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 > 2001 GMC Yukon 1500 as TV

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tgunter101

Lone Star State

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Posted: 03/12/19 01:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've searched the forum for posts that would help answer my questions. While I found plenty of helpful info, I haven't found exactly what I'm looking for. We're anticipating jumping into RV'ing, but want to try it out before investing too much, so I'm trying not to purchase a new TV until we know more. We have a very well-maintained, 1-owner, low mileage '01 Yukon with the towing package, including transmission cooler. I've researched how to calculate towing capacity for hours on end and have found multiple variations, the simplest of which is to use 80% of TV specified towing capacity. My Yukon states 5,000 lbs with a dead weight hitch and 8,800 lbs with a WDH, which seems to be a significant variance. Max tongue weight is 500 lbs dead hitch or 1,000 lbs with WDH. GCWR is 14,000 lbs, but GVWR is 7,000 lbs, so I'm confused about which tow rating to actually use. I've calculated a loaded vehicle weight of just under 6,000 lbs, which is conservative (only 2 passengers). Would that leave 8,000 lbs of total towing capacity (14,000 - 6,000), recognizing that I would want to stay at least 20% under that? I've added in hitch weight and have calculated tongue weight using 12% of GTWR. My trailer purchase decision is between pop-up (under 5,000 lbs) or trailer with GTWR of 6,400 lbs.

Thanks in advance for any help provided!

KD4UPL

Swoope, VA

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Posted: 03/12/19 03:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There are lots of ways to figure because everyone loads a vehicle and trailer differently and there are lots of different types of trailers. Someone with a large family in the TV will take up most of the payload before then even connect a trailer. Someone towing a trailer with a high percentage of tongue weight will run out of payload before they run out of tow capacity. If you are towing something like a boat with a low percentage of tongue weight you would likely run out of tow capacity before payload became an issue.
You have to calculate things based on your situation.
Basically GCWR - loaded vehicle weight (not the GVWR mind you, that actual weight) = maximum trailer weight. However, if you load the TV heavily you may run out of payload to support the tongue weight of the trailer. So yes, your 14,000 - 6,000 = 8,000 is correct. An 8,000 pound RV will have about 1,000 pounds of tongue weight which, when added to the 6,000 pound vehicle puts you right at the 7,000 pound GVWR. You would need a WDH to tow that heavy.

Lwiddis

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Posted: 03/12/19 04:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

2001 Yukon is pretty old. I wouldn’t have messed with more than 5000 pounds on my ‘01 or ‘07 Tahoes in their prime. I’d go to 6000 on my current Tahoe...2015...but that’s it.


2015 Winnebago 2101DS TT & Tahoe LTZ, 300 watts WindyNation solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL flagpole for US flag. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, USF&WS, state & county camps. Bicyclist! 14 year Army vet - 11B40 then 11A - old MOS 1542 & 1560.


Swell1

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Posted: 03/12/19 05:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I pulled a 7000lb GVWR trailer with a Tahoe with the trailer tow package. The short wheel base of the truck makes for poor towing. I had a lot of sway if there was any amount of wind. I'd recommend renting a trailer first. That will give you a better understanding of what you can tow. Good luck.


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tgunter101

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Posted: 03/12/19 06:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Swell1 wrote:

I pulled a 7000lb GVWR trailer with a Tahoe with the trailer tow package. The short wheel base of the truck makes for poor towing. I had a lot of sway if there was any amount of wind. I'd recommend renting a trailer first. That will give you a better understanding of what you can tow. Good luck.


Thanks for the quick responses! Yes, sway is a concern, which is why I'd go with a slightly smaller trailer or pop-up. Question: you mention short wheel base. My Yukon is the XL with a long wheel base, which I'm assuming is the same length as a pickup. Would that help? I would also add WDH/sway control if we go with the trailer. And yes, we plan to rent first. While it's hard to find the exact trailer, we can get close to size/weight.

Grit dog

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Posted: 03/12/19 06:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Texas truck, low mile, well maintained = don't worry about towing up to the factory recommendations (notice I didn't say requirements...).
8klbs is alot for that truck though unless flat ground and you're not in a big hurry.
Without starting the weight cop debate, I'll say that the OE payload rating is not the highest weight you can carry safely if the vehicle is set up properly.
In your case with no experience though, I'd keep the trailer to around 5-6klbs total for comforts sake.
Good luck, happy camping!


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tgunter101

Lone Star State

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Posted: 03/12/19 06:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Exactly what I was thinking. Plans include western trips, so we need to accommodate for mountains. Have isolated choices to under 6k for hybrids or under 5k for popups.

Again - greatly appreciate the responses! Should have come here first!

twodownzero

NM

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Posted: 03/12/19 09:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You shouldn't really have any problem towing 6,400 pounds with a Tahoe. A 5.3 has plenty of power.

Dadoffourgirls

China, MI USA

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Posted: 03/13/19 07:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would recommend that you replace the rear axle fluid with fresh fluid. Also, look closely at the hitch to ensure that it has not been compromised over the years.


Dad of Four Girls
Wife
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2014 Express 3500 (Code named "BIG ED" by daughters)
previous 2011 Silverado 2500HD CC (6.0, 3.73)
prior 2001 Yukon XL (8.1L, 4.10)
2011 Jayco Jayflight G2 32BHDS
previous - 2002 Dutchmen 31BH4DSL

Campfire Time

Wisconsin

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Posted: 03/13/19 09:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A couple of things I think are missing, as I'm not seeing them. Page 4-53 in your owners manual breaks down your actual towing capacity. A Yukon XL with 4:10 gears and 2Wd with 5.3 V8 is the one equipped to have an 8800# tow rating. Are you sure this is your truck? I suggest before you proceed you do a bit more research and validate what you really have. If it's 4WD with 3.73 gears, you are down to 7,600 lbs capacity.

You can find out your gear ratio by cross referencing the RPO code in the glove box.

3.42 = GU6
3.73 = GT4
4.10 = GT5

4.10 is pretty rare. 3.73 is very common.

https://my.gmc.com/content/dam/gmownerce........2001/gmc/yukon/2001_gmc_yukon_owners.pdf

Either way I think the 6400# trailer should be just fine. With an XL I would not worry about sway. Watch the payload, and just make sure it's setup correctly, which you should with any rig.


Chuck D.
“Adventure is just bad planning.” - Roald Amundsen
2013 Jayco X20E Hybrid, 2008 GMC Sierra SLE1 Crew Cab Z71


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