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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.


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.


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