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Author Topic: Towing information to share  (Read 14183 times, 21 Replies)
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CamperCat
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« on: October 23, 2007, 04:27:49 PM »

If anyone is interested in my personal experience (positive) towing a 20 foot travel trailer with my 2007 Outlook XE, I will be happy to put in my 2 cents worth of opimion and a few facts.
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JF7FSU
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« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2007, 07:05:07 AM »

Don't tease us  - of course we are interested  Huh?
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Outlook XR Cocoa/Black, Touring Pkg, Leather, Convenience Pkg, Premium Pkg, Molded Mudguards, Sidesteps, Remote Start, Hood Deflector, GMPP.
CamperCat
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« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2007, 08:46:17 AM »

Thanks for your interest.  We have a 20 foot Sunline Solaris travel trailer and began towing at about 1000 odometer.  Followed the manual on speeds, etc.  Have accumulated about 2000 miles of towing at odometer 5000 miles.  We are very pleased with the pair.  The Outlook replaced an extended Chevrolet TrailBlazer.  The Outlook is smoother, quieter,and seems to be getting about 1 MPG better than the Chevy.  We have towed the Solaris around western Michigan and to the Lake of the Ozarks area in Missouri.  Economy for the car going solo is 19.86 MPG over 3000 miles, while towing it has averaged 9.97 MPG for the 2000 miles.  My wife tells me I am a compulsive record keeper and I guess she is right.  There are so many variables affecting fuel economy that I am comfortable in quoting only long-term averages.

The combination seems very sensitive to terrain and wind conditions (no surprise there) and has varied from 8.4 MPG to as high as 12.1.  I sometimes think (perhaps wrongly) that I am smarter than the transmission and tend to "play" the Tow Haul button as we drive.  That's because I can see the road ahead and the tranny can't.  It seems reluctant to up-shift when I can see that a high gear would be appropriate, so I disengage the Tow Haul and let the engine run at a lower speed.

The trailer weighs 3978 pounds with propane, but no water.  We travel light and I doubt that we have more than 200 to 250 pounds of food, clothes, toys, etc.  This being well within the 4500 Lb towing limit. 

Have I told you more than you wanted to hear?  My credentials are that I am a retired automotve engineer with 35-pus years of experience with a well-known automoble manufacturer (your guess).
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stiffi
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« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2007, 10:58:08 AM »

Thanks for the info. I, for one, will read just about anything on this forum (which lags behind the Acadia and Enclave one), so I'm glad for the update.
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CamperCat
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« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2007, 11:22:46 AM »

This is my second attempt to post a photo of our rig taken in a town park in Missouri on US54.  That's Camper Cat in the doorway.
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smokey bear
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« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2007, 09:27:11 PM »

Thanks for the towing review. We ordered our Outlook with the towing package so we could keep our options open. We have talked about a small camper or sailboat. Good to know the Outlook would be up to the task.

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Clave Man
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« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2007, 11:00:07 PM »

Very good post.  Thank you!
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Ordered 10/23, Delivered 12/22 - Enclave CXL FWD with Entertainment Pkg #4, Towing, Confidence, Luxury, 7 Passenger. Red Jewel/Cashmere
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DamonZ28
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« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2007, 09:06:16 AM »

Thanks for the info. Do you have FWD or AWD? We usually rent a pop-up camper once a year in September, so it's nice to see that we won't have any problem with that, or something a little bigger if possible. I'm also switching from a Trailblazer EXT to the Outlook (this Tuesday 11/13), so it's nice to hear from someone who has a similar experience.
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2008 Saturn Outlook XE FWD
CamperCat
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« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2007, 10:28:27 AM »

Our 2007 XE is AWD.  I don't feel that AWD is necessary for my type of use -- There are very few snow covered hills in southern Florida where I will be heading tomorrow morning without my travel trailer and while "up north" (Michigan) we are a long way from mountainous towing.  We have it because it came from the factory that way.  I believe there is a small economy loss with the extra machinery to spin, but, as I mentioned, we are getting better economy than we did with the 2 wheel drive TrailBlazer.  Congratulations on choosing an Outlook.
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snobrd
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« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2007, 04:32:22 PM »

On the hitch is it a straight hookup or do you have a equalizer hitch?
   Thanks in advance for the info.
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CamperCat
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« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2007, 06:56:40 PM »

We are using an equalizer hitch which I feel is advisable for a travel trailer of the size we're hauling.  Also use a Tekonsha Prodigy trailer brake control which is a proportional control and a pleasure to use.


Side note:  In case anyone needs more information, I will be offline from today (Sunday evening) until Wednesday or Thursday as we drive our Outlook to Florida.  I apologize for any delay in answering your posts.
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CamperCat
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« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2007, 02:39:57 PM »

CamperCat just received the December 2007 issue of Trailer Life magazine.  Page 65 has a nice article on towing a 4240 pound "Blast" model "150 MPH" trailer with an Outlook XR.  A very positive review.
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J33
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« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2008, 12:36:08 AM »

Great info, thx a lot !

What is the width of your TT ? I am struggling with a choice between 8 foot or less. My wife loves the spce a 8 ' can give us but I don't want to overload the Outlook.

Also, how did your tow package work from the wiring harness perspective ? Is it like plug and play or you needed to do some mods ?
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2007 Outlook XR AWD white/black - all options
CamperCat
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« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2008, 09:29:55 PM »

Sorry for the delay in answering - been a busy day.

My TT is 8 ft wide.  The extra space compared to narrow units is worth it.  Compared to a 7 ft 6 in wide, the frontal area is only about 5 or 6 % more.  only that much increase in wind resistance.  Weight and speed are much more significant.  The Trailer Life rig is approaching the towing limit specified for the Outlook.  Not much cushoin for payload.  My TT is quite a bit less.  I wpuld hesitate toing a rig that heavy, even tho it is within specs.

With Towing package the hook up for trailer brake control and wiring was straight-forward, even though I hesitated to mess around under the dash - not knowing what I was looking for.

Did I answer yoyr question?  Best regards.
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J33
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« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2008, 07:58:52 PM »

Yes, you did. Thx a lot !
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2007 Outlook XR AWD white/black - all options
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« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2008, 03:53:57 PM »

It looks like this thread hasn't been posted to in a while, but I wanted to share my first towing experience with our new 2008 Saturn XR - FWD.

We used it to tow our 21 foot Regal boat about 20 miles to the lake and back.  The boat weighs approximately 3000 pounds dry weight and the double axle trailer probably adds about another 1000 pounds.  Throw in the gear, gas and the passengers and I have to believe we were probably exceeding 4500 pounds.  The boat towed smoothly and easily.  It felt much better to tow with than the 5.2L Jeep Grand Cherokee we had been using. 

My biggest concern was on the boat ramp being that I have the FWD model.  The Outlook easily pulled the boat from the water with no tire slippage.  The launch we used was concrete and fairly clean (but wet).  I'd be hesitant to try to launch on anything muddy or too steep with a FWD.
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SteveK364
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« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2009, 02:45:40 PM »

CamperCat,

Do you still tow your boat with your Outlook?  If so, I'd like to chat with you about it.

Please drop me a note at:  Skrause@gpworldwide.com

Don't worry, I'm not pitching or selling anything. Just had a few questions.

Thanks!
Steve
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Michigator
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« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2009, 03:48:26 PM »

Just saw your post.  Very helpful.  Thinking of buying a TrailerManor 2720 that has dry weight of 3150# in Midland, MI.   Have 2007 AWD Outlook.  Owner's manual says 4500# towing capacity with 9700#GVWR.  Need how much Outlook weighs to subtract from GVWR and then subtract passenger, gear, etc. to come up with max weight for trailer. 

Do you know how much outlook weighs? 

Can you share your thoughts on towing a 3150# trailer with another 1500# of people and stuff?

Outlook not currently configured to tow.  Would you recommend dealer vs. after market to configure for towing?  If aftermarket, any place in MI you can suggest?

Thanks.
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CamperCat
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« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2009, 06:50:58 PM »

Hi Michigator - I'm confused - I confuse easily.  I just received two differing versions of your inquiry that each say about the same thing.  I thought I answered the first one a short while ago, but now I'm not sure you would have received it.  I'll try again.

The only figure I have for Outlook weight is curb weight of 4883 pounds for the 2008 model.

Your 3150 Lb trailer plus 1500 Lb gear plus 4883 curb adds up to 9533 Lb which is pushing close to the 9700 Lb Gvwr.

I would recommend that you talk to both your Saturn dealer and your RV dealer in regard to retrofitting the Saturn for trailer hauling.  I think I would have the work done by the RV dealer simply because he should be more experienced in that kind of thing where the Saturn dealer is only familiar with the factory equipped version.  He may, however, be aware of any pitfalls you may encounter that might be due to an RV mechanic not being aware of the Saturn's structural modifications needed.  Seems to me that I saw the non-trailering equipped Outlook being rated at only 2500 pounds.

Hope this response gets to you this time  --  Regards, CamperCat
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Rob1956
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« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2014, 05:30:12 PM »

I have a 2009 Saturn Outlook AWD, and I have been towing a 18 1/2 foot SeaSwirl boat.  The Saturn tows as well as my GMC truck did, and gets better economy.  It tows up hill just fine.  I don't have to stomp on the gas to keep it at 65mph.  I averaged 14.9 MPG overall on 50 mile trip.   I'm very happy with how well this thing tows.   
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