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#1 Old 10-14-2012, 06:07 PM
emower419
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Newbie with questions!?

Hey everyone. I'm a car guy at heart. I am getting ride of my 2500 suburban and buying an Armada. I have a 28 travel trailer I'm going to tow that is 7800 lbs maxed. I know some guys tow with anti-sway equipment. I have been pulling travel trailers for a long time. so I've got a few questions about the truck I'm looking to buy and about trailer setup
1) Will this thing be all over the road with a 28' travel trailer? Will standard WD hitch work fine or should I spend the money on anti-sway hitch?
2) The truck I'm looking at had the 4x4 light on the dash. Any ideas? selected 2x4 from auto and it stayed on.
3) A/C didn't feel really cold, compressor would cycle constantly. I think I should have the dealer check it out before i buy it. What do you think?
4) Power pulling grades. How are these things with pulling grades? I tow in the applicaian mountains and have grades of 6-9% on a few hills here I want to make sure we can haul my trailer without strugling like my burb does.

Test drive was really nice a lot better than my burb. Was very quite and the handling was night and day difference. Thinking its a good choice but its a shorter wheelbase and I'm affraid that it might be less stable. I'm looking at an 05 LE 4x4. Good choice?
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#2 Old 10-14-2012, 09:14 PM
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Welcome to CA emower419!

Members who tow waaaaaay more than I can answer your questions and hopefully they will!
The 4WD light comes on with me occasionally, it usually means a malfinction in the 4X4 system.
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#3 Old 10-15-2012, 02:39 PM
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Welcome to the Club!!
The TT guys should be chiming in shortly?!?

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#4 Old 10-15-2012, 03:41 PM
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Surprisingly enough, the wheelbase isn't all that much shorter than a 1500 Suburban. I realize the spec's might show they are but I'm currently rebuilding the front end of a 2005 Suburban 1500 in my driveway and side by side there's only like a 1/2" difference in the bumper to bumper length and the wheels are fairly close too, maybe a Burb 2500 might be different.

Anyway, I tow a 30' 6,000ish-lbs Jay Flight 29BHS and I have 35" M/T tires. I've been through the Rocky Mountains, the trick is to keep it in 4th gear then downshift to hold in a lower gear if/when it decides to gear hunt, but do NOT ever use 'D' when towing the TT. Anti-Sway is definitely a requirement on these SUV's for any trailer over 5000-lbs. I use an Equalizer 10k and Prodigy P2 Brake Controller, bought both together from RVWholesalers.com. Hope that helps. Welcome to the Forum!!!

Here's where I've taken some notes for reference: http://www.clubarmada.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14608

Also, I would shy away from that Armada if I were you unless you're able to work in a brand new Front Diff and/or Transfer Case replacement into the deal. The 4wd light is indicating a problem with the 4x4 system and that's the last thing you need if you're gonna be towing with it. Then only Heaven knows what you'll be facing with a depleated A/C system.

- Bob
2005 Armada LE 4x4

Last edited by Pops; 10-15-2012 at 03:47 PM.
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#5 Old 10-15-2012, 07:27 PM
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The battery was Low when we went to look at it. That sometimes makes computers goofy when they are trying to start with a low battery.
I went back today to look at it again. The 4x4 light was off this time. i cycled the switch through each function. Everything seemed to work fine. They checked the A/C system. They said it was fully charged. I was trying it sitting in the parking lot on a 55 degree day. There looks like a condenser fan on the front, it was never running with the AC on. Maybe that's the problem. My burb turns the fan on when the clutch kicks in. Dealership has a 30 day exchange Policy and I'm working on getting some kind of extended warranty for it.

@Poops Thanks for chiming in. Right now I have a regular Reese WD hitch. If I get this Armada I will be towing it back about 150 mile trip. i'm used to towing a car trailer at work with a reg cab short bed pickup with no WD hitch. That thing is squerlly. This Armada should be better. OH and the 1500 and 2500 are same chassis. GM uses heavier duty drive train. Hence the whimpy 8000lb towing capacity with a normal everyday 2500 Suburban, you have to look far and wide for a decent 8.1L with a 4.10 full floating rear to get their 12K tow rating. Most 1500 Burbs only rated for 7400-7900 lbs. I think curb weight plays a big factor. They are super heavy.
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#6 Old 10-15-2012, 09:05 PM
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The electric condenser comes on only when needed. It does not come anytime the compressor running.
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#7 Old 10-15-2012, 09:40 PM
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I would suggest picking up the Armada on Sat and spend the weekend in it for test driving then return it Mon after work. Just tell them you're not buying anything until you've spent at least one full day in it. If they're smart they'll let you so you can grow attached to it.

For the Reese, I think you can just buy a pair of Dual Cams to add anti-sway to it. If you decide to add friction sway instead just remember you need 2 anti sway devices and the frictIon sway usually work better for smaller trailers and is not always strong enoUgh for a TT behind a 1/2 ton SUV.

- Bob
2005 Armada LE 4x4

Last edited by Pops; 10-15-2012 at 09:43 PM.
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#8 Old 11-02-2012, 09:43 AM
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but do NOT ever use 'D' when towing the TT

Ijust picked up my 2012 Armada yesterday. I tow a 7600lb Jayco trailer 29RLDS. You said in your post to never use D always keep it in 4th. WHY? I'm new and any help will be greatly appreciated.

Last edited by joe in calif; 11-02-2012 at 07:27 PM.
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#9 Old 11-05-2012, 08:26 PM
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I did end up buying it. It does a fantastic Job Towing. I relized that my Weight Distribution setup was also an old style dual cam anti-sway hitch. The Rear air suspension works great and it has plenty of power. The gearing is good.
My only disappointment is that above 55mph in 4th the trans won't unlock the torque converter for small inclines and I find myself down shifting to hold my speed. When the truck is under 55mph it unlocks the torque converter and gives a nicer transition between gears. Maybe someone out there has reprogrammed the trans?
Also, my driver door rattles and shakes (bangs against the door jam) when hitting bumbs in the road. Not sure why?
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#10 Old 11-06-2012, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe in calif View Post
but do NOT ever use 'D' when towing the TT

Ijust picked up my 2012 Armada yesterday. I tow a 7600lb Jayco trailer 29RLDS. You said in your post to never use D always keep it in 4th. WHY? I'm new and any help will be greatly appreciated.
Because the Torque Converter will not be able to stay locked and the transmission will start to overheat sooner or later.

- Bob
2005 Armada LE 4x4
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