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Old 07-21-2008, 12:24 PM   #1
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Towing vehicle HEEELP

We have a 67 Overlander. My husband left Arkansas in our 2002 4.3 liter vortec v-6 Chevy Blazer to go to our place in Colorado to pick up the Airstream. We are now getting feed back that the trailer will be too heavy for the truck. We recently purchased this truck to get a more reliable tow vehicle. Did we make a mistake? (BTW our old truck has 265K miles on it, we thought it was best to get something newer)
Let me know what yopu think.
Carol
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Old 07-21-2008, 12:45 PM   #2
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A Blazer really has too short a wheelbase to be a capable tow vehicle for a large trailer. The trailer will end up forcing the Blazer around on the road, and make for a very uncomfortable situation at best. The 4.3, while a good engine, is not really powerful enough to be able to drag a heavy trailer around. We towed a 20' 3000+ pound Argosy with a 4.0 liter Ranger, and you needed an hourglass to measure acceleration times. Your Overlander is easily 1000 pounds heavier than the trailer we towed. We had a 2500 series Chevrolet van with a 5.7 to tow our Overlander, and many times I wished we had more muscle under the hood.
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Old 07-21-2008, 01:53 PM   #3
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I agree, The Blazer is probably not enough truck. Do you know the weight of your trailer? You didn't say what your old tow vehicle was. How did it compare to the Blazer?

Roger
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Old 07-21-2008, 04:06 PM   #4
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Actually, I think the 4.3 would be OK from a power standpoint, because an empty '67 Overlander would only weight about 4200 lbs. Tow rating is likely to be over 5000 lbs, which looks impressive. The real problem, as has already been noted, would be stability and handling.

I'm assuming it's one of the last of the old small Blazers - 4wd with a solid rear axle. It has a short wheelbase, a narrow track, a high centre of gravity and soft, unstable tires.

You didn't say whether it's a 2 door (100" wheelbase) or 4 door (107" wheelbase). Rear track, however, is only 55" - narrower than a Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla. For a tow vehicle, the specifications can't get much worse. Any old half-ton pickup with good tires and brakes would be a better choice, I'm afraid.

If you are committed to using the Blazer, look at getting narrower, stiffer tires (perhaps light truck (LT) tires), and possibly a Hensley (or other "pivot point projection") hitch.
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Old 07-21-2008, 04:23 PM   #5
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If you are committed to using the Blazer, look at getting narrower, stiffer tires (perhaps light truck (LT) tires), and possibly a Hensley (or other "pivot point projection") hitch.
For sure. I believe the Hensley promo video shows one of these Blazers towing a 27'ish Airstream. It was Hensley equipped.
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Old 07-21-2008, 04:59 PM   #6
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Thanks for the input. To answer some questions our other towing vehicles are a 94 Chev pu with a 350 and 265K miles and a 88 Chevy Suburban with a 454 and only about 20K on the new engine.BUT the sub is on its 5th engine, it has been a maintenance nightmare. (She pulls likle a dream when she is running though)
The Blazer is a 4door 2wheel drive with a reese receiver hitch.
I have done most of my trailer pulling with a horses trailer, not much rv-ing. It will be fun to pull a load that doesn't walk around : ).
Carol
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Old 07-21-2008, 05:08 PM   #7
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Not having the horsey load shift will make you very happy. It is a little disconcerting to have your trailer suddenly move your truck around on a straight, flat road (not to mention other types of roads!)...!

Susan
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Old 07-21-2008, 06:50 PM   #8
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I have towed a 73 31ft Sovereign (approx 7000#) with a 4.3 Chevy Astro. I went no faster than 50. I only went about 75 miles. I was nevous. I had no problems.

I would avoid ever doing it again.

TGardner
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Old 07-22-2008, 11:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ridgerunner View Post
The Blazer is a 4door 2wheel drive with a reese receiver hitch.
Two wheel drive is a plus in this case - a lower centre of gravity will help.
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Old 07-22-2008, 12:02 PM   #10
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Two wheel drive is a plus in this case - a lower centre of gravity will help.
And the reduced weight of not having the transfer case and live front axle will help with towing capacity, as it will weigh less (there's more weight left for the trailer). Depending on what the issues are with the Suburban, I would be inclined to roll the dice with it. If an engine blows, you coast off the road and call a towtruck. If you are in the Blazer, and the trailer starts swaying around, all the towtrucks in the world won't help you until you come to rest.
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Old 07-22-2008, 12:10 PM   #11
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I have to say these guys are right on. I tow my Overlander around with a '91 Caprice wagon now. The wheel base and track are about as small as I want to be. If you have a Sub, I would put my money into bringing it back to life and up to snuff.

One day I would like to tow with a Suburban.....
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Old 07-22-2008, 12:22 PM   #12
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Years ago when we started towing, we had a jeep cherokee for a TV, it we pulled our 25 ft Holiday rambler to Yellowstone and through Utah and Colorado on US40. It wasn't ideal for the job, but we didn't get in a hurry (50mph max) and were careful to keep the brakes cool on the downgrades (35mph) After we traded the Holiday for a 31ft Excella and took a trip to the Grand Canyon (we called that combination the TermiteQueen) we knew we needed to get a bigger TV to increase the safety factor.
Not an ideal setup, but CO to Ark is all downhill, right? Make sure the trailer brake system is in tiptop shape and put some ballast in the TV. Dump all the water from the tanks in the AS and keep it slow and steady
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Old 07-22-2008, 01:32 PM   #13
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Thanks for all of the input. The trailer is as empty as it can get. ( i want to leave the fixtures : ) ) There is no hurry getting here so I think it will be ok. Before we leave on our vacation trip we will reassess the Suburban issue.
The Sub (Large Marge as we call her) is a dream to drive. 9 mpg with or without a loaded trailer. I have hauled a stock trailer full of horses and actually forgotten its back there, Marge don't mind!
Carol
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Old 07-26-2008, 09:24 PM   #14
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We have decided that Keith will tow the empty trailer here to Arkansas from Colorado with the Blazer and then we will switch to the Suburban for the family trip. We had the air conditioner fixed in the Burb which was a major concern for traveling in August!
Thanks again for the help. I can't wait to be 'streamin down the highway.
Carol
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