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Old 08-23-2020, 01:30 PM   #1
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Kinnelon , New Jersey
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Towing 25ft airstream with 2018 Suburban

Hi all. I am considering purchasing a 25Ft globetrotter. Gross weight on that trailer is 7300. My 2018 Suburban Premier has a 6000 lb max towing capacity without the “max” trailering package, which changes the rear end to a 3.42 from the stock 3.08 gear ratio. I have the “regular” trailering package. GCWR is 12,000 lbs for my suburban without the “max” trailering package. Anyone have experience towing a 25ft late model airstream with a late model suburban? Thank you, Jason
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Old 08-28-2020, 07:59 AM   #2
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No expericance with a late model Burb or Airstream, I did however tow a 24' 4 place snowmobile trailer with 2-3 sleds and anywhere from 6-16 gear bags (luggage) for a commercial tour company. The back of the Burb was loaded with gear as well. 93' 5.7 no trailer pkg and whatever the highway gears were at the time. Dragged that trailer all over Northern Ontario, Quebec, the east coast. Was it legal, hell no, but with some common sense it was done for 6 winters before a 3/4 ton was purchased for tow duty. WD hitch, 10ply tires, class 3 hitch and a big ass tranny cooler and towing in D made it work.


If the only item on max tow is gear ratio ( same brakes, suspension, hitch, cooling package ) you could lock out O.D. gears and see if that works for you. Keep your speed down and make sure you have a good braking system on the trailer.
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Old 08-28-2020, 08:34 AM   #3
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Your trailer loaded typically and with empty water tanks is most likely going to be about 6500 lb. You will be near 7300 with the tanks full. i'm guessing loaded with gear, you will be approaching 13,000 GCVW unless you camp light.

I would look at brake rotor and lining differences and transmission cooler differences also, but it would be wise to consider a gear change to help the engine and transmission, and perhaps some rear spring support to improve passenger comfort. Others in your situation have reported brake and transmission heating on the steep long grades and at lower speeds (30-45 mph). You can get some high temperature heavy duty brake pads from summit racing if the brakes are a tad undersized vs. max tow (get the truck ones or the "Road" ones, don't get "road and track" as they will wear your rotors too fast and will be dusty and noisy).
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Old 08-28-2020, 09:20 AM   #4
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We first towed our 25' Flying Cloud with a '13 GMC Denali with a 6.2litre engine. It seemed OK in the beginning, but soon learned that the transmission would overheat, there weren't enough gears, and the short wheelbase made us feel like the tail wagging the dog. Maybe it will work for you, but it just wasn't a comfortable driving experience for us. We finally went with a '17 F150, 3.5 Ecoboost with towing package and 10 spd. transmission. Very happy with that combination.
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Old 08-30-2020, 10:02 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by abqdor View Post
We first towed our 25' Flying Cloud with a '13 GMC Denali with a 6.2litre engine. It seemed OK in the beginning, but soon learned that the transmission would overheat, there weren't enough gears, and the short wheelbase made us feel like the tail wagging the dog. Maybe it will work for you, but it just wasn't a comfortable driving experience for us. We finally went with a '17 F150, 3.5 Ecoboost with towing package and 10 spd. transmission. Very happy with that combination.
I towed a modest trailer with a 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe one time, and it was the worst tow experience I ever had, even compared to towing with a full size station wagon. That said I also towed with a Suburban and it was great with a 7500 lb trailer no WD but had airbags. I am convinced that the longer wheelbase made a huge difference (interestingly the Suburban Denali/XL wheelbase is similar to my Canyon which is a great TV within it's limits).
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Old 08-30-2020, 10:44 AM   #6
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Welcome Aboard👍

More info....
What?
...are the front and rear axle ratings(on door jam sticker), what engine, size and load ratings of the tires.
Hitch receiver rating.
You will definitely be at or even well above the stated 7300lb depending on how you load for camping with a tongue weight approaching or above 1000lb.

Disclaimer...we tow with an ancient '06 2500, 8600lb GVWR, 8.1L Burb. "the last Burb TV"😂

10/4 on the Summit Racing Brake up-grade.
We did it last Spring best improvement we've done without spending $4k.
No dust, no fade, no overheating....in 850mi towing, amazing improvement over anything else I've tried in 14 yrs of towing with the Burb.

Bob
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Old 09-09-2020, 07:58 AM   #7
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https://www.chevrolet.com/content/da...g?imwidth=1200
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Old 09-09-2020, 08:13 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by SYC2Vette View Post

Well, I do think the Suburban is a great TV, was better years ago before they wanted to force you to a pickup.....but

I would not take picture of a Burb towing what looks like a 28' Airstream as law. Those photos are for aesthetics only and are prob photoshopped at that....no indication of real world capacity. If that is a 28 footer, it weighs even more, tipping the scales at about 7600lbs GVWR, well above what the OP stated as the capacity stated for his rig.

You could swap out the gears. IIRC, the Burb has 130" wheelbase, more than adequate for a 25-28' trailer, but swapping gears is not for the timid.

I second the brake mods. I put on slotted on the front with high performance pads all around. Made the truck stop like it was a Corvette....relatively speaking.
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Old 09-09-2020, 08:37 PM   #9
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FWIW- I have a 2016 Suburban LTZ with the max trailering package (alas, no AS yet). That adds the 3.42 gears, integrated brake controller, external trans fluid cooler (it's the top half of the AC condenser in front of the radiator), and I believe the auto-leveling package for the rear suspension. Mine has the Magnaride shocks, and this also adds "air bags" to the rear- which are an air bladder around the shaft of the shock. At least that's what on my Suburban. YMMV

There is a thermostat between the transmission and fluid cooler. Once fully warmed up, it keeps the temp above 195, regardless of how big the cooler is.

Hope this helps some.

Brad
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Old 09-09-2020, 10:10 PM   #10
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Thanks all. My 2018 suburban premier does have the trans cooler and trans fluid temperature gauge. Also has the magnetic ride control with the auto leveling shocks, although I don’t think those shocks are the equivalent of the rear airbags. Pretty sure the brakes are the same as they would be with the max trailering package but point taken regarding the brake upgrade. I did speak to the dealer as well as a transmission shop about changing the gears to the 3.42. No one was willing to do it. They said it could screw up too many other things with the computer, etc. I thought changing the ring and pin wouldn’t be a major deal, but apparently it is (or they are just making it sound that way).
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Old 09-10-2020, 05:53 AM   #11
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Re: brake upgrade -- take a look at the Powerstop series of brake rotors and pads. They're significantly better than the stock set-up.
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Old 09-22-2020, 09:00 PM   #12
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We have a 2012 GMC Yukon XL Denali with HD trailering package, 3.42 ratio pulling a 29' 1986 Sovereign. We test out on the scales around 13 - 13,500 Lbs combined. It pulls well on flat ground and minor hills. The tranny gets warm but it works very well. Now going in the mountains is another story, especially when you are off the interstate. While going up smaller but steep mountain passes the engine and tranny got very hot. The trailer is being renovated and will get a tow vehicle upgrade before I go back in the mountains. I want to buy the 2021 GMC but my brain says you need more vehicle and will be going to a 2500 in diesel. Scott
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Old 09-22-2020, 10:18 PM   #13
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Yeah those winding two lane steep 45mph mountain grade are pretty but thy are hard on transmissions and engines what with all the off and on again. Those roads are the real test of technical towing capacity!
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Old 09-23-2020, 06:13 AM   #14
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Jason P M. You sound pretty knowledgeable. Without reading another word, my thought is that if you are asking, you probably shouldn’t do it.
Trading in isn’t cheap, but neither is dealing with a wreck or breakdown.
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Old 09-23-2020, 09:42 PM   #15
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Don - I tend to agree. I didn’t want to delay buying the trailer until I can replace the TV. So I will probably use my 2018 Suburban for a year or so, and then trade for the new model suburban with either the 6.2L 10 speed or 3L diesel. Thanks
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