Tahoe tow rig or ?

Discussion in 'Tow Rigs and Trailers' started by drkelly, Jul 25, 2005.

  1. drkelly

    drkelly Dipstick who put two vehicles on jack stands

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Location:
    Oak Ridge/Stokesdale, NC
    My cab truck is getting closer to being completed, so a trailer and tow rig will be needed in a few months. I currently DD a 2 door Tahoe. The engine is the stock 350 with about 100k on the clock. The tranny has recently been rebuilt. I have towed my 5x8 trailer (WAY overbuilt and heavy homemade unit) with dirt bikes through the mountains and was not impressed with the power of the truck. I am considering trying to use the Hoe as a tow rig, but am afraid I will be extremely disappointed in the power. I started thinking about pulling the motor and building a 383. That would probably satisfy my power complaints, but then I begin to worry about the short wheelbase of the 2 door unit as a tow rig and the associated stability problems that are inherent in using that kind of a vehicle. Some of my limitations are that I don't think I want to drive a huge truck (3/4-1 ton extra/crew cab diesel etc) as a DD. I drove small cars as DD's for about 13 yrs until buying the Tahoe a couple of years ago, and don't think I will enjoy driving a big truck everyday. Another option is to go back to a small car as a DD, and spend less on an older dedicated tow rig. I figure my truck is going to weigh 4,500-5,000 lbs + typical car hauler trailer weight.

    So, do I shut up and drive it as is, build a 383, get an older non DD dedicated tow rig, or take off my skirt and get a big truck as a DD?

    I've towed small trailers a bunch over the years, but the only big thing I have towed was an enclosed trailer driving a Ford 15 passenger van that had a 460. I was quite impressed with the power of the 460.

    Looking for some opinions from those who have towed with different combinations, DD big trucks etc.

    Thanks,
    Danny
     
  2. Caver Dave

    Caver Dave Just holdin' it down here in BFV Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    Location:
    Hooterville (24171)
    Faced the same quandry 6 months ago... had '97 Camry for DD (30+ mpg) and the Moss that's quickly becoming PITA to drive to/from trails. Faced with a new $500-$800/month note for a newer truck that *might* get 20mpg...right! :rolleyes: , I followed Bigwoody's advice on the '91-'93 7.3L IDIs and bought an older truck. While it's not pretty by any means (came pre-scratched/dented), it does have a huge diesel that gets about 17-18mpg @ 70mph, tows the trailer & Moss with ease (no "mad" acceleration, but *will* get it done @ 13-15mpg... BTW, that's DOUBLE what my bros 8.1L 2500HD gets!... did I mention his "frickin' huge" payment book? :eek: ), and outside of the AC & decent tunes is spartan (complete vinyl interior for easy washing :D ).

    So, for what amounts to "lunch money" for a couple years (*MUCH* better than $500++++/month x 5years), I got the truck, a nice trailer, & paid off my wifes dental work. Still have the ricer for commutes/travel, the truck/trailer for haulin', & my "accountant" doesn't complain (especially when she needs the truck to haul something)...

    Thanks again Greg! :beer:
     
  3. jdubb

    jdubb Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Location:
    Gastonia
    I have seen some 90-95 2500 Suburbans for around $5000-$6000. That would be my weapon of choice. Stay away from the 6.5 turbo deisel if you can, I hate that pig.
     
  4. drkelly

    drkelly Dipstick who put two vehicles on jack stands

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Location:
    Oak Ridge/Stokesdale, NC
    I guess there are not as many people on this site with tow rigs as I thought.
     
  5. Lee

    Lee ECGS

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Location:
    Rougemont NC
  6. Rockwagon

    Rockwagon New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2005
    Location:
    Greensboro NC
    :driver:

    You need to go over to that other site that members have about 95% tow ratio. Suck it up and buy a 94-98 12-valve dodge Cummins. My truck does a perfect job towing and it on 35"s with .354 gears. I have tow over 15K and was not dissapointed. Last trip I slung Greg $hit off the trailer accelerating from a stop around a corner :flipoff2: His tie down system can't hold up to the Cummins Torque. :D Did I mention that I paid 3K for my truck and had it on the road for 2K more. You could afford to have a DD Kia or somthing. :driver: I dont need a DD I love driving my truck.

    Chad
     
  7. stone

    stone Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Location:
    charleston
    i will let you know after tellico in september. i sold my cummins and may wish i hadnt soon.
     
  8. 5onrocks

    5onrocks Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2005
    Location:
    Decatur AL
    Tow Rig

    As much as i would love to have a 3/4 ton diesel truck, when i have to, i tow with my 2dr tahoe. I know i will catch shit for doing it but i have 6inch lift, 4.56's and 37 all terrains on my tahoe. It has a heavy duty tranny cooler and oil cooler. It does ok and i'm not stupid with it towing. I just take it easy and don't dog it. It does better than a lot of 1/2 ton trucks i've towed with. If that's what you have and can't afford anything else, I'd put the rig on a diet and lose weight anywhere you can and be smart with it.
     
  9. upnover

    upnover Grumpy, decrepit Old Man Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Location:
    Morganton NC
    It all depends on useage. If you have a combo tow rig/DD and drive 500 miles a week That's in the neighborhood of $75 a week in fuel. If it gets average 15mpg. If you have a ricer dd and it gets 33mpg, thats $34 a week in fuel. Over a month's time, you have 176 in savings. Do your own math, and see what your differences will be. Remember to figure in extra in insurance, and Maintenance.

    I use a 79 J-10 to tow with. It's heavy enough and isn't all that pretty, but with 32 in tires, 3:54 gears and T-18 tranny it does "OK" towing. But, it is slow on the mountain hills. SInce it is a half ton, I built my trailor with brakes on both axles for added stopping power. I over heated them once comming out of Tellico thru the TN side. Pulled over and let them cool and was OK from there on out.

    The nice thing about a designated TR is that when dd breaks down, or you need to haul something, or too lazy to unload at the end of a trip, you still have a 2nd driver.

    I don't recomend using a short wheel base to tow with, due mainly to stability and weight.
    JMHO
     
  10. 93JXJ

    93JXJ New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2005
    Location:
    SC
    Like upnover said. I wouldn't use a short wheelbase to tow, to much swaying.
    I wouldn't use a Suburban either - check out their tow ratings. Pretty piss poor.
    I bought a '90 extended cab long bed F150 351/AT for a dedicated tow rig- I toasted the tranny on the first trip. Had 100k miles on it.
    I ended up getting a 2500HD (gas, next is diesel) extended cab - it pulls great, no problems (except for gas mileage). I wouldn't DD it, but it is an expensive weekend warrior.
    Really it depends on where you're towing to. Anywhere else but URE - buy something rated to pull.
     
  11. Rich

    Rich Asshole at large

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    Central PA
    Suburban's / excursions can tow great, just not a 1500 Suburban.. They still make the 2500, right?
     
  12. thecarman

    thecarman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    Apex, NC
    Yep, they still make the 2500 Suburban.

    I have a 1990 1500 Burb and it handles the trailer fine (6550 lbs on trailer axles when connected to Burb - have not weighed trailer by itself, but would be at least 7000). I am swapping in 3/4-ton axles to get the FF 14-bolt rear and bigger brakes from the 8-lug setup in the front. Also added 3 leafs to the rear leaf packs (stock rear springs, even on some 3/4-tons are not enough). If you get a later model 3/4-ton Burb, the rear springs may be fine.

    How does this apply to your 2-door Tahoe? I used to tow with a 1990 K5 Blazer, I guess the wheelbase is comparable to your Tahoe. It would pull the load fine, but did not have enough wheelbase to control a heavy trailer. Now with my Burb, most times I don't even feel the trailer back there, except on hills when my 6.2 diesel is smoking it's guts out trying to pull. :D
     
  13. SHINTON

    SHINTON Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    Triad area of NC
    I am not sure "why" longer wheelbase tow rigs do better, my guess it is the leverage principle and the trailer cannot 'move' a longer truck vs a shorter one. (and weight too obviously...prob combo of both of those)

    I know a guy that pulls his "show Camaro"/trailer all over with his 2 door Tahoe and is very happy... but I haven't rode in it to give you a first hand experience. I know I am very happy with my Excursion setup...and after being around the boards this long I would certainly recommend a 3/4 ton or greater tow rig.

    You 'can' get by with less, no doubt, I did for a couple years with my ZJ and tow dolly. But we all know what happened to that same tow dolly and the Waggy, so it is hard to say what YOUR rig/trailer will do.

    If nothing else put it up on there...go hit a big parking lot locally and "mess around" and see if it pushes you around?! Try braking into a corner at greater speeds to see what it is gonna do in that situation...if it starts to get ugly, you will have the whole parking lot just straighten it out instead of turning?

    START SLOWLY with the above, my guess is before you ever get to a "bad situation" you will already know if it is pushing YOU around instead of doing what it is supposed to.

    LAST thought..I cannot remember if you mentioned trailer brakes but they would be CRITICAL for this...I wouldn't even THINK about it otherwise.

    Sam
     
  14. MR. GADGET

    MR. GADGET New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2005
    Location:
    Raleigh NC
    Richard
    what you going to do with the axles you pull out and what gears you got in them.
    J
     
  15. Cperry

    Cperry Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Durham, NC
    Don't tow with a two door tahoe. if your load shifts or you loose a tire it will be a wild ride i'm sure.
     
  16. TheGeneral

    TheGeneral New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2005
    Location:
    Wilmington
    If you lose a tire in any towing situation it usually ends up with a wild ride. I tow my cherokee with a short wheel base hemi dodge. The powers not a problem but I wouldnt want to tow anyting much heavier. I say tow it once or twice to URE or sumthin and see how it does. If it works good keep it..if not go buy one of these http://adcache.trucktraderonline.com/4/7/4/79083774.htm :driver:
     
  17. LukeandtheTJ

    LukeandtheTJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2005
    Location:
    Concord
    come on people. A tahoe will get you to the trail while at the same time make a decent daily driver. face it. Anything that tows well will suck in any other arena. You only tow once a month at best. You drive a daily driver.....as the name suggests......every day. So you will have to put on the blinkers while traveling the steep part up 40. big whoop. You will still get there and that is all that matters.

    I was forced with the same decision and i decided that i would rather drive my own rig to the trail then drive something that could tow well every day for several years. A LONG TIME.
     

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