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Old 09-19-2019, 10:26 AM   #1
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towing with a Colorado

Anyone towing a Flying Cloud with a 3.6 V6 Colorado? We are newbies. The numbers work out all the way around for the truck and the combined truck & camper but I am concerned about margin and hill country. Looks like few people tow anything but boats and motorcycles with Colorados.
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Old 09-19-2019, 10:48 AM   #2
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Need more info. Colorado actual payload from the yellow door sticker? What trailer? If you already have the rig and truck have you gone to a CAT scale (truck scale) with the truck and trailer loaded the way you would be for camping and get some actual weights? If you are still shopping don't believe the marketing materials for payload on any truck. Find one that is similar or the same trim and options as you want to buy and check the yellow door sticker. Don't be surprised to find that the actual payload is hundreds of pounds less than the marketing hype.


I had a Canyon with the diesel engine and tow capacity was 7500 pounds. But payload was woefully short since it was a loaded Denali model and was very limited on the amount of tongue weight/remaining payload for pulling much of anything.
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Old 09-19-2019, 11:17 AM   #3
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Thanks Gary,
We have the 3.6L Colorado but not the trailer. Door post says 1453 max cargo with a max truck weight of 5800. That means the truck weighs about 4250. Max total truck and trailer allowed is 12,000.

We like the Flying Cloud 23FB which has base weight of 4800 in the brochure but 5200 on the lot as equipped but dry.

If I add the Weight Distribution Hitch, some stuff, and tongue weight to the truck, I am at 4900 ish at the truck so there is a little margin there.

If I add a "little" water and some stuff to the trailer, I will be somewhere between 10,500 and 11,000 for combined gross weight rating. Unless I missed something, This is why a say the numbers work out but not a heck of a lot of margin there.
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Old 09-19-2019, 11:52 AM   #4
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There are a few ratings for the Colorado based on config from the Chevy website. Given the numbers you are sharing about your Colorado, I am guessing you have the 5000lb capacity Colorado. Looking at Airstream's site stating any of the 23' trailers weigh in at about 6000lbs, I can say with confidence you will exceed the 5000lb tow capacity you mention. Never go by dry weight because in the real world, you will be a heck of a lot closer to wet weight than dry weight. Add passengers and cargo, and the numbers get even more dismal with a 5k tow capacity.

If you have the Colorado with a 7k tow rating, you will be fine, if not, think about either a smaller Airstream or a more robust truck.

I'm not saying a 5000lb tow rated Colorado won't move the trailer, but based on what I've read, might not be a ideal combo.
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Old 09-19-2019, 12:18 PM   #5
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Thanks "Panamerican" for the quick response. The 2019 3.6L gas Colorado is rated GVWR max of 5800 and for 7000 lb towing. Unless I am missing something big, I can get the numbers to work out for total vehicle and trailer but not by much. I am concerned about margin, especially if we try to go into hilly country north of Florida. You are probably right.....bigger truck or smaller trailer. We would opt for the Caravel 22FB which is ~1000 lbs lighter but the refrigerator is ridiculously small.
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Old 09-19-2019, 12:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drano View Post
Thanks "Panamerican" for the quick response. The 2019 3.6L gas Colorado is rated GVWR max of 5800 and for 7000 lb towing. Unless I am missing something big, I can get the numbers to work out for total vehicle and trailer but not by much. I am concerned about margin, especially if we try to go into hilly country north of Florida. You are probably right.....bigger truck or smaller trailer. We would opt for the Caravel 22FB which is ~1000 lbs lighter but the refrigerator is ridiculously small.

At 7k, you will be ok. In the hilly areas, you are just going to have to take it slow. Even a robust 3/4 ton is gonna work hard in the mountains with an apt sized trailer behind it.
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Old 09-19-2019, 12:30 PM   #7
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Colorado with FC23'

My good friend has a 2018 Colorado extended cab, long bed, V-6, 4x4 with the 7000 lb tow rating. Factory tow package including the brake controller which is a stand alone option. He tows a 2019 Lance 1985 (23') that weighs less than a FC23'. It tows it just OK. Nothing to write home about. We hooked it up to the 2017 Int. Serenity 23D that I used to own. (Replaced it with a 2019 FC25 RBT).
Not even close. The 23D ready to travel weighs in at 5600 LBS with around 800 lbs tongue weight. First couple hills we went up, in western North Carolina, it was really apparent that the Colorado was not happy. We have some pretty decent hills here but wherever you travel your going to encounter hills.

Bottom line, if you are going to get a FC 23' you will be way ahead to get a properly equipped 1/2 ton class pickup or a properly equipped van (Nissan NV3500 or Ford E150/250 XLT or Chevy/GMC.

If you really like the Colorado, you would be wise to get the Duramax in the LT trim level and even 2 wheel drive. This would keep your payload numbers up. If you wind up with a Colorado install the aftermarket "Clearview' brand towing mirrors. Chevy does not offer factory tow mirrors. The "Clearview" mirrors will set you back around $500.00 and you will thank the lord you spent the money for them when towing an 8' wide trailer with a narrow Colorado. Happy travels

P.S. If you get the 1/2 truck now you won't have to buy a new tow vehicle when you go to a 25' AS in a couple of years. Just sayin.
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Old 09-19-2019, 12:36 PM   #8
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We towed our FC20 all around Colorado (over 2500 miles) with our GMC Canyon 3.6l including long climbs at high elevation. Did great, but unless you are traveling in mostly flat country I would not want to tow anything heavier than the FC20 (i.e. ~4400 lbs). Be sure to set the trailer braking proportion high enough. I faded the brakes significantly on a long descent when I did not have enough proportioned to the trailer brakes.

see: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f238...ud-191391.html
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Old 09-19-2019, 12:42 PM   #9
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Additional Colorado info

If you get the Colorado, note that the factory supplied receiver is not rated for using a weight distributing hitch. You can purchase a proper receiver from Etrailer. It will be a Class IV rated hitch and is rated for weight distribution.

My friend was alerted to this fact by the salesperson (what do you know, an honest car salesman). Take a look at the label on the factory supplied receiver and note that there is no reference on the sticker regarding WD. It only lists tow rating and tongue weight. The replacement hitch, I think it is a Curt, has 4 additional mounting bolts through the frame and is visibly more robust. Not real expensive and I think he had the Hitch dealer install it as the rear bumper has to come off.
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Old 09-19-2019, 12:53 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by uraljohn View Post
If you get the Colorado, note that the factory supplied receiver is not rated for using a weight distributing hitch. You can purchase a proper receiver from Etrailer. It will be a Class IV rated hitch and is rated for weight distribution.

My friend was alerted to this fact by the salesperson (what do you know, an honest car salesman). Take a look at the label on the factory supplied receiver and note that there is no reference on the sticker regarding WD. It only lists tow rating and tongue weight. The replacement hitch, I think it is a Curt, has 4 additional mounting bolts through the frame and is visibly more robust. Not real expensive and I think he had the Hitch dealer install it as the rear bumper has to come off.
You can install the WD hitch alone with clever use of a jack as I did, although certainly easier with 2 people. My 2018 GMC Canyon factory hitch did use all 8 attachment bolts as does the new WD rated hitch, however some replacement hitches appear to only use 4 bolts.
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Old 09-19-2019, 01:22 PM   #11
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I think the Colorado that you already have is well matched to a FC23. I would pay attention to the receiver currently installed on the vehicle, use a WD system and pay attention to setup of the hitch. I would also not plan to bring a lot (or any) heavy toys with me when camping (motorcycles, boats, etc) but the payload you quote is perfectly reasonable for a 23 with some cargo in the bed as well.
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Old 09-19-2019, 02:00 PM   #12
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First and Foremost.....Thanks to all of you for your help and advice. I did not anticipate the response I received and appreciate it very much. Sounds like we have a decision to make on our quest for an "escape capsule."
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Old 09-19-2019, 02:21 PM   #13
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The new Caravel 22'

Quote:
Originally Posted by drano View Post
Thanks "Panamerican" for the quick response. The 2019 3.6L gas Colorado is rated GVWR max of 5800 and for 7000 lb towing. Unless I am missing something big, I can get the numbers to work out for total vehicle and trailer but not by much. I am concerned about margin, especially if we try to go into hilly country north of Florida. You are probably right.....bigger truck or smaller trailer. We would opt for the Caravel 22FB which is ~1000 lbs lighter but the refrigerator is ridiculously small.
Very nice rig. However, this is a single axle trailer. So only 2 tires to support the weight compared to 4 tires to support weight of the FC 23 FB your considering. The tongue weight of the Caravel 22' may be higher than the FC 23 FB. The FC 23 FB has a fairly low tongue weight for the size of the trailer. As an example, compare the factory supplied tongue weights of the FC 23 FB and the FC 23CB(formerly a 23D). Notice that the weight is considerably lower for the FC 23 FB. This is a result of the different floorplans and axle placement on the 23' models. Given the limited payload capacity you will have if you chose the Colorado as your tow vehicle you would probably be better off with the FC 23 FB.
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Old 09-19-2019, 02:34 PM   #14
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We have a 2019 V6 4WD Crew Colorado with integrated tow package and trailer brake controller option and can't imagine towing our slightly longer (than your proposed 23) 25 Int/Eddie Bauer with it! We chose our heavier / longer wb Yukon for towing the AS just a few weeks ago and it was white knuckles ... even with a properly set up EQ hitch. (Spent a great deal of time in flight training at NAS Pensacola - so I understand specs and check lists). I guess we had gotten used to towing the 25 with a 3/4 ton diesel and all of its attributes...it never struggled either going up or down our Montana mountains! Be advised that the towing specs for the Colo and the Yukon are Very close. Hence, our shared experience ... the paper specs were very misleading for real world towing.... knowing what we have experienced, we would / should have kept the 3/4 and not considered the Colo or Yuke as a replacement TV.

We wanted to love the Yuke as a TV because it worked so well for everything else in our lifestyle. But alas, the Yukon has now been replaced by a 1/2 T Silverado and it awaits to be hitched to Eddie (Bauer). We still love the Colo, however, and - although it is for sale with 2k miles - hope to stay a two truck family.

Ask your dealer to allow you to hitch up to the AS of your choice and take a trial test drive ... include mountains and windy areas because that will allow you to determine if you are comfortable with the tail wagging or following the dog.

Certainly a 23 would make for less tongue weight than our 25 ... but YMMV... the tongue weights published for AS are VERY conservative.... add for propane / tanks, extra battery or AGM, HEAVY EQ hitch gear and water - depending upon tank location.
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Old 09-19-2019, 05:38 PM   #15
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I tow our 2016 FC with a 2016 3.6 Colorado Crew Cab short bed. Reese WD Hitch. No problems braking or towing. Motor works hard when going through the mountains. Plenty of room in the bed for stuff too.
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Old 09-20-2019, 06:16 AM   #16
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I tow our 2016 FC with a 2016 3.6 Colorado Crew Cab short bed. Reese WD Hitch. No problems braking or towing. Motor works hard when going through the mountains. Plenty of room in the bed for stuff too.
The newer (2017+) LGX engine and 8 speed (vs 6 speed) transmission may offer some advantages including a minor torque increase across all RPM. Main takeaway though is that the engine in our experience in the mountains seems to be happy sitting at 4200 RPM climbing long grades which is very close to the torque peak. Truck V8 and especially diesel will pull those same grades at a much lower rpm of course but I think part of it is just getting used to a DOHC DI engine that has a peak HP at 6800 RPM.

Vehicle:...……………….2016 Colorado/Canyon...2017+ Colorado/Canyon
Engine:...………………...3.6L V-6 LFX.........……..3.6L V-6 LGX
Power (hp @ RPM): 305 @ 6800...…………….308 @ 6800(+3)
Torque (lb-ft @ RPM): 269 @ 4000...…………….275 @ 4000 (+6)
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Old 09-20-2019, 09:08 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by drano View Post
Thanks Gary,
We have the 3.6L Colorado but not the trailer. Door post says 1453 max cargo with a max truck weight of 5800. That means the truck weighs about 4250. Max total truck and trailer allowed is 12,000.

We like the Flying Cloud 23FB which has base weight of 4800 in the brochure but 5200 on the lot as equipped but dry.

If I add the Weight Distribution Hitch, some stuff, and tongue weight to the truck, I am at 4900 ish at the truck so there is a little margin there.

If I add a "little" water and some stuff to the trailer, I will be somewhere between 10,500 and 11,000 for combined gross weight rating. Unless I missed something, This is why a say the numbers work out but not a heck of a lot of margin there.
We towed a 23' Flying Cloud FB with a GMC Canyon which is the same as the Colorado and it did just fine in the mountains of Virginia.
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Old 09-20-2019, 09:28 AM   #18
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The Colorado is a great truck. However, anything over a AS Bambi (16-22) you really need a bigger truck. Any AS that weights as much or more than the truck is asking for trouble. The are 4 main areas to look at 1. Payload Capacity, 2. Towing Capacity, 3. Trailer tongue weight, and 4. GCVWR, that is the Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating. This is the Maximun Allowable Weight your truck and trailer can weigh combined.

IMHO just because your truck "JUST" meets these 4 areas does not mean it's OK. Just good enough is "Not Good Enough". That's my Humble Opinion and I sure others have theirs.
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Old 09-20-2019, 10:20 AM   #19
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Anyone towing a Flying Cloud with a 3.6 V6 Colorado? We are newbies. The numbers work out all the way around for the truck and the combined truck & camper but I am concerned about margin and hill country. Looks like few people tow anything but boats and motorcycles with Colorados.
Pulling an Airstream is never a problem.
It's a different ball game going up and especially down in mountainous terrain.
If you plan on running around only in Illinois and Indiana it could work.
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Old 09-20-2019, 07:55 PM   #20
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I wouldn’t do it. Half the fun of camping is a fun experience and white knuckle towing is no fun and dangerous to all involved.
As most are saying, this combo is at the limits.
I stand by the rule that if you need WD you need a bigger truck.
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