: 2002 ESV AWD boat towing capability

11-09-08, 06:18 PM
First post great site! I'm considering the purchase of a 2002 Escalade. I'm upgrading from a full size chevy blazer 1991. I was surprised to find there's no low gear (2H-4H-4L) 4wd selector. Apparently this is not the norm anymore (full time AWD). Would this cause a problem pulling a 5000lbs boat up a steep wet ramp? I'm sure a few members here are boat owners? I asked the dealership and was told the 'tow-haul' button has replaced the low gear transfercase. Isn't that just for higher shift points and no overdrive? Really appreciate any comments or feedback. Thanxs!

The Scientist
11-10-08, 12:15 PM
First off, you are confusing 4-wheel drive with all-wheel drive. I advise reading up on these systems to understand the differences and it will make sense. The dealership feed you a line, the t-h button didn't replace anything it was always there. You should never tow-haul anything for extended lenghts in low gear anyway.

To answer your question, of course the idea situation would be to have a true 4wd and drop it into 4-low. On the other hand, 5k lbs is heavy but should not be a problem for an Escalade either.

11-10-08, 12:57 PM
I tow my boat in and out of of ramps with no problem. I've even taken my escalade to canada for a fishing trip and drop my boat in some lakes without ramps and it preformed amazing. If the drop in point is kinda sketchy I'll pull it out in 1st/low gear and hit the tow/haul button. Some good tires will help as well, I've got some Toyo Open Country A/T tires on mine and they are great tires except for they tend to be kinda loud on the freeway at higher speeds. When driving with my boat (about 5,500lbs loaded) I use the regular drive and don't even use the tow/haul cause it seems i get better gas mileage with out it on and I also feel the engine performs better. People say I might be doing damage to the tranny but I got 130k on my truck and its a workhorse w/ no real problems (knock on wood). I would advise anybody to purchase an escalade no matter if your using it as a trophy car, a winter truck or an everyday workhorse.

11-10-08, 01:54 PM
I tow a 18 ft Basstracker (no where close to 5000 lbs but heavy) In and out of river here where I live on some nasty ramps, some very steep and some not paved , and Ive never had a problem! When on highway cant even tell boat is there! Shouldnt have any probs. at all with the ESv!:thumbsup:

11-10-08, 02:15 PM
Glad to hear! Sure didn't feel like buying a Ford (lol). Thanxs for the input really appreciate. Way better answer than I got from the dealer or GMinfo online. They had no clue! Here is a pic of my blazer in action. Dock is 2 miles from home.


11-10-08, 03:36 PM
Nice boat and welcome to the Forum. The Escalade will pull your boat fine, probably better than your Blazer. :)

11-12-08, 11:57 PM
shit dude my lac tows more than that!!! all lday everyday 6.0 awd like if i showed u what i had to haul the first day half of u guys would kill me...

But traction is no problem and thats why u have stabita tracK!!

12-16-08, 09:15 PM
Note: Since I can't reply to PM, I posted the message here and my reply for others to see. Thanxs to jjab4444 for the info.

sk7, I'm a GM driveline engineer and I've personally pulled my 8000 lb boat up a steep ramp with that system without any problems whatsoever. I was advised by the transmission guys to shift to first gear when towing up the ramp because this bumps up line pressure and is just insurance to prevent any trans slippage. As one reader replied, the dealers answer to you tow haul question is BS. Simply adjusts the shift schedule to redue business.

Thanxs for the advice! I've had to pull previous boats with smaller 2wd trucks, and I quite enjoyed pulling my Formula up ramps with my blazer, it was my first 4WD truck, what a difference! I was quite dissapointed to find no 4WD low gear selector in the escalade. But with all the positive feedback I got from this site, I'm seriously considering an AWD 02-05 model. Given your driveline background, what is your point of view of this AWD full time 4x4 system coupled with the G80 limited slip rear axle? I noticed this RPO code on an 02 I took for a test drive.

12-17-08, 10:06 AM
Since there is a GM driveline engineer lurking here I have a question on AWD also.
I don't tow a boat, but I do drive in the sand quite often.
I am a former 99 Yukon Denali owner with the 4HI/4LO pushbuttons.
That truck did great in the sand in 4HI.
I would like to know if my new Escalade with AWD will perform well in the sand also.
I have not yet had a chance to put it on the beach yet so I am nervous about it.
Should I disable stabilitrak on the sand or not?
Also, my truck is the Platinum with 20" rims and P275-55-R20 tires.

Anyone else put the escalade in Sand?
The Outer Banks (OBX) of NC are great driving beaches with soft deep sand.

12-18-08, 11:54 AM
I'd probably take the stab. off for the sand...Other than that should be fine...Go into lower gear if it gets sticky...As far as a 5K boat...No problem..Put it in 1st or 2nd and hit the t/H button for the pull-out..Then pull in grive with the T/H button...I do receommend you use the button when pulling 2.5 tons.

You have plenty of torque...with the air supension, and torque this will pull much better than you're blazer.

07-16-10, 11:57 AM
Well, it took almost 2 years but my escalade finally got to pull my boat in and out of the water yesterday! I was a bit worried going up a wet steep ramp but it was no sweat at all! Not even a hint of wheel slip. This truck is much better suited for pulling a load at highway speeds than my blazer was. Smooth... After seeing shore's 8500lbs boat pics, makes my rig look like a canoe! Some pics...