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Towing a 30 foot travel trailer

Towing a 30 foot travel trailer

Postby Nvr2loud [OP] » Jun 26 2012, 3:43am

Hello Everyone,

Long time member over at the Acadia Forum, but needed something a little bit more for towing my trailer. I have been towing my 30 foot Trail Cruiser with my 2012 Acadia and felt that perhaps it was a little bit heavy. I fully loaded it on Friday and took to a scale near my house, Combined Vehicle Weight came in at 4725 kg and the Combined Vehicle Weight Rating on my Acadia is 4730 kg. Too close for comfort. The Acadia handled great with the load, of course I use a WD hitch and brake controller, have air lifts on the Acadia rear springs, but 5 kg is just too close to illegal.

Today I purchased a tow vehicle, I will pick it up on Wednesday. It is a 2001 Sierra 1500 HD with the 6.0L engine. I'm not sure which rear differential is installed, but it seems that the maximum trailer weight is 8000 lbs with one and 10,000 lbs with the other. Either one would meet my needs, hopefully this truck will work well for it's intended purpose.

A couple questions...

Is there a different rating from GM if the hitch is aftermarket? On the Acadia the rating is 5200 lbs when the hitch is factory installed but drops to 2000 lbs for aftermarket or dealer-installed hitches. I'm just concerned that I could have purchased a truck with an actual lower towing rating then my cross-over.

Is the brake controller simple to install on the Sierra? On the Acadia there was a plug included under the dash for a direct plug-in, does the Sierra have something similar?

Hopefully this will be a good truck, I'm looking forward to years of stress-free towing. Love my Acadia, really hope to love the Sierra too.
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Related Topics  Towing a 6000 lb. Travel Trailer   unsure about towing a travel trailer   new travel trailer towing impressions   More questions about towing a Travel Trailer   Towing Travel Trailer, What Settings Should My Truck Be On?   Aftermarket muffler and towing travel trailer   6" Lift and Towing a Travel Trailer??? Your Thoughts?   Travel trailer   What travel trailer?   32's new travel trailer   time for a new travel trailer   Setting up new truck to pull travel trailer   First camping trip with new travel trailer and new Sierra   Can I tow a 5K Travel Trailer & Quad in the bed of my 1500? 
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Re: Towing a 30 foot travel trailer

Postby lzn197 » Jun 26 2012, 12:19pm

Not really sure about your question about aftermarket or original equipment hitches. I think what you are REALLY asking is a vehicle with a TOWING package VS one without. A towing package as an option on a vehicle is MUCH more than just a hitch. You get a larger capacity cooling system for both the engine AND transmission plus in some cases other wiring and suspension changes. You have to do your research. On that Acadia, from what I understand, that engine already runs pretty darn hot (engine oil temp as well as cooling temp) withoit towing and I wouldnt tow a bumper with it. You probably would need to do more research on how to install a brake controller on the truck. Way back in 2001, gm's factory design didn't make it real easy for you (the customer) to install such items. Later they learned that folks botch those wiring jobs and it is better to offer a quick plug in as they do today. My 2004 Silverado came with a quick pigtail to hook one up. So it's not new. Hope that helps.
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Re: Towing a 30 foot travel trailer

Postby davidbarrett » Jun 26 2012, 12:31pm

Welcome to the site, I am sure you will get lots of help with your questions, good luck.
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Re: Towing a 30 foot travel trailer

Postby EKinMN » Jun 26 2012, 12:35pm

Like Gordon said, the older trucks are different. There is a write up in the "how to" section for connecting the brake controller. But I am pretty sure it only applies to the new vehicles. How to Hook Up the Constant 12v Power for 7pin Trailer Plug

I just wanted to stop by and let ya know you joined a great forum! My wife has a 2008 Acadia and so I am a member on that forum too, along with being a moderator here. Let me know if I can ever help ya with either vehicle. Feel free to PM me here....I am here a lot more than the other site.

Good luck with the new truck! You will like towing with the full - framed truck a lot better than the Acadia. I did!
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Re: Towing a 30 foot travel trailer

Postby deathphoenix99 » Jun 26 2012, 12:58pm

I'm pretty sure the wiring harness for the brake controller wasn't included until 2002, but I may be mistaken. But luckily it's only a few wires to run, so it's not that complicated once you know where to wire everything. And I can assure you that your truck is designed (hitch included) to tow more than the Acadia ever could. Just check the hitches rating on it and you will know what it's designed for, and actually, you can normally pick up a strong hitch from the aftermarket than what the factory installs on them.
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Re: Towing a 30 foot travel trailer

Postby Nvr2loud [OP] » Jun 26 2012, 3:06pm

I guess all I'm asking is about the towing rating from GM directly. On the Acadia I have the towing package with the cooling, the hitch, the wiring, tow/haul and have a maximum rating of 5200 lbs. If I choose to purchase the Acadia without the factory towing option and put a 5000 lb hitch onto the Acadia later, GM will only rate the same vehicle at 2000 lbs maximum for a variety of reasons including cooling capacity.

The 2001 Sierra I purchased does not appear to have a factory towing package (I still need to verify the V92 code) but does have a hitch with a WD rating of 12,000lbs. The owners manual on the truck claims I can tow 8000 lbs or 10,000 lbs maximum (still need to verify the differntial RPO code) and I'm wondering if that maximum rating is dependent on the Factory towing package. I understand that I can not exceed the maximum rating of the truck despite the hitch rating, but I'm not sure if that maximum rating is based on a factory hitch only. I'm fairly certain that it isn't based on the factory towing package only, but I'm just hoping to verify.


The Acadia owners manual lists by FWD or AWD, with and without the V92 towing provision package..
2012 Acadia FWD w/o V92 2000lbs max
2012 Acadia FWD with V92 5200 lbs max
2012 Acadia AWD w/o V92 2000 lbs max
2012 Acadia AWD with V92 5200 lbs max

The Sierra owners manual only lists the following..
6.0 Litre, Crew Cab, Short Box 3.xx final drive ratio 8,000 lbs max
6.0 Litre, Crew Cab, Short Box 4.xx final drive ratio 10,000 lbs max
and does not reference the V92 Towing provisions package at all.
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Re: Towing a 30 foot travel trailer

Postby deathphoenix99 » Jun 26 2012, 3:28pm

Being a HD, I'm pretty sure it has the towing provisions already as far as the driveline is concerned. Regardless, the tow ratings you see are for either truck, with or without the tow package. You should be fine, just check to make sure it has a transmission cooler in front of the radiator.
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Re: Towing a 30 foot travel trailer

Postby Nvr2loud [OP] » Jun 26 2012, 3:34pm

deathphoenix99 wrote:Being a HD, I'm pretty sure it has the towing provisions already as far as the driveline is concerned. Regardless, the tow ratings you see are for either truck, with or without the tow package. You should be fine, just check to make sure it has a transmission cooler in front of the radiator.


Thanks for the reply, I'll check for the transmission cooler. I'm not worried that the truck won't pull the weight easily, the Acadia handles it just fine and the Sierra is longer, stronger, and with a full frame.
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Re: Towing a 30 foot travel trailer

Postby 11 Silverado » Jun 26 2012, 4:38pm

You should not have any problem towing what you are now towing with a 6.0 HD. As long as the aftermarket hitch is rated to tow what you need. Like said, check to see if it has a trans. cooler, and if not, add one. The brake controller should not be difficult to install either. If you can't do it, any RV dealer should be able to install it. Enjoy your new to you truck! Also continue to use a weight distributing hitch for safety and better handling.
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Re: Towing a 30 foot travel trailer

Postby bbrown » Jun 26 2012, 5:22pm

Yep,
My '01 2500HD has a factory hitch, 7-pin plug and oil cooler (all towing options). The wiring panel under the dash is set up for a plug-and-play brake controller (just add the fuse under the hood). From what I've seen the 1500HDs are not that different. Your towing capacity will be 10,200-10,400lbs. with the 4.10 gears (I have never seen specs. on a HD 6.0 that did not have 4.10s)
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