Offroad Trailblazers and Envoys

Got our R-Pod Camper. My Experience towing with TB. (Pic)

Trailblazer and Envoy related, but not off-road related...

by clickscrazy » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:33 am

This is all info I would have loved to have while preparing to start traveling with our camper. Maybe it will help someone.

Equipment:
2018 R-Pod 171, Weight 2500 lbs.
Husky Distribution Hitch and Sway control.
Prodigy P2 Trailer Brake, set at 3.5 (Didn't really have this dialed in)
05 TB 4.2, 3.42 Gears, 153K, Mark MC Lift, 1.5" Mark MC Spacer Adapters, Transmission Cooler

Travel:
We towed it from Tampa back to Orlando (1.5 Hours). We stayed at 55 to 60mph.

Performance:
MPG 12MPG at 60, 13.5MPG at 55.
RPM at 55 (2k), RPM at 60 (2,200K)
Towed in 3rd WITH Cruise Control.

TB Towing Overview:
1. Control, I am a newbie, and this felt very stable and in control. Towed level even with the lift, no sway at all even with semi's passing.
2. TB Power, There was more power to give, but based on RPM and acceleration, you would be running at 3.5k rpm to 4k up hills depending on the speed you were trying to maintain. You will for sure know that you will have a trailer, even one this light.
3. Visibility, Excellent no extra mirrors of any kind needed with this small of a trailer.
4. TB Temp, Clocked at at 210, EXCEPT at one point which makes me nervous. At 55 with cruise on, a long incline caused the trans to shift down into maybe 3rd or second and rpm when up to about 3.5 to 4k as it tried to maintain speed. As soon as that happened, temp shot up about 10 to 15 degrees. After 5 minutes, of normal driving, the temp was back down. You might have seen my previous thread in trip prep I replaced all coolant, thermostat and coolant temp sensor.
5. Braking, I didn't even set the brake controller before we left, we were in a rush. I just braked very slow and it stopped just fine. I will dial it in on our next trip.

Possible cause 1: The Water Pump blades are maybe work down, and it could not deliver the flow it needed at that RPM. (Any thoughts are much appreciated).
Possible cause 2: The cat is clogged. Though I do not feel any actual power issues. When it went down to 3.5 k, it sounded good, and pulled very strong.

Image
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by DirtyBacon04 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:11 pm

My Jayco was about the same dimensions. Towed beautifully.
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by clickscrazy » Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:13 pm

What do you think about what I experienced with the temp?
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by DirtyBacon04 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:48 am

Well I have 4.10 gears and a xmsn cooler, so that's higher than I experienced and awful close to my "pull over and let it cool down" temp (212°)
I normally got around 196° towing hwy at 65mph.
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by KingBird » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:20 pm

Shoot, I had an issue with one of my rad tanks that caused me to run at 230* during these 105+ degree days here in Odessa with the a/c blowin.

I was more worried about my tranny temps than the engine (my cooler is still plumbed in with the "cooler" in the rad for winter).
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by clickscrazy » Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:12 pm

What was your issue with your rad?
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by KingBird » Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:48 pm

Top tank had a crack which I couldn't find until it suddenly became an issue.
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by bartonmd » Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:19 am

Your temps are fine. The fan is only at 50% at 230F, FWIW. Keep engine temps under 235-340, and trans temps under 235 or so, and you'll be fine, especially if you're running Dexron 6 or a full-synthetic trans fluid. What trans temps were you running, or do you know? I'd be towing it in 3rd gear, so the TC stays locked up a lot more, it doesn't shift cycle as much, and it flows more oil and coolant.

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by clickscrazy » Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:42 am

I tow in 3rd. I am not sure what the trans temp is. I did not have a means to check.

I put in dexron 6 when I did the trans service.

Thanks for all the feedback. I will update.
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by DirtyBacon04 » Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:43 am

I tow in 3rd, also. Try to keep it under 70. Like Mike Barton noted, I wouldn't be worried about your engine temps. That big ol' fan does a pretty good job at cooling our motor. My bigger concern has always been the xmsn. I'm on my 4th one...
Random piece of valuable advice... if you do have you xmsn rebuilt, have the dude replace your torque converter with one out of a 5.3L motor. Doesn't heat up NEARLY as much.
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by clickscrazy » Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:04 pm

I wouldnt dream of even towing my little camper at 70. 55 to 60 on flat. Who knows what I could actually do on any sort of hill. Probably 45 max.
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by NC_IslandRunner » Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:26 pm

2500lbs shouldn't even be noticed behind a TB, I towed 5-6k with mine before without issue. Haven't tried my camper behind it, 6,300lbs is a little too much, I'll stick to hauling it with the truck.

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by mason10198 » Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:33 am

Wish I could provide some helpful comparison info. I'm 4.56s and PCMofNCs efan kit, and I can't tow ANYTHING without overheating. I can't even drive down the interstate for 20 minutes with the AC on without my engine temps climbing up to 250+. Roadie crap tested the old Efan kit and it failed, I was hoping this new kit would be better. I'm seriously disappointed in it and I can't believe I paid 400 bucks for it.

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by BC backroader » Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:57 am

I tow this often, with no issues. 30" tires and 3.42 gears.
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by HawkeyeC25 » Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:17 pm

mason10198 wrote:Wish I could provide some helpful comparison info. I'm 4.56s and PCMofNCs efan kit, and I can't tow ANYTHING without overheating. I can't even drive down the interstate for 20 minutes with the AC on without my engine temps climbing up to 250+. Roadie crap tested the old Efan kit and it failed, I was hoping this new kit would be better. I'm seriously disappointed in it and I can't believe I paid 400 bucks for it.

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Do you have the full trailblazer shroud with the dual fans? Are they both running full when warm/hot? I was thinking about going this route on my 5.3L, but now you have me worried. Maybe I can buy yours and give it a try ;)
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