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Old 06-11-2012, 09:27 PM   #1
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Car hauler dilema

We have been towing our jeep as a dingy. We just traded to a Yukon Denali and no Denali can be towed all four down. The solution we came up with is a trailer. We have yet to purchase the trailer and my biggest concern is tongue weight. I would like to get a race car style open trailer with a toolbox on the front, because I work all over the country and I don't want to put my tools in the Yukon. We have a 40' fleetwood diesel, which is rated for 10000#, but I was looking and it only has a 500# tongue rating and 5000# with out wd hitch. Why does the wd hitch affect towing capacity? I understand the tongue weight. It seems the tongue weight is going to be around 700#, which happens to be what the Yukon is rated for, go figure. With a wd the mh is rated for 1000 and 10000. I know what I should do but I already have 65 thousand into what's behind the motor home. Can I get away with it for a while? I can reduce tongue weight by pointing the Yukon backwards and shift it back, but I'm close to 6000 which is slightly over the 5000 limit. I will eventually get the wd hitch but would like to put it off a few months. My other question is brake control. I had an air setup for the jeep, will the 7 pin operate the electric brakes even though I don't have any gain control that I'm aware of? Or should I get surge brakes?
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Old 06-12-2012, 07:22 AM   #2
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I have been going through a very similar dilemma myself the past week. I have a $65K Jeep for Off-roading that I don't really want to tow 4 down. The simple answer is that there is no simple answer.

First off, if your MH is rated to tow 10K, then the easiest thing would be to change your receiver from a class III to a class IV which is typically 10K lbs rated with a 750-1000 lbs tongue weight rating. I was originally going to go this route myself, however, getting the right receiver to fit sometimes can be a challenge.

I made a ton of phone calls and spoke with a bunch of experts in regards to towing on my endeavor. The short answer to your "can I get away with towing 6K lbs for a little while", the answer is yes. I was asking the same about towing 7K when only rated for 5K, and every place I called said yes, and told me where to reinforce my hitch to ensure it does not have problem. A little while is the key here.

There are some that take the weight limits very literally and treat them as gospel. But most of these people just don't know any different. I spoke with a bunch of Race & Offroad people, went down to a couple race tracks, etc., to find out how they are towing all their toys. Turns out every single one of them is way over weight. Not talking about 1K over, talking about 10K-20K over.

With regard to the brake controller, get a Tekonsha P-3 brake controller, they are only about $125 and then you will be set. That is probably your cheapest and safest route.

The solution to my problem came with this little invention, TrailerToad which goes between your trailer and your MH. This little deal is not cheap, but for me, it takes me out of the sketchy zone and into the its all good zone. After speaking with the guy who makes these, I know all my problems are solved. Now I can tow whatever trailer, toy hauler, cargo trailer, whatever I want and not worry about weights at all.

Hope some of this will help you, as my similar question brought me here looking for the similar answer. Feel free to PM me with any questions, happy to help you out.
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Old 06-12-2012, 07:42 AM   #3
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I used to pull my crawler on a trailer behind my DP. I ruined the hitch on the first coach and had it rebuilt in Gallup NM. I also ruined two sets of equilizer bars. With all of the hangover behind the coach, this can put a tremendous amount of stress on the bars when going in and out of places that is not level. I had a trailer custom made with a 5 1/2 ft tongue so I could make turns without hitting the rear! Also had the axels moved farther back so it would be easier to back which helped tremendously. There is more to it than just buying a trailer. We pulled this trailer over 80,000 miles to wheeling destinations with no problems. I did my research and it payed off. Trailer was also lifted 4in as not to drag because of rear overhang on coach. Trailer was 23ft overall with a 16ft deck and coach was a 40ft American Eagle. Trailer was built with 2 6,000 pound axles for bigger bearings and sprung with 3,000 pound springs for the smooth ride.
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:48 AM   #4
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muffin, you are exactly correct in your recount of your problems. I was on the fence back and forth on the TrailerTaod.

I really hated the idea of spending $3K on that thing, however, after speaking to a bunch of people they all recounted the exact same stories and problems that you described. I bet I heard a similar story to yours 10 times. As much as I did not want to spend the $3K, I knew it was the only way to go to avoid the problems.

Thanks for sharing your experiences.
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Old 06-12-2012, 09:23 AM   #5
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DegoRed, I also forgot about the brakes, could not "feel" when they were working as in a pickup. Couldn't get them adjusted right with the controller(tried several), after burning up a few sets I gave up and cut the blue wire going to the trailer!

I did see however a custom towbar! It was made out of domtubing and was probably 8-10 ft long. It dipped down in the middle and carried the expensive off road tires and wheels! Had three swivel down trailer jacks with castor wheels,one on front and two on the rear. It could be unhooked from either end or both. Tires stood up and were sideways and strapped securely. Yes it could be a pain to switch but it was a sweet setup! The two rear jacks assisted in hooking up the Jeep. With all three jacks down it could be moved around easily. Bet I know what you're thinking now!
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:26 AM   #6
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A friend of mine was able to address this with a dolly that hooks up between the MH and Trailer. He visits this site so may comment as i do not know the details. I believe that you may find some help if the trailer was aluminum.
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:46 AM   #7
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The tongue weight is not the real problem with this. It is the distance from the rear axle of MH to hitch. My Eagle was rated for 10,000 with toungue weight at 1,000. My toungue weight was at 400.
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:49 AM   #8
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I come from an aviation background and for me weight and balance ARE GOSPEL! I've taken part in a few aircraft accident investigations where failure to follow proper weight and balanced equaled a smoking crater and dead people. Does that mean everyone that flies outside the design envelope dies? Heck no but the potential was there.

No limit is a brick wall where if I add 1 more pound, or shift my load 1" past my center of gravity I am going to die. That is what tolerances are for...to overcome our own tendency to push limits and calculation errors. However, when you exceed designed specifications, you become a test pilot/driver.

Can anyone drive a "short" distance slightly overloaded and survive? Sure. Will they? Probably. But, in the immortal words of Dirty Harry, "...you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?"

What happens when you add some weight here, hit a bump there, make a hard turn, encounter a steep down hill? Is the hitch braced up enough and have you accounted for the cumulative factors as they interact with each other? These all add up to human factors similar to aviation's infamous "Got to get there" syndrome.

It doesn't matter how many folks tell you its OK. There are a few silent souls that can't tell you, "Don't do it."

Listen, I've flown a few types of aircraft, provided flight instruction, even jumped out of a "perfectly good airplane" several dozen times. I'm not adverse to excitement but in all these endeavors I played by the rules. I've seen the results of those that haven't.

Intentionally becoming a test engineer for the affects of over gross operations is not my idea of being smart. I KNOW that some of you folks are smarter than me, have engineering degrees or friends that do, have a pretty good idea on the impact of your modifications. But when I hear that some folks are 10K-20K over weight, I have to shake my head because that freaking idiot is sharing the road with me and maybe about to kill me in the process of killing themselves.

I need to find my old parachute to step off this soap box.

BTW...The last words form the jump master on my first free fall..."Don, you are a dead man until you pull the cord...GO GO GO!"
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:20 AM   #9
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In one of your posts you mentioned spinning the yukon around to alleviate tongue weight. I would strongly advise against doing this. You technically want tongue weight when it comes to actually controlling the trailer.

If you spin the Yukon around you risk the trailer throwing you around. I can speak from experience that this is not something you ever want to deal with.
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by athuddriver View Post
I come from an aviation background and for me weight and balance ARE GOSPEL! I've taken part in a few aircraft accident investigations where failure to follow proper weight and balanced equaled a smoking crater and dead people. Does that mean everyone that flies outside the design envelope dies? Heck no but the potential was there.

No limit is a brick wall where if I add 1 more pound, or shift my load 1" past my center of gravity I am going to die. That is what tolerances are for...to overcome our own tendency to push limits and calculation errors. However, when you exceed designed specifications, you become a test pilot/driver.

Can anyone drive a "short" distance slightly overloaded and survive? Sure. Will they? Probably. But, in the immortal words of Dirty Harry, "...you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?"

What happens when you add some weight here, hit a bump there, make a hard turn, encounter a steep down hill? Is the hitch braced up enough and have you accounted for the cumulative factors as they interact with each other? These all add up to human factors similar to aviation's infamous "Got to get there" syndrome.

It doesn't matter how many folks tell you its OK. There are a few silent souls that can't tell you, "Don't do it."

Listen, I've flown a few types of aircraft, provided flight instruction, even jumped out of a "perfectly good airplane" several dozen times. I'm not adverse to excitement but in all these endeavors I played by the rules. I've seen the results of those that haven't.

Intentionally becoming a test engineer for the affects of over gross operations is not my idea of being smart. I KNOW that some of you folks are smarter than me, have engineering degrees or friends that do, have a pretty good idea on the impact of your modifications. But when I hear that some folks are 10K-20K over weight, I have to shake my head because that freaking idiot is sharing the road with me and maybe about to kill me in the process of killing themselves.

I need to find my old parachute to step off this soap box.

BTW...The last words form the jump master on my first free fall..."Don, you are a dead man until you pull the cord...GO GO GO!"

Very well said but there will always be people who think it is accepatable to extend the limits of any system to go along with their needs regardless of the potential costs. Those are the people to avoid on the roads if possible as they have only their own selfish interests in mind and could care less about others. Rules/laws are put into effect for a reason and if your willing to try and bend them, it most likely will end up biting you in the arse down the road.(And sadly sometimes others) Those individuals that say, "do this or that and you should be alright to exceed tow weight ratings or drive without auxillary braking on a towed as your rig with stop everything if needed" etc, will suddenly fall silent if there is a request for them to put their recommendations in writing. Either do it right or don't do it at all is a very simple philosophy to follow cause fudging and getting caught will be very exspensive and usually void any insurance coverage you may have had.
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Old 06-12-2012, 01:07 PM   #11
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I have a 05 Yukon XL 4X4 and it can be flat towed, We were thinking of trading it for a Yukon Denali. (not XL) Is there something different that I'm not aware of?
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Old 06-12-2012, 01:17 PM   #12
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Need to recheck some math.

The LEAST a Yukon Denali weighs is 5450 (according to info online). Plus the weight of a trailer, maybe 2000 pounds, and you are in the 7500 pound range, not 6000.
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Old 06-12-2012, 01:42 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 336muffin View Post
I have a 05 Yukon XL 4X4 and it can be flat towed, We were thinking of trading it for a Yukon Denali. (not XL) Is there something different that I'm not aware of?
I suspect the Denali is full-time AWD with no neutral position such as you have in your transfer case. In other words, no way to disconnect the Denali from the transmission.

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Old 06-12-2012, 01:44 PM   #14
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I was wondering why u did not buy a Yukon 4x4 ? U would be able to tow it four down no problem. We have a Tahoe which I used to trailer but went to the tow bar after we had to pay for an extra vehicle at some of the campgrounds while we were traveling. That was two years ago now with no regrets.
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