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Old 04-20-2012, 07:01 AM   #1
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2009 Chevy tahoe..how much can i pull? need help

I've been pulling a boat for years and have now decided to get into the camping world. I'd like to get a travel trailer with the play area and bunks in the back for the kids which means the extended trailer with a rear slideout. I've looked at several models but them all to be in the 5,000-7,500lb range. I have a 2009 Chevy Tahoe 5.3V8 with 3.42 gears. Although my sticker says HD towing package, im not sure if i have the cooling package needed. Nobody at the rv store or the chevy dealer can seem to tell me what exact towing capacity I have. The owners manual says 5700# for non HD tow package and 8200# with the K5L Cooling package. Can anybody help me?

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Old 04-20-2012, 07:13 AM   #2
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Check this out, maybe it will help. How to tell if a Tahoe has the heavy duty towing package - Chevrolet Forum - Chevy Enthusiasts Forums

This link is in there that will give you infomation from your VIN number. Comprehensive Chevrolet, Saturn, GMC, Hummer, Cadillac, Buick, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Geo, Dodge, Plymouth, Jeep, Chrysler, Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Mazda Truck, Mercedes VIN Decoder

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Old 04-20-2012, 07:18 AM   #3
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I am not a Chevy expert by any means but I will provide you where you might find this information.
I would look for the 2012 Guide To Towing by Trailer Life, on the internet. You might also find the back years of this guide also on the internet.
I would also look at the label on the driver side "B" pillar post. This will tell you what the maximum weights are allowed by the manufacture for said vehicle. These weights will be listed as GCVW, GVW, and axle weights. The GCVW is the combination of both TV and trailer, the GVW is maximum weight of TV and the other weights are what is allowed on each axle for loading.
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Old 04-21-2012, 03:25 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Alizack74 View Post
I have a 2009 Chevy Tahoe 5.3V8 with 3.42 gears. Although my sticker says HD towing package, im not sure if i have the cooling package needed. The owners manual says ...8200# with the K5L Cooling package.
I'll bet you have what you need for a "tow rating" of 8,200 pounds. However, manufacturer's tow ratings are notoriously overstated, especially for SUVs. Even if your tow rating is 8,200 pounds, that doesn't mean you can tow a trailer that grosses 8,200 pounds without being overloaded. Some folks believe they can haul a truck load of people and still tow a trailer that weighs 8,200 pounds without being overloaded. But no can do. You can either haul a truck load of people or tow a 5,000-to-7,000 pound trailer, but not both at the same time.

There are two weight ratings to be concerned with = GCWR and GVWR.

Gross combined weight rating (GCWR) is the maximum combined weight of the SUV and the trailer. That weight rating is an indicator of the power and torque and final drive ratio of your tow vehicle - the ability to maintain a reasonable speed up a reasonable grade without overheating anything or burning something up, such as a transmission or rear axle. The tow rating is simply the weight of the SUV with no options and nothing in it except a skinny driver, subtracted from the GCWR. But the tow rating ignores the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the tow vehicle, and the GVWR is usually the limiter on how much trailer an SUV can tow.

The GVWR is the maximum the SUV can weigh on the 4 tires when wet and loaded with a full tank of gas, driver, passengers, pets, trailer hitch receiver/shank/ball mount/ball, and anything else (such as tools, spare parts, extra fluids) that might be in the truck when towing. You should weigh the wet and loaded SUV with all the normal payload in it, and subtract that weight from the GVWR of the SUV. That number will be the maximum hitch weight you can have without being overloaded. Divide that hitch weight by 0.12 and the answer will be approximately the max weight of a travel trailer you can tow without being overloaded. And I'll bet it's a lot less than Chevy's so-called tow rating.

The GVWR is on the Federal Certification Label on the driver's door frame or door jamb. The GCWR is in your Owner's Guide. You can ignore all the other weight ratings such as axle ratings, tire ratings, wheel ratings, etc. If you don't exceed the GVWR of your Tahoe, then you're probably good to go.
Grumpy ole man with over 50 years towing experience. Now my heaviest trailer is a 7,000-pound enclosed cargo trailer, RV is a 5,600 pound Skyline Nomad Joey 196S, and my tow vehicle is a 2012 F-150 3.5L EcoBoost SuperCrew.
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Old 04-22-2012, 06:24 PM   #5
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http://www.trailerlife.com/trailer-towing-guides/ here is a like for the trailerlife tow guides
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Old 04-29-2012, 08:40 PM   #6
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Some folks spend much time considering the "pull" factor but less time considering the "stop" factor and the "handling" factor. In heavy cross winds or on a downhill turn your trailer might be more likely to cause problems. With a short wheelbase (compared to a truck) I'd be very conservative in applying the manufacturer rating to your load.
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Old 05-03-2012, 01:39 AM   #7
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Just noticed your post. I have a 2004 Tahoe and tow a tt maxed at about 4500. Mine is approved for 7500. I would not go much more than 5500 ever for a number of reasons, most of which have been stated. braking, short wheel base, and the fact that our rigs are not relly set up for towing heavy stuff on a regular basis. You can do it, and we have for several years, but i would recommend staying closer to the bottom end of the weights you have looked at. I have towed heavier loads (a buddies boat) and it felt unsafe.

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