Traverse Forum banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2015 Traverse LT and have recently purchased a travel trailer. Our Traverse did not come with the manufacture's tow package but I have been adding the pieces for the last month or so. I'm hoping someone can look over my list and let me know if I'm missing something and any general advice. I'm a total newbie when it comes to towing so any help is appreciated.

So first off, am I missing something important or essential?

And for those that want to look at the numbers I've added a section below for towing capacity, payload, etc.

The travel trailer is a new model: 2021 Salem FSX 178BHSKX (UVW is listed as 3900 lbs for our specific model) and is 23 ft long.

Here are the numbers I'm working with:

Tow Vehicle (below numbers are from the owner's manual for a vehicle with the tow package):
Curb Weight 4,760.00
GVWR 6,411.00
GCVWR 10,250.00
Payload 1,651.00
Towing Capacity 5,200.00

Estimated Payload (passengers and Cargo): 500 lbs

Towable RV Numbers:
UVW 3,900.00
GVWR (UVW + Max Cargo Carrying Capacity of 1081 lbs) 4,981.00
Hitch Weight 430.00

And here's my calcs on how close to capacity I am:
HitchedBuffer
Available Payload
721.00​
721.00
New GVW 5,690.00 721.00
NEW GCVW 10,241.00 9.00
Towing Capcity 5,200.00 219.00

I'm pretty close to maxing out on GCVW and towing capacity so I'm here checking to see if my calcs are off because I've overlooked an essential piece of equipment or for any other reason that I've overlooked.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the suggestion. Found a post on the forums with the part number and then found that online at GMpartsdirect.com.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,351 Posts
That trailer is going to come with a 7-pin connector, not a 4-pin. You don't say if your 4-pin is tied into the tail lights (bad idea) or plugged into the trailering harness connector. You'll need to do a 7-pin connected to the trailering harness connector. Don't forget a brake controller and as mentioned, the tow/haul switch.

I'm not buying their hitch weight. 430 lb/3900 lbs = 11%. Most dual axle trailers run about 13% on the hitch and single axle trailers usually run more. So I'm guessing, even at 13%, you're "dry hitch" weight will be 507 lbs, and could be as high as the GVWR hitch weight of 647 lbs. You are also going to need a weight distributiion hitch (WDH- don't leave home without one). It will add about 75 lbs to your tongue weight.

You will be running right on the edge of your ratings. I pulled a Rockwood Roo 19 (~4000 lbs ready to camp) with just 2 in the vehicle and I was NOT a happy camper. I wouldn't pull anything but a popup/A-frame with a Traverse.

All that being said, if you want a whole bunch of info on adding the tow package to a Traverse, PM me your email address.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That trailer is going to come with a 7-pin connector, not a 4-pin. You don't say if your 4-pin is tied into the tail lights (bad idea) or plugged into the trailering harness connector. You'll need to do a 7-pin connected to the trailering harness connector. Don't forget a brake controller and as mentioned, the tow/haul switch.

I'm not buying their hitch weight. 430 lb/3900 lbs = 11%. Most dual axle trailers run about 13% on the hitch and single axle trailers usually run more. So I'm guessing, even at 13%, you're "dry hitch" weight will be 507 lbs, and could be as high as the GVWR hitch weight of 647 lbs. You are also going to need a weight distributiion hitch (WDH- don't leave home without one). It will add about 75 lbs to your tongue weight.

You will be running right on the edge of your ratings. I pulled a Rockwood Roo 19 (~4000 lbs ready to camp) with just 2 in the vehicle and I was NOT a happy camper. I wouldn't pull anything but a popup/A-frame with a Traverse.

All that being said, if you want a whole bunch of info on adding the tow package to a Traverse, PM me your email address.
Thank you for the offer of help. PM sent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Thanks to @greentraverse I just finished up my Tow Package modification. I have a 2010 Traverse LS. The hardest part was finding the fuse box for a pre 2012 traverse (one compromised credit card later...). Everything else was just plug-and-play. I still haven't towed anything yet but will let you know how it goes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
934 Posts
It sounds like you have most of the parts and pieces covered to get you to what the factory tow package offers.

My biggest caution is that an insurance company and/or lawyers will skewer you if you are in a collision because you are towing twice what your vehicle is equipped to tow from the manufacturer. You don't need to convince me, so please don't take my statement the wrong way. I am simply aiming to educate and prepare you (and the many others who do this on EVERY forum) for a worst case scenario.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,351 Posts
It sounds like you have most of the parts and pieces covered to get you to what the factory tow package offers.

My biggest caution is that an insurance company and/or lawyers will skewer you if you are in a collision because you are towing twice what your vehicle is equipped to tow from the manufacturer. You don't need to convince me, so please don't take my statement the wrong way. I am simply aiming to educate and prepare you (and the many others who do this on EVERY forum) for a worst case scenario.
This is a subject hotly debated on the RV forums. But no one has ever produced evidence of anyone being "skewered" by their insurance company; just lots of unsubstantiated warnings like yours. Insurance covers us for many "stupid" things we do; driving on bald ties might be one example. That's why we have it. There are tons of people out there towing more than the manufacturer says is OK.

With respect to the Traverse specifically, none of the towing package components actually relate to any "handlng components" of the vehicle. In other words, there are no changes to brakes, shocks, sway bars, etc. Therefore, with respect to handling the weight of a particular trailer, the actual impacts are on the engine and transmission.

Now trucks are a different story. My 2009 Silverado 1500 Owners Manual lists 99 (yeah - ninety-nine) permutations based on engine, cab size, bed size, 2WD/4Wd, HD cooliing, etc., etc. The towing capacities for these 99 versions range from 4,000 to 12,000 lbs. (Mine was 7,500 lbs.) There's no way by looking at the truck to know which version you have. But RV salesmen are notorious for looking out in the parking lot, seeing your truck, and saying "Oh, sure, you're truck can tow this RV." Lot of examples on the RV forums of people being bamboozled by their salesman and ending up having to buy a larger truck.

We could also discuss payload, which with trucks, is usually exceeded before towing capacity. But the Traverse actually has a pretty good payload (1500 lbs on mine), so I won't go into that here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
934 Posts
This is a subject hotly debated on the RV forums. But no one has ever produced evidence of anyone being "skewered" by their insurance company; just lots of unsubstantiated warnings like yours. Insurance covers us for many "stupid" things we do; driving on bald ties might be one example. That's why we have it. There are tons of people out there towing more than the manufacturer says is OK.

With respect to the Traverse specifically, none of the towing package components actually relate to any "handlng components" of the vehicle. In other words, there are no changes to brakes, shocks, sway bars, etc. Therefore, with respect to handling the weight of a particular trailer, the actual impacts are on the engine and transmission.

Now trucks are a different story. My 2009 Silverado 1500 Owners Manual lists 99 (yeah - ninety-nine) permutations based on engine, cab size, bed size, 2WD/4Wd, HD cooliing, etc., etc. The towing capacities for these 99 versions range from 4,000 to 12,000 lbs. (Mine was 7,500 lbs.) There's no way by looking at the truck to know which version you have. But RV salesmen are notorious for looking out in the parking lot, seeing your truck, and saying "Oh, sure, you're truck can tow this RV." Lot of examples on the RV forums of people being bamboozled by their salesman and ending up having to buy a larger truck.

We could also discuss payload, which with trucks, is usually exceeded before towing capacity. But the Traverse actually has a pretty good payload (1500 lbs on mine), so I won't go into that here.
It doesn't mean it shouldn't be considered when making decisions that exceed ratings for things. You are taking a risk, how big of a risk I don't know but it is a risk and you should weigh it and make your decision based on it. I'm relatively risk averse because it's how I've been trained to respond to things in my professional setting, others are not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,351 Posts
It doesn't mean it shouldn't be considered when making decisions that exceed ratings for things. You are taking a risk, how big of a risk I don't know but it is a risk and you should weigh it and make your decision based on it. I'm relatively risk averse because it's how I've been trained to respond to things in my professional setting, others are not.
I don't disagree regarding considering risk, except to say I'd be more concerned with the risk to my own and my family's safety than to whether my insurance will cover me. Almost every accident is caused by someone's negligence somehow, and yet they are covered.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
934 Posts
I don't disagree regarding considering risk, except to say I'd be more concerned with the risk to my own and my family's safety than to whether my insurance will cover me. Almost every accident is caused by someone's negligence somehow, and yet they are covered.
Most of the time... I worked in Transportation Engineering for 5 years or so and I got to see the worst and nastiest and hear the stories about everything that wasn't covered, so you can see why my brain works the way it does.
 

·
Registered
2020 High Country
Joined
·
630 Posts
2x green t , how many heavy trailers are running around with inoperative or unadjusted trailer brakes on too light a tow vehicle.
Everyone is worried about pulling, stopping your rig is more important, that's the main factor in capacity ratings.
A 4 cyl. Equinox could get a 7000 lb trailer rolling, slower getting there but it would go. Stopping is the big picture.
My Tahoe's capacity is directly related to the brake package installed on it. Package is defined in the RPO codes. I think the Traverse is a one size only braking system.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,351 Posts
2x green t , how many heavy trailers are running around with inoperative or unadjusted trailer brakes on too light a tow vehicle.
Everyone is worried about pulling, stopping your rig is more important, that's the main factor in capacity ratings.
A 4 cyl. Equinox could get a 7000 lb trailer rolling, slower getting there but it would go. Stopping is the big picture.
My Tahoe's capacity is directly related to the brake package installed on it. Package is defined in the RPO codes. I think the Traverse is a one size only braking system.
Yes, brakes and cooling are the biggest impactors, I believe. I believe (but can't prove) my Silverado's relatively low 7,500 lb towing capacity was in large part because it had rear drum brakes rather than disc brakes, as well as no HD cooling.
 

·
Registered
2020 High Country
Joined
·
630 Posts
Yes, brakes and cooling are the biggest impactors, I believe. I believe (but can't prove) my Silverado's relatively low 7,500 lb towing capacity was in large part because it had rear drum brakes rather than disc brakes, as well as no HD cooling.
My Tahoe has the 7300 package, heaviest is the 7500 GVW in the RPO codes. Towing package, rear disc, HD cooling, etc.. HD cooling takes takes trailer weight up to 8600 lbs. in mine. No HD cooling only 5000 per manual . Total gross w/trailer is 14000 per manual. I myself wouldn't tow a 8000 lb. trailer with it but I have towed a Sable on a heavy U haul car trailer with it which had to be at least 6000 lb. .
Tahoe is just a short 1500 pickup.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,351 Posts
My Tahoe has the 7300 package, heaviest is the 7500 GVW in the RPO codes. Towing package, rear disc, HD cooling, etc.. HD cooling takes takes trailer weight up to 8600 lbs. in mine. No HD cooling only 5000 per manual . Total gross w/trailer is 14000 per manual. I myself wouldn't tow a 8000 lb. trailer with it but I have towed a Sable on a heavy U haul car trailer with it which had to be at least 6000 lb. .
Tahoe is just a short 1500 pickup.
You may have exceeded payload. Not sure how your car trailer is balanced, but 2 axle RV's typically put about 13% of their weight on the tongue. If your car trailer is similar, you could have put 8000 x 0.13 = 1,040 lbs on the hitch (plus drawbar and ball). Add weight of you and any other stuff (wife, dog, kids, baggage, etc) in the Tahoe and you may have exceeded payload. You'll find the payload on a sticker on your door jamb. An LTZ will have a lower payload than a lower model (i.e., LS) due to the weight of the extra bling being taken off the payload.

And you may be shocked at how low your payload may be. Minivans and these 3-row "SUV's" actually tend to have higher payloads than some pickup trucks, given they're expected to haul 7-8 people and some "stuff."
 

·
Registered
2020 High Country
Joined
·
630 Posts
You may have exceeded payload. Not sure how your car trailer is balanced, but 2 axle RV's typically put about 13% of their weight on the tongue. If your car trailer is similar, you could have put 8000 x 0.13 = 1,040 lbs on the hitch (plus drawbar and ball). Add weight of you and any other stuff (wife, dog, kids, baggage, etc) in the Tahoe and you may have exceeded payload. You'll find the payload on a sticker on your door jamb. An LTZ will have a lower payload than a lower model (i.e., LS) due to the weight of the extra bling being taken off the payload.

And you may be shocked at how low your payload may be. Minivans and these 3-row "SUV's" actually tend to have higher payloads than some pickup trucks, given they're expected to haul 7-8 people and some "stuff."
No choices on the trailer when renting a U haul to retrieve the kids car. 14,000 lbs is max. total combined in my manual and that load was up there. Max inside the truck is 1338 and I only has some tools onboard. Actually towed my Malibu down to him in Lakewood from High Point, brought the Sable back, fixed it and did it again to deliver and retrieve my 'bu. Rear air suspen. leveled the load fine and 65 down the parkway it cruised right along.
Trailer empty had to be 2000, U haul builds them heavy so with the heaviest car should have been at around 6 - 6.5k out back. Only thing I noticed was the trailer surge brakes need some adjustment. U haul is poor on their maint. .
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top