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Old     (wakebrdmom)      Join Date: Mar 2006       05-12-2008, 9:02 AM Reply   
First time owner of anything smaller than a suburban. Had a Yukon XL Denali prior to to escalade. It seems as if not enough power in reverse to hold the vehicle. We slide sometimes launching. I put the vehicle in the tow haul mode, but we still slide. It is all wheel drive like the denali so I don't know what else to do. Definitely do not want to launch at Shasta or anywhere there is a long ramp for fear of sliding too fast. Car stop sliding when boat floats, but it still is a little un-nerving. Is it possible trailer brakes are not working? Or wiring on car is not hooked up properly? Any suggestions?
Old     (flux)      Join Date: Jun 2003       05-12-2008, 9:10 AM Reply   
Seems pretty odd.

Tires?? They look like AT's of sorts but sliding is your brakes locking and you keep going. Nothing much to do with anything else.

Boat trailer brakes only work in forward.

How do you pull the boat out??
Old     (chpthril)      Join Date: Oct 2007       05-12-2008, 9:14 AM Reply   
Trailer brakes typically dont engage while backing down the ramp as well as most newer trailers have a 5 pin connector for brake lock-out while in reverse.

Over inflated tires will effect the contact area of the tire tread.
Old     (ericlee)      Join Date: Apr 2007       05-12-2008, 9:22 AM Reply   
I have had 2 Denalis and ran into this problem a couple times. Your backing in too fast and more than likely the ramp is wet. I backed in my old Moomba and when I tried to slow the boat pulled the Denali a few feet and scared the crap out of me. My buddy did the same thing while backing me in too fast. The Denali could not slow down enough with the weight of the boat as well as the ramp and the wetness of the ramp. Just back down slower from now on and you should be just fine.
Old     (chadgreg)      Join Date: Feb 2008       05-12-2008, 9:40 AM Reply   
What? That can't be right I have a 07 Yukon 2wd and I think my boat and trailer weigh around 4,500-5,000 lbs and I have been on some steep ramps with no problem!
Old     (liquidmx)      Join Date: Jun 2005       05-12-2008, 9:41 AM Reply   
If its a major concern you could look into more aggressive tires. The basic principle is that there is not enough grip between the tires and the pavement to keep it from sliding due to the large amount of weight "pulling back". Either adding weight to the vehicle, airing down tires or getting more aggressive tires could all help. Also note that low profile tires on "dubs" dont help as there is not enough sidewall to air down like a regular tire on something like say 16 or 17's.

If you are dealing with a long ramp my suggestion would be to drive down the ramp forward and flip a U-turn as close to the water as possible to prevent the distance your backing up. Still that is a long-er distance than something like orwood.

Then again I am sure with less weight in the boat you could alleviate the problem as well...

Keep us posted on how it goes.
Old     (woreout)      Join Date: Aug 2006       05-12-2008, 9:41 AM Reply   
Its not a power issue its a weight vs traction issue. I agree with eric, if the ramp is wet or has lose gravel on it, your truck will slide if your going to fast.
Old     (h20jnky)      Join Date: Mar 2003       05-12-2008, 9:47 AM Reply   
just slow down approach speeds.. we have the same rig and when i tow with it, i have noticed the same issues.. take it nice and easy on the approach and work the brakes consistently, instead of waiting for momentum to build and then braking hard..
Old     (gholloway)      Join Date: Apr 2008       05-12-2008, 9:50 AM Reply   
I have the same truck, 07 escalade AWD and I have an 07 X-Star. This hasn't ever happened to me! I live in MS. and we don't have the best of ramps, most are really steep so I'm not sure what the problem is unelss you are backing in really fast, but I'm sure after it happened the first time you made sure you were going really slow!
Old     (boss210)      Join Date: Jun 2006       05-12-2008, 10:02 AM Reply   
The ramps are slick at the first of the year with all of the sand on them. I tow with a Jeep grand Cherokee and their are a couple of ramps that I have this same issue on. I get the boat going down the ramp and ushally coast in nuteral. That way I can put it in drive and pull out of a major slide if need be. The tire PSI is somthing to look at but your low tire psi light will go on if you go bellow factory spec. Just keep it slow and expect some sliding on some ramps. I am not sure if you take off your bow strap before backing but on the ramps with a lot of slide I ushally wait untill I get close to the water.
Old     (siuski)      Join Date: Feb 2003       05-12-2008, 10:19 AM Reply   
If the ramp is steep I'd leave it in neutral or even drive. If you leave it in drive, the TC will provide a more 'dynamic braking' that you can use with the normal brakes. Gravity shoudl still pull you down the hill. Wouldn't do this often, but as a last resort. I always thought that the Caddies had AWD, but don't know for sure.
Old     (jay_g)      Join Date: Apr 2006       05-12-2008, 10:39 AM Reply   
Slow is the key......I freak out when my wife launches Im allways yelling SLOW DOWN.....I have a Ram 1500 2wd and have had very little issues (I just need more power LOL) Tires make a big difference also. I just put on Yokohama Geolanders and they work great on the ramp.
Old     (innov8)      Join Date: May 2005       05-12-2008, 10:39 AM Reply   
All that extra lead in the boat might have something do do with it, like others have said just take it slow.
Old     (guido)      Join Date: Jul 2002       05-12-2008, 10:40 AM Reply   
Linda.... Take some lead out of that thing. LOL!!!

My F-250 was actually being pulled down the ramp by the X-star at McClure. Steep ramps that are wet will sometimes do that. Not much you can really do. Point it in the right direction and it'll stop when the boat floats off.

One of these days I'd like to see how bad it is. I've never seen it really be an issue at Orwood.
Old    mendo247            05-12-2008, 11:44 AM Reply   
Man suprised to hear this, I always have atleast a thousand pounds of lead in my boat and have never been pulled down the ramp. Even when i had a little half ton chevy 2wd. Im pretty sure id mess my drawers if it happened though! Atleast you know it should stop once the boat floats off.
Old     (liquidmx)      Join Date: Jun 2005       05-12-2008, 12:02 PM Reply   
Another thought if your really concerned about a specific ramp is to have all the passengers load at the dock rather than riding down in the boat upon launch. That could alleviate some weight pulling back.
Old     (wakebrdmom)      Join Date: Mar 2006       05-12-2008, 12:06 PM Reply   
Yeah, I am not sure why this car does it. We have a 1/2 ton 2wd that has the same tires and does not slide. I had these same tires on my 2005 Denali. I go slow on the ramp, (my kids say too slow). Orwood ramps are not that long, so it is kinda freaky to slide, even at high tide. We have the same amount of weight we have always had in our boats as well. Maybe its time the kids go on a diet
Old     (jarrod)      Join Date: May 2003       05-12-2008, 12:09 PM Reply   
m-dizzle has a great point.

I personally would lift the caddy on some 35" mud tires. That should fix the problem.
Old     (rallyart)      Join Date: Nov 2006       05-12-2008, 12:26 PM Reply   
Linda, can you hear or feel if the antilock is coming on the brakes while you back down?
If it is that's your problem. Any gravel or sand and the ABS messes up your ability to stop. If you can't tell be the sound or noise, you might get a "traction active" type message on the dash.
If it's the ABS then you pull the fuse to disable it, or put in a switch.
Lowering your tire pressures would help a bit and having any weight, or people, in the boat forward helps.
Old     (redsupralaunch)      Join Date: Aug 2002       05-12-2008, 1:42 PM Reply   
Here is solution to problem. When you get turned around and start backing down the ramp, put your truck in drive and let off the break. Its that easy.

The problem is that when you back down you have very little weight on front wheels to make matters worse your braking with the front to stop and the rear wheels are pulling you in the opposite direction and thats when the front wheels lock up. When you back down in drive the rear wheels are not pulling you down the ramp.
Old     (deltagrubber)      Join Date: Nov 2003       05-12-2008, 2:23 PM Reply   
Boy, that's gotta be hell on the tranny eh Chris? I've never tried it but just my first thought...
Old     (h20jnky)      Join Date: Mar 2003       05-12-2008, 2:34 PM Reply   
first of all DO NOT ALLOW your automatic transmission vehicle to roll backwards while in drive.. chris has been severely misinformed and there is what is called a "one way clutch" in the transmission if you allow it to roll backwards (repeatedly) it will damage a very expensive transmission.. worse yet, it will cause your vehicle to most likely stall because the rearward motion of the drive wheels is mechanically connected to the transmission and it is driving the transmission in the opposite way meaning, the transmission was designed to go-forward in drive... the last thing you want is a stalled suv on steep ramp rolling backwards with a boat coming at you.. again, just brake consistently and slow down the approach speeds when backing to the water.. our cadi does fine now with these adjustments..
Old     (fabs128)      Join Date: Feb 2007       05-12-2008, 2:42 PM Reply   
You should put your truck in neutral and then just use the break. I have never had a problem doing it that way. Good Luck!
Old     (rich_g)      Join Date: May 2003       05-12-2008, 6:23 PM Reply   
Here is something you can try -- it might help and it won't hurt your vehicle:

"Barely" engage the parking brake when you're lined up and ready to start backing down the ramp. This will give your rear brakes some constant resistance and may compensate for some of the issues going on with the ABS.

This technique has helped me get traction on a wet ramp for pulling up the ramp with a 2WD, but I've never tried it backing down.
Old     (tanner)      Join Date: Oct 2005       05-12-2008, 6:35 PM Reply   

Just FYI... the Tow/Haul mode will do nothing for you in this instance. It is specifically for your tranny while cruising. It will hold your shifts longer and firms up your shifts as well when accelerating. It will also downshift to a lower gear to allow you to use more engine braking on steep decents while towing. Saving your brakes some.
Old     (clubjoe)      Join Date: Sep 2005       05-12-2008, 7:14 PM Reply   
Heavy load on rock hard low profile tires with limited traction path......

Air down like at the beach and slow down?
Old     (h2oaddiction)      Join Date: Aug 2007       05-12-2008, 7:32 PM Reply   

Have the tires siped at a local tire shop (like Les Schwab). The tires may have a M&S rating and may come pre-siped, but the custom siping will do wonders for wet ramps not to mention snow and ice. It might not do much for sand or loose gravel though.

As stated earlier, do not roll backwards in drive...very bad things will eventually happen to the tranny and AWD system!!!
Old     (johnsvt)      Join Date: Dec 2006       05-12-2008, 7:51 PM Reply   
22's do wonders for dry road traction and create a big contact patch. The tires may/will slide on a wet ramp an ESV/Yukon XL will be better due a little more vehicle weight and wheelbase.

I don't think there is much you could do beside the custom siping. I personally have had my tahoe slide but as soon as I try to go forward the vehicle recovers quickly...just don't get confused between R and D.
Old     (jpuckett)      Join Date: Apr 2005       05-12-2008, 8:27 PM Reply   
All the Suburbans, Tahoes and Escalades that I've driven have slid on the ramp. The last one not to do it had the 18" wheels and tires on it. When you spread the weight over the wider tires the pounds per square inch goes down and the is what helps hold you on the wet surface.
Old     (zacharoo)      Join Date: Nov 2005       05-12-2008, 8:37 PM Reply   
You need need to check the tongue weight of the boat's trailer. The Pic looks like the truck is riding level through. My 4runner did the same thing on wet ramps but it was because the weight of the tongue pushed down on the rear and that cause the nose of the car to rise. Less down force on the front brake is going to give you problems like you are seeing.
It was stated prevoiusly just to slow down your speed and to avoid jerking the wheel to make corrections.
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       05-12-2008, 8:53 PM Reply   
I have towed extensively with similar vehicles (Silverado Z71, Tahoe Z71) and never had this problem. I also put it in neutral (N) and roll down the ramp if it's steep enough.

ManFox is correct - definitely do not leave it in any forward gear and roll back. That's the kind of thing that kills auto trannies. A one way clutch is also called a "sprag".

The only other thing I can think of, and I've run into this with GM's before, is the brake proportioning (front/back) could be set up wrong. I bet it's just the front tires that are sliding, right? GM tends to make the front brake bias pretty heavy, for some reason.
Old     (mkperceptions)      Join Date: Jan 2007       05-13-2008, 1:13 AM Reply   
once the boat is in the water you wont have a problem
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       05-13-2008, 5:18 AM Reply   
That's got to be pretty unsettling, though.
Old     (soak_up_the_sun)      Join Date: Jun 2004       05-13-2008, 5:56 AM Reply   
It is the worst feeling. I almost jumped out of our suburban when we were launching a heavily weighted boat once. Not our boat, I think it was Gerry Nunn's, at a "Backyard Tour" event a couple of years ago. I didn't think about the fact that it would stop sliding when the boat hit the water!
We were told (after launching ) that there was about 2000 lbs. of lead in it.
Like I said, it's never happened with our boat, and I don't think I would be the "launcher" if it ever did!
Old     (hamkj)      Join Date: Apr 2002       05-13-2008, 7:40 AM Reply   
Tow Haul mode is simply a shifting issue when cruising.. so that is a non-issue.

The best way to address your problem is to simply do a partial jack knife...

This ensures that your trailer and Escalade are not pointed in the same directions... do this both when you unload and load your boat...

I think everyone is over thinking this issue... but it is simple physics...

Get your truck pointed in a different direction than the force that is pulling you.... doesnt have to be much....
Old     (liquidmx)      Join Date: Jun 2005       05-13-2008, 8:22 AM Reply   
Good point Hamkj, unfortunately the ramp she is launching at cannot accommodate a partial knifing. They are individual ramps that are about 10-12ft wide with docks on both sides.

I agree with the siping... a much cheaper alternative to more aggressive tires.
Old     (redsupralaunch)      Join Date: Aug 2002       05-13-2008, 11:10 AM Reply   
Relax on backing down in drive. That is the job of a torque converter. If it was such a big deal we would have to take our truck out of gear when we get to stop lights. The fact that you do 20x a year is nothing. Yes you can go too fast and stall. I have had that happen once. No big deal. No I dont replace transmissions. Well I take that back my Ford lasted 168,000 mile before a rebuild. Maybe Manfox drives a Dodge - lol just kidding. Just use your head - it really does help. Besides transmissions are cheaper than heart attacks.
Old     (h20jnky)      Join Date: Mar 2003       05-13-2008, 11:34 AM Reply   
you couldn't pay me enough to drive a dodge chris..

D ont
O bviously
D o
G reat
E ngineering
Old     (yosquire)      Join Date: Jun 2005       05-13-2008, 2:42 PM Reply   
I have to second the "no problem" putting the auto trans in drive and rolling backwards. It's the same thing as pulling up to a red light and leaving it in Drive.

When it starts sliding, pop it in neutral if it's still sliding, pop it in drive. It'll subtly slow you to a stop assuming you're easy on the brakes.
Old     (krbaugh)      Join Date: Mar 2002       05-13-2008, 3:41 PM Reply   
Fabs (fabs128) and Craig (yosquire) are right at the top of the ramp put the vehicle in neutral and use the brakes you will no longer slide down the ramp
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       05-13-2008, 8:51 PM Reply   
Why would a forward gear be a better choice than neutral?

It may not be catastrophic, but at the very least you are generating extra heat in the tranny by leaving it in drive.

Anyway, when it starts sliding, try pushing the brake harder. Might send enough pressure to the rear brakes to stop you.
Old     (wakestar517)      Join Date: Jun 2006       05-14-2008, 8:01 PM Reply   
You can also just put in a brake controller so you can manuly control the brakes when backing up and set it to work normal when driving. Plus they are much cheaper then new tires.
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       05-14-2008, 8:37 PM Reply   
Brake controller? For the truck? Boat trailers have hydraulic surge brakes, not electric.

It's also worth saying that it will in fact damage some auto trannies to roll backward in D - I was told by a BMW tech to never do that in our old 540i. I have rebuilt a GM 4L60E, but I can't tell you for sure if it will damage it or not.
Old     (jpuckett)      Join Date: Apr 2005       05-14-2008, 8:38 PM Reply   

The Z71 package vehicles doesn't have the wide 20 and 22" wheels and tires. They have 18" wheels and tires that are not low profile. They hold better on the wet ramps.
Old     (bill_airjunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       05-14-2008, 9:53 PM Reply   
I've had this problem with lightweight trucks & heavy boats, but never with the Avalanche/Vride I'm using now. I imagine increasing the weight of the truck & decreasing the weight in the boat would help a lot, ie; have your passengers stay in the truck till your safely down the ramp.

Applying the e-brake a bit is an interesting idea. Correct me if I'm wrong here but I believe the rear brakes are discs, with the e-brake a small drum inside the rotor. Doing this very often might require getting new e-brake pads more often, especially since they rarely wear out when used normally.

Siped tires could help too. They help in just about every other situation so why not.
Old     (krbaugh)      Join Date: Mar 2002       05-14-2008, 10:24 PM Reply   
No need for all the ideas and speculation about tires and weight etc.

At the top of the ramp put the vehicle in neutral there will be no slipping
Old     (soundbox)      Join Date: Oct 2007       05-15-2008, 7:30 AM Reply   
I'm looking at a 08 Malibu 23 LSV or VLX. Do you think I will have ramp problems with this truck?


I have considered siping the tires due to the large blocks of the BFG KDWs. Do you think it will help? The weight it not an issue. It has towed much heavier than the ~4800lbs of the LSV. My biggest concern is ramp traction from the 2wd street tires with the 23 footer.
Old     (jpuckett)      Join Date: Apr 2005       05-15-2008, 8:14 AM Reply   
I would be willing to bet that you won't like the way it does on a wet ramp. I can't tell you how many times I've seen 2WD pickups setting on the ramp trying to pull the boat out and just spinning. The wide low profile tires just make it worse.

(Message edited by jpuckett on May 15, 2008)
Old     (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       05-15-2008, 8:39 AM Reply   
you dont have a hitch, that could be a problem
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       05-15-2008, 8:59 AM Reply   
I have a Esclade EXT. Same as the Surburban. The ramp at my launch is pretty steep. When it's wet and my wife is backing the boat down the ramp the front wheel somtimes lock's or skid's. This can be stopped or corrected by backing down real slow and being real easy on the brakes. If she puts the brake's on kinda hard it will make the front tire skid. I have never had more than one wheel skid. And like I said the only time it does it is when its wet. Im guessing my boat and trailer weighs around 5500 Lbs
Old     (26lacefield)      Join Date: Aug 2006       05-15-2008, 9:07 AM Reply   
have you tried to put the car into first gear. that might bring the RPM's up enought to help slow it down with the brakes.
Old     (soundbox)      Join Date: Oct 2007       05-15-2008, 12:38 PM Reply   
Nick - The new hitch is behind the lic. plate. I lost the spare tire location to get the hitch in there but I like the look of the welded on roll pan. The spare just sits in the bed under the cover. The hitch is rated at more than I would ever put on it.

I guess if I know I'm going to a steep slippery ramp I can put the stockers back on with some aggressive tread .

Any other low-pro-2wd guys out there?
Old     (wakebrdmom)      Join Date: Mar 2006       05-15-2008, 1:02 PM Reply   
I may sound dumb, but what is siping the tires? I do drive real slow in reverse and use the brakes minimally. Just never had this problem before with my denali maybe the tires were just a little better. Bridgestone now Goodyear then? Maybe time for tire wars??
Old     (jpuckett)      Join Date: Apr 2005       05-15-2008, 1:08 PM Reply   
It is where they cut hash marks in the tread to increase traction.
Old     (h2oaddiction)      Join Date: Aug 2007       05-15-2008, 8:06 PM Reply   
Here is another link with a short explanation of siping. It should be less than $100 for all four tires. It just needs to be done while there is plenty of tread on the tires. Semi-trucks have done this for decades for better traction and wear. It basically looks like somebody took a razor blade and made cuts in the tread every 1/4" inch or so. It won't be a cure-all but it will help some.

Good luck

(Message edited by h2oaddiction on May 15, 2008)


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