A large motorhome makes every camping trip more enjoyable. However, these motorhomes make a dinghy vehicle a necessity. There are more features and comforts in a big rig, but the rig cannot navigate narrow roads when you need to explore the area near the camping ground.
Even if you bring a motorhome with a 60-degree wheel cut, you will still have issues finding parking in shopping malls. This is where a dinghy vehicle comes in, and one of the vehicles you can bring is a Chevy Suburban. But is the Suburban approved by the manufacturer for flat towing?
Can You Flat Tow A Chevy Suburban?
Yes, you can flat tow the 4WD model of the Chevy Suburban behind your motorhome. You can only flat tow the 4WD model with a two-speed transfer case and a neutral position. The SUV’s drivetrain should be set on Low Setting.
When you flat tow the Chevy Suburban, there is so much the SUV offers you on the road when you are exploring. It is ideal when you are traveling as a group or when you travel alone, but you have a feeling that you may need to sleep in the car once after exploring. The car offers a great balance of power, space, and performance.
Below is a guide on how to set up your Chevy Suburban for flat towing:
How Do You Set Up a Chevy Suburban for Flat Towing?
It is easy to set up a Chevy Suburban for dinghy towing but, if you skip one of the setup steps, you may damage a component of your system. The first step is to engage the parking brakes and then start the engine. Shift the Chevy Suburban’s transfer case to Neutral – you can ensure that the transfer case has shifted to Neutral by shifting to Reverse and back to Drive.
Ensure that the vehicle does not move even a little while you shift. Leave the transmission in Drive and then turn the ignition to ACC/ACCESSORY. If your Suburban has a keyless access, you need to turn off its engine before you do the shifts.
Disconnect the battery’s negative cable and then keep the nuts and bolts secured. You also cover the negative battery terminal with a material that doesn’t conduct to ensure that there is no risk of fire. From there, shift the car’s transmission to Park position and try moving the steering wheel to ensure the steering column is not locked.
Release the car’s parking brakes. Ensure that the vehicle’s ignition key is in ACC/ACCESSORY mode to ensure that the steering column stays unlocked during the trip. If your Suburban has a keyless access system, the RKE transmitter needs to be outside the vehicle, and you should lock the doors manually. You should then access the car by using a key in the door as if you have a dead RKE.
What Does a Chevy Suburban Offer You as a Dinghy Vehicle?
The Chevy Suburban doesn’t have speed and distance limits. You can drive it as fast and as long as you need behind your motorhome. Better yet, it is engineered for flat towing straight from the manufacturer, and this makes the car easy to flat tow.
If you pick the newer models of the Suburban, you will note that Chevrolet added several features for it and the Tahoe to make them more drivable. The new models come with better and more features than ever before. Chevrolet launched a chassis that has an independent multi-link rear suspension.
With the new models, you get a longer wheelbase, which translates to a more spacious interior. In the Chevy Suburban, the wheelbase is four inches longer and the overall length is up to 1.3 inches longer. You will enjoy 23 cubic feet of cargo space in the Suburban. Chevrolet also included an SUV-specific display for the Suburban with up to five display screens.
There is a standard 10-inch display screen, and available eight-inch, 15-inch, and 12.6-inch displays for when you need the convenience of controlling your car. There are also rear seat LCD displays that are part of the rear seat entertainment system. Further, there is a HD Surround Vision with nine camera views.
If you love towing with the Suburban when you are not flat towing it behind your motorhome, you can do so with ease, thanks to the Max Trailering package. The package offers Hitch view and Hitch Guidance features. Chevy Suburban is an SUV for explorers who are looking for power, performance, entertainment, and comfort.
How Powerful is the Chevy Suburban: Can You Take It Off-Road?
The Chevy Suburban is available in a standard 5.3L V8 engine that generates 355 horsepower and 383 pound feet of torque. This engine pairs to a 10-speed automatic transmission. A four-wheel drivetrain is optional for all trim levels except the Z71 where the drivetrain is standard.
The 4WD option comes with a single or two-speed transfer case – the latter is the only that you can flat tow. For the High Country trim, Chevy offers a 6.2L V8 engine that generates 420 horsepower and 460 pound feet of torque. Further, you can go for the optional turbocharged 3.0L inline six-cylinder diesel engine that produces 277 horsepower and 460 pound feet of torque.
The optional turbocharged engine is available for all trim levels except the Z71. With any of these three engines, you can take your Suburban off-road and enjoy a more comfortable ride. If you are camping in an area where the surrounding has rough terrain, your Suburban has all the features you need to drive smoothly.
Further, the base LS trim offers 18-inch wheels, which can handle light offroading. The RST and higher trims offer 22-inch wheels, which allow you to venture deep into the off-road.
Besides the power of the Chevy Suburban, there are so many great features that the SUV offers to keep you comfortable throughout the trip. The base trim, the LS, offers LED headlights, eight-passenger seating with an optional second row bench, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, 10.2-inch infotainment system display, and a forward collision mitigation system.
If you pick the second trim, the LT, you will have features such as hands-free liftgate, nine-speaker Bose audio system, wireless charging, auto-dimming rear view mirror, and driver seat memory settings. If you want to go off the road, the Z71 is the best trim for that as it offers extra off-road features such as hill descent control, all-terrain tires, a two-speed transfer case, and front skid plate.
The Z71 even offer tow hooks. For comfort and luxury, you can pick the Premier trim or the luxurious High Country.
What Do You Need to Tow a Chevy Suburban?
Because the Chevy Suburban is already engineered to be flat towed, you only need a few towing gear, and you are done. You need a baseplate, which is the part you attach to the Suburban for towing, and a tow bar to connect the Suburban to the motorhome.
When shopping for the tow base and baseplate, you need to consider the weight rating of your Suburban. Although most baseplates and tow bars are designed as heavy duty units to accommodate heavy vehicles, you still need to consider the weight rating of the bars.
The heaviest Chevy Suburban has a curb weight of about 6,072 pounds while the lightest weighs about 5,616 pounds. You will most likely tow the heaviest Suburban, as it is the 4WD model, and not the light 2Wd model. The tow bar and the baseplate you go for should accommodate the weight of this heavy unit.
You also need accessories such as the wiring for lights and dinghy brakes. In some states, it is mandatory for you to have lights and brakes for the dinghy vehicle. Even if the state doesn’t require an auxiliary brake system and lighting, you still need them for your safety on the road.
Your motorhome is powerful enough to brake with a Suburban behind it, but the braking distance will increase significantly. When you need to make an emergency stop, the auxiliary brake system comes in handy.
If you have a 2WD Chevy Suburban, towing it can damage the transmission system as Chevrolet did not design it as flat-towable. However, if you still want to tow it, you can install a lube pump and a driveshaft decoupler and the car will flat tow without damaging any components.
However, these aftermarket add-ons should be installed by a professional who will ensure that the car is safe. Again, you lose your warranty when you install these add-ons. The main challenge with most vehicles when flat-towed is lubrication to the transmission system, and this is what happens when you flat-tow a 2WD model of the Chevy Suburban.
If you have the 4WD Chevy Suburban with a two-speed transfer case, flat towing it gives you the convenience and the comfort you need to drive on and off the road. You will enjoy all the comforts and performance of a 4WD and be able to explore while leaving the motorhome behind.