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Old 02-22-2006, 05:00 PM   #1
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Towing with a Escalade ESV or a Yukon XL Denali

Anyone have thoughts on twoing with an Escalade ESV (I promise it won't be pearl colored or have spinning rims) or a Yukon XL Denali?

Towing a 28 CCD, GVWR 7300, in Texas. Need TV to also be my daily driver, and have three kids under 6 . . .

Any input will be appreciated! JR
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Old 02-26-2006, 12:05 AM   #2
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I hope that the lack of response to this post doesn't mean there is no one out there towing with a Yukon.... I have a 25' Tradewind and I am considering one because I have to have an SUV. I would love to hear from someone who is currently towing with one.
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Old 02-26-2006, 12:32 AM   #3
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Seems to me I saw posts from Yukon users in tow threads some time back. I also am very interested in this thread. Likewise I am looking for a tow vehicle for a 25' 7300# Airstream. We have looked at Yukons so far but not driven one.
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Old 02-26-2006, 09:09 AM   #4
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Tow Vehicle Capacity

Welcome to the Forums Rosie39j!

Regardless of dead towing weight specs it always seems like the spec you will run short on first is the Tow Vehicle (TV) load capacity. Per the manufacturer, exceed this number and you lose too much ability in normal steering/braking, emergency maneuverability/braking and vehicle durability. This is about safety, not whether you can "tow in the mountains" or whatever. Let's look closer at your situation.

There are many sources but let's use Airstream's FAQ page as a primer (sections on tongue weight & weight ratings are relevant). My GMC Sierra's owners manual says virtually the same thing, including this post's emphasis on never exceeding the TV load capacity.

I'll start with the Yukon XL because I found the numbers easily on their website. For this exercise I am going to suspend looking at any GCWR, tow capacity, and trailer GVWR ratings. The TV has its own GVWR; subtract empty curb weight from GVWR and you get a number called payload. The Yukon XL Denali specs (Capacities at the bottom) gives you a payload of 1446 pounds. That is too low for a 28' as we'll see soon. The Yukon has numbers of 1522 & 1590 for two different models. The Yukon XL has payloads of 1731, 1695, 2828 and 2526 pounds for four different models. (Is the Yukon XL a badgemate of the Suburban? Seems so from the pics...)

Escalade numbers are 1445# for 2WD and 1349# for AWD.

Next step -- hitch weight. Hitch (or tongue) weight will be one of the loads placed on the TV and is a big reason why we went to the TV numbers first. Airstream CCD specs say the tongue weight for a 28' CCD is 880 pounds w/o options or variable weight. A common option is a spare tire* which is stowed at the trailer front just below and behind the A-frame; point is that not much of this optional weight is borne by the axles. Other big front loads that must add to the hitch weight are 60 pounds of LP in the tanks and your weight distribution gear and hitch bar/ball. Your empty trailer hitch weight will be something over 1000 pounds! Real world with minor personal gear in the trailer will be? Nothing beats actual weight. There will be an effective weighing technique with lever arms and a bathroom scale in the owners manual. I'll feed Rudy's brisket to your whole family if it's under 1100#. (I'm from S.A.)

Back to the tow vehicle -- you will need something that will safely bear the weight of your entire growing family onboard and the hitch weight. I truly wouldn't want to have five people in a 25' SS. A 28-footer has a lot of nice space. Corner beds are hard to put up with after you've spent this money! You will need to step up to something beefy to tow it though. Even the 2WD Yukon XL 1/2-ton capacity of 1731# is a tight call -- but you will have to make the decision yourself. Be very wary of the assurances of salespeople unless they can apply the above facts in detail! I think you will have to actually test drive something in this load range to determine if it will also suit you for your daily use. I'd think diesel would be too hard for most family in-town situations...
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Minor mop-up: No real world family TV-trailer combo will approach the GCWR of the two units together. There are heavy load instances where one could tow at GCWR, but knowing hitch weight and limiting TV payload are the only ways to do it!

* The spare tire. Needed? For a two axle trailer the manual will say you can take off one tire and tow at 45 mph or below to get into town for repair. Moi? I have a spare .

That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it. I'm sure you will enjoy the adventure!!
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Old 02-26-2006, 12:10 PM   #5
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Thank you for that informative post Bob! I appreciate the time. If I am looking at your numbers correctly, it seems as though the Yukon could be big enough for my 1974 25' Tradewind with a dry weight of 4190 and hitch weight of 630. right? Pam BTW, sooo many people will be happy when I finally stop talking about this and buy my tow vehicle, including this forum I am sure! Thanks, again
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Old 02-26-2006, 01:12 PM   #6
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Pam -- I would agree you are reading it correctly. Your '74 probably already has WD gear on it but we'd still have to count that as an aftermarket option. With LP in the tanks and personal gear aboard you could be as low as 800# hitch weight. Nothing beats actually putting a scale under your jack, but even 800# leaves you a lot of overhead for people and gear in a Yukon -- assuming you aren't hauling a load of bricks or three mastiffs inside.

Even my '74 Argosy manual has a diagram of the bathroom scale technique for weighing the tongue. I'd better scan it sometime...

Until Yukon owners pipe up I might suggest entering that model into a Search field and seeing what you come up with. To the road!!
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Old 02-26-2006, 03:42 PM   #7
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Yukon XL 3/4 Ton

You could easily meet your payload needs by going with a 3/4 ton Yukon XL, or a 3/4 ton Suburban. I don't believe the Denali model or the Escalade comes in a 3/4 ton. But you can really dress up a 3/4 ton Suburban or Yukon XL with leather, DVD player, and lots of other goodies to make it a very comfortable SUV.

The payload for a 3/4 ton Suburban is 2526 lbs. You could handle the 1100 lb hitch weight calculated by Canoe Stream and inside the Suburban carry 4 adults, 4 kids, and still have room for the dogs.

Payload is one of a couple of key criteria to satisfy. Next look at the engine towing capacity and the various weight calculations. Last think about the wheel base and ask other users of Suburbans if the 130" wheel base will be enough to control the 28' Airstream.

- Mike
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Old 02-26-2006, 04:17 PM   #8
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The Caddy ESV has a 7800lb tow rating, minus passengers, cargo, fuel, etc. A 28' CCD has a GVWR of 7300. If you maintain the 80% capacity, you will be close if not over where the ESV will be comfortable, so I would say no. Maybe a 25' if you don't have a lot of passengers.

The Denali XL is rated at 7900 and would most likely have you in the same place as the Caddy.

Going the to the 3/4 ton and 4.10 gears would for sure get you in the area you'd want to be in with a 28' coach. Thing is that when you go to the 3/4 ton, yea, it's not as cream puffed up as the Caddy or the Denali, but it gets it were it counts, better trans, bigger brakes, more robust hubs, better differential and more than enough to tow a fully loaded 28' CCD and a truck load of passengers, cargo safely.
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Old 02-26-2006, 04:24 PM   #9
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Exclamation

'cept the Caddy ESV will only carry one adult and 1.5 children once you hitch up to a 28-er.

It wasn't hard to cream puff my 3/4-ton Sierra -- leather captains chairs, 6 CD changer. I just don't have JR's need for a ceiling dropdown DVD player!
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Old 02-26-2006, 04:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canoe stream
'cept the Caddy ESV will only carry one adult and 1.5 children once you hitch up to a 28-er.
Agreed....same with the Denali too.
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Old 02-26-2006, 04:51 PM   #11
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Say Eric -- Please look at Mike's post about 4 back. I should not comment when we have 'burb pilots at hand. Mike also left it for Suburban owners to comment on the wheelbase issue. [How's that for a soft curve right over the plate? Post away!]
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Old 02-26-2006, 05:26 PM   #12
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You know, I'm not sure about the wheelbase with a 28'. I think it might be OK. It's fine on the 25' 11" Safari which is only about 2' less than the 28' being talked about.

Of course there are a few complaints we never hear from folks:

The wheelbase it too long for towing my trailer
It has too much power
The brakes are too good
The trans is too strong
It tows too well on hils and in the mountains
I need to upgrade my 3/4 truck to a 1 ton or 2 or 3 ton truck.

You typically hear folks that get the wrong tow vehicle either rationalize the choice (as I and others have done) or say:

It's great on flat terrain, but hills and mountains.....
My trans and/or engine overheats in hills and mountains....why?
In higher than normal cross winds, it is a white knuckle driving exp, but hey, how often do we have higher than normal cross winds (for me those pesky higher than normal cross winds seemed to appear every 3rd or 4th tow--maybe I was just unlucky)?
The specs say it can tow 6000lbs, you mean I need to take into account passengers, cargo and fuel too?
It's close enough.

I don't always want to sound like the guy that says you need a Peterbilt, but really, when one starts to get to 25' and larger, you have to really start to pay attention to all the little details and do your homework, because some things that are done aren't safe to do....how do I know? I did those unsafe things and learn't me my lessons real good.

Of course if you have the $$$ to do what you did Bob, great. I know you have a bit more than you need, but refer to the list of complaints we never hear from folks that have a setup that meets and exceeds the need.
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Old 02-26-2006, 07:07 PM   #13
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Lightbulb Avalanche 2500

I hope I'm not steering him into anything unexpected, but here's a member towing a 28' CCD with a 3/4-ton GM product: jordandvm [Please go to pages 2 & 3 of his pics for more...]

His pics include my favorite photos of the Glacier N.P. area!! I have PM-ed him suggesting he look in on this thread.

BTW -- Eric's mention of Peterbilt makes me think of Don in E Texas .... . Okay now folks -- leave Don alone please. He didn't ask for my acting like a 2-year old!
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Old 02-28-2006, 12:28 AM   #14
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Thanks!

I just returned from a trip and was pleasantly surprised to see all of your postings - thanks to Bob and everyone for the thoughts. My math on the GVWR had come out that same way, but was wondering if that bad news was the final answer. I think you've confimred that. I've had my share of Suburbans, and was hoping to not have to buy another in 3/4 ton trim, especially with the new model year coming out (nothing like free fall depreciation!) but that looks like a pretty good option - unless I can talk my wife into the new Dodge Mega Cab 2500 with the Deisel... as ya'll correctly point out, you can never be over-powered...

It really is amazing how these truck dealers will just look you in the eye and lie to you about their towing capacity, ex. the Ford F-150 at 9800 lbs towing - no way!

Bob, glad to see you're a fellow brisket afficianado - may our paths cross at Rudy's sometime..... JR
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