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Old 05-24-2013, 10:48 AM   #1
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Ok so I got off the phone with GM and they said my max towing is 7900lbs. The first TT I was going to buy was 6850 dry weight. So I told the dealer to find me something similar but lighter. He came back with a passport ultra lite 3220bh with a dry weight of 6109lbs and a hitch weight of 600 which is what my hitch rating is if I don't have a weight distributing hitch.

I have a GMC Yukon XL Denali AWD 1500 6.2L with a GVWR of 7400.

What to do what to do. Thanks for your help.

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Old 05-24-2013, 11:04 AM   #2
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OK first off forget about dry weight. You never tow dry. Find out the GVWR of the TT which I would keep at or below 6500 lbs. Make sure you have a WDH and sway bar. Much higher than that and you won't like the experience and it may struggle going uphill.

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Old 05-24-2013, 11:13 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by awarnes View Post
OK first off forget about dry weight. You never tow dry. Find out the GVWR of the TT which I would keep at or below 6500 lbs. Make sure you have a WDH and sway bar. Much higher than that and you won't like the experience and it may struggle going uphill.
I agree with this. Our tow vehicle has a max of 7400#. I just bought a travel trailer with a dry weight of 4500# and a GVWR of 6900#. I don't plan on storing 2400# of stuff in the trailer.

If I were you, I'd still try to keep the GVWR under 7000.
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Old 05-24-2013, 11:50 AM   #4
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Yep, dry weights - fugeddaboutit. Not much use really and often aren't even close to what your actual weights and capacities are (including recent experience).

The other important thing to know besides towing capacity is payload capacity. On this too, don't go by what's on your door jamb sticker or in the manufacturer's publications. Do yourself a BIG favor and weigh your Denali at a scale (full tank of gas and only driver) and then subtract this from the GVWR on the door jamb sticker. I see that Google says your payload is 1462 lbs, but I don't know your year or other relevant info. This figure *could* be way off (more personal experience).

You can expect a wet/loaded weight of a TT in your size range to be about another 1,000 to 1,500 lbs on top of the unit's UVW. So for example, if you bought a trailer with a UVW of 6,000 lbs, the scaled weight could be 7,500 lbs. You'll find that a lot of things you'd expect to be aren't included by the factory in the UVW like electric stab. jacks, power awning, fiberglass cap, etc. We haven't put much in our trailer to go camping (the "usual" things) and it weighed in at 6,600 lbs while the UVW on the sticker says 5,237 lbs (1363 lbs more). The TT's GVWR is 6,800 lbs which sure doesn't leave room for much more cargo! This is how it often goes with trailers....

You can use a sometimes used rule of thumb guideline of 80% of your TV towing capacity as the max UVW trailer weight you can pull. This would be 6320 lbs in your case.

However, it is really important to know the max. payload capacity of your TV. Here's why. The tongue weight of a trailer is typically between 10 to 15% of the trailer actual weight. So if your trailer had a scaled weight of 7,500 lbs, the tongue weight could be 1,125 lbs. Notwithstanding the fact that a WDH hitch will transfer some of this tongue weight back onto the trailer axles, the tongue weight needs to be subtracted from your Denali's max. available payload. If the published or sticker payload capacity truly is 1,462 lbs, you would have about 300 lbs left for your wife, kids, dog(s), groceries and misc. gear. But, I am going to speculate that the true available payload of your Denali is less than the advertised 1462 lbs. You *could* be the only one going camping....

Another thing to look at is the hitch ratings on your Denali. Look for a sticker on the hitch with the ratings which should have the max. tow capacity and max. tongue weight that you cannot exceed. Could be in your owner's manual too? You could possibly find that the tongue rating is a restricting factor for you but Google says it is 1170 lbs so you should be okay relative to your payload and tow capacities. Don't forget that with a WDH hitch, your tongue won't see all of your calculated (or measured) tongue weight because some will be (should be) transferred to the trailer axles.

Personally, I wouldn't want to be pulling something near the max. towing capacity. For shorter trips and where it's not too hilly, you will be okay, but start driving in hilly areas and you'll find it won't be a lot of fun.... Been there on our old 1/2 ton and trailer..... Even if you technically can pull up to 7,900 lbs, in the long run, it's also going to be harder on the TV's brakes, suspension and engine.

You could look into GCWR, axle and tire ratings but I don't think you would need to at this point if you weigh your TV and buy a trailer to fit the payload and tow ratings.

You could end up with a trailer around 30' long and I would say definitely get sway control. Something a step up from friction type control such as a Reese dual cam would help. If your Denali is an older one, new HD shocks like Bilstein would really help for handling. Actually, shocks on your trailer could help, depending on what it is. Some have more bounce than others that causes problems, especially if has a rear kitchen.
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Old 05-24-2013, 02:10 PM   #5
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I use the dry weight or UVW that's on the door sticker. It's the shipping weight from when it leaves the factory. I have some experience from owning different TT's so I know what I pack as far as weight. We load about 11-1200lbs of stuff in our units which I feel is about average. So with all that being said one can look at the sticker weight, add 11-1200lbs for cargo stuff and be close to loaded weight. 200lbs either way won't bust a deal.

If you have 7900lbs for towing IMO I would look for something with a loaded weight no more than 6500lbs. That means a UVW of 54-5300lbs. I like to have a cushion with my vehicles. No use pounding a nice truck into the ground.

6500lbs will equate to a tongue weight of 650-800lbs. I would figure 800lb to be safe. That 800lbs will come off your GMC's payload. You'll find that on the Yukon's drivers door sticker. To get an exact number you need to load up your family, gear and what not and get it weighed. Subtract that from the Yukon's GVWR. Try not to listen to RV sales people as they tend to want to make a sale. From my experience there are some good ones that will steer you right. So not all are bad.
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Old 05-24-2013, 02:23 PM   #6
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So this is the one I this I'm gonna get. What do you think.
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Old 05-24-2013, 02:26 PM   #7
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They are also gonna put a WDH with sway control on it.
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Old 05-24-2013, 02:33 PM   #8
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Sorry that was the wrong picture. This is the correct one
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