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Old 11-07-2013, 10:02 AM   #1
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Suburban beast towing question

We have a 2003 Suburban 5.3L V8 Vortec with the heavy duty towing package. We pulled a Crossroads Zinger 25 ft., 5,000 lbs. across the country without a problem and didn't know it was back there, but now we want to get a bigger RV.

So the question is, can we pull a Laredo 24RKS (6,800 lbs) with it? We would get a weight distribution hitch as well.

The rating for the Suburban is 8,100 and here is some info I found on it:

GVWR (4WD) 7200/3265
Towing Cap 8100/3674
Gear Ratio 14.1-15.8:1 overall
Drive Ratio 3:42
Torque 325/441 @4,000
Payload 2077/942

Can we pull the TT with this vehicle?

Thanks so much for your input!
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Old 11-07-2013, 11:12 AM   #2
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A 6,800 trailer when loaded will be about your max of 8,100. It's close, but you may be able too pull without too much stress on the Suburban. Just how much life is left in a 2003 ??? You decide.
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Old 11-07-2013, 02:43 PM   #3
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Your problem is the 7200lb GVW. The suburban weighs 5800lbs dry, so you need to be able to cram the trailer hitch weight, weight of a full tank of gas, all people, pets and gear into roughly 1400lbs.
So you will need to know the fully loaded hitch weight of the trailer first and foremost, which will be much more than the "dry" weight on the trailer spec sheet.
I think you will likely be maxing out the 'burb fairly easy unless you find a 2500 suburban HD to replace it.
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Old 11-07-2013, 06:36 PM   #4
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If payload capacity 2077 lb is a true number I don't see any problems. Aerodynamic resistance of the new trailer will be same or better than of old one, length and weight are not very different.
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Old 11-07-2013, 07:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lori Meyer View Post
The rating for the Suburban is 8,100 ...
GVWR (4WD) 7200/...
Can we pull the TT with this vehicle? ...
Pull? Probably. But tow without exceeding the GVWR of the Suburban? Probably not.

The tow rating is misleading. It tells you the maximum weight of any trailer you an tow without overheating something in the drivetrain, and without being the slowpoke blocking traffic on hills and mountain passes, ONLY if absolutely nothing is in the SUV except a skinny driver. But nobody tows with an empty SUV, and you probably won't either.

So ignore GM's tow rating and compute your own. Here's how:

Load the Subby with all the people, pets and gear that will be in it when towing - including the shank and ball mount for your weight-distributing hitch. Drive to a truckstop that has a certified automated truck (CAT) scale. Fill up with gas, then weigh the wet and loaded SUV.

Subtract the weight of the wet and loaded SUV from the GCWR of the SUV. The answer is your real world tow rating. It will probably be a lot less than 8,100 pounds.

However, even the real world tow rating is not usually your limiter with a Suburban tow vehicle. The tow rating is based on the amount of weight your tow vehicle can PULL but ignores the amount of weight the Suburban can CARRY. IOW, how much hitch weight can your tow vehicle handle without being overloaded?

So subtract the weight of the wet and loaded Suburban from the GVWR of the Suburban, and the answer is the maximum hitch weight you can have without exceeding the GVWR of your tow vehicle. Divide that maximum hitch weight by 0.15 and the answer is the heaviest tandem-axle trailer you can tow without being overloaded over the GVWR of the tow vehicle.

Since your Suburban is the 1500 model, then your current trailer probably gets very close to maxing out the suspension of your Suburban. To tow a heavier trailer without being overloaded you'll probably need a 2500 model Suburban, which has more GVWR for the increased hitch weight of a heavier trailer.

I can't find the specs for a Keystone Laredo 24RKS, and I looked back to 2002 model year. You said 6,800 pounds, but I'll bet that is the dry weight and not the GVWR or wet and loaded weight.

We have a Keystone Sprinter 25RKS (25' 5er with rear kitchen and a big slide) parked outside our back door right now. We bought it new in 2000. Wonderful RV trailer that we've drug all over the USA. But it weighs 8,000 pounds when wet and loaded, and it overloaded our F-250 tow vehicle. So it's parked now and Darling Daughter is living in it while she recovers from cancer surgery.
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Old 11-07-2013, 09:04 PM   #6
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The closest Laredo I am aware about is 240MK floorplan. 590 lb of hitch weight, 7200 GVWR which is achievable only with all tanks full and may be around 100 6- packs of beer on the trailer. Mine is only slightly longer and lighter. Totally doable with most hall tons, except in special circumstances ( very big family). WD/ Sway control should be ideal
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Old 11-08-2013, 09:29 AM   #7
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The closest Laredo I am aware about is 240MK floorplan. 590 lb of hitch weight, ...
You're dreaming, Gene. That's the dry hitch weight with no options. If the trailer is lightly loaded to 6,000 pounds gross trailer weight, the hitch weight could easily be 900 pounds. My half-ton pickup is overloaded with hitch weight of only 650 pounds, and a heavy Suburban 1500 with GVWR of 7,200 pounds has less payload capacity than my lighter pickup with GVWR of 7,100 pounds.
There are too many overloaded tow vehicles on the road now. We shouldn't be encouraging newbees to tow with overloaded SUVs.
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Old 11-08-2013, 08:46 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by RGene7001 View Post
If payload capacity 2077 lb is a true number I don't see any problems. Aerodynamic resistance of the new trailer will be same or better than of old one, length and weight are not very different.
I totally agree
The problem might be the gear ratio of 3.42 being the bottle neck. You would know if the new weight will be available. The wind drag will possibly be the difference if any or better.
In the past the burbs were towing monsters much better then 1/2 tons due to their weight and styling.
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Old 11-20-2013, 09:13 PM   #9
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So actual real world experience with pulling a 7K TT with a 2001 Suburban 3.73 rear end. I wouldn't go far like less than 100 miles with that setup. Was with my father in law when we took it to CO and when we arrived he had to drop a new tranny in the burb. Lets just say that trip was a fun one. He is very meticulous with maintenance and at 180K it looked flawless. Now I'm guessing your 03 burb has at least 150K. I'm sure your burb will do it but cross country, I'd advise against it.
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