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Old 02-23-2012, 10:47 AM   #1
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2002 Yukon XL Denali for a tow vehicle- thoughts?

Hello, I am in the market looking for a SUV tow vehicle. I tow a 2006 Fleetwood Gearbox 230fs toyhauler (I have sold my toys so it will just be used for camping). It's dry weight is 5817# and dry hitch weight is 838# . The 2002 Yukon XL Denali is rated at 8000# tow capacity and 1000# tongue weight. Would I be ok with this set up? All and any feedback is appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:58 PM   #2
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Friends of ours had similar tow vehicle with a 27FKS Sunnybrook that weighed about 8k--it did just fine towing, just had to use a lot of rpms on hills.
Joe
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Old 02-23-2012, 04:09 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info! Just trying to figure out before I buy. I own a 04 Expedition and it doesn't have the power that I want it too.
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:00 AM   #4
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Not knowing your budget, but perhap you should be looking at a newer model with the higher HP 6.0L engine?

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Old 02-24-2012, 09:48 AM   #5
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I sold my travel trailer & it was just towed away by the new owner 1/2 hour ago. Yippee !! The new owner got a good trailer with ALL the problem areas properly repaired & at a GREAT price. I lost a bundle on the sale but being retired & on a fixed income RV'ing no longer made financial sense. Medical issues related to aging also played a part.

Now, on to your question. My tow vehicle is an '04 Yukon XL Denali, 6.0 V8, 3:73 gears, factory tow pkge, rated to tow 8,000 lbs. The former trailer had a dry weight with options of just under 6,000 lbs. While I never weighed the trailer ready to camp I can only estimate an additional 1,000- 1,500 lbs. of stuff aboard. (1K is more likely)

Did the 6.0 do the job? Well, yes, but I always felt that I was at the very limit in tow capacity. If I had it to do again (which I won't) I'd opt for the 2500 series Suburban & preferably the 8.1 litre V-8. The 6.0 struggled on the hills & altho it returned commendable gas mileage in everyday highway driving, the mileage plummeted to a maximum of 8.5 mpg while towing, & I will never tow over 60 mph.

The new owner of my trailer is towing with an '04 Suburban with the 5.3 engine. I had suggested to him, prior to his purchase, that he might not have enough motor for this combination, especially with a wife & 3 kids along. His reaction was "no problem". I see a new tow vehicle in his future.
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Old 02-24-2012, 02:04 PM   #6
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jodann,
thanks for bringing up the option of the 2500 Yukon, certainly a more capable tow vehicle than a 1500. Same engines now that the 8.1 is no longer available, just a better towing experience...
Joe
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Old 02-24-2012, 06:46 PM   #7
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I am about to pull the trigger on a 03 Yukon Xl Denali. I know I will struggle on hills but just want to know if it will pull safely and the motor/ tranny won't go on me. . I have a similar combo to you jodann. I would personally go with the 8.1 also but I can't seem to find one with descent mileage. Thanks for the feedback.
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Old 02-24-2012, 07:34 PM   #8
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It will pull fine, though it will work at it. the 6.0HO and 4L60e is a very good comination.

Note chevy is back into class C van chassis (now that workhorse is gone), big ones, and they are powered with the small block.
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Old 02-25-2012, 01:04 AM   #9
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Thank you everyone for the comments. I bought the 03 Yukon XL Denali and can't wait to see how it pulls my trailer. It will prob be around 7k loaded. One last question....anyone know anything about the Autoride suspension? Also, will my stock tires be ok with the weight?
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:22 AM   #10
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Congrats on your purchase. We all have different comfort levels with trailer/tow vehicle combinations & I, for one, would not be happy with your combo. I see various trailer/tow vehicle combos happily tooling along our highways that I sometimes say "What were they thinking?" You may be perfectly content with your choice.

As to the Autoride suspension on your Denali. That happens to be the only problem I've ever had w/my Denali. I had developed a leak in 2 of my shocks - 1 in front, 1 in back - so I had to have all 4 shocks replaced. The local GMC dealer wanted over $600 each, for a total of more than $2400 to do the job. I ordered 4 shocks from Arnott Industries in Fl. & had the shocks replaced at my local garage for just under $1K total. Big difference!! The suspension did a terrific job in leveling out the trailer/tow vehicle when I hooked up with my Reese wd hitch.

I've now listed my Denali for sale both on Craigslist & with Auto Trader & have had zero response so far. I'm going to park it in a conspicuous spot out near the road in hopes I can sell it as I have no further need for it. With gas prices as they are this will be a hard sell, but whoever buys it will get a mechanically perfect, low mileage, extremely clean vehicle still covered by a bumper-bumper GMC extended factory warranty. jodann
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