Anyone towing a camper ? - Page 3 - Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon
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post #41 of 121 (permalink) Old 12-22-2015, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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I have had zero issues towing my flat front 5,000 lbs camper this year and have already started booking camping spots for 2016. It runs down the highway straight as an arrow. The truck was designed for this. It is not a lightweight and the engine and transmission are more than capable of handling the payload. I towed with far less truck 30 years ago when a full size with a V8 and 200 HP meant something. No more! If you stay within the manufacturers specifications you are good to go. No white knuckle driving with my setup. A pleasure to drive. This has been my experience.



BTW, this is the towing extension mirrors I have. Simple strap on and off.

Question for you. I am assuming you are using an equlizer hitch. How many inches of drop do you have in the shank to get you trailer to ride level. With the new Colorado being about 3 to 4 inches higher than my old I5 my camper sits about 3 inches out of level. So it would be fair to say I am going to have to replace the shank
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post #42 of 121 (permalink) Old 12-22-2015, 06:01 PM
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Question for you. I am assuming you are using an equlizer hitch. How many inches of drop do you have in the shank to get you trailer to ride level. With the new Colorado being about 3 to 4 inches higher than my old I5 my camper sits about 3 inches out of level. So it would be fair to say I am going to have to replace the shank
It is a balance of the trailer being level and the height of the coupler in relation to how much cargo you will carry in the box of the truck such as firewood, a generator, etc. This will cause the truck to squat somewhat and the best solution I have found is to purchase a weight distribution hitch that is adjustable in the vertical axis with multiple bolt holes. You measure the level tongue height of the trailer, in my case 16 inches and then adjust the height of the ball slightly higher to compensate for the coupled load. Usually, this will be a couple of inches.

It is a bit of trial and error but once set your good to go. The bonus with this type of WDH is that if you change vehicles it will still be good to go as you simply re-adjust for the new height and suspension.
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post #43 of 121 (permalink) Old 12-23-2015, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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It is a balance of the trailer being level and the height of the coupler in relation to how much cargo you will carry in the box of the truck such as firewood, a generator, etc. This will cause the truck to squat somewhat and the best solution I have found is to purchase a weight distribution hitch that is adjustable in the vertical axis with multiple bolt holes. You measure the level tongue height of the trailer, in my case 16 inches and then adjust the height of the ball slightly higher to compensate for the coupled load. Usually, this will be a couple of inches.

It is a bit of trial and error but once set your good to go. The bonus with this type of WDH is that if you change vehicles it will still be good to go as you simply re-adjust for the new height and suspension.
My camper hitch is 14 inches at level and myequlizer hitch is at 17 and the hitch is in the last hole in the shank , guess I'll have to get a longer shank thanks for the info, the camper I have only weights 2800 lb. Looking forward to the camping season
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post #44 of 121 (permalink) Old 03-31-2016, 09:22 PM
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Forgot to post my experience with the back-up camera... Anyhow, I've been using the Furrion wireless back-up camera for the last few camping trips. I'll tell you, it makes a big difference not only when backing up, but also seeing who's behind you and coming up on your side. It has a very useful wide angle which is awesome. The video quality isn't great though. It's like 10-15 frames per second versus what normal video looks like at 30-60 frames so it's little choppy. We're not talking HD or anything either but you can tell if a car is there or not which is what I need it for. It says to "use for back-up only" but of course I keep the monitor on the entire trip so I can monitor the road behind me while driving as well.

I can't recommend this thing enough. It was an easy choice for me only because my camper came prewired for it (wire supplying power to the camera) while the actual video feed in your cab is wireless so you don't need a wire from your camper to your truck. You just plug the video feed into your cigaret lighter outlet. The bummer part is that it was so expensive (like $500).
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post #45 of 121 (permalink) Old 04-02-2016, 06:00 PM
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Here is my 16 Colorado hooked up to my new 2750RL Heartland. I am using a Reese Pro load equalizer w/ sway control. I love this set up. I was looking at the Rampage Wireless Backup Camera as it just needs a smartphone to display video. I am sure you could use a tablet or ipad as well. It has a built in wifi hotspot that is good for 300'.


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post #46 of 121 (permalink) Old 04-14-2016, 12:35 AM
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Here is my 16 Colorado hooked up to my new 2750RL Heartland. I am using a Reese Pro load equalizer w/ sway control. I love this set up. I was looking at the Rampage Wireless Backup Camera as it just needs a smartphone to display video. I am sure you could use a tablet or ipad as well. It has a built in wifi hotspot that is good for 300'.


Congrats, it looks great! I'm looking at a few Heartlands, and I'm still deciding on the truck to pull it with. How far have you pulled that trailer? I'm curious how it handled and how comfortable you were with the Colorado and that size of trailer
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post #47 of 121 (permalink) Old 04-14-2016, 10:37 AM
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Congrats, it looks great! I'm looking at a few Heartlands, and I'm still deciding on the truck to pull it with. How far have you pulled that trailer? I'm curious how it handled and how comfortable you were with the Colorado and that size of trailer
I am curious as well, from what i read that trailer has a gross weight of 6900lbs with a dry weight of 5400lbs. I imagine that all said and done that is close if not over the 7k mark

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post #48 of 121 (permalink) Old 04-14-2016, 07:04 PM
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I am curious as well, from what i read that trailer has a gross weight of 6900lbs with a dry weight of 5400lbs. I imagine that all said and done that is close if not over the 7k mark
I've never had a full fledged TT, but I can't imagine putting more than 300-500 lbs of stuff in there. I have a teardrop trailer now and we can fit pretty much everything we need on a trip in there just fine, and it's probably only 200 lbs of stuff (Clothes, toiletries, cooler with food and water, grill, movies...). I read about people taking out their big(ger) trailers and they seem to add 1,000 lbs of things to it for their trips... I can't imagine why unless they are filling up their water tank before they leave, which would still only be about 300 or so lbs, plus 80 lbs for propane.

I'd like to think I would be fine with only taking 200-400 lbs of things with me, but I still add 500 lbs to the dry weight to estimate total trailer weight when shopping around. Then again, I'm a complete newbie to big trailers and might be way off base. I just want something I can stand up and walk around in

So for me, I am guessing a 5400 lbs dry weight trailer would end up about 5900 before I left on a trip
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post #49 of 121 (permalink) Old 04-15-2016, 08:03 AM
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I've never had a full fledged TT, but I can't imagine putting more than 300-500 lbs of stuff in there. I have a teardrop trailer now and we can fit pretty much everything we need on a trip in there just fine, and it's probably only 200 lbs of stuff (Clothes, toiletries, cooler with food and water, grill, movies...). I read about people taking out their big(ger) trailers and they seem to add 1,000 lbs of things to it for their trips... I can't imagine why unless they are filling up their water tank before they leave, which would still only be about 300 or so lbs, plus 80 lbs for propane.

I'd like to think I would be fine with only taking 200-400 lbs of things with me, but I still add 500 lbs to the dry weight to estimate total trailer weight when shopping around. Then again, I'm a complete newbie to big trailers and might be way off base. I just want something I can stand up and walk around in

So for me, I am guessing a 5400 lbs dry weight trailer would end up about 5900 before I left on a trip
I agree with wanting a bigger trailer... I am actually looking for a 22-27ft fifth wheel that weighs in between 5 and 6k. Weight just seems to add up quickly. Once you have the trailer, your family, the dog and cat, you will want to bring chairs and probably a table for outside, if you are camping outside of a rv park you will probably need a generator (and then gas to run it). Food, beverages, ice, ice chests, clothes, etc... I am all for towing right up to the 7000lb limit as long as I have the right set up and get some trailer brakes going.

Really just wanting to see someone with fully loaded rv put it on the scale and see what is truly being towed for weight

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post #50 of 121 (permalink) Old 04-15-2016, 08:25 AM
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c... I am all for towing right up to the 7000lb limit as long as I have the right set up and get some trailer brakes going.

...
FYI, my 2300 pound popup has trailer brakes standard, so that should not be an issue.

My personal opinion is if you are wanting to tow on a regular basis that large a load - get a bigger truck. It is not just the engine - braking issue, but the old tail wagging the dog issue creeps into the equation.

My experience in life, if not camping, is that as you get deeper into a hobby, especially one like camping that has so many neat accessories, the amount of stuff you "need" to bring increases dramatically. I am going camping this weekend and I am lamenting the fact that I only own one dutch oven to carry with us. There is no end in sight.
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post #51 of 121 (permalink) Old 04-15-2016, 08:33 AM
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I'm not looking at towing a lot of stuff on a regular basis... if we do find the fifth wheel we want at the price point we want it will still only be a half a dozen weekends a year thing. And I'm not looking at towing the thing a thousand miles each way, a lot of great camping areas within 150 miles of me.

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post #52 of 121 (permalink) Old 04-16-2016, 02:26 AM
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...I am actually looking for a 22-27ft fifth wheel that weighs in between 5 and 6k...I am all for towing right up to the 7000lb limit as long as I have the right set up and get some trailer brakes going.
Are you looking at getting a fifth wheel for your Colorado? Are you looking at the smaller fiberglass fifth wheels, or a full on 8' wide?

Fifth wheels are nice. I'm curious what you will be able to find that the Colorado can hook up to and tow
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post #53 of 121 (permalink) Old 04-19-2016, 09:56 PM
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I have the new diesel with the z71 suspension and trailering package with the integrated brake controller in the dash. my camper/toy hauler is 5200 lbs unloaded. 25' long x 8'6" wide x 12' tall. it def. makes the diesel work!!! im getting about 10 mpg avg. while towing it. horrible yes, but its a heavy load. I have a blue ox weight distribution hitch setup which take my tongue weight down to about 250 lbs. im getting low 30's mpg with no trailer, so its a huge difference. the exhaust brake works awesome. my brake controller is set at +4. my only real complaint is my mirrors r too small and don't stick out far enough so I cant see down the side of the trailer at all. im hoping to get a programmer soon to boost my hp along with other stuff to improve my hauling. im also waiting on k and n to release a cold air intake for the diesel models
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post #54 of 121 (permalink) Old 04-20-2016, 06:32 AM
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I have the new diesel with the z71 suspension and trailering package with the integrated brake controller in the dash. my camper/toy hauler is 5200 lbs unloaded. 25' long x 8'6" wide x 12' tall. it def. makes the diesel work!!! im getting about 10 mpg avg. while towing it. horrible yes, but its a heavy load. I have a blue ox weight distribution hitch setup which take my tongue weight down to about 250 lbs. im getting low 30's mpg with no trailer, so its a huge difference. the exhaust brake works awesome. my brake controller is set at +4. my only real complaint is my mirrors r too small and don't stick out far enough so I cant see down the side of the trailer at all. im hoping to get a programmer soon to boost my hp along with other stuff to improve my hauling. im also waiting on k and n to release a cold air intake for the diesel models
Thanks for the honest review. Interesting to see that the diesel mpg is not any better than the v6 while towing. Performance wise it also looks like there is no clear advantage as well as you mention that the engine is working hard. I got extension mirrors that I install in less than 1 minute while towing. Not the best but serves the purpose.

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post #55 of 121 (permalink) Old 04-20-2016, 06:40 AM
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Congrats, it looks great! I'm looking at a few Heartlands, and I'm still deciding on the truck to pull it with. How far have you pulled that trailer? I'm curious how it handled and how comfortable you were with the Colorado and that size of trailer


I've pulled it from Woodbridge va to Williamsburg va. Thing pulls like a dream hardly any swaying. You do get pulled towards trucks when they pass you. It's the first time I've towed in a long time so I kept it at about 65 mph the Colorado would pull 65 at 2200 rpm in 5 gear. Trains never got to hot till we hit stop and go traffic going home but never broke 200*. In a few weeks will be the real test we are towing from Stafford va to Youngstown Ohio. That's gonna be the real test. As for weight we had some water in the fresh tank and some cloths and some food. Not even close to 6900#. We are in the planning phase of a big trip in the summer of 17 to South Dakota and my parents are towing their 5th wheel to meet us there. If you go to a trustworthy RV dealer I don't think they would lead you wrong. This truck is plenty capable of towing anything under 7k.
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post #56 of 121 (permalink) Old 04-22-2016, 09:54 AM
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my only real complaint is my mirrors r too small and don't stick out far enough so I cant see down the side of the trailer at all.
You might be interested in this thread about tow mirrors. Long thread but worth the read...
Tow Mirrors

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post #57 of 121 (permalink) Old 05-03-2016, 02:04 PM
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Has Anyone tried a Programmer

I have a 2016 Colorado Z71 Trail Boss with 3.6L and thinking about buying a Hypertech programmer to boost power and torque a little. Has anyone tried this. I also tow 5000 lb camper. Barely! Having traded in a 2011 colorado with 5.3L big change.
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post #58 of 121 (permalink) Old 05-25-2016, 07:37 PM
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I don't think you would be able to tow a Fifth Wheel, the bed is too short... they do make Fifth Wheel hitches for a short bed pickup, but you also have the narrow issue. The shortbed ones are very, very pricey, they have a mechanical system that you activate before making a turn and slides the load back to kind of teetering over your (always open) tailgate, then draws it back when you straighten out... generally, buying a different truck would probably be cheaper.

The problem with a short-bed is when you turn, the the fifth wheel would smash into the back window of the truck...

You have a second issue with fifth wheels... the bed weight. The old small ones might not be too bad (but definitely pay attention to it). We've been planning for retirement a few years out, and I noticed that even the smallish 35 foot ones (small in 5th wheel land) are something like 2400-2700 lbs of bed weight... definitely more than the little Colorado can carry. I haven't been planning to do so though, I have about a year left on the least, I'm planning to turn it into a 2500HD D-Max for the retirement traveling.

I suspect you will need to stick to the travel-trailer type setup w/ a weight distribution hitch.
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post #59 of 121 (permalink) Old 05-25-2016, 07:38 PM
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Interesting. I'm actually getting about 14 up & down mountains towing about 6000 lbs with the V6.
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post #60 of 121 (permalink) Old 05-25-2016, 07:43 PM
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Red face Towing on Hills

I recently did a 10 day trip with my 6000 lb trailer for about 1000 miles, varying in terrain from a little above sea level to around 9,000 feet (crossing Mount Shasta). I was quite impressed on the little V6 tugging the thing up the side of the mountains. It did ok, but I wouldn't do any more than that, and I'll be planning "flatter" trips until I upgrade it to a larger truck though. We were picking between Moab and the Oregon Coast or Southern Idaho, Oregon Coast went first, won't be repeating that one. Most of the hill climb was around an 8% grade, but I had some 11% and some long down-grades of 8-11% that really worked the little V6 trying to keep the load speed managed.

The V6 does struggle above 55 though. 55-60 is basically 'it', above that, the mpg plummets.
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