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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

Currently cross-shopping 2 possibilities.

1) diesel gmc canyon slt trim or up wherever best value is found, likely a 17' holdover.

2) diesel colorado zr2

To me they're basically a wash. The canyons would have a bit better mpg, should be better towing and a bit more wife approved.

The colorado on the other hand chubbs me up, and it drove better on road imo, basically I'm a sucker for super trick suspension.

Either vehicle would be staying relatively stock and kept for a minimum of 2 years (business reasons) and potentially turned over or refreshed afterward.

My current work truck/tow rig is an 8ft bed cummins 3/4 ton. Tows my open aluminum car hauler like nothing, same with a 24ft enclosed that spends most of its time as a garage bay. That would be going away through atleast the spring, at which point if necessary an older, cheaper, 2wd version would be purchased.

Likely I'll go with whatever direction hits my set numbers first, and pick up a cheap 2wd tow pig from the south next year if necessary.


There is however a high chance of pulling the open trailer with a 2-3k car on many short trips and occasional long trips with the twin.



Anyone have actual experience towing with a zr2? Mostly looking for feedback on stability. I assume its somewhat compromised
 

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Towed my just under 5K boat with my buddies ZR2, decided it wasn't for me. It did all right on surface streets, but on the highway it left a lot to be desired in the stability department compared to my Z71.
 

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I can answer this one. I had a 2016 V6 CCLB Z71. It would tow about anything right up to the 7000 pound limit and I felt pretty confident in its ability to remain stable and or stop it.

My 2017 ZR2 however, once you pass around the 3800-4000 pound mark, I feel like at interstate speeds you do not have the stability you need. I was pulling a single axle metal trailer with a properly balanced tongue/trailer weight and there were definite brief moments where you feel you just do not have enough stability for what you are towing. That said, my ZR2 has the diesel, and with the exhaust break I would trust it to safely stop anything under the 5000 pound limit.
 
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I've towed my old, cruddy 20' RV with my Duramax ZR2. Trailer weighs 4600# with a full tank of water and food gear. I have a WDH and friction sway device. I've towed up to 70 mph and it has no bounce or sway at all. It actually rides better than with my H2.

I recently did a short tow, 25 miles, with a heavy equipment trailer with a tractor and brush hog on it. Total combined weight was a little over 6000#. No WDH, so it had a little bounce over bumps, but it was not bad at all. I would feel very comfortable with that weight with a properly set up hitch.

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I've towed my old, cruddy 20' RV with my Duramax ZR2. Trailer weighs 4600# with a full tank of water and food gear. I have a WDH and friction sway device. I've towed up to 70 mph and it has no bounce or sway at all. It actually rides better than with my H2.

I recently did a short tow, 25 miles, with a heavy equipment trailer with a tractor and brush hog on it. Total combined weight was a little over 6000#. No WDH, so it had a little bounce over bumps, but it was not bad at all. I would feel very comfortable with that weight with a properly set up hitch.

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When you pulled the 6000lb load was the rear squatted alot?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Thanks for replies.

Was pretty rushed posting this morning before leaving for an event.

Open trailer is an 18ft aluminum featherlite, 2 axle, always loaded with proper tongue weight and level.

Vast majority of trips are to local autox venue (30ish minutes on side roads) would likely just get a shorter drop shank for my weigh safe hitch.

Highway trip wise the most demanding would consist of new england to florida with the open trailer. Have a hf weight distributing hitch and hardware kicking around. Or wouldnt have an issue going a bit nicer.


I saw there are timbren bump stops for the colorado platform. I use the rears on the ram, very happy with them in that application, its able to run bed weight right up the the axle rating, sit flat and drive great considering. On the zr2 I'd probably lean toward bags if there was a proper application.

I've read the various bits of reasoning for the reduced tow rating on the zr2, drivetrain wise it seems it should be stout enough to make the 5k range not an issue.

Realistically the non zr2 is the sensible choice here. Zr2 is the emotional one.
 

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When you pulled the 6000lb load was the rear squatted alot?
It did a little, but I also had the weight further forward than optimal to level the trailer a little because the hitch I had was to high. With the right height hitch it wouldn't squat bad at all.



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Be aware that exceeding the manufactures stated towing/load ratings can land you in hot water if you ever get pulled into a weight station/inspection (unlikely) or are in an accident while towing (even if the accident is NOT your fault).
 

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I had similar thoughts about a month ago. Between a z71 and zr2. The ZR2 is a cool looking vehicle. The towing capacity was the deal breaker for me. I went the Z71 route. Been happy with my choice. The z71 tows great. Good luck with your decision.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I had similar thoughts about a month ago. Between a z71 and zr2. The ZR2 is a cool looking vehicle. The towing capacity was the deal breaker for me. I went the Z71 route. Been happy with my choice. The z71 tows great. Good luck with your decision.
For us with multiple dogs full leather becomes the wife approved minimum spec. All terrain/z71 are out unless astounding deal.

I really liked how the zr2 drove on pavement, it was a pretty big surprise. Its absolutely the least sensible option, but atleast im not lying to myself. Off road wise theres some locations not far away, but really a 45k+ truck isnt going to make a good trail bitch, just out of the sake of wanting to keep it nice.


Buy a work truck and build something truly unique with the difference :)
No, trucks in this house are a revolving door. 2ish years and gone.

Current truck is a “work truck”. Its great. Anyone looking for a 15’ 4x4 single cab 8ft bed cummins to “build something truly unique” with? Its biggest issue you forget that you are pulling. Still under bumper to bumper warranty for another few thousand miles, never saw commercial use, 30k firm.

Only one truck we’ve had has really escaped that fate of turnover and hung around till it died from salt.



Zr2 kinda pulls at that sentimentality
 

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I had similar thoughts about a month ago. Between a z71 and zr2. The ZR2 is a cool looking vehicle. The towing capacity was the deal breaker for me. I went the Z71 route. Been happy with my choice. The z71 tows great. Good luck with your decision.
For us with multiple dogs full leather becomes the wife approved minimum spec. All terrain/z71 are out unless astounding deal.
I'm with you on that. Leather is one thing the z71 is missing that I would like. I did get get a good price on the truck as they were discounting 2017's as 2018's were hitting the lot. I could place aftermarket leather in the truck and still be below MSRP. I have been pricing that option.
 

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Over the last week I have towed my utility trailer to get feeders, towed the goat trailer with 38 head of nannies to market, and carried 1000 pounds of corn in the bed to fill some feeders. It?s no 3500 series GM or Ford but it did great, I was really impressed. In tow haul it ran right at 2200 rpm and got 17.9 mpg, 140 miles round trip, it never down shifted to pull hills just chugged away. As I suspected it will do all I need it to do on my place. I will be pulling a trailer to San Antonio this weekend to snag some more feeders, about 225 miles each way with lots of Hill Country between here and there, I?ll update the post afterwards.
 

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I just pulled my RV about 300 miles round trip. 4400# 20' trailer, and about 400# in the truck bed. Two passes each way. One is shorter but really steep, the other is really long but not as steep.

On the way there I used the WDH and the friction sway bar. Handled beautifully. On the way back I left off the friction sway bar just to see how it did. They only things I noticed any difference was at speeds above 50 with some strong wind and big rigs passing. It was minor, but noticeable.

This was from on the way back:


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Pulled my little stock trailer to San Antonio on Friday to grab 4 feeders. Grabbed a new set of shoes for the trailer, topped off the tank and headed East. Overall it was a great little shake down run. 380.5 miles round trip and averaged 15.7 mpg overall. It was windy, got 16.1 mpg going east, cruze was set at 75 mph on the open roads 60 to 65 in the city with only one real delay for a collision headed out of town. Only idled about 30 minutes total the whole trip. Truck ran excellent the whole way and had plenty of power. It did have to downshift a couple times to pull some bigger hills but for the most part she chugged along in tow haul. The only thing that really got me thinking what the heck was the way the vehicle downshifts while in tow haul mode. The exhaust brake engine brake combo really revs this little engine. It will stop ya quick. I actually turned it off in the city because it was really efficient in slowing you down and it had a little lag trying to accelerate back up in the stop and go driving. I bet unloaded it is much more forgiving, loaded it will do the job. RPMs were around 3750 when it down shifted, normal were about 1950. Adding a few pics and a pic of my trailers stats. The feeder legs are 14ft long.
 

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Pulled my little stock trailer to San Antonio on Friday to grab 4 feeders. Grabbed a new set of shoes for the trailer, topped off the tank and headed East. Overall it was a great little shake down run. 380.5 miles round trip and averaged 15.7 mpg overall. It was windy, got 16.1 mpg going east, cruze was set at 75 mph on the open roads 60 to 65 in the city with only one real delay for a collision headed out of town. Only idled about 30 minutes total the whole trip. Truck ran excellent the whole way and had plenty of power. It did have to downshift a couple times to pull some bigger hills but for the most part she chugged along in tow haul. The only thing that really got me thinking what the heck was the way the vehicle downshifts while in tow haul mode. The exhaust brake engine brake combo really revs this little engine. It will stop ya quick. I actually turned it off in the city because it was really efficient in slowing you down and it had a little lag trying to accelerate back up in the stop and go driving. I bet unloaded it is much more forgiving, loaded it will do the job. RPMs were around 3750 when it down shifted, normal were about 1950. Adding a few pics and a pic of my trailers stats. The feeder legs are 14ft long.
When I towed my RV I just put it in manual 5. No more auto downshifting. The passes I went over had very steep grades and I never touched the brakes except just a little for a couple tighter corners. Exhaust brake held it just fine.

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
You'll be very happy!

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About 900 miles on it since picking up monday. Pulled the duratracs yesterday for something highway friendly. The duratracs will go back onto some **** wheels i dont mind ruining, no sense in scrubbing off the knobby rubber on pavement. Swapping isnt a big deal.

So far impressions are a+.

Took it out for a towing test run last night. Up and down numerous 6-7% grades, windy roads and seeing how it got up to highway speeds.

Pros: engine didnt lug, transmission didnt hunt, this will definately work with some tweaks

Cons: makes you realize just how damn good the 3/4 cummins is.

Was looking last night at rear suspension enhancement. Torklifts would likely work on the zr2, with no impact on regular driving. Bags are a possibility. Getting a measurement of frame - spring from a friends non zr2. If its longer i tracked down the different parts for longer firestone bags in their colorado kit.

Have timbrens on the ram, theyre awesome but have a feeling the taller bump stops may be too detrimental to unloaded ride.

it was simple on that vehicle since it only saw pavement and things like droop or significant compression didn't have to be sorted. It was a work truck, it rode like a work truck, that was fine.

This is a toy truck, it rides like a puffy car, and for now is wife approved.
 
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