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islandtrader 07-20-2020 10:38 AM

New Tow Vehicle... Decision Time! GMC/Chev
I know there are a bizillion opinions on tow vehicles. So I thought I would try a different approach.

I know what I want for a physical plant! All I am looking for right now is what 2 or 3 things do you really like about your GMC/Chevy (2018 and newer).
What 2 or 3 things don't you like? And finally what do you wish you should have on your truck.

Ford and Dodge guys stay out of this post :lol: I will ask the same thing of you folks in a week or two.

Just getting ready to make a choice in the next few months and all 3 have nice features and power plants. So now I want to hear what you think about the choice you made.

P.S. No bias on my part, right now I have a Ridgeline (06)

Hans627 07-20-2020 11:05 AM

I'll stay out if I must!

Oh no, too late. I'm already in (just want to follow the thread)!

Foiled Again 07-20-2020 11:09 AM

GMC costs more.
I have a love/hate relationship with ALL trucks.
You buy the truck. You then buy:

Spray in bed liner
Tonneau or cap
Mudflaps/or other stone guards
Heavy duty floor mats
Retracting running boards
Full extension Bed slide
Cargo tie downs
Upgrades for GPS
and on and on

Acheron2010 07-20-2020 11:23 AM

Though I have the 2015 Silverado 2500HD (gas), my two cents are valid for the later models.
The GMC is overpriced. The sidestep in front of the rear wheel well is the bomb. I wish my rear seats folded down flat. The voice recognition sucks. Get a dash cam - refer to Wired Magazine for latest reviews, best model. Gas engine completely adequate for any Airstream, IMHO, but 30 foot and above might benefit from diesel, particularly if you pack a lot. That fold-down tailgate might be worth it, I get by. Weathertech has great floor mats. I have not seen a need for fancy rock guards. Get a good quality tonneau or shell bed cover. Purchase used from CarMax.

Bruce B 07-20-2020 11:36 AM

This is a little difficult as my GMC is a brand new 2020 Sierra Denali with a Duramax. My first impressions...
The way it steers is awesome! It is far nicer to drive than something this large has the right to. The voice recognition is actually very good! Maybe it is something that GMC has improved on???
The engine is quiet, the new 10 speed divine!
The interior is functional if not inspired. The seats comfortable.
The cameras are amazing! Fuel mileage is far better that is expected too.
This is all I have so far

no_worries 07-20-2020 07:37 PM

I agree with Bruce.

I waited for the 2020 model and added the Denali ultimate package to include all the pro trailering options. Very happy.

As far as reliability, I’ve had mine for one year/20,000 miles and had an emissions sensor go out (first month) and a tailgate camera (at 9 months). Overall, minor issues the dealer promptly fixed.

It’s a quiet and smooth ride towing a 33 Classic. Fuel econ is about 13 mpg towing at 67/68. I added a retrax pro tonneau cover for additional lockable storage and a Yakima t-slot system for bikes.

Dislikes. Tyres (noisy). That’s it.

EarlM 07-20-2020 08:05 PM

Tow vehicle
I have a loaded 2020 GMC Denali 3500 Durmax

It is the best truck out there


wulfraat 07-20-2020 08:31 PM

New Tow Vehicle... Decision Time! GMC/Chev
2 Attachment(s)
I have 2017 2500 denali. 2020’s are a step up with the redesign. I’d most definitely get a 2020+ if nothing else for the additional payload of the 2500 without having to step up to the 3500. Can fit larger tires too without having to add a lift which is handy for exploring off the beaten path...

Three favorite things.

1. Duramax with 945lbs of torque (no change in output for 2020, just a larger fan, rad and oil cooler to remove more heat from the bay if you are going to be pulling 20k+ lbs). Not needed unless you have a massive 5th wheel...

2. ARE topper with “Windoors” so you can get at things from the side + ventilation for the pooch

3. raised bed + full length drawer system - gives you storage + organization while maintaining the full bed space for stuff or kids camping or dogs or what have you.

Things I don’t like:

1. Puny little crappy screen for infotainment / NAV pretty much sucks. Our other car is a Tesla with 15” display - so much better, not even comparable. Ram has made some good steps in the right direction in the truck world so far in this category....

2. Seats could be more comfortable for sure

3. Still feels like a caveman designed the interior. 2020s are not much of an upgrade... personally I’m waiting to see what the next refresh in interior brings.....

jaybauman 07-20-2020 11:05 PM

I have a 2020 GMC 3500HD Duramax. Before purchasing, I spent a lot of time examining and driving the equivalent from Ram and Ford. (After one look at the Chevy HD models, my wife said "no". That was easy to cross off the list.)

For me, what really stand out on the GM trucks is they really designed everything around the weekend RV hauler--the mirrors, the camera views, the steps to get into front and back of the bed, the front and rear spot lights, gobs of rear-seat leg room, and so on. While some people complain about the lack of screen real estate, I find the heads-up display to be far more useful than a large in-dash screen, and all the information is right where you are already looking. I also think GM's ventilated seats do a better job of cooling than the others, which is important when you live in Hot Texas. It's already been mentioned, but GM has substantially raised payload capacity with the new models. I have just under 4000lbs for my everything-but-the-kitchen-sink AT4.

A few things I don't like: Lack of adaptive cruise control. Interior trim and leather selections. High DEF usage (for the oil burner option).

Overall, I would make the same decision if I had it to do again.

PhxTrotter 07-21-2020 12:56 AM

I also recently got a 2020 GMC Denali HD 3500. Love it aside from the interior / dashboard. The Ram wins there.

That said, the truck drives very smooth. The transmission does wonders - I can barely tell or hear when it shifts. I only threw a bed cover on it. I would buy the same truck again, zero remorse.

Bruce B 07-21-2020 05:54 AM

A few things I don't like: Lack of adaptive cruise control. Interior trim and leather selections. High DEF usage (for the oil burner

Having just traded in an Audi Q7 that almost drove itself, I am familiar with adaptive cruise control and lane assist.
Although I loved the features when driving in a traffic jam, I found that I was beginning to pay less and less attention to what I was doing... driving!
The lane assist on these HD trucks won’t steer but the warning it provides is actually kind of nice and I am the one driving again!

Hermes 07-21-2020 11:29 AM

Unless you have a 28' trailer you may not need the Duramax diesel, but for me, ultimately it’s the pleasure of being able to safely drive our rig on any road grade without stress. We love mountains and with our Sierra 2500 diesel, I just can’t help blurting out to DW when we are towing our 28’ Airstream on hilly roads, “I just love this truck!”

You put it in tow/haul mode, turn on the exhaust brake, set a reasonable cruise control speed and let the Duramax-Allison combo do its thing (even if the the 2018 model doesn't have the 10 speed transmission). The truck was not really designed to be a daily driver, although you can; it was built to tow and haul and that is where it shines. I have noticed that when the cruise control is activated the management of the gear shifting and the engine RPM is a lot smoother, most noticeably in hilly terrain (in our neck of the woods we deal with grades which can reach 18-20%). Rarely need to apply the brakes unless the grade gets above 15% more on a long stretch.

As for the incredible towing power, I can overtake cars/trucks while driving up a hill on a highway, no problem! (or quickly getting up to speed on an on-ramp)

The Duramax does consume more DEF than I would have expected but there was a recall on the engine's programming which I recently had done, so we will see if that has an impact. Overall average consumption over 10K miles, fully loaded towing the 28' trailer, is 14 mpg (US). Nice truck.

SeaLevel 07-21-2020 11:52 AM

2020 Silverado LTZ 6.2L 10-speed, with both the max trailering and technology packages. Things I like:

- the 360 surround vision camera package, with the ability to add an auxiliary camera in and/or behind the trailer that integrates into the main display.
- adaptive cruise control.
- heads up display.
- the engine and transmission (power, shifting and engine braking is improved over my 5.3L with 8-speed.
- Apple CarPlay integration.

tjdonahoe 07-21-2020 12:40 PM

Ram...they have a pulling engine...a cummins..

guskmg 07-21-2020 05:58 PM

Durability: you can't beat GM's Duramax for reliability. Mine has 130,000 mlies.
Torque: You will love it in the mountains.
Braking: Wether you have OEM exhaust braking or Banks Brake you will stop quickly.
Do not like:
No trailer camera connection on rear bumper.
No full air ride on the rear.
No retracting running boards.
Wish I had:
Denali Package with plenty of weight margin.
I am going to buy one. Just waiting on the dealers to get a little more hungry.

dkdouglas 07-21-2020 07:18 PM

I had a 2008 Chevy 2500 with the 6.0 gas and now have 2019 Denali HD Duramax with 6speed Allison. Towing a 28’ FC and the difference is amazing. The Duramax pulls effortlessly, engine brake is great, and tow over Colorado mountain passes all summer. It is just too easy. No worries, no sweat. The only thing I don’t like is that it sets higher than the Chevy 2500. Mileage towing is over 14mpg and highway mileage without AS is over 22.

wulfraat 07-21-2020 10:15 PM


Originally Posted by tjdonahoe (Post 2386796)
Ram...they have a pulling engine...a cummins..

Ok um. You realize that the Cummins in the 2500 puts out 11% less torque (“pulling power”) than the duramax? (850 vs 945ft-lbs) :) maybe you are referring to the “high output” Cummins that is optional in the 3500 which is 1,000 ft-lbs....

Not that it matters the big 3 are all basically the same. Big steel frames, similar payloads, similar engines and transmissions. Really just comes down to personal brand preference / marketing / styling. They are all plenty capable of tugging along a little airstream :)

21Airstream 07-21-2020 10:53 PM

That is my impression as well.

islandtrader 07-22-2020 07:06 AM


Originally Posted by islandtrader (Post 2386180)

Ford and Dodge guys stay out of this post :lol: I will ask the same thing of you folks in a week or two.


Originally Posted by tjdonahoe (Post 2386796)
Ram...they have a pulling engine...a cummins..

There is always one bad boy in the classroom:lol:

tbashin 07-22-2020 08:53 AM

GMC is just a Chevrolet with a sissy kit.

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