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2003 gmc envoy_slt_xl
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Envoy XL with the 5.3 V8. I am looking at buying a travel trailer with 4820 lbs, plus 530 lb hitch. If a have an axle ratio of 3:73, what do you think my chances are of feeling comfortable towing this load? I think the tow guide says I should be good up to 7000 lbs, but I want to know what people have found from real experience.

I do have the auto leveling feature.
 

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2003 chevy trailblazer_ls
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Respect what is behind you, get a good brake controller, keep the speed down and enjoy. You should not have any problems. You might be getting close to the max when the trailer is fully loaded. You are talking about a load leveling hitch, correct?
 

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I just got done towing the roadies envoy from colorado to california and it was close to 9000# total and the tb towed it not a problem but we went slow steady and made sure we payed attention
Did you use a load leveling hitch? 2" or 2 5/16" ball?
 

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I have the air bag underneathe with the compressor which levels the back of the vehicle depending on the load. I am a newbie to towing, but I don't believe that means the hitch is auto leveling (does it?). Have some of you gone to an aftermarket hitch, like a weight distributing hitch? Does it help?

Actually, I guess I should clarify - it is the length of the wheelbase that really worries me. I am trying to tow a 29 foot trailer with my Envoy XL. Even if it does have a slightly longer wheelbase, is this going to be easy? What have others done to control the sway problems that are bound to occur?
 

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Did you use a load leveling hitch? 2" or 2 5/16" ball?
The car trailer had a surge hydraulic brake, which are usually not compatible with weight distributing hitches. 2" ball.

I have the air bag underneathe with the compressor which levels the back of the vehicle depending on the load. I am a newbie to towing, but I don't believe that means the hitch is auto leveling (does it?). Have some of you gone to an aftermarket hitch, like a weight distributing hitch? Does it help?
I use a weight distributing hitch with about 350-400 pounds hitch weight. If you drop 400 pounds on your rear tires alone - actually BEHIND the rear tires, it's going to sag quite a bit and unweight your front tires and make it less stable. I would recommend a WD hitch any time you are towing more and about 3000 pounds which would imply a 300+ pound hitch weight. The rule of thumb is to make sure you have at least 10% of the trailer weight on the tongue for optimum stability.
Actually, I guess I should clarify - it is the length of the wheelbase that really worries me. I am trying to tow a 29 foot trailer with my Envoy XL. Even if it does have a slightly longer wheelbase, is this going to be easy? What have others done to control the sway problems that are bound to occur?
Sway comes as a function of wheelbase of the tow vehicle, the rotational inertia of the trailer, and the dynamics of the shocks, springs, and everything else. Impossible to model or predict. WD hitches typically also have a friction-based anti-sway element as an option or built-in. For your trailer I'd recommend getting one.

 

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When I first started towing it was a 24 foot single axle boat trailer carrying a 4000 lb sailboat. I started with air shocks but there was some sway. When I changed to a weight distributing hitch, it put more weight on the front end and there was no hint of sway. I use the Eaz Hitch brand.

I have since changed boats and tow a 25 foot double axle boat trailer with a 3,000 lb sailboat. The Trailblazer rear only drops a inch and tow fine. Hardly notice it back there. I got the trailer with electric brakes because I was concerned that the trailer would push the TB around. I use an Tekonsha Prodigy because it can be set to have the trailer brakes lead the tow vehicle brakes. One tip I got from the shop that put my weight distributing hitch together was no matter if it is a surge brake or an electric brake system the hitch ball should be no more than 2 inches higher than the top of the trailer ball receiver, with the traler level. This is without the trailer on the hitch.

As to sway the articles I have read say the most common reason for sway is the trailer load is lifting either the front or the rear end. A lifted rear end requires shifting the load forward. A lifted front requires moving the weight back, if it is more than 10% - 15% of the load than a weight distributing hitch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I thought that if your vehicle came with the towing package, which mine did, it had a tranny cooler already installed. Is this not the case? If there is a cooler in there, is it not big enough for heavy towing?
 

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Exactly. It has a small one built into the radiator, and the vehicle won't break down at rated tow load using it. But the tranny will be kept cooler and will last longer with more safety margin if you get an add-on one that's external to the radiator tank.
 

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My parents have a travel trailer and have same setup in the pic. roadie posted in his first post. It is amazing what a weight distribution hitch will do. When they purhased it they said the sway control is mainly used on the open road. I think wwith the rightsetup you will have no problems. Post a pic of the trailer. Lets check this thing out.

Edit: I tow a 3000lb popup with no problems. I have the 3:42 gear ratio I6 TB and I would not be afraid to hook onto my parents 4500lb travel trailer with their hitch setup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The link below will give you a picture of this trailer.


http://www.cheyennecampingcenter.com/P27FQ_value.html


Yes, I know, it is a beast (29 feet) but I have a family of 7 and if I buy a trailer we need the space to sleep us all. We actually bought the Envoy we own as a tow vehicle with the hope of eventually buying a trailer. We were just browsing last summer and found the XL we now own for an unbelievable price. Gas was so high, and no one wanted an SUV. This model just sat on the lot forever and they finally priced it to get rid of it. We couldn't believe it - seating for 7, leather seats, heated, DVD for the kids, 4WD, three zone climate control, tow package, and the 5.3L engine with the 3.73 AR.

A truck for towing is not an option for us (can't seat us all), and a bigger vehicle like a Tahoe or Suburban was out of our price range. So we feel we lucked out.

By the way, our dealer here is advertising "trailer season" rates - both diff and trans case serviced for $230. I did the differentials with the help on the site here for $40. They also have transmission service for $250. Seems a little steep to me.

Also, this may be a little weird, but it seems to me that the mileage is slightly better since replacing the gear oil in the diffs. Is that likely? Very small, but I can see it on my trip computer versus last year when we bought it in the summer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
True, but my kids are little. I don't think the cumulative weight will be a big problem.

I think that I will try the Reece Dual Cam hitch and see how that works. Anyone have one?
 

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2005 chevy trailblazer_lt_ext
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Nice trailer. I love the rear garage. We have an Outback 26RS which is a little smaller than yours. I tow carefully and at or below the speed limit. I'm not going to win any races but I have yet to be in a situation where I've felt unsafe.

I have a hitch similar to the one the roadie put up but I think mine has 800 lb bars. Others on the RV forums recommend the Hensley Arrow (very pricey), Equalizer or Dual Cam.

I went to the weigh scales once and found that I was over with my rear axle weight but under on the front. I've since tweaked my hitch to try to transfer more weight forward and loaded more in the trailer, less in the truck but have yet to return to the scales to see if I'm within limits.

These trucks are strong tow vehicles, especially the XL/EXT's with the 5.3 V8.
 
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