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Hey Gang,

Just wanted your valuable opinions.

I just closed the deal on a 2001 GMC 2WD Yukon with a 5.3L V8 engine. It purchased by the original, and only owner in Jan 2001 for 39.5K. It has 33K miles,looks brand new to me and the key features include:

leather seating
front high back bucket seats
radio/cassette/CD player
heavy duty trailering equipment
electric traction control
locking rear deferential sidestep running boards
P265/70R16 ALT WOL Tires
Automatic climate control
Rear axle - 3.73 ratio
Rear cargo panel doors
6500 GVW rating
California low emission vehicle
3000 miles left on limited bumper to bumper warranty
Dual front airbags
Front seat, side impact airbags
4 Wheel anti-lock disc brakes
Alarm
9 Speaker audio
Battery run down protetcion
Wife thought it was so smoking she nearly wept.
Consumer Reports rates it average for reliability but when they itemized it, each part seemed to get top ratings

My gut feeling is I did well... but feel free to challenge this assertion. The seller wanted 26,5 initially if that matters.

Psyched to hear what people think. I'll also be posting a final towing quesiton next! Thanks to all in advance as always.

Best,

BroadwayDan

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Hey Gang,

This is my last tow question... probably.

Okay. Again, (sorry for repetition) the vehicle I need to tow is a 3,700 lb trailer that may sometime have another 400 lbs in it for a total of 4,100 lbs.

I have just bought a 2001 Yukon with Vortec 5300 V8 SFI Gas Engine.

The step-bumper reads 5,000 lb maximum trailer weight and 500 lb tongue weight. However, the manual says a 5300 V8 with a 3.73 axle ratio should pull 7,800 lbs. When I called the dealer he said that you defer to the step bumper. (So where the heck is the manual writer pulling his numbers out of?)

Perplexingly, the way to determine tongue weight is 10-15% of the trailer weight. So if I'm hauling 4,100 lbs then 10% equals 410 lbs and 15% equals 615. This is like a freaking Abbot and Costello routine! How can the maximum trailer weight be allowed to exceed the maximum tongue weight? If I'm being an ass I apologige, but hey - I grew up riding subway cars in Sunny Brooklyn, NY.

Some key stats...

The GVW is 6,500 lbs.
The vehicle comes with "heavy duty" trailer equipment.
The axle ratio is 3.73.

Bottom line - if I get a class IV weight-distributing hitch I should feel perfectly safe and comfortable in this big bad compensating for the fact the Lord made me a short man vehicle? Yay or nay?

All help is appreciated as I really don't want to jacknife on a highway and be smashed into a fiery death by a speeding tractor trailer.

As always, again, thanks in advance.

Finally,

BroadwayDan

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The step-bumper reads 5,000 lb maximum trailer weight and 500 lb tongue weight. However, the manual says a 5300 V8 with a 3.73 axle ratio should pull 7,800 lbs. When I called the dealer he said that you defer to the step bumper. (So where the heck is the manual writer pulling his numbers out of?)

I'm no expert on towing, but different chassis and suspensions can be set up in various ways. Your drivetrain (motor and gearing) may be capable of greater capacity than the physical hitch and its attachments to the chassis.

Once again, I'm not well-versed in towing, but it seems a well-balanced trailer load is not going to approach your limits for tongue weight. If it does, you want to consider how you can safely alter the tongue weight. Just putting more weight at the tail may not be the answer, and may be even more unsafe.

Lots to consider, and getting one thing wrong can be disastrous at speed.

Twit
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The step-bumper reads 5,000 lb maximum trailer weight and 500 lb tongue weight. However, the manual says a 5300 V8 with a 3.73 axle ratio should pull 7,800 lbs. When I called the dealer he said that you defer to the step bumper. (So where the heck is the manual writer pulling his numbers out of?)

Perplexingly, the way to determine tongue weight is 10-15% of the trailer weight. So if I'm hauling 4,100 lbs then 10% equals 410 lbs and 15% equals 615. This is like a freaking Abbot and Costello routine! How can the maximum trailer weight be allowed to exceed the maximum tongue weight? If I'm being an ass I apologize, but hey - I grew up riding subway cars in Sunny Brooklyn, NY.

BroadwayDan


Okay, here's the skinny. You have a Class 111 hitch on the Yukon. The step bumper data relates to the factory installed hitch if the trailer is attached with a standard draw bar and a 2 or 2-1/2 inch ball. It will tow, as it states, 5,000 lb with a maximum tongue weight of 500 lb.

The manual is right also. However the manual supposes that you have a weight-distributing hitch that disperses the load across the towing vehicle's frame.

Here's the problem with all of this and it's weight allowance. Usually you have a 25 percent weight allowance – meaning that you have the capacity but that's 25 percent above what you have. A safety factor. In practice it's more 10 or 15 percent. You'll only need a 25 percent depending on the type of load you're towing and this is more associated with fifth wheel towing (where the load pivot is in the middle of a truck bed but let's not go there because it's even more complex than where we are).

Your Yukon, as you describe it, will work perfectly with the Class 111 hitch and with the axle ratio will have no problem towing your trailer. None at all. You have a perfect tow vehicle. Trust me on this – I have a Yukon and I have no problem towing a 4,500 lb. single axle trailer and boat.

Now, the trailer. You've got the tow vehicle now you have to work on the trailer. I don't know what State you live in but almost all say that a trailer over 3,000 lbs must have either surge or electrical brakes. It's mandatory to have electrical brakes if you're over 5,000 lbs in most States. You're under so you can have surge brakes. Don't let anyone tell you that you need electrical brakes, you don't. It will be a needless expense.

Once again, the best place to have your trailer checked out is a boat dealership or a dedicated trailer repair/maintenance company. These people live and breathe trailers and they know what they're doing. More often than not local garages are by guess and by golly. Things like knowing that trailer tires are specifically made for trailers and are inflated to 65 psi. That sort of thing. This may seem like a small point but more problems with trailers come from under-inflated tires than any other.

You left out one point about your Yukon: bum warmers. On the left hand side of the driver's seat is a forward located paddle switch that gives you a toasted ass. This feature alone made me kvell all over.

MichaelR


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Hey Michael,

Thanks for yet another amazingly helpful post.

First of all, we love the Yukon so far a great deal.

I will work my kishkes off to understand tow vehicle requirements and make sure this thing is legal.

As for the bum warmers - number one, the Lord forgot to give me an ass and number two I now live in Southern Cal and thankfully haven't needed a good bum warming yet! :0>

Best,

BD
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