TDKeenan10

Towing an Avalanche

10 posts in this topic

Hi. We are going to buy a Monaco Signature with a Cummins 600. We intend to tow an 09 Chevy Avalanche. Everything will be installed professionally but I would appreciate any and all "real world advice" you can give me. Thanks, Tom Keenan

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That's a very heavy towable. Make sure the receiver on the coach is rated to tow that much weight. I'm assuming you're making the same verification on the tow bar and base plate.

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I'm not refering to the towing capacity of the coach (GCWR - GVWR), which I believe you are, I'm talking about the receiver (trailer hitch) rating. Most of them are rated at only 5,000 lbs. Others have heavier weight ratings, but you have to check to make sure.

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The standard receiver on all Monaco diesels has been 10,000 pounds for the last 15 years. We had a '94 Dynasty with a 10,000 pound hitch. We have friends that have towed an Avalanche with no problems for years. Their coach wasn't a Monaco. I don't think they are on the FMCA website but I'm betting we'll find someone else who tows the Avalanche. And, yes, check with the company that is supplying your tow bar and other equipment to be sure all is rated to carry that load. I don't think the Avalanche will come close to the 10,000 pounds even loaded with your equipment. We recently took a look at a Chevy Tahoe and it had a GVWR of 7,300 pounds. I'm betting the GW of those two vehicles are about the same. In fact I just checked the statistics on the FMCA Towables article for 2009 and the Avalanche outweighs the Tahoe by 90 pounds! The curb weight listed there is 5560. That doesn't count fuel, equipment loaded on board, etc. I would get a tow bar rated above the GVWR just to be safe.

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Thanks, Tom, for the information on the receiver. We also have a 2004 Avalanche, which I've never towed because my coach's receiver isn't strong enough, but I remember reading that switching the transfer case into neutral for towing can be somewhat difficult until you become used to it. Read the owner's manual and follow its instructions very carefully. You'll love the Avalanche with its convenient lockable side compartments and all that weather-proof storage.

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I can't speak for the Avalanche but the Tahoe we looked at had the same kind of process our Trailblazer uses. You have to put the transfer case into neutral by holding the switch to the neutral position about 15 seconds (all after starting and shifting per instructions). Once it shifts to neutral the car is free wheeling. You then check that by shifting the transmission into drive and reverse just to make sure the transfer case is in neutral. We have to pull a couple of fuses under the hood and then we're ready to tow.

We have had problems with a loose connection at the switch from time to time. Apparently ordinary driving will cause the wiring connector to come loose and then we can't shift into or out of neutral. I have figured out the emergency fix for that is a calibrated smack on the dash about 5 cm to the right or left of the switch! If that doesn't work repeat until it does. If all else fails, invoke a mild to major curse and smack it again! Viola! Ready to tow!!! :rolleyes:

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Yep, Tom, that sounds about like what I remember reading in my Avalanche's owner's manual. I've never done it, so I can't say whether my T-case controls suffer from the same malady.

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Here is a tip for those who have to go through a "process" to get a vehicle ready to tow. I made a checklist on the computer and printed it off to use. After several uses, made revisions to make sure everything was included in the right order. Then I printed it off and had it laminated. That is stored in the drivers side pocket of the toad for ready reference. We don't really use it any more for the hitch stuff but the transmission shift process is involved enough that the checklist comes out of the pocket every time we tow. Louise usually takes care of that process while I do the hitch stuff. The list really comes in handy when I have to do the shifting! I put the towing checklist on one side of the sheet and the back into service checklist on the other side of the sheet before laminating. It is a half sheet of paper, 8.5 x 5.5 inches and very convenient to find and use.

I also keep similar checklists for things like checking the transmission fluid level in the Allison transmission in the drivers side map pocket of the motor home. What can I say, I'm a pilot, we use checklists for getting dressed in the morning... pants first then shoes!

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