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Author Topic:   Tow Vehicle for 21 Walkaround, Chevy Trailblazer?
critch22 posted 07-02-2003 07:20 AM ET (US)   Profile for critch22   Send Email to critch22  
My 1997 Tahoe 4x4 is on its last leg. It pulls the 21 with ease, just wondering if I can "downgrade" to an '03 Chevy Trailblazer with the tow package and 4wd. Is anyone pulling a larger whaler with one of these trucks?
HAPPYJIM posted 07-02-2003 08:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for HAPPYJIM  Send Email to HAPPYJIM     
As long as your boat/trailer/ doesn't weigh over 6200 lbs it will be OK.
BIGGER is allways better when talking tow vehicles.
critch22 posted 07-02-2003 09:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for critch22  Send Email to critch22     
Any specification experts want to take a stab at what my boat weighs with a 225 Johnson and a new Nextrail Alum., dual axle carrying an average of 40 gallons of fuel?
PMUCCIOLO posted 07-02-2003 09:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for PMUCCIOLO    

If your local library has them, I'd suggest your reviewing back issues of "Go Boating" Magazine. I can't recall the issue in which it was contained, but there is mention of a service bulletin regarding towing with the TrailBlazer.

This may assist you in your decision.


Samars posted 07-02-2003 09:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for Samars  Send Email to Samars     

I also think you could go to "trailer Boating" mag. It has tow vehicles, specs, hints, recommendations in every issue.

good reference
Take care

Jerry Townsend posted 07-02-2003 01:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jerry Townsend  Send Email to Jerry Townsend     
critch22 - I haven't looked up the weight of your boat but will do that. In general, weight of the tow vehicle is important (the more the better) - wheel-base of the tow vehicle is important (the longer the better) - drive axle of the tow vehicle is important - the weight on the rear axle/wheels is important.

In part, the reason for some of the guidelines is that you don't want the tail wagging the dog. Going straight down the road is one thing - but other than that (braking, sudden actions, such as evasive actions) you want the tow vehicle to still be controlling.

One situation that always gets my attention - even though I tow my 17 Outrage with a 3/4 ton 4X4 carrying a full sized camper - is going downhill and making a turn on a washboarded road.

A firm and definitive answer to your question is not possible without an analyses of the vehicle/load dynamics or a lot of test data. As such, I can't give an acceptable weight of the tow vehicle - other than the guidelines I mentioned above.

I guess that if your Tahoe is doing the job with "margin" - then consider downsizing. But if not, don't take the chance. ------- Jerry/Idaho

critch22 posted 07-02-2003 04:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for critch22  Send Email to critch22     
Thanks to all. I guess the hardest part about towing - is when you consider how many miles you drive in a year doing day to day stuff, then figure how many mile you drive with your boat behind you - the percentage towing is weak. Its troubling to think you'd have to have the capacity and yet use it so infrequently. Such is boat ownership. I am learning. Its a shame I am too young for a Crown Victoria - tow car of the year...
Jarhead posted 07-02-2003 04:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jarhead  Send Email to Jarhead     
I see your a contractor....A full size truck should benefit you in your profession and with towing.... Might even be a tax write off to boot. :)
Aldog posted 07-02-2003 05:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Aldog  Send Email to Aldog     
My company replaced a full size Tahoe with a Trailblazer this past year to stay within a monthly lease payment budget. The vehicle is used to pull a closed cargo trailer with varying weights of equipment inside. I personally do not use the vehicle but work closely with the guy who does. He is very unhappy with its towing performance, not just by comparison, rarley would he pull close to antthing close to the weight of your rig.

I own a Tahoe and a 1500 Silverado totally satisfied with the performance of both. The wife drives the Tahoe daily, a two wheel drive model, we pull the boat with it for family outings, the added fuel consumption over say a mini van in her daily routine is not that significant as she has the two wheel drive model and limited driving. My use of the truck is daily and it is 4x4 and overconsumes for my daily routine, however I have to own it to tow not only my boat but a trailer for my business as described above. I am yet to find out how to have the best of both worlds.

I agree with the guys "bigger is better." Manufacturers want not to eliminate a market segment (in this case people who tow) so they encourage you with weight limits etc. Facts will always be the same, heavier, more powerful vehicles tow better. And they use more gas and are often less comfortable.

My .02

critch22 posted 07-02-2003 05:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for critch22  Send Email to critch22     
Yes, I am a contractor of fine tropical landscapes. I have many trucks, but I don't think the insurance company would like it if I used them for play time. And I am limited to an SUV - my neighborhood doesnt allow pickups.
ryanwhaler posted 07-02-2003 05:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for ryanwhaler  Send Email to ryanwhaler     

Your neighborhood does not allow pickups!!!!???
Were the hell do you live? I don't think anyone can tell you what you can and can't drive.

How are you too young for a crown vic? I'm too young to drive, and I think a nice crown vic in black is cool.

I'd pull it with the landscapeing truck if I were you.

Jarhead posted 07-02-2003 06:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jarhead  Send Email to Jarhead     
Talk to your insurance company. You can get a carrier for towing you boat for a nominal fee....BTW.. If I lived in a neighborhood where I wasn't allowed to park a pickup, even a work truck, I'd move!!!But that's me and not you so I guess it's moot....
HAPPYJIM posted 07-02-2003 08:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for HAPPYJIM  Send Email to HAPPYJIM     
I'm a Landscape Contractor and use my trucks to pull anything I want.
My insurance does not specify what I am allowed to tow.
I have a 3500 GMC crew cab (4 door ) that I use to tow a 25' Revenge if 6 people are going out.
I also have a 1400 UD, like an Isuzu, that I use if 3 or less people are going out.
I like the UD much better for towing just for stopping power.
I do a little advertising from the signs on the truck too.
An older Suburban can be found for cheap and they make excellent tow vehicles.
You can leave all your boating stuff in them instead of storing in the garage.
When it's time to go boating, hook up and everythings ready to go.
Letter it with your company logo and phone number and it's a good tax right-off too!
Tom2697 posted 07-03-2003 12:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom2697  Send Email to Tom2697     
I use an '02 Olds Bravada Awd (similar vehicle) to tow my classic 18 Outrage. My total weight of the trailered load is estimated at 3500#. I don't know how much your boat is on the trailer but I can't imagine it being much more than 1000# over what I'm hauling. Anyway, I've only towed this rig up to about 60 miles and the truck handled it fine. It still had decent acceleration and braking considering... I will do a 400 mile round trip adventure here in a few weeks. I will let you know how it goes...

BTW - this trip will include myself and another passenger along with a lot of offshore tackle to boost the total weight of the rig.


reelescape1 posted 07-06-2003 06:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for reelescape1  Send Email to reelescape1     
Caution on the Trailblazer!! GM has had many, many problems with that straight 6 engine. It seems they didn't learn from the old Vega engines.Its an aluminum block with iron liners with no "shoulder" for the liner....the liners have been known to "slip" allowing the oil rings to go beyond the top of the liner and , of course, expand....not good while running!! I heard the 5.3 was going to be an option in them.
critch22 posted 07-07-2003 07:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for critch22  Send Email to critch22     
Thanks to all. I still haven't decided what to do . All I can say is:

Ryanwhaler: when youre not yet old enough to drive, you will consider driving anything. In my world, those who drive Crown Vics remember President Hoover's inaugural. Dont forget, I live in Boca Raton, Florida - where everybody comes to die. When youre old and you have to get places, you have to do it in large, American, comfortable, and blended machines. You may be thinking Mecury Marauder? Those are popular with younger folks and they look like vics. My advise to you: Dont ever sell your Whaler - even for a car - only date girls that live on the water!

Also - I lied, you CAN have a pickup in my hood, but there are many stipulations involved and I can further explain it without veering entirely off the subject of Boston Whaler. Bottom line, I can't easily store a pickup at my home. And nobody has any land down here (old school suburban tucked in the back somewhere); we're all on top of each other.

cmarques posted 07-08-2003 08:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for cmarques  Send Email to cmarques     
I have been towing my 160 Dauntless the last year with a '98 S-10 ext cab 4.3 v6 auto and was just adequate (truck was rated at 5500 lbs towing. I just got a 2003 Ford f150 4.2 V-6 auto about a month ago and the full size rides 100% different the v-6 is a little weak although rated 5700 lbs towing. Definately go for a v-8 if you can- my friend's v8 supercrew f150 pulls the boat much better with 4 adults in truck too. Just ran to Fl keys and back in new truck with boat and felt much more confident on highway especially in braking.
lhg posted 07-08-2003 08:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
"Backlash" here on this site, tows his 1991 21 Walkaround with a Ford Explorer V8 4 WD. Says it performs just fine, but does use a weight distributing hitch and spring bars.

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