2005 LT 4x4 suburban towing experience/advice/thoughts?

dja4260

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Truck has new brakes all around and 83k miles. Well maintained by my grandfather. I’d be well over 1k from the tow limit of 7400lbs.

The more cushion the better. I don’t want a truck payment so this will need to do and we will purchase accordingly. We camp within 1.5 hours out rolling hills/flat highways 80+% of the time. I’ll buy something smaller if it’s deemed irresponsible and unsafe. My family comes first.
 

CKN

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Truck has new brakes all around and 83k miles. Well maintained by my grandfather. I’d be well over 1k from the tow limit of 7400lbs.

The more cushion the better. I don’t want a truck payment so this will need to do and we will purchase accordingly. We camp within 1.5 hours out rolling hills/flat highways 80+% of the time. I’ll buy something smaller if it’s deemed irresponsible and unsafe. My family comes first.

There are lighter "ultra Light" trailers you can get that weigh less that's the same length (or more) as the trailer you are looking at. HINT-SLIDES ARE HEAVY. I have a 29 foot Forest River 26DJSE-NO [email protected] 4,500 pounds.
 

dja4260

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There are lighter "ultra Light" trailers you can get that weigh less that's the same length (or more) as the trailer you are looking at. HINT-SLIDES ARE HEAVY. I have a 29 foot Forest River 26DJSE-NO [email protected] 4,500 pounds.
Yeah I don’t disagree. We’re looking at a hybrid, specifically a Rockwood Roo 233s. Rather compact size and has 3 queen beds. We have 3 children so this seems like a camper we’re not going to outgrow. An identical model is made without the slide but it leaves little to no space inside and it weighs 4500lbs.
 

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If you pull the trigger on it you will be at MAX.
Tow in 3 not D.
I tow my 21 footer with my 2003 Avalanche w/ 3.73 and it's under powered in my opinion .
 
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No reason to attempt OD in this setup. If it was me, I’d probably be manually shifting to second on most hills proactively, less shifting under power.
 

CKN

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Yeah I don’t disagree. We’re looking at a hybrid, specifically a Rockwood Roo 233s. Rather compact size and has 3 queen beds. We have 3 children so this seems like a camper we’re not going to outgrow. An identical model is made without the slide but it leaves little to no space inside and it weighs 4500lbs.
I get what your trying to do-beds for everyone. IMHO a hybrid is the worst of all worlds. You are not getting a light trailer-relatively speaking. The canvas allows all the noise of a campground RV/park in. Isn't secure as a hard sided trailer when you are camping. (Either against bears or the human thieves).You would be surprised how many people break camp and pull out before 8 a.m. Then, you have the canvas, and you will be caught in rain at some point, the canvas gets wet and then you have to tow it home and break it open so it dries correctly or else you get mold.

Camping can be fun though!
 
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I had a hybrid jayco 23 b. We liked it but you do have to plan around rain. Does take a bit more setup time , especially if arriving after dark. But you get more floor space for the given size. It is hard to heat if you camp under 40f. A/c will run continuous if over 80f.
We liked it but did not need it after our son grew up.
 
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Does the suburban have the factory tow package? It was a high take rate option. I’d estimate that roughly 90% of the 2000-2006 generation had it from the factory so odds are you have it. If so, it has an auxiliary transmission cooler from the factory already. Spec wise, your suburban will get the job done.

I second what some others have said. Brakes, tires, suspension, etc. As long as those items are good, I’d have no qualms with taking the suburban on the trip.
 

AZjeff

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Found this with some searching for your Suburban:

Dead Weight Hitch - Max Trailer Wt. (lbs)5000

Wt Distributing Hitch - Max Tongue Wt. (lbs)1000 < Watch this one. Load up and go to a scale and know where you are.

Dead Weight Hitch - Max Tongue Wt. (lbs)600

Wt Distributing Hitch - Max Trailer Wt. (lbs)7200
We camp within 1.5 hours out rolling hills/flat highways 80+% of the time. I’ll buy something smaller if it’s deemed irresponsible and unsafe. My family comes first.

Good to see you have the attitude family safety first. Hope you don't buy a new trailer and find it's a bit too much. Lots of guys get sold too much trailer for their truck and rather than admit it they try to make it work with airbags etc or just grit it out. If you're honest with yourself you'll know pretty quick if towing is easy or if you're up on the wheel keeping it all going straight. Wind and tractor trailers will let you know. Good luck and good times ahead with the family. (y)
 
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I did not see any mention of a brake controller.

You will definitely need to use the electric trailer brakes. My previous truck, I installed a tekonsha prodigy.
 

dja4260

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I did not see any mention of a brake controller.

You will definitely need to use the electric trailer brakes. My previous truck, I installed a tekonsha prodigy.
An aftermarket trans cooler and brake controller will both be installed prior to any trailer upgrade. Towed our 3600lb popup with a friction sway bar home through the Smokies today without issue In trailer mode and 3 on the shifter column. Averaged 13.8 mpg. Total trip was 410 miles.

The drive home gave us time to talk and we’re in agreement that a similar brand offers a 4400lb variant that fits our needs and is 800lbs lighter.
 
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My favorite brake controller was the tekonsha p3. It was well worth the cost. I had one at half the cost of $70 before that and it was never quite right. Granted, your trips are within 90 minutes from home, and with that I’m in agreement the ole ‘burb should be well suited for this. Most of ours were 3-4 hour pulls if not longer; for us the premium controller was worth it.
 

dja4260

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My favorite brake controller was the tekonsha p3. It was well worth the cost. I had one at half the cost of $70 before that and it was never quite right. Granted, your trips are within 90 minutes from home, and with that I’m in agreement the ole ‘burb should be well suited for this. Most of ours were 3-4 hour pulls if not longer; for us the premium controller was worth it.
Thank you. That is the unit I purchased last night. It had very positive reviews
 

dja4260

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I picked up my new 4850lb camper trailer on Friday. I added the Tekonsha p3 brake controller (thanks to forum member meep). The harness simply plugged in and I was good to go. The tekonsha p3 is easy to use, it was worth the additional cost! I added my weight distribution hitch prior to departure with the new camper. I pulled it 200 miles, through the Smoky Mountains in tow mode and 3. I average about 60 MPH on flat land and followed the truckers up and down the mountain. I average 11.8 MPG pulling it home. Truck never got hot or did anything abnormal. I was very pleased. The rear end does squat about 2''inchs but I guess that's to be expected. tomorrow the factory small trans cooler is being replaced with a unit about 3x it's size.
 
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I had a 2008 z-71 sub back in 2008 . I pulled all sorts of crazy stuff with it and it was fine. I even pulled a combine with it once lol. We used the weight distributing hitch with our 30’ TT , makes a big difference.
 
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