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Old 06-22-2016, 09:23 PM   #1
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New RV Owner - Need to Tow a 2015 Suburban

Hi Everyone!

I've been lurking around these boards for a year or so now as my wife and I planned for the purchase of our new RV. Well on Sunday we pick up our 2017 Berkshire XL 40BH and couldn't be more excited Because of the number in our family (5 kids and 2 adults, plus we typically travel with a third adult) I have to be able to tow my Wife's 2015 Chevy Suburban 1500 LT 2WD behind us. I've looked at the manuals and I know I'm going to need the following to be successful:

1) Blue Ox - BasePlate and Avail Towbar (the new one)
2) Air Force One Brake System to attach to the AirBrakes
3) Remco Lube Pump for the Transmission

Other than that does anyone have any experience pulling one of these? Does the mileage get tracked, I read that with the 4x4 they want you to put it in neutral, accessory mode and then disconnect the negative cable from the battery terminal. Do I need to do all of this as well? Obviously the neutral shift is required, but any other thoughts/suggestions are appreciated! Things like can I pull a fuse and not track mileage, or if you do this, then you don't have to do this etc

Again thanks in advance!
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Old 06-22-2016, 09:25 PM   #2
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We pull a 2013 2wd Escalade.

We chose a driveshaft disconnect over the Remco pump. Much less to go wrong.

Paul
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Old 06-23-2016, 01:42 PM   #3
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Update.

Thanks pwhittle - We are considering going with either the lube pump or the remco Drive Shaft Coupler method. I've heard mixed reviews on the drive shaft, have you had any issues with it?

I also heard that with the baseplate like from BlueOx that you have to tighten up the bolts every 3000 miles or so, or is this just the dealer trying to sell me a custom made baseplate welded on?
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Old 06-23-2016, 02:08 PM   #4
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We had a"frame extension" break on our 2011 GMC Sierra. That is where the base plate attaches. It was a mess. DW had to drive the truck home (1200 miles) and about $4K in repair bill. Our body shop reinforced the truck parts then attached the Blue Ox plates per the directions only he welded the nuts and bolts instead of lock-tite.
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Old 06-23-2016, 02:18 PM   #5
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I don't have any direct experience with towing a suburban but I would be leery about the transmission pump system.

We wanted to tow my wife's 2010 Escape and called Remco about the procedure. They had a transmission lube pump setup for that model that they said would work.

I did some more research on line about other's experiences with the Remco pump and found too many instances of transmission failures with the Escape.

Our 2012 F150 was flat towable without any modifications needed so we went with it.

RVing is stressful enough without having the additional burden of wondering if you're ruining your tranny .

Bob
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Old 06-23-2016, 03:44 PM   #6
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I've been towing a 2007 Cadillac for over a year (closer to 2 years now) with a Remco pump. No issues!

AirForceOne is a great brake system to use with a DP.

I know Blue Ox is a great company, but take a look at Roadmaster. If you go to the RVGeeks website and watch their video on Roadmaster towbars and binding, you might consider going with Roadmaster, unless you're already an owner of Blue Ox gear. Just a thought. I have a Roadmaster tow system and have had zero issues with it.
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Old 06-23-2016, 03:52 PM   #7
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We tow our 2012 suburban, But it is 4x4. AirForce One Brake system, Blue Ox plate with Aventa tow bar.
It is so easy which is why we set it up to tow. Just put transfer case in Neutral, put it in park remove key and lock doors. Nothing else required.


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Old 06-23-2016, 06:42 PM   #8
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We tow a 2008 Yukon XL Denali (AWD). We have the Blue OX base plate, tow bar, M&G air over brake, Remco trans pump. We've had great experience with our setup. I've posted a few things, so you can check my posts.

Here are a few highlights and answers to your questions;
1. We have to have the transmission in neutral
2. To be in neutral, the key must be in the on position
3. The battery will run down on long tows, and you need power for your emergency break-away system, so...
4. I have a trickle charge wire coming from the coach to keep the toad battery charged.
5. To help minimize battery drain, I turn off the AC, the nav, and auto headlights. Basically anything extra that will draw power.
6. Yes, mileage does accumulate on the odometer when we tow.
7. Installation is the key to towing success. Access your skills, or find a reputable installer.

Good Luck!
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Old 06-23-2016, 08:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RubyBerk View Post
Thanks pwhittle - We are considering going with either the lube pump or the remco Drive Shaft Coupler method. I've heard mixed reviews on the drive shaft, have you had any issues with it?



I also heard that with the baseplate like from BlueOx that you have to tighten up the bolts every 3000 miles or so, or is this just the dealer trying to sell me a custom made baseplate welded on?

No issues with either the driveshaft disconnect or the Blue Ox tow bar or baseplate, but I will check the bolts this weekend. We have only had it on for 6 months and towed 4 times.

Paul
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Old 06-29-2016, 04:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RubyBerk View Post
Hi Everyone!

I've been lurking around these boards for a year or so now as my wife and I planned for the purchase of our new RV. Well on Sunday we pick up our 2017 Berkshire XL 40BH and couldn't be more excited Because of the number in our family (5 kids and 2 adults, plus we typically travel with a third adult) I have to be able to tow my Wife's 2015 Chevy Suburban 1500 LT 2WD behind us. I've looked at the manuals and I know I'm going to need the following to be successful:

1) Blue Ox - BasePlate and Avail Towbar (the new one)
2) Air Force One Brake System to attach to the AirBrakes
3) Remco Lube Pump for the Transmission

Other than that does anyone have any experience pulling one of these? Does the mileage get tracked, I read that with the 4x4 they want you to put it in neutral, accessory mode and then disconnect the negative cable from the battery terminal. Do I need to do all of this as well? Obviously the neutral shift is required, but any other thoughts/suggestions are appreciated! Things like can I pull a fuse and not track mileage, or if you do this, then you don't have to do this etc

Again thanks in advance!
Per GM 2WD Dingy Towing NOT ALLOWED; Any damage voids warranty.

This is per the owners manual.

But what you do is up to you.
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Old 06-29-2016, 04:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcabby View Post
We tow a 2008 Yukon XL Denali (AWD). We have the Blue OX base plate, tow bar, M&G air over brake, Remco trans pump. We've had great experience with our setup. I've posted a few things, so you can check my posts.

Here are a few highlights and answers to your questions;
1. We have to have the transmission in neutral
2. To be in neutral, the key must be in the on position
3. The battery will run down on long tows, and you need power for your emergency break-away system, so...
4. I have a trickle charge wire coming from the coach to keep the toad battery charged.
5. To help minimize battery drain, I turn off the AC, the nav, and auto headlights. Basically anything extra that will draw power.
6. Yes, mileage does accumulate on the odometer when we tow.
7. Installation is the key to towing success. Access your skills, or find a reputable installer.

Good Luck!
Yes and another one PER GM Do NOT Flat Tow, that is why your mileage adds up, because the drive line components are turning.
Just my .2 worth
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Old 07-10-2016, 07:47 PM   #12
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I think you have a couple of issues mixed here. We had a 2011 Escape and the owners' manual and Ford made it very clear - with AWD it WAS flat towable. Only problem is that they were burning out transmissions. Ours never burned out. We heated up the transmission fluid and then had it drained down to the mark on the dip stick for flat towing (that was essential - and the fluid had to be hot when adjusting as explained in the manual) and that whole process was certified by our dealer.. We also did not put a dirt skirt on so the air flow under the MH was not impeded. We put a ScanGage in the Escape and found that then towing the transmission fluid could get as high as 220 degrees. With then engine running and driving it on interstates, locally, etc, it was very hard to get up to 185 degrees. That really PO'd me.

In Feb 2012 Ford said - "that's all folks - no more towing flat. If you bought before that date you could tow flat and be covered under warranty. If you bought after that date flat towing not permitted - period."

We decided to get the Remco pump as we were tired of traveling and wondering if we would be next. So, I contacted Remco. Remco told us that the lube pump program for the Escape and Fusion had been taken over by Ford and that they (Remco) could no longer install them.

So, off to my dealer. The service manager didn't have a clue what I was talking about of course. Explained it all and had him contact Ford for details.

Well, turns out Ford Canada seemed to think we'd be stupid enough to prepay for a new transmission. Well, not exactly. Remco, when it would install them in an Escape would do it for about $1700US. Ford Canada wanted ...... get this.... $6,000 plus tax Cdn (and our dollars were darn close to equal then). Oh, the dealer agreed to give us an $800 discount. Whoopi. We were going to by an Edge Limited and then I realized "why reward Ford by buying a more expensive Ford vehicle when they screwed things up. So, we ordered a 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited with Active Drive II and all the goodies and it was delivered in November 2013. It was so nice to simply put the transfer case in neutral and go. WE towed six times for 1500 miles total with no wobble problems. My wife loves the car and all the high tech features. She plans to keep it for seven years (you better believe I'll be putting the 7 year extended warranty on it shortly).

Of course, we got the notification of the Wiring Kit and have had it installed. The fuse and the switch are not a big deal and they did a good job with them. The PO is that now I have to connect power to the toad battery because the EPS power module that gets activated by the new wiring harness sucks up power. From what I can determine it is making constant calculations on the steering. DW and I just love the lane sense that will physically take over and move you back to the center of the lane when you get to the white lane lines.

So, advice on getting power to the battery would be appreciated.

Prior to the Escape we towed a 2007 Tahoe LTZ 4WD - but not with our current MH. First with an Ambassador with ISC and then a Kodiak based Greyhawk with 8.1 gasser. Towed fine with transfer case in Neutral.


Quote:
Originally Posted by the trainguy View Post
I don't have any direct experience with towing a suburban but I would be leery about the transmission pump system.

We wanted to tow my wife's 2010 Escape and called Remco about the procedure. They had a transmission lube pump setup for that model that they said would work.

I did some more research on line about other's experiences with the Remco pump and found too many instances of transmission failures with the Escape.

Our 2012 F150 was flat towable without any modifications needed so we went with it.

RVing is stressful enough without having the additional burden of wondering if you're ruining your tranny .

Bob
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Old 07-11-2016, 05:54 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Shadow View Post
I think you have a couple of issues mixed here. We had a 2011 Escape and the owners' manual and Ford made it very clear - with AWD it WAS flat towable. Only problem is that they were burning out transmissions. Ours never burned out. We heated up the transmission fluid and then had it drained down to the mark on the dip stick for flat towing (that was essential - and the fluid had to be hot when adjusting as explained in the manual) and that whole process was certified by our dealer.. We also did not put a dirt skirt on so the air flow under the MH was not impeded. We put a ScanGage in the Escape and found that then towing the transmission fluid could get as high as 220 degrees. With then engine running and driving it on interstates, locally, etc, it was very hard to get up to 185 degrees. That really PO'd me.

In Feb 2012 Ford said - "that's all folks - no more towing flat. If you bought before that date you could tow flat and be covered under warranty. If you bought after that date flat towing not permitted - period."

We decided to get the Remco pump as we were tired of traveling and wondering if we would be next. So, I contacted Remco. Remco told us that the lube pump program for the Escape and Fusion had been taken over by Ford and that they (Remco) could no longer install them.

So, off to my dealer. The service manager didn't have a clue what I was talking about of course. Explained it all and had him contact Ford for details.

Well, turns out Ford Canada seemed to think we'd be stupid enough to prepay for a new transmission. Well, not exactly. Remco, when it would install them in an Escape would do it for about $1700US. Ford Canada wanted ...... get this.... $6,000 plus tax Cdn (and our dollars were darn close to equal then). Oh, the dealer agreed to give us an $800 discount. Whoopi. We were going to by an Edge Limited and then I realized "why reward Ford by buying a more expensive Ford vehicle when they screwed things up. So, we ordered a 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited with Active Drive II and all the goodies and it was delivered in November 2013. It was so nice to simply put the transfer case in neutral and go. WE towed six times for 1500 miles total with no wobble problems. My wife loves the car and all the high tech features. She plans to keep it for seven years (you better believe I'll be putting the 7 year extended warranty on it shortly).

Of course, we got the notification of the Wiring Kit and have had it installed. The fuse and the switch are not a big deal and they did a good job with them. The PO is that now I have to connect power to the toad battery because the EPS power module that gets activated by the new wiring harness sucks up power. From what I can determine it is making constant calculations on the steering. DW and I just love the lane sense that will physically take over and move you back to the center of the lane when you get to the white lane lines.

So, advice on getting power to the battery would be appreciated.

Prior to the Escape we towed a 2007 Tahoe LTZ 4WD - but not with our current MH. First with an Ambassador with ISC and then a Kodiak based Greyhawk with 8.1 gasser. Towed fine with transfer case in Neutral.
Get yourself a
Hopkins 39332 BrakeBuddy Towed Vehicle Battery Maintainer

and a 6 pin connector for the front of your car. Switch over from the 4 pin connector if you are using one. This will also require changing the MH to Toad cord. A 7 pin to 6 pin, you will be taking the Aux 12vdc from the MH and using it to trickle charge the battery in the Toad.
If you are already using a 7pin on the Toad then just connect to the Aux 12vdc power to trickle charge.
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Old 07-11-2016, 08:07 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperGewl View Post
Get yourself a
Hopkins 39332 BrakeBuddy Towed Vehicle Battery Maintainer

and a 6 pin connector for the front of your car. Switch over from the 4 pin connector if you are using one. This will also require changing the MH to Toad cord. A 7 pin to 6 pin, you will be taking the Aux 12vdc from the MH and using it to trickle charge the battery in the Toad.
If you are already using a 7pin on the Toad then just connect to the Aux 12vdc power to trickle charge.
I have a 7 pin with a positive connection. I use mag lights and have gone 7 to 4 since that is all that is needed. I also have a Brake Buddy and it has not caused any battery problems as with my driving style it is rarely used. I thought I might be able to get by with a wire from the 7 pin + to the toad battery + terminal but have no idea what size wire and what to do about a ground, if anything. I notice on some of the toad charging kits they run wires to both terminals and also have a charge regulator.

I'm assuming the 7 pin + connection will provide enough power but having seen a report that a Cherokee battery without a power supply was flat in 3 hours makes me wonder. I have a feeling that the EPS processor being provided power does a lot of work if it is also monitoring the steering for the lane sense feature. Hmmm. That makes me think that the lane sense should be turned off before shutting down the engine, just in case.
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