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Old 07-30-2012, 09:46 AM   #1
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09 Tahoe limits on towing

My daughter and husband are looking at trailers and they have an 09 Tahoe with towing pkg 3.42 etc. I wonder if anyone towing with similiar has a good estimate as to how much trailer would be safely towed. She wants bunks and outside kitchen so that will push to limits of tahoe. Thanks for your input. jim w.

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Old 07-30-2012, 12:52 PM   #2
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Keep in mind the short wheel base.

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Old 07-30-2012, 02:54 PM   #3
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Have her look at the inside panel of the drivers door. It will give her the max weight that the Tahoe can do. Remember to be about 1000# under that limit for gear, extra people in TV. As mentioned above the short wheel base is also a concern. The longer the trailer the more that will impact safety. I would guess around 5000# to 6000# trailer and under 26'. JMHO

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Old 08-01-2012, 07:19 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Shotgunjim View Post
... 09 Tahoe with towing pkg 3.42 etc. I wonder if anyone ...has a good estimate as to how much trailer would be safely towed.
The "tow rating" published by GM, Trailer Life, and others is extremely optimistic. It's not even useful as a rough estimate if you don't want to be overloaded after you've spent your money.

Here's how to get a better estimate of the max weight of a trailer you can tow without being overloaded.

On an SUV, the GVWR of the SUV is almost always the limiter. In other words, hitch weight is the problem. So here's what you do:

1] Load the SUV with all the people, pets, tools, jacks, and anything that will be in the SUV when on the road with the trailer tied on. Include the shank and ball mount from your hitch. (If you don't have the hitch yet, then add 40 pounds to the weight of the SUV.)

2] Drive to a truckstop that has a certified, automated truck (CAT) scale. Fill the SUV with gas, then weigh the wet and loaded SUV (with driver and passengers inside the SUV).

3] Subtract the weight of the wet and loaded SUV from the GVWR of the SUV. (The GVWR is on the sticker on the driver's door or doorframe). The answer is the max hitch weight you can have without being overloaded.

4] Divide the max hitch weight by 0.15 to estimate the max weight of any tag trailer you can tow without being overloaded.

Example 1: You have 500 pounds available for hitch weight. 500 divided by 0.15 = 3,333 pounds max trailer weight = a small pop-up camper.

Example 2: You have 800 pounds available for hitch weight. 800 divided by 0.15 = 5,333 pounds max trailer weight = a larger pop-up or a very small TT, such as this hybred:
http://www.forestriverinc.com/nd/default22.asp?page=floorviewertt&choice=surv&nav=r ec&name=3253&series=Expand8

Example 3: You have 1,000 pounds available for hitch weight. 1,000 divided by 0.15 = 6,667 pounds max trailer weight = a small TT, such as this bunkhouse:

The GVWR of the model 249 is 6,200 pounds. So if you can keep the weight out of the SUV so you have at least 930 pounds of unused payload capacity you can use for hitch weight, then that's the trailer you should consider.
http://www.skylinerv.com/product.php?brand=nomad%20joey&rvtype=travel_trail ers&region=616&state=&form=brochure#brochure
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 EcoBoost SuperCrew.
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:46 PM   #5
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Smokey is giving great advice. But I do not feel that 3.42 axle is such a great axle for towing, especially in hilly terrain.

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Old 08-03-2012, 07:02 AM   #6
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I have 2011 Tahoe 3.42 and bought a lacrosse 32 8000lbs ish....I had to add the second trans coolant and electric breaks. Have only towed locally (less than 50 miles) but it feels ok on the highway so far. I'll let I know when I get more tow experience.

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