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Old 10-21-2020, 08:01 AM   #1
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Tow vehicle (newbie - be nice)

COVID helped push our family into the TT world, so Im new and looking for advice on a tow vehicle. We bought a 24 BH and were @ ~6000 lbs fully loaded (gear, people, dog, generator and all). I have a Jeep GC with a 5.3 V8, which has plenty of power to pull it, but the sway, particularly on windy days is disconcerting. Question for people to hopefully help with and not ridicule is on whether to go with a 1/2 ton pick up, Suburban/Yukon/XL, Expedition EL/Max, or open to other thoughts. We like the prospect of the SUV because the dog can be inside on long, hot treks but obviously get a bit more wheelbase with a pickup.

Thanks in advance for you productive help!
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Old 10-21-2020, 08:30 AM   #2
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Wheelbase is a big factor in controlling the trailer. If all things are equal between two vehicles pick the one with the longer wheelbase.

Also trucks have a body on frame which makes a better tow vehicle.

Now, you can take back roads that are slower and keep the Jeep. But if you want to take the highway you need a bigger vehicle which you already know.

Now, do you buy another, bigger SUV and hope it controls the trailer?

Good luck
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Old 10-21-2020, 08:45 AM   #3
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I've towed a similar size trailer for years, previously with a Dodge 1500 4x4. That would be better than what you are currently towing with, and I got by with it for years, but was never really comfortable on longer trips. Just didn't have the horsepower, particularly going up hills, for me to not feel like I was holding up traffic at times. 2 years ago, I went up to an F250. The difference is significant. I can hardly tell the trailer is back there, and this is with the gasser. Diesel would be even better. I guess the point being, you can "get by" with what you have, but bigger will certainly be more comfortable and easier, and with a quad cab truck, you will have as much or more room than you have in an SUV.
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Old 10-21-2020, 08:59 AM   #4
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As we leap-frogged our way through bigger trailers and bigger tow vehicles through the years we had a combination of a Chevy Trailblazer pulling a 25' TT weighing about 5500 lbs using a WDH with the friction type sway control. Like you, we had the power but keeping sway in check, especially when being passed by 18 wheelers was a chore.

I upgraded my WDH setup to one with integrated cam-lok sway control and the difference was amazing.

When we finally did upgrade the tow vehicle we also faced the SUV/Pickup dilemma which was easily solved by a crew cap pickup with a topper on it. We kept that tow vehicle for 12 years until we leap frogged into a motorhome.
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Old 10-21-2020, 09:00 AM   #5
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I would be thinking more about a 3/4 ton truck, and also concerned about the dog if you don't have AC in the trailer. Trailers warm up fairly quickly
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Old 10-21-2020, 09:14 AM   #6
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A different direction of thought. You didn't mention what you are using as a hitch.

Many folks who have converted from SOB hitch to a Hensley design (Hensley and Propride) report better stability. Personally, I tow with a Propride. My trailer is 7K lbs loaded. Winds affect my tow experience the similar to not towing. You get pushed, but no trailer oscillation at the hitch.
I think both companies offer a money back trial period. Could be more cost effective than a new TV.
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Old 10-21-2020, 09:24 AM   #7
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My son had a Jeep GC to tow his 2020 Coleman 25' that strained climbing hills. He traded it for a Yukon with 5.3l towing if from AZ to Sacramento with no problems.


Imo, if you need the seating capacity, then I'd recommend a Yukon XL with 6.2l and 6 speed transmission.
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Old 10-21-2020, 10:09 AM   #8
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Do the numbers

Lots of good advice posted above!

You may consider looking at a Ford Expedition. Different models in the line have different towing capacities. Chevy has a similar SUV.

Actual weights are what matters. Load up your Jeep and TT rig and go to a CAT scale. For $15 you get axle weights. Drop the trailer in the parking lot and reweigh the Jeep ($15 more). Subtract the Jeep weight without the TT from the Jeep weight with the TT. The difference is the tongue weight. Now you have actual weights.
Jeep front axle
Jeep rear axle
Total Jeep weight
TT axle total
Tongue weight
Total combined weight

Next copy down the specifications from the stickers in the Jeep driver's door frame. There may be two stickers. One for the Jeep and one for the jeep tires. The rear hitch will have its own rating. Maximum cargo weight may be listed, if not then (MGVW - Dry or Unloaded weight) is Cargo weight.

Any specifications listed there must not be exceeded when the TT is attached.
MGVW Maximum Gross Vehicle Weight
Maximum front axle weight
Maximum rear axle weight
Jeep and TT Combined gross vehicle weight
Maximum towing capacity
Tire maximums

The trailer also has a weight specification sticker on the front driver's side. MGVW must not be exceeded. Specified tongue weight is usually not correct. Ignore it.

Actual cargo weight is the specified dry weight subtracted from the actual total weight of the loaded Jeep with the TT attached.

Tongue weight including the weight distribution hitch must not exceed specified hitch maximum. Tongue weight needs to be at least 10% of trailer weight for safe towing. 15% will be more stable.

As posted above, distance between front and rear wheels of the tow vehicle matter. When traveling faster than 45 MPH, longer wheel base matters. It reduces sway caused by light tongue weight, passing trucks, and cross winds. The faster you go, the more pronounced the effect.

Use the above bench marks for evaluating possible new tow vehicles. To get more stability, you need more margin between actual and maximum than the Jeep gives you. If any Jeep specs have been exceeded, reduce speed and leave a lot more stopping distance in front of you. Get a higher capacity tow vehicle.

Factory installed tow options often include more enhancements than you may expect. So look for them. Otherwise there is may be much more to learn.

Look at the door sticker for any new or used vehicle you may buy. Do this before committing to buy. Run the numbers. Individual vehicles in the same model line differ substantially. Half ton trucks are not all the same. They vary a lot.

I have a 21 foot Dutchmen Kodiak Cub ultra-lite. I tow it with a 2015 Nissan Pathfinder AWD SUV with factory towing package. The actual weight of the Cub is about 4300 #. The Nissan is spec'ed for towing 6000 #. Driver, 1 passenger, 1 dog, luggage is within limits. Tongue weight between 500 and 750 #.

Towing at 65 MPH is stable including climbing Midwest hills and emergency stopping. This is the maximum I would tow with the my Pathfinder.

I have looked at a Ford Expedition when I was considering towing an Airstream 27 foot TT. There is also a Chevy with similar towing capacity. Individual vehicles capacity vary a lot. Always check the door stickers before committing to buy.

I wish you good luck and happy trails ahead!
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Old 10-21-2020, 05:59 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the great feedback! I have a the Equal-i-zer 4 point system. And, just to clarify, Im definitely interested in moving out of my Jeep GC. The question is a full sized SUV like a Suburban or Expedition EL or a pick-up. I dont like the prospect of a dog in the hot weather in the bed but I want a stable ride going through the mountains.

Sounds like the consensus is an SUV might be ok but a 1/2 ton would be a better TV, right?
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Old 10-21-2020, 06:11 PM   #10
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A muscled 150/1500 series truck will out tow any SUV but the Expedition EL will out tow the lower payload trucks.

Now the dog can dictate which vehicle you buy. The 3.5 Eco-Boost Expedition EL would be my choice.
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Old 10-22-2020, 12:38 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
A muscled 150/1500 series truck will out tow any SUV but the Expedition EL will out tow the lower payload trucks.

Now the dog can dictate which vehicle you buy. The 3.5 Eco-Boost Expedition EL would be my choice.
The new 6.2L GMC Yukon XL is also a good choice if you are a diehard NA fan.
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Old 10-22-2020, 11:03 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juul0002 View Post
Thanks for all the great feedback! I have a the Equal-i-zer 4 point system. And, just to clarify, Im definitely interested in moving out of my Jeep GC. The question is a full sized SUV like a Suburban or Expedition EL or a pick-up. I dont like the prospect of a dog in the hot weather in the bed but I want a stable ride going through the mountains.

Sounds like the consensus is an SUV might be ok but a 1/2 ton would be a better TV, right?
SUV - Used Excursion, just stay away from the 6.0 diesel, 7.3 diesel or gasser would be OK.

Truck - Go 3/4 ton.

if you do go for a Yukon, don't get the 5.3. It's underpowered. Our good friends bought a Rockwood Ultralight 21' that's right at 4500 lbs, and it wouldn't pull it. He's an experienced at towing, we've towed together for decades, and he is a mechanic, he hated it.
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Old 10-22-2020, 01:40 PM   #13
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We have a Yukon Denali with the 6L gas engine. Towing about the same weight. Equalizer hitch. I've found it does fairly well towing up hills and handling winds and sway. Probably would be a little better if we had gone with the XL with the longer wheel base. I see that they stretched the wheel base on the 2021 models and thinking about trading in next year. The XL (and the Suburban) are too long for our garage.
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Old 10-22-2020, 01:53 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Juul0002 View Post
COVID helped push our family into the TT world, so Im new and looking for advice on a tow vehicle. We bought a 24 BH and were @ ~6000 lbs fully loaded (gear, people, dog, generator and all). I have a Jeep GC with a 5.3 V8, which has plenty of power to pull it, but the sway, particularly on windy days is disconcerting. Question for people to hopefully help with and not ridicule is on whether to go with a 1/2 ton pick up, Suburban/Yukon/XL, Expedition EL/Max, or open to other thoughts. We like the prospect of the SUV because the dog can be inside on long, hot treks but obviously get a bit more wheelbase with a pickup.

Thanks in advance for you productive help!
So you are one of *them*! lol

I see you got the standard advice. We'll be happy to spend you money for ya on the tow vehicle!

Welcome to the madhouse! Lots of knowledge here.

Are youlooking at 3500 dually yet?
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