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Author Topic: Straight up - what's my towing capacity?  (Read 41052 times, 94 Replies)
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denemante
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« on: July 29, 2008, 01:24:23 AM »

Hey all - I have an 07 Acadia SLT FWD.   It doesn't have (as far as I know) any factory towing options.  However, I have a jet-ski on a trailer, plus I occasionally get a UHaul trailer.  So I bought an aftermarket hitch and installed it myself.  Itself, the hitch is rated at something very hight like 4500lbs - althought I know it's the vehile that really matters.  This hitch bolted perfectly into the factory female threaded holes in the frame.  Jet-ski trailers and uhauls have been no problem.

But I want to buy a camper/travel trailer.  So without that "towing package", but while I still have the hitch noted above - any ideas on what weight range trailer/camper I should consider?  My wife wants the security of a hard-sided camper, so soft-sided (and light weight) pop-ups are out.
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« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2008, 06:03:00 AM »

The Acadia without the towing package is rated at 2000 lbs.
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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2008, 01:18:44 PM »

As per the manual and as stated by GAR, it's 2000lbs.  But, you have the same engine, same frame and all.  Just not the module to control the trans which can be accomplished manually with the +/- button on the shifter.  You will probably also be missing the higher capacity cooling, but if you watch the temp and don't go overboard on the trailer, i personally don't see a problem.
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« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2008, 05:41:39 PM »

I agree with JLF as long as you dont push the drive train too hard and watch your water temperature you should be okay with 4500 lbs.  The only differences are the tow/haul mode and the bigger radiator.  The transmission problem can be solved by manually selecting your gears so that only leaves the radiator.  You might find a company that rents a trailer like you want to buy or at least in the same weight range and give it a test go before you buy,  that way you wont end up buying something that you cant tow.
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« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2008, 09:44:33 PM »

I agree that technically it shouldn't be a big problem. Legally; however, I wouldn't do it. If you are in an accident the other side will start with "so you were towing a 4500 pound trailer with a vehicle rated to pull 2000 pounds!". Not much defense on that point, so make sure you have lots of insurance.
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« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2008, 11:16:53 PM »

Since the main difference between the two vehicles is the radiator I would have to assume that if you change the radiator then your tow rating legally would become 4500lbs.  The radiator would cost,  what maybe 300 dollars?? 
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« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2008, 01:35:51 AM »

They are higher than that. I looked on Rockauto.com and they had no listing. The only place I could find a listing was GM Parts Direct, and you have to keep in mind they have very low item prices and outrageous shipping prices, plus it takes a while to get anything. It was $402 there for the part & $88 ground shipping Uzi - and I'm only 2 states away! List is $644.20.

The GM package price of $425 retail is a real deal, you also get a hitch.

BTW, HD radiator is PN 15226650.

 
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« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2008, 05:05:57 AM »

The GM package price of $425 retail is a real deal, you also get a hitch.

This is true.  To anyone ordering new.  Get the tow package!!  After reading everything about the towing on this forum, even though I've never towed, and don't currently plan on towing, I wish I had purchased the towing package.  It's just a great value and can't hurt resale either.
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« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2008, 09:32:59 AM »

Actually the towing package can hurt resale.  If you have the tow package and acutually tow anything with the Acadia the driveline of the car would be more stressed than if you did not tow.  Most of the time when you trade in or sale a vehicle with a towing package a smart buyer will ask if you have towed anything with the vehicle.  A smart buyer would be leery about buying a vehicle used for towing very often versus one that was not used for towing.   Cheers
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« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2008, 09:42:04 AM »

Actually the towing package can hurt resale.  If you have the tow package and actually tow anything with the Acadia the driveline of the car would be more stressed than if you did not tow.  Most of the time when you trade in or sale a vehicle with a towing package a smart buyer will ask if you have towed anything with the vehicle.  A smart buyer would be leery about buying a vehicle used for towing very often versus one that was not used for towing.   Cheers

That's assuming you have a smart buyer. I'm not sure they are making them anymore Smiley. If you tell them you bought it for the HD cooling equipment, this would usually suffice. I'd be more prone to buy one with the package than without based on my knowledge of how GM builds vehicles.
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« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2008, 12:59:37 PM »

Hey all - so as GAR and others noted above, my Acadia WITHOUT any towing package would be rated for 2000lbs.  I wasn't able to understand the crazy formula in the manual, so I'm curious where this number came from.  But I'll work with it for now.  By the way, my Curt hitch is rated for 5000lbs, so that would far exceed what my vehicle could pull anyway, so I don't think I need to worry there.

As for the transmission deal, do I understand correctly that the "tow package" in terms of the trans simply computer-controls shifting so it's smoother?  So if I were a smart driver and used the up-down buttons on the shifter, I could do the same?  Regardless, I fail to see how this component of the "tow package" could increase the amount I'm able to pull. 

That leaves the radiator, right?  So if GMC simply installed a the bigger radiator in my vehicle, my towing capacity would increase from 2000lbs to 4500lbs?  Can that be right?  Or does the transmission module thing actually help add to the capacity?

Anyway, a radiator is meant to cool the engine and the bigger one supposedly would do its job if I were towing 4500lbs.  Should I assume my small radiator is only strong enough to cool when towing 2000lbs?  Or can I sneak by with towing 3500lbs as long as the temp doesn't rise?  And if it does, I pull over and give it a rest?
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« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2008, 01:22:54 PM »

Hey all - so as GAR and others noted above, my Acadia WITHOUT any towing package would be rated for 2000lbs.  I wasn't able to understand the crazy formula in the manual, so I'm curious where this number came from.  But I'll work with it for now.  By the way, my Curt hitch is rated for 5000lbs, so that would far exceed what my vehicle could pull anyway, so I don't think I need to worry there.

As for the transmission deal, do I understand correctly that the "tow package" in terms of the trans simply computer-controls shifting so it's smoother?  So if I were a smart driver and used the up-down buttons on the shifter, I could do the same?  Regardless, I fail to see how this component of the "tow package" could increase the amount I'm able to pull. 

That leaves the radiator, right?  So if GMC simply installed a the bigger radiator in my vehicle, my towing capacity would increase from 2000lbs to 4500lbs?  Can that be right?  Or does the transmission module thing actually help add to the capacity?

Anyway, a radiator is meant to cool the engine and the bigger one supposedly would do its job if I were towing 4500lbs.  Should I assume my small radiator is only strong enough to cool when towing 2000lbs?  Or can I sneak by with towing 3500lbs as long as the temp doesn't rise?  And if it does, I pull over and give it a rest?

 The factory tow package not only has a hitch and electronics package it also has a tranny cooler to help keep the tranny from burning up while you are towing.
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« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2008, 02:51:08 PM »

That's right, it's not a bigger engine radiator, it is a radiator for the transmission that is added.  From talking to the dealer and reading other posts, the most you can get a dealer to do, and not void any warranty is to install the new fuse box needed for the lighting system.  Anything added would have to be done (as I have been told) by an outside source, and any engine or tranny damage done could be blamed on the mods and void the warranty.  Also from what I understand, the wiring under the dash is not set up for the towing switch so you can't just add the switch.
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« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2008, 02:56:18 PM »

The factory towing package just adds extra cooling capacity to the vehicle.  I pull more than 2000lbs behind mine several times a year on a 400 mile round trip when I take my bass boat to Louisiana.  As long as you watch your temeperature and dont push the vehicle harder than you should you should not have any problems.  I dont understand how GM came up with the towing capacities either.  When you look at tow ratings with pick up trucks the difference in their tow ratings come from different gear choices in the rear end,  not from a bigger radiator or tranny cooler.  I do agree that if you are going to be towing a lot with the Acadia that the extra cooling capacity would be needed but for occasional use as long as you use common sense you should be fine.
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« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2008, 08:51:24 PM »

Any trailer over 2000 lbs, will need trailer brakes
and thus the electrical connector with the hitch.
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« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2008, 12:04:02 AM »

I received the following reply from GMC today via email in response to my question about the possiblility of raising the tow limits of the Acadia.  Here is their reply - which I found interesting!

"Currently, we do not have plans to modify the towing capacity of the 2009 Acadia to 5,200 pounds from the standard 4,500 pounds.  The 5,200 pound rating is achieved only on the all-new 2009 Traverse due to additional cooling capacity, additional structure to the bumper, and a modified tow hitch to facilitate the increased towing.  It may be possible to change the configuration of the Acadia in the future to accommodate for addition towing capacity; however, at this time we do not have any plans to change the vehicle for that purpose. "

Smooth <><
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« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2008, 01:26:51 AM »

I received the following reply from GMC today via email in response to my question about the possiblility of raising the tow limits of the Acadia.  Here is their reply - which I found interesting!

"Currently, we do not have plans to modify the towing capacity of the 2009 Acadia to 5,200 pounds from the standard 4,500 pounds.  The 5,200 pound rating is achieved only on the all-new 2009 Traverse due to additional cooling capacity, additional structure to the bumper, and a modified tow hitch to facilitate the increased towing.  It may be possible to change the configuration of the Acadia in the future to accommodate for addition towing capacity; however, at this time we do not have any plans to change the vehicle for that purpose. "

Smooth <><


 I find that response interesting especially when reading this published notice from GM Canada.

http://media.gmcanada.com/ca/gm/en/products/VehiclesEng/e9Acadia_PIG.htm

Capacities

Seating capacity:
 7 or 8
 
Cargo volume (L / cu ft):
 3282 / 115.9 (second and third row folded)
1942 / 68.6 (second row up, third row folded)
682 / 24.1 (behind third row)
 
Max towing capacity (kg / lb):
 2358 / 5200
 
GCWR (kg / lb):
 4309 / 9500 (FWD)
4400 / 9700 (AWD)
 
GVWR (kg / lb):
 2930 / 6459
 
Fuel tank (L / imp.gal):
 83.3 / 18.3
 



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« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2008, 08:41:10 AM »

I just spoke with Randy Fox who said that they ARE still increasing the towing capacity of the Acadia, that it just needs to be validated, then the increase can be made.  He did say that the increase would be to the Acadia and Outlook, but not the Enclave.  I got to thinking about it, and it would make sense that GMC, which has traditionally been a "truck" division of GM would not want to be upstaged by Chevy in something so truck-like as towing, ya know?  Not necessarily so much with the Buick brand due to demographic differences.  Smooth, who sent that e-mail  that they weren't increasing the towing capacity?
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« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2008, 03:09:20 PM »

Hey guys, UPDATE on towing package increase... I pumped Jim Burke for info on the change to the hitch receiver and he got with production who told him that the date for the change to take place thus increasing the towing capacity is supposed to be SEPTEMBER 28th!  I told him I would call him back in a week or ten days to get just a little bit closer so they can CONFIRM the change to take place...I dont want to jump the gun just yet in case there is a slight day....
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« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2008, 07:15:01 PM »

Hey all,

I'm the starter of this thread.  I called GMC and raised my question - without the tow package, how much can I tow assuming I've installed just the hitch?  They called back to tell me they were looking into it.  Today, they called again and said simply "they don't recommend towing ANYTHING as it will destroy the transmission".  The lady was blunt and to the point, and simply kept repeating that even though I questioned her.  Finally, she said 1000-1500lbs is possible, but they don't recommend it because it will destroy the transmission.

I have not checked with my dealer, but I'd assume GMC themselves would be the authority.

I'm not sure what to think.  If I tow a 2000lb camper/pop-up (including gear), maybe I will wreck my transmission.  My dealer will look and see that I have a hitch installed, and perhaps refuse to cover it under warranty.



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