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M. Owen
Jul. 26, 2011, 10:15 AM
I've just recently started looking at tow vehicles and trailers. I've found what appears to be a good buy on a 2004 Chevy Suburban with low mileage (under 40k) and in good condition. It has 4WD and a tow package already. According to what I've seen online, the tow capacity for these vehicles is 7300 lbs.

I plan to buy a 2 horse trailer, likely no dressing room and will typically be towing 1 horse that weighs around 1200 lbs a couple of times per month.

Will that be enough truck? When I am looking at the weight of the trailers, sometimes I see weight and curb weight. For example, I saw one trailer that empty weight was 2850 and curb weight is 4150. Which weight for the trailer should I be considering to determine whether the truck's tow capacity would be sufficient?

Thank you for your help! I am hoping that by doing my research up front I can avoid grief down the line.

rmh_rider
Jul. 26, 2011, 10:37 AM
No.

That truck does not enough ooomph to STOP your load.

Heck our Prius can tow a 2 H trailer loaded with draft horses. But I do not think it would be able to stop it. No I do not have a hitch on our prius, but I have seen them, and them towing trailer's too.

Cheap is as cheap does.

I cringe when I see SUV's, or Suburban's, mini vans, etc towing. They are dangerous. Those drivers usually think they are some big 18 wheeler truck and mario andretta all rolled into one ego.

Safety is what you want when towing a trailer with live moving weight. Boast all you want on the features, color, price, mileage, curb weight, mpg, stereo, 4WD. It ain't gonna safely stop your load. You may think so, but when the chips are down stuff happens. Traffic is not always as obedient as you think it is. You have a lot riding on that 2" or 2 5/16" ball.

Have a read of this article.


http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2010/11/chevy-vs-ford-in-heavy-duty-rumble-in-the-rockies.html

I got a 2011 chevy 2500HD 4wd, ltz, duramax last oct. Lovely. My first diesel, but not my first HD truck. Does all they say, and then some.

There are better deals than a 'burbun. Do a search on trucks and towing, etc on this forum.

pds
Jul. 26, 2011, 10:46 AM
Couple of things you need to check.

What is the rear gear ratio? 3.08 not good for towing. 3.42 is okay if you are not towing the limit. 3.73 works best but will lower your fuel economy somewhat.

Brake controler? You will want this regardless of what vehicle you tow with.

Most people don't know this but the Suburban is built on the same type frame as the GM trucks and the wheel base is nearly identical to that of a "long box" GM truck.

Curb Weight is the actual weight of the vehicle without any passengers or cargo in it. It’s the base weight that is used in subtraction to calculate the total weight of the vehicle with passengers and cargo.

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) is the total weight of the loaded vehicle. This includes the vehicle itself and the cargo that is loaded within that vehicle. This is what you want to use when comparing to your trucks towing capacity.

For what you described, a Suburban truck is more than sufficient.

birdsong
Jul. 26, 2011, 10:46 AM
Isn't a Suburban on a truck chassis?

TrakeGirl
Jul. 26, 2011, 11:13 AM
I have a 2003 Chevy Tahoe V8 5.3L - the Tahoe is just the shorter version of the Suburban. My gear ratio is 3.42 and it has the tow package - which beefs up a lot of the components.

My trailer is a 2 horse BP - no dressing room - and it weighs 3000lbs. My state made me get it weighed before issuing the registration. I tow just one horse - 1400 lbs - and so my total weight is about 4400, and it is rated for 7300.

I feel perfectly safe towing in this set up - to be fair, I have only hauled within 2 hour distances and on fairly flat roads. Maybe a total of 8-10 times a year. So not super heavy duty constant hauling. Not a problem - the Tahoe does great and you barely know you are hauling. Stopping is not an issue either and neither is acceleration when you need it.

The only irritation I have come across is that the Tahoe/Suburbans of this era are notorious for having an issue with the rear lock relay. There is NO external way to open your rear hatch from the inside or outside if the electronics go screwy. So imagine putting all your horse stuff in the back - including an enormous trunk - and then not being able to unload it bc you can't get the back open. It sucks. I've had my relay replaced 2x so far. The newer ones have key access.

airhorse
Jul. 26, 2011, 11:25 AM
Two words - Diesel Excursion.

Tows 10K, truck frame, big brakes, decent MPG.

rmh_rider
Jul. 26, 2011, 11:39 AM
I have a 2003 Chevy Tahoe V8 5.3L - the Tahoe is just the shorter version of the Suburban.

I feel perfectly safe towing in this set up - to be fair

But ya know, I do not feel safe being around you when you tow. I have seen lots happen over the years.

Get a real truck to do the job at hand, not a poser.

Also regardless what truck I am pulling with, regardless of what load I am hauling, regardless what farm work I do with the truck I want to FEEL that trailer or load at all times. The sign of a good/safe trailering person is that they can feel and know the load they are hauling. I have the biggest hauling truck (now) on the market. I can feel the trailer at all times, empty or loaded. But believe me, this truck has no problem pulling any load at all, nor stopping it either. I can feel movement in the trailer of the horse, and this is due to experience in hauling. No there is no sway at all in the truck when there is a horse moving around. The movement is slight, but I can feel it. I get 19 mpg in the city and 16mpg hauling. It has 4 doors, and it is a nice go to wal-mart truck. I have no dually's, and it is a short bed. This truck is great with a load, or driving to town with no load. 36 gallon tank so I fill up less often. No diesel stink either. I have not one care what anything weighs I will be pulling, towing, hauling or carrying.

jm(longtime hauling)e.

TrakeGirl
Jul. 26, 2011, 11:49 AM
Towing with the Tahoe/Suburban is the same as towing with a Chevy 1500 series truck as it is the exact same engine and chassis. Would you feel safer if I had one of those? Because it is in the magic shape of a truck?

Probably what you would really prefer me to do is get a 2500 series or above.

Hey...I'm game. I am concerned about the fact you don't feel safe around me. So send me a check and we'll get that problem taken care of pronto.

M. Owen
Jul. 26, 2011, 12:23 PM
According to the information I have, the axle ratio is 3.73.

In some cases I see the tow capacity listed as 8300 lbs also. If I call about the truck I'll ask whether they have the owner's manual so that I can get the specifics for the vehicle in question.

My ideal scenario is to find a 3/4 ton truck (I actually prefer a pick up with 4 full doors to an SUV) but this truck may be a good deal. Fuel economy is not a big consideration for me, I don't drive much- probably will be in the 10-12k miles per year range.

rmh_rider
Jul. 26, 2011, 12:24 PM
I worked 2 full time jobs, and saved my $ for a truck. I sold my 2002 to get a new truck saved the rest of the money. I worked every day of the week for a long time over a couple years plus. How about you?

I am not working at the other job, should I work 2 jobs again so I can give you some money? Better yet maybe I should send you my 401k. That may afford you personally a better hauling vehicle. I could pick up a stall cleaning job in my spare time for that 3rd job.

The 1500 series are really for driving around town.

I have no such need for a truck like that.

And yes, I would feel safer if you did. Be specific when you get another hauling vehicle, make sure it is a HD and has a specific real tow package.

TrotTrotPumpkn
Jul. 26, 2011, 12:30 PM
Some random thoughts...

You are talking about a 2 horse without a tack room and those are typically 12' long 6' wide and if it is aluminum (or a steel stock, i.e. not enclosed) it is probably in the 3,000lb range for the lightest trailers you can find (I've looked at lots of trailers lately). Do weigh it on a scale to make sure, of course. Also check your ratings for weight towing and also gross weight when you are calculating your capacity and remember that live weight is more dangerous, so stay well under your max. Get a trailer with brakes on both axles, instead of just one.

You need an electric brake. I have a Tekonsha and really like it.

You want to live, so you should really consider a sway bar (fyi, a friend had sway issues in bad weather with a 3/4 ton with one horse on a bumper pull--one horse = uneven weight) and I would get an equalizer hitch (particularly if that year had independent rear suspension already).

Verify that you have a tow package and a tranny cooler and do check the gear ratios. My husband's uncle was sold a suburban with a tow package that really wasn't a tow package, and he burned through his tranny pulling a ski boat around after a few years--bad deal.

One thing that hasn't been mentioned is to check your tires and their load capacity. Not all tires are created equal! Also, the balls and hitches they sell everywhere usually max out at 5,000 lbs--you want a stronger one. Seems obvious, but I bet there are lots of people out there using a 5,000lb ball/hitch and thinking they are ok because of the other ratings.

I tow with an Expedition in emergencies (like to the vet clinic). This is on the F150 chassis, and I believe I read the Expedition from my year weighs MORE than the truck, FYI. Great for gas mileage! :( I borrow my friends 3,500 lb Featherlite and haul one horse. I am well below my tow rating, but it sucks compared to a 3/4 ton. Yes it can do it. The 5.4 L V8 engine is strong enough, but the independent rear suspension makes the rear a bit soft. I absolutely want a weight distribution hitch when I get my trailer, but I'm probably going with a small stock or something along the lines of a Brenderup type if I want the ability to pull more than 1 horse. It works in a pinch, and I'm not on the interstate, but if I was hauling frequently, I would prefer a 3/4 ton suburban.

katyb
Jul. 26, 2011, 01:13 PM
I have an Expedition and an F350, and both tow (and stop!) my bumper pull stock trailer just fine. Each has positives and negatives. It's a lot harder to get into and out of tight spots with the F350, so some places we go riding are off limits unless I drive the exped. That HUGE turning radius is a real pain. I don't think I'd use the expedition to tow the horses to the grand canyon, but for typical east TN trailering, it is just fine. Yes, an suv needs to be equipped appropriately, that's a no-brainer.

wildlifer
Jul. 26, 2011, 01:35 PM
The Suburban is built on a truck frame and will do just fine towing a small bumper pull with one horse. Put a weight distributing hitch on it and make sure the brake box, tranny cooler, etc are all up to snuff and you will be fine.

You will find the 5.3L engine small and feeling underpowered. If you can find one with the 5.7L, you will like it a lot better. Either with get terrible mileage, but unless you go diesel, that will be the breaks.

Guilherme
Jul. 26, 2011, 01:44 PM
The short answer is "yes."

The longer answer is "yes, but you're approaching the margins of safe towing."

The Suburban, for all intents and purposes, is a truck with a really fancy cap and seats. So apply the same rules to a Suburban as you would to a pickup. A half ton would likely do the job you want to do but you'll have little margin for error if something goes awry (like a trailer brake failure). As long as you understand this and operate with this in mind you'll probably be OK.

I don't see this risk as being unreasonable, but I don't know that I'd take it.

G.

TrotTrotPumpkn
Jul. 26, 2011, 01:55 PM
Two words - Diesel Excursion.

Tows 10K, truck frame, big brakes, decent MPG.

Yes, if you don't mind an older vehicle (production ended around 2005, I believe) and can actually FIND one!

I know COTH is very anti-SUV towing in general, but have you guys seen some of the campers people are towing with SUVs? Maybe I see more living in a summer recreation state, but O. M. G. Talk about not feeling safe...

M. Owen
Jul. 26, 2011, 02:20 PM
thanks for the feedback folks! I like vehicles to last, so I think based on the info here and what I am reading, I'll pass on this truck and keep looking. I'd rather get a vehicle I feel very comfortable with from a power perspective. I am concerned that if the truck isn't really up to the job, it won't last very long even if I don't have any safety issues in the interim. Like I said I am not necessarily looking for an SUV, but this one seemed like a good price (it is an estate sale that they are looking to move quickly). Also, fuel economy is not one of my criteria because I only drive about 150 miles per week currently (about 8k miles per year). I expect trailering will add around 2-4k miles per year to that total.

I'll probably stick with my original plan to look for something a little "beefier."

pds
Jul. 26, 2011, 03:49 PM
But ya know, I do not feel safe being around you when you tow. I have seen lots happen over the years.

Get a real truck to do the job at hand, not a poser.

Also regardless what truck I am pulling with, regardless of what load I am hauling, regardless what farm work I do with the truck I want to FEEL that trailer or load at all times. The sign of a good/safe trailering person is that they can feel and know the load they are hauling. I have the biggest hauling truck (now) on the market. I can feel the trailer at all times, empty or loaded. But believe me, this truck has no problem pulling any load at all, nor stopping it either. I can feel movement in the trailer of the horse, and this is due to experience in hauling. No there is no sway at all in the truck when there is a horse moving around. The movement is slight, but I can feel it. I get 19 mpg in the city and 16mpg hauling. It has 4 doors, and it is a nice go to wal-mart truck. I have no dually's, and it is a short bed. This truck is great with a load, or driving to town with no load. 36 gallon tank so I fill up less often. No diesel stink either. I have not one care what anything weighs I will be pulling, towing, hauling or carrying.

jm(longtime hauling)e.

Got news for you, a 2011, 2500HD Chevy is not "the biggest hauling truck on the market."

For what the op described as the use, a Suburban is a perfectly safe choice.

jbonifas
Jul. 26, 2011, 05:44 PM
I towed for many years with suburbans 1/2 ton and two wheel drive. My two horse trailer was an old Campbell Coach made of steel and I never had any trouble pulling it, all my stuff and two horses. It was a very popular set up in the Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas area when I did HT's. I have since graduated for a dually 3500 Dodge diesel and a 3 horse slant load with an 8'-0 short wall in the dressing room. You can't bet the truck but if you have to have one vehicle to do it all I loved my Suburban.

Heinz 57
Jul. 26, 2011, 06:07 PM
I have not one care what anything weighs I will be pulling, towing, hauling or carrying.


This scares me far more than the thought of the OP hauling one horse in a little 2H BP with a suburban (which, by the way, would be totally fine). I'd have to look up the spec's but I'd imagine that the brakes on a 1500 suburban are going to be the exact same as on a 1500 pickup.

I don't care WHAT kind of truck you drive, there are limits (legal and physical) to what you can tow and carry and you should know (and care) about them. Just because your Duramax has an "HD" at the end of the name doesn't really make it invincible.

Dance_To_Oblivion
Jul. 26, 2011, 06:11 PM
My only question would be what kind of terrain you are dealing with. I hauled with a Suburban when I lived in Houston, Texas where the only hill is an overpass :) and loved it! Then I moved to Kentucky where I contend with hills every time I tow. That Suburban was NOT enough truck. The clincher for me was driving to Maryland from Kentucky and going through those mountains. WORST towing experience ever. So I traded that in for a Dodge Ram 3500 quad cab diesel dually with four wheel drive...and have not had a trailering problem since!

atlatl
Jul. 26, 2011, 06:52 PM
As was already mentioned, you might be happier with the 5.7 engine. That's what I have in my 04 Tahoe and it does the job perfectly fine towing the horse trailer up and down the west coast (al 2 horse straight load with dressing room warmblood size loaded with warmblood) and also a 22 foot Airstream over the grapevine, Cajon Pass and up to Mt Whitney (which I believe is the highest peak in the continental US).

I'm ok if others don't feel safe around me, I don't like to be in traffic anyway :-P

The trailer brakes stop the trailer, not the tow vehicle.

Of course I have a tow package.

BasqueMom
Jul. 26, 2011, 07:32 PM
Just out of curiosity, checked the Gross Vehicle Weights on our three, all 4x4.

Expedition 1997 7300#

Dodge 2006 1500 quad cab, long bed 6800#

Ford F250 1996 diesel extended cab, long bed 8800#


All three are rigged for towing with brake controllers, appropriate hitches, etc.
DH only has driven the Expedition with our trailer and one horse--he said it
pulled fine (hills) until hitting 55mph, then swayed so sway bars would be needed
if pulling all the time.

F250--can't feel empty trailer behind, barely feel the trailer with one horse and
more feel with two horses. Could pull the house without batting an eyelash.
Gas mileage 19 to 20 without trailer, 16 with.

Dodge--okay, can tell something behind me. Haven't really had it out on the highway with the trailer behind it. Gets about 15 without trailer and 9 0r 10 with
trailer.

Like the Suburban, the Expedition is built on a truck frame (F150) and the Excursion on the F250. Suburbans come in 1500 and 2500 models or at least they used to. Expedition wheel base is 119, think Suburban is longer. At one time, Suburbans could be had with a diesel engine.

2bee
Jul. 26, 2011, 08:05 PM
No.

That truck does not enough ooomph to STOP your load.

Heck our Prius can tow a 2 H trailer loaded with draft horses. But I do not think it would be able to stop it. No I do not have a hitch on our prius, but I have seen them, and them towing trailer's too.

Cheap is as cheap does.

I cringe when I see SUV's, or Suburban's, mini vans, etc towing. They are dangerous. Those drivers usually think they are some big 18 wheeler truck and mario andretta all rolled into one ego.

Safety is what you want when towing a trailer with live moving weight. Boast all you want on the features, color, price, mileage, curb weight, mpg, stereo, 4WD. It ain't gonna safely stop your load. You may think so, but when the chips are down stuff happens. Traffic is not always as obedient as you think it is. You have a lot riding on that 2" or 2 5/16" ball.

Have a read of this article.


http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2010/11/chevy-vs-ford-in-heavy-duty-rumble-in-the-rockies.html

I got a 2011 chevy 2500HD 4wd, ltz, duramax last oct. Lovely. My first diesel, but not my first HD truck. Does all they say, and then some.

There are better deals than a 'burbun. Do a search on trucks and towing, etc on this forum.


But ya know, I do not feel safe being around you when you tow. I have seen lots happen over the years.

Get a real truck to do the job at hand, not a poser.

Also regardless what truck I am pulling with, regardless of what load I am hauling, regardless what farm work I do with the truck I want to FEEL that trailer or load at all times. The sign of a good/safe trailering person is that they can feel and know the load they are hauling. I have the biggest hauling truck (now) on the market. I can feel the trailer at all times, empty or loaded. But believe me, this truck has no problem pulling any load at all, nor stopping it either. I can feel movement in the trailer of the horse, and this is due to experience in hauling. No there is no sway at all in the truck when there is a horse moving around. The movement is slight, but I can feel it. I get 19 mpg in the city and 16mpg hauling. It has 4 doors, and it is a nice go to wal-mart truck. I have no dually's, and it is a short bed. This truck is great with a load, or driving to town with no load. 36 gallon tank so I fill up less often. No diesel stink either. I have not one care what anything weighs I will be pulling, towing, hauling or carrying.

jm(longtime hauling)e.


I worked 2 full time jobs, and saved my $ for a truck. I sold my 2002 to get a new truck saved the rest of the money. I worked every day of the week for a long time over a couple years plus. How about you?

I am not working at the other job, should I work 2 jobs again so I can give you some money? Better yet maybe I should send you my 401k. That may afford you personally a better hauling vehicle. I could pick up a stall cleaning job in my spare time for that 3rd job.

The 1500 series are really for driving around town.

I have no such need for a truck like that.

And yes, I would feel safer if you did. Be specific when you get another hauling vehicle, make sure it is a HD and has a specific real tow package.

Holy shit, you are hilarious.

2bee
Jul. 26, 2011, 08:08 PM
Yes, a properly equipped Tahoe is enough truck for what you want to do.

Trixie
Jul. 27, 2011, 09:59 AM
I cringe when I see SUV's, or Suburban's, mini vans, etc towing. They are dangerous. Those drivers usually think they are some big 18 wheeler truck and mario andretta all rolled into one ego.

This just isn't inherently true, and I'm always one who prefers 3/4 ton or better. But there ARE SUV's in that category. A Suburban 2500, as opposed to 1500, comes to mind. It's hardly the same thing as hauling with a Ford Escape.

airhorse
Jul. 27, 2011, 10:31 AM
IMO a 250/2500 pulling a 4 horse is just as if not more dangerous than an expedition/suburban pulling a 2 horse.

Turn people loose with a truck and they believe they can haul anything. I have seen a 6 horse behind a F-250.

It has only been the last few years that the GCVWR and GVWR's have come up appreciably on the 3/4 and 1 ton trucks.

airhorse
Jul. 27, 2011, 10:35 AM
Just out of curiosity, checked the Gross Vehicle Weights on our three, all 4x4.

Ford F250 1996 diesel extended cab, long bed 8800#



Which means on an 8,000 pound truck, you only have 800 pounds for tongue weight, fuel, driver, passengers, dogs, and coolers.

That GVWR finally went up with the 2005 model year to a useable amount...

M. Owen
Jul. 27, 2011, 12:56 PM
OK, just to get some panties really in a bunch- way back when my parents used to two a 2 horse steel trailer (with 2 TB horses in it) with a big ol' station wagon. I actually first learned to drive a trailer that way- talk about scary!! when a big tractor trailer went by the whole thing swayed. Our vet towed a trailer with a station wagon back then too. Don't worry, it has been a couple of decades since those days- so no one has to feel unsafe.

I appreciate all the feedback- it isn't easy interpreting all the information with limited understanding of the inner workings of a truck. I am actually going to make an appointment to look at some trailers at one of our larger local dealerships and the owner offered to explain tow vehicles to me. Terrain here has hills, but not mountains. It isn't totally flat by any stretch of the imagination- lots of long slow climbs on the high ways.

2bee
Jul. 27, 2011, 02:50 PM
Which means on an 8,000 pound truck, you only have 800 pounds for tongue weight, fuel, driver, passengers, dogs, and coolers.

That GVWR finally went up with the 2005 model year to a useable amount...

Your point of 3/4 ton diesels being payload limited is valid, however a 1996 F250 weighs in at about 6500#, not 8000#.

INoMrEd
Jul. 27, 2011, 03:38 PM
Yes, a properly equipped Tahoe is enough truck for what you want to do.

I use a 2001 Tahoe to pull my 1999 G&F steel 2 horse bumper pull trailer (with the tow package and the anti-sway bars) and it does the job okay. My husband has a 2006 Nissan Titan with a bigger engine than my Tahoe and I prefer to use it when I can.

Bobuddy
Jul. 28, 2011, 01:52 PM
I currently have a 2000 1500 4wd Silverado - extended cab with a long bed. My trailer is a 2h bp with a dressing room - Trail-et.

I live in KY - lots of hills to deal with - and I feel unsafe using this vehicle for towing. I usually only have 1 horse - 1100 lbs - but occasionally will tow two horses.

The transmission will NOT hold up - especially if it is the 460E - so plan on a 3K overhaul when (not if) that goes out. If you read the chevy forums, you will see issues with that transmission. I mostly feel like the truck is struggling to do anything besides go straight. Yes, I have the heavy duty trans, and the brake controller and the heavy duty shocks.

Someone previous posted that they want to feel the trailer's every move. I, on the other hand, think I feel the trailer way TOO MUCH and feel like the truck is being pushed and pulled around. And, no, I usually dont got over 50mph on flat roads, mostly stick to about 35mph on back roads.

My next vehicle will be a heavier duty vehicle - and diesel if I can afford it.

Watermark Farm
Jul. 29, 2011, 02:25 PM
For several years, I towed with a '99 Chevy Suburban 1500 with the 5.7L engine and 3.73 gear ratio. I pulled a 2200 lb 2 horse straightload trailer mostly around town but some 3 hour hauls. Kept trailer brakes in very good condition and adjusted to stop rig well. The one thing I noticed is that I went through front brake pads pretty fast with this truck. Mechanic said it was a Suburban thing but I think it had to do with towing, for sure.

I eventually traded up to a 3/4 ton diesel truck.

2bee
Jul. 29, 2011, 08:20 PM
For several years, I towed with a '99 Chevy Suburban 1500 with the 5.7L engine and 3.73 gear ratio. I pulled a 2200 lb 2 horse straightload trailer mostly around town but some 3 hour hauls. Kept trailer brakes in very good condition and adjusted to stop rig well. The one thing I noticed is that I went through front brake pads pretty fast with this truck. Mechanic said it was a Suburban thing but I think it had to do with towing, for sure.

I eventually traded up to a 3/4 ton diesel truck.

Your mechanic was correct, towing was not the problem. The GMT4xx platform's brakes were lousy, and the GMT800 aren't much better IMO. ;)

tryintogethere
Jul. 29, 2011, 09:36 PM
I have a 2002 2500 Suburban, I have hauled a 2 horse with dressing room steel trailer with it up to 4 hour rides. I upgraded my old trailer to an Colin-Arndt with a 5 foot dressing room. Even with over 140,000 miles on it it still pulls great. I also have a 2500 Duramax P/U for a oversized 2+1 gooseneck, it pulls like a dream, I do like the added horsepower and torque that the diesel has, but with a good brake controller and a weight distribution hitch the Suburban is a good choice, too bad it doesn't come with the diesel engine anymore.
My old trainer used to pull her 2 horse with an Oldsmobile, it always sucked when we would get stuck at a show because it rained and didn't have 4 wheel drive lol.

wildlifer
Jul. 30, 2011, 12:18 PM
OP, I think you made a good choice. It can be hard to pick through the anecdotes for useful information. The best thing you can do is educate yourself on the numbers. One thing that is important to keep in mind is that vehicle dealerships will usually try to sell you LESS vehicle than you need to tow and trailer dealerships will tell you to get MORE, LOL. But if the trailer dealership person you talk to has lots of experience hauling horses, they can definitely be really helpful, so just ask lots of questions and don't be shy.

Also remember that what you want to buy also can depend on your ownership philosophy -- I'm poor and tend to want to keep vehicles until they die, so if vehicle longevity is an issue for you, also consider not just tow capacity but transmissions, brakes, suspension, etc. But all things in moderation, you certainly don't need a dually for a small trailer and one horse. Good luck with your meeting, hope the dealer folks can hook you up!

DLee
Jul. 30, 2011, 01:31 PM
Is an Expedition equivalent to a Suburban 2500? I feel like I should be able to search this up but I keep getting conflicting information. For some reason I feel it is a 1/2 ton and not 3/4?

airhorse
Jul. 30, 2011, 01:44 PM
Is an Expedition equivalent to a Suburban 2500? I feel like I should be able to search this up but I keep getting conflicting information. For some reason I feel it is a 1/2 ton and not 3/4?


Expedition is at best a 1/2 ton.

I have not sen the specs on the Expedition EL.

Excursion is a true 3/4 ton vehicle.

Edit to add, the newer Expeditions tow at or just under 9,000 pounds. The EL actually has the lower rating, but would be my pic for the added wheel base.

airhorse
Jul. 30, 2011, 01:57 PM
http://www.ford-trucks.com/specs/index.html

This is an excellent resource for vehicle specs.

Dr. Doolittle
Jul. 30, 2011, 02:24 PM
I believe the Expedition has a shorter wheelbase than the Suburban--at least shorter than that of the OLDER Suburbans (mine is a '92, 5.7 liter engines were standard on them back then too.) The newer Suburbans may have a shorter wheelbase, and what I've heard was that "people were complaining that the truck was too long to fit in most garages", because of course every "suburban soccer mom" actually *needs* a full-size SUV to haul the kiddies to practices, and for trips to the grocery store. :rolleyes:

The older Burbans (as someone mentioned) were built on a full-size truck frame, with a long wheelbase. NOT the Expedition, I don't think, though with weight distribution bars, I think the Expedition can get the job done okay (though no, they do not come in the 2500/3/4 ton, that would be the exclusive domain of the Excursion.)

Count me among those whose parents (and later, me) hauled with a station wagon (full-sized Ford Galaxy and the LTD station wagons) back in the '60's and 70's. Luckily our trailer at the time was pretty light, but we did tow two horses with this! :eek: If you've ever watched "The Horse in the Grey Flannel Suit", you will see almost everyone hauled with station wagons back then (even a trailer with a full dressing room and a BAR built into it, though at least it was "only a one horse." And Kurt Russell hauled his sister's trailer with a sports car! Yikes! :lol:) Accidents waiting to happen, and lots of burned out trannies. (Sway bars and weight distribution hitches were not common back then, or at least I never heard of them being used.) Back then, the few people who hauled with pickup trucks--usually pulling stock trailers-- were "country" (or mostly in Western disciplines), and the other option were the horse VANS, which were generally what the big time folks/stables (with multiple horses) hauled with.

We have a lot more options these days, thankfully, though I regularly see people hauling bumper pull dressing room trailers--containing two horses--with SMALL SUVs, the trailer is WAY bigger than the hauling vehicle, and the springs and frame are so overloaded that the backend of the tow vehicle sags towards the ground! I would hate to see them try to stop that load going downhill, on a windy day! Quelle Horror...

Pcostx
Jul. 30, 2011, 02:30 PM
There is no reason you can't tow a SMALL two horse trailer with a properly outfitted (tow package) Suburban. You'll want weight distribution bars.

For years I towed a 2 horse (Warmblood size) trailer, with large dressing room with a 3/4 ton 454 Suburban that was custom ordered as a tow vehicle. I never had any problems.

I don't see why a 1/2 ton Suburban w/ a good brake controller, tow package, etc. couldn't tow a small, lightweight horse trailer.

Good luck!

Pcostx
Jul. 30, 2011, 02:34 PM
For a TON of great info. on towing vehicles, trailers, etc., search the forums at Horse Trailer World http://www.horsetrailerworld.com/home/newhome.asp

Very knowledgeable folks sharing good info.

Good luck!

Watermark Farm
Aug. 1, 2011, 01:02 AM
Your mechanic was correct, towing was not the problem. The GMT4xx platform's brakes were lousy, and the GMT800 aren't much better IMO. ;)

Very interesting! Thanks! I went through front brake pads every 15k miles! Over the 100,000 miles I drove that Suburban, it really added up.

rhymeswithfizz
Aug. 1, 2011, 01:34 AM
This just isn't inherently true, and I'm always one who prefers 3/4 ton or better. But there ARE SUV's in that category. A Suburban 2500, as opposed to 1500, comes to mind. It's hardly the same thing as hauling with a Ford Escape.

Yep. I have the Suburban 2500, 3/4 ton, 2001 model -- it is 8.1L of pure joy. :)

It hauls far better than the Excursion (which felt like driving pudding). I have no need for a weight distribution hitch, and I have hauled over mountain passes quite smoothly. I am quite over-trucked as I typically haul one horse in a steel 2H (2600 lbs) or at most a 2H+dress (3800 lbs), but it's quite lovely to be able to maintain speed going up the hill.

TrotTrotPumpkn
Aug. 1, 2011, 02:28 PM
The older Burbans (as someone mentioned) were built on a full-size truck frame, with a long wheelbase. NOT the Expedition, I don't think, though with weight distribution bars, I think the Expedition can get the job done okay (though no, they do not come in the 2500/3/4 ton, that would be the exclusive domain of the Excursion.)



I don't have time to check right now, but I'm 99.9% sure that my 2005 Expedition is built on the same frame as the F150. The big difference is the independent rear suspension. This may have changed in newer models...

DLee
Aug. 1, 2011, 07:42 PM
Yep. I have the Suburban 2500, 3/4 ton, 2001 model -- it is 8.1L of pure joy. :)

It hauls far better than the Excursion (which felt like driving pudding). I have no need for a weight distribution hitch, and I have hauled over mountain passes quite smoothly. I am quite over-trucked as I typically haul one horse in a steel 2H (2600 lbs) or at most a 2H+dress (3800 lbs), but it's quite lovely to be able to maintain speed going up the hill.

That's what I love to hear! Thanks for that, and for the other info on this thread. :)

mvp
Aug. 2, 2011, 11:41 AM
OK, just to get some panties really in a bunch- way back when my parents used to two a 2 horse steel trailer (with 2 TB horses in it) with a big ol' station wagon. I actually first learned to drive a trailer that way- talk about scary!! when a big tractor trailer went by the whole thing swayed. Our vet towed a trailer with a station wagon back then too. Don't worry, it has been a couple of decades since those days- so no one has to feel unsafe.


Yeah, but those station wagons were big-engined, long, low-to-the-ground badboys. Think of them as towing alligators-- reptilian and tough.


Yep. I have the Suburban 2500, 3/4 ton, 2001 model -- it is 8.1L of pure joy.

8.1L? That's a lot of displacement. Does it have a big belly (or two) to go with the high metabolism? Or must it eat at every gas station like a bird?

rhymeswithfizz
Aug. 2, 2011, 06:23 PM
8.1L? That's a lot of displacement. Does it have a big belly (or two) to go with the high metabolism? Or must it eat at every gas station like a bird?

Just one belly - I think it is a 32 gallon tank? I have forgotten since most gas stations stop you when you get to $100. Hauling I probably get 12 mpg, nothing to write home about. We only use it for hauling, and I drive a Prius as my commuter, so the gas bills aren't terrible.

gumtree
Aug. 3, 2011, 08:57 PM
A lot of esoteric posts here. And to each their own. I have had lots of Jeep Cherokees over the years. Our work horse of the last several has been a 2004 Laredo V8 with tow package. It has no problem towing our 2 horse trailer with 2 horses in it, not only around the area but for hundreds of miles . And no problems stopping with a break controller and electric breaks. No problem towing our 3 ton hay wagons either. So, please don’t be so quick to pass judgment on SUVs. Not all are created equal. A properly set up jeep has a higher towing capacity then a Tahoe. A 1500 Pick Up with tow package is plenty sufficient for a light weight 2 horse BH or goose neck for that matter. At least under PA rules and regs. What intimidates people is not the size of the vehicle but the noises BH’s make.

Horses, what I do for a living not a hobby.

GoForAGallop
Aug. 3, 2011, 09:09 PM
A lot of esoteric posts here. And to each their own. I have had lots of Jeep Cherokees over the years. Our work horse of the last several has been a 2004 Laredo V8 with tow package.

A properly set up jeep has a higher towing capacity then a Tahoe. .

What you've got there is a Grand Cherokee. Not a Cherokee. Completely different.

vali
Aug. 3, 2011, 11:04 PM
Over the years I've towed with a F250, a Chevy HD2500, and for the past six years a 2002 Expedition with a tow package. The 2002 Expedition was built on the truck suspension, unlike the newer models. I also, and this is key, have an Equalizer weight distribution system with anti-sway bars. I highly recommend this system if you go with a 1/2 ton SUV, since SUVs often have softer suspension than 3/4 ton trucks. With this configuration I have less movement and better stability than I did with a 3/4 ton truck. Of course, I am also pulling a relatively light aluminum skin Hawk trailer (but with dressing room) and haul either fairly small TBs or ponies. I have hauled 2 16 hand TBs in it with no problems for 7-8 hour trips, but I'm not sure I would feel comfortable hauling 2 large warmbloods or draft horses with this set-up.