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The 3,500 pound towing capacity is impressive. I'm planning to tow a motorcycle on an aluminum trailer 2,500 miles to Texas. Weight of the trailer and motorcycle is about 1,500 pounds. I've done this same trip towing the motorcycle with a Pontiac Grand Am 5 times. The Pontiac burned a lot of gas (towing at 80mph) but never let us down. The Pontiac, BTW was towing the maximum allowable weight, the car was not designed for towing.

Question... When the trailer button is pushed the vehicle also engages AWD. The owner's manual recommends towing in AWD but the trailer I will be towing weighs only 1,500 pounds. I am tempted to tow in front wheel drive rather than AWD for fuel economy and less wear on AWD components.

Any thoughts?
 

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The 3,500 pound towing capacity is impressive. I'm planning to tow a motorcycle on an aluminum trailer 2,500 miles to Texas. Weight of the trailer and motorcycle is about 1,500 pounds. I've done this same trip towing the motorcycle with a Pontiac Grand Am 5 times. The Pontiac burned a lot of gas (towing at 80mph) but never let us down. The Pontiac, BTW was towing the maximum allowable weight, the car was not designed for towing.

Question... When the trailer button is pushed the vehicle also engages AWD. The owner's manual recommends towing in AWD but the trailer I will be towing weighs only 1,500 pounds. I am tempted to tow in front wheel drive rather than AWD for fuel economy and less wear on AWD components.

Any thoughts?



I certainly would try just towing that 1500 lb load in FWD, you should be fine and you can easily switch to AWD if needed. The owners manual recommendation is probably there to mitigate trailer sway (the tail shaking the dog scenario) when towing at the max 3500 lb. weight. However, unless you're towing on flat land or downhill, I would forgo just dropping the transmission in D and use manual shift mode to keep your rpm's matched to road conditions. You should see a lot less percentage drop in mpg with your Equinox than you did with the Grand Am, the Equinox is higher profile and the airflow will pretty much be over a bike and trailer, the added weight is going to be the negative to mpg, plus your Redline is much more powerful than the old Grand Am and won't be struggling so hard.
 

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The Pontiac burned a lot of gas (towing at 80mph)


Pretty much anything towing at 80 mph is going to suffer a major mpg drop. As said though, it shouldn't be as bad with the Equinox, as it punches a bigger hole in he air and lessens the mpg impact. Our minivan drops from maybe 24 mpg to around 11 mpg at 80 mph towing a 6x10 enclosed. The 1 ton 1982 campervan with less hp and torque drops from about 11 mpg to 10.999999 mpg towing the same trailer. Kidding aside, the camper profile is so much larger you cannot tell the trailer is there until climbing a grade.

Does the trailer have a rear ramp that sticks up in transport (such as pictured)? Removing it or flipping it forward to lay flat on the deck (if there's room) can make a very big difference in drag.



Otherwise I'd just follow the owner's manual recommendation on FWD vs AWD and transmission selection for towing. I can't imagine it'd be an issue. I often tow a motorcycle on a flat trailer with my much doggier 2012 4 cyl Terrain. Although I've probably never had it much over 1000 lbs even with 2 bikes.


 

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Interesting youtube video showing effect of placement of weight on a trailer and the resulting sway/controllability of the trailer. Heavier tongue weight makes a bigdifference.
 

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Question... When the trailer button is pushed the vehicle also engages AWD. The owner's manual recommends towing in AWD but the trailer I will be towing weighs only 1,500 pounds. I am tempted to tow in front wheel drive rather than AWD for fuel economy and less wear on AWD components.

Any thoughts?
My thought:
My 2.0 Redline is FWD and has the same tow rating. That tells me that it should not matter whether FWD or AWD is selected for towing.

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Discussion Starter #6
As usual, lots of good information here. I had no idea the Redline was available in FWD and had the same tow rating of 3,500 pounds. The ramp does not fold up at the rear to catch wind - it is a tri-fold ramp that stands about 2 feet high but is strapped down and oriented with the wind.
The AWD owners manual suggestion might indeed be for stability at speed rather than distributing the stress on all four wheels and the drive gear.


I've towed a lot - mostly travel trailers behind a diesel pickup. Towing does add a whole new dimension of stresses - on the vehicle and me. Riding along for days my mind is occupied with concerns about mechanical issues, and I've experienced quite a few issues towing. The comments generously offered here should go a long way in finding a little more peace and confidence while I'm towing this relatively light load.
 

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At 1500 lbs your less than half of capacity. Flat roads leave it in FWD, hilly terrain you may be better off in tow mode as trans. logic will be better tailored to road conditions with towing shift logic. Lots of heavier tow experience here with my fleet of Chevys with boats, snowmobiles and box cargo trailers.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Most of my towing issues have been while towing a travel trailer behind a diesel pick up... Had a 700R4 transmission fail, GM repaired and it failed again 3 months later, had a turbo hydromatic 400 put in in place of the 700R4. Then the torque converter failed 8 years later. Had a trailer axle bearing disintegrate, one blowout that damaged the trim around the trailer wheels, rear drum brakes self adjuster failed at the top of Mexico's Sierra Madre mountains in Sinaloa boiling the brake fluid. Typical coolant overheating issues too.
The Grand Am took 5 years of towing the motorcycle 5,000 miles round trip before the torque converter started locking and unlocking - then we bought the Equinox.
Nothing too severe but towing is hard on a vehicle.
 

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Yuck, didn't know they did the 700R4 with a diesel. I've had 2 of those transmissions (4L60E) but luckily with only a 4.3 in front they have a better chance of survival. Current 92 truck has a 4L80E, the van a TH400 and Gear Vendors overdrive. Both more stout than I should ever need.
 

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The 3,500 pound towing capacity is impressive. I'm planning to tow a motorcycle on an aluminum trailer 2,500 miles to Texas. Weight of the trailer and motorcycle is about 1,500 pounds. I've done this same trip towing the motorcycle with a Pontiac Grand Am 5 times. The Pontiac burned a lot of gas (towing at 80mph) but never let us down. The Pontiac, BTW was towing the maximum allowable weight, the car was not designed for towing.

Question... When the trailer button is pushed the vehicle also engages AWD. The owner's manual recommends towing in AWD but the trailer I will be towing weighs only 1,500 pounds. I am tempted to tow in front wheel drive rather than AWD for fuel economy and less wear on AWD components.

Any thoughts?


i’ve towed my atv and trailer with my 2.0t and it dropped me down to around 23-24mpg if i remember right. the trailer and quad weigh 12-1300lbs. i did use tow/haul mode which puts the vehicle in awd mode aswell. this was always with 93octane fuel which i would highly recommend for towing with the 2.0t


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Discussion Starter #12
Yes, I'll use the 93 octane when towing but I'm pretty well convinced after reading the replies here that I'll keep it in FWD.
 

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Yes, I'll use the 93 octane when towing but I'm pretty well convinced after reading the replies here that I'll keep it in FWD.
You said that when selecting the tow/haul mode, that it also selects AWD.

Can you still be in the tow/haul mode but also cancel the AWD; meaning that you can remain in FWD and tow/haul mode?

Does cancelling AWD in tow/haul also cancel the tow/haul mode?

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Discussion Starter #14
I don't think that cancelling the AWD after selecting the tow button works but I'll try it again. If it does not I'll leave the tow button off when towing.
 

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I don't think that cancelling the AWD after selecting the tow button works but I'll try it again. If it does not I'll leave the tow button off when towing.
The reason I ask is that the tow/haul mode also alters the shift points and allows a higher rpm prior to shifts that will protect the transmission from excessive wear.

If cancelling AWD also cancels tow/haul; I would consider operating in the tow/haul mode when towing, even if it defaults to AWD.

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You can run in AWD w/o tow selected but you can not select tow option alone.

More ignorant enforcement from some A hole setting in an office making choices for us :soapbox:
 

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I have 2019 2.0 Redline that is FWD with the tow rating of 3500#. I tow a small 16ft TT that weighs 2500# dry and 2800# loaded with a WD hitch. I always push the tow button and run on 91 Octane. I tow at 60-70 MPH with no problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Uh oh.... Our return trip to Maine towing the small trailer with a motorcycle on it (maybe 1,500 pounds combined) was about 700 miles along when the motor lost power. We rolled to a stop on busy I-40. The car would start, run rough, and then stall. Huge amounts of smoke came out of the exhaust as it tried to run. The check engine light is on. Plenty of oil, anti-freeze, and gas. Had the car towed to a dealership here in Tennessee and hopefully they can get to it tomorrow. Only 14K miles on this 2019 Redline which is now deadlined 1,000 miles from home.
I report what I learn.. I suspect it's fuel related as the exhaust smells like unburnet gas....
 

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Uh oh.... Our return trip to Maine towing the small trailer with a motorcycle on it (maybe 1,500 pounds combined) was about 700 miles along when the motor lost power. We rolled to a stop on busy I-40. The car would start, run rough, and then stall. Huge amounts of smoke came out of the exhaust as it tried to run. The check engine light is on. Plenty of oil, anti-freeze, and gas. Had the car towed to a dealership here in Tennessee and hopefully they can get to it tomorrow. Only 14K miles on this 2019 Redline which is now deadlined 1,000 miles from home.
I report what I learn.. I suspect it's fuel related as the exhaust smells like unburnet gas....
That's depressing; you aren't towing much weight, I wouldn't think the problem would be related to towing.

I have just shy of 14K miles on mine; I am really interested in your findings as to the cause.

I hope this isn't an LSPI issue with broken pistons! You are using 93 octane when towing, and using the tow/haul mode I presume?

I sincerely hope it's a minor issue and not catastrophic.

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Uh oh.... Our return trip to Maine towing the small trailer with a motorcycle on it (maybe 1,500 pounds combined) was about 700 miles along when the motor lost power. ....
I hope it's not towing related.
I was hoping I could tow our 1,500 pound combo trailer and motorcycles with my Equinox with the 2.0.
 
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