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Old 07-31-2015, 10:00 AM   #1
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Default Towing with a Tahoe hybrid 6.0

Hi Friends, we have a 2012 FF214WSD and we love it. previously we've towed our camper with a 2005 Toyota 4Runner and feel that the tow capacity isn't enough to take it out west from Florida. Now, we have an opportunity to buy a 2008 Tahoe with a 6.0 engine and my husband is concerned that it's a hybrid. Does anyone else tow with this vehicle or does anyone have any negative opinions on this tow vehicle? Thanks, as always for your very valuable information...[/b]
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Old 07-31-2015, 03:20 PM   #2
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The 08 Tahoe Hybrid has a maximum tow rating of 6,000 lbs so the 214 WSD fully loaded might be encroaching into this territory. Although the hybrid has towing in its resume, its transmission is extremely complicated with 80HP electric motors tied directly into the planetary gears. When taking off from a standing start in normal conditions, the tranny functions as a CVT with the electric motors accelerating the vehicle to about 30 mph before the gas engine kicks in (it is load sensitive so not sure how it deals with towing). Under normal circumstances, I'd be wary of affecting a very complex drive train towing a 6,000 lb load like this. However, my opinion aside, GM most certainly has taken things into account and intend this vehicle for towing .... just how much is a question for a GM tech to answer.



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Old 08-02-2015, 06:59 AM   #3
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IMO if your not doing alot of city driving or stuck in traffic all the time hybrids aren't worth it in general. As yoly said once you go over roughly 25 to 30mph the electric assist motors turn off and you are completely running on the gas motor. But if you mash the gas pedal from at stop the truck will see that the demand wanted I'd to much for the electric motor and will start the gas motor to help with the acceleration. Now I've worked on ford hybrid escapes and they are smaller motors but unless I was in a highway bumper to bumper situation where your just creeping, the gas motor came on every time I accelerated. I think for towing puposes it's not really going to save you much gas while towing and the start up cost for that truck probably will out weight the gas savings in the long run. Especially if you ever needed a transmission. I wouldn't want to know how much that would cost.
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Old 08-02-2015, 08:19 AM   #4
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The reason we're considering this Tahoe as a tow vehicle is it's got all the bells n whistles, completely garage kept and only has 37,000 miles on it with the asking price of $26k. Other than towing the camper, Barry will be driving to/from the airport (a 50 minute drive from home) at least once a week. We'll be seeing the Tahoe and test driving this vehicle next Tuesday....any other words of wisdom before we decide...? Thanks for all the info so far
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Old 08-02-2015, 08:43 AM   #5
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There is a general rule of thumb that when towing it's best to have a minimum of 20% reserve towing capacity. This means that if you are towing a 6,000 lb Fun Finder the tow vehicle technically wants to have a tow rating somewhere around 7,200 lbs ... the Tahoe would be maxed out with its 6,000 lb rating.

Also, the 20 mpg hwy mileage of the Tahoe is largely dependant on the electric motors to get it gently up tp speed and the ability of the engine to shut down up to 4 cylinders (variable cyclinder management) under light load conditions. Towing would negate both of these features. The gas engine would be kicking in almost immediately from a stop and VCM would probably never activate unless going downhill. I'm guessing that the Tahoe Hybrid is famous for getting good mileage for an SUV and really poor mileage as a tow vehicle if the tow is very heavy (by comparison). It wouldn't surprise me if the mpg for that package ended up being less than 10 mpg. When was the last time you actually saw ANY hybrid towing a travel trailer ?

Having said all this, I continued to research and found some user reviews on Edmunds.com. One individual tows a ski boat routinely with his and is pleased. I'm guessing here that the load is in the 3,500 to 4,000 lb range. However, there is one account by one individual who claims to have towed (once) his 6,000 lb travel trailer with his and had no issues getting 14 mpg. He said that he added an oil cooler. However, I'm inclined to take objective internet comments with a grain of salt sometimes, especially if it's the sole comment. Similar to the comment below this one by an owner who claims to be getting over 30 mpg with his on a daily basis. (EPA rated at 20)

I believe that you also mentioned a trip with the FF out west. As one who has pulled three different trailers cross country (including a 214 WSD) several times, I can attest to the towing conditions to be noticably more severe than what we see here in the east.

If it were me, I'd pass and find a more suitable tool for the job. I'd be too afraid that towing a heavy load in severe conditions might strain one of the delicate hybrid components and then cost a small fortune to repair (beyond a std gas engine). However, if your interest in the hybrid stems more from being a daily commuter rather than a dedicated towing vehicle, then that might change the decision. No one can tell you what to do (and shouldn't). I hope that all goes well for you in either case.



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Old 08-02-2015, 10:22 AM   #6
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Thanks so much for your input...really makes me think we should be looking for a truck, but right now my husband refuses to consider it. For some reason he doesn't want a truck. Thanks again for any other thoughts on a new towing situation. It's very frustrating buying a vehicle!!
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Old 08-02-2015, 10:30 AM   #7
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Here is a sight you might find helpful. It has a calculator for towing. You plug in the weights you're towing and the specs for your tow vehicle and it will tell you what you can safety tow. http://changingears.com/rv-sec-calc-...eight-tt.shtml
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Old 08-02-2015, 10:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by casadelydia
Thanks so much for your input...really makes me think we should be looking for a truck, but right now my husband refuses to consider it. For some reason he doesn't want a truck. Thanks again for any other thoughts on a new towing situation. It's very frustrating buying a vehicle!!
I don't know what the issue is with trucks for your husband but in most cases it has to do with ride quality, especially compared to cars or SUVs. That being the case, I also don't know if you're familiar with the suspension on Ram trucks. Trucks have traditionally used leaf springs for rear suspension in order to carry heavy payloads and it's these leaf springs which give the truck a harsh ride when it isn't loaded. Back in 2010, Ram trucks switched from a leaf spring to a conventional "coil over" rear spring just like an automobile. They had to decrease the payload capacity a bit but the end result is a truck with truly luxureous and supple ride qualities. Test drive one if you never have.



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Old 08-02-2015, 11:32 PM   #9
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Default Tahoe Hybrid Tow Vehicle?

Because of all your info, I'm rethinking this Tahoe Hybrid. I'm a bit nervous about the possibility of electrical problems within the hybrid part of the engine, simply because as someone said earlier, "How many hybrid's do you see pulling a trailer?" Good basic point. I'm going to do some research on the Dodge truck (shhh, don't tell Barry )

...does anyone else have any other favorite tow vehicles for this size camper (214WSD)?

Many thanks again.
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Old 08-03-2015, 07:54 AM   #10
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Any of the quarter ton pickups with the tow package should pull that size trailer just fine.
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Old 08-03-2015, 09:31 AM   #11
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I think we have the ideal tow vehicle for this specific trailer. Averages around 24 to 26 mpg not towing and about 14 mpg towing. The 3.0L diesel engine is awesome. It never struggles to pull this load anywhere (out west etc.) and rides like a Cadillac otherwise. This truck is also available with air suspension that auto-levels the truck when you hook up a trailer. Depending on the trim level, ours is rated to pull 7,800 lbs so the 214 WSD is well within the recommended window. Also, lots of room in back to carry gear that you don't want in the trailer.







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Old 08-03-2015, 11:11 AM   #12
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Wow!! What a good looking rig!! Thanks for the photo...did you buy the back topper separately? That would really help to hold everything we need to take with us and keep it safe and dry. I'm sold!!.
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Old 08-03-2015, 11:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by casadelydia
Wow!! What a good looking rig!! Thanks for the photo...did you buy the back topper separately? That would really help to hold everything we need to take with us and keep it safe and dry. I'm sold!!.
We bought that shell years ago and this is the third Ram that we've had it installed. It is the best $2,600 I've ever spent. The special rear door allows you to go back and forth without climbing over a conventional "tailgate". We sleep in the back of the truck when we have to travel without the Fun Finder. You can get other brands or one like this without the rear door for roughly $1,300. They are color matched to your vehicle when you order it.



Other things you can do with a truck in this scenario .......




And speaking of storage, there is tons of room in the rear cab when you fold the rear seat up. The Ram has a foldiing "flat floor" in the back so it can be used as a cargo area (including doggie beds). Ours is a Quad Cab but you could get a Crew Cab with an even larger rear area. We used to travel and camp trailerless at one time ........







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Old 08-03-2015, 08:22 PM   #14
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Awesome photos!! Thanks for sharing...
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Old 08-04-2015, 10:33 AM   #15
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I have a 2011 silverado 1500. And it doesn't drive like a work truck and I have been in some trucks that could rattle some teeth out. But even with leafs in the back I would compare it to a car for how smooth it drives. I think because it has the helper spring in the back for heavy loads, you don't feel the impact of the bumps as much. I have the gas 5.3 liter with the towing package and I believe I'm rated to to 9000lb with a weight distribution hitch and 5000lb without. But with a Combined gross rating of 15000lbs. I've only towed my 189fbd and I almost forget its even back there.
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