RV towing review (super wordy) - Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2015, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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RV towing review (super wordy)

Ok, this is only a 30 mile review but I was able to get a feel for towing a tall 5400lb camper. I'm going on a bigger trip next month with a real test grade, I'll report back on that.

First impression, it comes out of the hole as good as my full size did, the power was surprising. Of course I'm not drag racing here, I've learned that a little patience when towing goes a long ways. The collie was also more stable and settled feeling than my full size is. (It's an 04 with188,000 miles on it, so there's that.)

Tow haul mode seemed a little busy to me on the rolling hills, although I'm not a fan of manual mode, I opted to use it. More miles on a different route will probably change my mind on tow mode.

A rant on "manual" mode, it should be called extra automatic mode. It downshifts (stupid) it holds shifts forever after up shifting unless you let off the pedal(more stupid) My wife's Malibu is 10 times more manual than this thing is. I know how to drive a truck on hills and don't need a foolish computer helping me. /rant

It did better than expected on the hills, pulled the biggest one at 55mph 3500rpm in 3rd I think. For the record 4K doesn't feel as wound out as 3k on a V-8, so even though it sounds high, it doesn't feel that way. I got 13 mpg according to the dic, which has been spot on with the previous full tanks I have hand calculated. That's better than my V8 and would surely do better on flat ground.

The bottom line is that I was pleasantly surprised and overall impressed with the collies performance. I expected to be pushed all over the road, and wasn't. I wouldn't recommend going any heavier with an RV, but would have no problem going to the max with a flat trailer.

I do have a lot of towing experience over the years, so don't go out and buy a giant RV on my recommendation.

TL;DR In capable hands this is a very capable truck.

JBT, Fast0ne, CaryBosse and 6 others like this.

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Last edited by wildwest450; 10-09-2015 at 11:40 AM.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2015, 11:55 AM
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Nice report. I don't have a lot of tow experience, but within my experiences, I agree with your assessment. That is a lot more trailer in that pic than I ever want to tow. And I mean that not only in a weight/towability but just shear size of it.

I don't like the manual mode for the fact that it is not a true manual mode, just a max gear mode. Question: does TOW/HAUL mode impact the manual mode, or does manual mode over ride the TOW/HAUL mode completely?

Do you have a solution for tow mirrors? That trailer has got to have much more severe rear vision issues than my little old popup. At least I can occasional see over the top of my trailer when I am going up and down the hills.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2015, 01:23 PM
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Whew, that's a lot of trailer and with an SWB/extended cab too. Thanks for the report.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2015, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by CaryBosse View Post
Nice report. I don't have a lot of tow experience, but within my experiences, I agree with your assessment. That is a lot more trailer in that pic than I ever want to tow. And I mean that not only in a weight/towability but just shear size of it.

I don't like the manual mode for the fact that it is not a true manual mode, just a max gear mode. Question: does TOW/HAUL mode impact the manual mode, or does manual mode over ride the TOW/HAUL mode completely?

Do you have a solution for tow mirrors? That trailer has got to have much more severe rear vision issues than my little old popup. At least I can occasional see over the top of my trailer when I am going up and down the hills.
Actually, the camper is only 22ft, it looks huge behind the truck. I'm thinking manual mode turns off the tow mode, but I need to pay attention to that. The drivers mirror has a convex mirror built in so its not too bad.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2015, 02:24 PM
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Actually, the camper is only 22ft, it looks huge behind the truck. I'm thinking manual mode turns off the tow mode, but I need to pay attention to that. The drivers mirror has a convex mirror built in so its not too bad.
Must be the angle, cuz the truck itself is 17.7 feet, that trailer sure looks like more than 2 foot longer. Did they forget to measure the tongue length?

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-10-2015, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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Must be the angle, cuz the truck itself is 17.7 feet, that trailer sure looks like more than 2 foot longer. Did they forget to measure the tongue length?
Tongue to rear bumper is just shy of 26 ft. Living space is 22ft

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-10-2015, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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One thing I forgot is that once connected to the trailer, the 3 blinks to pass went up to 6, don't know if it's the same for the 4 pin connector.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-09-2015, 08:48 AM
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The RPM makes sense based on the engine's powerband. Nice truck, nice trailer, great review. Got to love how well the truck handles the weight visually, they did a good job with the suspension too. Probably contributes a lot to the stability you noticed.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-12-2015, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by wildwest450 View Post
One thing I forgot is that once connected to the trailer, the 3 blinks to pass went up to 6, don't know if it's the same for the 4 pin connector.
Any chance I could get some info from you on your camper? In the market for one soon, and that looks about the perfect size. Could you post brand/model?

Also, have you picked up any trailering mirrors/extensions for the truck? If so, what did you go with?

Thanks!

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-13-2015, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
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Any chance I could get some info from you on your camper? In the market for one soon, and that looks about the perfect size. Could you post brand/model?

Also, have you picked up any trailering mirrors/extensions for the truck? If so, what did you go with?

Thanks!
It's a 2014 Aerolite 213RBSL. It has 3 great features for a small camper, a king size bed, full shower in the bathroom, and an outdoor kitchen with speakers and a place for a tv. You will sacrifice some storage space because of the bed and outdoor kitchen, we normally only go for 4 days at a time and for 2 people we do fine with storage. No towing mirrors yet, but I probably need some, most of out trips are under 50 miles so i've been putting it off. I'd be happy to answer any other questions.

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-13-2015, 11:23 AM
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Just picked up a 2016 Rockwood 2306 Mini Lite 23 footer. The wife towed it home and she said the truck does nicely. The empty weight is 3,850 Lbs; will see how it does. Also have the weight distribution hitch. The truck hides in front of the trailer and blocks rear visibility. Have a pair of mirror extensions. We did not used them at the time, we were picking up the camper, forgot to bring them with me.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-13-2015, 11:28 AM
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Thanks for the nice report. You are right in the middle of some of the most beautiful areas in America.

I love the Chattanooga area and the Great Smokey Mountains!

Looking forward to more reports on towing performance and don't forget to share some of your destinations and experiences!
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