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Old     (ccripps)      Join Date: Oct 2003       06-11-2010, 10:59 AM Reply   
The 2000 Ford Expedition 4x4 was towing just fine but at 100K miles thought it might be time. So started looking around, the wife who drives this really wanted something different than a Ford this time (Fordís for 20 straight years).

So I bought a 2009 Chevy Suburban LT 1500, 4x4, 3.43 rear end, with HD tow package with 10K miles. I am Towing a Sanger V210 (weight 2900lbs+ trailer) this is a baby sized boat compared to some of the boats you guys are towing. Car rides greats get great gas mileage 18 mpg hwy.

BUT my first towing experience in this vehicle was from Lake Mead (outside of Vegas) back to So Cal, I was not impressed. Ten Minutes into the trip transmission temp hit 225deg go up a hill and power seem to gone this is not a big hill.

An hour later, as I start the First Big hill out of Primm the outside temp 104 the transmission temp is 212. As I climb the hill the transmission keeps getting hotter 225, 235, 245, 260, 275. The Car seems to be struggling to even make the hill and it wants to rev at 4500 to try and go at 40-50. This isnít good my, 100K mile Ford tows this hill at 3500rpm at 50-60MPH and I have never had a transmission temp issue.

Also the Mileage: Towing it got 10mpg a little less the my old Ford got towing the same boat.

I take it back to the Dealer who is very surprised to hear about the 275 temp and the 4500rpm. They look at the transmission, drain the oil, remove the Pan and canít find anything wrong. So they suggest an additional External transmission cooler which they will install in for free. It supposedly already has an additional transmission cooler as part of the Tow Package.

So today they call me back there doesnít seem to be any Factory external transmission cooler available so for now I need to pick up the car.

Please someone tell me this isnít how a Suburban typically tows!

Old     (vr6mole)      Join Date: Feb 2009       06-11-2010, 11:14 AM Reply   
did the original build sheet state that it had the tow package?

Sometimes dealers will claim to have a tow package but really they just threw a receiver on the car.

3.43 rear end doesn't seem like it would be part of the tow package? My explorer has 3.73's
Old     (jonblarc7)      Join Date: Jul 2006       06-11-2010, 11:25 AM Reply   
3.43 isn't going to tow very well.
Old     (stang_killa_ss)      Join Date: Jan 2010       06-11-2010, 11:28 AM Reply   
dads silverado does the same (not sure on temps) when towing. kicking in and out of gear all the time, high rpms etc. tranny just doesnt seem to be designed for towing. my jeep does great. no clue on temps there either though. but doesnt jump around gears, and never gets over 3k even up hill at 60 mph. jeep has tow package and 3.73s. 5 speed auto as well. only 235 hp though. but also 1000 lbs lighter than tahoes, durangos, suburbans etc.

Last edited by stang_killa_ss; 06-11-2010 at 11:31 AM.
Old     (wakedoctor)      Join Date: Dec 2004       06-11-2010, 11:35 AM Reply   
What are you towing in? I would try to keep any 1/2 ton transmission out of O/D when towing. Also, as already stated, you need a 3.73 gear.
Old     (h2ohangtime)      Join Date: Aug 2002       06-11-2010, 11:37 AM Reply   
The 3.43 is why you're getting 18 MPG on the highway when not towing. I agree that 3.73 would be much better, especially on the hills. Your transmission is basically trying to make up for the difference. Re-gearing may be a little expensive (~$2k for a 4x4), but it may save you $5k or more in transmission failures down the road.

Additionally, Summit Racing has tranny coolers that may help in the short-term:
Old     (bruizza)      Join Date: May 2009       06-11-2010, 11:44 AM Reply   
yep you need different gears and a tranny cooler.
Old     (chadgreg)      Join Date: Feb 2008       06-11-2010, 11:46 AM Reply   
What Motor is in it? That suburban should have no problem pulling that boat.
Is the trailer single or double axle?

I wouldn't be running it a 4,500 RPM for any extended period of time...

Old Set-Up
2007 GMC YUKON with 5.7L and Tow package... Towed my 2005 Moomba Outback LSV w/ double axle trailer just fine...

New set-up:
2010 GMC YUKON with the 5.7 L and Tow Package.....Towing 2007 Malibu 23 LSV w/ double axle trailer (boat is much heavier than Moomba). Tows fine but definitely gets put to test in hills. No problems.... Sorry I'm not sure what gearing I have in rear Diff.
Old     (wakecumberland)      Join Date: Oct 2007       06-11-2010, 11:47 AM Reply   
Go to

You can enter your VIN and it will give you the factory build sheet. If the build sheet doesnt show the tow package, you can go to the dealer and say: "Hey, you told me this had the tow package on it, WTF!?"

I'm suprised they even build a Suburban with 3.43 gears! If mileage is that important to a person they should probably buy a minivan or the Chevy Traverse. Those would probably tow just as well as a Suburban with 3.43 gears.

Last edited by wakecumberland; 06-11-2010 at 11:49 AM. Reason: add. comment
Old     (wakedoctor)      Join Date: Dec 2004       06-11-2010, 11:51 AM Reply   
I was unaware the 5.7 was back in production.
Old     (jonblarc7)      Join Date: Jul 2006       06-11-2010, 11:56 AM Reply   
5.7 ???????
Old     (ccripps)      Join Date: Oct 2003       06-11-2010, 11:59 AM Reply   
The Suburban comes Standard with a 3.08 rear end which they claim can tow 5K, the HD changes the 3.08 to 3.42 read end which can tow 7K. It doesn't look they have any option for a 3.73 unless you go to a 3/4ton. I tried tow in Tow mode which seem work good except on a steep up hills where it rev high, tried manual nothing seem to help. seem BS that they would spec a SUV that can't a V210 up a hill and 5K to re-gear ****. So it looks like I screwed up.
Old     (cwkoch)      Join Date: Aug 2006       06-11-2010, 12:01 PM Reply   
Sounds like it doesn't have the tow package. Add a tranny cooler if you can. Also, that 3.43 rear end is hurting you big time..... 3.73 would be much better.

And yes, the 5.7 liter hasn't been in the Chevy trucks since like '99 guys. It's a 5.3 liter. (or a 4.8, or a 6.0, or a 6.2 depending on the truck). 5.3 is by far the most common though.
Old     (jv210)      Join Date: Feb 2006       06-11-2010, 12:07 PM Reply   
Chris It's not 5K to re-gear, more like 1K. I got quoted about 500 per end to do my ford f150. The gears themselves are cheap, it's all labor. I wold re-gear to 3.73 and put in a cooler and you should be good to go.
Old     (ccripps)      Join Date: Oct 2003       06-11-2010, 12:21 PM Reply   
The Engine is the 5.3 at this Point I am so Disappointed. My ford has 260 HP amd 350 Touque in a 5 speed the Chevy 350 and 335 Touque in a 6 speed. I just figured the 9 year newer technology 6 speed verse 5. that it would tow at least as good as the Ford. Looks like I was wrong. Especial towing a load this lite, I would have looked harder if I decided to buy a bigger boat but 3500lbs with tow package it should be a problem.

Jason Where did you get a Quote to re gear at??
Old     (ccripps)      Join Date: Oct 2003       06-11-2010, 12:28 PM Reply   
so to make sure I am clear: the 3.43 rear end is making the Trasmision over work and that is why it is getting Hot and why it is tow like ****. So if i Regear to 3.73 an I going to happy with the everyday driving or is my gas Milage going to drop to 12 becuase it is over rev to drive at 70 ( non tow) this car is used as the wifes Daily driver ( around town) 10000 miles the per year 20% towing. thanks for all the help
Old     (jv210)      Join Date: Feb 2006       06-11-2010, 12:31 PM Reply   
I got my quote from 4 wheel parts when I had my truck lifted. The gears themselves were right at 400 and the rest was all labor. Any competent mechanic with the right measuring tools and knowledge should be able to perform this swap.
Old     (boomboom)      Join Date: Apr 2008       06-11-2010, 12:32 PM Reply   
Shoulda got a Toyota. :-)
Old     (ccripps)      Join Date: Oct 2003       06-11-2010, 12:35 PM Reply   
Well I need to get Chevy to do this so I can keep my 75K mile 6 year Warrantee
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       06-11-2010, 12:45 PM Reply   
The 5.3L is not the best towing motor around (I've been using one for almost a decade now). It makes most of its power higher in the RPM range than a truck should IMO, and I think the old 5.7L was a better truck motor. That being said, it will be fine for towing a wakeboat if set up right. It's pretty obvious your truck did not come with the towing package. Gears make a big difference in pulling power.

Might you also have custom (bigger) rims or tires on it?

Your mileage will suffer by approximately the percentage of additional gear reduction. My wife's 08 Tahoe with 5.3L/3.73 gets about 14.5 mpg in town, and 16.5 on the highway with 3.73 gears.
Old     (ccripps)      Join Date: Oct 2003       06-11-2010, 1:13 PM Reply   
My Surburban does have the HD Trailing Package that is offered from Chevy on 1500's ( Trailering Package, heavy-duty, includes 2-speed active transfer case, external transmission oil cooler and engine oil cooler, provides increased trailering capabilities. Includes 3.42 ratio rear axle) .

Which is not the same as the one offered on the 2500's.

It also has the Stock Rim and Tires, so that isn't killing it

I am towing a very Small boat so I never even consider going to the 2500 6.0. In my mind overkill when the 1500 is rated for over 7K and I'm not even close.

I certinly wasn't expecting it to be a rocket ship up hill just do a descent job. now I'm worried the new SUV isn't going to Survive the 3 towing trips I have planned. One of which I was going to tow a 5000 Toy hauler to Pismo. Looking at cancel that trip becuase this SUV is not going to pull that load. again well under the max rating fo this SUV in it current configuration.
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       06-11-2010, 1:34 PM Reply   
6 speed tranny... Towing package with 3.43 gears... Active xfer case... Things have apparently changed. I am only familiar with the 4-speed 4L60E tranny, and towing packages all came with 3.73's. It sounds like they made an unfortunate change for fleet mileage improvements.

If your truck is running some version of the 4L60E (you can tell by the shape of the pan), do not tow anything bigger than a popup in D. Always tow in 3. 4th gear is held by the band, which can slip just enough under high load that it will build up heat, but the computer won't detect the slip. Keeping it in 3 prevents the tranny from shifting past 3rd gear.
Old     (chadgreg)      Join Date: Feb 2008       06-11-2010, 1:51 PM Reply   
My bad mine is 5.3L
Old     (Ian)      Join Date: Apr 2010       06-11-2010, 1:52 PM Reply   
I have a Tahoe with the 5.3 and I have 4.10 gears in it with my towing package. I get 14.5 in town and 16.7 highway. I tow a 22' Baja with a 454mpi. 6 golf cart batteries, tower, 4 amps, 22 speakers, lots of gear and 60 gallons of go. This boat weight 4500 without trailer. I tow this up grades in the 8% in Arizona and I don't have the problems you are having. Gas mileage is about 9.5 towing this pig however..

Donít cancel you trip. You can rent a crew cab 4x4 diesel from Hertz equipment rental for a couple hundred bucks. I just did to tow my 10,500 toy hauler to the lake for the summer. Cost me $195.00 for 4 days. By the way the 6.0 struggled up those grades pulling my toy hauler. Second gear pegged, having a hard time keeping 50mph. Got 6 mpg. I crossed the Ford off my list!!
Old     (ixfe)      Join Date: Aug 2008       06-11-2010, 2:32 PM Reply   
Time for me to weigh in...

I have a 2008 Suburban 1500 with the tow package. However, my tranny is only 4 gears. I have no idea what my axle ratio is.

I have also been very disappointed in my towing ability. I have struggled up hills on the way down to Shasta. It can be scary. I have also seen my tranny fluid spike to 235 degrees despite having the factory tranny cooler.

This thread reminds me that I need to address this before my next Shasta trip in late July. I was thinking of having a new/bigger tranny cooler put on there. I am not interesting in doing a re-rear of the axles, mainly due to money. I'd rather just get a new rig than throw good money after bad. But I don't know... I just feel like the OP in that if I paid $50k for a full size SUV w/ 7K tow rating I shouldn't have to do any of this to tow a wake boat. It's frustrating. I have actually been toying with the idea of upgrading to a Denali so I can have the bigger motor. Maybe that would help.

I will say this... at the recommendation of this very forum, I did start towing in 3rd gear w/ tow mode engaged, and it has helped quite a bit. But I haven't tested it on the long Shasta trip.

Put me on the list people who wish GM would pull their heads out of their asses and offer up a Suburban w/ diesel. Some of us want to tow and have a daily family hauler... 3/4 trucks don't work for this.

Last edited by ixfe; 06-11-2010 at 2:34 PM.
Old     (timmyb)      Join Date: Apr 2007       06-11-2010, 2:45 PM Reply   
Had an '03 Avalanche with the 5.3L and the towing package. Blew the trans up at about 65k or so and had a different converter, shift kit and huge tranny cooler put in it. After that it was a little better but that 5.3L just doesn't have the torque where you need it for the gear ratios they give you from the factory. Torque doesn't start building in that engine until 2k rpm and that's where you are doing all of your pulling on the highway. Up here in Colorado that thing was always needing to shift.

Throw a supercharger on it and you'll be fine! LOL!
Old     (phenom_1819)      Join Date: Jan 2008       06-11-2010, 3:00 PM Reply   
I've towed a 22' x-star with your identical setup through the Northwest (mountain passes everywhere) with no problems and no overheating. Just dropped it to 3rd gear and it pulled passes at 55 mph at about 3800-4000 or so RPM's (just guessing from memory), and never in overdrive. Just sounds to me like something isn't right because it should do what you are asking of it with no problems. Sorry to hear, and good luck finding a solution.
Old     (alans)      Join Date: Aug 2005       06-11-2010, 3:07 PM Reply   
My '08 V8 4 Runner tows a lot better than my '06 Z71 Tahoe 5.3L. Both have factory tow packages. The extra size of the Tahoe helps a little with feel, but the 4 Runner weighs the same and has much bigger, better brakes. The 4 runner has a higher tow rating too, but only a few hundred LBS.
Old     (Ian)      Join Date: Apr 2010       06-11-2010, 3:16 PM Reply   
x2 on the Duramax suburban.
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       06-11-2010, 3:25 PM Reply   
My stock tranny on my 99 Z71 / 5.3L / 3.73 went 161k before I blew the 3-4 clutch (most common failure point on the 4L60E), and it was $1200 to rebuild. I can't complain. I always tow in 3 and I installed a Transgo shift kit (mildest settings) at about 60k. Got 185k on it now.
Old     (wade_lewark)      Join Date: Jan 2010       06-11-2010, 3:35 PM Reply   
I tow our 2010 Axis A22 with our 2001 Tahoe Lt, it has the 5.7 liter Vortec, stock all the way round, except for BFG tires. I have towed over 900 miles one way down to Lake Shasta, CA from Seattle, WA without any issues. My normal drive to the local lake is about 10 miles and a little hilly, but I have no issues pulling the boat. The trailer is a Boatmate dual axle with surge barkes X 4. This new boat actually tows better than our last boat - 2005 Regal 1800 with single axle trailer. I would buy another Tahoe if I were shopping... but this rig is in perfect condition. Are the older Tahoe/sub's better equipped for towing?
Old     (ixfe)      Join Date: Aug 2008       06-11-2010, 4:14 PM Reply   
All of you who are chiming in with pre-2007 GM rigs might not know if you have a tranny fluid issue. Your tranny fluid could be at 250 degrees and you wouldn't even know it. Until 2007 the GM's didn't have a tranny fluid temp gauge. If I didn't have the digital readout on my Sub, I'd probably just think it was a little sluggish on hills, but no big deal.

Wade, I'm pretty sure your Tahoe has a 5.3, not a 5.7. And without a tranny guage, how do you really know how good a tow vehicle you've got?
Old     (elc)      Join Date: Jan 2008       06-11-2010, 4:53 PM Reply   
I tow a lot out of socal with our 08 5.3 tahoe. The trans temp def gets hot without an aux cooler. With the cooler it will stay under 200 - Stay out of O/D towing. Yes... on long grades you will probably have to go 50mph, you are not going to when any races.

x3 on the durmax burb.
Old     (chilidog)      Join Date: Dec 2007       06-11-2010, 5:39 PM Reply   
Also that pull out of Primm headed west could have had some headwinds on it plus its a really long grade all the way up to Baker I think, its hard to tell but its up hill most of the way just gradual. Even with a diesel up that section, with those outside temps the AC cranking and with a trailer you would be in it to stay up to speed, I'd do like they say above just lock it in 3rd to save your tranny, keep it below 4000 if possible, and if you need to go 50mph to not blow up your truck thats what you need to do. Maybe a different vehicle would make more sense for your needs like 4 door diesel pickup or an excursion or something like that. I would probably change out vehicles before I did a regear on a new vehicle, unless you wanted to lift it while your at it. Figure that your tranny probably already took a hit from this last trip, probably good to get a fluid change to get the burnt stuff out of there. $100 insurance. I dealt with this on my olf 97 F150, had crappy gears and 285s for tires and towing a 5000# scout on a trailer over the sierras I learned the hard way my rig was over taxed, even though it was a 1/2 ton and I was below the limit on towing rating. 22 mph in second gear pegged at 2800 rpm is not fun when big rigs pass you at 55.
Old     (Lohe)      Join Date: Jun 2010       06-11-2010, 5:54 PM Reply   
Should have got a Ford Excursion with the 7.3L power stroke.... Ok that's kinda over kill for your towing needs... But I like pulling the hills at speed and still get good MPG.
Old     (tinytdubb)      Join Date: Jul 2007       06-11-2010, 6:51 PM Reply   
Would you be able to get out of the vehicle? My guess is no but if you can more power to you. If you do start shopping again there are roughly 659 threads on WW about which tow vehicle you should get. It's a huge pissing contest but there are certainly some vehicles that tow better than others. For what that burb probably cost you there are a lot of other options. They may have 30k on them instead of 10k but being unhappy with a vehicle gets to me like no other. Good luck man.
Old     (johnny_defacto)      Join Date: Sep 2006       06-11-2010, 7:38 PM Reply   
DBC, I had an 02 suburban, did not have the tranny temp guage on the stock cluster. I spent $200 and bought an escalade guage cluster and that one had the tranny temp and it was operating correctly.

So basically before you throw a big blanket over all the pre-'07 GM owners chiming in, know that it is very easy to activate the tranny temp guage and it is quite possible that others have done it besides myself.
Old     (apwrx)      Join Date: Feb 2008       06-11-2010, 8:00 PM Reply   
Somethings not right imo,I have an 07 tahoe 5.3, 3.73's.I have no problems what so ever towing my 05 VLX,tandem axle trailer on flats or up hills.Ive never noticed trans temp getting much over 200 even when i push it up a hill.I do keep it in the tow/ haul mode big difference. Good luck with figuring it out thats gotta be very frustrating.
Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-11-2010, 9:54 PM Reply   
That hill outside of Primm is no small beast. I think we might be underestimating how hard that is on a tow vehicle. The grade is pretty steep and it is very long. Add 100+ degree temps and that really wears on a vehicle. Having said that, I still think you are not asking too much of the vehicle. I think the shifting suggestions here are important.

I will finally return to GM when they make me a duramax suburban. My 1999 suburban sucked so bad that I have sworn GM off ever since.
Old     (AdamInMN)      Join Date: Jun 2010       06-11-2010, 10:19 PM Reply   
I'm glad I read this... I was about to look at two Suburbans/Tahoes tomorrow... I'll definitly look at which rear ends they have, or opt for the Denali's w/ the 6.0.

I'm replacing my old Jeep w/ the 4.0. It soulds like the 5.3 may be a weaker setup than the 4.0 I already have. I can pull at 70-75 in OD, it will drop to 3 when my speed drops below 55 on a hill. My boat is #2750 dry, plus the trailer and gear.
Old     (tommyg)      Join Date: Apr 2002       06-11-2010, 10:46 PM Reply   
I like the look of the Suburban's, but we specifically went for the Denali (we have an '07) when we bought ours. At the time, the Suburban's were only available with a 5.3 and a 4 speed tranny versus a 6.2 liter and 6 speed. Needless to say, we have 0 issues with towing.

Only complaint on the denali is the brakes, but I replaced them with an ssbc kit for the front that seems to make a difference.
Old     (ship_of_fools)      Join Date: Sep 2007       06-12-2010, 8:27 AM Reply   
I have an '05 Suburban (65K miles) with the 5.3L and the 3.43 rear diff.

Towing with it sucks and I don't have to hit many hills. I think it is more of an issue with gearing than power in my case.

I have heard of some people changing the shift points by reprogramming the controller. Anyone try this?

Also, I have heard of others removing the stock exhaust and going to an aftermarket one to help the engine pick up a few ponies. Some also went to a K&N air filter to help it breather a little better.

I like the daily driving MPG but towing does suck. It isn't as bad with my boat (21' Sea Ray) but I also have an enclosed trailer (14' x 7' tall V-Nose) we haul dirt bikes in. It doesn't like pullling the trailer on any kind of hill. It is too tall, feels like I am pulling a parachute.

I drove a 6.0L 3/4 ton extended cab pick up truck the other day (with like 175k miles on it) it felt like it had soooo much more power than the 5.3L....
Old     (lifetimewarranty)      Join Date: Oct 2008       06-12-2010, 10:45 AM Reply   
I am amazed here. I tow my boat (Sanger DLX) with all gear and 4 adults and 4 kids with my 97 tahoe on 35's with 343's without any trouble, no overheating, plenty of power, 100 plus temps, and I run the AC always. I never run in overdrive, though, and it does have the tow package. I could tow at 80 mph if I want to with this car. I usually run 60-65. Hills barely slow me down. I can run 55-60 on most.

Why do you guys have so much trouble with towing? Are you just trying to drive like you are not towing?

Am I missing something here? My boat and trailer probably only weigh 5k lbs. though. I wouldn't try towing 10k lbs with it.
Old     (ccripps)      Join Date: Oct 2003       06-12-2010, 11:21 AM Reply   
I will try the towing in 3rd. My only comparison is towing with my 2000 Ford 5.3 tow package with 100K mile vs the New Suburban doing the same weight and the same hill.

The Ford tows it at 3500-3800 50-60 no tow mode but overdrive turned off.

The Suburban was 4500 at 50 and slowing in Tow mode, I tried shifting up to lower the RPM cause the trany temp were at 275. I eventutal just slowed way down all finished the the hill at 40.

To me it seems like something is Wrong but the deal can't find anything. I didihav ethe oil changed and I will be have a oil additional oil cooler installed when the dealer find one.
Old     (elc)      Join Date: Jan 2008       06-12-2010, 11:26 AM Reply   
Originally Posted by ccripps View Post
To me it seems like something is Wrong but the deal can't find anything. I didihav ethe oil changed and I will be have a oil additional oil cooler installed when the dealer find one.
I had a hard time finding a stock cooler locally (I needed it the next day)... I just ended up buying one from the local Cadillac dealership which was actually cheaper. Go figure... haha
Old     (silvermustang35)      Join Date: Jul 2008       06-12-2010, 11:40 AM Reply   
We tow our Axis with an 05 5.3 1500 Silverado with the tow package. Pulled it for a 3 hour trip last weekend and temps didnt get above 200. The transmission cooler helps for sure. I put it in tow/haul mode and it was an uphill climb for most of the trip and it didnt complain about it. Granted mileage was around 9.2mg lol...Usually around town I get 17 or so...we dont drive it much at all since its just a boat hauler lol..we have about 45,000 miles on it. Most of the haul it usually gets is about a 10 minute trip to the water.
Old     (dru1974)      Join Date: Nov 2009       06-13-2010, 7:55 AM Reply   
This year we bought a 2010 mobius ls with tandem trailer, all the bells and whistels and traded up uor 06 dodge 2500 cummins for a 2010 dodge laramie with the hemmi and have towed quite a bit and it has a ton of go, has anyone thought about getting a dodge aspen?
Old     (ixfe)      Join Date: Aug 2008       06-13-2010, 11:27 AM Reply   
Originally Posted by johnny_defacto View Post
DBC, I had an 02 suburban, did not have the tranny temp guage on the stock cluster. I spent $200 and bought an escalade guage cluster and that one had the tranny temp and it was operating correctly.

So basically before you throw a big blanket over all the pre-'07 GM owners chiming in, know that it is very easy to activate the tranny temp guage and it is quite possible that others have done it besides myself.
I'm sure you're right, Johnny... the majority of the pre-'07 GM owners have all performed this mod. What was I thinking?
Old     (Ian)      Join Date: Apr 2010       06-13-2010, 12:55 PM Reply   
I have the Cadi cluster as well.
Old     (MattieK27)      Join Date: Mar 2010       06-13-2010, 1:27 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by lifetimewarranty View Post
I am amazed here. I tow my boat (Sanger DLX) with all gear and 4 adults and 4 kids with my 97 tahoe on 35's with 343's without any trouble, no overheating, plenty of power, 100 plus temps, and I run the AC always. I never run in overdrive, though, and it does have the tow package. I could tow at 80 mph if I want to with this car. I usually run 60-65. Hills barely slow me down. I can run 55-60 on most.

Why do you guys have so much trouble with towing? Are you just trying to drive like you are not towing?

Am I missing something here? My boat and trailer probably only weigh 5k lbs. though. I wouldn't try towing 10k lbs with it.
Towing threads on this site confuse me also. I think the problem is people confuse the term "need" with the phrase "it would be nice."
Old     (ilikebeaverandboats)      Join Date: Jul 2007       06-13-2010, 1:38 PM Reply   
Can you still get 2500 suburbans?? Thatd be a nice switch, maybe get it with the duramax?

Drew why on gods green earth would you go from a 2500 cummins to a 1500 with a "hemmi"
You know that hemi things a marketing gimmick right??
Old     (dru1974)      Join Date: Nov 2009       06-13-2010, 5:42 PM Reply   
well joey i have two company vehicles and my wife now drives the truck so i was thinking of her aswell. the truck has loads of power allbeit not as much as my cummins. it is a better daily driver.
Old    SamIngram            06-13-2010, 7:51 PM Reply   
'05 4.8L Tahoe w/3.73 gears = ok towing...

Added a gear vendors which cost me $1938.37 install and now it's a great tow vehicle.

I have the 4L65E in my truck which is a four speed, with the GV I have 8 gears which keeps the motor running at about 3400 rpms up a grade.
Old     (epic1)      Join Date: Oct 2006       06-13-2010, 8:03 PM Reply   
5.4l ford modular block hits peak tq at around 2000 rpm. may not have any hp, but low end tq is towing love.
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       06-13-2010, 8:31 PM Reply   
Higher RPMs should actually keep the tranny cooler - it is seeing less torque, and the oil is circulating faster.
Old     (epic1)      Join Date: Oct 2006       06-13-2010, 10:36 PM Reply   
but.... the ford 4.6l is ALLWAYS mated to a terrible gear ratio, and must spin six g's to hold speed, so I am in no way bashing gm. they both put out crap.
Old     (slidin_out)      Join Date: Apr 2010       06-14-2010, 9:09 AM Reply   
run a 03 Explorer w/ 4.0L and towing package, pull an 03 SANTE at 65-70 w/ OD off no problems, its voyage to its new home (my house) a few months ago was no problem through hilly areas, so same size boat and a bigger engine on your end should be no problem but i'm not pulling in mountains either, you may be a GM person but go to a local rodeo or cattle sale or similar and just look at the trucks there, you will probably notice the vast majority are Fords, it just seems they are better towing vehicles and are built more for utilitarian work than just looking cool, yes i'm slightly biased and in no way am trying to fan the flames of which brand is better, i just know that the biggest rodeo in the Southeast is held close to where I live and the Ford dominates that parking lot with the Dodge 2500 w/ Cummins diesel second, on the diesel note you realize the gas mileage is about the same with a diesel as it is with a big v8 but much better pulling power
Old     (ccripps)      Join Date: Oct 2003       06-14-2010, 11:36 AM Reply   
Sam, I would love to bolt on a Gear Vendors product but I have 1500 4x4 so their product won't work.

I understand that Diesel is the True Tower's Dream, but to tow 3500 lbs is over kill. If I was pulling a 23-25 foot boat I would have bought something else. The Suburban is rated to tow 8100lbs never did I think it would have any issue's Pulling this weight. I think it is really coming down to that 3.42 rear bolted to the 6 speed just has no power to pull a hill.

Every Chevy owner I have talked to over the last week has a 3.73 with 4 speed. Only CAL ( phenum_1819) is towing with my setup and he is towing a much bigger boat maybe the hills aren't as step in the northwest :-)

So if I don't change anything I will just have to put it in 3rd, Swallow my pride and pull the hill's at 40mph.

I had someone also suggest before I Change the gears using a Power Programmer and running 91octane when I tow. Has anyone done this?? They said I will need a Programmer to reset all my electronics if a change the Gears anyways.
Old    SamIngram            06-14-2010, 2:05 PM Reply   
Sam, I would love to bolt on a Gear Vendors product but I have 1500 4x4 so their product won't work.
Huh? Why not? It goes between the transmission and transfer case, just like any other 4x4. They sometimes have to replace half of the transfer case housing with their own housing...
Old     (ccripps)      Join Date: Oct 2003       06-14-2010, 5:42 PM Reply   
They only have it for the 4x4 on the 2500 version
Old     (slidin_out)      Join Date: Apr 2010       06-14-2010, 6:26 PM Reply   
a diesel is definitely the tower's dream ride, but in your case if you're pulling that boat through those kind of hills on a regular basis it may benefit you in the long run to go that route, just something to think about it, hopefully you can get your Burban pulling like it should somehow in a cost effective manner
Old     (mjb929rr)      Join Date: Mar 2010       06-29-2010, 8:13 PM Reply   
I have an 08 crew cab 1500 silverado with the upgraded vortec max package which consists of the 6.0l engine. It has a leveling kit on it with 33" tires and absoulutely sucks towing a supra 22ssv. When the temps were over 80 degrees the tranny would go 220+ and in turn this would cause the engine temp to get hot as well. I also averaged just shy of 7mpg as well. I think gm dropped the ball on making a good torquey engine in favor of peak hp at 6k rpms. I still have the truck as a daily driver but I purchased an 05 2500hd with the duramax for the boat. This truck has a 6'lift and 35s and pulls the boat like its not there while getting 12mpg. It is so relaxing to tow with the cruise set in od and not worry about constant downshifting and overheating. Anyone that says a diesel is overkill is wrong. You cant have too much power, stability and stopping power when towing.
Old     (tazz3069)      Join Date: Aug 2008       06-30-2010, 5:40 AM Reply   
I have a Diesel Truck that tows my Moomba LSV. It tows great when it is not in the shop. I bought the Dodge Mega Cab 2007 6.7L Turbo Diesel with the new emission crap on it. It is in the shop getting everything new but the engine. 26500 miles on it. $10,800 worth of repairs. I think I also bought the wrong tow vehicle. I should have bought a Ford F350. On the other hand, the truck, when running, tows like a dream. And I do not mean behind a tow truck. I can pull my 20' trailer with 3 quads, 1 Rhino, 40 gallons of gas, tools, and fire wood with no problems at all. I drive it from Vegas, over the Hill towards Pahrump, and to Dumont Hills. No heat issues at all. I love the Diesel Truck, just not the one I have.
Old     (larry1167)      Join Date: Jun 2010       06-30-2010, 6:11 PM Reply   
Chris- I am towing close to the same boat and weight as you. My Sanger TX weighs 2,500lbs dry. Trailer is about 800lbs. So I am under 3,500lbs. As you stated, this is not much compared to what the bigger boats weigh.

Here's what I notices the last few weeks.

The tranny in my 2003 Explorer with 4.6L failed about two weeks ago. It had factory tow package and 100k miles on it when the torque converter went. The Explorer towed my boat great. The 4.6L is a good engine. Too bad the Ford tranny is a piece of crap. Decided to not throw good money after bad. Putting 3k into a truck worth about 8k was not what I wanted to do.

While I was searching for a new tow vehicle, I borrowed my buddy's 2008 1/2 ton Chevy with 5.3 and factory tow package to tow my boat. I live in the hills. I was amazed at how bad it towed my boat on hills. Felt like it had no power. I had to get the rpms up high to get it to move.

Borrowed my other friend's 2001 Tahoe with 5.3 and tow package and noticed the same thing. No power on hills.

I would have to agree that Fords just tow better. It might take you awhile to get used to it. I better revise my comment... Fords tow better until the tranny fails.

I wanted to buy another Ford, but the tranny failure really pissed me off. I bought a 2008 4Runner V6. It tows my boat well even with a V6.

That's my 2 cents.
Old     (tro)      Join Date: May 2009       06-30-2010, 8:32 PM Reply   
i have a similar vehicle. i have a 2008 5.3L 1/2 ton z71 4x4 silverado and it tows like a complete dog. trans temp gets up to 225 sometimes during the summer even with the additional transmission cooler. it has NO power at all. i tow in tow mode so it doesn't shift into OD, but it still is terrible. gets about 8mpg when towing. it struggles to get up any type of hill and constantly shifts on the highway.

i would get rid of it, but i only tow about 1 mile usually with the occasional 200 mile trip.

overall, it doesn't tow worth a plug nickel. tow package? i think mine has that and it is isn't worth a flip either.
Old    mojo            06-30-2010, 8:37 PM Reply   
i tow an 05 210 with an 04 yukon 5.3 4x4 also. this thread got me worried i didn't have the tow package but i checked and i do. i've towed my boat 600 miles straight and trans never went up at all above normal. i do only get about 9-9.5 mpgs and if i drive in cruise when i hit an incline it speeds up like crazy, but manually i can keep a fairly constant speed on steep grades. i'm towing a tandem trailer and i do have a cold air, maf, tbs, and programmer. not sure if that helps me out with temps, and stuff but it gets it done without a complaint. i also could have gotton rid of the yukon and been in an 05 super charged range rover, but i chose the yukon for what it does for me in all aspects.

Last edited by mojo; 06-30-2010 at 8:40 PM.


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