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90 Sub 1/2 Ton w/350/700R4 and 30' Travel Trailer?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by BigBlueSub, Feb 15, 2006.

  1. BigBlueSub

    BigBlueSub Newbie

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    I am about to purchase a 90 1/2ton 4x4 Suburban with 76k miles. I have done numerous searches on the boards trying to figure out the answer to my question but no luck.

    my wife's grandmother gave us a 1985 30 foot travel trailer and I want to know if the stock 90 sub will pull it. It is an old trailer and hella heavy. I used a 98 1/2 4x4 sub to tow it about 70 miles back to our home and the 98 seem to be struggling on flat ground in 3rd. I want to pull this trailer to the beach which requires taking it over some mountains so I know I will need a larger external tranny cooler. It is a dual axle trailer with builtin brakes.

    Am I dreaming? Will I need to beef up the rear susp on the 90? Air Bags?

    Any advice is greatly approeciated.

    Luke D
     
  2. SUPER'BURB

    SUPER'BURB 1/2 ton status

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    My biggest concern would be the tranny.Also what is your gear ratio/tires/etc?

    I would install a tranny temp gauge along with the cooler, the biggest cooler you can resonably fit.

    With this done we pulled a 7500# trailer from Portland to a place in the mountains south of Tahoe with my cousins 93 1/2 ton. A year later and still going strong.
     
  3. roadnotca

    roadnotca 3/4 ton status

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    Wow, a fifteen yr old Burb with 76Km:eek1: I would have been all over that too.
     
  4. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    You're going to kill that truck...personally I wouldn't use anything less than a one ton pick-up to tow that trailer. A 1/2 ton doesn't have enough suspension, brakes, tranny or power to tow something like very far, or very safely.

    Rene
     
  5. ChickenRammit

    ChickenRammit 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    i agree with rusty, i have a 12,000lb. trailer i pull with my '99 one ton and it has its limits. you should you should let us know the weight of the trailer in you next post.
     
  6. roadnotca

    roadnotca 3/4 ton status

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    Amazing, after WWII when travel trailers were hot, they used to pull those with the family car. Drum brakes, 4 kids and a dog, no air; sometimes a Mother-in-law.:haha:
     
  7. BigBlueSub

    BigBlueSub Newbie

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    Yeah, original owner, poor guy had a stroke a while ago and doesn't drive it much, he said he took it to Shaver Lake a few years ago and used the 4wheel drive for the first time. No leaks, everything works, tow package, dual battery setup all for $3k

    As far as the trailer goes, I looked all around but cannot find the weight anywhere nor a sticker with any info. Her grandmother is still lookinf for the pink and registration.

    Luke
     
  8. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Usually it on the inside of the closet door, at least that's where I've seen em most often. Our 21 foot trailer tips the scales at 5200 with our stuff in it, something like 4500 dry and empty.

    Rene
     
  9. wildmouse216

    wildmouse216 1/2 ton status

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    Ouch! poor sub. Keep the sub and buy a one ton dually diesel to tow that trailer. Better yet find a wrecked 2005 dually diesel and swap everything under the sub. Cool old truck with cool new truck tech. Just brainstorming. I hope everything works out for you.
     
  10. AZOffroad

    AZOffroad Registered Member

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    Yeah, that's back in the days when, as kids, we didn't wear seat belts in the car, and we didn't have to wear helmets on bikes, nor elbow pads on skateboards. When did things go wrong? :wink1:
     
  11. SUBFAN

    SUBFAN 1/2 ton status

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    I own two '90 'Burbs....

    If I were going to pull a trailer like that with mine, I would upgrade to 3/4 ton axles geared 4.56. I think the stock brakes suck, and the 3.42 or 3.73 gears won't do that tranny any favors.

    Replace the rear springs with some 3/4 ton ones while you are at it. Look into some 16" tires that have a higher load capacity too....

    Doing that with the large tranny cooler, I think it would pull that trailer all day long....
     
  12. ChickenRammit

    ChickenRammit 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    thats a great deal on the sub. i'd just get it even if its not very great for towing the trailer. you can sell whatever youre driving now to buy a decent tow rig.
     
  13. blazd88

    blazd88 1/2 ton status

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    My 89, which by the way has 52k(for $500 I might add), doesnt love towing either. My trailer is a 18ft car hauler with 3500lbs of water and high pressure rig on it(plus tools and equipment). I have used the sub to pull it around town a few times but its not its favorite thing to do. You had better be paying attention about a half mile ahead to stop in time but with some brakes and gearing it might do better.
     
  14. Pookster

    Pookster 1/2 ton status

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    any 30 footer is surpassing the capability of a half ton- even today's ultra lite travel trailers.

    Why tow it with the old vs your new? the new should come with bigger brakes, abs, etc.

    I would still consider the following:

    3.73's are ok, if you do higher speed highway towing, that way you can keep out of OD.

    With a 30 footer, I would REQUIRE you to get a Weight distribution setup and active anti sway (think reese equalizer), or any of the other ones similiar with a dual cam.

    Airbags might also be a good idea. would give you adjustability for when you are not towing.
     
  15. azblazer

    azblazer 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I have a 90 V2500 burb. I find that it handles the load of a K5 on an 18 Foot car trailer rather well....however the 350 just isn't the ticket...they should have put a bigblock in this package. At 30 feet the 1/2 ton is way outclassed by the trailer. I might consider a R2500 from about 89 to 91 with a bigblock and a TH400 or 4L80E if its the 91 version...and put some trailer brakes on the trailer to help share the braking duty's...but the best bet is going to be a 1 ton diesel truck to do the job....

    DW
     

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