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Hi RJ,
My travel trailer weighs 3100 loaded, so it's about 500 lbs. lighter than yours. Actual tongue weight is 400, as per a Sherline tongue-weight scale. Although I previously used a WDH when towing this trailer with a Highlander, I don't feel the need for one when towing it with the Colorado. I have taken it on three long trips for a total of 4,000 miles.
When traveling, there is only about 150 lbs. of gear in the bed. If you load up the bed with lots of heavy gear, the 400 pounds of tongue weight might tip you toward getting a WDH, but with a setup like mine, the amount of squat seems just right for a truck.
 

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And about fuel economy:
With my previous truck, a 2003 Tacoma 4WD with TRD off-road package, I averaged 13.5 mpg pulling this trailer. With the Colorado, it's a little over 18. To be fair, the Colorado is a 2WD with highway tires, but I think it's mostly the smarter V-6 and the 8-speed tranny that makes the difference.
For safety, we keep our cruising speed to 60 or less these days. (The speed limit when towing in California is 55.) Better fuel economy is a bonus. It's not that the Colorado feels unstable when we go faster, it's just that stuff happens, and pulling a trailer greatly complicates emergency maneuvers.
 

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RJ, if you're going to be crossing any mountain passes, you'll want to take it easy on the brakes on the descent. The Colorado will automatically downshift for greater engine braking when it notices that you have been applying the brakes to slow the rig when going downhill. It will do so more aggressively if it's in Tow Mode. You'll have to play with it to get the knack of letting the tranny know what you want it to do.
You can also put it in Low--which is not actually Low but rather Manual shifting mode. Then you can select the gear you want directly. For example, I select L3 for those back roads with curves where you want to keep it under 45.
My wife uses Tow Mode for descent and I use Low. They both work very well.
Aside from long and steep descents, there is no advantage to using Tow Mode with trailers of this weight. I think the Owner's Manual recommends it only at 6,000 lbs. and above.
 

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I am in agreement that you will have no issues. I have a poptop camper with a GVWR of 3300, Colorado pulls it fine, 18 MPG running at 70 on the interstate, 16 - 17 MPG in the hills of Va, and the Adirondacks in NY. Both of which are higher numbers than the Toyota Tundra I used to pull this trailer with. I do not have brakes on the trailer, but if I take it across mountains, I will get trailer brakes first.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
So I pulled my camper for the second time for a good distance right around 275 miles. When I got done with a trip I noticed that I only got approximately 11 miles per gallon pulling my camper. That seemed awfully low to me and was wondering what your guys thoughts were. It weighs about 4,300 lb and the gas was 87 octane and mildly loaded with fishing gear in the back of my truck. Any thoughts
 

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We take delivery on it today and actually booked a class for questions like this. However I was trying to get ahead of the game by asking questions here.
Awesome on the new trailer. We are always glad to help. You will have more questions in the future, just ask. I tow a trailer in Texas, loaded to the roof in the back seat, and bed loaded with gear, trailer weighs about 4,500 lbs. and the worst I have ever seen in 100 degrees and hilly highways was 14.5 mpg. I do something a little different, I tow in Manual M5. On my 2016, keeps the transmission from shifting from 5th to 6th and back and forth, because I do not tow faster than 65 mph absolutely max.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
I was doing between 65 and 70. I put it in tow mode and my rpms stay around 2500-3k. I thought it was odd that I only got 11 mpg. It took between 1.25 and 1.5 tanks to drive 260 miles ... tnks for the advice and info guys.
 

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Your original post gives the trailer weight as 3,100 pounds but yesterday's post says it's 4,300. Have you had your trailer weighed at a Public Scale? The weight that you might have heard from an RV salesman might suffer from a large dose of wishful thinking.
I agree that 11 mpg doesn't seem right. What's your highway mpg doing 65-70 when not towing?
 

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Tow mode
M5
Max 65 mph or under
No cruise control

A combo that will give you better fuel economy
 

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Tow mode
M5
Max 65 mph or under
No cruise control

A combo that will give you better fuel economy
Ditto! Exactly same combo I use. Works well and much less transmission shifting. Keeps transmission temps. down also.
 

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I agree with impact, never use cruise control when towing. Too risky especially if you blow a trailer tire. If you tow in Manual M5, it keeps the RPM’s down and the transmission from shifting when you get into hills. That’s what keeps transmission temperatures down and add to the longetivity/life of the automatic transmission. This also gives you the option, if you do get on a long stretch of flat roads, you can click up to M6, and then back down to M5 when you get back into hills. Watch you gas mileage improve by doing this.
 

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Hey Guys, Great discussion on a number of questions it seems no one else can answer that I have been asking. Similar to the original discussion starter I am very close to buying a travel trailer with a dry weight of 4300#s. I do plan on having a "weight distributing hitch with adaptive sway control" installed. In addition to the trailer I will need to buy the tow vehicle. From all the trucks I have looked at I am very interested and wanting to buy the 2019 Colorado LT with the V6 3.6L engine. 308HP/275 LB-FT and is suppose to tow up to 7000#s. I will be doing a good amount of mountain driving and comments here have been awesome, however, not sure what M5 or M6 is since I don't have the vehicle yet. Doing my homework first before any purchases. It sounds like I should be okay based on all the comments but just wanted to be 100% sure and throw this out there for any additional comments from you guys that I have not thought of asking so I am good to move forward. Thank you!
 

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Hey Guys, Great discussion on a number of questions it seems no one else can answer that I have been asking. Similar to the original discussion starter I am very close to buying a travel trailer with a dry weight of 4300#s. I do plan on having a "weight distributing hitch with adaptive sway control" installed. In addition to the trailer I will need to buy the tow vehicle. From all the trucks I have looked at I am very interested and wanting to buy the 2019 Colorado LT with the V6 3.6L engine. 308HP/275 LB-FT and is suppose to tow up to 7000#s. I will be doing a good amount of mountain driving and comments here have been awesome, however, not sure what M5 or M6 is since I don't have the vehicle yet. Doing my homework first before any purchases. It sounds like I should be okay based on all the comments but just wanted to be 100% sure and throw this out there for any additional comments from you guys that I have not thought of asking so I am good to move forward. Thank you!
First, I think most would suggest that for mountain towing, the diesel would serve you better.

M5 or M6 refers to the manual mode on the transmission. The transmission has a regular drive mode, D, and also a manual mode. The label on the 2019 for manual mode is different than my 2015, but it functions the same. When you place the transmission into the manual mode, you can then use a toggle switch to change gears. However, this does not function as a traditional manual mode. What this does is lock out the transmission from going into a higher gear. So, if you forget and leave it in M1, or 1st gear, the engine RPMs will scream as you pull away from a light, and I suspect at some point the electronics will over ride something to prevent an engine failure. If you place it in M5, the truck will pull out and change gears as pretty much any automatic, but will not exceed 5th gear.

For towing, some people are not allowing the automatic to use the high(er) gears so they can reduce the hunting and keep the engine RPMs in a proper power band. So, M5 or M6 can accomplish this. Note that the 2015-2016 gassers came with a 6 speed, the 2017 and newer have an 8 speed. So the choice of highest gear between those may be different. The 4 cyl gasser and the 4 cyl diesel still have the 6 speed. (Do not even try this tow with a 4 speed gasser. )

M2 will limit the gear to 2nd, and in some cases, will lock it into 2nd gear, not allowing it to downshift into 1st gear.
 

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Hey Guys, Great discussion on a number of questions it seems no one else can answer that I have been asking. Similar to the original discussion starter I am very close to buying a travel trailer with a dry weight of 4300#s. I do plan on having a "weight distributing hitch with adaptive sway control" installed. In addition to the trailer I will need to buy the tow vehicle. From all the trucks I have looked at I am very interested and wanting to buy the 2019 Colorado LT with the V6 3.6L engine. 308HP/275 LB-FT and is suppose to tow up to 7000#s. I will be doing a good amount of mountain driving and comments here have been awesome, however, not sure what M5 or M6 is since I don't have the vehicle yet. Doing my homework first before any purchases. It sounds like I should be okay based on all the comments but just wanted to be 100% sure and throw this out there for any additional comments from you guys that I have not thought of asking so I am good to move forward. Thank you!

Make sure you get the factory towing package, it comes with the adjustable trailer brakes and 7 pin electrical plug
 

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Make sure you get the factory towing package, it comes with the adjustable trailer brakes and 7 pin electrical plug
The factory tow package does NOT include the integrated brake controller. The brake controller is a separate option.

I think I wrote this earlier, but here goes, with a few extras.

1. With the V6 or diesel, you will get the TOW/HAUL mode in the transmission. This is NOT the Tow Package, all it is basically is software to change the shift points for the transmission and a few other things controlled by the BCM. The sales people typically confuse all of these options, so pay attention.

2. In order to get the Z82 Tow Package or trailer package or what ever GM & the sales person want to call it, you have to get the G80 locking differential. If you look in the glovebox, the label should have the G80 and Z82 option codes listed.

3. In order to get the Integrated Trailer Brake Controller, Option Code JL1, you must have the Z82 tow package, which in turn means you get the G80 Locking Differential.
- If you do not get the JL1 option, you can add an aftermarket, but it will not be integrated into the vehicle and the DIC screen.

4. If you have a Diesel, don't worry about it. It automatically comes with the JL!, Z82, and G80.
 

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First, I think most would suggest that for mountain towing, the diesel would serve you better.

Cary, thank you for all the great information. I hear you on the diesel, however, I am buying the 2019 used and have not even seen one listed come to think of it. With that said others have mentioned the V6 should be okay with driving thru the mountains. It won't be all the time but are there still concerns?
 

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Tnks for all the input gents, much appreciated. The truck is new ish I should say, it has 6k in it now. The tongue weight is only 400lbs (so the manifest says) so I dont think that will be an issue. As for the controller, it's a primus IQ 9p160. Tnks again guys
As someone who has towed many trailers (mostly Airstreams), I would strongly suggest you consider a weight distributing hitch which will take some of the tongue weight (about 33%) back onto the trailer and put a third up on the front axle. This will result in more control and less sway than a deadweight on the rear axle only.
 
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