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Open Roads Forum  >  Towing

 > How large of a trailer can I tow with 2010 Tahoe Z71.

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Posted: 02/25/12 11:29am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well, I guess I am going to throw this out there.

There is more to towing than just the length and size of the trailer.

I tow a 32 ft, ball to bumper travel trailer with a f150. I have done the due diligence to make sure my hitch is set up correctly and I have dual friction sway control.

Keep the gvwr of the trailer under your max tow rating and then buy a good hitch with sway control built in. I have dual friction sway control and will be upgrading to dual cam next week.

IMHO a 30 footer is not out of the question at all as long as everything is in spec

“Well, here at last, dear friends, on the shores of the Sea comes the end of our fellowship in Middle-earth. Go in peace! I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.”
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Topeka or somewhere else

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Posted: 02/25/12 11:35am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Tow ratings are warranty issues. Either follow the manufacturers rating or you give the manufacturer an "out" in case of warranty work being needed AND the manufacturer says it could be weight related. As long as you're not over the GAWR or the GVWR (including the trailer tongue, all people in the vehicle and all cargo aboard) AND you are happy with the performance, you can tow it (but you may be responsible for repairs). One thing is CERTAIN, those RV dealers who want to put you in a larger trailer will NOT be paying your warranty repairs [emoticon]

Good luck / Skip

2011 F-150 HD Ecoboost 3.5 V6. 2550 payload, 17,100 GCVWR -
2004 F-150 HD (Traded after 80,000 towing miles)
2007 Rockwood 8314SS 34' travel trailer

US Govt survey shows three out of four people make up 75% of the total population

eric james

Sioux Falls, SD

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Posted: 02/25/12 12:16pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've towed a 26QBH and a 290BHS camper with my Expedition. Very similar to your Tahoe tow vehicle.

Anything with "29" in the id will be your limit, "26" or less will be very comfortable. 5500 lbs dry weight is your max when shopping trailers.

2009 Keystone Passport UL 290BH
2003 Ford Expedition EB 5.4L/3.73



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Posted: 02/25/12 12:28pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bgum- When you say "total length" of 24-25 are you referring to just the box or the hitch and all? Just wanted to clarify.

I actually think we would pack lighter for trailer camping than tent camping. Oh how glorious it would be to not have to pack the tent, mattress, awning, etc that now all reside on a shelf in my closet. So figure standard weight of camping gear and 2-3 bikes. I know I'll need to weigh it officially but at the moment packing up food and clothes for a camping trip that i am not taking sounds depressing. There are two adults- 130# and 200# plus a baby and an 8# dog named Moose.

donn0128- Referring to the sticker from when we bought the truck: my axle is the 3.42 ratio and the GVW Rating is 7,300 pounds if that matters any. We have the off road package with the 18" on/off road BW tires. (i've read a few things about certain tires causing sway so thought it might matter) The engine is the 5.3L Vortec V8 and it has the Heavy Duty Trailering package with the engine oil cooler and the HD Transmission oil cooler and trailer brake controller.

RRUG- I agree on the couches, but I don't see a lot of chairs and am thinking a couch might be good for kids. I plan to put the baby to sleep on the dinette, using a playpen where the table would be until he is old enough to sleep in it as a bed.

I kinda like a used 2008 Jayco 25F, with the rear kitchen style as it would allow us the bedroom usage for the kid's naps. I also looked at a few rear king slide floorplans, but is all that weight in the back okay for a short wheelbase? I'm thinking I'd want my slide weight in the middle or front if I'm worrying about the sway/wagging issues.



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Posted: 02/25/12 12:42pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Don’t be sorry, we were all ignorant when we started. And many times we repeatedly replaced RV’s and TV’s until we got educated enough to make good decisions. If you post all the specs on your Tahoe many posters will be able to tell you what you’re rated to pull. The most accurate, though is to load your TV up as it would be for a trip and weigh it. Then you’ll know exactly what you have to work with. You’ll likely need a WD/sway control hitch, too, so don’t forget to subtract that off your capacity.

There’s another aspect, though, the max you can pull and how much you can pull and be happy with the performance. If you pull near max you will be climbing grades slowly and at high rpm. That may or may not bother you, but it’s best to be aware of it upfront to avoid unpleasant surprises. Don’t believe anything a salesman tells you about what you can pull, their goal is to sell the TT. And ignore dry weights, they’re useless. If you have a good idea of how much weight you’ll load in the TT you can add it to the dry weight. Otherwise, the GVWR is a much better guide. Slides can be nice but be aware they increase the weight of the TT, too.

The few scary situations I’ve seen have all involved shorter wheelbase vehicles. So I’m in the group that would limit length to about 25’ max, though I know some people do pull bigger. Also, the longer you get the fewer sites you can fit into. If you like public land camping, like national forests, shorter TT’s are a distinct advantage. Just continue to do your homework and good luck on your decision.


Camano Island, Wash.

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Posted: 02/25/12 12:53pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

i have an '07 Avalanche, which is the same GM900 chassis as the Tahoe and Suburban. i do have a longer wheelbase than the Tahoe.
i have the same engine but the 4 speed transmission, instead of your 6 speed transmission.
my tow max is 7200lbs. didn't know the 6 speed would allow for another 1000lbs. of tow capacity.

i live in California and have to tow through mountains alot.
so, i've limited myself to nothing with a GVWR over 6000lbs.
i currently tow a 24' HTT that weighs around 5000lbs. loaded for camping.
i am very comfortable and happy with this size.

since you don't live near mountains, i would recommend not going longer than 28' in total length and no heavier than a GVWR of 7000lbs.

you'll need a good WDH with sway control, due to the Tahoe's shorter wheelbase.

Dan- Firefighter">, Shawn- Musician/Entrepreneur">, Zoe- Faithful Golden Retriever(RIP">), 2014 Ford F150 Ecoboost, 2016 PrimeTime TracerAIR 255 w/Equalizer and Prodigy, and 5 Mtn. bikes and 2 Road bikes


South Louisiana

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Posted: 02/25/12 12:57pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Total=hitch thru bumper
You can pull longer but you will be safer and more comfortable with a max of 24-25 feet.


SE Michigan

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Posted: 02/25/12 07:07pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The closer you stay to 5000 pounds dry the happier you will be. The manufacturer tow ratings rarely mean RV tow ratings. You usually go over some ratings well under the tow rating.

A & A parents of DD 2005, DS1 2007, DS2 2009
2011 Suburban 2500 6.0L 3.73 pulling 2011 Heartland North Trail 28BRS
2017 Subaru Outback 3.6R


Calgary, Alberta

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Posted: 02/25/12 09:40pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There is some excellent advice here:

As a previous newb, I too asked here in this forum similar questions. To not ask and take some dealer reps adivce is looking for trouble. We all have seen the loaded mini-van with 5 kids/2 adults/5 bikes on the hood pulling a way too big trailer and the van looks like it came out of East LA...a low rider on the rear end. Things like that scare the bejesus outa me..and make me angry that some fool would put his whole family in danger. so, coming here to ask is excellent.

GVWR is very important. Know what your trailer will weigh when its LOADED - propane, battery(s), water, food, clothes and camping gear all count. Also add the people in the TV...that is all part of GVWR. And as previously suggested, get it weighed at a govt scale...they will be only too happy to provide the service and weight info for you.

WD/Sway control. Research and understand the difference... and absolutely GET both.!

Tip..unless you are going out in the booneys, dont bring water. It weighs in at 10 lbs per gallon...do the math. Inline water filters are cheap and work well.

Where are you going to go with this set up is also important. Travelling in Eastern North America is not a huge issue as far as serious climbs are concerned... but go to Montana, Idaho or better yet the Canadian Rockies and its a whole different ballgame. 6%+ grades are not uncommon and they can go for up to 30 miles.!

As an example; Aug 2005 - Hwy # 3 BC Eastbound, 102 Degreees, climbing up Kootenay pass. 6-8% grades, 27 mile long climb, 2005 Dakota (4.7 with a CAI and exhaust), pulling a 4450lb loaded Coyote Hybrid - overheated motor 3 times on way up and came near red line on the tranny as well. It was equipped with a trans cooler and all the trailer goodies...but that climb near killed our vacation.!

That day I cemented my decision to buy a diesel.

I agree with the consensus to keep your trailer (total weight) to a max of 5-6k which would likely mean a dry weight of 4500 lbs. Length..keep it under 27' (hitch to tail),total.

my .02

cheers and happy Rv'in.!


M'self and the Bride...of 28 yrs
'06 GMC DMax CCSB 514,880 km (319,930 miles)
2006 Citation 26RKS.
Truck Mods
My Diesel Place Garage


Rochester, NY

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Posted: 02/27/12 12:22pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I agree with the 7000lb limit. Having quite a bit of 1/2 ton towing experience prior to purchasing my current truck, that is the amount of weight I would be comfortable towing on a 6 hour trip.

You are not going to find many 30' trailers that will come in under 7000lbs loaded and ready to camp, so length is going to follow weight anyway. A lighter trailer is generally a shorter trailer.

If you can start with something that has a "dry" weight of <5000lbs on the literature, you can be pretty confident that you'll be okay on weights once loaded. It takes a LOT of stuff to put 2000lbs into a trailer.

Putting 10-ply tires on half ton trucks since aught-four.

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