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Old 01-21-2019, 08:41 PM   #1
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2017 20' Flying Cloud
Williamson County , Texas
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First Drive GMC Canyon and 20 Flying Cloud

Picked up our 2017 20 ft Flying Cloud today and drove about 60 miles home with it. Towed very nicely, despite a 20+ mph crosswind the first few miles. Very stable with no steering correction required (I believe the Stabilitrak helps with that). TV is a 4x4 Canyon Crew Cab with the V6 and trailering package, and a Leer Shell.

I am not new to towing, having owned and towed dump trailers, cargo trailers, car trailers, and horse trailers up to about 11,000 lbs, but always with a fullsize 1/2 or 3/4 ton pickup truck, so this was my first tow of anything substantial with a midsize truck.

Acceleration is actually very good. Got up to freeway speed very quickly at maybe half throttle and shifting around 3500 rpm. The V6 has 305 hp and a nice flat torque curve so it works very well with this relatively light trailer.

Averaged 16.5 mpg on this short trip with a tail wind. Very limited data obviously, but not bad.

Spent most of the trip at 65 MPH, but spent a few miles at 80 MPH (here in Texas the trailer towing speed limit is the same as for a single automobile). Have to check the trailer tire rating but anything above 70 MPH would be a rare exception anyway.

I also have a Chevy K2500 work truck with a 454, but the Canyon much more comfortable for traveling of course.

I used a weight distribution hitch and imagine that helped stability. Once setup the truck and trailer were level, without that it definitely would have been tail down.

I did notice that the transmission temp was running about 15 to 20 degrees higher than usual (about 163 F with an ambient temp of 65 deg F). The trans is an 8L90 which is the same as used in the Silverado, so I may investigate as to whether there is a GM auxiliary trans cooler that might work better than the setup that came with it.

At any rate I was very happy with the towing experience so far limited as it was.
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Old 01-22-2019, 11:34 AM   #2
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Great performance. No need for additional tranny cooling is indicate with that data.
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Old 07-30-2019, 05:26 PM   #3
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Colorado trip with the Canyon

We have been on the road in Colorado for about 3 weeks and 2800 miles so far and I am pretty impressed by the performance of the little Canyon. I will have a more detailed report but basically even up over 10.000 foot plus altitude no problem with keeping up with traffic and passed quite a few motor homes. Cruises easily at 75 mph in moderate terrain where allowed. Very stable in crosswinds and passing big rigs. Only problem was fading the brakes when I did not have trailer braking set high enough and had a very long descent with very slow corners. As well as it has done I would not want to tow a heavier trailer with it through the mountains. Average 14.2 mpg and worst multi day average 12 mpg. More later. Max trans temp of 203 F at end of long climb and 92 ambient.
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Old 08-04-2019, 06:00 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by SYC2Vette View Post
We have been on the road in Colorado for about 3 weeks and 2800 miles so far and I am pretty impressed by the performance of the little Canyon. I will have a more detailed report but basically even up over 10.000 foot plus altitude no problem with keeping up with traffic and passed quite a few motor homes. Cruises easily at 75 mph in moderate terrain where allowed. Very stable in crosswinds and passing big rigs. Only problem was fading the brakes when I did not have trailer braking set high enough and had a very long descent with very slow corners. As well as it has done I would not want to tow a heavier trailer with it through the mountains. Average 14.2 mpg and worst multi day average 12 mpg. More later. Max trans temp of 203 F at end of long climb and 92 ambient.
Good review....Thanks...
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Old 08-07-2019, 06:00 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by sranger View Post
Good review....Thanks...
Back home now and nearly 3,000 miles. Great first RV trip and loved Colorado.
Final trip MPG was about 13 MPG but we spent a lot of time at 75 MPH the last few days so I think that is why it dropped from 14 MPG overall.

Final comment I would make is that this V6 likes high RPM and for those of us used to big V8's (my K2500 has an old school 454) it will seem like it is wound pretty high but eventually get used to the fact it likes humming along at 4200 RPM continuous when it has a long climb at 65 MPH or even hits 6500 RPM if passing.

I have to fix an intermittent brake connection even though connectors are new I kept losing trailer brakes. Otherwise all good.
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Old 08-08-2019, 02:29 PM   #6
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GMC Canyan/Chevy Colorado

My good friend has a 2018 Colorado extended cab V-6 4x4 with tow package. He tows a 2019 Lance model 1985. It does an OK job, but like you would not want anything larger behind the truck. He did hitch up to our 2017 23D (now sold) and he said he would not want to tow that very far.

He installed some really nice tow mirrors made by "Clearview". For him it made a big difference in his comfort level when towing. He drove 18 wheelers for years and appreciates good mirrors. Check out the "Clearview" mirrors. He installed them in a couple of hours. Not cheap at around $500.00 but worth it.

Glad your Canyon is working out for you. They are very nice trucks and drive really great when not towing. Decent payload rating for a midsize pickup.
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Old 08-09-2019, 07:19 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by uraljohn View Post
My good friend has a 2018 Colorado extended cab V-6 4x4 with tow package. He tows a 2019 Lance model 1985. It does an OK job, but like you would not want anything larger behind the truck. He did hitch up to our 2017 23D (now sold) and he said he would not want to tow that very far.

He installed some really nice tow mirrors made by "Clearview". For him it made a big difference in his comfort level when towing. He drove 18 wheelers for years and appreciates good mirrors. Check out the "Clearview" mirrors. He installed them in a couple of hours. Not cheap at around $500.00 but worth it.

Glad your Canyon is working out for you. They are very nice trucks and drive really great when not towing. Decent payload rating for a midsize pickup.
Yes, those are the mirrors I got (Clearview) and they are great for towing, very stable and well made. I even like them for non-trailering use (retracted) since I have a shell and the improved rear vision and the secondary wideview mirror really helps. The Canyon/Colorado is such a great performing truck for daily driving that I am very happy it has worked out as a tow vehicle for our 20FC/FB.
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Old 08-19-2019, 10:31 AM   #8
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Weight Distribution

Just one more bit of information. The standard GMC hitch with the towing package is not rated for weight distribution. I purchased a hitch that picks up all 8 attachment points (some only pick up 4) and has a weight distribution rating of 1000 lb tongue weight / 10,000 lb capacity so obviously more than adequate.
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Old 08-19-2019, 07:22 PM   #9
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Factory Hitch Canyon/Colorado

Quote:
Originally Posted by SYC2Vette View Post
Just one more bit of information. The standard GMC hitch with the towing package is not rated for weight distribution. I purchased a hitch that picks up all 8 attachment points (some only pick up 4) and has a weight distribution rating of 1000 lb tongue weight / 10,000 lb capacity so obviously more than adequate.
True! I should have mentioned that my friend that has a 2018 Colorado changed out the factory hitch for one With a Class IV rating and can take weight distribution. He purchased it from ETrailer and had a local hitch place install it. He lives in the Cincinnati, Ohio area. Hitch was couple hundred $$$. Way, way beefier hitch. He tows a 2019 Lance 1985 and has around 800 LBS TW.
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Old 08-19-2019, 08:55 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by SYC2Vette View Post
Just one more bit of information. The standard GMC hitch with the towing package is not rated for weight distribution. I purchased a hitch that picks up all 8 attachment points (some only pick up 4) and has a weight distribution rating of 1000 lb tongue weight / 10,000 lb capacity so obviously more than adequate.
Are you sure about that?
Here's a pic of the factory hitch on my Colorado, and nowhere does it say on the label the V5 hitch is not rated for WD.
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Old 08-20-2019, 11:09 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by overlander63 View Post
Are you sure about that?
Here's a pic of the factory hitch on my Colorado, and nowhere does it say on the label the V5 hitch is not rated for WD.
My Chevrolet K2500 factory hitch lists WD as a separate rating. Scroll down on this link below to see label examples. A good WD hitch is less than $200 and mine does look "heavier duty" than the factory hitch that came on my Canyon.

https://www.etrailer.com/faq-weightdistribution.aspx
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Old 08-20-2019, 03:48 PM   #12
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Rated for WD

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Originally Posted by overlander63 View Post
Are you sure about that?
Here's a pic of the factory hitch on my Colorado, and nowhere does it say on the label the V5 hitch is not rated for WD.
The absence of a WD rating indicates that the receiver is not suitable for use with a WD hitch. When my friend purchased his Colorado he mentioned to the salesperson (a commercial guy that he had ordered trucks with before) that he was going to tow a 5000 LB RV the salesperson told him he needed to upgrade the receiver if he was going to use a WD hitch. He even told him the one to get on the ETrailer website. Good advice. I would rather have to strong of a receiver/hitch combo than use one that may or may not be rated for WD.
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Old 02-15-2020, 03:56 PM   #13
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Just an update after a few more thousand miles. I am very impressed with how great this combination is to drive (20' FC and Crew Cab Canyon V6). WD is mandatory, but with it adjusted so that truck is level and front end tire load is unchanged to 50# plus from no trailer, it is extremely stable. I was driving back home from Houston last week and did not even realize we had a substantial crosswind until I saw a large SOB 5th wheel really struggling (and noticeably leaning downwind). I have a friction type sway stabilizer, but honestly don't notice that it is needed, as I have also towed without it. There is absolutely no noticeable reaction when passing semis at 80 mph where legal, and with brakes properly adjusted it stops very well. Looking forward to another extended summer trip through Colorado and west from there.
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Old 02-21-2020, 04:01 AM   #14
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I'm curious if you ever figured out what was causing the intermittent trailer brake issue.
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Old 02-21-2020, 06:04 AM   #15
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I'm curious if you ever figured out what was causing the intermittent trailer brake issue.
I replaced trailer side connector with a Pollak brand that meets the interface requirements of SAE J2863, then replaced the TV receptacle with a new Pollak receptacle flipped over so the cover hinges up (and printing on new receptacle is then right side up). No problems since then. I believe the new trailer connector by itself might have fixed the problem, but will never know for sure. It feels much more solid now.
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Old 08-12-2020, 11:05 AM   #16
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Just an update after another 4,000 miles of towing our AS in Texas and Colorado, and a few upgrades:

-Installed a stage 1 Mallett Supercharger which yielded a huge increase in torque at low to mid RPM as well as significant increase at torque peak. This has greatly improved the driveability with no longer a need to go WOT while merging or accelerating up steep grades. Much less downshifting too. The stock engine is very capable once you are used to the high RPM, but S/C is a great improvement.

-Installed Eibach shocks and Goodyear Airbags. I adjust the airbags to the point where the overload springs just engage with the WD bars setup properly. This rig has always been very stable, but the leaf springs had started to sag a bit (we are at max GVWR (including the 720 lb tongue weight) in the TV and just 1,000 lbs under the GCWR).

-We use a friction type stabilizer, but the rig is very stable with or without, so not sure if it actually does anything for us. The truck stability control includes sway control so could be that is sufficient. We experienced some very high crosswinds causing Big Rigs to lean noticeably and larger SOB's to sway quite a bit but ours was rock solid and stable.
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Old 08-12-2020, 11:13 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by uraljohn View Post
The absence of a WD rating indicates that the receiver is not suitable for use with a WD hitch. When my friend purchased his Colorado he mentioned to the salesperson (a commercial guy that he had ordered trucks with before) that he was going to tow a 5000 LB RV the salesperson told him he needed to upgrade the receiver if he was going to use a WD hitch. He even told him the one to get on the ETrailer website. Good advice. I would rather have to strong of a receiver/hitch combo than use one that may or may not be rated for WD.
EDIT UPDATE: I have since learned as posted on another discussion that the OEM hitch is OK to use with WD, so although I upgraded to a higher rated TV hitch, it was not needed. Apologies for misinformation. Dealer may tell you otherwise......
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Old 10-11-2020, 03:19 PM   #18
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Returned recently from another Colorado trip and loving this combination of the Canyon V6 with Supercharger and our "20 footer". With the larger pulley (Stage 1) we have ~280 to 330 ft-lbs of torque from 2,000 RPM all the way to 6800 rpm (although I think about 5500 rpm is the highest we have run).

Typically we are at a total weight of about 11,000 lbs, so the other useful information for me is that gives me a guideline for ft-lbs-torque/weight starting at ~2000 RPM or less for any future TV and trailer combination.
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