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Old 10-17-2017, 12:28 AM   #1
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Will my 2011 Yukon pull a 20FQ

Hello, I am brand new to this site & travel trailers. I am considering the purchase of the ORV 20FQ. I am confused whether I can use my 2011 Yukon as the Tow Vehicle. Here are the specs off my labels on my vehicle & the original invoice:

Curb Weight: 5817 lbs
Total Gross Payload: is not to exceed 1496 lbs
GVWR: 7100 lbs ( I believe this is the Curb Wt. + Payload Wt. = GVWR)

My Factory installed Hitch has a sticker with this information - Hitch Ratings:
Max Trailer Wt.: Wt. Carrying = 5000 lbs AND Wt. Distributing = 10,000 lbs
Max Tongue Wt.: Wt. Carrying = 600 lbs AND WT. Distributing = 1,000 lbs

My Yukon came equipped with:
6 Speed Auto Transmission with Tow/Haul Mode
Stabilitrak-Stability Control w/Traction control system
Trailering Receiver/connector
3.42 Rear Axle Ratio

If the GVWR is 7100 of the TV & the Max Trailer Wt on the 20FQ is 6800 lbs - TOTAL of 13,900 lbs. I believe this is called the Gross Combination Rate Rating (GCWR).

I checked the GMC website on the 2011 Trailering Guide and it listed TWO different maximum GCWR weights - one at 11,500 lbs & the other at 14,000 lbs, with no explanation on how to determine which one is correct to use (so frustrating).

Is there anyone who understands how to do the calculation for my vehicle to determine the maximum Trailer weight i can safely tow?

I would sure hate to purchase the ORV 20FQ and find out my Yukon could not handle the job well. I want to be able to go on mountain roads and be safe. Thank you to any who took the time to read this question.
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Old 10-17-2017, 12:53 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMac View Post
Hello, I am brand new to this site & travel trailers. I am considering the purchase of the ORV 20FQ. I am confused whether I can use my 2011 Yukon as the Tow Vehicle. Here are the specs off my labels on my vehicle & the original invoice:

Curb Weight: 5817 lbs
Total Gross Payload: is not to exceed 1496 lbs
GVWR: 7100 lbs ( I believe this is the Curb Wt. + Payload Wt. = GVWR)

My Factory installed Hitch has a sticker with this information - Hitch Ratings:
Max Trailer Wt.: Wt. Carrying = 5000 lbs AND Wt. Distributing = 10,000 lbs
Max Tongue Wt.: Wt. Carrying = 600 lbs AND WT. Distributing = 1,000 lbs

My Yukon came equipped with:
6 Speed Auto Transmission with Tow/Haul Mode
Stabilitrak-Stability Control w/Traction control system
Trailering Receiver/connector
3.42 Rear Axle Ratio

If the GVWR is 7100 of the TV & the Max Trailer Wt on the 20FQ is 6800 lbs - TOTAL of 13,900 lbs. I believe this is called the Gross Combination Rate Rating (GCWR).

I checked the GMC website on the 2011 Trailering Guide and it listed TWO different maximum GCWR weights - one at 11,500 lbs & the other at 14,000 lbs, with no explanation on how to determine which one is correct to use (so frustrating).

Is there anyone who understands how to do the calculation for my vehicle to determine the maximum Trailer weight i can safely tow?

I would sure hate to purchase the ORV 20FQ and find out my Yukon could not handle the job well. I want to be able to go on mountain roads and be safe. Thank you to any who took the time to read this question.
7100 X 15% = 1065. 1496 - 1065 = 431-hitch weight 100 leaves little (330#) for everyone and everything in the TV. Over hitch capacity to start and may easily go over payload. Check your rear axel and tire weight carrying capacity. Can you do it ~~ sure, BUT should you? I don't think it will be a fun towing experience. If you decide to TRY, get rid of the P rated tires for LT tires and an Equalizer 4 point anti sway hitch. I'm not going to ride with you either. JMO..... and worth what you paid for it.
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Old 10-17-2017, 02:12 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Captn John View Post
7100 X 15% = 1065. 1496 - 1065 = 431-hitch weight 100 leaves little (330#) for everyone and everything in the TV. Over hitch capacity to start and may easily go over payload. Check your rear axel and tire weight carrying capacity. Can you do it ~~ sure, BUT should you? I don't think it will be a fun towing experience. If you decide to TRY, get rid of the P rated tires for LT tires and an Equalizer 4 point anti sway hitch. I'm not going to ride with you either. JMO..... and worth what you paid for it.
John, Thanks so much for your reply and information - I am still confused. I would like to give some more information and see if there is hope for my Yukon or not.:

The specs on the ORV 20FQ show the Dry Hitch Wt @ 485 lbs and the Dry Wt of the TT @ 4800 lbs.

The GAWR FRT = 3200 lbs & the GAWR RR = 4100 lbs ( I assume this is the axle weight ratings you were asking for).

My understanding was that i must keep the GVWR below 7100 lbs. This would leave me 1496 lbs to load in the Yukon. I was under the impression that the Tongue Wt was approximately 10% of the TT Max Wt. of 6800 = 680 lbs. Subtract that from the 1496, would leave us about 800 lbs. I do not see us in going much over 5-600 lbs, leaving us 2-300 lbs below the 7100 lb limit.

Does this change the calculation or am I just not understanding?

Also, as I mentioned, i am new to all of this and i am not sure what the abbreviation "JMO" means. And your comment; "...and worth what you paid for it." Sure would appreciate clarifying this for me.

Finally, just want to say you are a good man to help a neophyte out like me - Really appreciate it.
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Old 10-17-2017, 08:06 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMac View Post
...
I was under the impression that the Tongue Wt was approximately 10% of the TT Max Wt. of 6800 = 680 lbs. Subtract that from the 1496, would leave us about 800 lbs. I do not see us in going much over 5-600 lbs, leaving us 2-300 lbs below the 7100 lb limit.
...
Both trailers I've owned have closer to 15% tongue weight.
10% wouldn't tow very well.

Trailer dry weight is usually without options, batteries, propane and water.
But you can try adding 1200# (from personal experience) to it, to get 6000# total, and maybe with luck you'll only have 14% TW, that will give you 840# tongue weight.
Maybe that will work.

I suggest you load up your Yukon ready to camp with all your people and weigh it, total and each axle. I use CAT scales, you can find their locater on the web. Get the actual, remaining payload available for the trailer's tongue weight. Also check the rear GAW versus the rear GAWR.make sure there's enough room there.

Personally I would be willing to try it and see how it goes. You could be close to your truck's limits. LT-E tires, stiffer shocks, a very good weight distribution hitch will all help. You will want to familiarize yourself with CAT scales and proper weight distribution hitch setup.

Other folks don't like to tow close to their limits. It's really what you feel comfortable with.
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Old 10-17-2017, 09:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMac View Post
I checked the GMC website on the 2011 Trailering Guide and it listed TWO different maximum GCWR weights - one at 11,500 lbs & the other at 14,000 lbs, with no explanation on how to determine which one is correct to use (so frustrating).
I haven't seen the information you are referring to but its typical of most. The variations are due to how they can be built such as rear axle ratios, 2wd vs 4wd, engine size, options, model, etc., etc.. What matters most is the data specific to your vehicle. The data found on the placard attached to your Yukon.

The same can be said for the trailer. It's placard shows how it left the factory. The placard however doesn't include any dealer add ons so its unloaded weight could differ slightly. So ask before you buy, don't assume.

Rather than wondering it would be best to find a trailer you are interested in and look at the data placard on that particular trailer and ask if the dealer has added any additional options like solar panels, etc. then do the calculations to see if you can pull it.
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Old 10-17-2017, 12:14 PM   #6
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Our 20FQ is an '13, so it's a bit heaver than later models. Brochure weights were 400# lighter than door sticker weights, so our 4200# was really 4600#. This was at the factory dry and empty. When I drove over scales the it was an eye opener. The trailer axels were 6138#. I had swapped out the 3500# axels for 5200#and the TV is a 1-ton Dodge so it was hot worms to me.

Consider this: Is there a wife who packs light ?
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Old 10-17-2017, 06:17 PM   #7
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We had a 20 FQ and a 2004 Buick Rainer. Only towed once with the Buick with no problems. Short trip and bumper hitch only. The Buick did have auto level so that would make a difference. Usually towed with GMC 2500 duramax with zero problems. Installed a Blue Ox because I'm snake bit over trailer sway. I'm sure it would have been fine without the hitch. Towed over 5000 miles with a trailer and Honda side by side behind the trailer. I'd definitely use an equalizer hitch and give it a try. The water tank is below the bed and when full puts a lot of weight on the hitch. Don't be afraid to vary the water level to get your best tow.
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Old 10-17-2017, 09:31 PM   #8
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If you look at the worst case condition where the TT is loaded to max (7500 lbs with the Off Road 4X package) then you would indeed have around 1100 lbs of that on the tongue. However with a more realistic approach you can start with the 4700 lbs and 485 + 100 lbs (batteries and LPG). So call it 600 lbs. As someone said the fresh water tank is in the front of the unit so traveling with a full tank will add to your tongue wt.
As with most ORV units the 20FQ has that nice pass thru storage compartment in the front - I know I have lots of stuff in there .

The reason we are all starting with tongue wt is that with most SUVs you will run out of payload before you run out of "towing capacity". SUVs typically have less payload than their pickup equals.

Is your Yukon the small one or the big one (Tahoe vs Suburban in Chevy) There were also three engine choices the 5.3, a 6.0 and a 6.2 I also believe there was an XL version with a 2500 or 3/4 T rating that got the 6.0L and the Denali had the 6.2L. There could also be several rear axle ratios that would explain the different GVWRs. And yes the CGWR is the most the truck and trailer combined can weigh.

I probably would not go any bigger than the 20FQ with your Yukon - I had a 24' long AF that had a similar weights I towed it with a 99 Tahoe and it was a handful. I was so glad to get a 3/4T truck.
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Old 10-18-2017, 04:20 PM   #9
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Thanks Randy for your post on my question. My Yukon is a 2WD SLT 5.3V8 with 3.42 Rear Axle Ratio.

My Factory installed Hitch has a sticker with this information - Hitch Ratings:
Max Trailer Wt.: Wt. Carrying = 5000 lbs AND Wt. Distributing = 10,000 lbs
Max Tongue Wt.: Wt. Carrying = 600 lbs AND WT. Distributing = 1,000 lbs
I am not sure how to understand the ranges in these ratings - comments would be appreciated.

My Yukon came equipped with:
*6 Speed Auto Transmission with Tow/Haul Mode
*Premium Smooth Ride Suspension
*Differential, Locking Rear
*Stabilitrak-Stability Control w/Traction control system
*Trailering Receiver/connector
*Heavy Duty Trailering Package includes:
**Engine Oil Cooler
**H.D. Transmission Oil Cooler
**Increased Capacity Cooling Fans & Radiator

GMC guidelines say that my Yukon, as equipped, is rated to pull up to 8500 lbs!!! So I am assuming that as long as i keep the Trailer below 8500 lbs I should be fine on the trailer weight - of course I expect to keep the weight below 6,000 lbs, as you suggest.

GMC says my Curb Weight: 5817 lbs and Total Gross PAYLOAD is not to exceed 1496 lbs, for a total GVWR of 7100 lbs. So as you say, the BIG issue is the PAYLOAD WEIGHT and being sure not to exceed it. My 10 lb dog, wife & I are 300 lbs plus maximum of another 200 lbs in gear etc., for a total of 500 lbs towards the PAYLOAD. 1,496 - 500 = 1,000 lbs left over for TONGUE WEIGHT. So if I assume a loaded Trailer weight of 6,000 lbs x 15% for a Maximum TONGUE WT. = 900 lbs... 900 TW + 500 Payload = 1400 lbs Therefore i am below my maximum PAYLOAD rating per GMC of 1496 lbs.

If I am understanding the math of this correctly, it is MOST IMPORTANT I keep the PAYLOAD below the 1496 lbs (including Tongue Weight), if I do, I should safely be able to tow a 6,000 lb trailer. Do I have it correct? ??

Look forward to your comments - thank you to all posting contributors.
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Old 10-19-2017, 12:09 AM   #10
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Those ratings are for the hitch receiver itself.


Your payload math is correct based on your assumptions. Remember 15% is an estimate - YMMV. In fact using the published dry wts the tongue is less than 10% - probably due to the forward water tank. As I said earlier you are going to have a lot of front end wt on this rig - I am sure that with my cubby stuffed and the batteries and LPG I have easily added 200lbs to my tongue wt.


GMs tow ratings happen to include all of the payload as part of what you can tow - so yes you could tow 8500lbs as long as you have nothing but a 150lb driver.


I once towed an AF 22H - similar size and wt to the 20FQ with a chevy Tahoe - similar sized vehicle - but a lower tow rating - I think they were more realistic back in 99. As I stated earlier, this combination was at its CGWR max and probably a bit overloaded in the payload dept. Towing was a white knuckle experience to say the least - the powertrain was struggling to keep up on the hills and it took forever to get up to speed even on flat level ground. The unit was unstable on curves -esp sharp mountain ones. I tried everything from shocks to HD tires - the only salvation was a larger truck - a 3/4T pickup - it solved all of my issues.
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