YOU SHOULD HAVE NO PROBLEM TOWING THAT BOAT WITH YOUR CADDY. I TOW MY 05' 2520 WITH A CHEVY 1500 4X4. AS LONG AS IT IS BALANCEDON YOUR TRAILER PROPERLY, YOU WILL NOT HAVE A PROBLEM. YOU SHOULD POST SOME PICS OF THE CADDY TOWING THE PARKER-VERY COOL RIDE.
In terms of legality (which I'm not sure if you are curious about or not, but I'll respond anyway), you should check the dep't. of motor vehicles or whatever agency covers overwide permits in whatever state(s) you plan to tow in, because you will be overwide.
So far as your Escalade is concerned, I wouldn't expect you to have any problems with horsepower or with suspension. I towed a 2520 about 1100 miles with a plain 1/2 ton Yukon that I had fitted with a weight distributing hitch and the tow went fine. I upgraded to a Denali with auto-air rear suspension that effectively did away with the need for weight distribution. I think that your Escalade has auto-air rear suspension (not sure), so if that's the case, you shouldn't need any more load distribution. The other thing I'm not sure of is whether your Escalade has a transmission cooler. If it has the towing package, then it does. I wouldn't tow any great distances without a transmission cooler.
Not familiar with this vehicle. What is the GVWR for it and what class hitch does it have? Most folks are more limited by the hitch class than the vehicle ratings, although they often don't realize this. There are so many myths and misunderstandings about towing that these types of threads usually disintegrate into meaningless babble and anecdotal horror stories. I hope for your sake that we (the Classic Parker Brain Trust) can keep our opinions fact-based and helpful.
Most class three hitches (common to many vehicles) that I have seen are limited to 5000 lbs with a 500 lb tongue weight UNLESS you employ a weight distribution hitch. This info is generally engraved on the hitch itself. I trailer with a WD hitch and this allows me to meet the weight rating on my class three hitch on my "02 Ford F150. I could "get away" with towing my 2120 easily without a WD hitch, but there is no reason why I can't abide by the ratings and use one. The only wrinkle arises from using a WD hitch with surge brakes. I am not trying to be a WD hitch zealot, however it solves my particular situation and adds significantly to our safety. This route may not work for you, YMMV.
Before I get hammered with several threads stating that these WD hitches don't work with surge brake systems, please understand that I use a hitch that was designed with an eye toward compatibility with surge brakes. You can PM me for more details on the brand and style if interested. I have used this hitch for three years now and it is a proven technology that has carried over from the RV community.
Augmenting springs and shocks or adding air bags, etc. are also options to consider, however these alternatives are outside of my experience so I will defer to others to offer advice. I am sure there are more ways to "skin this cat."
Good luck with the trailering and remember to strap your Parker down properly and watch your trailer for any signs of equipment wear or failure. Make it a habit to check your hubs every time you stop and talk with as many folks as possible to get their stories.
I didn't intend to sound so negative in my post above! I guess I'm just used to being attacked and flamed on some of the "other" boating forums. I sometimes forget we here at CP don't get so carried away - It's nice to be in a community of boaters that view things in such a positive, constructive light.
The only thing I would add is a suggestion to add a bow eye tie-down strap or turnbuckle, in addition to the transom strap when strapping the boat to the trailer.
In the event of a panic stop, most winch stands cannot stop 4+ tons of boat from sliding forward, and right into your tailgate without some sort of help. A heavy-duty nylon strap, or chain with a turnbuckle, is good insurance. :wink:
Ditto on the Power Stroke diesel. It has the torque to pull up the hill and where I live it is very flat. Even though the only hill here is an interstate overpass the the diesel is a much better choice. Pulled as much as 400 miles one way to the Keys. My opinion is that a load that heavy needs a truck with the power and suspension. Think that you will find that a half ton truck will be somewhat lacking in suspension. Another consideration is stopping. A heavy vehicle will have better brakes and suspension and probably a lower rear gear. The tongue weight on a half ton could be a problem. I understand you try to pull with what you have but the first panic stop will let you know in a hurry if your tow vehicle is as adequate as it should be.
Remember the tongue weight should be between 7%-10% of the total boat & trailer weight. That means for my estimated 8,200 for the loaded 2510 and trailer, the tongue weight should be between 574 and 820 lbs. When you go through a dip (like after coming off of an interstate overpass bridge), the downward force on the hitch can easily double. You need a hitch and suspension that provides a safety margin.
As was mentioned before, the brakes on the heavier vehicles are heavier to handle the greater tow and tongue weights. A world of difference between the brakes on an F-150 and an F-25 HD or SD. The trailer should also have WORKING brakes on at least one axle. Yes, it gets expensive matching a tow vehicle to your new baby...but if you low-ball it, the cost in transmissions, engines, brakes, and possibly accidents can more than offset the cost of the proper tow vehicle.