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Old 08-26-2016, 08:24 PM   #1
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Which is the better tow vehicle

Researching TT's at this point. I know we will end up with something in the 25' range or so and ultra light. We have a 2002 GMC 1500 with a 4.8l V8 and a 2007 Expedition with a 5.4l V8. Which is the better tow vehicle. Thanks.
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Old 08-26-2016, 08:32 PM   #2
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Since you don't know which trailer make and model you'll end up with, simply based on cargo capacity alone, the easy choice is the pickup.

Does either one have the factory tow package?
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Old 08-26-2016, 08:33 PM   #3
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Both have tow packages. I figured the pick up I'd the best choice. The only drawback is it's only an extended cab and the expedition offers more room for the kids.
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Old 08-26-2016, 08:33 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by bsmoov81 View Post
Researching TT's at this point. I know we will end up with something in the 25' range or so and ultra light. We have a 2002 GMC 1500 with a 4.8l V8 and a 2007 Expedition with a 5.4l V8. Which is the better tow vehicle. Thanks.
What is the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating" (GVWR), base curb weight, and Gross Combination Weight for each?
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Old 08-26-2016, 08:38 PM   #5
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Both have tow packages. I figured the pick up I'd the best choice. The only drawback is it's only an extended cab and the expedition offers more room for the kids.
Why don't you list all of the things you must take with you so that we have as much information as possible to help you (keeping in mind that we don't even know which trailer you might be looking at so cannot tell you if it's possible anyways).

The Expedition will have the lower cargo capacity, therefore you will need a much lighter tongue weight and GVWR trailer than the pickup. The numbers won't lie.
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Old 08-26-2016, 09:24 PM   #6
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Both have tow packages. I figured the pick up I'd the best choice. The only drawback is it's only an extended cab and the expedition offers more room for the kids.
No Problem!
Take the pickup...leave the kids at the sitter...take Mama off for the weekend alone!!!
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Old 08-27-2016, 08:24 AM   #7
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The Expedition will have the lower cargo capacity, therefore you will need a much lighter tongue weight and GVWR trailer than the pickup. The numbers won't lie.
Not necessarily. The 2007 Expedition has max payload of 1,750 pounds. The GMC 1500 has max payload of 1,642. With the factory towing pkg the Expedition 4x2 has tow rating of 9,200 pounds, and the 4x4 9,000 pounds. The longer EL version of the Expedition has tow rating 250 pounds less than the normal Expi. It weighs more but has the same GCWR. All 2007 Expeditions have the same 5.4L V8 engine.

The problem with an SUV as a tow vehicle is that most folks tend to load the SUV with people and stuff, so they wind up overloaded. But if the Expedition has the optional towing package, and OP will swear to haul nothing in the SUV but the family, then I'd choose the Expedition in a heartbeat over the crowded and less-capable pickup. Haul everything but the kids in the trailer, not in the tow vehicle.

Use the CAT scale, and keep the combined weight of the rig to less than the GCWR of 15,000 pounds, and keep the weight on the 4 tires of the SUV to less than the GVWR of the SUV, and go have fun.
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Old 08-27-2016, 08:45 AM   #8
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If you can try them both - it would be the best test, but I personnally would leave that 270 hp 285 ft lb torque bow tie at home. That Expedition has 300 hp, 365 ft lb torque and 6 SPEED transmission! Tow machine at 9000 lb tow rating. I believe that 2002 bow tie is rated at 5000 lb.

It's so hard to compare - but we have the 2014 Expedition with the same specs as yours pulling a 4500 lb boat, and my daughter had a 2010 Chev like yours, only hers was a 6 sp instead of your 2002 4 sp, and hers had 300 ft lbs of torque out of the 4.8 by then. She pulled a 22 ft Jayco Lite and it gave her nothing but fits. Overheating on the passes, just a general dog and we used to make fun of her because we had to wait at the top of the pass for her to get there and cool down. She finally went to a Superduty diesel and now has to wait for us
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Old 08-29-2016, 05:54 PM   #9
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This may upset some people, but ignore everyone's advice (for the most part). You need to do the math to see what the real world towing capacity is for each vehicle. This requires you to know how much everything weights. This includes GVWR, GCWR, empty truck(GVW), loaded trailer, family, and gear in truck. To give you an idea, my Nissan Pathfinder is rated at 5k# towing. If I am driving with no one else in the truck and I put my 300# of hunting gear in the truck, my towing capacity drops to 3500#. If I threw in a 150# wife and two 100# kids, my tow capacity is 1200#.
My father towed his 6000# boat with his 6000# tow capacity truck. Over the course of a year he broke all four u-joints. This is not something you want to do with a truck full of your family that you love as you are going down a big hill. I hope I have scared you. I warned my father, but he didn't listen.
Sorry about that, but I warned a friend to never let a mechanic install car tires with an impact gun. It stretches the studs. He ignored me and had new tires put on a month later. Within a week his rear tire sheared off with his two kids in the back seat. Things are rated for a reason.
Here is an awesome website that does all of the math for you. It leaves nothing out and is simple to use. This should be saved in everyone's favorites in their web browser.

RV Tow Check | Towing Capacity Calculator

Again, sorry for the rant, but I was an engineer. I dislike it when I get calls from people who say my design was bad or junk and it is all my fault only to find out they exceeded the machine's limits on purpose or didn't do the prescribed maintenance.
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Old 08-29-2016, 07:24 PM   #10
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This may upset some people, but ignore everyone's advice (for the most part). You need to do the math to see what the real world towing capacity is for each vehicle. This requires you to know how much everything weights. This includes GVWR, GCWR, empty truck(GVW), loaded trailer, family, and gear in truck. To give you an idea, my Nissan Pathfinder is rated at 5k# towing. If I am driving with no one else in the truck and I put my 300# of hunting gear in the truck, my towing capacity drops to 3500#. If I threw in a 150# wife and two 100# kids, my tow capacity is 1200#.
My father towed his 6000# boat with his 6000# tow capacity truck. Over the course of a year he broke all four u-joints. This is not something you want to do with a truck full of your family that you love as you are going down a big hill. I hope I have scared you. I warned my father, but he didn't listen.
Sorry about that, but I warned a friend to never let a mechanic install car tires with an impact gun. It stretches the studs. He ignored me and had new tires put on a month later. Within a week his rear tire sheared off with his two kids in the back seat. Things are rated for a reason.
Here is an awesome website that does all of the math for you. It leaves nothing out and is simple to use. This should be saved in everyone's favorites in their web browser.

RV Tow Check | Towing Capacity Calculator

Again, sorry for the rant, but I was an engineer. I dislike it when I get calls from people who say my design was bad or junk and it is all my fault only to find out they exceeded the machine's limits on purpose or didn't do the prescribed maintenance.
Good advise. Thanks for the link.
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Old 08-29-2016, 07:57 PM   #11
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This is what the vin decoder shows. Does this mean that with a weight distribution hitch my Expedition can tow a Max of 9000 lbs?
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Old 08-29-2016, 08:25 PM   #12
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Yes. You have to watch the gross combined weight on that list too, which would be the weight of the Expedition and all anticipated cargo including passengers and fuel, and the weight of the fully loaded trailer.

You can load down your Expedition and hit a CAT scale to see where you are at now.
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