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Towing Question

1261 Views 31 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Ravalli Surfer
Good morning,

I have a 2002 Trailblazer LTZ with the 3.42 rear diff, RPO code GU6. I don't tow with it. I've never towed anything before aside from hitting my toe on the side of the coffee table for all eternity.

I'm looking to tow a 2009 Murano a couple hundred miles and want to make sure I understand everything and can do it safely. From what I can tell, I need information on the trailer hitch, the ball and the mount. I don't have a ball and mount yet.

I have pasted below a picture of the sticker on the trailer hitch currently installed.

Automotive tire Hood Fender Gas Bumper

The hitch ball and mount combo I'm looking at is rated to tow up to 7,500 pounds. I'm going to be using one of those U-Haul automotive trailers that has the hydraulic braking system and a bunch of other safety features, as well as getting the necessary wiring for the trailer lights and the braking system. I have all that figured. It's the actual tow weight that is hanging me up.

I'm not sure if everything I have and will have will be enough to tow this POS Murano where I need to, which is why I'm here.

I'm hoping the experts can shine some light on this and help me determine if I'm trailering it or shipping it.

Thank you.


I have the following information from the manual based on the 3.42 rear axle ratio:

Axle Ratio: 3.42
Max. Trailer Wt.: 5,400 lbs. (2 449 kg)
GCWR: 10,000 lbs. (4 535 kg)

Greek to me but I'm assuming max trailer weight is the weight of the trailer empty and GCWR is the weight of the trailer, the POS Murano being towed and whatever other cargo and passengers there will be. It'll be me driving solo.
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.... and a 1/2 tank of fuel.

Mike --- I have towed 2 to 3 cords of wood and according to the season (wet wood or dried out a bit) the weight varies with time.

I am very sure that it is well over 6-7,000 lbs for the wood alone, plus the trailer adding another 1,000 lbs .... and have had no troubles with doing it almost every year.

Add in a couple of buddies (I can only lift 15lbs and if I have to exceed that limit, I have to remove the appropriate amount of clothing to compensate) so they do all the grunt stuff. Don't worry --- I feed them well.

Chainsaws, fuel, a survival pack (150lbs at least) and down the road we go --- safely and I feel with very good control.

Of course, I use electric b rakes because surge brakes are really not very good and they grab - or fail to grab -- and they are really miserable to back up with as they will apply unless you jump out of the seat and put the lockout pin (usually missing-lost on U-Haul stuff) in the actuator every time you need to go in reverse. A Royal pain in the a$$ if you ask me.

WARNING --- most chimpanzee/ex-burger-flippers working at U-Haul, cannot figure out the stock lighting on your TB and they can certainly screw it up by tapping into wires and bulbs with their limited intelligence.

I would never allow anyone by ME to add trailer wiring to my vehicle because the trailer lights have NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ACTUAL TAILLIGHTS OR BRAKE LIGHTS!
They are a seperate circuit alltogether!​
A big problem is that GM didn't comply with the RVIAA standards for trailer electrical wiring --- I think they went with the:
The Royal Canadian 'Electricity Is Ethereal; Is Omnipotetent' Wiring Society standards ... or better known as ---> 'EIEIO' standard.

Sadly, you cannot convert the RV (hah-ha!) connector on the back of your TB (a pox on GM engineers for this) to the RVIAA wiring positions and you will need to either replace the car-side connex with a real trailer wiring receptical or find some sortta convertor.

The GM Pins vary in size (of course they do!) and current carrying capacity (natch!) and if you tried for a conversion, positionally, all the grounds woiuld go through the smallest connector on the vehicle-side ... and that's a no-no.

On the convertor --- I don't think such a thing exists --- not as far south from Canada as I am anyway.

Oh yeah --- ya gotta connect the red mystery wire - under the hood, driver's side, next to the fuse/relay box.

I'll be back after Physical Therapy ....
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.... oh yeah ..... I also use a Sway Control.

Yeah --- wet or dry, I am considerably over 5,000 lbs + naked traIler weignt and accessories --- saws, warm bodies, stuff and more stuff.

This is towing with the TB after I get the trailer outta the woods with the K5. The K5 wheelbase is too short for a fully loaded 6,000+ lbs trailer ---- the TB is an EXT and it makes a difference.

Sidebar ---> I only have ST215R75/15 E-rated 10 ply trailer tires on it at 60# pressure to keep the sidewalls from flexing ---- flexing causes blowouts and STs are not designed to allow the sidewalls to flex. They are tread-strong, not sidewall-strong.

If you load the trailer correctly, with @ 60% front bias, all should be good.

BTW -- the trailer is a dual axle, 8'x12' with 6'6" side rails at the front half ... so I can really stack a lot of wood in it.
Thank you for this. I'm hoping mine is in a good enough setup to tow what I need. I've heard conflicting stories about the actual towing capacity being higher than what's in the book due to not wanting to cut into Tahoe sales. Not sure the credibility behind it, but whatever. Thank you again.
Since we all live in "Lawyerland" the manufacturers will obviously UNDERstate the capacity to keep their mammary glands out of the water extractor.
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Let's bring that pix around here again first ....

Automotive tire Hood Bumper Fender Automotive exterior

OK .........

A DEAD WEIGHT load without any load-shifting assistance, is limited to 400lbs on a MAXIMUM GROSS WEIGHT 4,000lb trailer. That's 10% of the trailer is dead weight on the ball --- just like a 400lb fat lady standing on it and dropping the rear of the car to the rubber baby buggy-bumper stops.

An Equalizer-style hitched trailer can have a MAXIMUM GROSS WEIGHT of 7,600lbs and have a tongue weight of 912lbs.

TYPICALLY - you want about 10-15% of the whole trailer weight as a dead weight on the hitch ball.
That's for safety so the trailer doesn't get to make you go left when you want to go straight --- or right.​

Here's the Lawyerland Worm Warning and Absolution Words on that placard:

Tow vehicle maximum trailer rating may be less.
You have been warned - so you can't sue us!
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At one point you are only pulling what you tow and carrying just a small percentage of it.

A weight distributing hitch assy will UP the value of what you tow, weight-wise, by transferring the ball load back onto the trailer and also at the same time sending part of that weight equally to all 4 wheels of the towing vehicle.

It's a complicated concept but I remember the Valley Hitch guy coming by my shop in the late 1960s with an Oldsmobile Toronado and one of their load-equalizing hitches --- and he had no rear wheels on the car.

ALL the weight was transferred to the front wheels - and although this was not recommended as a working model - it showed how the hitch worked by keeping the heavy dead weight off the ball and sent it to all the wheels including those of the trailer - back onto the ground.

If you keep the nose weight bias correct --- and that is usually 10-15% of the total trailer weight - on the ball as a way to keep the trailer from pushing the tow vehicle around, then --- theoretically - yes --- the towing weight is limited by the horsepower created by the towing vehicle - and the combined brakes of both the trailer and the vehicle.

Pulling of rolling weight isn't too much of a problem --- up to a point ---- it's bearing/carrying that weight, accelerating and stopping it well and of course: steering with it in tow.

FTR ---> locomotives don't carry the weight of all the cargo cars behind it --- it just pulls and stops it --- although each car has it's own brakes to help.

You don't carry all the weight with a load-bearing hitch --- you just send that weight somewhere else --- minus the percentage of that weight to keep the trailer weight bias correct.

I tow approximately 10,000 lbs of wood from where I cut the trees - on the highway with my TB using a weight distributing hitch and 2-axle electric brakes on the trailer. I keep the speed at controllable values and anticipate turns, braking areas and where to downshift and where to just use the brakes.

I use a Reese 1,000lb equalizing hitch spring set, 2 5/16" ball and dual sway controls with both trailer axles having electric brakes.
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I found the picture .....

Wheel Tire Vehicle Car Land vehicle
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Go here and read some more .... especially the nay-sayers .......

For what I'm looking to tow, the combined weight of the trailer and the POS Murano comes in at just under 7,500 lbs. The manual caps out a 3.42 rear diff in 2WD mode GCWR at 10,000 lbs. Does this mean I can use a weight distribution hitch rated to tow 10,000 to 14,000 lbs. gross trailer weight and 1,000 to 1,400 lbs. tongue weight, along with a ball rated to 10,000 lbs.? Or will I be overloading the capabilities?

THIS is the hitch system I'm looking at and THIS is the ball.
a 2" ball is too small once you hit the magic-mark of 7,500lbs trailer weight.
--- you need a 2 5/16"​
.............and Curt is NOT my favorite company at the moment.​

I'm either a Valley or Reese fanboi.
I'll look into them as well. You've given me a great starting point. As far as the ball, the trailer I'm looking to rent accommodates up to a 2" ball.
OK --- the trailer may be 2" and you can change the ball on your vehicle from 2 5/16" to the 2" --- and that's been done before by me too --- but the dedicated Equalizer hitch assy has to be in the stinger since the spring arms go into it/them/they.
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