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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone! So last week I purchased a new boat, it’s a 2013 23ft Andros Cuda. I would say trailer and boat weigh in at around 4,200-4,600 LBS
The boat was located about 250 miles away from my home ( this was my first time towing long distance and also towing a boat this big with my ZR2)
On my way back home from picking up the boat I noticed that truck felt alittle unstable when passing 70mph “especially when a semi truck would pass me”. I also noticed that the best MPG I was getting was 10-11mpg.

So my question is, should I start looking for another vehicle with better towing capabilities or should I just buy a weight distribution hitch and tune the truck for better MPG?? My truck is a 2020 ZR2 diesel Bison.
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2016 Laser Blue 4x4 Extended Cab 3.6 LFX V-6 with Flux Capacitor Upgrade
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Nice! Does that have a self-bailing deck? Reminds me of the 20 foot Mako my dad had when I was a teenager.
 

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Your guessed weight is missing from your text.

Without knowing the weight, your mpg seems kind of low. I get 16-18 towing a 5000# 20' RV at 65-70 on the freeway if there's not too many big hills or headwinds.

I do have a weight distributing anti-sway hitch, but honestly, I wouldn't be towing something like that over 70 anyway.

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Your guessed weight is missing from your text.

Without knowing the weight, your mpg seems kind of low. I get 16-18 towing a 5000# 20' RV at 65-70 on the freeway if there's not too many big hills or headwinds.

I do have a weight distributing anti-sway hitch, but honestly, I wouldn't be towing something like that over 70 anyway.

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oops. The weights is around 4,200-4,600 I live in Florida so no hills. The MPG had me a bit concerned
 

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Are your tires stock, or taller?

I should add, mine is tuned.

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Yes, it does. Just driving around going to town bone stock I was getting 19. After I tuned I got 23. After adding 33" tires I now get 20 for the same driving.

Freeway driving at 75 without towing I get 25-26. At 55-60 I can get 28. Speed has a pretty exponential effect on MPG.

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21 ZR2 CCSB duramax.
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Yes, it does. Just driving around going to town bone stock I was getting 19. After I tuned I got 23. After adding 33" tires I now get 20 for the same driving.

Freeway driving at 75 without towing I get 25-26. At 55-60 I can get 28. Speed has a pretty exponential effect on MPG.

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What tune are you running if you don’t mind me asking?
 

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Sadly, my tune is no longer available. The guy that did it is no longer around.

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2021 Z71 Midnight Edition
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I just bought a 22' camper that's around 5000 pounds. I have the weight distribution hitch and its great. I don't go over 60 to 65 but I get no sway when semis pass me - at least so far. I also get 10-11 mph when towing. I don't love that, but we will just be thoughtful when planning our trips.

A friend told me the mph is so terrible because tow mode is on. He said when that mode is on the transmission doesn't shift into the overdrive gears and the active fuel management is disabled. Idk if that is true or not, but it makes sense.
 

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‘17 Colorado CCLB 2wd 2.8L Duramax Summit White
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Tow/haul mode does not lock out overdrive. The truck will still use 5th and 6th gear in tow mode but it will only shift to those gears if the conditions are right (like going down a slight grade or if you’re at a high enough speed on a flat). I’ve never heard of any type of active fuel management system on these diesel trucks. All tow mode does is change the shift pattern of the transmission to hold gears longer to reduce gear hunting and it raises the output of the alternator to help with charging of a trailer battery if you have one.

Op, as long as your estimated weight is accurate, your truck is fine for towing your boat. MPGs are going to drop when you’re towing there’s no way around that. The ZR2 is the least aerodynamic trim available so 10-11mpg while towing doesn’t surprise me. There are many factors that affect MPGs like driving style, wind conditions, road conditions, were your truck/trailer tires aired up properly, weight of the trailer, weight of gear and passengers in the truck, etc. I’ve gotten less than 12mpg towing before on windy days so I don’t think your mileage is anything to be overly concerned about IMHO.
 

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2018 Colorado CCLB Duramax
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Also the quality of the trailer tires makes a difference in MPG. My son picked up 2 mpg when towing his 23ft center console by switching from the oem bias ply trailer tires to a better radial tire.
 

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I would install a weight distribution hitch and get the tongue weight correct, as it sounds like you are a little light on the tongue.

the wind hitting the windshield/center console on the boat will lighten the hitch weight the faster you go.

My ZR2 gets better gas mileage with a full cover on the boat then with out the cover as well as a buddy who pulls his boat with a Taco
 
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I just bought a 22' camper that's around 5000 pounds. I have the weight distribution hitch and its great. I don't go over 60 to 65 but I get no sway when semis pass me - at least so far. I also get 10-11 mph when towing. I don't love that, but we will just be thoughtful when planning our trips.

A friend told me the mph is so terrible because tow mode is on. He said when that mode is on the transmission doesn't shift into the overdrive gears and the active fuel management is disabled. Idk if that is true or not, but it makes sense.
His is a diesel, so no active fuel management. Different power train than you.
The fuel economy seems low, even for a Bison with the big tires, I would say that doing 70 mph towing that boat is causing the low mpg. I bet at a reasonable 60 mph towing speed it would be 14-15 mpg.
With my Canyon diesel I get 17 mpg towing my Travel trailer (23ft 6 k lbs loaded with supplies and water, we dry camp always) but speed limits are 55 mph on the mountain passes and curvy raods here, no such thing as an interstate or freeway. I also have a stock height truck and Michelin LTX A/T tires, great pavement tire.
 

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2021 Black \/6 4WD Z71 Crew Cab Short Box
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Keep the Bison- buy an old truck for towing unless you plan on towing all over the place.
they are making a zr2 Silverado so there’s that…
 
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IMHO, anti-sway/weight dist. bars are one of the best inventions ever conceived for towing. Being able to evenly distribute the towed weight between all four tires is the best thing you can do to decrease stress. It may not always be necessary (lighter loads), but if you have the bars, use them. Especially over long distances.
 

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I think you should check your tongue weight especially with that outboard hanging way off the back. That same trailer with an I/O of the same weight would probably feel totally different. I can't comment too much on mileage other than, mileage generally sucks while towing. Do you have a front end lift on your truck or does it just look too high because the tongue weight is flattening out your rake?

I never run a WDH/Anti-sway hitch (even on my 14k 30' Wellcraft -- Not towing that with a Colorado... lol) but I also am very diligent about proper trailer setup.
 

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Hi everyone! So last week I purchased a new boat, it’s a 2013 23ft Andros Cuda. I would say trailer and boat weigh in at around 4,200-4,600 LBS
The boat was located about 250 miles away from my home ( this was my first time towing long distance and also towing a boat this big with my ZR2)
On my way back home from picking up the boat I noticed that truck felt alittle unstable when passing 70mph “especially when a semi truck would pass me”. I also noticed that the best MPG I was getting was 10-11mpg.

So my question is, should I start looking for another vehicle with better towing capabilities or should I just buy a weight distribution hitch and tune the truck for better MPG?? My truck is a 2020 ZR2 diesel Bison.
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I tow a ruffly 6000# trailer with a GDE tuned Z71 and in FL I get around 13 to 14 mph. My buddy tows the same size trailer with a new F150echo and he gets 9 at the same time as mine. There are a bunch of factors that dictate the mileage and speed is one of biggest of them. It's hard in FL because if your not doing 80+ people are crawling up you ass even in the right lane. I have adopted the go around me attitude because 65 to 70 max is the most I will go with the trailer attached. I've run it up to 80 just to see when no one was around me and it kills the MPG and it's not safe in my book.

Set up of weight is everything, that mount on your boat motor is going to lift a lot of weight off the tongue from the leverage aspect of life. You should get the tongue weighed and see what that weight distribution looks like. Even if you went to a bigger truck if the weight distribution is off too much and the tongue is to light it's going to sway with whatever truck you tow it with. Like stated above the ZR2 platform, aerodynamically speaking, will get the lowest mpg of all the 2nd gen Colorado's.

I hope you follow up with whatever you decide to do as it help others though real life experience.

NICE BOAT!!!!!
 
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