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Old 06-06-2020, 11:05 AM   #1
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Towing a 21 with 4 speed transmission

We have a 2001 GMC Yukon XL with a 5.3L V8, towing package (including transmission cooler), and 3.73 gear ratio. Towing capacity is 7800 lbs. We bought it new and it has been pampered - only 100k miles and very well maintained, so we know it’s in great shape. There are also things I can upgrade (like brakes) that will improve the towing experience.

My concern is the 4 speed transmission, as our travel plans include trips through the mountains. Any feedback on towing a 21 (either C or NE) with a 4 speed?

Thanks much for any input provided!
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Old 06-06-2020, 11:48 AM   #2
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If you like your Yukon - use it. How many trailers have been towed through the years with a 350 V8 mated to a 3 speed? My wife's Uncle Elmer towed his old 8000lb 28' Prowler down to Nicaragua and up to Denali and all points in between behind a Suburban with a 350 V8 and 3 speed automatic. An 8 or 10 speed might do it more economically and more quietly, but the 4 speed will get you there just as surely.
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Old 06-06-2020, 12:14 PM   #3
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I towed a trailer a little heavier then the 21 for years with 4 speeds, never had tranny problems. If it would make you feel better you could get something like a Scangauge and watch the temp.

https://www.scangauge.com/products/scangauge-ii/
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Old 06-06-2020, 01:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sherminator View Post
If you like your Yukon - use it. How many trailers have been towed through the years with a 350 V8 mated to a 3 speed? My wife's Uncle Elmer towed his old 8000lb 28' Prowler down to Nicaragua and up to Denali and all points in between behind a Suburban with a 350 V8 and 3 speed automatic. An 8 or 10 speed might do it more economically and more quietly, but the 4 speed will get you there just as surely.
Down to Nicaragua and up to Denali. ‘Nuff said! Great feedback! Thank you!
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Old 06-06-2020, 01:11 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by padlin View Post
I towed a trailer a little heavier then the 21 for years with 4 speeds, never had tranny problems. If it would make you feel better you could get something like a Scangauge and watch the temp.

https://www.scangauge.com/products/scangauge-ii/
Thank you for the first-hand feedback. Greatly appreciated! And the scanguage suggestion is great advice!
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Old 06-06-2020, 02:19 PM   #6
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I towed our 21 with a 2006 TrailBlazer 4.2l straight 6 and 4 speed automatic for 2 years. No issues other than pulling some mountain passes in second gear. I used a scan gauge to monitor tranny temp.
I replaced the TB with a 2014 Silverado 5.3l V8 & 6 speed - much quieter & smoother tow, but I wouldn't retire your Yukon until you're ready for some other reason.
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