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Author Topic: Integrated Brake Controller only offered with K5L & GU6?  (Read 224 times)

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Dogstar

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Integrated Brake Controller only offered with K5L & GU6?
« on: March 4, 2019, 12:07:50 PM »

Hey everyone,

I'm shopping for an Avalanche that I'm planning to use to tow my Wrangler (~3500#) and my travel trailer (~5500#) - not at the same time, of course. 

As I'm sure a lot of you already know, a lot of dealers out there are pretty lousy about listing the options which matter.   I don't care if it's got a sunroof or A/C - sure that stuff is nice but I can get that anywhere.   Talk to me about axle ratios!  Talk to me about transmission coolers!  I've had to pass up a lot of listings because I wasn't sure if it has what I need and I'm not willing to drive 200 miles just to find out.   It seems like they changed it up after 2009 too, so you can't tell the gear ratio from the VIN anymore and they all come back 3.08.

However, I did come across one dealer who insisted that the integrated trailer brake controller (2010-2013) was only available if you ALSO got the heavy-duty towing package - which would include the 3.43 axle ratio and additional oil coolers.

It would make my search a whole lot easier if this is true - I could just look at the photos and if I spy the brake controller under the 4WD dial, I'll know it's a candidate.

I figured I'd make an account here and find out for sure.  Hoping to be around for a long time after I get mine bought. :D
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redheadedrod

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Re: Integrated Brake Controller only offered with K5L & GU6?
« Reply #1 on: March 4, 2019, 18:12:59 PM »

Well for the cost of the add on equipment I don't know that I would worry too much if you find a truck that is awesome for you but doesn't have the towing stuff you want. All of the trucks come prewired for a brake controller. Not sure what a tow package actually includes but if you are looking for a heavier duty transmission cooler going aftermarket will be better than the stock one anyhow.

My truck is rated for 7000lbs and has no tow package on it. At 6,000 lbs behind me you notice it. I pulled a 3500# car on a dolly behind my '03 and I didn't really notice it was there.

Point I am trying to make is I would go for the truck you want with the engine you want. You can change the gears if it doesn't pull like you want and I would suggest an aftermarket cooler anyhow.

And adding a brake controller is as easy as plugging one in.
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2003 Cladded Black Z71 - PC installed otherwise mostly stock.
4 Light Brake/Turnsignal
All on high and FTDRL (BCM friendly version)

Dogstar

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Re: Integrated Brake Controller only offered with K5L & GU6?
« Reply #2 on: March 4, 2019, 20:07:18 PM »

Thanks for the reply!

I'm pretty set on a later model year with the 6 speed transmission.  Those are only rated for 5000# towing unless they have have 3.42 axle and the extra transmission cooler.

I know I can add all kinds of stuff after market but if anything ever happens I'm not sure the insurance companies will do more than look at the towing chart in the manual, see I don't have the K5L towing package, and so am over my legal limit, and they leave me out to dry.

I'm sure I'll add an aftermarket cooler later for my own pace of mind, but need it nice and legal on paper for the bureaucrats.

The integrated brake controller is easy to identify in pictures so it will be a big help if seeing one automatically means a trailering package under the hood as well.
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redheadedrod

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Re: Integrated Brake Controller only offered with K5L & GU6?
« Reply #3 on: March 5, 2019, 07:53:42 AM »

Wow I wonder what they did in the newer Avalanches to lower the towing capacity...

Did they go to a higher gear hoping to get better gas mileage?

Thats Crazy.

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2003 Cladded Black Z71 - PC installed otherwise mostly stock.
4 Light Brake/Turnsignal
All on high and FTDRL (BCM friendly version)

Vaeagleav

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Re: Integrated Brake Controller only offered with K5L & GU6?
« Reply #4 on: March 5, 2019, 08:14:02 AM »

Wow I wonder what they did in the newer Avalanches to lower the towing capacity...

Did they go to a higher gear hoping to get better gas mileage?

Thats Crazy.

You guessed it! from all the talk back in the day gas was getting expensive and fleet gas mileage figures were a concern for the car companies at the time so they did what they could to make higher MPG figures happen. Probably one of the reasons for no 2500 AV after 2006.

That could be a thought for maximum towing capacity in an AV.......look for a 2006 2500 AV since more than gears are different to make it a better tow vehicle for heavy loads.
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Dogstar

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Re: Integrated Brake Controller only offered with K5L & GU6?
« Reply #5 on: March 9, 2019, 16:24:34 PM »

I ended up with a 2009 Z71 with all the trailering goodies.   Towed my Wrangler home from the dealership (~2.5 hours drive) and it all went well.

To answer my own question, I never did see one with the integrated trailer brake which I could definitively confirm also had the 3.08 rear axle so I think it might be a safe bet that anything with the trailer brake also has a 3.42 and heavy duty oil coolers.
I also learned from the 2009 manual that all of the 4x4 have the 3.42 - for that year the 3.08 was only available for RWD models.  This changed in 2010 and 4x4 could also get the 3.08.


Maybe it'll help someone down the road.
« Last Edit: March 9, 2019, 16:26:36 PM by Dogstar »
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