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  #1  
Old 07-25-2015, 05:34 PM
sixto's Avatar
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advice on towing 4 tons

There might be an opportunity for me to tow a truck from Fresno to San Jose. 3 ton truck plus a suitable trailer behind a C2500 Suburban 6.5td. Years ago I towed a 450SEL on a trailer behind a V-10 Ram. Nothing to it even over the local Sunol pass. The planned route this time includes the more technical Pacheco Pass. Aside from keeping to a sensible speed, what's there to know about towing?

- Rated towing capacity is 6000 lb. Does this disqualify the tow vehicle?

- How do you figure out tongue weight in the middle of nowhere? I didn't think about tongue weight towing the 450SEL.

- What's a safe downhill speed? Stay with the semis in the 35 mph lane?

- Do I need more equipment than the Tekonsha thing under the dash? I don't recall doing anything with the brakes towing the 450SEL.

- What should I know that I'm not asking?

Sixto
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Last edited by sixto; 07-25-2015 at 05:46 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-25-2015, 06:14 PM
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  #3  
Old 07-25-2015, 07:25 PM
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Pull the truck on the trailer far enough to move down the rear of the suburban a bit. The suburban will be overloaded so watch oil temp if you can, oil pressure (it will go down a bit if the engine is getting overstressed) and coolant temp. If any temps go above what you are used to seeing slow down until they come back down. Stopping is the problem so be sure your trailer brakes are strong before going anywhere.

Since you'll be overloaded if in an accident your insurance company might balk at paying so be cautious in your decision to go ahead with this.
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  #4  
Old 07-25-2015, 08:30 PM
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Leave yourself a big cushion of space and time between yourself and the vehicle in front of you.
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  #5  
Old 07-25-2015, 09:53 PM
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Balance the load between the two axles on the trailer and try to trim the trailer so that the floor of the trailer is level to the ground.

I usually look for about a one inch drop at the back axle of the truck.

Stop and check everything regularly. Feel for heat at the wheel bearings and tires.

If it doesn't drive right it isn't trimmed right.

We have had threads like this before.
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  #6  
Old 07-25-2015, 11:32 PM
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No weight distributing platform hitch? 3/4 ton subies are rated more like 10,000# no?
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  #7  
Old 07-26-2015, 12:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t walgamuth View Post
Pull the truck on the trailer far enough to move down the rear of the suburban a bit. The suburban will be overloaded so watch oil temp if you can, oil pressure (it will go down a bit if the engine is getting overstressed) and coolant temp. If any temps go above what you are used to seeing slow down until they come back down. Stopping is the problem so be sure your trailer brakes are strong before going anywhere.
Understood but how do I check that the trailer brakes are strong or working at all?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippy View Post
Leave yourself a big cushion of space and time between yourself and the vehicle in front of you.
Understood as a concept but is there a rule of thumb like a time interval?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwitchKitty View Post
Balance the load between the two axles on the trailer and try to trim the trailer so that the floor of the trailer is level to the ground.

I usually look for about a one inch drop at the back axle of the truck.

Stop and check everything regularly. Feel for heat at the wheel bearings and tires.

If it doesn't drive right it isn't trimmed right.

We have had threads like this before.
I read the words but what I understand is pay to have it towed

Quote:
Originally Posted by INSIDIOUS View Post
No weight distributing platform hitch? 3/4 ton subies are rated more like 10,000# no?
I suppose the trailer rental place will have one of those.

It seems suitable trailers are over 2000 lb. empty so the deal is way over the rated towing capacity. Do tow dollies have brakes?

Sixto
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  #8  
Old 07-26-2015, 12:37 AM
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should be a lever on the tekonsha brake controller.with trailer hooked up and moving push the lever.the trailer brakes should apply and stop your truck.if not there should be a wheel on the side of the controller to trim the braking effort,turn it up til you get braking from the trailer.
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  #9  
Old 07-26-2015, 01:56 AM
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There's a spring loaded lever in front and a dial on the side. I should look for a manual online

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  #10  
Old 07-26-2015, 05:17 AM
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YOu can activate the trailer brakes with the lever while moving around slowly. If the trailer has surge brakes this won't work. I'd probably not want to tow overweight with a trailer with surge brakes since you cannot activate them if the trailer starts swaying back and forth.
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..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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  #11  
Old 07-27-2015, 09:44 AM
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x2 on the above

-Good balance on the load
-Test the trailer brakes BEFORE leaving
-Watch your temps
-Drive defensively
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  #12  
Old 07-27-2015, 09:56 AM
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If its that far over the tow rating i probably would not do it with that tow vehicle personally. Especially over any kind of pass.

Can the towee simply be driven? Can you take the bus down and drive it back?

If you plan to do it anyway i suggest you do it in the wee hours to keep your sanity with stopping distances and traffic.

I did this once overloading my van towing another van and i still managed to smoke my brakes and not stop for a broken down car suddenly in my lane around a corner inside a tunnel. Only reason i wasnt in a major accident is the fact that i started the journey at 1am and the roads were deserted. I was able to swerve effectively into the only other lane.
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  #13  
Old 07-27-2015, 12:03 PM
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Let me get this straight:

You're asking if you; who by both your own admittance, and the level of questions you are asking, seem to have very little towing experience, should tow a trailer several thousand pounds heavier than the tow rating of the vehicle you wish to tow with, at highway speeds, for a long distance, and over significant grades?

Does that about sum it up?

If so, I feel confident in answering "No". No you should not. Aside from the damage you may well do to your own tow vehicle, think about the safety of the other users of the roads. It's not about can your tow vehicle drag something that size up and over Pacheco Pass, or if it stops nicely from 60mph on a straight and level road, it's more about how well both you and your combined rig (tow vehicle and trailer) can handle a sudden double lane change in the middle of a downhill curve at speed when the unexpected happens.

Please, think of the others on the road, and the hazards your decisions may present them with.

MV
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  #14  
Old 07-27-2015, 01:40 PM
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Doesn't this make you miss the good old days when a 2wd SUBIE with a 454 had a GCVWR of 16,000# with an empty vehicle curb weight under 6,000#

The diesel is your enemy is this one.
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And IIRC GM says you can add 25% if you keep the speed down, I think it was to 45 MPH.
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  #15  
Old 07-27-2015, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BAVBMW View Post
Let me get this straight:

You're asking if you; who by both your own admittance, and the level of questions you are asking, seem to have very little towing experience, should tow a trailer several thousand pounds heavier than the tow rating of the vehicle you wish to tow with, at highway speeds, for a long distance, and over significant grades?

Does that about sum it up?

If so, I feel confident in answering "No". No you should not. Aside from the damage you may well do to your own tow vehicle, think about the safety of the other users of the roads. It's not about can your tow vehicle drag something that size up and over Pacheco Pass, or if it stops nicely from 60mph on a straight and level road, it's more about how well both you and your combined rig (tow vehicle and trailer) can handle a sudden double lane change in the middle of a downhill curve at speed when the unexpected happens.

Please, think of the others on the road, and the hazards your decisions may present them with.

MV
That sums it up

Quote:
Originally Posted by JB3 View Post
Can the towee simply be driven? Can you take the bus down and drive it back?
One problem is there's no reasonable route between Fresno and San Jose without a pass, freeway or stretches I don't want to get stranded. I'm exploring the alternative of swapping the transmission in some random gravel lot.

Sixto
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