Towing w/ a Chevy Avalanche

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scottydl

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My in-laws are looking at purchasing an '07 Chevy Avalanche, and want to know what kind of towing capacities (as far as TT's) are available in those models.  They won't be looking at trailers for a 1-3 years probably, but anticipate still having the Avalanche as their tow vehicle at that point.  Anyone know the specifics on what Chevy offers for that model, and what kind of TT's would fall under that umbrella?  All I've looked at are motorhomes, so I really know next-to-nothing about towing and the like.  I'm going to forward the Library section on Towing & Towables to my mother-in-law's e-mail, but I thought I'd ask y'all also!  :)
 

Will

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Chevy Offers (or did offer) a 3/4 ton Avalanche which has a decent towing capacity, between 10,000 and 12,000 lbs.  Unfortunately, they are stuck with a thirsty8.1L gas engine, and haven't been released in '07 model year, so this might be the last chance at getting one.

The '07 models are currently only available as 1/2 tons and are limited to, at best, 8200lbs.  Teeny trailer, that will be.

I do not believe that Avalanches are suitable for towing 5th wheels because of the way the weird "roll cage" overhang thingy will get in the way

There are plenty of non-Avalanche crew-cab pickups that are more capable.  If they insist on an Avalanche and intend to tow with it, try to talk them into getting a good deal on an outgoing '06 2500 model.  Dealers should be discounting them about now.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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According to the Chevy website, a Avalanche 1500 with the 6.0L Vortec has a max towing capacity of 8200 lbs in the 4.x2 model. A 4x4 is less.  However, the carrying capacity (payload) is a wimpy 1400 lbs, which will severely limit the size of fifth wheel that can be towed, probably to something like 7000 lbs.

Avalanche Specifications
 

scottydl

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Thanks fellas.  :)  So 8200 lbs would be the max on a standard Avalanche... is there any late-model TT's larger than a pop-up that weighs less than that?
 

Carl L

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scottydl said:
Thanks fellas. :) So 8200 lbs would be the max on a standard Avalanche... is there any late-model TT's larger than a pop-up that weighs less than that?

A number of 24 to 19 footers in the lightweight category.
 

scottydl

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Carl Lundquist said:
A number of 24 to 19 footers in the lightweight category.

Alrighty, well that doesn't sound all bad.  I was a little worried about the first description of a "teeny" trailer being the only option.
 

Carl L

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Buying a truck in the 1/2T, 1500, class to tow a future trailer is a gamble.  Generally speaking a 1/2 tonner should restrict its trailers to those with a GVWR of 5500 lbs.  Now I did that, but the truck had priority -- I wanted a 4wd for the deserts and the Bronc fitted the bill the best.  I was able to buy a lightweight trailer with a GVWR of 5400 lbs..

If your inlaws do not have a specialized use for the truck, like I did, and are just buying and eventual tow vehicle, they should buy a 3/4 tonner.  It will widen their options on that future trailer and they will be a LOT happier with it as a tow vehicle.  Wait for the 2500s to come out --  or buy an '06.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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So 8200 lbs would be the max on a standard Avalanche..

Not quite. A "standard Avalanche" comes with the 5.3L engine and a 3.73 axle and the max tow capacity on that is 7200 rather than 8200 with the bigger engine and 4.10 rear axle. Subtracting at least 700 lbs from that to allow for passengers & gear in the truck, weight of the hitch, and a bit of a safety margin leaves a "standard Avalanche" able to tow a trailer of about 6500 lbs. So you want an Avalanche with the optional larger engine rather than a standard model.

And chances are excellent that a 6500 lb fifth wheel will have a pin weight of 1300-1400 lbs, right at the truck's max payload carrying capacity without allowing for passengers and gear onboard. 

Carl's advice about a 3/4 ton model is the smart choice.

I would also look carefully at trailer-to-truck bed clearance on an Avalanche. Those fancy raised body panels may make it impossible to hitch some (many?) fifth wheels.  You would be better off looking for travel trailers if the truck has to be an Avalanche. ANd a travel trailer won't push the truck's payload limit like a fifth wheel does.
 

2006F350

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Heck, you would have to raise a 5W 10" to get it to clear the rails on an Avalanche (and that's on a 2WD model), and if I'm not mistaken, the actual 'bed' between the tailgate and the 'removable' rear window is less than 5 feet, so you would be pretty much forced to pull only in a straight line.

Larry
 

2006F350

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Sorry, didn't mean to rub anyone the wrong way ..... it was just in reading thru the posts, someone mentioned the Avalanche and 5W in the same sentence, and then a 5W kept popping up in further posts, so my mind got sidetracked from the original question. My ex-SIL has an Avalanche, and the picture of it going down the road pulling a 5W with a 12" lift going down the road got to my silly bone ....

Larry
 

scottydl

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No problem at all ;)  I have no doubt there is someone out there who is trying and/or has tried to yank a huge 5th-wheel around with an Avalanche!  Personally I don't quite see the benefit of the truck design (and I hear that the "conversion" process is not a *real* easy undertaking) and the whole thing looks a little too plasticky, but my in-laws really like it.  ::)
 

Carl L

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scottydl said:
No problem at all ;)? ?I have no doubt there is someone out there who is trying and/or has tried to yank a huge 5th-wheel around with an Avalanche!? Personally I don't quite see the benefit of the truck design (and I hear that the "conversion" process is not a *real* easy undertaking) and the whole thing looks a little too plasticky, but my in-laws really like it.? ?::)

Well, try to discourage them.  A 1500 really limits their options on a future trailer.
 
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