Towing Concerns

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Roscoe's Roadtrips

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Hello Fellow Travelers!

I am trying to educate myself on flat towing a 2011 Chevy Traverse behind my 2019 Thor Ace motor coach. The curb weight of my Travers is 4790 lbs so I am well under the limit for towing capacity. My concern is over heating the transmission while towing up and down hills or even mountains. We are planning a trip to Wyoming, Yellowstone, etc. and I know that climbs and descents will be unavoidable. I will use truck map or some other app for planning the most favorable route for our motor coach.

What do I need to know to keep from burning up my transmission?

Thank you and safe travels!
 

donn

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Can that Chevy actually be flat towed?
Curb weight is useless. What you need to do is take it to the scales and weigh it.
Also take your MoHo to the scales and weigh it ready to travel.
Now that you have some reasonably accurate weights you can figure out if your MoHo can actually tow that much weight.
 

Roscoe's Roadtrips

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Yes, the Traverse can be flat towed. I will take them to get weighed but then how do I know if motor home can tow that much weight? I have called the dealer but they will not give me specifics stating liability issues.
 

Kirk

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The chassis owner's manual should list the maximum towing weight. There is also a maximum weight for the receiver that is stamped into the metal of it somewhere. I would be very surprised if your hitch is rated from more than 5000# as that is what two of our friends have on their Ace motorhomes.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I towed a GMC Acadia for several years. It's a sister to the Traverse. The towing instructions are in the Traverse owner manual under Recreational Towing.

Yours probably runs very close to but under 5000 lbs. As long as you don't load it with a lot of extra gear, it should be within the Ace tow specs. According to the 2019 Ace brochure, all the Aces have an 8000 lb hitch receiver but most of them will be limited to less than that by the GCWR (max combined weight of coach & towed vehicle). If fully loaded, the Ace 27.2 is limited to tow 7000 lbs and the other models are all limited to 5000 or 5500. If you stay within those limits, you should have no need to worry about the excellent Ford transmission and cooling system.
 

Roscoe's Roadtrips

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Thank you for the reply. Nice to have someone who has done this before. I think that I will be within the limits but close. I am glad to hear that you have a good opinion on the Ford transmission and cooling system.

Do you think that it will be ok without adding any extras to help the transmission stay cool?

Thank you for your help!
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Do you think that it will be ok without adding any extras to help the transmission stay cool?
Yes. The days of undersized cooling system on gas motorhome chassis are well in the past. I'm not saying they are capable of handling any conceivable road driving condition, but it's not something you should assume will be a problem or require extra equipment.
 

donn

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My specs say that the hitch weight rating is 8,000 lbs.
That is ONLY the hitch rating, not the chassis tow rating. Likely once you drill down and actually find the chassis towing rating it could be somewhere around d 3500 pounds. So don't be too surprised
 

JD Sharp

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Why worry if you are at towing limits and may overheat engine and transmission. Sell the Traverse and get something much lighter. I towed a 2010 Hoda CRV (3386 lbs) for years behind a DP, no problems. When we downsized to gas motorhome I purchased a 2015 Chevy Sonic (2727 lbs) and you hardly know it is there. Also consider lower fuel economy pulling 2000 lbs more over mountains in the west.
 

Isaac-1

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Just keep in mind that just because it is under your towing weight limit, does not mean it will be the easiest thing to tow. Our coach has a 5000 pound hitch and 5000 pound towing capacity, and I can tell you there is a world of difference between towing our 2300 pound Toyota Yaris and our 4300+ pound Jeep Cherokee. With the Yaris I have to use the rear view camera to make sure it is still back there, with the Cherokee there is no doubt I am towing, and it probably shaves 5+ mph my comfortable max driving speed.
 

donn

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Options. There are lots of options. If you want to keep the Chevy look to buy a small light car. Suzuki sold a boat load of small light cars and SUVs. Owned 2, a Sidekick and a Grand Vitara. Both were highly reliable, light and cheap. Both also come with a 2 speed transfer case that can be shifted to neutral for 4 down towing.
 

Lou Schneider

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Be sure to check the manufacturer's instructions in the owner's manual before towing any vehicle 4 down. Not all transfer cases are equal even if they have a neutral position. Suzuki (and their Geo and Chevy Tracker stablemates) says you have to stop every 200 miles and run the engine with the transfer case in Neutral and the transmission in Drive (or a manual transmission in gear) for several minutes to lubricate the transfer case. Most American vehicles get sufficient lubrication just from the road motion while Toyota does not allow 4 down towing at all.
 

Roscoe's Roadtrips

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Thank you ALL so very much for your helpful replies. It is great to be able to get the opinions of more experienced and knowledable travelers.
 

Onyrlef

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Thank you ALL so very much for your helpful replies. It is great to be able to get the opinions of more experienced and knowledable travelers.
Keep in mind too, you'll be in tow/haul with that kind of weight. You'll use a bit more gas, but with the torque shift it will assist braking and keep the transmission from overheating.
 

NY_Dutch

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Lou, you are wrong, Toyota does / did allow 4 down towing on certain manual transmission cars, including my 2007 Toyota Yaris

see Toyota Yaris: Dinghy towing (vehicles with a manual transmission) - Driving information - When driving - Toyota Yaris XP130 2010–2022 Owner's Manual
Although they'e no longer selling the kits, we've towed two Toyota RAV4 automatic 4WD's for a total of about 60,000 miles using a Remco lube pump with zero transmission problems. Since the switch to CVT's in 2015 though, none of the automatics are four down towable.
 
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