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Old 11-28-2010, 10:23 PM   #1
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Suburban

This fall my wife and I decided to buy a travel trailer. With the two of us and four kids (7,5,3,2) we already owned a 2005 suburban only a 1/2 ton. It is a 26" trailer. Plenty of room for our needs. Had the weight distribution hitch and anti-sway bar installed. Anyway the question is this. We only got to go out once this fall and it seemed to pull fine. We only went about 90 miles. How do you think this rig would do on a longer haul. Wouldn't mind finding a mid 00s Diesel Excursion, but prefer the Suburbans, but they don't make the diesels any more. Just looking for opinions.
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:34 PM   #2
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I used a 1/2 ton Suburban and a 454 engine to pull a 27 ft Yellowstone TT a whole lot of miles and many states. It originally had a 3.73 axle and pulled like a stump puller.

I changed the axle to a 3.08 for better fuel mileage and that reduced the available pulling power a lot. But the 454 still did okay with remembering that you would need to downshift more on the steep uphills.

You did not mention which engine your Suburban has?

A huge difference between a mid '70s 454 and the later model Vortec motors which are smaller in CCs.
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:44 PM   #3
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Sorry, it's the 5.3. I also miss spoke again. Having had several we call them all Suburbans even though this one is a Yukon XL. Really like it. Seemed to work fine as long as you kept it out of overdrive. Got from 7-10 mpg most of the time. Being ex military we are meeting with some old friends in South Carolina this summer and were thinking about hauling it down from Nebraska. Pulled many trailers before, but not this far. However, I feel if I can go drive a submarine from S.C. to the Red Sea without ever surfacing I hope I can manage this.
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Old 11-29-2010, 10:55 AM   #4
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I don't think you will have any issues. You already know to keep in the proper gear so should get along just fine.
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Old 11-29-2010, 11:51 AM   #5
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YukonXL and Burb are the same rig with different nameplates. The std 1/2 T with the 5.3 and 3.73 rear end has a 14,000lb GCWR and I think the tow rating is around 7000 lbs- maybe more. That is without anything - like kids in the Yukon. If I were you, I would find a scale and weigh your combo axle by axle to make sure that you are not exceeding any weight ratings - if you don't have the rig loaded to camp make sure to allow for kids and other cargo. If you are within all the ratings - including CGWR then start planning your trip. The next thing is to not be in a hurry to get to your destination, take pleanty of breaks - turn it into a series of 90mi jaunts instead of a thousand mile trek. As for driving tips - stay under 60 for the best fuel economy, keep the tires inflated and use the tow/haul mode on your transmission. I would also keep an eye on your transmission temp (your DIC should be able to show it).
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Old 11-29-2010, 12:17 PM   #6
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The XL does have the towing package and transmission cooler on it. The kids are small. All together maybe 200lbs. It is a "light weight" camper. It was the dealers TT. He showed us his Burb that was set up identical to ours he said he pulled it with. He said the same thing about 90-100 mile stops. Anyone have any suggestions for mirror extenders. Isn't a problem towing the boat, but have a hard time seeing past the camper. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 11-29-2010, 01:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZgl1500 View Post
I used a 1/2 ton Suburban and a 454 engine to pull a 27 ft Yellowstone TT a whole lot of miles and many states. It originally had a 3.73 axle and pulled like a stump puller.

I changed the axle to a 3.08 for better fuel mileage and that reduced the available pulling power a lot. But the 454 still did okay with remembering that you would need to downshift more on the steep uphills.

You did not mention which engine your Suburban has?

A huge difference between a mid '70s 454 and the later model Vortec motors which are smaller in CCs.
I didn't think they put the 454 in a 1/2 ton. Learn something new everyday.
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Old 11-29-2010, 03:59 PM   #8
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As for mirrors, you have several options - from the slip-on type from CIPA to complete replacements that can extend by remote control. You might be able to retrofit the GM mirrors used on the 3/4T burb. I used the slip ons on my Tahoe and they worked OK - however for my new truck I ordered it with the Tow mirrors already on - best move I ever made - even for non towing applications. JC Whitney has these CIPA REPLACEMENT EXTENDABLE TOWING MIRRORS - JCWhitney These might also work ACTION CRASH REPLACEMENT MIRRORS FOR CARS, TRUCKS, SUVS, AND VANS - JCWhitney These are probably the best Chevy Tahoe Towing Mirror Telescopic Power Heated Driver Side at 1AAuto.com.
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