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I have a 1999 Yukon with a 5.7 l and 3,42 rear edn. The owner manual indicates a max trailer weight of 5500 lbs. If running with a weight distributing hitch, is this weight limitation still true, or can this be increased?

 

Thanks

Ron

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Most of the time, the weight rating is more due to cooling or brakes or some other issue than it is to pure weight on the frame, etc. Legally (on public roads), you can't go over the manuf. GVWR, but we all know people who have ignored this. Since your truck has the same brakes as every other Yukon, and probably the same suspension and frame, this lower capability is likely due to cooling stuff (any combination of coolant temp, trans temp, eng oil temp or maybe Power steering temp.)

 

I wouldn't worry much if towing in flatter terrain at lower altitudes (below ~4000 ft). I would NOT take it thru the mountains and I wouldn't want to spend much time at 'normal speeds' in 2nd gear (bad for eng oil and/or PS oil) or overdrive (bad for trans temps) if running heavier than the manuf. spec.

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I'm going to agree on the cooling part. Does it have an auxiliary transmission cooler? My recollection on my 99 Sierra w/ the 5.3 was that the only "tow rating" related part that came with the hd towing pkg was the trans. cooler. It also gets a better alternator, prewiring, etc., but those don't affect the tow rating.

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The only thing you can do to add towing capacity is to add the options that would give you the max towing capacity that is in the owners manual, for example if in the OM the towing capacity for the same vehicle with 3.73 or even 4.10 gears has a higher towing capacity then changing to that gear ratio would increase your towing capacity.

 

I am assuming that your vehicle came with the towing package that included the transmission cooler, if not add one before doing any heavy towing.

 

With all that being said, A Yukon/Tahoe is not a very stable tow vehicle anyway, the wheelbase is to short and the rear suspension is to soft, a truck has a stiffer rear suspension and can handle towing loads much better. I know that there are people that say that the Suburban was the best tow vehicle ever but that was the 2500 series and I have always found that a comparable truck (2500 crewcab) would handle a trailer (more stable with less sway) far better than any suburban.

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Thanks for the reply. I have the aux trans cooler, and the towing package. I guess if I wanted to boost the towing weight, a cahnge of rear end to 3.73 would be about the only thing that would improve the situation. Thanks for your help.

 

Ron

I'm going to agree on the cooling part. Does it have an auxiliary transmission cooler? My recollection on my 99 Sierra w/ the 5.3 was that the only "tow rating" related part that came with the hd towing pkg was the trans. cooler. It also gets a better alternator, prewiring, etc., but those don't affect the tow rating.

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Gearing isn't gonna help the pounds you can tow, you'll accelerate better, but no extra pounds. The suspension is the limiting factor here, leaf spring and torsion bar spring rate is the limitation.

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Gearing isn't gonna help the pounds you can tow, you'll accelerate better, but no extra pounds. The suspension is the limiting factor here, leaf spring and torsion bar spring rate is the limitation.

 

Gear Ratio definitely affects the tow rating.

 

This table is from my 2009 EC 2wd Silverado 1500. I am pretty sure the actual weights would be different with different vehicles.

 

Vehicle Axle Ratio Maximum Trailer Weight GCWR (a)

 

 

1500 Series 2WD Extended Cab Standard Box (b)

 

 

 

4.3L V6 © 3.23 4,400 lbs (1 996 kg) 9,500 lbs (4 309 kg)

 

 

 

4.3L V6 © 3.73 4,900 lbs (2 223 kg) 10,000 lbs (4 536 kg)

 

 

 

4.8L V8 © 3.23 4,700 lbs (2 132 kg) 10,000 lbs (4 536 kg)

 

 

 

4.8L V8 3.73 6,700 lbs (3 039 kg) 12,000 lbs (5 443 kg)

 

 

 

5.3L V8 4 Speed Automatic 3.42 6,700 lbs (3 039 kg) 12,000 lbs (5 443 kg)

 

 

 

5.3L V8 4 Speed Automatic 3.73 7,700 lbs (3 493 kg) 13,000 lbs (5 897 kg)

 

 

 

5.3L V8 6 Speed Automatic 3.42 6,200 lbs (2 812 kg) 11,500 lbs (5 216 kg)

 

 

 

5.3L V8 6 Speed Automatic, K5L 3.42 9,100 lbs (4 128 kg) 15,000 lbs (6 804 kg)

 

 

 

HD Cooling Pkg — Fifth-Wheel Trailer

 

 

 

5.3L V8 6 Speed Automatic, K5L 3.42 9,700 lbs (4 400 kg) 15,000 lbs (6 804 kg)

 

 

 

HD Cooling Pkg — Conventional Trailer

 

 

 

6.0L V8 3.42 6,700 lbs (3 039 kg) 12,000 lbs (5 443 kg)

 

 

 

6.0L V8 K5L HD Cooling 3.42 8,700 lbs (3 946 kg) 15,000 lbs (6 804 kg)

 

 

 

Pkg — Fifth-Wheel Trailer

 

 

 

6.0L V8 K5L HD Cooling 3.42 9,700 lbs (4 400 kg) 15,000 lbs (6 804 kg)

 

 

 

Pkg — Conventional Trailer

 

 

 

6.0L V8 NHT Max Trailering 3.73 10,000 lbs (4 536 kg) 16,000 lbs (7 257 kg)

 

 

 

Pkg — Fifth-Wheel Trailer

 

 

 

6.0L V8 NHT Max Trailering 3.73 10,700 lbs (4 853 kg) 16,000 lbs (7 257 kg)

 

 

Pkg — Conventional Trailer

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Those numbers are fine, but read what the OP has. Gears don't add the the weight carrying capacity of a truck that is rated at 5500 lbs. Gears don't carry the weight, that is the suspension and frame's job. You will notice there are different ratings for cooling systems, 2wd, 4wd, trialer packages. That means there are differences to the suspension, cooling systems and other equipment.

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you can discuss it all day long, and easily exceed the safe limits by taking chances... but here are the numbers..

 

Your 99 Yukon has GVW 6800 lbs if 4wd and 6300 lbs if 2wd

you quote a Max Tow of 5500 lbs, so I am thinking you have the lighter 2wd version

my references show max tow of up to 7,000 for this truck if equipped 4wd, 3.73 gears, and hd tow package.

 

Add the GVW and the max Tow .. 11,800 lbs for a 2wd 99 Yukon

This is the maximum weight you can be rolling down the highway, truck, trailer, and all people, gear, fuel and other contents.

In some jurisdictions this is the weight limit that a highway patrol will monitor to see if your Gross Combined Weight Rating is exceeded.. in some locations exceeding this and getting caught will result in disconnecting your trailer and calling a tow truck to come get it.... and a big fine.

 

The other important weight restriction is the load on your axles... again if this is a 2wd Yukon it will have an allowable payload rating of (gvw 6300 minus dry curb weight 4911 equals) 1,389 lbs. You cannot load the TRUCK with more than this weight... this must include the full tank of gas, all the people, gear, and the hitch vertical weight from the trailer. It does not take long to get to a payload weight of 1400 lbs.... (this is why people get 3/4 Tons if towing a trilaer of any substantial weight)... if you don't exceed this then you will not likely exceed the actual allowable weight rating on each of the truck axles.

 

where I come from you are allowed to tow a trailer with a gvw up to the gvw of the truck... if the trailer exceeds the truck, then you MUST have a weight distribution hitch..... it is a good idea anyway for any travel trailer.

 

bottom line on this Yukon....

... max weight to load in the truck is 1389 lbs ... or your suspension and axles are overloaded (both legally and practically)

... max combined weight of truck and trailer is 11,800 lbs ... or you are unsafe for engine/trans power, engine/trans cooling, and/or braking

(of course, this assumes that the suspension, tires, engine, transmission, and brakes are all in like-new operating condition....)

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The only thing that I can add here is that this 99 Yukon is a 4 wheel drive, with 3.42 rear end. It has a transmission cooler and pre installed wiring harnesses for towing. GVW is 6800 lbs. The owner manual that comes with the truck, I bought the unit used 1 yer ago, indicates that for a 1500 suv with engine and rear end configuration trailer limit is 5500 lbs. I couldn't tell you if the suspension is beefed up or for that matter anything much else. Any ideas as to how to go about determining what the truck mught be equipped with?

 

Thanks again

 

Ron in Winnipeg

 

you can discuss it all day long, and easily exceed the safe limits by taking chances... but here are the numbers..

 

Your 99 Yukon has GVW 6800 lbs if 4wd and 6300 lbs if 2wd

you quote a Max Tow of 5500 lbs, so I am thinking you have the lighter 2wd version

my references show max tow of up to 7,000 for this truck if equipped 4wd, 3.73 gears, and hd tow package.

 

Add the GVW and the max Tow .. 11,800 lbs for a 2wd 99 Yukon

This is the maximum weight you can be rolling down the highway, truck, trailer, and all people, gear, fuel and other contents.

In some jurisdictions this is the weight limit that a highway patrol will monitor to see if your Gross Combined Weight Rating is exceeded.. in some locations exceeding this and getting caught will result in disconnecting your trailer and calling a tow truck to come get it.... and a big fine.

 

The other important weight restriction is the load on your axles... again if this is a 2wd Yukon it will have an allowable payload rating of (gvw 6300 minus dry curb weight 4911 equals) 1,389 lbs. You cannot load the TRUCK with more than this weight... this must include the full tank of gas, all the people, gear, and the hitch vertical weight from the trailer. It does not take long to get to a payload weight of 1400 lbs.... (this is why people get 3/4 Tons if towing a trilaer of any substantial weight)... if you don't exceed this then you will not likely exceed the actual allowable weight rating on each of the truck axles.

 

where I come from you are allowed to tow a trailer with a gvw up to the gvw of the truck... if the trailer exceeds the truck, then you MUST have a weight distribution hitch..... it is a good idea anyway for any travel trailer.

 

bottom line on this Yukon....

... max weight to load in the truck is 1389 lbs ... or your suspension and axles are overloaded (both legally and practically)

... max combined weight of truck and trailer is 11,800 lbs ... or you are unsafe for engine/trans power, engine/trans cooling, and/or braking

(of course, this assumes that the suspension, tires, engine, transmission, and brakes are all in like-new operating condition....)

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