MrEarl

Towing with an Enclave - Anybody done it

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2 hours ago, 39BuickEight said:

All these vehicles have the power, as mentioned, the gearing is the issue in terms of satisfaction.  Also, younger folks didn't live when trucks had 150hp, so they often think a vehicle should perform exactly the same whether towing or not.

 

True. I'd rather tow my camper with my Vue than with my '83 Scottsdale (305/Q-jet).  I know, because I've done both. 

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Bernie, I replaced my 05 Escalade ESV with a 14 when I bought my boat 3 years ago.  Would have bought a Suburban but not enough towing capacity, needed the 6..2.  The 14 tows the boat better than the 05 did with my pop up camper.  The ESV come in handy too when taking kids to college.  Had 2 wd Suburbans and prefer them to the 4wd.  Posi and traction control are all you need with a 5500# truck. Tried doing donuts in a snow covered parking lot and no go.

 

How difficult has it been finding 2wd Tahoe's and Escalades in your area, Chevy's a bit here near Chicago, haven't seen many if any at all Escalade 2wd's here.

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2 hours ago, MrEarl said:

 Plus Rita is chomping at the bit for a new vehicle and one that Elvis (the hound dog)  is comfy in so hey, who am I to argue. 

 

That is a different issue.

Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, MrEarl said:

 Plus Rita is chomping at the bit for a new vehicle and one that Elvis (the hound dog)  is comfy in so hey, who am I to argue. 

 

If Lady Rita desires a new vehicle that Elvis can be comfortable in, then let her get an Envision or Encore, put the 2nd seat down, some appropriate quilts to lay on, and get some restraint harnesses for Elvis (to protect him from bouncing around in the event of an evasive maneuver or worse).  Ride is decent for a newer vehicle, fuel economy is good, and it's quieter than expected.  Only downsides are the need for the electronic warning devices, that were a part of the Encore Essence that I spent three weeks with.  Some attractive lease agreements, too!

 

If you like your Silverado, you can keep it (and insurance, too!).

 

As for newer vehicle performance, there's a reason the transmissions all now have 6+ gears in them.  To cover the weak lower rpm torque of modern "high-feature" motors.  The fast rev-up in Low gear (4.50 ratio!) gives the false perception of "power", but put it in "M" and select 2nd gear and see how much things (with the formerly-normal low gear ratio of 2.48, much less manually selecting "3" and its PowerGlide-approximate low gear!) change.  There is a fuel economy aspect to this too, but when towing, it'll probably be close to 12mpg of less regardless of engine horsepower.

 

In the later 1980s, some friends in another car club were towing an enclosed trailer to Mopar Nationals each year.  Mostly B or E-body cars (Super Bee or Challenger) for the car show.  The first year, they used a F-150 with the 5.4L HO V-8.  In TN, it was 85mph at the bottom of the hills and 35mph at the top (WOT).  When they got back, it was traded for a F-250 460 V-8 extended cab.  Next year, greatly improved in the TN hills, better fuel economy.  Horsepower might get you to higher speeds, but it's torque that pulls you up the hills.

 

People still like an "authoritative launch" from a red light (which the lower low gears make happen), but when in the upper gears and speed ranges, that advantage diminishes.  The other observed "thing" is that smaller engines in heavier vehicles, from a stop, do much better with a part-throttle start than a WOT start.  Not unlike in the past times when you had to feather the throttle to keep from spinning those 5.5" wide treaded tires with that SPTM400 automatic.

 

As heavy as the full-size SUVs and pickups have gotten, they need the extra power of the V-8s and getting a WOT downshift from "2" to "1" can result in some nice "tire sounds" . . . IF you do it right.  But a more-base 1/2 ton with a 5.3L V-8 (stay out of the 4-drs and such!) can still perform well and get better-than-expected fuel economy.  

 

NTX5467

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2 hours ago, MrEarl said:

 

Elvis asked me to reply to you with this. Hey, I'm just the messenger....

IMG_6635.JPG

 

 

Enjoy!

 

NTX5467

BRANCH MGR__o1_r1_500.jpg

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Don't get hung up on RPM. I drive all day long down the highway at 3500+ RPM. Big deal, the engine was designed for it.  Turning it slower and using more throttle is actually worse, from a mileage standpoint and internal heat damage. 

 

Spinning a SBC at that speed is a different story, but that's not what what we are taking about.  Pushrod V8 architecture is completely different than the "high feature" engines, so applying old school generalities to modern powerplants is not really fair. 

 

I saved money in fuel and insurance when I sold my '03 Sierra and bought the Vue - which I have abused sorely over the last 13 years.   Obviously, your mileage may vary...

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I think I have close to what is the best of both worlds.  Style, comfort, and a work horse.  My 1994 Buick Roadmaster station wagon is extremely comfortable, is rated 17/25 mpg, and is powered by an iron head LT1 (same as the Corvette except for the Vette's aluminum heads).  With the V92 tow package and the G80 positrac rear end, it's rated to tow 5,000 lbs.  The tow package includes a mechanical fan, oil cooler, dual transmission coolers, and a modified valve body in the transmission.  Lots of go, lots of grunt.

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The "old rule of thumb" used to be to gear the vehicle for the cruising speed or posted speed limits you'd most likely be driving in, at the rated peak torque rpm.  That was when all we had was three speed and four speed transmissions that didn't have "OD" as the "top gear".  Almost every GM V-8 1/2 pickup, or even some heavier-duty models, run 1700rpm in OD at 70mph.  The LS-family 4.3L V-6 I normally drive is even lower than that, on the highway.  The last-gen LeSabres needed 82mph to get to 2000rpm in OD.  It seems that the federal mpg and emissions need the lower rpms to decrease the "grams/mile" emissions, then rely upon the automatic trans to keep towing performance up to snuff with "Tow/Haul" and manually shifting with the flick of a switch.  Different games, now.

 

Intake manifolding is now "dry" as fuel is injected either in the last section of the runner (aimed at the head of the intake valve) or directly into the combustion chamber.  This improved air distribution, runner sizing and length, and broadened the torque curve a good bit.  Pretty much the desired "flat as a board" torque curve from 2000-5000rpm.  With a small "blip" somewhere to give the max rated figure.  Combined with phenomenally better intake runner size/design, plus individual ports in the head, rather than siamesed (same on the exhaust side) and intake and exhaust air flow is much better optimized than anything we had in the past.  But unless some sort of forced induction is used, torque is not quite what it used to be with the larger engines.  VVT is helping, plus dual-channel intakes, are helping.  Horsepower is easier to design for, torque is more problematic to maximize.

 

And the more modern chassis equipment seem to take less power to push down the highway, which also helps.  Still, there are some "laws of nature" that some ways around haven't been found, just yet.

 

Even so, there are some prior GM tow vehicles (cars and pickups) that many loved when they had them, when they were newer, but they eventually were traded for something newer and better, that didn't seem to perform quite as well as the vehicle they replaced.  Spec-wise, they might seem similar on paper, but on the road, that's where the differences became apparent.

 

NTX5467

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1 hour ago, RivNut said:

I think I have close to what is the best of both worlds.  Style, comfort, and a work horse.  My 1994 Buick Roadmaster station wagon is extremely comfortable, is rated 17/25 mpg, and is powered by an iron head LT1 (same as the Corvette except for the Vette's aluminum heads).  With the V92 tow package and the G80 positrac rear end, it's rated to tow 5,000 lbs.  The tow package includes a mechanical fan, oil cooler, dual transmission coolers, and a modified valve body in the transmission.  Lots of go, lots of grunt.

Oh yeah, you can also fold down all but the front seats and lay a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood flat on the floor.  Who amongst you can make that claim with you Tahoe or Silverado. ?

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5 hours ago, riv2x4 said:

How difficult has it been finding 2wd Tahoe's and Escalades in your area

 

I don't mind searching nationwide. I have never bought a car farther away than Seattle, Washington. :)

Mileage, condition, and color are my concerns. Whatever I buy, I plan to keep for a long time or unload it quick if I make a mistake.

My RWD conventional cab Silverado just turned 160,000 miles. It is fine mechanically but rust is becoming an issue. AND everyone says mine is better than most. I drive a lot less than in the previous 12 years so I'm looking for one around 50,000 miles and $20,000. I have found interesting ones on either side of that. You have to look for RWD in the search.

Chicago is rust belt, not a good shopping location.

 

I look closest at Virginia and the DC area. The weather is gentle to the cars and the area is affluent enough for owners to maintain their cars. Rust belt and impoverished or bankrupt areas are off my list, as well.

 

I am looking for the truck a guy 50 to 60 years old bought and babied the way a lot of Corvettes get saved for the next owner. I have told salesmen that I want a car owned by the old guy who pulled to the side of the road and got out to fart. There understand that pretty good. Actually, I'd like my truck if it wasn't for the rust.  My Wife and I were talking about it and I told her that ever since I was a kid I remember old men with amateurish patch jobs on their old trucks, trying to keep then together. If that is getting old it ain't gonna be me.

 

After owning two Roadmasters, both '94's, and being the BCA tech advisor for them, I still own a '94 Impala SS. I used to think the 1967-68 Chevies were close to the epitome of practical automotive design. That was during the smogged out 1980's. The mid '90's B-body cars outdid them. Separate body and frame, longitudinal V8 engines, and rear wheel drive are a superior design, but materials and technology of even those cars suffer age related issues. You can go a half million miles, but you can't take decades to do it. I am looking at '07's to '09's, but I should be looking at '13's and 14's, which may be the landing spot; or another new Silverado RWD.

 

That's what happened with my lawn mower. I spent two years searching for a used replacement for my 15 yo Deere, frustrating. Then my Wife told me to just go buy the new one. She hates to see me in such angst.

Bernie

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Bite the bullet and buy her a enclave and a pre 2000 low milege Suburban or Tahoe for towing . Last month GM ran 15 % off on a enclave and it appears to still be going on in my area . but sales vary by zip code .Mine listed at 50 and the fully loaded was 53. all I am missing is the rear entertainment  package . It has premium sound and Nav.. Reason I say older Suburban or Tahoe is they had the seats that were flat and not like todays . I had a 100LB Lab and getting the way new seats fold was hard .She is gone now so I bought a new suburban . Haven't towed jet but I think the old 350s were better with their tranny than the new many gear ones.  If you find a larger engine better yet . 2018 Enclave will have changes and some restyling .

Edited by 51dyno (see edit history)
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5 hours ago, RivNut said:

Oh yeah, you can also fold down all but the front seats and lay a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood flat on the floor.  Who amongst you can make that claim with you Tahoe or Silverado. ?

 

No problem.

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On 8/4/2017 at 6:49 PM, MrEarl said:

Considering the possible purchase of an Enclave in the future with plans to tow a 3,500 lb trailer. Wondering if the engine and drive train will be up to it over time and the over all handling capabilities adequate. Anybody done it? 

 

4DBD8100-47A6-4AD8-B97D-3EB9E5505CAA-3208-000002FAD72DF5F3.jpeg

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On 8/6/2017 at 11:05 AM, MrEarl said:

 

Elvis asked me to reply to you with this. Hey, I'm just the messenger....

IMG_6635.JPG

 

WOW!!  Would you look at that!  Elvis is from Ohio!!  How can I tell, you ask?  Why, he has a little "O" under his tail!!

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On 8/6/2017 at 4:52 PM, BUICK RACER said:

Use a real truck, not a wannabe, I've seen too many accidents with wannabe tow vehicles.

 

This ....

 

 

JIm

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On August 6, 2017 at 9:12 AM, MrEarl said:

I went to to the Enclave forum and while some owners report good experience towing boats and small trailer, it appears the general consensus there is the enclave  wasn't designed as a tow vehicle and while it "can" tow the 4,500 lbs. it's a strain on the engine/transmission and does not handle well.

I also got a pm from a previous Enclave owner who didn't wish to "sound like some sour fart" but I will add it here as it somewhat answers the  "who's done it" part of my question. 

 

Stick with those Silverados, even a Tahoe. I had an Enclave and that 220 cubic engine wasn't fit to haul itself around. I hated driving it and wished it had a 5.3 every time I got in.

I could run down the NYS Thruway at 75 and get 20 MPG just like my Silverado, but if I took the secondary road home, over the rolling hills, it was a pig. I can't imagine hauling a trailer with it.

All of these advertised HP ratings are for high RPM engines with low torque. They start with 6 speed transmissions and add more gears every year. I was never so happy to see a car go as I was when I turner in the Enclave. You can trace it back to a Fiat chassis, you know.

 

Rita and I talked and with all things considered will probably be looking into using a Tahoe. While I have a crew cab 03 Silverado that would certainly handle the job, it is starting to get a few miles on it plus  my hound dog doesn't find the back seat very comfortable for stretching out in. 

 

So thanks everyone for your thoughts and advice! ?

 

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If a Tahoe is good, a Suburban is better !!  Twenty (20") inches more length overall, longer wheelbase for better towing with more stability.

 

We have 2001 and 2004 Tahoe models for the daughter and the grandson, and they are fine as they are designed. 

For any really serious work, everyone wants to borrow my 2500 Series Suburban with the 8.1L engine. Probably one of the best and most dependable vehicles we've ever owned. It has hauled our enclosed car haulers nearly 160,xxx miles without complaint. Only repair? The HVAC head unit was replaced when it became difficult to regulate the heat (which we rarely use down here in New Orleans).

 

The 2500 Series has a heavier chassis, brakes, steering, suspension, etc., all for your towing safety!

 

PS: our 2006 Avalanche 8.1L 4-WD is a great alternative, as well !

Trailer-Suburban Left Rear.JPG

Trailer-Suburban Right Rear.JPG

Trailer-Suburban Front Left.JPG

Edited by Marty Roth (see edit history)
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Does the 2017 Enclave with trailer pkg include wiring for electric brakes on trailer?

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