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Stampie
Stampie MegaDork
4/18/22 10:19 p.m.

Ok so I finally sent the message to my insurance company that I'd accept their totaled price with me buying back.  That should let me get a rebuilt title without any more money into my truck and give me time to find what I want to replace it with.

I've done probably 5000 miles in the last 6 weeks towing.  I've always towed with a GM800 standard cab short bed truck.  Last one was 4wd and current about to be totaled one is 2wd.

I think I'm building to an extreme case.

I've only used 4wd once when doing tow type stuff.  Yes it's nice to have but I could have worked around that situation.

I think I want an enclosed vehicle.  Meaning I don't think a truck bed really does me much vs. having more room inside.  I can think of twice in the last few years that a pickup was needed but again I could have worked around those situations.

What I really want to know is how does wheelbase affect towing?  I love how maneuverable the SWB trucks have been with a trailer

This past weekend with Suprang really made me think.  Problem was trying to balance bed weight with trailer weight.  If I had a Suburban for example I could have fit most of the heavy stuff in the back in totes.  Then put the front clip at the front of the trailer then loaded Suprang.  I think I'd need a cage to protect the front seat but that's doable I think.

Do I need a 2500 or will a 1500 do what I need?  Obviously a 1500 did with Suprang which I think is the toughest I've done ever.  I was just limited to 65mph.  Would a 2500 make the loading process easier with more leaway vs. having to load it three times to get the weight right?

Sorry for all the questions and stream of concieneces but that's where I am.

Oh yea I keep finding myself attracted to this Escalade but AWD, 1500, and way fancy for my redneck ass.

https://orlando.craigslist.org/cto/d/winter-springs-2004-cadillac-escalade/7470718352.html

 

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/18/22 10:57 p.m.

In reply to Stampie :

You need a van, man. 

pimpm3 (Forum Supporter)
pimpm3 (Forum Supporter) UberDork
4/18/22 11:01 p.m.

You should find a lightly damaged 2500 Suburban on copart.  You can't go wrong with a 2500 Suburban...

2500 4x4 Suburban ga copart

2500 Suburban 4x4 115k miles copart

dps214
dps214 Dork
4/18/22 11:12 p.m.

What exactly are you towing? If it's anything open then 1500 will be fine. If it's enclosed and relatively small/light then a 1500 will also be fine as long as it's modern and rated at least say 30% more than you're actually towing. More wheelbase = more stability, but not really an issue for an open trailer. The catch with vans and suvs is that they tend to not have as much tow capacity as trucks, even if they're on comparable chassis. When my friend was shopping a couple of years ago we briefly looked into vans, but you had to go all the way to the 3500 van to get a 10k tow rating, where any of the 1500 trucks will do that and more. AWD is one of those things that mostly doesn't matter, but the couple of times you need it...you really really need it. But if you're definitely never going to be towing during the winter and/or anywhere that's not paved, it'll probably be fine.

bgkast
bgkast PowerDork
4/18/22 11:16 p.m.

I love my 2500 suburban. It's a great tow rig and family hauler. If you don't need 4 wheel drive or seats to haul family a 2500 or 3500 Chevy van would be the hot ticket, and have lower buy in and maintenance costs than a suburban. I would suggest going for as long of a wheelbase as you can stand to maneuver for towing stability.

Stampie
Stampie MegaDork
4/18/22 11:20 p.m.

In reply to dps214 :

This is what I did this weekend.  IIRC the trailer is 20 feet long. It's a little tail heavy as Patrick added the last four feet.  This is what I consider an extreme case. 

 

Stampie
Stampie MegaDork
4/18/22 11:22 p.m.

In reply to bgkast :

I'm actually seeing the vans priced higher.  But that may be the 2500 vans vs. the 1500 Suburban class.  I don't normally need more than 2 seats but there's been plenty of times I wish I had 4 plus all the room in the back of a Suburban class.

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
4/18/22 11:36 p.m.

Your stability issues are a combination of your half ton short wheelbase truck, and that trailer. 
 

The tail on that trailer would make it extremely hard to ever load properly. That extra 4' makes it a teeter toter, and when you get a load on it, the load compounds the problem. 
 

Did you weigh it?  Tongue weight?

 

Im pretty sure (just looking at it) that your truck is gross loaded beyond it's rated capacity, and also that the tongue is overloaded. Moving the weight back seesaws the trailer, which reduces the tongue weight, but not the CVWR. It's a balancing act between the axle location in the trailer, the placement of the load, the weight on the front of the trailer, and the load in the truck. 
 

That trailer makes it way to easy to load unbalanced. I wouldn't tow it with a half ton. A 3/4 ton would handle it much better. 
 

I would choose either a heavier truck, or modifying the trailer to be more in line with typical layouts for a 7000 lb trailer so that it was easier to tow with a half ton. 
 

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
4/19/22 12:21 a.m.

Not really in line with your question, but wondering if you could shift the axles further back on the trailer. 
 

BTW, following your questions about replacing the truck has been very interesting, since you're asking lots of the same questions that I've been pondering. I'm hoping to replace my truck this year. leaning towards a 2500 Suburban. 

03Panther
03Panther UberDork
4/19/22 12:52 a.m.

Ditto Paul's comments. The 2500 would allow smooth towing  with much more leeway for things like improper balance, and a myriad of other stuff!

myself, being a ford guy, at heart, my best recommendation for your wants and needs... would be a 2500 'burb!!! One of the best -bang for the "comfortable towing" buck  - vehicles ever made. 

Also, pony up for the mpg hit for the big block. Following along with some of your adventures, it happens to suit you to a tee!
 

03Panther
03Panther UberDork
4/19/22 1:03 a.m.

In reply to Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) :

Do not know your towing habits as well as Stampie's, but the only negitive to a 2500, well anything, over a 1500 is the mpg hit when not towing. Sometimes it can be a lot. 
Well, a slight maint. difference, and depending on brand / models, a bit of ride quality. 

03Panther
03Panther UberDork
4/19/22 1:11 a.m.

4wd can come in very handy, when getting off of paved surfaces, especially with a trailer going into sand, wet, or snow. As long as it's understood that sometimes 4wd tows a little worse than exact same RWD, and sometimes a LOT worse. In the BBC 2500 'burb, with some towing improvements mods, it would be such a great tow pig, you'd never notice the difference IMHO. 
AWD is great for folks around a lot of ice and snow. Never towed with one, so would defer to Curtis for an opinion there. 
For your style, I think any of the three, in a longer slightly heavier rig, would make you wonder how you ever managed to tow with other stuff. 

Stampie
Stampie MegaDork
4/19/22 6:29 a.m.

In reply to Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) :

In this case we stopped twice pretty quick to reload. The bed got more organized with the heavy weight shifted forward to get more weight towards the front axle of the truck. One heavy box got moved to the front seat of the Suprang. That allowed us to move the ramps and Suprang forward to get the tongue weight up so that the trailer didn't sway and the truck wasn't on it's bump stops.

Indy - Guy
Indy - Guy PowerDork
4/19/22 7:34 a.m.

In reply to Stampie :

Longer wheel base will definitely help.  That trailer and truck are mismatched.

If I was in your shoes, I'd buy a 2500 suburban and be done with it.

Vans are currently more expensive than suburbans.

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
4/19/22 8:15 a.m.
SV reX said:

Your stability issues are a combination of your half ton short wheelbase truck, and that trailer. 
 

The tail on that trailer would make it extremely hard to ever load properly. That extra 4' makes it a teeter toter, and when you get a load on it, the load compounds the problem. 
 

Did you weigh it?  Tongue weight?

 

Im pretty sure (just looking at it) that your truck is gross loaded beyond it's rated capacity, and also that the tongue is overloaded. Moving the weight back seesaws the trailer, which reduces the tongue weight, but not the CVWR. It's a balancing act between the axle location in the trailer, the placement of the load, the weight on the front of the trailer, and the load in the truck. 
 

That trailer makes it way to easy to load unbalanced. I wouldn't tow it with a half ton. A 3/4 ton would handle it much better. 
 

I would choose either a heavier truck, or modifying the trailer to be more in line with typical layouts for a 7000 lb trailer so that it was easier to tow with a half ton. 
 

Second that.  That trailer is swaying waiting to happen.  A rough guideline is 2/3 of the weight should be in front of the centerline of the axles.  Then roll it back and forth until you get the tongue weight exactly right.  Plus string check the alignment. All too easy to get tandem wheels  turning. 
       

 I've towed with short  vehicles before and I much prefer them because of maneuverability. Plus shorter  equals better fuel mileage.  Finally look at the ratio of truck to trailer with the real kings of the road. Semi's 
    Pickups are easier to load engines etc.  but if extra seats are a must. Then accept the limitations of a Tahoe or Suburban. 
  Although you can look at former Cop vehicles.  Ford Explorers in particular tend to sell cheap and be in decent shape   .   Plus as the movie says, " Cop Stuff"  I'm hearing they have 400 horsepower!!!  
personally I'd be inclined to use hHighway patrol Explorers  easier usage in they seldom get in high speed chases from cold  

 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
4/19/22 8:15 a.m.

I towed for years with undersized tow vehicles, including minivans, Ridgelines, my Trooper, etc. It was a constant game of moving things a few inches to go down the road happily. 

Then I bought an F-250, and it simply doesn't care. Sure, I do my best to load things properly, but it's quite liberating not towing on the ragged edge 24/7. Losing a tire goes from "OMG WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE" to "Oh crap I heard something, maybe we lost a tire? I guess we should pull over."

I'm not sure I could ever go back to an undersized truck. 

tb
tb Dork
4/19/22 8:32 a.m.

Lot of good advice here that I won't repeat. I will reinforce that size is your friend. After a 1500 mile tow with my car based compact suv I decided to go back to a full sized purpose built suv and I feel so much more confident. 

 

My main point is going to be do not deny yourself of comfort and convenience quickly, it matters. Some tow jobs are easier but some are draining and complex (miata vs. Nash?)

 

In the past couple weeks I have been traveling between NY, Philly & DC; the traffic is horrendous and the roads are mere hints of pavement in between all of the potholes and construction sites. Pushbutton air suspension, ventilated seats, heated steering wheel, voice activated commands, steering wheel radio controls... it all gets used and it second nature. It seems kinda silly but it actually does make a nicer trip and the miles go by easier plus getting the trillion adjustments on the memory seats just right can really reduce fatigue. 

 

I know it comes with a price tag but I also know you are a shrewd shopper. From trash to a redneck, don't be afraid to treat yourself...

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
4/19/22 8:33 a.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

Agreed.  A 4,000+ lb car on a 2,000+ lb trailer (shown here) might not "require" a Super Duty but it sure is easy when it is a Super Duty.  

 

Just 'cause you can doesn't mean you should.  A humorous picture that I once took myself:  

In your case, a 2500 Suburban might be the right fit.  Also, interior accommodations might save you a nights hotel costs.  Or. if you're already avoiding hotels, the Suburban will allow for "real rest" as apposed to trying to nap in a single cab.  

tb
tb Dork
4/19/22 8:47 a.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

Precisely. I found that the feeling of being on the edge of adequate was nervous and fatiguing even in a modern and competent vehicle. 

 

Particularly being on the edge of braking ability and capacity. The stupidity and lack of consideration on the open road can never be underestimated. Switching to a larger suv designed around a 20" wheel meant I could fit large slotted rotors, multipot brembos and heavy duty pads while retaining a decent sidewall on the tire. 6k lb suv + 7k lbs towing cap = I wanna feel confident when pressing the stop button

yupididit
yupididit PowerDork
4/19/22 8:55 a.m.

8.1 Suburban or a v10/diesel excursion.

My old rwd 7.3 Excursion really didn't give a berkeley about what was behind it and had ridiculous interior space with the 3rd row removed and 2nd row flat.

 

Cactus
Cactus HalfDork
4/19/22 9:07 a.m.

My answer was an old dually and don't worry so much about how you load stuff. I actually don't know how much my trailer weighs, and I haven't lost any sleep over that. I don't get above 70mph much, and sometimes that bothers me. If the economy weren't stupid right now I'd be looking at a newer dually.

 

A big advantage of a 3/4 ton+ truck is that they have beefier drivetrains. The bigger axles and transmissions may not make that much of a difference, but as much towing as you're doing, it's probably better to under-stress heavy duty parts than fully utilize smaller ones.

NY Nick
NY Nick Dork
4/19/22 9:32 a.m.

Every vehicle is a compromise. How much are you going to drive it around town versus tow. That is a big question with $4 gas. In NY AWD or 4WD is starting to be almost required but I prefer a 2WD vehicle for simplicity. Simplicity and gas mileage too. There are just a lot less parts and it is easier to work on without a transfer case and the associated bits. 

Based on what I have seen you tow a 1500 suburban with a 5.3 or a 6.0 will tow what you want and do pretty well. Would a 3/4T 4WD tow it better? Yep. Will a 3/4T 4wd do as well on a trip to the grocery store or a quick trip across town? Nope. It really depends on what you are going to do most with it and how good you want it to be at it. You could buy a 1/2 T and an aluminum trailer and probably be in the same place with gas and maintenance as a lot of 3/4 tons by the time you finished your 5k miles of towing.

My 2wd 1500 suburban (GMT400) gets 16 mpg driving without a trailer, my AWD Escalade ESV (GMT900) gets 12, it also has 2x the power...

If you get 12 mpg vs 8mpg on your 5,000 mile towing trip from the last month you would save over $800, that adds up fast.

Stampie
Stampie MegaDork
4/19/22 9:41 a.m.

So DD has come up. I have a company work van. With working AC in my Miata and truck I would say the Miata gets 75% of the DD which really means going to the grocery store twice a week, to and from school on Fridays and to lunch Saturday. I think I've narrowed down to Suburban prefer 2500 but seems a 1500 would be better than what I have.

NY Nick
NY Nick Dork
4/19/22 9:50 a.m.

If daily isn't a concern then bigger = better to me. 

Apparently closeness to you is not an concern! This is close to you, the picture doesn't tell anything, I can't tell if it is dirt or rust on the sail panel, I hate rust.. But is it a 2wd 3/4 Ton and it's cheap.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/1026694001575926/?ref=search&referral_code=marketplace_search&referral_story_type=post

Stampie
Stampie MegaDork
4/19/22 11:02 a.m.

In reply to NY Nick :

Pimpm3 sent that to me. I'd rather spend more for lower miles.

Edit - and I'm in no hurry. Once I get my truck rebuilt title I just have one trip in June but it's really light. Then I can wait for the perfect vehicle. Would be kinda fun to do a tow and tow with the new vehicle towing back the old one.

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