (not an XL, 3.73 axial ratio) by searching for a GMC trailering guide on the internet. The closest I could come was a GM Trailering Guide that implied that a GM vehicle (Tahoe, I believe) with the same engine (Vortec 6000) has a GCWR of 14000 lbs. Does this sound about right? Does anyone know where I might find the GCWR of my Yukon?

Thanks again for all your replys. Have a great July 4th.

Howard
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Old 07-04-2003, 10:25 AM   #13
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I'm pretty sure there's a net source for GM GCWRs, and think I've seen the URL posted. All I can tell you is that Ford keeps that info on it's fleet site.
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Old 07-04-2003, 10:38 AM   #14
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Towing a 25' Airstream with a Yukon?

Greetings Howard!

There are three places that I would look on your Yukon for its GCVWR. The first would be in the glovebox and/or console compartment for a decal with this information. The second place would be on the door post for the driver's door. The third place would be under the hood with the other id. plates. On my '99 GMC Suburban, the GCVWR is listed on a data label in the glovebox as well as on the original window sticker.

Kevin
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