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Old 06-03-2013, 09:05 AM   #1
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Chevy Trailblazer Towing Issue

Hi All:

We put a deposit on a 2012 Crossroads Zinger that's 4600 lbs. We have a 2004 TB, V6, 3.42 axle. The manual says that we can tow 5100 lbs. and the GCWR is for the TB is 10,000 lbs.

We're going to get a tranny cooler, weight distribution hitch, brake controller and sway bar (although the trailer has EZ Tow axles - the wheels are wider).

The dealership said that we would have no problem towing the trailer. Their guy once worked at Chevy and he said we'd have no problem. But, I want to make sure we don't get ourselves into trouble.

The TB GVWR is 5750 - 150 lbs. for each empty seat belt (3) = 450 lbs.

So, that's 5300 GCWR for the TB alone, then add 4600 lbs. for the trailer = 9,900 lbs. not including about 500 lbs. for gear = 10,400 lbs.

Am I figuring this correctly? The TB can tow 5,100 lbs. so I'm a bit confused.

Can someone please tell me if this is doable? I'd appreciate any and all feedback.
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:49 AM   #2
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They will come......
The weight ratings are the maximums as stated by the manufacturer. If you reach the maximum load on something there is a good chance you have gone over one maximums.
Some will tell you you can exceed. I prefer to be under as my or someone else's life may depend on those limits not being exceeded.
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Old 06-03-2013, 10:16 AM   #3
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Lori,
Is the 4600# the unladen weight, or the GVWR of the trailer? If unladen( empty), way too much trailer for your vehicle. If it is the GVWR, then it will be real close, a trip to the scales loaded will tell. The best thing to do is load the TB with the people and gear that you normally carry when you are ready to leave and fill the gas tank, then weigh the TB and check the axle weights against the door sticker, and see the amount of weight that you have left to haul the tounge weight and combined weight of the trailer.
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Old 06-03-2013, 11:38 AM   #4
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You are going to be extremely disappointed even if you can find a way to make it safe. I tow a similar size trailer with a Tahoe rated for 8200 lbs with a V8 and 3.73 axles and even then I wish I had more truck sometimes. Most of the time the weight listed for towing doesn't include the aerodynamics. It's one thing to tow a flat bed trailer or a boat that weighs 5,000 pounds- it will do it and it may have enough power. However, add in the giant sail that is a travel trailer and it's like towing a parachute- you will not have enough power to pull even the smallest hill, and you will be being blown back, up,down, and sideways by every passing truck. If you want to tow with your Trailblazer I would go with a smaller trailer and try to keep the dry weight under 3500 lbs.

You are also not going to be able to put any gear or passengers in the Trailblazer while towing that trailer to avoid overloading the rear axle. Check the GAWR on the door sticker and consider the tongue weight of the trailer and how much stuff you plan to haul in the Blazer.
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Old 06-04-2013, 06:53 AM   #5
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Thanks everyone for your feedback. The weight of the trailer is the dry weight although we'll only have a few hundred lbs of stuff with us. We did a test pull yesterday, without the weight distribution hitch and it pulled like there was nothing behind us. That, of course, was on flat ground but we drove around quite a bit.

We're only using this trailer for this year then we're going to upgrade to a truck and a Springdale 311 so we're hoping that the TB will do the trick.

I'll keep you posted. ;-)
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Old 06-04-2013, 07:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lori Meyer View Post
We put a deposit on a 2012 Crossroads Zinger that's 4600 lbs. We have a 2004 TB, V6, 3.42 axle. The manual says that we can tow 5100 lbs. and the GCWR is for the TB is 10,000 lbs.
The "tow rating" of 5,100 pounds is extremely misleading. It means you can tow a trailer that grosses up to 5,100 pounds only when the wet and loaded Trailblazer weighs 4,900 pounds or less. In other words, you can haul a family or a small trailer, but not both at the same time without being overloaded. And even then the tow rating (based on GCWR) may not be your limiter. GM says you should never exceed either the GVWR or GCWR of your SUV, and GVWR is probably your limiter.

Load your TrailBlazer with all the people, pets, tools and stuff that will be in it when towing. Include the weight-distributing hitch. Go to a truckstop that has a CAT or truck scale and weigh the wet and loaded SUV.

Subtract the weight of the wet and loaded SUV from the GVWR of the SUV and the answer is the maximum hitch weight you can have without being overloaded. Divide that maximum hitch weight by 0.15 and the answer is the maximum GVWR of any travel trailer you should consider buying.

Subtract the weight of the wet and loaded SUV from the GCWR of the SUV and the answer is the maximum trailer weight you want to even try to tow. (It will probably be a lot less than 5,100 pounds.)
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:12 AM   #7
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Congrats on the new trailer, but sorry to say, it would appear that you are overloaded before even hooking up as far as "towing capacity" goes. Your wet/loaded weight will be about 1,000 lbs on top of the dry weight so you are looking at about a 5,600 lb trailer loaded or more. Even though you may not load much into your trailer, the factory does not always add the weights of various options and you can get a surprise after going to a scale. Propane tanks and battery(s) are also not included in the UVW and of course things you may add like stabilizer jacks.

It looks like your max. payload as published is about 1300 lbs and that's just with a 150 lb driver and full tank of gas. But if you go through a scale and weight your TB, you will likely find that your max payload is less, possibly even much less. Am thinking on max. payload, you have a payload issue as well. A ballpark estimate of your tongue wt. would be 700 lbs. If your actual available payload is 800 lbs. (wild guess) you could not add a passenger or anything else. If it is say 1,000 lbs, you can't add much more than a passenger without being overloaded.

Our last TV was a 2000 F150 with V6 with a max. tow capacity of 5,800 lbs. About the same torque but less horsepower than your TB. Towed a trailer weighing 5,000 lbs loaded. The truck was a dog on steeper hills despite being under the max. tow capacity. On steeper hills on the freeway we were on the far right hand side along with semis crawling at about 35 mph. Not fun. In higher head on gusty winds, it was hard to maintain an even speed. That V6 was running flat out, pedal to the metal, a lot of the time and was hard on it. Even if you managed to stay just under your max. limits, I would think that you would not be happy with your TV. And it not just the engine, it'll be harder on brakes, suspension and the rest of the drivetrain.

There's some that say that towing overloaded is "okay" but I'm not one of them. If you *think* it's pulls okay, you should think about things like how easily you could stop in an emergency if needed (someone pulls in front of you at a stoplight, eg.). It's easy to be lulled into thinking a trailer pulls easily when overloaded. You could probably pull one twice that weight and think the same thing, but there's a bunch of other factors to consider.

About 10 years ago I bought a skidsteer loader and towed it home with our old F150 V6. Trailer plus skidsteer weighed about 8,000 lb, way above the 5,800 lb. max tow capacity. I *thought* it pulled just fine, and it did. However, the first time I tried to slow down, the truck kept going. Scary as h*ll. I slowed to an almost standstill for the rest of the way home. I had thought the few short miles home would be no problem. Good thing I did not hit anyone - very dumb thing to do. I would never tow anything overloaded again, any distance or at any speed.

I do seem to be verbose in the morning. Apologies.
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Old 06-10-2013, 06:57 PM   #8
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Thanks so much for your input everyone, it's really appreciated.

I ran some numbers and here's what I came up with:

We filled the tank and went to the scale -

5,265 lbs (includes tank of gas, 2 people, WD hitch and a corgi)

Axles:

On inside of the front door = Front - 2950 lbs.
On the scale = 2680

On inside of the front door = Rear 3200 lbs.
On the scale = 2200

Difference 1,270 lbs.

GCWR of TB is 10,000
minus wt of TB as weighed 5,265
= 4,735 lbs. for trailer/contents

Can I add the 1,270 (from the axles) to the 4,735?

I'm trying to get a more accurate number.

Thanks guys.
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Old 06-10-2013, 07:29 PM   #9
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Lori,
No you cannot add, it says that of the max trailer weight of 4735# , 570 to 700# of that will be hitch weight on the TB, WD hitch will put part of that to the front wheels. The GVWR of the TB is 5700#, so 5700 - 5265 = 435# max hitch weight.
435 /.15 = 2900# trailer weight with 15% hitch weight, to 435 / .12 = 3625# trailer weight for 12 % hitch weight. So to keep all your numbers at or under the TB numbers, you are limited to a trailer that has a GVWR of between 3000 and 3500#.
Frank
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