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2018 zr2 ccsb duramax
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Discussion Starter #1
so i bought the fam a camper. Dry weight 4600. Tandem axel. Wanted a no boundaries. Could not get what I wanted. So I bought a 26 foot gray wolf 26djse.
See a lot of towing questions on here from time to time. I'll document my experiences here.
I'll track my egr temps trans and oil Temps here via tq pro app.
Also will have it set up with a husky centerline weight and sway. Probably won't pick it up till spring due to weather here. But if they can get me in soon before the rds get messy ill get her home for winter.
 

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Check your payload. You mention family, and I'm pretty well maxed out on payload with a 3,850 dry weight trailer, me, my wife and my cat.
 

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At 6k trailer weight I am pretty close. 650 tongue, 400 lbs people, 50 lb dog 200 lbs of stuff in the bed.
 

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My GeoPro 19FBS is ~3100 dry. In my personal opinion (granted I'm ZR2) I wouldn't want to tow much more, I'm honestly on the fence about keeping the truck. Ok the slightest grades I'm not able to hold speed and I averaged about 10-11mpg on my last trip. Interested to hear your experience.
 

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2021 Colorado 2.8L Diesel Z71
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Yeah, my 2021 Z71 diesel sticker says 1360 lbs cargo capacity. My wife, me, two remaining kids at home and dogs are 595 lbs alone. Drop another 100 lbs for a typical WDH and I can take another 665 lbs in tongue weight and cargo.

IMO the 7700 tow rating on the Colorado is essentially for a single person, or maybe two people in the truck. If you start getting to having 4 people and/or dogs onboard and you are in a typical camping situation (which entails cargo) then it's pretty hard to get up near the tow limit without going well over the cargo limit. In short - check your GVWR with any camping rig if you are pulling over 5000 lbs.
 

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My GeoPro 19FBS is ~3100 dry. In my personal opinion (granted I'm ZR2) I wouldn't want to tow much more, I'm honestly on the fence about keeping the truck. Ok the slightest grades I'm not able to hold speed and I averaged about 10-11mpg on my last trip. Interested to hear your experience.
I suspect the OP is diesel and you're gas, although I'm surprised you can't hold speed up slight grades with either.
 

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I suspect the OP is diesel and you're gas, although I'm surprised you can't hold speed up slight grades with either.
Nope I'm diesel and tuned.
 

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2021 Colorado 2.8L Diesel Z71
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Nope I'm diesel and tuned.
How fast are you going?

The 2.8 is only 181 hp, which is not a not a lot and I would not be too surprised if it could not hold a high speed on a grade. I watched the guys pulling the IKE challenge and the 2.8 was down something like 8 mph from all the V6 gas trucks. That's 6% grade, trying to run 65 mph or whatever.

Your 10-11 mpg is what I would expect at something north of 70 mph.
 

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2018 zr2 ccsb duramax
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Discussion Starter #9
Most of my towing will be just me in the truck. She will be driving the jeep with our son and much of the extras. Im not too concerned with ability to tow it. Weight distribution hitch set properly should help alot. Payload is 1100 on zr2 diesel. Tounge weight is about 575. Im 165.
Should be just fine. Weekend worth of wood in the back and rest in the trailer and jeep.
 

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Tires are mildly oversized but nothing crazy 265/70 instead of 265/65. Just trying to roll at 65 mainly, it definitely favors 4th gear, nearly the entire time unless it's downhill or suuuuuper flat.
 

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Tires are mildly oversized but nothing crazy 265/70 instead of 265/65. Just trying to roll at 65 mainly, it definitely favors 4th gear, nearly the entire time unless it's downhill or suuuuuper flat.
Granted my truck is 2 wheel drive LT instead of the ZR2 and has 255/65/r17 tires but I tow a 3250 lb. dry weight camper (Coleman 17 FQ) and I get anywhere from 14.5 to 15.5 towing and only hit 4th gear on the really steep hills. I started towing using manual 5 instead of drive after reading that recommendation on here. So I have tow/haul engaged and transmission set to manual 5. I have found that my sweet spot is 63 mph although I do also run 65 mph from time to time. Doing this, the transmission stays in 5th gear 98% of the time. On a steeper hill, it will downshift to 4th on occasion. Always holds speed. I have never lost speed on a hill. (I tow from Missouri east over to Ohio so no Ike Gauntlet type hills where I tow). Sounds like something about the ZR2 is different if you spend a lot of time in 4th and only get 10-11 mpg and lose speed on hills. .
 

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Nope I'm diesel and tuned.
I know ZR2s aren't quite as aerodynamic, but that sounds wrong. I can go up rather steep grades without loosing speed--it takes a very steep grade to slow me down and then it's just because I don't want to go over 3,000 rpm. My trailer is about 3,850 dry, so heavier than yours.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
One tire size makes a difference. Gears are always a good idea. Perhaps not a must but definitely not a bad idea 😉
 

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I'm not regearing for such a small tire change, that's a fairly small difference. It was really windy that day, and I haven't towed it since but I'll report back after my next trip.

What kind of mileage are you seeing with your trailer? @Goodspike
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Not saying one tire size requires it just that going up in tire size reduces usable torque. So to tow on the heavy side and have larger tires a re gear would definitely help.
 

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My GeoPro 19FBS is ~3100 dry. In my personal opinion (granted I'm ZR2) I wouldn't want to tow much more, I'm honestly on the fence about keeping the truck. Ok the slightest grades I'm not able to hold speed and I averaged about 10-11mpg on my last trip. Interested to hear your experience.
That seems odd. I get 16L/100 kms (17 mpg us) towing my Travel trailer.
I suspect you are up higher in the rpm range 2800-3000 rpm range , try letting it pull in a higher gear at 2300-2500 max , you will find it pulls better and more efficiently.
I am all stock, and our speed limits in the mountains are max 55 mpg, so keeping speed limit is not a problem. If I give it too much throttle, truck ends up downshifting and running too high rpm and the power falls flat anything over 2900 rpm, then I end up backing off a hair let it upshift and slowly speed starts to climb and holds .
 

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I'm not regearing for such a small tire change, that's a fairly small difference. It was really windy that day, and I haven't towed it since but I'll report back after my next trip.

What kind of mileage are you seeing with your trailer? @Goodspike
About 15-17, but I haven't had any long distance flat tows.
 

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It's fairly important to actually measure tongue weight loaded. My trailer is 320 empty and about 550 loaded. That's a fairly significant difference when you only have under 1,500 of payload. Also don't forget to add in accessories, like T-covers and step bars, etc.
 

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One thing I forgot to mention, I am running a steel driveshaft (I'm going to swap back to my stock aluminum one). I'm interested to see what the loss is there. Will measure tongue weight this week if I can get a hold of a scale.

I have maybe an extra 50-60lb of skid plates, but I have the backseat removed, the truck is generally not too heavily loaded. When I did that last run it was me and my two dogs (maybe 100lb combined)
 
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