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Would you tow this with your rig if you were me?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by 90idahoblazer, Apr 14, 2002.

  1. 90idahoblazer

    90idahoblazer 1/2 ton status

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    My sister in law is wants to give us a 18.5' dual tandem camper. It already has load levelers. I was wondering if any of you would tow such a beast with your blazer...My 90 is stock with a good tranny and strong motor. Let me know if you think its feasable...The camper is in Alberta about 1500 miles from where I live in Idaho...Its hard to pass up a gift like this but I dont want to ruin my rig or have an unsafe condition...
    Thanks in advance
    Tom
     
  2. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    Heck yes. My dad used to tow his 16' trailer with my 85 Jimmy. This trailer is a 1964 Kenskill, and is made of iron and oak and is pretty heavy for a trailer its size. He hauled that thing all over AZ with my 85 with a stock 305 and a stock 700R-4. It didn't do to well on the steep grades, because the 305 was gutless, but it always got us there. The only thing that we added for towing was an anti swaybar between the truck and trailer. It helped alot.(single axle trailer) I would HIGHLY advise a LARGE tranny cooler if you decide to tow this thing though if you don't already have one.
     
  3. coopertwpk

    coopertwpk 1/2 ton status

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    Hell yes im looking at a 20' prowler Ive towed a 75 sub with mine on a 1500lb flatbed (blew the tranny) but pulled it great until I down shifted into 2g at 45mph going up cajon pass (steep).
     
  4. Thunder

    Thunder 3/4 ton status

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    No problem. I'v towed a 24' travel trailer. And a few boats over 20' also.
    I think you will be suprised how well that 18 footer will tow. Make sure to get trailer brakes to be safe.
    Also had to add. Get a good tranny cooler and change your fluid often if you tow a lot.
     
  5. CaptCrunch

    CaptCrunch 1/2 ton status

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    I personally wouldn't... especially wityhout the biggest tranny cooler money can buy and a weight distribution system.

    I thought I could tow with the k5 too when I first had it... light loads were ok, but pulling a car behind mine really sucked!!!!! even with all the misc. do-dads. Very squirlly and at times very scarey to try and control. I would go for a longer wheel base rig and a bigger motor like a diesel or BBC for something big and heavy like imagine that camper trailor is. Just my $.02
     
  6. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    Thats why you get a good trailer hitch, and a anti sway bar. They work wonders for controlling heavy loads.
     
  7. Sparky87k5

    Sparky87k5 1/2 ton status

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    I've towed my previous 29' Travel Trailer (7200#) and my present 24' TT (5000#) all over the US and Canada in my 87K5. No problem whatsoever, but you do need a good weight distributing hitch and possibly sway control option on hitch. Must have trailer brakes to be safe and are required in most states. Without a doubt, longer wheelbase IS better, more power IS too, but we do what we have to do with what we own. K5's are not the ideal tow rig. Usually you'll get a rough ride on many roads due to the short wheelbase. Most important item is axle weight balance. Keep at least 10% of trailer weight on hitch and half that hitch weight shifted to front axle. Trailer needs to be loaded so that it is balanced as well and carring close to equal weight on both axles.
     
  8. CaptCrunch

    CaptCrunch 1/2 ton status

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    I had both and still did not feel all that controlled at times with a car and tools on the back. This was with a stock suspension and 32's. But I did to a lot of smaller stuff and 2000 lbs or so and had no real bad problems. But maybe I'm spoiled with the dualies I have been borrowing to haul the past couple times /forums/images/icons/tongue.gif
     
  9. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Well it's got the motor to handle it. You would be better of with a truck wil little or no lift to keep the CG down. The only reason a K5 doesn't make a good tow rig is the wheel base. When pulling big trailers the long WB the tow rig has the better. With a anti sway and the load lever hitch it wouldn't be too bad. Like other said...BIG cooler. might even want to get a tranny temp gage on there so you will know how the tranny is doing. Right gears in the diffs and you will be ok. You probably have 3.42's I would step up to 4.10's if you on stock 31's. Might want to concider 4.56's if your on 33's. The worry is that 10 bolt rear axle. They go just banging them with the weight of the truck. dragging another 4-5k is going to be rough on it. I would start keeping an eye open for a better axle. I wouldn't let that stop you from going and getting it (after you get a big cooler). A SF14 out of a late model 3/4 ton burb would be a good choice and they were available in 6 lug wheel patern.
     
  10. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    My Dad didn't seem to mind it. He had 32's and stock suspension at the time too. But he did drive tractor trailers for some years, and did jokey F14 Tomcats around on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. So I guess a K5 with a 16' trailer isn't that big of a deal
     
  11. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    Weight distributing hitches are needed if the trailer is heavy enough that a weight carrying hitch is not sufficient, or the back of your truck sits low to bring the trailer and truck level.

    Sway control comes in two kinds and I wouldn't think it's necessary unless the trailer is 25' or longer.

    I would pull the trailer if you have the biggest tranny cooler money can buy and decent gears. You'll need the correct wiring (it probably has electric brakes).

    My family started in tents, then got a pop-up camper, (mistake) then a 16' travel trailer, then a 25' without a slideout, (that was our first new one) then a 25' with one small slideout, and the new one we just got on Friday is a Fifth wheel 30' long with one super slide (although we looked at some with 2 slideouts as well).

    For the 25' we have 600 lb. weight distributing bars and friction type sway control, but for a 18', a weight carrying hitch should be fine, and with electric brakes, I see no point for sway control.

    I'm somewhat worried though--I've never towed anything as heavy as my new 5th wheel is.
     
  12. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    I agree, gearing is a big part. If my truck wouldn't have had 3.73's with my 32's then it would have probably burned up the tranny. We didn't have a tranny cooler other then the stock one. The tranny lasted to 104K which was lucky for us. I think it is one of those situations that you didn't know any better and you got away with it.
     
  13. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Where in Alberta are you picking the trailer up?

    Just so you know, I tow my 21ft TT all aver the Canadian Rockies every summer, over some of the toughest passes in North America.

    1. Like everyone else says, get yourself a good quality stacked plate tranny cooler.

    2. NEVER tow in overdrive!!!!!

    3. Install a Tekonsha Voyager brake controller in your truck.

    4. Invest in a quality weight-distribution/anti-sway hitch system.

    5. Buy a set of towing mirrors. You'll never have a good field of vision with the stock mirrors on a K5. Poor vision = accident waiting to happen.

    Most of this was discussed already, but in my opinion, if you have all the above covered, you should be able to tow properly. Just remember to take your time and keep an eye on your gauges, especially the gas gauge!!!!!/forums/images/icons/wink.gif/forums/images/icons/smile.gif
     
  14. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    A tranny fluid temp gauge might be a good investment too. That way, you can see if you are getting to hot. That way you can always pullover and let the tranny cool down and not burn up the tranny.
     
  15. ChevBlazin

    ChevBlazin 1/2 ton status

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    the past few summers I've been pulling my buddies 23" speed boat. it sits higher than my truck even with my 35's and 4" lift. My truck did seem a little squirrely at speed and my 3.42 gears dont help much. I dont think anyone mentioned this and probably because it's a given, but I probably would'nt use overdrive either.
     
  16. 4x4machine

    4x4machine Registered Member

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    I would agree with getting equilizer bars for the truck, they help alot. Every year (for the past 11 years now) drive down to Sandpoint Idaho to go skiing, from Edmonton Alberta. You would probably have to travel along alot of the same route for the latter half. Its really not that bad, the biggest thing I would recommend would be is to take it easy. You are not trying to set a land speed record. There are a few large hills along the way, but there is no shame in going 40mph on them. Recieving a few honks for going slow is better than buying a new tranny. Just my $.02 anyways.

    Also, with overdrive, you can use it for PARTS of Alberta, stressing the words parts. There is an abundance of flat land here, where OD is ok to use, but once a little bit of a hill comes, pull that lever outta OD.
     
  17. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    Forget OD completely with a 700R4 and towing if you want to keep it together.
     
  18. 90idahoblazer

    90idahoblazer 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks Guys, My sister in law lives in Ft McMurray. I know you native Canadians from Alberta know where that is....Thanks for all the info....
     
  19. 90idahoblazer

    90idahoblazer 1/2 ton status

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    Ft. McMurray way up north...I thinks its where the road ends...Thanks for the input

    Tom
     
  20. 90idahoblazer

    90idahoblazer 1/2 ton status

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    The Stock tranny cooler wouldnt be good enough? Can you attach another type and bypass the stock?
    Thanks Grim for the help
     

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