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Old 10-07-2008, 05:28 PM  
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Question SUV and horse trailer?

This might be a stupid question...
but can a mid-size SUV (GMC Envoy) pull a small 2 horse trailer? Probably just with one horse in it?
The towing restriction weight on it is 5000 lbs, so it technically should be able to. But I've heard that towing a horse trailer with an SUV is a no-no.
any opinions?
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Old 10-07-2008, 05:45 PM  
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HUGE no no in my books. I don't even own an SUV. Refuse to. They roll too easy. I see it waaaaaay too much in my line of work (medic). Trucks are meant for pulling. Its not necessary being within the weight limit of pulling but the heavy duty rear end, transmission, body/frame, etc ..............
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Old 10-07-2008, 05:47 PM  
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Only pulling a Brenderup trailer.
it is not so much pulling-the danger comes in when trying to have a small vehicle STOP that weight.
Brenderups are made on the European model and are specifically made for small/lightweight tow vehicles[surge brakes]
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Old 10-07-2008, 06:13 PM  
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I pull my 2 horse with my minivan. I had a weight distributing hitch installed on my minivan to make it easier on my car, and I have not had any problems at all. I can barely even tell it is there, and I have no trouble stopping it.
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Old 10-07-2008, 06:15 PM  
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We haul with a 2500 suburban. Don't even know the trailer is there.
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Old 10-07-2008, 06:58 PM  
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It CAN be a problem, if the hitch, ball, etc. are not rated appropriately for the amount of weight, but if it's done correctly, it can be perfectly safe.

I have a Toyota 4Runner, and it's max. towing weight is 7,000 lbs. My hitch is rated to tow 10,000 and the ball is rated to tow 10,000. I ONLY put one horse in my trailer, although technically I should be able to pull two but I won't do that. As long as all of the equipment is at, or more than, the towing capacity, AND you drive correctly, you should be fine with an Envoy. I can barely feel my trailer...it has never swayed once, and the entire hitch is level from trailer to hitch.

A friend of mine uses a Durango, with a larger 2-horse trailer (don't know weight) and 2 horses in it. She is very safety conscious and has not ever had a problem.

Just be sure to check every single towing capacity in your owner's manual, and double-check with your hitch company installing anything. I would LOVE to have a huge truck, but not everyone can. That doesn't mean skimp and make do, just do it right. Good luck!
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Old 10-07-2008, 07:31 PM  
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I agree with the above, but you have to consider total weight while towing (horse + trailer) and your vehicle's abilities. Trailer brakes are a good idea.

I've used a 2500 Suburban to pull a 3 horse trailer with two horses in it (not my rig, someone else's I was just helping out) and with the trailer brakes it worked just fine and stopped nearly as well as my gooseneck and 3/4 ton pickup do now, although I prefer the pickup for other reasons.

I don't know what it would be like if the trailer brakes weren't there though - that would probably make a big difference, I know it does with my rig.
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Old 10-07-2008, 07:43 PM  
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Sorry Barnbum, but we are going around again. Some SUV"S are a truck. They are built on a truck frame with the same towing capacity as a truck. Our Navigator was ordered with a heavy duty rear axle and a heavy duty towing option. We have hauled a trailer with it just about every weekend. Horse trailer, race car trailer, and utility trailer without any problem. But with respect to Barbums comment-most suv's are not meant to tow a horse trailer-period. We did our research and feel very comfortable using our truck to tow,but it was built that way at the factory. Without the factory towing package you are taking a serious risk.
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Old 10-07-2008, 08:22 PM  
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I have a Tahoe with the heavy duty towing package and it pulls my 2 horse trailer just fine. It is also built on a truck frame.
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Old 10-07-2008, 08:55 PM  
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Unfortunately, the correct question here is not whether an SUV can haul a 2H trailer (with one horse), but whether it can do so safely.

Don't get too mesmerized by the numbers of vehicle capacity versus trailer weight (like I did). You should also consider things like radiator capacity, wheel base, stopping power, and tow\hitch strength. As others have said, properly rigged SUVs can be matched with properly weighted trailers. But I would think it's safe to say that the bigger the vehicle is in comparison to the trailer, the safer the rig is going to be for all involved.

I'm speaking from the experience of purchasing a truck with 7000lb towing capacity and a trailer with empty weight 4000lb, and a 2000lb horse. In theory, it seems like that should be a good match. But you add in another 400-500lbs of gear (camping, gear, tack, hay), and consider that the trailer is especially looong with the horse at the back end of it, and there are times when I feel like the trailer is driving the truck. It is not a good or safe combination, and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. The point being that my numbers seemed right, but still they weren't a good match.

If you have a local company that deals with trucks and trailers, you might get advice from them.
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Old 10-07-2008, 09:32 PM  
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It looks like the Envoy is similar to a Trailblazer, so it probably can pull a trailer.

You'll probably want to have an auxiliary engine oil cooler and transmission oil cooler installed if you plan to haul more than an hour on the highway more than very rarely, or if you live in a hilly area.

If you really want to get serious, there are "tow chips" for many of the on-board computers that modify the instructions sent to the trainsmission and engine while under load to improve performance and reduce wear.

As for safetly, that has alot to do with your personal risk tolerance - some folks can handle more than others. If the vehicle is rated to pull the weight, that's good enouigh for the law and the insurrance companies.
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Old 10-08-2008, 10:48 AM  
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Ok, I'll chime in...

Remember that pulling live weight is a lot different that dead weight. Most recommend not pulling more than 75% of the rated capacity when pulling live weight. Why? Live weight moves, sometimes significantly, which can really throw a lot of extra load on your vehicle and normally when you need it the least (like when having to swerve or panic stop). If you are in the mountians then even 75% may be a little high.

Also remember that if you add a 'tow' chip as taelesean suggested you may have problems with warranty service should you need it. Most of the manufactures are really coming down on any type of horsepower modifications. It's almost like they are looking for reasons to deny coverage.
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Old 10-08-2008, 11:11 AM  
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i haul around a 4 horse stock with a dakota.it is a truck but...isnt really made for this.hubby added a tranny cooler.and he reinforced the frame.he also installed a brake control.even so im very careful. in curves if im not careful the weight throws the truck around.can be unsafe if not cautious.yep its a personal risk tolerance.if you do use this then just be careful.and this can shorten the life of your vehicle too.your only hauling 1 horse in a small trailer should be ok.
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Old 10-08-2008, 12:07 PM  
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My uncle has an 06 Envoy and he pulls a 2 horse trailer with it, in the mountains of KY(not huge but steep and curvy) without a problem. So, yes the Envoy can pull the trailer and can stop the trailer but it takes a more experienced driver than pulling the same trailer with a 1 ton truck would. Therefor, the question is not if the Envoy can pull the trailer but whether or not you have the experience necessary to do so safely. Only you can answer that question.

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Old 10-08-2008, 12:52 PM  
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I have an Olds Bravada, which is a close to a GMC Envoy as you can get. It is a 2004, with AWD and a straight six, and the trailer towing package.

I have towed a sixteen foot aluminum stock trailer with it. Around town, and short trips, it works fine with one or two horses. It is too light and too short for long trips or Interstate driving.

The towing weight rating is fine for a small two horse with two horses.

In fact, of the three vehicles I had available when I bought the trailer (Toyota Tacoma, Ford F-150, Olds Bravada) the Olds actually had the highest rating capacity. I've since bought an F-250 for full loads and long runs and Interstate driving.
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Old 10-09-2008, 10:42 AM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dream Ponies View Post
Sorry Barnbum, but we are going around again. Some SUV"S are a truck. They are built on a truck frame with the same towing capacity as a truck. .

I personally don't feel SUV's are safe.
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Old 10-10-2008, 07:44 AM  
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im off topic but...BARNBUM your avatar is way too funny!i like it!
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Old 10-11-2008, 12:16 PM  
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Just got back from my weekly trip to Fleet Farm (sort of a poor man's TSC) and saw the worst example of an undersized vehicle pulling an oversized load.

Woman was driving an old Ford Explorer and towing a three-horse trailer that looked to be carrying three horses. I don't know how she did it--I have an F150 and a small two horse trailer that I sometimes worry about. I can't imagine the big trailer, small SUV combo...sure seemed like a bad idea
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Old 10-11-2008, 12:36 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corporate cowgirl View Post
Just got back from my weekly trip to Fleet Farm (sort of a poor man's TSC) and saw the worst example of an undersized vehicle pulling an oversized load.

Woman was driving an old Ford Explorer and towing a three-horse trailer that looked to be carrying three horses. I don't know how she did it--I have an F150 and a small two horse trailer that I sometimes worry about. I can't imagine the big trailer, small SUV combo...sure seemed like a bad idea


Makes ya want to say a prayer for the horses.
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Old 10-11-2008, 12:44 PM  
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Worst combo I ever saw was a Volkswagen Rabbit diesel four door sedan pulling a home-built "aerodynamic" one horse. Both painted bright yellow, and he hauled from Ohio to Tennessee for a trail ride!
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