View Full Version : Newb + 31QBS + 09 Suburban = Good to go?

02-20-2011, 11:04 PM

Deciding to put this years huge tax return to good use, on a trailer. We have 3 young kids, 6,3, and 3 months, and figured its time. I have never owned a TT, but have driven and used them before. Some other notable vehicles I have got to operate were an M1A2 Tank, OH58s, and the lovely AH64 Apache, so to be honest, I have no fear of learning to pull a large trailer, but am concerned about performance.

1st off, our Suburban is the 09 LTZ 4x4, with 3.42 gears, 6 spd tranny, and has the oil and tranny cooler package. Dry weight of said NT is 5,429, and I believe the vehicle says 7900 tow rating. Is this far enough below the limit when loaded for comfortable towing, including mountainous areas? Id like to get this out of the way first, because if its too much, no sense worrying anymore. If it would work....on to question 2 pls.

What are the thoughts on the 31QBS? From what I have looked at, seems a very well contsructed unit with a lot of nice features, and at at great weight to size/feature ratio. How well do these hold up, anything I should be worried about?

I appreciate your input, and thank you for your time.

02-21-2011, 12:06 PM
I also have a 31qbs and love it for the room and this will be our 4th season with it. When your loaded you will be at the 7,000 # gvwr of trailer.
TRUST me. I have a silverado and it's rated for 7,000 # towing. I am maxed out for what I have, but not pulling in mountains. mine handles unit well with my setup.
You will be maxed out also with the 900# extra as stuff just happens to ends up( I need to take this) Also I never traveled with water in tanks<waste or fresh>.
This will add to more weight for pulling for no reason. When I am at a CG with no hookups, They always have water avalible to fill tanks. that is when I fill the fresh water tank.
they are nice units, just make sure you have a good weight distribution hitch /with sway control of some sort. the side ways push is and can be bad with 34 foot of sail behind you.
Enjoy the new toy, we do. Just not a lot of cupboards for storing stuff. We use a lot of tots and installed another cupboard in bunk house area. Have fun and be safe. Irvin

02-21-2011, 02:09 PM
One thing you didnt say was what engine you have. 3.42 gears are a pretty high ratio which will mean alot of trans downshifting. Most GM tow packages have the 3.73 gears.

02-21-2011, 04:58 PM
Ahh yes, forgot to mention it is the 5.3 that I have.

02-25-2011, 09:20 AM
You'll have plenty of wheel torque with the 6-spd and 3.42 gears. You'll spend a lot of time in 3rd and 4th gears. Might hit 5th gear, but I doubt it is sustainable on even flat ground with no headwind. Your problem is available payload on the Suburban half ton with lots of equipment (LTZ). The NT will have about 900 pounds of tongue weight when properly loaded. How much weight does your TREAD act sticker say you have? It's a yellow sticker on your driver's door or door jam.

02-25-2011, 11:02 AM
I pull my NT 26LRSS just fine with my little F-150 Supercrew 4 x 2 4.6 3v 3.55 Limited Slip, 6 speed. I've never pulled it in real mountains, but I can run around 60 in the Texas hill country (I think the tires are only rated for 65). I think it is about the same weight, so with that bigger engine you ought to do all right. Mine runs at about 1800 on flat land and up to 4000 rpm uphill depending on the grade.

02-25-2011, 12:16 PM
Some other notable vehicles I have got to operate were an M1A2 Tank, OH58s, and the lovely AH64 Apache, so to be honest, I have no fear of learning to pull a large trailer, but am concerned about performance.

I had to laugh at that. My husband and I say the same thing of towing the Cyclone 3800 we're purchasing. He's an AH64D guy and I flew UH60s when on AD.

I don't have any better advice than what you've been given, except to say I towed a 32' Prowler bunk house with an Excursion V10. It had a 10K towing rating and GVWR of 9100 on the Prowler...and we could go 75 if we wanted to (I didn't want to).

As for the floor plan...it looks amazing! Our bunkhouse only had two bunks and no extra dinette (how cool!). I even lived in mine for 5 months while at Ft. Bliss for a course, so I'm sure you'll love it. Kids LOVE the bunks!

02-25-2011, 06:16 PM
Jlud, with a 5.3 and 3.43 gears your going to spend alot of time in the lower gears. A 5.3 is a 327 CI.+/- and not real torque'y
Make sure you have a good trans cooler and DO NOT change the tire size to a taller tire. My personal opinion is you don't have enough TV. If you had 3.73 gears and a 6.0 you would be a little better off. JMHO Bob (retired GM tech)

02-25-2011, 08:53 PM
Thanks for all the input. Ive been searching to see if I can ....pull this off....

Sounds like a little of each way, might have to try it, and worse case trade off tow vehicle. Thinking of waiting to gas to rocket so those inefficent models and trailers get cheaper.

Im tempted to go smaller, but need room for 3 kids. The small microlites are nice, but very small quarters for kids. Hate to buy something only to trade in a year or two for something bigger, seems like just simpler to get a well equipped nice one from the start.

Hmmmm decisions decisions...

03-02-2011, 05:51 PM
Well Jlud, 1yr ago I was in the same spot you find yourself in...we are a family of 4 (2yr old and an 8yr old). I was torn between a smaller unit and the 31QBS and we ended up deciding on the 31QBS. My tow vehicle is a 2010 Tundra 4.6L 4x4 with tow package and was concerned with the weight and lenght of the 31QBS, but I'm so glad we went with the 31QBS. The layout is so convenient, me and my son are early risers and we come out of our rooms into the kitchen and living room and don't need to wake the lady's to have breakfast etc...no tearing down tables to setup beds or put back together in the morning. We went from camping in a tent straight to the 31QBS.

03-02-2011, 06:11 PM
That is a fantastic floorplan. We looked at it, but had the pick-up so went with the 5th wheel. Pulling in the Rockies is different than anywhere else in the country, it is very extreme. If you are patient and have a good limit on your credit card for fuel, you will be fine. I pulled a travel trailer that I believe was 28' (can't remember as it was a few years ago) with my Expedition that had the 5.4. 30 mph is about all you are going to get going up I-70, so just plan accordingly. I think you are going to be under your legal requirements so safety is not a concern. The excursion was a much beefier vehicle, built on the F250 frame so it could tow a ton and the V10 was a torque monster. Be very attentive to your gauges, especially temparatures. Be prepared that as someone else posted it is going to spend most of its time in 3rd or 4th gear so it will rev pretty high, but that is what it is supposed to do. Have fun!

03-02-2011, 09:30 PM
Your TV is a gas so you will have your best torque and efficiancy at 3000 RPM. My experience showed me that by not racing and trying to pass other vehicles you will do fine with the 5.3. Remember that the faster the engine turns the more heat the fan will descipate.
I have seen some put an electric fan on their TV to save on fuel. Its the first step to ruining a power train, So if you use your heat gauge properly it will be fine.
In addition I would recomend a ScangaugeII to monitor the temperatures digitally and that way you will be able to see a rise of one degre or more faster so you can ease off before you get in trouble. With my diesel I would never tow my unit without the SGII.

I pulled a 6000 lbs 5th wheel trailer for many years with a 2.9 Ranger STX and never had any heat problem. I have friends that tow similar trailer successfully with similar vehicles.

03-16-2011, 09:04 AM
We have the NT 32QBSS. I had a Chevy Tahoe (5.7 V8, 4 x 4) to tow it with, but when I bought the RV I had already planned on getting a bigger TV. We did our first few outings using the Tahoe. It did the job. The tow rating for the Tahoe was 7200. I could feel that we needed more power, more control. I have since upgraded to a 2010 Suburban 2500 with a 6.0 V8. I could tow that trailer up a mountain sideways if I wanted to!!!

Keep in mind, kids and pets and wives (with this must have and that must have!!) will be adding weight to the TV.

Help yourself out by towing the RV with empty tanks. Spend the money and get an Equalizer hitch set-up. That works very well, and it will improve your rating a bit.

You'll love that layout. You'll love it even more the first time you're out with the family and it starts to rain! The kids will have somewhere to go without driving mom and dad nuts.

01-21-2012, 07:50 PM
Ok as fate would have it.....never bought a trailer as moved from CO to Wisc as I hated my job there...got a new 2011 Ram with the hemi in April, so 390hp and 400 plus pounds of torque, so should pull this like a champ in flatter lands. Even go the integrated brake controller when I bought it and trailer tow mirros, plus back up camera. So newest question, the 2011 rams have integrated trailer sway control, so do I need any special hitch set up, or do I just add the ball and go? Getting what I think is a smoking deal on a leftover 11, but have been thinking about Passport GT 3220BHS with outside kitchen, and dual slides. Passport just didnt seem as quality built when I walked through it, but more space and outside kitchen....any input appreciated, thanks

02-17-2012, 02:12 PM
I hope that new Ram is a 3/4 ton! It has less payload than Suburbans. :( Power is not a problem, but suspension and how it handles 900+ pounds of tongue weight is.

You still need weight distribution and I recommend a system with integrated sway (Equal-i-zer or Reese Strait Line).