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Tahoe to Pull 32’ Intrepid?

Old 08-08-2020, 10:09 PM
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Default Tahoe to Pull 32’ Intrepid?

Last year I moved my boat from dry rack to wet slip. As Dorian was approaching, I bought a new trailer (3 axle, surge brakes on one axle, all aluminum construction) and have pulled the boat thee times, each time with a friend kind enough to use their F250 to pull it.

My vehicle is a 2WD Tahoe. The concern that all my friends who tow boats on a regular basis have about my Tahoe is the possible lack of ability to pull my 11,000 -12,000 lb boat out of the water and up the ramp. The consensus is that I am fine towing it with my (1/2 Ton) Tahoe on surface streets for the 2-3 times a year I might do so.

I am ordering a 2021 Tahoe and am planning to order it with 4WD because those that I know and respect have said that the only concern with my current 2WD is pulling my boat out up the ramp.

I am interested in hearing thoughts from those with experience of using a 1/2 ton 4WD in this situation and your thoughts on if it will do the trick. I am not looking for someone to read off specs because I know that the specs don’t show the Tahoe matched for the boat/trailer ... that’s why I am asking for read life experience. I also understand the one axle surge brake situation so I don’t need to be lectured about that ... just want to know the real world thoughts from those with experience on my plan. Thanks!
Old 08-08-2020, 10:27 PM
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You could tow 30k with that rig but only about 10 mph. I would 100% scrap that surge and put eoh on and probably a 2nd axle of brakes. It will do.it but if you get in a panic situation that boat will own you and your Tahoe will be at its mercy.
Old 08-09-2020, 03:22 AM
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I used to own a 2WD Tahoe to tow my 31' Yellowfin and it would pull it up the ramp and go down the road just fine. I think that it weighed about 8,000- 9,000 lbs which is much lighter than your Intrepid. I had a 2 axle trailer with EOH disc brakes on all 4 wheels so it felt safe in traffic.
The biggest complaint I had was that the short wheelbase of the Tahoe made the steering very sensitive when hauling the boat. It was ok for short distances but it required much more concentration than with a smaller , lighter load.
When I replaced the Tahoe with a 3/4 ton truck, it was like night and day. The longer wheelbase and heavier weight of the truck made for a much more relaxing drive on the highway.
I would not recommend the Tahoe for towing your boat. Get a truck.The GMC 4 door pickup has an interior almost identical to the Tahoe and it's the right vehicle for the job.
Old 08-09-2020, 05:13 AM
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I used to trailer a light-weight aluminum boat with a Tahoe and I thought it was the most overrated tow vehicle on the market. The short wheelbase, inadequate brakes and 5 speed transmission severely limited towing capability. I believe the new Tahoe's have a 10 speed transmission which should help tremendously but your boat is WAY heavier than what I was pulling and your braking system on both the Tahoe and the boat is inadequate.
Old 08-09-2020, 05:35 AM
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I had a 2018 Tahoe RST and moved to a 2019 F250 diesel. The only thing the Tahoe has over an F250 is the third seating row. Even this is mitigated by the width of the F250 offering a legit 3 person or even 3 across car seat ability. I found the Tahoe to be super cramped inside despite its apparent size from the outside. The Tahoe even with the 10 speed was limited to about 8500lbs for towing. I wouldn’t dream of hooking up a 32’ Intrepid to that vehicle. Do yourself a huge favor and get a 3/4 ton. Honestly, I think my F250 is much nicer inside than my 2018 Tahoe too.
Old 08-09-2020, 05:50 AM
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If it has the 5.3 liter you will hate it. It’s a soccer mom car period. My wife has driven a Surburban’s(x3) for the last 15 years and they are great grocery getters/kid haulers but we pulled our bay boats as well and it just struggled.
i rarely pull with my excursion but it’s a nice option when needed.



Last edited by JointAsset; 08-09-2020 at 07:01 AM.
Old 08-09-2020, 06:25 AM
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Do yourself a huge favor and get the expedition max with max tow instead. At least a suburban.
Old 08-09-2020, 06:26 AM
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If you're looking to purchase a new vehicle anyway, get a 250/2500 pickup. Take a look, you will surprised about how nice they are. I would not consider a Tahoe for a boat that big. I was trailering home yesterday and passed a new Navigator hauling a 28' bow rider. Every time they got over 65, it started swaying. They had too much tongue weight as the bumper was sagging a bit, but also the "truck" (and I use that term lightly) was struggling. The guy was white knuckle all the way. You do not want to be that guy..
Old 08-09-2020, 06:30 AM
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I had a 17 Yukon and it always felt like a beat-down towing my 6500 lb trailer on the interstate. I got a Ram 2500 last year and it is leaps and bound better. With a load over 10k LBS you really need a 3/4 ton truck.
Old 08-09-2020, 06:47 AM
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Are you serious? A Tahoe has a towing capacity of 6600 pounds. You will break things and could possibly injure yourself or others. Don't do it.

That load would be at the very limits of a half ton pickup truck and only comfortable with a 3/4 ton pickup.

Last edited by capt_matt; 08-09-2020 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 08-09-2020, 07:26 AM
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My wife had a Tahoe, 5.3L, 4WD and I used it one time to tow when I had my 21' Key West. Pulled it 3.5 hours to the outer banks. Never did it again!

You don't say how far you need to tow your boat. Will a 4WD Tahoe pull it up the ramp? Probably. Once on the street though if you had to stop quickly it's not going to happen. 12k pounds and surge brakes on one axle would even put a hurting on a 3/4 ton pickup's braking system in a panic stop. Then you need to consider tongue weight on the trailer. At 10% we are talking 1100-1200 pound. The front end of the Tahoe would probably feel like it is floating.

My advice would be this. If you are going to buy a new Tahoe just continue to let one of your friends with a bigger truck pull you boat when you need to do it. Pay for their fuel and slip them $100 for their troubles.
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Old 08-09-2020, 07:37 AM
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10 out of 10 so far and the GM haters haven't even chimed in yet.
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Old 08-09-2020, 07:41 AM
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I wouldn't do it. I have an 03 Tahoe and have used it to pull my boat (8000lbs on trailer) a short distance and it's simply not safe. You lose the ability to steer or stop safely. I've also hooked onto my travel trailer, which is about your weight range and I honestly think it would have damaged the Tahoe if I had tried to move it with it. I only needed to go about 100 feet on flat ground and the vehicle buckled underc the weight. Add a ramp to that mix and I think you're asking to be featured on a boat ramp fail video on you tube.
Old 08-09-2020, 08:00 AM
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I towed a 24 footer(around 7.5K) with a half ton pick up with the 5.3L engine...it could do it but that engine was maxed out....

Now have a 3/4 ton pick up, night and day difference...

As others have said you are waaay over limits and really risking safety and air bags and all will only give you band aids...

No offense but your idea is nuts Good Luck..
Old 08-09-2020, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Cracker View Post
I towed a 24 footer(around 7.5K) with a half ton pick up with the 5.3L engine...it could do it but that engine was maxed out....

Now have a 3/4 ton pick up, night and day difference...

As others have said you are waaay over limits and really risking safety and air bags and all will only give you band aids...

No offense but your idea is nuts Good Luck..
agreed. I had a buddy that tried to tow his regulator with a Tahoe. He was disappointed with the experience. I let him hook up his boat to my 2500 duramax and he was amazed at the difference in power and control. He’s likely going to get rid of his Tahoe and get a 3/4 ton truck. I used to tow my boat with my 1/2 ton Silverado and the difference between a that and my new truck is night and day. I would not attempt to tow that size of boat with a Tahoe.

Last edited by kernmw10; 08-09-2020 at 08:11 AM.
Old 08-09-2020, 08:08 AM
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Will it? Yes

Should you? No
Old 08-09-2020, 08:10 AM
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You need a 3/4 ton truck. It will make towing a pleasure and you can outfit the interior to taste.

NOT a 1/2 ton F150. Even though you can get one rated that high, it will be a stripped down work truck.
Old 08-09-2020, 08:58 AM
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I am not even sure the Tahoe can pull the boat up a ramp. My 5.3 is anemic at best. I tow an enclosed toy trailer in the mountains of CO and the thing is gutless. Only use the truck 3 months a year but definitely not a pleasurable experience.
Hate spending the money to replace the Yukon but am looking, hard to do when it sits 9 months a year.
Old 08-09-2020, 09:20 AM
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I think this is one of those times that if you have to ask, you already know.
Old 08-09-2020, 09:24 AM
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I see a lot of guys down here with Escalades and Tahoes pulling 27 Contenders, not as many guys pulling a 31 Contender with that setup but Intrepids are lighter... are you sure your 32 is that heavy? It's all fun and games til I see them hit the brakes dropping the boat in and the boat keeps pulling the trucks in. Those boats can be some heavy rigs, and a lot of guys run no brakes down here even on triple axle. I'd want to have brakes to at least stop that load, hell even just for going down the ramp it can be a game changer.

Last edited by jheiii; 08-09-2020 at 09:29 AM.

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