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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I currently tow a 25RS-S with a 2000 Suburban K1500 LT 5.3L 3.73 and it does the job adequately. I am looking into the 28RS-S. How much different would the handling charateristics be with the added 4ft in length and 500lbs?
 

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I'm not sure that the additional weight or length would make a big difference, but you will notice it. Is there really only 500# difference between the two? I'm too lazy to look it up right now. The weight will be the most noticible difference as the heavier 28' will put you right at your towing capacity after you load up to go. The extra length may not be noticible at all unless you are hit with a decent cross wind.

We tow a 28BHS (29' 4") with our 1500 Burb. and the handling is very smooth with no trouble. With the Reese dual cam sway control it pulls nice and steady and you hardly even know it's back there.

Now power is a different issue. We are lacking, and more performance mods are soon coming which I expect will make the combo acceptable for me, but still not impressive. As I currently sit, long and fairly steep grades will put me at about 45-50mph in 2nd gear running 3500rpm.

In general, you will really be at the top of your towing capacity with the 28RSS and a 1/2 ton Burb. Your limit is actually 500# less because you have a heavier 4WD.

Overall I think that my 28BHS is too much for my 1500. It's not unsafe, just underpowered. But I will keep using it because I don't want the expense of a new tow vehicle right now. I'll upgrade to a 3/4 ton Burb and larger engine in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
OK, I got my numbers now the 28RS-S is 3' 6" longer than the 25RS-S and weights 615lbs more.

California Jim, its not just you. All of us small block V8 owners are in 2nd gear climbing grades. Thats just where those motors develop their power.

My Suburban has a tow rating of 7800lbs and GCVW of 13,000lbs. I imagine right now I am close to 12,000lbs.

Has anyone had there 25RS-S and TV weighted?
 

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I'm surprised that your 4WD 1/2 ton is rated up to 7800#. My 2WD is rated for 6500# with the 3.73's also
There must have been some change in the vehicle structure since the model changed in 2000. I don't think there is any major difference in torque between the 5.3 and 5.7.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The owners manual says 7800lbs and so does the trailer life towing guide but that number really doesn't mean anything I guess. I believe the GCVW of 13000lbs and 7200GVW are the numbers that really matter.

If I had the 4.10 rear then the tow rating jumps to 8800lbs and the GCVW goes to 14,000lbs. I personally can't believe or would want to try to tow 8800lbs with a 1/2 ton Suburban. More than likely I will be over my 7200lbs GVW before the 13000lb GCVW.

The 5.3L has 285hp and 325ft torque. What does the 5.7L have??
 

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jgerni,

What does the door sticker say your 'burb weighs?

My '02 K1500 Avalanche (5.3L 3.73) is rated at 7100# tow capacity, with the same GCVW of 13,000#. The GVRW on the Av alone is 7000#. Since the 'burb and the Av are on the same chassis, I would think the GVWR would be the same.

Tim
 

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Towing with my Av 1500 and my 28RS-S I'm within the weight limits, but not by a whole bunch. That said the Av (like the Burb) is a good tow vehicle. My combined weight, not fully loaded was 11,860. With my 4x4 and 4.10 rear end my max trailer weight is 7,900# and the GCWR is 14,000#
 

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The 99 5.7liter is rated at 255hp @ 4600rpm and 330ft/lbs @2800. I believe the 5.3 produces it's rated power and torque at higher rpms.
Dan
 

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With the two 1/2 ton Burbs (5.3 and 5.7) so close in HP and torque, I wonder what gives the newer style 1800# more towing capacity with the same gears? Just thinking out loud


Either way, I agree that the small block powered SUV's and trucks are working pretty hard as you start to get north of 5000# in trailer weight. Mine fully loaded has got to be approaching 6000# (5200# unloaded), and it's all my humble 1/2 ton can do to pursuade it up the long grades.

I'll throw the Thorley long tube headers and cat-back exhaust on it in a few weeks and see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The GVRW of the Burb is 7200.

The 5.3L produces 285hp at 5200rpm and 325ft torque at 4000rpms.

For the Burb to have a 7800lb tow rating it would have to have a curb weight of 5200lbs. I have never had my setup weighed but I suspect that the Burb weights around 5800lbs or so.

The 2000 year and later Suburbans have better brakes since they went to discs on all 4 and a stronger frame. They did put coil springs on the rear which would seem to reduce the tow rating but apparently not.

California Jim what is your Suburbans GCWR? I believe this number tells the tail.
 

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Jim, when I had the gears changed out the guy told me that GM corrected a problem in the rear end. He said that on the newer body style, GM put heavier carrier bearings and went to a 31 spline axel making the rear end heaver duty. Maybe that and the brakes are the difference in towing capacity? If it helps when I had my Tahoe wieghed it came in at 5040 lbs. Kirk
 

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We have a '98 C-1500 and pull a 28RS-S. I agree with California Jim, the 1500 will pull it but it is underpowered (I wish I had a 2500) for our TT. We tow in 3rd gear so that helps with the power some. Unforutately I thought getting a Suburban 3 years ago meant we could pull anything. Little did I know at the time about towing capicity, etc... Live and Learn
 

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Same here. When I bought the Burb I was not even considering a trailer. I thought I would get a boat! Funny how having little ones can change your perspective
 

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I tow a 28RS-S with an Avalanche Z66. It has the 3.73 gears. Does not seem to be any prolems. Took it to the North Georgia Mountains a couple of weeks ago and it had no problems. There was on very long 6% grade that had me wondering if I might not need to go to a 4.10 rear end. I was at 3000-3500 rpms and about 50mph. The engine temp went up a little, but dropped back to normal range at the top of the hill. I am considering the gear change and possibly full tube headers. Loved our first outing in the Outback.
 

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Hi! We are new to this forum. We are Outback wantabees! We have a '98 1500 Burb w/ 3.42. We also thought having a Burb we could pull anything. Unfortunately, not so.

We found a 23RS that we wanted to buy. We have been on RV.net forum and have been told time and again we can't pull that trailer with our Burb. We can't afford a new TV - it's either give up completely or figure out how we can pull with our Burb.

Any ideas out there? I notice some of you have basically the same TV but are towing larger trailers. Please let us hear from you.

Thanks,
bulldogfamily6 (Mama)
 

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Hello Mama:

It sounds to me like you have encountered what is often referred to as "the weight police" over there at RV.net. A well meaning bunch, and usually quite knowledgeable. However, they are often an overly conservitive bunch as well.

Although you do not have an ideal gear ratio for towing, for about $500-600 you could have your rear ratio changed to 4.10's and be in good shape. I'm assuming that your Burb is factory equipped with a towing package, and you have a 2 wheel drive. If you have a 4x4 you will have to change the front gears as they both have to match. The cost will then be about $1000.

As to the 23RS, that trailer is 4360# dry weight and likely 4660# fully equipped with Outback options. This is 600# lighter than I am towing now with the same truck.

The conservative rule of thumb is not to tow more than 75% of your vehicles tow rating. With the gear change you will be rated with at least 6500# and actually more as this is the rating for 3.73 gears. But lets be conservative and say you can pull 6500#. 75% of 6500# is 4875#. So your fully optioned but unloaded weight of the 23RS is 215# below the 75% mark. Follow me?

If you intentionally pack on the light side and throw about 500# of gear in the trailer you are only 285# over a very conservative calculation. Your estimated % would be at about 79% of your rated capacity. This is surely not a deal breaker for you and a 23RS. And with the 4.10 gears you are likely and actually closer to 73-75% of your capacity.

I'll be honest in telling you that my Burb is working very hard going up steep grades, but it is however doing the job satisfactorily. And with a few performance modifications it's getting even better.

It's my humble opinion that if you change your gears to 4.10's you will be just fine with that 23RS.

Go Camping
 

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Thanks, California Jim, for the reply and info.
We called the Chevy dealership we do repair work with yesterday and asked for a quote on changing out the rear to a 3.73. Have not received any word back from them. Should I call back and ask for 4.10? We have a 2WD. It has all the towing stuff on the back. I don't know if it has the oil cooler and all that stuff. We looked at a new truck yesterday - '04 Silverado 2500 Duramax diesel 3.73 crew cab. Nice truck would pull anything we could ever afford to buy, but cost was 35K. We can't afford a truck like that AND a camper. Plus, we would be giving up all our inside room, hardly see how we could haul mama, daddy, sister, brother, bulldog 1 and bulldog 2??? Have you ever felt unsafe while pulling your Outback? Hope to hear back from you at your convenience. You have given us hope again that we may be able to do this after all! sunny Thanks again.

bulldogfamily6 (Mama)
 

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have the exact same setup as you. 99 Sub, 5.7, 3.42 and we pull a 25RSS that weights 4900 lbs. empty. Add your stuff and you people and you can easily add 1000 lbs. I don't tow with the water tank full enless I am going camping locally. That weights 320 lbs. when full. So fully loaded I'm close to 6000 lbs. It will pull it but you won't win any races. I wanted to get the 28RSS but I knew I couldn't do that without a 3/4 suburban and that's out of the question right now. So I'm probably about 800lbs heavier than you so you can do it. If you pull in big hills or mountains it will be a chore up the hills but on the highway it pulls nice right at 65 in 3rd gear.

1. Your Suburban came with P rated tires. They must go and use LT tires with an E rating. This is one of the most important things you can do to the truck. It takes alot of the sway out of the rig and supports the extra.

2. Get an Equilizer (built in sway control) which I have or Reese Dual Cam Weight Distribution Hitch. I bought the Equilizer from RVwholesalers on the web for $399 including shipping. Great price.

3. Transmission Cooler!!!! If you have the tow package you trans cooler is located on the right side of your grill in front of the Radiator. The stock cooler is a good one. I have a electric fan to put on mine ( have not got around to it yet ) for stop and go traffic. I have a transmission temp gage to watch temps and on the highway it runs around 170. In stop and go it goes up to about 190. Also I am running Amsoil Synthetic Trans Fluid to keep the temps lower. The transmission on the 1/2 tons is probably the weak point in the truck. They do ok if you keep the temps in line.

Can you tow the 23 with the 1/2 ton Suburban? Yes you can with some limits.
Your not going to go 75mph down the interstate, or 65 up mountains. 65 is fine on the flats.
I tow in 3rd gear only for better power and cooler transmission temps.
I have a very good hitch setup.
Good E rated tires.

Would a 3/4 ton be better? Yes
Am I made of Money? NO
Would I tow accross the country with it? Probably not.
4 or 5 hours? Yes we do that all the time.

It's a compromise and maybe a couple of years down the road I will get a bigger truck. But after looking around a couple of weeks ago and seeing a 2003 3/4 ton Suburban used for $39,000 I decided to keep what I have. I wish I had bought a 3/4 ton back when, but I wasn't thinking ahead about a Camper. Then I would have had more options, but I am happy with the 25RSS. Also anything bigger would have been hard to store at my house.

Remember it's easy for people on this and other forums to spend your money. Also alot of these new trucks that have bigger tow ratings produce their power at over 4000 rpms. Ours produces max torque at 2800 rpms. That is right in the tow range in 3rd gear. At 65mph in 3rd I turn about 2450rpms. 3.73 gears would bump the rpms right up to that 2800 peak torque figure. I have thought about changing to 3.73's someday as it also gives you 1000lbs. more towing capacity. 4.10's another 1000lbs. This is a good resource and good people with knowledge are on it. But it's a little easy for people to tell you to get this and you can't do that. So you have to wade thought the muck a little on some forums. This is my favorite forum as the people are a more down to earth. I agree with Cal Jim on the Weight Cops on RV.net.

I have no problem with the 25RSS and the 23RS should be fine for you. Just make sure your setup correctly as thats the most important safety issue.
Hope I didn't throw to much at you and if you need anymore info drop me a note.
 
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