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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, everyone. I'm considering buying the new Colorado and I wanted to know what people thought about towing a camper with it? I don't know if this is the best forum for that but I would be buying a third generation truck at this point. I have a Passport SL 189RB that I take on the road. It is 4900 lbs at it's lightest and 6500 lbs at it's heaviest. It's 23 ft long. It's tongue weight is 610lbs. The specs seem to show that the Colorado should have no trouble pulling this trailer at all...but I want to make sure because frankly the entire topic of what trucks can and cannot do still confuses me. My biggest issue is I don't think I can afford the leap to a 1/2 ton truck like a Silverado. Can anyone lend some advice?
 

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I personally think you are going to pushing th capabilities of the mid-size with a travel trailer.

At 6500 pounds, you should have a tongue weight closer to 730-750 pounds.

Too hard for me to research your travel trailer on my phone, but if you are planning on mountain trips, not sure I would try it.
 

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Someone will probably come by and get all bothered, but basically IMO, tow ratings as you get up toward max I don't have much faith in. Some trucks can exceed it and still get the job done well, some are scary on the highway within 20% of it. Some it's a reasonable ballpark.

My gut is the Colorado having such a big capacity for such a small truck, is its kinda a farce and you'd be better to avoid towing that much with one. I'd really be tempted to find one to rent or demo somehow and try it of possible :).. Then try the same with a full size to feel the difference. Make sure some hills and highway (especially downhills) are part of it.

Personally if that was my requirement, I'd be looking at full size trucks. And honestly anything over like 8000 lbs I'd be looking a 3/4 ton versions and would consider them as valid options for 6500 lbs.

A bigger truck, you can plop a trailer down on whatever hitch is convenient without a second thought of tongue weight, without much difference in feel as far as the trailer exerting force on the truck, it's safer, lower stress, easier on the operator all around. A smaller truck you end up doing things to combat tongue weight, you get pushed around with wind or on downhill runs on the highway that can be flat out white knuckle experiences, everything about it can suck.

The faster you want to drive the more it matters too, what feels fine at 40 MPH may be a nightmare at 70 MPH.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Appreciate the views guys. I did actually want a full sized truck and I've actually gone and spoke to a few dealers about them (Chevy, Toyota, Dodge) but what I'm seeing is that these trucks are now so expensive that buying one basically equates to a second monthly mortgage. I'm actually pulling the trailer now with a smaller SUV that probably should not be pulling it...but when I bought the trailer I didn't understand how towing weights worked and the dealer of course didn't care and told me it would pull just fine; and I stupidly believed him. I suppose worse comes to worse I can just park the trailer and wait the market out and see if prices get any better. I was hoping Colorado could do it.
 

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Im in the same boat as you. I dont have any experience towing, nor do i have a camper yet, but i plan to get a colorado/canyon and tow with it. Ideally i want a camper that maxes out at 6000lbs.
6500 lbs puts you right at 85% of your towing figure which i think is the max you should go.

what SUV are you currently towing it with and what problems are you noticing ?
 

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If you are only worried about capability and not options or trims, then there might not be any leap to a half ton. For instance, a 2WD Silverado (WT, Custom, or LT) with 9,500 lb trailering capacity would run about $38K - $45K depending on the engine.

To get the max trailering capacity of 7,700 lbs from a 3rd gen Colorado you will need to add the 2.7L Turbo Plus option or buy a higher trim level. Although pricing isn't released yet, I have seen mid-$40K estimates for Z71 and Trail Boss trucks so I also don't think it would be out of the realm of possibilities to have a more capable Silverado cost less than a well equipped Colorado.
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Also consider that in addition to a higher towing capacity, the 5.3L also gets better fuel economy on the highway and while towing compared to the 2.7L turbo.
 

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FWIW, I currently tow a Mini Lite 2104s, the door jamb sticker on the unit is listed at 4688 Lbs when it left the factory. Towing with a 15 2wd 3.6 gas. Just my wife and my self (small dog), so the cab itself isn't jamed packed full of stuff, but I tend to bring my own firewood. Does it get the job done, absolutely, do I travel fast, no, generally max about 100 KPH (62 mph). Have a great brake controller, never had any lump in the throat moments in the last 5 years of towing. Get like most people here about 11-13 MPG (US) towing. HST, I'm just about ready to pull the trigger as soon as the pricing shows up on Dec. 15th. Will be plus engine, 2wd. again and tow package. I'm thinking that the 700 lb. increase in tow rating will be a better cushion when towing (bigger brakes from what I'm reading as well) and a better towing experience overall.YMMV
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Im in the same boat as you. I dont have any experience towing, nor do i have a camper yet, but i plan to get a colorado/canyon and tow with it. Ideally i want a camper that maxes out at 6000lbs.
6500 lbs puts you right at 85% of your towing figure which i think is the max you should go.

what SUV are you currently towing it with and what problems are you noticing ?
Right now I'm pulling it with a 2006 Nissan Xterra. The Xterra can pull 5K pounds and it does just fine on flat lands and minor hills. I have a weight distribution hitch and the trailer is almost always traveling light. Empty tanks and just me. I'm just well aware at this point that I'm taking a risk with it and there's no way insurance would rubber stamp that. I wouldn't go up a mountain with it.
 

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You can tow that trailer with a garden tractor. I've seen it done. Just no very fast, or very far.

These "little" trucks will pull and carry surprising loads. Remember that just a couple of decades ago, this size truck was considered full-size, and people towed incredible weights with them. Use an equalizing hitch to control sway, and load it properly. It will be fine as long as you're not in a hurry. Pulling across KS at 80mph with your nose in the air will be a problem.
 

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If you are only worried about capability and not options or trims, then there might not be any leap to a half ton. For instance, a 2WD Silverado (WT, Custom, or LT) with 9,500 lb trailering capacity would run about $38K - $45K depending on the engine.

To get the max trailering capacity of 7,700 lbs from a 3rd gen Colorado you will need to add the 2.7L Turbo Plus option or buy a higher trim level. Although pricing isn't released yet, I have seen mid-$40K estimates for Z71 and Trail Boss trucks so I also don't think it would be out of the realm of possibilities to have a more capable Silverado cost less than a well equipped Colorado.
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Also consider that in addition to a higher towing capacity, the 5.3L also gets better fuel economy on the highway and while towing compared to the 2.7L turbo.
I'm gonna second this, and additionally, they have some notable manufacturers incentives going on the full size trucks now too.

Yes a loaded 1/2 ton might be 75K, but a more basic model won't be (even with 4WD and a V8). Consider ordering one, build it and see how it works out - then you aren't paying for stuff you don't need, which is usually the case on a dealers lot.

Towing you are always better off with more truck than less - isn't a good place to shoot for bare minimum.
 

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I live near a RV park and run through it every few days and see Colorados and Canyons with this size trailer quite often,
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm gonna second this, and additionally, they have some notable manufacturers incentives going on the full size trucks now too.

Yes a loaded 1/2 ton might be 75K, but a more basic model won't be (even with 4WD and a V8). Consider ordering one, build it and see how it works out - then you aren't paying for stuff you don't need, which is usually the case on a dealers lot.

Towing you are always better off with more truck than less - isn't a good place to shoot for bare minimum.
Since starting this topic I've noticed that. I played with a few different builders and I seem to have noticed Toyota Tundra seems to have the best bang for your buck. I can at least get a truck to $50K which won't break the bank. Plus, it wouldn't have to be a work truck model like I'd have to get with Ford or Chevy. I think I'm going to start leaning in that direction.

Thanks all, you've been a tremendous help. I appreciate everyone who commented!
 

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Since starting this topic I've noticed that. I played with a few different builders and I seem to have noticed Toyota Tundra seems to have the best bang for your buck. I can at least get a truck to $50K which won't break the bank. Plus, it wouldn't have to be a work truck model like I'd have to get with Ford or Chevy. I think I'm going to start leaning in that direction.

Thanks all, you've been a tremendous help. I appreciate everyone who commented!
the Tundra will get you 12 mpg running empty on a good day, great motor though
 

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Since starting this topic I've noticed that. I played with a few different builders and I seem to have noticed Toyota Tundra seems to have the best bang for your buck. I can at least get a truck to $50K which won't break the bank. Plus, it wouldn't have to be a work truck model like I'd have to get with Ford or Chevy. I think I'm going to start leaning in that direction.

Thanks all, you've been a tremendous help. I appreciate everyone who commented!
I don't know if that's true on the Tundra, partly I see a lot of stripped down Tundras on the road. I bet a Chevy WT is probably a lot more optioned out than a Tundra base model.

Just for the heck of it, built a 2023 1/2 ton with Crew Cab, V8, 4x4, added cruise control, off road package, tow package + trailer brake controller, 18 inch aluminum wheels. It doesn't seem very stripped down and comes in just under $50,995. My gut is a Chevy WT is probably nicer than the Tundra you are considering.

1/2 Ton WT Optioned out w/ 4X4, V8, etc
 

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My rule of thumb... if I need 75% of the tow rating of the vehicle and plan on needing it every time I want to go tow something I look at a different vehicle. It's a comfort thing. That being said that size trailer is perfectly in it's wheelhouse but you may find it to be uncomfortable if doing it all the time... I agree the smart move would be going up to a full size.
 

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The new Tundra's are a great option depending on your budget. You can get a near fully loaded Limited for around $58k if you don't need the TRD package and can find a dealer selling at MSRP. Try finding a F150 Lariat for anywhere close to that with the same options. New engine is a beast and I was getting 18MPG in town and 22 on the highways prior to selling it.
 

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You can also look at the Titan, I have a few friends with those and they are a very good truck.

You didn't mention where you pull and how often. If you are in Florida and only travel a few hours away maybe once a month, that is a whole different ball game than every weekend in the mountains or regularly cross country tripping it.

If you are comfortable now for the most part with the Xterra, the Colorado will be far better and you should be very comfortable.

I would have no issues towing the size trailer regularly in most cases but going up is always good if you have the means. When you say the full size trucks aren't affordable (which they are certainly pricey these days), do you mean you are looking at more base and mid level trucks or are you one that needs all the luxuries and pricing out the Limiteds, Platinums, Denali's, etc? Tit for tat the mid size trucks will be cheaper, but you can get a one trim level up full size truck for the price of a nearly loaded mid size.

Food for thought, the Colorado is enough truck it sounds like, they have to meet the J2807 standards which are strict and fully tests the truck at its limits to pass so I would have no worry towing it (I am not one of those 80% rule kind of guys), but you have to be comfortable with what you are towing and some are more comfortable than others...

Tyler
 

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You can also look at the Titan, I have a few friends with those and they are a very good truck.

You didn't mention where you pull and how often. If you are in Florida and only travel a few hours away maybe once a month, that is a whole different ball game than every weekend in the mountains or regularly cross country tripping it.

If you are comfortable now for the most part with the Xterra, the Colorado will be far better and you should be very comfortable.

I would have no issues towing the size trailer regularly in most cases but going up is always good if you have the means. When you say the full size trucks aren't affordable (which they are certainly pricey these days), do you mean you are looking at more base and mid level trucks or are you one that needs all the luxuries and pricing out the Limiteds, Platinums, Denali's, etc? Tit for tat the mid size trucks will be cheaper, but you can get a one trim level up full size truck for the price of a nearly loaded mid size.

Food for thought, the Colorado is enough truck it sounds like, they have to meet the J2807 standards which are strict and fully tests the truck at its limits to pass so I would have no worry towing it (I am not one of those 80% rule kind of guys), but you have to be comfortable with what you are towing and some are more comfortable than others...

Tyler
Only issue with J2807 is they don't test max tow for frontal area/drag... Keep that in mind. But it should be able to do it....
 
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