Anyone towing with a 2016 Chevy Tahoe? - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 03-08-2017, 07:50 PM   #1
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Anyone towing with a 2016 Chevy Tahoe?

I'm looking at purchasing a Dutchmen Aerolite 282 dbhs within the next month or so but just doing some research on whether or not my 2016 Chevy Tahoe Z71 (4x4) that has a max tow capacity of 8,400 lbs will be enough to handle the travel trailer.

The trailer's dry weight is 6,380lbs and I will be buying weight distribution, anti sway bars, as well as the trailer brake system.

Just curious if anyone out there is using a Tahoe similar to mine for a similar sized trailer? Any mods you recommend? I was already planning on installing a tranny cooler, cold air intake on the Tahoe for better towing performance but is that enough?

Another option is to drop down a model to the 242 bhsl that has a dry weight of 5,560lbs but my wife and I have our desire set on the 282...

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks, Jake
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Old 03-08-2017, 11:21 PM   #2
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I'm guessing the bigger trailer will be at or over on your payload capacity.
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Old 03-09-2017, 12:20 AM   #3
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My Tahoe trailer max weight is : 8,400lbs.
My Tahoe payload capacity is: 1,760lbs
GVWR: 7,300lbs

Larger trailer weighs: 6,380lbs
Smaller trailer weighs: 5,560

I just don't want to be that guy with the new Tahoe and new travel trailer that is barley making it up the grade or putting my family and others on the road at risk...
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Old 03-09-2017, 01:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SNAKE6222 View Post
My Tahoe trailer max weight is : 8,400lbs.
My Tahoe payload capacity is: 1,760lbs
GVWR: 7,300lbs

Larger trailer weighs: 6,380lbs
Smaller trailer weighs: 5,560

I just don't want to be that guy with the new Tahoe and new travel trailer that is barley making it up the grade or putting my family and others on the road at risk...
I think you will be right at the upper limit of the Tahoe with the larger trailer.

You need to find out what the tongue weight of the trailer is and subtract that from your cargo capacity, along with occupants and cargo load. Typically a trailer tongue weight will be in the 10%-15% range. Also the advertised empty weight of a trailer usually doesn't include a battery or propane tanks. Then you start adding things to the trailer and the weight creeps up pretty quick.

My shopping rule of thumb is to take the GVW of the trailer, as long as it is 75% of my vehicle rated towing weight I figure I will be good to go, if it is is more than 75% I will start looking at the numbers a lot closer.

A quick check of the Dutchmen site for your trailer shows it is running on the tongue heavy side from the factory at nearly 14% and that is before you start adding your stuff to it. They don't indicate what the GVW of the trailer is.

Aaron
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Old 03-09-2017, 03:20 AM   #5
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You've gotten good advice on how to check overall towing capacity for your Tahoe. Something else to consider is the tow vehicle's wheelbase, and the impact on stability while towing. When we got our first travel trailer, we had a Ford Explorer. We were within the rated towing capacity of the Explorer, had enough power to climb hills, but the relatively short wheelbase did not provide a comfortable towing experience. A relatively small vehicle like a van would push the trailer, which would then push the tow vehicle. Passing tractor trailers or commercial buses created a white knuckle experience, with the trailer being pushed around and wagging the tow vehicle. I almost gave up RVing. Bought a 3/4 ton, long bed pickup truck to tow, which was a much more stable setup. It had more towing capacity, but just as importantly, the longer wheelbase proved much more stable when being passed by other vehicles. No more white knuckle experiences, towing became easy.
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Old 03-09-2017, 01:34 PM   #6
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We tow our 255BHSL with a 2005 Cadillac Escalade ESV. We have done some 6% grades in northern Arizona. Just keep an eye on your temps and use the weight distibution hitch and sway bar. Just take it slow. Gas millage is horrible. We will average 200 miles or so while towing.
Good luck
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Old 03-09-2017, 03:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SNAKE6222 View Post
My Tahoe trailer max weight is : 8,400lbs.
My Tahoe payload capacity is: 1,760lbs
GVWR: 7,300lbs

Larger trailer weighs: 6,380lbs
Smaller trailer weighs: 5,560

I just don't want to be that guy with the new Tahoe and new travel trailer that is barley making it up the grade or putting my family and others on the road at risk...
Those are dry weights. The camper will weigh more than that even the first time you tow it home completely empty because it will have propane tanks and batteries. Once you load it up for camping and fill the water tank, it will be much heavier. Guestimate, add 1000 lbs to dry weight and take 15% of that as a tongue weight. Call it 1000 lbs TW for the small trailer, 1100 lbs TW for the large.

So you have 1760-1100 = 660 lbs of payload capacity remaining in the vehicle. Can you, your family, and all the gear you'll put in the vehicle fall under that 660 lbs? This is playing it by the numbers and people overload their vehicles all the time. I'm certainly guilty of it. But you'll absolutely know when you're flirting with the max design capacity and you may not enjoy the experience. It is't so much having enough power to yank the trailer around, it is having the ability to handle and stop it.

1760 lbs payload capacity is pretty good for an SUV.
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Old 03-09-2017, 05:00 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ewarnerusa View Post
1760 lbs payload capacity is pretty good for an SUV.
That's actually way more than I was expecting. My truck is 1560lbs, but since I tow solo with no kids or pets my payload stays under 1k.

He may be ok if he doesn't carry a pile of stuff in the Tahoe.

Ftr, I weighed our camper empty and fully loaded for 2 people, it was 550lbs.
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Old 03-09-2017, 05:41 PM   #9
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Thanks all for the help and info. I was on the fence deciding what model would be the better suite for my family and I...with the weight being so maxed out I decided the smaller version aerolite 242 would be more re assuring with less "white knuckle" driving experiences.

Another determining factor on choosing the smaller trailer was I researched campgrounds around my area and a lot of them only accommodate up to 30 foot long trailer so the smaller 242 coming in at 28' total length would be suitable as well. Thanks again for all the help. Enjoy all of yours as we will as well!!
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Old 03-09-2017, 06:39 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by SNAKE6222 View Post
Thanks all for the help and info. I was on the fence deciding what model would be the better suite for my family and I...with the weight being so maxed out I decided the smaller version aerolite 242 would be more re assuring with less "white knuckle" driving experiences.

Another determining factor on choosing the smaller trailer was I researched campgrounds around my area and a lot of them only accommodate up to 30 foot long trailer so the smaller 242 coming in at 28' total length would be suitable as well. Thanks again for all the help. Enjoy all of yours as we will as well!!
Probably a wise choice! It's way more enjoyable to tow a camper than to be pushed by a camper.
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Old 03-10-2017, 07:24 PM   #11
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Wdh

You don't need a WDH for a small ultra light like that, maybe a sway bar but you will be throwing money away getting a WDH. Just send $500.00 to me I will give 10% to charity and spend the rest on a nice long camping trip. Just email me and I will give you my PayPal account for the money.
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Old 03-10-2017, 10:59 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by masterblaster View Post
You don't need a WDH for a small ultra light like that, maybe a sway bar but you will be throwing money away getting a WDH. Just send $500.00 to me I will give 10% to charity and spend the rest on a nice long camping trip. Just email me and I will give you my PayPal account for the money.
This is just not true for all SUV's. My 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee manual specifically states the use of a weight distribution hitch if your trailer is over 3500 pounds. I don't think the 6000 pounds he is pulling is ultra light.
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Old 03-10-2017, 11:08 PM   #13
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I was going to say that a trailer with a DRY weight of 5560 lbs is not an "ultra light" despite having a model name like Aerolight. When I googled the OP's model, the info from the Dutchmen site actually says 6452 lb dry weight with a 903 lb tongue weight.
Aerolite 282DBHS Floorplan Details
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Old 03-15-2017, 03:34 PM   #14
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SPECIFICATIONS

WEIGHTS


Average Shipping Weight (lbs.)
6,452

Dry Hitch Weight (lbs.)
903

Cargo Capacity (lbs.)
1,148

MEASUREMENTS


Height
11' 1''

Length
33' 0''

CAPACITIES


Fresh Water Capacity (gals.)
52

Black Water Capacity (gals.)
28

Grey Water Capacity (gals.)
39


Do the math. Even if you don't carry a full fresh water tank for dry camping you will probably for convenience like many of us still carry 10-20 gallons for pit stops, etc on the road. Having that water is handy if you need to wash up after breaking down camp, fixing a vehicle/tire on the side of the road or for the vehicle itself if it over heats.

Your wheel base is short for that size of a rig and like others have said, the larger the trailer the more the tendency for it to wag the dog... The dog being your Tahoe.

As for weight distribution. I've had two trailers now with the same truck. Both tandem axle. One a 22 footer with a high tongue weight and now a 30 footer. Both had excessive sway without the weight distribution hitch(WDH). Both sagged the rear of the truck without the WDH which would also make for dangerous towing. The choice was to buy stand alone anti-sway and upgrade to bags or spring pack on the rear end of the truck or get a WDH. The WDH was the cheaper option and just plain worked.

I have a co-worker whose last trailer was only two feet shorter and he didn't use anything for anti-sway or WDH. He bought a new trailer and had to get a WDH. He said he'll never tow a bump pull trailer of that size again without one.

As for vehicles with Anti-sway built in like my F-150... It is no replacement for true anti sway or the anti-sway properties of a WDH. The one built into my F-150 almost wrecked me one day.

There are some here on the forum that are anti- WDH and like to tell anyone that they are a gimmick. They are not. Talk to your dealer.
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