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Old 01-03-2017, 06:33 PM   #1
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questions about towing with a tahoe

Havent been active in a while, stopping in again. I have an '06 Solaris T2753. Our tow rig was an '04 Grand Cherokee with the high output 4.7 V8. We just picked up an '05 Tahoe LT with the 5.3 to replace it. I wanted a Suburban, but it's also the wife's daily driver and she didnt want to drive a truck that big all the time so we wound up with the Tahoe. Haven't towed the trailer with it yet, and i was wondering if anyone on here has used one of these as a tow rig. I'm guessing it will tow similar to the Jeep, wheelbase and tow ratings are similar. I was mainly wondering if there's any big difference in setting up the wd hitch as this truck has self leveling air suspension and the Jeep didn't. Didnt know what kind of a difference that might make if any. I figure after the first couple trips in the spring if i'm not comfortable with the ride i'll convert it over to regular style suspension, just looking to hear opinions from anyone familiar with these
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Old 01-04-2017, 02:56 PM   #2
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Air suspension does not shift weight to the front tv axle the way a weight distribution hitch does. Your owner's manual should detail the procedure for hitch setup on a truck equipped with air.

If you don't have the manual try https://my.chevrolet.com/learn/2005/Tahoe
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Old 01-04-2017, 07:55 PM   #3
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Hi Wayne,

I had a 2003 Tahoe when we first bought our 2004 T2499. The 5.3 with the 3.73 rear axle. Your 05, should be real close to the same truck. But I did not have the air type autoride in the back.

I never used it to pull the trailer fully loaded. Ours was partly loaded and at approx 5,800# when we traded it. We traded to a 2003 K2500 Suburban 6.0 liter with the 4.10 rear axle. On our trailer, the T2499 can have very high tongue weight. It went way over the capacity of the Tahoe, thus the truck upgrade.

Pulling wise for power, the Tahoe did OK. Not as good as the 6.0 liter Suburban, but OK. Heads up and I'm sure you already know this from the Jeep, the gas mileage on the Tahoe will drop like a rock when to hitch the camper to it.

We towed on mainly low hills roads and I do not push over 60mph. It handled 55 OK.

Now to the hitch and WD. Henry was nice enough to link the manual in for us. He is right on, you are going to have to deal with the air autoride to not have it mix up the WD adjustments. Just because you have a level truck with air control does not mean the WD hitch is set correct.

Page 4 -61 in the manual was what I was after. They give you this whopping one sentence.

GM States:
Quote:
If a self-equalizing hitch is being used, it is recommended to allow the shocks to inflate, thereby leveling the vehicle prior to adjusting the hitch.
They do not give you much to go on or what and how to do this. In the paragraph above that statement talks about sometimes needing 10 minutes for the level control to deflate and lower the truck.

From my experience this is the basics on how to do this. You are going to have to tell me how your truck reacts and does it indeed drift down on the back after 10 minutes? You can hear it pump back up when you turn the ignition back on.

I would suggest this as a starting place.

With the truck unhitched, but loaded with camping gear or what ever else is in the truck, passengers etc, let the truck run and auto adjust the height. On a hard flat surface, measure the wheel wells of the truck (front and rear) to the ground, straight through the axle, like this.



The front and rear dimensions are now established with the system and you know the league of what front and back are. What you do not know yet is the amount of tolerance the system will adjust to +/- 1/4" less or more, but you have a starting place.

Next is where the issue comes that I do not know 100% on your truck, you will have to determine this and adjust the method on how the truck responds. Does your truck adjust the front and rear shocks or only the rear? If the front adjust, I think they do but maybe not. My Suburban had the auto ride but it was auto dampness adjust not ride level control. They make 2 kinds.

Here is what you want to end up with. The front axle ride height "and" weight is returned to the same after the trailer is hitched and WD hitch is adjusted. See page 4-68 in the manual. Looks like this, just this is out of a 2004 GM


The key being "weight".

This is how rear air bags only are normally adjusted. The front does not have bags on this setup but rear does.
  • Measure loaded truck but unhitched fender heights, front and rear.
  • Deflate the air control so back of truck will drop.
  • Hitch up truck and adjust WD hitch to return the front axle back to unhitched height with no air bag lift.
  • Measure front and rear fender wheels and record
  • Turn truck on and let bags level the back of the truck. Let it do it's thing.
  • Remeasure front and rear wheel wells.
  • Odds are high it raised the back of the truck above where you manually just set it. And the front of the truck rose in height.
  • Since the auto rear adjust will lift the truck, you have to compensate on the WD adjustment for what it just removed in WD. Meaning you tilt the hitch head back a notch or washer more and try again. This is trial and error to dial it in until the front does not drop below unhitched height but the back is lifted to it's normal running air control height.

Since the manual says to adjust the WD hitch with the auto leveling already on and leveled, go ahead and try it. But... if the when the back of the truck sags from the weight and the starts pumping up again, you know you have to compensate again on the WD adjustment.

You may end up having to do a final check at the truck scales with everyone in the truck and camping gear. Bring camper and weigh front and rear axle with the WD hitch on. Take a weight. Pull off, unhitch camper in the yard, take truck back on the scales. take a weight.
Look to see if the front of the truck unhitched weighs the same as the truck hitched with the WD engaged. If it does, you are good, if it is a lot light, you need more WD to get it back to unhitched weight. If the front is heavier, then back off some WD.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

Hope this helps

John
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