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Old 11-12-2012, 07:36 AM   #1
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1999 suburban 1500 5.7 v 8 engine

We have the suburban mentioned above. I have searched the net to find out how much trailer we can tow with conflicting results. I want a cruiser rv s280qbs. Will the suburban tow it? I plan to buy food at location and fill with water at location to reduce weight towed. I hope to camp with 4 other adults and 4 grandchildren ages 8,7,6 and 5. If necessary they can follow us in their own vehicles as they obviously won't all fit in the suburban.
If this is not feasible, what other qb quad bunk trailers could the suburban tow.
any advise would be greatly appreciated. tanks

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Old 11-12-2012, 08:23 AM   #2
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I worked at GM dealerships in service for 13 yrs and have seen folks tow up to 26' racecar trailers (enclosed) for several seasons with no issues.The WEAKEST LINK is the transmission in the Suburban,not the towing capacity,if you have a class 3 or better hitch get electric brakes for the rig and watch your trans with an aftermarket cooler and temp gauge---the lower temp the better,200+is disaster for the 4L60 trans in there.

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Old 11-12-2012, 10:02 AM   #3
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My husband is also a GM tech. So, if we do watch the trans temp the suburban will be fine with this trailer?
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:44 PM   #4
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While the 2500 (3/4T) would be a better towing rig, your 1500 'Burb should be OK for the job IF it has the towing package with 3.73 gears. Check for a label in your glovebox that lists equipment codes.
GU4 = Rear Axle: 3.08 Ratio
GU6 = Rear Axle: 3.42 Ratio
GT4 = Rear Axle: 3.73 Ratio
The 3.42 axle is IFFY for towing a 28' trailer and the 3.08 gearing on the 1500 just ain't gonna cut it. Basically the lower the number, the harder the engine and transmission have to work to pull a load.

I concur on the added cooling for the transmission as well.
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:46 PM   #5
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Should be....how many miles are on your Suburban????
A lot of extra weight on a worn trans is NEVER a good thing.
Possibly think about getting a programmer or tuner to modify the shift programs for your trans.That will lessen the wear from long shift times and shift overlap,slippage and decrease overall stress and wear to the clutches and overrun band.
The sunshell is the BIGGEST failure part in that transmission,It is 38.00 but requires a full teardown to replace and the aftermarket part is 80.00 and 20xbetter.
Not trying to scare you,just give you very important info so you aren't 650 miles from home with a dead trans.(and at the mercy of the trans shop).Been there-it stinks!!!!.
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:49 PM   #6
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Absolute minimum axle on the 'Burb for that trailer is a 3.73. You will also spend a lot of time in 3rd gear at the mere mention of a hill. In the hills, some 2nd gear and high RPMS. Max towing speed will be 60 to 65 mph and about 8.5 mpg.

We tried 1992 5.7L 2500 (3/4 ton) with a 4.10 axle and a 28' Silver Streak trailer. It would tow it but not well. I would limit the "Burb to closer to a 25 or 26' trailer and watch the weight.


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