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Author Topic: Towing capabilities of Chevy Traverse  (Read 34988 times)
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sroy
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« on: February 06, 2011, 06:12:32 AM »

Towing capabilities of Chevrolet Traverse

I am planning on purchasing a Chevrolet Traverse AWD in the upcoming future and intend on towing a travel trailer for extended trips. Since I know very little about the subject, I am wondering if a Surveyor SP275 trailer, which lists its unloaded vehicle weight at 3,985 lbs and Dry Hitch Weight as 418 lbs., is too heavy for the Traverse tom pull?  I understand that the Traverse can haul up to 5,200 lbs and I would like to know what I need to consider in my calculations of weight being pulled to ensure safe traveling? Should the calculation include the weight of the driver/passenger also?

Thank you

Sroy
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Quantum
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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2011, 09:27:04 AM »

Take a look at this thread:

http://www.traverseforum.com/index.php?topic=1327.0

I tow heavier than what you describe in your post.  No problem.
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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2011, 09:51:15 AM »

Should the calculation include the weight of the driver/passenger also?

The weight calculation should include the tow vehicle, everything in the tow vehicle and the trailer
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jwhjr
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« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2011, 10:07:36 AM »

Just make sure that the Traverse you purchase has the factory tow package on it.  That is the only way to obtain the 5200# tow rating.
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« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2011, 10:20:45 AM »

Just make sure that the Traverse you purchase has the factory tow package on it.  That is the only way to obtain the 5200# tow rating.

Very good point  thumbs up
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Quantum
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« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2011, 02:06:40 PM »

You will also need the following equipment if you don't already have it:

1.  Weight distribution bars, 10,000lbs rating, just to make sure you have enough leverage.

2.  A good quality electric brake controller like the Prodigy P2, very easy to install, there is a "how-to" for this

3.  Tow mirrors.  So far, the best set I've seen available for the Traverse are the Reese Tow Power Mirrors with 'fish eye'.  You can get them at Wal-Mart for about $25 each.


I just looked at the specs of your trailer.  That is a nice unit.  I can't believe the unloaded weight vs the GVWR, over 3,000lbs of cargo capacity!!  You will have to be careful not to over load.  My trailer is 4,250lbs as it left the factory with full propane cylinders and battery.  My GVWR is 5500lbs, but I will not load it up that much.  I never travel with water in the holding tanks. 

Again, nice unit, I think you will be ok, just remember the Traverse is not on par with any diesel pickup truck, but it does a great job towing my unit.  For your reference, my unit is a 2010 Jayco 213 EXP.
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« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2011, 03:11:02 PM »

Take a look at this thread:

...

I tow heavier than what you describe in your post.  No problem.

Thanks for the link, Quantum. Nice to hear of one person's direct experience. We tow a 25 foot Airstream (4850 lbs dry) and are looking to trade our '01 Yukon for a Traverse. (I have a broker searching for one in the USA right now...don't like the local prices for used models, but that's another story).

Andy Thomson (Can-Am) will do the hitch work for me. He has a number of customers successfully towing with a lamda vehicle and recommends this platform. It sounds like your towing performance isn't all that different than my 2001 Yukon with the 5.3L push-rod engine. I'm a little tired of the Yukon's 12/16MPG....and looking forward to the Traverse even if it is a base LS model.

Cheers!
Gary in London
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« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2011, 03:23:49 PM »

Just make sure that the Traverse you purchase has the factory tow package on it.  That is the only way to obtain the 5200# tow rating.

If you're buying new, Chevy's tow package is a great bargain...definitely get the tow package....but it's not essential. My problem is that I'm having trouble finding a used base model with a tow package and may have to settle for one without and add what I need aftermarket.

The tow package includes heavy duty oil cooler and tranny cooler, tow-haul mode switch, wiring harness and separate fuse panel for the trailer brakes and a class IV hitch.

With the exception of the heavy duty oil cooler and tow-haul mode switch, all of these things can be added aftermarket without too much trouble, though it is more expensive. The oil cooler is important for towing in hot climates like Texas, by not essential up here in Canada. And the tow-haul mode switch is nice to have but not essential. I have one on my '01 Yukon and it makes little different whether I use TH or just leave the truck in 3rd gear where it wants to be most of the time anyway.

Anyway, there are always options...


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« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2011, 04:58:19 PM »

If you're buying new, Chevy's tow package is a great bargain...definitely get the tow package....but it's not essential.
Actually it is essential. Even if you think you could tow more without the factory tow package, aftermarket trailering packages are only approved for 2000 lbs. So if you add it after the fact and tow more than 2000 lbs, if something goes wrong, it definitely wouldn't be covered under warranty. The factory package includes adjustments to the transmission (i.e. it shifts at different RPMs) that will protect your vehicle from premature wear and tear.
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Quantum
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« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2011, 07:50:53 PM »

Gary, I would REALLY recommend that you find one with a tow package.  Even if that means you have to shop in the higher trim levels.  The money you will spend up front to get one with a tow package, compared to what you will have to pay, to get it done aftermarket, it may be a wash.

Even here in Canada (where I live too), I would not tow without a transmission cooler.  Our 28*C and up days, are usually the days that we are heading out to the campground because its hot out!  You will want to guarantee the life of you transmission, especially towing at close to the maximum tow rating. 

The Traverse is a passanger vehicle first, and a tow vehicle second.  It can handle towing just fine, as long as it has ALL the required essential equipment. 

Even if you can't find one with a tow package, be sure to install an aftermarket transmission cooler, one way or another.  It is a transmission life saver.
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« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2011, 08:55:16 PM »

Gary, I would REALLY recommend that you find one with a tow package.  Even if that means you have to shop in the higher trim levels.  The money you will spend up front to get one with a tow package, compared to what you will have to pay, to get it done aftermarket, it may be a wash.

Even here in Canada (where I live too), I would not tow without a transmission cooler.  Our 28*C and up days, are usually the days that we are heading out to the campground because its hot out!  You will want to guarantee the life of you transmission, especially towing at close to the maximum tow rating. 

The Traverse is a passanger vehicle first, and a tow vehicle second.  It can handle towing just fine, as long as it has ALL the required essential equipment. 

Even if you can't find one with a tow package, be sure to install an aftermarket transmission cooler, one way or another.  It is a transmission life saver.

+1
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« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2011, 12:15:03 AM »

Gary, I would REALLY recommend that you find one with a tow package.  Even if that means you have to shop in the higher trim levels.  The money you will spend up front to get one with a tow package, compared to what you will have to pay, to get it done aftermarket, it may be a wash.

Even here in Canada (where I live too), I would not tow without a transmission cooler.  Our 28*C and up days, are usually the days that we are heading out to the campground because its hot out!  You will want to guarantee the life of you transmission, especially towing at close to the maximum tow rating. 

The Traverse is a passanger vehicle first, and a tow vehicle second.  It can handle towing just fine, as long as it has ALL the required essential equipment. 

Even if you can't find one with a tow package, be sure to install an aftermarket transmission cooler, one way or another.  It is a transmission life saver.

I agree Quantum. Sorry if I wasn't being clear...I didn't mean a "tow package" wasn't needed, only that most parts can be added after market. The oil cooler and TH mode switch are the tough(er) ones, but are not necessarily critical. A tranny cooler, however, is absolutely essential.

Considering everything you get with the tow package, it makes no sense not to buy it with the vehicle. Even foregoing the oil cooler and TH switch, I figure the aftermarket costs are at least double what Chevy charges for the option. It's one of the few add-ons that is really worth the price! The only downside is that GM still appears to be equipping their vehicles with the poorly designed round tube class IV hitches...the aftermarket box frame models are much stronger. Regardless, Can-Am will strengthen the hitch for better weight distribution and handling characteristics.

Unfortunately finding used models (especially base) with the package is a lot tougher. But I'm holding out for one!


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sroy
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« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2011, 05:32:48 AM »

Thank you Quantum, Gary and others for your input.

I will definitely get the factory "tow package" and will also install the weight distribution bars, electric brake controller and mirrors.
By the way, what kind of gas mileage do you get while towing?

sroy
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« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2011, 10:13:56 AM »

By the way, what kind of gas mileage do you get while towing?

Hopefully some Traverse/lambda owners will chirp in as I'd like to know as well.

The rule of thumb when towing a travel trailer with a gasser is not to expect more then 10 MPG (US). The two biggest mileage impactors when towing are aerodynamics and speed, not weight. Buying an aerodynamic trailer and keeping the speed down to 100 kph (60 MPH) on the highway might get you one (maybe two) MPG, but that's about it. I get almost 12 MPG (US) towing my Airstream with my '01 Yukon, and am hoping I get the same with the Traverse. We shall see.
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« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2011, 02:25:02 PM »

I see between 9-11MPG towing my trailer.  The airstream will do better.  As you stated Gary, aerodynamics is a huge factor.  The weight is not the issue at all.  My trailer is quite boxy, even for a 'light weight' series.  I have not yet found the sweet spot for speed.  My Traverse tends to stay in 4th gear, it will up shift to 5th if I over speed, and then throttle off to allow the up shift, but the slightest incline will cause a downshift again.  I have tried towing at 105km/h, 100km/h and 98km/h.  I think I may need to resign to the fact that I will be 'stuck' in 4th, and just tow at 93-95km/h.  That way I can see some sort of fuel economy savings.  4th gear at 105km/h will net you 9 MPG.  I'm hoping 95km/h will give a consistant 11 or maybe 12 MPG.
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« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2011, 02:18:00 PM »

You will also need the following equipment if you don't already have it:

1.  Weight distribution bars, 10,000lbs rating, just to make sure you have enough leverage.


I'm looking at purchasing a traverse that the dealer has already installed a hitch on.  I wonder how much of a fight I will get with them to take of the installed hitch and replace it with a weight distributing hitch?   
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« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2011, 03:09:20 PM »

you do not want to buy that Traverse... especially if youre thinking of a weight dist hitch.... since it leads me to believe you plan on towing something hefty.

Chances are high- the dealer installed the hitch..... but left out the Heavy duty radiator and the electrical connectors.
I dont care how much the salesman tells you it will tow fine---- If its not the factory tow package-- you cant tow more than 2000-2500 lbs- warranty wise.
if you do- you void warranty...
the engine will tow the weight- but heat in the engine/trans is the concern... and warranty.

do yourself a favor- and get one with the factory package.....
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« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2011, 07:42:19 PM »

you do not want to buy that Traverse...

do yourself a favor- and get one with the factory package.....
I emphatically agree! Without the tow package, you also don't have "tow mode" (there's a button on the dash) which changes your shift points in the transmission.
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« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2011, 08:02:50 PM »

The hitch receiver on the Traverse is not "weight distributing".  Rather, the hitch head (the part that you buy from an RV store, and slide into the receiver) is what you purchase as "weight distributing". 

The aftermarket hitch that the dealer installed on the Traverse sitting on the lot will accommodate a weight distributing hitch (WDH) head.  Problem is, you shouldn't tow anything that requires a WDH with that Traverse, as it is NOT equipped with the tow package.  That Traverse will safely tow 2000lbs, for which a WDH is not necessary.  A 2000lbs trailer will have a tongue weight of roughly 200-250lbs which the Traverse can handle.

If you plan to tow something heavier (in excess of 2000lbs), you will need to find a DIFFERENT Traverse to satisfy your needs.  One that is equipped with the V92 tow package.

DO NOT let the salesman pull the wool over your eyes!!
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« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2011, 02:19:24 PM »

Sorry, I was confusing the dealer installed "hit the road" package with the tralering package.  I was under the impression that the dealers installed the hitches on the trailering package. 

In any case, the issue right now is trying to decide on a LT2 FWD with a bunch of upgrades or spring for the more expensive LTZ with AWD. 

If I can put a WD set up on the FWD I would be leaning toward that rather than paying for the AWD and the lower gas mileage. 
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