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Old     (Blueliner)      Join Date: Sep 2013       01-22-2014, 7:46 AM Reply   
I have a 2011 Tahoe with the 5.3L engine/towing package. I was wondering if I might have any issues with towing the larger size boats, such as a Tige 24V. I am concerned mostly about my first tow which would be bringing back the boat from the South East, over the hill and dale up I81. I am mainly worried about climbing/descending all of those hills on the way back. I have never towed anything before. Once the boat is resident here, most of the tows are on flat land within 20-30 miles. I am assuming my mileage towing is in the 9-11 mpg range.

Thanks
Blueliner
Old     (cassidyb)      Join Date: Feb 2012       01-22-2014, 8:11 AM Reply   
its doable but not preferable. keep it under 60 and it should be fine, my old tahoe used to get thrown around pretty bad by much smaller trailers.... make sure your surge brakes on the boat trailer are working properly.
Old     (cedarcreek216V)      Join Date: Aug 2011       01-22-2014, 8:31 AM Reply   
I used to tow our Nautique with a 2003 Tahoo and had no problems. Our good friends tow a 2004 Xstar with a 2000 Yukon with no problems. Chevy's in general will run a high RPM while towing but you will be fine. I think a lot is made out of nothing on here about tow vehicles. I'm sure I'll get blasted, but you don't need an f-350 to pull a boat safely. As mentioned above, keep you brainy distance in mind at all time as it will take some time to get it slowed down safely, but with a good tandem axel trailer that is properly balanced you should have very little side to side action.
Old     (TomH)      Join Date: Jan 2014       01-22-2014, 9:34 AM Reply   
As said above, the Tahoe will be fine, but not necessarily preferable. If you in fact have never towed anything before, it might be a good idea to find a friend that tows often and learn from them what you need to know (how to hook up, driving tips, braking, backing up, etc.). Also, for a long drive, it's pretty important you get your hitch height right to get the appropriate amount of tongue weight to keep the trailer and vehicle handling smoothly.
Old     (wakedaveup)      Join Date: May 2012       01-22-2014, 9:34 AM Reply   
I would say you'll be fine. I'm not saying it's ideal but due to the short trips and lack of terrain, I don't ever see you having a problem. I have a single cab chevy with the same set up and tow G series with it. Pulls them out of the water like a champ and never had an issue towing. My only complaint would be the brakes, but your tahoe is heavier than my single cab, maybe look at upgrading your brake system.
Old     (bftskir)      Join Date: Jan 2004       01-22-2014, 10:45 AM Reply   
Backing and short cutting corners will be the biggest issues, get someone skilled to go with you.
Old     (timmyb)      Join Date: Apr 2007       01-22-2014, 11:04 AM Reply   
Do the 2011's have the 6-speed transmission? If so, that is much more preferable over the 4-speed. You will be fine with either but like others are saying, for your first time towing you should have someone show you the ropes. That 5.3 loves the rpm's when towing...you may not! LOL! I guess they are made to tow at those rpm's so don't get too scared when it's sitting at 5k rpm.
Old     (bruizza)      Join Date: May 2009       01-22-2014, 11:09 AM Reply   
Yeah he has the 6 speed transmission in the 2011. Became standard in 09 I believe. The main issue you are going to have is when you tow up a hill. You will have the pedal to the floor and you will just be dropping speed and going WTF?!?!?! As soon as your Tahoe gets under 50mph it will FINALLY down shift and start to speed you back up. DRIVES ME FREAKING CRAZY when I tow to lake powell and back. Hoping a software upgrade along with some performance mods solves this problem in my 2011 Avalanche.
Old     (bruizza)      Join Date: May 2009       01-22-2014, 11:10 AM Reply   
Oh and I was sort of throw to the wolves first time I towed. My buddy threw me the keys to his truck with the boat hooked up and told me I was driving from Nashville to Knoxville. Best advice he gave me "Keep the truck between the lines and the boat will follow"
Old     (FunkyBunch)      Join Date: Jun 2011       01-22-2014, 12:19 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by bruizza View Post
Oh and I was sort of throw to the wolves first time I towed. My buddy threw me the keys to his truck with the boat hooked up and told me I was driving from Nashville to Knoxville. Best advice he gave me "Keep the truck between the lines and the boat will follow"

Put it in manual and shift it on the stick. That way it will keep the tranny cooler and will not always be searching for a gear. I get noticeably better mileage this way as well.
Old     (bftskir)      Join Date: Jan 2004       01-22-2014, 12:05 PM Reply   
When you come to hills drop it into drive...not over drive...and get your r's up and you will fly over the hill.
Old     (timmyb)      Join Date: Apr 2007       01-22-2014, 12:26 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by bftskir View Post
When you come to hills drop it into drive...not over drive...and get your r's up and you will fly over the hill.
Well, it will go up better, I wouldn't use the word "fly" when talking about a GM 5.3 towing a 24' boat.
Old     (cassidyb)      Join Date: Feb 2012       01-22-2014, 2:00 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by timmyb View Post
Well, it will go up better, I wouldn't use the word "fly" when talking about a GM 5.3 towing a 24' boat.
I agree that "fly" isn't very appropriate, "lots of noise" and "make forward progress" are a little more accurate.
Old     (beleza)      Join Date: Mar 2010       01-22-2014, 1:53 PM Reply   
I towed a 24' Tige RZ4 about 600 miles with a suburban with the 5.3 liter. It made it… but I wouldn't want to do it again. Up steep grades I could only do 25-30 mph sometimes less. It would cruise along the freeway at 55 mph okay but I felt like any faster was working it.
Old     (Blueliner)      Join Date: Sep 2013       01-22-2014, 7:06 PM Reply   
There are two other trucks I could use; my Dads F150 quad cab, I think it has a 5L it has the full length bed, big long truck. Or one of my work trucks, 2010 GMC 2500 single cab with the 6.2L. Now that I think of it several years ago I did tow a 27' travel trailer I rented.

Thanks
Blueliner
Old     (Fourspeednup)      Join Date: Apr 2010       01-22-2014, 10:12 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueliner View Post
There are two other trucks I could use; my Dads F150 quad cab, I think it has a 5L it has the full length bed, big long truck. Or one of my work trucks, 2010 GMC 2500 single cab with the 6.2L. Now that I think of it several years ago I did tow a 27' travel trailer I rented.

Thanks
Blueliner
The longer wheelbases of the F150 or Chevy 2500 will make for a more stable towing experience in case the trailer decides to wiggle around plus the 2500 will have better brakes which are always a plus in hilly areas.

That being said, I would have no problem pulling with a newer Tahoe so long as the trailer is well balanced and hitch height is correct. Depending on tongue weight, the truck may sag a few inches so factor that in. The 5.3's like to rev which can be a little unnerving at first but nothing to worry about. I prefer to keep my 5.3 truck out of overdrive on anything but long, flat stretches of interstate when towing 4000+lbs to keep trans heat to a minimum. If the trans starts hunting it's building heat which is no bueno if you pan on keeping it long term. I'm sure the Tahoe will get the job done just fine.

Generally speaking, boats tow 10x better than travel trailers of comparable length.
Old     (lifetimewarranty)      Join Date: Oct 2008       01-24-2014, 2:19 PM Reply   
Pretty sound advice here. You shouldn't have any issues with the tahoe. I agree that boats tow way better than most other trailers...also depends on the type of trailer. My mastercraft trailer has a really nice suspension and with my old tahoe I could barely feel the bucking (since the trailer would just absorb bumps)...my Sanger trailer with leaf springs would kick me around a little.

Since it sounds like you are new to towing just realize that going forward on flat ground or uphill is the easiest thing. There is no shame in going slower than 95 up a steep hill. Stopping, avoiding rear-ending someone, lane changes etc will be where you will need to constantly remind yourself of how heavy and long a vehicle you are in control of.



One thing to remember:

It is a fact that cars will explode if they are behind you so they will be doing everything they can to get in front of you.
Old     (greg2)      Join Date: May 2002       01-25-2014, 7:48 AM Reply   
As stated above stay out of overdrive...the heat will kill the transmission over time. If you plan on using the Tahoe on a regular basis I would add a transmission cooler even if it has a tow package. I added one to my 07 GMC (which already has the tow package) and it dropped my trans temp by about 25-30 degrees when towing.
Old     (lifetimewarranty)      Join Date: Oct 2008       01-25-2014, 3:03 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by greg2 View Post
As stated above stay out of overdrive...the heat will kill the transmission over time. If you plan on using the Tahoe on a regular basis I would add a transmission cooler even if it has a tow package. I added one to my 07 GMC (which already has the tow package) and it dropped my trans temp by about 25-30 degrees when towing.

Seriously? My 1997 Tahoe with tow package had a transmission cooler!

Why are they leaving that out of the tow package now?
Old     (polarbill)      Join Date: Jun 2003       01-25-2014, 9:01 AM Reply   
I think you would be fine with the Tahoe but if you have access to a newer F150 long bed screw with a 5.0L go that route. Comfy and capable. I would use the HD Chev before the tahoe as well. Since you have access to those rigs I just don't see why you would deal with the Tahoe.
Old     (greg2)      Join Date: May 2002       01-25-2014, 4:39 PM Reply   
Tim C,

Mine now has "3" trans coolers. The one standard in the radiator, the one included with the tow package, and then the one I added. Even with the tow package mine would exceed the "normal" operating temps in the owners manual on long grades in the summer and it would take forever for the temps to come down once they went up. The highest trans temp I have seen since adding the 3rd cooler is about 191. Way better than the 220 I have seen in the past. As a general rule I don't seen any temps above 180 now and if it does get above 180 it is only there for a short time since it cools down do quickly. I'm sure the cooler included with the tow package helps, but if you look at the size, it can only do so much under load. You made an assumption that a trans cooler was not in the tow package and that is why stated that I did already have a tow package from the factory.

Greg
Old     (Fourspeednup)      Join Date: Apr 2010       01-26-2014, 7:48 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by greg2 View Post
Tim C,

Mine now has "3" trans coolers.
Have an external trans cooler collecting dust in my garage, just need adapter fittings. This reminded me to install it before Spring. Even with the tow package factory cooler I freak when I see temps rise but AZ heat and hills will expose the weak links quickly.

Or F it all and buy a new Dmax for the 5% of the time I tow lol
Old     (lifetimewarranty)      Join Date: Oct 2008       01-27-2014, 4:41 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by greg2 View Post
Tim C,

Mine now has "3" trans coolers. The one standard in the radiator, the one included with the tow package, and then the one I added. Even with the tow package mine would exceed the "normal" operating temps in the owners manual on long grades in the summer and it would take forever for the temps to come down once they went up. The highest trans temp I have seen since adding the 3rd cooler is about 191. Way better than the 220 I have seen in the past. As a general rule I don't seen any temps above 180 now and if it does get above 180 it is only there for a short time since it cools down do quickly. I'm sure the cooler included with the tow package helps, but if you look at the size, it can only do so much under load. You made an assumption that a trans cooler was not in the tow package and that is why stated that I did already have a tow package from the factory.

Greg
Dang. That is crazy. I assumed cause the way I read your post was that even with the tow package there was a need for a cooler...not that there was a need for more than one cooler. My mistake.

For the record my '97 Tahoe never needed more than the factory tow package tranny cooler...did some decent hills as well with it. Guy I bought it from regularly towed a travel trailer from Sactown to tahoe. Of course I don't have a guage for tranny temp so I suppose what I didn't know didn't hurt me. I also towed in some decent heat. Shasta to Folsom last summer in about 110degree temps. Tahoe wasn't super happy but made it just fine.

Not doubting your suggestion but three coolers? I think after needing two I'd be thinking about a vehicle upgrade.
Old     (Jmorlan)      Join Date: May 2013       01-26-2014, 9:00 PM Reply   
I have a tru cool 40k on my silverado 1500. Even with a 2800rpm stall on my torque converter, and towing my boat, I rarely see anything over about 140* on my trans temps.
Installs right to the oem location (if you had that rag tag oem trans cooler that was there)
$130 from Oregon performance and it was well worth it.
http://www.oregonperformancetransmis...Code=LNG-47391

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Old     (Vxmine)      Join Date: Jan 2012       01-27-2014, 6:49 AM Reply   
You should be ok for the most part. I towed my 24v with a LR3 and it was ok.

The only reason I upgraded to a 2500 gasser was to have a longer wheelbase and to feel more confident at highway speeds. Every lake is a minimum 45 min drive, so loaded down, with family, I wanted a little more control.

Good luck!

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