5.3-L Tahoe-Can it do it?
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5.3-L Tahoe-Can it do it?

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    Default 5.3-L Tahoe-Can it do it?

    Considering a 4 door Tahoe or Yukon the 2001-2006 generation with the 5.3-L LS motor and want opinions good or bad on how they perform towing and driving. This will be my daily driver/tow vehicle. I have a 22 Foot Schiada V-drive that likely weighs about 5500. I will be towing a short distance as the boat lives up at the lake house at Mead but I will also be towing my aluminum car trailer with a 56 Ford pickup altogether weighing about 6000 lbs. Anybody have any insight as to how a half ton 5.3-L equipped 4 door Tahoe handes a load?

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    New here Beer:30's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schiada Time View Post
    Considering a 4 door Tahoe or Yukon the 2001-2006 generation with the 5.3-L LS motor and want opinions good or bad on how they perform towing and driving. This will be my daily driver/tow vehicle. I have a 22 Foot Schiada V-drive that likely weighs about 5500. I will be towing a short distance as the boat lives up at the lake house at Mead but I will also be towing my aluminum car trailer with a 56 Ford pickup altogether weighing about 6000 lbs. Anybody have any insight as to how a half ton 5.3-L equipped 4 door Tahoe handes a load?
    Just make sure it has the towing package! The factory hitch and 7-pin factory wire plug should give it away. I don't recall what the option code is, but I am sure someone here knows.

    It assures you have a 3.73 ratio, and engine oil cooler. I think a 3.42 geared unit would be annoying for you as it would be downshifting for EVERYTHING. I towed Beer30 back from Scottdale with my wife's '04 Yukon, 5.3, tow package, Flowmaster exh, AIRAID intake, 22s, dropped 3/4, Hypertech 87 octane tune. It did SURPRISINGLY well. I figure the boat on the trailer is 9000 or so. WELL over the capacity of the Yuk, but it really handled it nicely. I was gentle with it and didn't ask it to keep up with traffic UPhill.

    HOWEVER - it also has AutoRide. When in tow/haul mode WITH the AutoRide, it puts more emphasis on the rear shocks (all four are electronically adjusted constantly) and the rear air suspension. So, it stabilizes the rear when towing. Very handy. When looking at used, you don't have the option of getting EVERYTHING you want, but if you could find one with AutoRide AND towing package - I think towing the Schiada would be a breeze.



    EDIT: I would see if you were interested in this one, but we are keeping it. It's paid off, has 77,000 and has been maintained like I did the dually, so there is no reason to get rid of it. In fact, I am waiting on some back-ordered EBC brake pads so I can do it's FIRST EVER brake job. It doesn't really need them, except one of the rear pads is cracked in half. They are still well over 50% and not warped a bit. So, again, I think if you found one that had the tow package, you would find that they are a very nice ride for the $.
    Last edited by Beer:30; 03-21-2010 at 06:34 PM.
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    I have been using my dad's 2002 suburban to tow my 19foot jet boat laid up real heavy with a 454 turbo charged and other than needed a bit of RPMs to do the job, it has had no problem at all.

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    Thanks guys. Looking for a happy medium vehicle to drive everyday and pull the boat on weekends. I think a Tahoe would be a good call and def. would makwe the wife happy.

    How is the wheel base with towing. Twitchy?

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    Beer 30/Paul- Just sell me your Yukon. It would be a cool story. If I buy another vehicle from you we will have to get you some plaid pants.

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    I tow my 22' day cruiser with my '01 tahoe all the time. It wants to hit 2nd gear towards the top of some of the larger hills on the way to havasu, but i have fairly tall tires on 20" rims. When it had the stock profile tires on the factory wheels, it didn't hunt for gears at all with the 3.73, pulled all hills in 3rd no problem. They tow fine, but much past 6k pounds and you'll start feeling it.
    “I am on a drug. It’s called Charlie Sheen. It’s not available because if you try it, you will die. Your face will melt off, and your children will weep over your exploded body.”



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    Thanks. Boat will be going from Lake house garage to the water (4miles round trip). Pull my hot rod truck around distance during the summer.

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    A friend of mine has one with 135k on it and tows his race car all over with it, and constantly raves about its performance and reliabilty.
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    Just (2 weeks ago) towed a 21 Commander from Perris, CA to St Louis, MO. Fuel tanks on the boat were completely full. 2003 Tahoe 4-door with the 5.3
    Truck has 85,000 on it and Im here to tell you it out performed me. (27 hours of driving in 2 days)
    There is a noticable power difference at altitude so I didnt push it real hard, but it didnt miss a lick and never showed any sign of getting warm.

    I know this is a short wheel base vehicle but it tows so good you would never know it. It can actually be a bad thing because you forget the trailers even back there. I had to make a sudden (and aggresive) lane change coming through OKC to avoid an accident and the truck and trailer did not sway one bit, no tugging at your seat in any way.

    Is the engine a monster? No, but it gets the job done and is friendly the rest of the week when your not towing

    Is the chasis a long wheel base dually? No, but it fits through a drive thru like a car and it handles a load like you wouldnt believe till you try it yourself.

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