Changing out differentials
I've got the 2007 4.2L TB with the 3.42 rear end (and front) and recently did a "maiden voyage" towing my 2011 Lance Model 1685 Travel Trailer, which in my case, weighs about 4000-lb loaded. The TB did fine on flats and gentle climbs, but I hit a steep grade on Highway 1 heading toward Lompoc, CA, off of the 101, and the TB wouldn't haul faster than about 35-mph! In second gear. Damn. I'm planning some trips all over the Pacific NW and will certainly hit some serious grades.
So I have options: buy a more powerful V8 vehicle, such as a Suburban, Tahoe, or similar. Or, I am looking into changing out the ring gears on the front (carrier) and rear differentials to the 4.10 ratio. That would give me another 1000-lbs of towing capability, and would keep the engine in the power band going up grades (or so I think).
The gears are not that expensive, and even though I can handle a wrench confidently, I don't have a lift, so would spend a lot of time under the vehicle.
Anyone have any experience doing something like this? (Or just dropping in a used front carrier)