Chevrolet traverse with a popup

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by A Pablo, Jul 7, 2018.

  1. A Pablo

    A Pablo New Member

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    Jun 27, 2018
    Menifee, CA
    Hi all.... I'm new to this, so bare with me. I have a 2009 traverse LT and just recently started up a project of towing a new to me 2001 Skamper 23d popup trailer. I've been tent camping in the past and decided to test the waters with a popup trailer. I've also been able to pull a 5x8 trailer with my traverse with no problem, but haven't really tried anything with the popup aside from taking it home. Am I in over my head with the trailerr in regards to what my vehicle can tow? Its a 6 cyl so I figured it should handle the weight. Am I wrong? Also, it's only 2wd.
     
  2. eoleson1

    eoleson1 Well-Known Member

    1,627
    302
    Jul 5, 2011
    Macomb County Michigan
    According to google the towing capacity of your Traverse is 2000 lb. The GVWR of your Skamper is about 2300 lbs so your going to be right at your capacity or a little above. How did it feel towing it home?
     
  3. A Pablo

    A Pablo New Member

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    Jun 27, 2018
    Menifee, CA
    It actually wasn't too bad. When I was taking a look at the skamper, I was under the impression it was the dry weight I had to watch out for. Any suggestions on what to do? I think at the very least I would need to add a brake controller for the trailer.
     
  4. Rusty2192

    Rusty2192 Active Member

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    Jul 30, 2014
    Kentucky
    Does your Traverse have the factory tow package? If not, you’ll definitely need to add an auxiliary transmission cooler. With a dry weight of 2,300 lbs, you probably will need a brake controller. Does the pup have electric brakes on it?
     
  5. A Pablo

    A Pablo New Member

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    Jun 27, 2018
    Menifee, CA
    My traverse does not have the tow package. The pup does have the optional brakes installed. I also have a 2004 Chrysler town and country limited with a 3.8 L 6 cyl. Would it be more advantageous to set that up for pulling a trailer instead? Ive only used it with a carry rack as I haven't wired it up for lights.
     
  6. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

    11,063
    466
    Dec 26, 2009
    Albuquerque, NM
    Dry weight is not as helpful as the loaded weight. Dry weight is bare bones - the weight of LP tanks, battery, and cargo has to be added to it. You really don't want to try to tow at 100% of capacity. The number I usually see is 80% or so. [With our last pup, we were at around 50-55%. When we got a TT, we were at around 70% but the higher surface area made that not so great with our older tow vehicle. We're now at around 40%.]
    For many vehicles the tow capacity also considers the cargo in the vehicle (that seems to vary). You need to check what the rating is for your particular vehicles, and how they are equipped. Yes, a brake controller - if your pup has electric brakes, use them - law requirements aside, it's just safer.
    Trying to tow at or above tow capacity stresses the vehicle, is not necessarily safe, and can be just unpleasant.
     
  7. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    Sep 1, 2012
    Northwestern New Jersey
    I tow with a traverse. The towing capacity of the Traverse is 2000 pounds without the tow package. With the tow package the capacity magically goes to 5500 pounds. The tow package consists of a heavy duty cooling system, a tow mode switch, hitch and wiring and associated fuses and relays. I have everything in the tow package but it was dealer installed. They did not wire for brakes and aux. I had to do that. If I can be of any assistance let me know.
     
  8. Rusty2192

    Rusty2192 Active Member

    667
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    Jul 30, 2014
    Kentucky
    Does the T&C have the factory tow package? If not, then it’s in the same boat. The Traverse has significantly more power than the T&C, so it would handle the pup better and I would stick with it. If it does, then you would at least be within the rated specs for the vehicle.

    There is nothing you can do to raise the original tow rating. But, you can replicate most items and help the car tow better. The factory tow package on the Traverse included things like the hitch, wiring, transmission cooler, and a tow/haul mode. The tow/haul button is the only thing you wouldn’t be able to replicate with aftermarket parts. It alters the shift points and locks out the top gears. In lieu of that, just use the manual shifting mode to lock out 6th and maybe 5th on hills and not be in a hurry to accelerate.

    So, it’s up to you to decide if you are comfortable going above the official tow rating of the car. Theoretically, if you were ever involved in an accident while over the specs, your insurance could deny the claim leaving you on the hook. But the same could be said about overloading while not towing, speeding, or any other traffic violation.
     
  9. Dan from Troup

    Dan from Troup Well-Known Member

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    Apr 25, 2018
    Troup, Texas
    We towed a #1000 pound motorcycle trailer to Cal. from Texas some years ago and cracked the block on our Honda Civic from overheating. Getting up to the Continental Divide was a long pull from here and constantly downshifted. Fortunately we were covered under warranty and got an engine replacement. Sure the little Honda could pull it but at what cost?
     
  10. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    Sep 1, 2012
    Northwestern New Jersey
    The tow haul system is already installed in the traverse. All that is needed is the aftermarket switch. I not sure about 2009 but I don't think there was an extra trans cooler. The use a heavy duty cooling system which may be installed anyway.
     
  11. A Pablo

    A Pablo New Member

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    Jun 27, 2018
    Menifee, CA
    Unfortunately the T&C does not have the factory tow package either, but when googling the specs, it shows my 2004 T&C limited can handle 3550 - 3800. Am I reading it wrong? My traverse is a 3.6 vs the 3.8 in my T&C.
     
  12. A Pablo

    A Pablo New Member

    5
    0
    Jun 27, 2018
    Menifee, CA
    I stumbled over a sight on Google of how to upgrade my Traverse, with the switch transmission cooler and an upgraded fuse box. I'll have to do a little more research, UT it might be possible. I might check that out to see what the cost would be to upgrade.
     
  13. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

    4,626
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    Sep 1, 2012
    Northwestern New Jersey
    The Traverse forum is very helpful. https://www.traverseforum.com/
     

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