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Old 01-21-2008, 08:53 PM   #1
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Trailblazer and Sunline Solaris 2052 assistance please

I am new to the TT experience. After searching for trailers I have come across a Solaris T-2052. (Weight of the trailer is unknown to me) I recently purchased a 2007 Chevy Trailblazer with a 5.3, V-8, 3.73 rearend ratio. The vehicle is supposedly rated to pull a trailer up to 6000 lbs. I am a little concerned about braking, pulling up hills, expressway driving and if the TB is a good fit for pulling a TT. The TB has a short wheel base and is narrower that my Tahoe, whick I recently sold. Any info will be appreciated. Thanks
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Old 01-21-2008, 09:18 PM   #2
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Hi Roamer,

Since you didn't mention a year, I'm going to guess it's about a '95 since that's around the time that model was popular.

The GVWR, or the maximum weight of the coach loaded, is 5000 lbs. IMO, even though I'm not the most knowledgeable in the hitch subject, I think your TV (tow vehicle) will be a perfect match for your 2052. It is always good to leave a little buffer between the maximum weight you'll be towing and the vehicle's capacities.

Braking shouldn't be too much of an issue as long as you have a electronic brake controller. I just upgraded to the Tekonsha Prodigy and I love it. It's a huge improvement over my old one. As long as you have some type of proportional style controller (as opposed to time based), you will be very happy with the braking abilities of your coach. Some proportional controllers are the Tekonsha Primus, Prodigy, and P3. I think the P3 is a little too advanced for what you're doing (and also $200!!!), so you would be good with either of the first two. However, since it is a used coach, you may want to have the brakes serviced if you feel the whole rig pulling to one side when you stop. This is usually the result of a wire failing and you'd have limited braking on the one side.

The other issue I'd like to mention is the hitch. What type are you using? For your combination, I'd recommend a weight distributing style with the 550 lb. bars. Since your tongue weight dry is so light (385 lbs.), I think you'll be fine with the 550 when the coach is fully loaded. Make sure to set up a sway control too- it'll really help you when towing on the highway. If you already have a hitch like this, you can disregard this part, but if you don't, I or someone else would be glad to provide you more details.

Where in MI are you from?

Jon
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Old 01-22-2008, 06:46 PM   #3
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You will not have any problem towing a 2052 with a 5.3 V8. I have a 2051 which I originally towed with an Astro Van V6; then with a Chevy Express Van (350 V; and currently with a Silverado 1500 (5.3 V. The Astro was always screaming in 2nd gear on hills, but the V8's were both more than capable. Your biggest concern will be the short wheelbase. You definitely want a weight distributing hitch and sway bar as Jon stated.
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Old 01-22-2008, 08:03 PM   #4
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Hi roamer,

Welcome to the club and congrats on your new (to you) Sunline.

I agree with both Jon & Al that your TB should be fine for towing your 2052.

As Jon (aka Sunline Fan) and Al mentioned, itís important you get a good hitch with sway control and a proportional brake controller. The Reese Dual Cam is an excellent hitch and Iím a big fan of the Tekonsia Prodigy. I have the Prodigy and love it.

To increase your confidence on your TBís towing capability; here are some weight limit formulas you want to be within:

1. The weight of loaded Tow Vehicles (TV) + the weight of the loaded trailer (TT) should not exceed the TVís Gross Capacity Weight Rating (GCWR)

2. The weight of loaded Trailer (TT) should not exceed the TVís Tow Rating.

3. The weight of loaded Tow Vehicles (TV) + the trailers loaded tongue weight should not exceed the TVís Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)

4. The load on the TVís rear axle with the trailer hitched should not exceed the TVís rear axle weight rating.

The best way to determine these is to take your TB and Trailer, both loaded for a trip, to a truck scale and get them weighed. The best is with a truck scale with 3 scales. When I weigh my setup I take 2 weightings including:

1. Hitched, TV Front wheels on 1st scale, TV Rear Wheels on 2nd scale, & TT wheels on 3rd scale.

2. Unhitched, TV on 1st scale, TT Tongue on 2nd Scale, and TT wheels on 3rd scale.

From Weight #1:
2nd scale reading < TVís Rear Axle Rating.
1st + 2nd + 3rd scale readings < TVís GCWR.
1st + 2nd scale readings < TVís GVWR

From Weight #2:
2nd + 3rd scale readings < TT GVWR
2nd scale reading <= 15% of 2nd + 3rd scale readings

These are 2008 specís for an LT TB, I would expect them to be close to the ratings on your 2007 TB:
Est. Curb Weight: - 2wd Ė 4,356; 4x4 Ė 4,523
GVWR: 2wd Ė 5,500 lbs; 4x4 Ė 5,800 lbs
GCWR: 11,500 lbs (both 2wd & 4x4)
Tow Rating: 2wd Ė 6,800 lbs; 4x4 Ė 6,600 lbs

Hope this helps.
Hutch
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Old 01-22-2008, 10:05 PM   #5
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I want to thank you for the information on trailering. It was most helpful.
I talked to a TT dealer and not knowing if they are telling me the truth just to make a sale or not. His knowledge and info are in line with the response to my question. I feel better knowing that TT people with hands on experience and knowledge are saying the same info that I got from the dealer.

Prodigy was highly recommended and a 600 lb weight distributing hitch w/sway bars was discussed becaused I am interested in a smaller 20-22' TT right now.

I plan on taking a swing out west this summer or fall. I guess this spring and summer will be a test for the wife and I if we can survive together in a small TT.

I have had a Mh before and the smallest was a 24 footer, it was kind of cramped.

Our last one was a 30 footer and it was fantastic. Due to work schedules and a decision to get a cabin up north it was sold.

I now have the time and ability to see more of the states and I plan on doing just that.

Again thanks for the info

I am in the Flint area of Mich.FYI
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Old 01-23-2008, 06:17 AM   #6
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Hmmm...our TrailBlazer only had the I 6 when we towed the 3500# GVWR QUE, but we were not happy with it. It was rated to tow 5200#. Our gas mileage dropped to 9 -11 mpg highway (from 22) and it really struggled on I 81 in Virginia. It was fine in the flat and rolling hills of eastern PA. Now that we have the Beast (Sierra 2500) I REALLY feel that the TrailBlazer was marginal.
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Old 01-23-2008, 06:57 PM   #7
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Wow- a 5.3 in a Trailblazer....

Too bad there's not enough room for a Duramax- now THAT would be a unique ride
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Old 01-25-2008, 07:26 PM   #8
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What a bummer. I got ahold of my buddy and set up my TB with his hitch setup and a 20' TT. We went on a small trip. The TB had enough power to pull on flat roads but not enough torque for going up hills and the short wheel base on Michigan roads was terrible. Using my TB will not work out for me. Going back to the drawing board.
Options: Larger tow vehicle to improve ride and larger engine with more torque instead of horsepower needed.
Thanks for your info. I am going back to the drawing board.
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Old 01-26-2008, 07:13 AM   #9
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I'm very glad you did a test tow. Our TB towed our 2000 # pop up like it wasn't there. It was a huge difference when we added the extra 1000 # and the wind resistance of the QUE. Now, with the diesel truck, we're back to not knowing the trailer is there, and it's 28' and 5000 # ! For me I need to feel like the truck is definitely in control. There was just too much tugging, downshifting, and bobbing with the TB.
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