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Author Topic: Custom towing setup for an Airstream  (Read 17414 times)
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Quantum
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« Reply #40 on: May 09, 2012, 08:40:52 PM »

Yes, the nose on my trailer sits slightly high.  My hitch also needs another hole in the shank to lower it, but like you, I'm not going to spend that kind of money.  I'm satisfied with how my trailer tows, and you have some people that say it you should go slightly nose high, and others that say nose down...but as close to level is best.  I'm slightly nose high, because I have my WD bars really cranked up....I drop 4 links on my bars instead of the standard 3 links.  I found that when I only dropped 3 links, the rear of the Traverse was too squishy and didn't feel good.  Once I dropped another link on the WD bars, more weight was distributed off the rear of the Traverse which took away the squishy ride.
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« Reply #41 on: May 10, 2012, 08:29:38 AM »



Finally!!!!  Here is a pic from my "Test Tow".  The setup is actually not to bad, just needs a little adjustment.


Nice looking rig there Steve!
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2011 Traverse LS AWD in cool Midnight Blue thumbs up
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« Reply #42 on: May 10, 2012, 08:34:11 AM »

on a side note..
the silver traverse looked "Faster" than the Blue one...
I kept staring at the pics-- back and forth....

I think its because the SIlver one--- the roofline above the windows is silver-- and it accents or makes the dark windows stand out.
You can also see the roofs sloping line...

where the dark blue one- the roofline and dark windows blend in as one....

Optical illusion-- just makes it look 'faster/swifter' (the picture takes is also offset from center of vehicle)...


But thanks for those pics- both of you-- nice trailers.

LOL, indeed, Steve's LTZ is a nice looking unit. The higher end models certainly have nicer trim. I particularly liked the loaded silver models...the chrome accents really set it off. Unfortunately they were out of our price range.  Cry

In our case we were prepared go with silver or blue, whichever showed up first....and blue it was!  thumbs up
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2011 Traverse LS AWD in cool Midnight Blue thumbs up
tugging a 2001 25' Airstream
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http://www.pbase.com/garyirwin/image/143169354/original.jpg
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« Reply #43 on: May 10, 2012, 11:40:13 PM »

Thanks Gary, I really like the look of the Airstream behind your Traverse.  Of course the color matches mine better!  thumbs up   I'm expecting to be a little lighter than you but not nearly as streamline.  I'm hoping to see similar results in fuel economy on my upcoming 2900 mile trip. 

Well I got the set up fine tuned today.  I think I have it pretty level.  What surprised me is that when I hooked up the trailer without the spring bars the back end didnt settle nearly as much as I thought it would.  I can actually tow locally without them, no issues.  I have a pic I'll try and post tomorrow.  Even with the bars I, like Quantum, only need to go to the third link on the chains.  Any more then that raises the rear end of the Traverse above the front.

Oh, and a note to all the RV manufactures out there, please don't put you electrical junction box anywhere near were the WDH shackles might go.  That was two hours of my life I won't get back moving that box!
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« Reply #44 on: May 11, 2012, 10:41:24 AM »



Here is the pic without spring bars attached.  GCVWR 8550lbs (Unloaded)
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Steve
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« Reply #45 on: May 11, 2012, 08:14:03 PM »

Your post really makes me feel better about my upcoming trip from OK to AK.  I'll update the forum with my experience.  It should be a good test covering everything from mountains to high altitudes and hot weather. 

Will you be towing with a "non towing " package on the vehicle?
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« Reply #46 on: May 11, 2012, 11:37:12 PM »

Of course I have the towing package!!
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« Reply #47 on: May 12, 2012, 10:50:34 AM »

Of course I have the towing package!!

I was under the impression someone here was going to be towing with equipment that was added, after the fact, wanted to follow that story, since mine did not come with the V92.
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« Reply #48 on: May 12, 2012, 11:39:17 AM »

I was under the impression someone here was going to be towing with equipment that was added, after the fact, wanted to follow that story, since mine did not come with the V92.

That would be me, the OP. Most of the info is in the first post in this thread.
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2011 Traverse LS AWD in cool Midnight Blue thumbs up
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http://www.pbase.com/garyirwin/image/143169354/original.jpg
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« Reply #49 on: May 12, 2012, 04:18:41 PM »

Gary that must be one heck of a tranny cooler to be running at 150deg F while towing.  I have the tow package and am running around 160 NOT towing. 
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Steve
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« Reply #50 on: May 12, 2012, 06:11:00 PM »

Yeah, well that's what my DirecLink brake controller is telling me, but to tell you the truth it doesn't sound quite right to me either. I've emailed DirecLink but they haven't responded so I wouldn't give too much thought to my 150 degree reading quite yet. As my Traverse does not have the computer I've been thinking about buying a Scangauge, but it will be a pain to install because my ODB port is already taken up with the DirecLink.
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2011 Traverse LS AWD in cool Midnight Blue thumbs up
tugging a 2001 25' Airstream
London, Ontario, Canada
http://www.pbase.com/garyirwin/image/143169354/original.jpg
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« Reply #51 on: May 12, 2012, 06:28:34 PM »

That would be me, the OP. Most of the info is in the first post in this thread.

Thanks. thumbs up
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« Reply #52 on: May 17, 2012, 11:07:23 AM »


- installed DirecLink brake controller. This is an inertial based controller plugs into the computer diagnostic port and has access to real-time vehicle data including transmission temperature. Has separate gain adjustments for both normal "highway" speeds and low speeds which is nice to have with the Hensley. The handset it modular and can easily be removed when not towing.
I have been reading RV-towing sites for a year and never knew that the brake controller can plug into the "computer diagnostic port".  Thanks for writing that.  Do you know if the brake controller can tell when the driver presses the brake?  I would expect that the Traverse knows when the brake light comes on due to the brake switch.

I am going to buy a trailer in the "21 foot" range, but not an Airstream. 

If I am shopping for a used Traverse, can I determine if it has a tow package just by looking for a transmission cooler?
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« Reply #53 on: May 17, 2012, 11:28:13 AM »

If I am shopping for a used Traverse, can I determine if it has a tow package just by looking for a transmission cooler?


The only way I would verify a Traverse as having a factory tow package would be to look inside the glove box.  There will be a label attached with all of the factory installed options and equipment as noted by an individual RPO code for each option.  You will be looking for V92 as the RPO code for the factory towing package.  

Transmission cooler is built inside the radiator from what has been posted on here before, and really can not tell the difference between the heavy duty radiator or the standard one.  The tow mode button can be installed afterwards, as can the hitch.

Look for the V92 (which is a very common code for the tow package used on other GM models also)
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« Reply #54 on: May 17, 2012, 11:48:35 AM »

If I am shopping for a used Traverse, can I determine if it has a tow package just by looking for a transmission cooler?


The only way I would verify a Traverse as having a factory tow package would be to look inside the glove box.  There will be a label attached with all of the factory installed options and equipment as noted by an individual RPO code for each option.  You will be looking for V92 as the RPO code for the factory towing package.  

Transmission cooler is built inside the radiator from what has been posted on here before, and really can not tell the difference between the heavy duty radiator or the standard one.  The tow mode button can be installed afterwards, as can the hitch.

Look for the V92 (which is a very common code for the tow package used on other GM models also)


I concur!
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« Reply #55 on: May 17, 2012, 12:29:44 PM »

If I am shopping for a used Traverse, can I determine if it has a tow package just by looking for a transmission cooler?
The only way I would verify a Traverse as having a factory tow package would be to look inside the glove box.  There will be a label attached ...  You will be looking for V92 as the RPO code for the factory towing package.  

Transmission cooler is built inside the radiator from what has been posted on here before, and really can not tell the difference between the heavy duty radiator or the standard one.  The tow mode button can be installed afterwards, as can the hitch....
Thanks!
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« Reply #56 on: May 17, 2012, 01:25:05 PM »

If I am shopping for a used Traverse, can I determine if it has a tow package just by looking for a transmission cooler?


The only way I would verify a Traverse as having a factory tow package would be to look inside the glove box.  There will be a label attached with all of the factory installed options and equipment as noted by an individual RPO code for each option.  You will be looking for V92 as the RPO code for the factory towing package.  

Transmission cooler is built inside the radiator from what has been posted on here before, and really can not tell the difference between the heavy duty radiator or the standard one.  The tow mode button can be installed afterwards, as can the hitch.

Look for the V92 (which is a very common code for the tow package used on other GM models also)

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« Reply #57 on: May 17, 2012, 04:53:18 PM »

I have been reading RV-towing sites for a year and never knew that the brake controller can plug into the "computer diagnostic port".  Thanks for writing that.  Do you know if the brake controller can tell when the driver presses the brake?  I would expect that the Traverse knows when the brake light comes on due to the brake switch.

Whether DirecLink is a truly proportional brake controller is the source of some debate, and after reading the various forums (rv.net, airforums.com etc. -- just search for DirecLink) no one seems to know for sure. The manufacturer has not exactly been forthcoming on the matter, possibly due to trade secret issues. The unit does connect to the diagnostic port and therefore has access to all the computer information in real time. When you're not moving and depress the brake pedal the controller shows an increased braking force to the trailer brakes (even when not hooked up) which suggests it has access to the brake pressure information, but no one seems to know exactly what it's reading or how it works.

I bought it on the recommendation of my dealer who has been using it for some time and really likes it, but even he referred to it is as an inertial system. Anyway, it appears to perform better than a Tekonsha inertial controller, but isn't in the league of a true proportional controller such as Brakesmart. Bottom line is that it works very well, better than my old Jordan controller that was proportional (cable attached to brake pedal) mainly because of the ability to set the gain at both high and low speeds. It's very simple to install -- just mount it and plug it into the diagnostic port. The only downside is that if you want to add a Scangauge you need to buy a OBD port splitter cable.

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2011 Traverse LS AWD in cool Midnight Blue thumbs up
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http://www.pbase.com/garyirwin/image/143169354/original.jpg
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« Reply #58 on: May 21, 2012, 09:08:27 PM »

Well we headed out camping this weekend.  Saw the highest tranny temp up around 212 degrees while navigating around town with the A/C cranked.

This time I remembered to snap a pic or two before leaving camp.





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« Reply #59 on: May 21, 2012, 09:46:57 PM »

Looking good Quantum!!  I'm getting mine ready for my long trip too.  What kind of oil temps are you seeing while towing?  Recently while taking my TT back to the dealer for storage I saw around 232F with an outside ambient temp of 80F.

I noticed your spare tire storage under the LPG tanks,  My previous TT was a Jayco with that same configuration and It puzzled me why they would put it there.  I ended up mounting mine on the back.
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