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 > Time to tow with our 2006 GMC Yukon XL Denali!

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chrispitude

Allentown, PA

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Posted: 02/04/18 05:18am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We just ordered a 2018 Jayco X23E, which means it'll soon be time to put our 2006 GMC Yukon XL Denali to work!

My previous experience has been with a 2006 Jeep Liberty CRD towing a Rockwood 2605 (w/ Hensley) and a North Trail 21FBS (w/ ProPride). Both trailers were at the rated limits of the CRD, both pulled great, and both had absolutely zero sway.

The Yukon has a bit more margin in the numbers, so I'm going with a Blue Ox Swaypro 750 and a Direclink DL-100 controller. I replaced the factory Autoride suspension with Arnott's non-electronic suspension a couple years ago. It's well behaved, and I'm hoping it stays that way once hitched up.

I'm not expecting very good fuel economy with the 4L65E slushbox, but I'm hoping that it will be a reliable way to get from here to there and back. Trips will be 1-3 hours away for the first year.

* This post was edited 02/04/18 05:25am by chrispitude *

LanceRKeys

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Posted: 02/04/18 09:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Let us know how it goes, you might want to consider a transmission cooler.

intheburbs

SE MI

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Posted: 02/05/18 02:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I pulled much larger and heavier trailers all over the country (Yellowstone, Florida, etc) with my '01 Burb. You should be fine with that trailer.


2008 Suburban 2500 3LT 3.73 4X4 "The Beast"
2013 Springdale 303BHS, 8620 lbs
2009 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali (backup TV, hot rod)
2016 Jeep JKU Sahara in Tank, 3.23 (hers)
2010 Jeep JKU Sahara in Mango Tango PC, 3.73 (his)


mbopp

Henrietta, NY, USA

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Posted: 02/05/18 05:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, do add another trans cooler & temp gauge.


2017 Grand Design Imagine 2650RK
2012 F-150 XLT Ecoboost ("EcoBeast") supercab
Just DW & me......

BurbMan

Back on Long Island!

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Posted: 02/06/18 05:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, aux trans cooler and a temp gauge are a must. Just curious why you using a Blue OX after having towed with both the Hensley and ProPride?


2001 Suburban 2500LT 8.1L/4.10
2008 Terry TT
Hensley Arrow Hitch
Dill TPMS, CorrecTrack alignment, LT tires


chrispitude

Allentown, PA

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Posted: 02/08/18 02:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BurbMan wrote:

Yes, aux trans cooler and a temp gauge are a must. Just curious why you using a Blue OX after having towed with both the Hensley and ProPride?


A few reasons:

  • The ratio of TV to TT (both length and weight) is much higher this time around.
  • I'm trying to keep tongue weight down, as it's higher on this TT than our previous ones.
  • I'm personally curious to see if I notice a difference, and I want to share my experiences here.


If it doesn't do the job to my satisfaction, I'll go back to pivot projection.

falconbrother

North Carolina

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Posted: 02/10/18 02:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We tow with a 00 Burb 4x4, 5.3..27 feel, 5800 pounds. It does fine. It took me a couple of trips to figure the thing out. I added Sumo SuperSprings to the rear. I keep mine out of overdrive and run around 65 MPH. When I'm pulling a steep mountain I don't let it lug, I'll pull it down to 2nd gear and let it rev (55MPH+-). It pulls my trailer just fine. I use towhaul most of the time but, in stop and go traffic I take it out of towhaul. I doesn't need the higher RPM shift point to be comfortable in city traffic. The 4l60e isn't an issue, that I have noticed. I do a drain and fill on mine at every oil change to keep fresh Dex6 in it. And, when I'm towing I take it easy. Never had any issues with my transmission, at least not yet. I bought a cooler and pulled the grill off to install it. Then I saw the factory installed extra cooler and didn't install the aftermarket cooler. It's still in the box in my garage. I haven't decided if I'll install it. Frankly, I don't think I need it. I pulled my transmission pan a few months ago and replaced the filter. I then ground down the stock drain plug and welded an 11/16 nut to it, cause that's the fist one I grabbed out of the spare hardware bin. So, now the plug comes off easy so, I can do a drain and fill in a couple of minutes.

There's been exhaustive discussion on this forum about transmission coolers. You can look it up. If you have the factory tow package and keep your transmission serviced...and don't try to kill it while towing it should be fine. If I were pulling up mountains a lot I'd add the cooler. Most of our trips are beach trips. We went to the mountains once last year and I just pull it down in second so there's no hunting for gears. When I get home from a trip like that I pull the drain plug and replace 4.5 quarts + -. People will trash the Suburbans, Yukons but, I love mine.

My wife does dog shows so, we need a vehicle that has climate control in a large area and will tow an RV. And, I like the 4x4. I was looking for a Ford when I found the burb. It was such a good deal I bought it against my better judgement. It has turned out to be a great vehicle.

chrispitude

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Posted: 02/10/18 05:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

falconbrother wrote:

We tow with a 00 Burb 4x4, 5.3..27 feel, 5800 pounds. It does fine. It took me a couple of trips to figure the thing out. I added Sumo SuperSprings to the rear. I keep mine out of overdrive and run around 65 MPH. When I'm pulling a steep mountain I don't let it lug, I'll pull it down to 2nd gear and let it rev (55MPH+-). It pulls my trailer just fine. I use towhaul most of the time but, in stop and go traffic I take it out of towhaul. I doesn't need the higher RPM shift point to be comfortable in city traffic. The 4l60e isn't an issue, that I have noticed. I do a drain and fill on mine at every oil change to keep fresh Dex6 in it. And, when I'm towing I take it easy. Never had any issues with my transmission, at least not yet. I bought a cooler and pulled the grill off to install it. Then I saw the factory installed extra cooler and didn't install the aftermarket cooler. It's still in the box in my garage. I haven't decided if I'll install it. Frankly, I don't think I need it. I pulled my transmission pan a few months ago and replaced the filter. I then ground down the stock drain plug and welded an 11/16 nut to it, cause that's the fist one I grabbed out of the spare hardware bin. So, now the plug comes off easy so, I can do a drain and fill in a couple of minutes.

There's been exhaustive discussion on this forum about transmission coolers. You can look it up. If you have the factory tow package and keep your transmission serviced...and don't try to kill it while towing it should be fine. If I were pulling up mountains a lot I'd add the cooler. Most of our trips are beach trips. We went to the mountains once last year and I just pull it down in second so there's no hunting for gears. When I get home from a trip like that I pull the drain plug and replace 4.5 quarts + -. People will trash the Suburbans, Yukons but, I love mine.

My wife does dog shows so, we need a vehicle that has climate control in a large area and will tow an RV. And, I like the 4x4. I was looking for a Ford when I found the burb. It was such a good deal I bought it against my better judgement. It has turned out to be a great vehicle.


Wow, lots of great information here! (And thanks for the thumbs-up from intheburbs too!)

All our towing will be east of the Rockies, so no huge grades. I don't know if all the trucks have a transmission temperature gauge, but this one does and that should be useful. I've been meaning to see if I have a transmission cooler. And cool trick with the transmission drain plug, I might do that too.

The truck was serviced with Amsoil fluids front to back, including the differentials. We used the GM fluid in the transfer case, just to be safe. All suspension joints and bushings have been replaced. The drivetrain's a bit noisy when cruising at highway speed, not sure if that's the nature of the Denali AWD system or not.

I'm wondering whether the rear air suspension will be a strong or weak spot of this setup. The original factory setup had some problems, including a leak that caused the compressor to cycle. The Arnott compressor and shocks have been solid so far - nice and tight, no compressor cycling - but I'm wondering how the system will react once I hitch up. It'll make calibrating the weight distribution pretty interesting, for sure!

falconbrother

North Carolina

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Posted: 02/11/18 05:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had to have my differential rebuilt. I jacked it up in the rear, started it, put it in drive and the rear end was making a swishing kinda sound. I pulled the half axles and replaced the outer bearings (labor intensive but, cheap) and that didn't fix it. So, I took it to my mechanic and he replaced everything back there except the hog's head. Not saying that's your noise but, it's worth checking. If it is shop around for the price on a repair.

Sumo Supersprings are pretty cheap and an easy DIY job. I highly recommend them to flatten out the ride. It took me about 20 minutes to do the left side and about 5 to do the right side.

You don't need to pull the grill to see if you have the GM transmission oil cooler. It's located dead center and is over the bottom half of the radiator. You can see it in there without pulling the grill, although that's a super easy job. There's a youtube video on it. Heck there's a youtube video for almost every possible repair on, Yukon, Suburban, Tahoe, Sierra, Silverado.. I may still add the extra cooler but, I have already towed the RV a number of times and never noticed that the transmission was suffering. Based on the mileage and looking at the hardware I'd make an educated guess that mine has been rebuilt. It's tight and runs great.

When I bought my Burb it had a new-ish engine (less than 50,000 on the engine according to the dealership). I saw that the exhaust manifold bolts, water pump and alternator were brand new. Nevertheless, I sold my Honda CRV and made the Suburban my daily driver. My mechanic likes the 1999.5 - 2006 GM big suvs and trucks.

The biggest thing you need to know is don't lug that engine when towing, it hates it. It doesn't mind RPMs though. Those engines don't have a lot of low end torque, especially when towing. But, in the mid and upper range they pull strong. I pull mine down into 3rd unless I'm on a long, easy, downhill grade. I haven't noticed that the gas mileage suffers all that much to be honest. I'm sure it does suffer some but, not really that bad.

Have fun. I'm so ready to get back out there and take some trips.

chrispitude

Allentown, PA

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Posted: 02/12/18 10:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

falconbrother wrote:

I had to have my differential rebuilt. I jacked it up in the rear, started it, put it in drive and the rear end was making a swishing kinda sound. I pulled the half axles and replaced the outer bearings (labor intensive but, cheap) and that didn't fix it. So, I took it to my mechanic and he replaced everything back there except the hog's head. Not saying that's your noise but, it's worth checking. If it is shop around for the price on a repair.

Sumo Supersprings are pretty cheap and an easy DIY job. I highly recommend them to flatten out the ride. It took me about 20 minutes to do the left side and about 5 to do the right side.

You don't need to pull the grill to see if you have the GM transmission oil cooler. It's located dead center and is over the bottom half of the radiator. You can see it in there without pulling the grill, although that's a super easy job. There's a youtube video on it. Heck there's a youtube video for almost every possible repair on, Yukon, Suburban, Tahoe, Sierra, Silverado.. I may still add the extra cooler but, I have already towed the RV a number of times and never noticed that the transmission was suffering. Based on the mileage and looking at the hardware I'd make an educated guess that mine has been rebuilt. It's tight and runs great.


Took a quick look through the grille this morning. I have a transmission cooler - hooray!

The Denali package comes with an AWD drivetrain with its own fancy-pants ($$$) transfer case. Being AWD, it's difficult to troubleshoot this monstrosity with a jack and jackstands. I have a buddy with a lift, and that might shed some light. The noise is prominent if I just barely give enough throttle to maintain highway speed. If I coast downhill in neutral and rev the engine up to that same RPM, there's no sound. So whatever's making the noise, it happens only when it's in gear and under power.

I called SuperSprings tech support and spoke with Andrew. I asked if the SumoSprings would work on with the AutoRide air suspension. He said as long as the compressor adjusts the static height to be *above* the contact surface, it should work. He said once I get my trailer, hook it up and get the weight distribution calibrated, run the combo to let things settle in, then take a measurement of the gap where the SumoSpring would go and call him back.

* This post was edited 02/12/18 12:20pm by chrispitude *

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