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Brass Monkey

About to buy - Towing question(s)

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Hi all - I have picked out a new 2020 GMC Canyon 2.8 Duramax.  

 

I will be trading in my 2018 F150 with the 2.7L Ecoboost & have a couple statements / comparisons & then questions. 

 

I bought the F150 new 2 years ago - it was an upgrade to a 4 door from a 2 door F150 - both had the same 2.7L engine though the 18 F150 also has the 10 speed transmission. 

 

I loved the older truck & engine and I really thought I would love the new one too - but that just isn't the case. 

 

 

First - the 2.7L engine is REALLY FREAKIN GREAT in the smaller truck - but gas mileage in the larger truck just sucks.  I used to get 22 to 24mpg on the highway (77mph) & now I get 18.  That is empty.  When towing my fishing boat I get 9.5mpg & when towing the pontoon boat I get 5mpg.   Honestly that is just unacceptable for a modern truck. 

 

Secondly - the 10 speed tranny sucks - I had the 6 speed before & it was snappy & responsive, the 10 speed is a slushbox that can't seem to get out of it's own way - not to mention the clunks & missed shifts & the "manual transmission" feel to the shifts (Ford changed to a new shifter about 5 years ago that really feel strange in an auto tranny).

 

Other than that - I like the truck.  The technology is cool, though I have a base model XL with the STX appearance package (larger display, upgraded bucket interior & 20 inch wheels).  

 

I have a bunch of trailers & have always loved towing (88M in the army - truck driver).   As mentioned before - the Pontoon, 24ft long - like towing a warehouse though - sits SUPER high & wide.  Has surge brakes - I'm guessing it weighs in around 4k lbs fully loaded - maybe a shade less.   My aluminum fishing boat (20ft with a 175hp motor) isn't much less, but it tucks in behind the truck more - maybe 3500 lbs (surge brakes, but they are old & don't work).  Then I have my 16ft car trailer - I tow the Kubota & occasionally toss a car up there.   No brakes on this one (yet).   I have a 5x8 fUtility trailer I use to drag the kayaks around & any general small stuff I don't feel like lifting up into the truck bed. Also no brakes. 

 

I'm going with the Denali for a number of reasons - but I'm going for the Diesel specifically so I get better mileage in my day to day drives & when towing.  The thing is - I've seen some people saying the frames on these trucks are weak & towing can bend/break the frames.   I've looked at the owners manual & see that despite the 7700 lb towing rating, any trailer over 2k lbs requires brakes on all axles (page 210) & a tongue weight of 10 to 15% overall weight.  Well - a 4k lb trailer means 400 to 600 lbs of tongue weight - This is clearly within the "max trailer tongue weight of 770lb" - see page 207 of the 2020 GMC Canyon owners manual. 

 

Now - In one case I've seen GM denied a warranty claim on a bent frame claiming the truck was overloaded because the owner was towing a 2100 lb camper but didn't have brakes on the camper trailer.  In addition - they said the tongue weight was 380lbs which exceeded the 15% (315lbs) tongue weight mentioned in the owners manual - despite the manual clearly stating a 770lb max tongue weight. 

 

So - long story for a short question.  Is the frame weak?  Should I be looking to beef up the frame if I am going to tow a boat with more tongue weight? Do you think I should invest in brakes on my car trailer & refresh them on the boat trailer to be safe?

 

Last note - as much as I love to off road - I don't have anyplace to do so - so the truck will see 99.5% on road with the occasional trip through the grass in my yard & maybe one annual trip on a gravel road during deer camp - so this truck is really to be my daily driver & tow vehicle. 

 

Thoughts & experiences are welcome!

 

Oh - & thank you for letting me rant!

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You should be fine. I have the gasser and I get about 12 mpg running 55 on the highway with that Kubota, that dump trailer is like 3000-3500 empty, and the boat trailer doesn't have any brakes. 58f81e396a4a68686d9d36ee5567c9ff.jpg9a77471e3f84eddcdf2a4aaf673ab397.jpg443cd23ae16e9454756a48a4dada7dca.jpge9b5f4e72b22cb898282ea3462105b5e.jpg

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

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These trucks tow exceptionally well. I think you'll be extremely satisfied.

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These frames are far from weak. You mention bent frames, are you talking about the two instances where a ZR2 towing an off road trailer off road that was well loaded and going too fast bent them? That happens to all brands (the Gladiator just made the news for the same issue and there have been Tacoma's and other trucks that have done the same thing). Either way, you should have zero concern about the frame, period. It sounds like a great fit for you, buy it and enjoy. Those other instances regarding the two ZR2's and the other trucks are because they abused them in ways that physics just can't be overcome. 

 

Tyler

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Thanks guys for the great responses!   Glad to see others use these trucks as trucks too!

 

Yes - the instance I was referring to was a ZR2 & it was towing off road.  I was really concerned after hearing GM denied the claim though & did so because he didn't have brakes on the trailer but it was only 2100 lbs.  

 

I've never measured the tongue weight of my boats - but it's not light so I got into my head for a second.  

 

 

Yep - I pick it up in 2 weeks assuming I'm still alive & not a zombie by then.  I can't wait to get in it & break in the engine!

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3 hours ago, Brass Monkey said:

Now - In one case I've seen GM denied a warranty claim on a bent frame claiming the truck was overloaded because the owner was towing a 2100 lb camper but didn't have brakes on the camper trailer.  In addition - they said the tongue weight was 380lbs which exceeded the 15% (315lbs) tongue weight mentioned in the owners manual - despite the manual clearly stating a 770lb max tongue weight. 

You have "seen" a case, or read about a case online?  There is a big difference between the two.  Someone online will rarely if ever admit they did something wrong, and will tell the tale in the way that makes them the victim.  Then again there are those that had warranty denied on their Raptors that the frame bent on.  The ones I read were clearly the owners being victimized by Ford.

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Mine did great when I had it.  I can't find the pic with the enclosed trailer though.  The dump I was hooked to in this pic alone dry was 4000lbs.  The enclosed was loaded, guessing at 6000lbs?  We did have to redistribute the 4 wheeler and lawn tractor further back off the tongue but after doing that, it pulled it quite well.  Mind you, its 181hp and 369 torque, so don't be expecting a race car hooked to a good bit of weight. 

 

I bought a WeighSafe hitch so monitor tongue weight.  Worthy investment.  https://www.weigh-safe.com/

 

 

IMG_3928.jpg

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This fall I purchased a low mileage 2016 2.8 SLT when I upgraded my TT.  The TT is about 5100 LBS loaded and this little beast pulls it with no problems and gets 15 to 18 mpg while doing it. That’s mostly 2 lanes in Kentucky and Tennessee with a max 1 way pull of 3.5 hours. So far I’ve been very pleased with the DuraMax. The only modification is replacing  the factory mirrors with Boost Auto Parts towing mirrors.  I have no experience to comment on your weak frame question. 

36CF94A4-65A1-40D3-A678-B2B270FB3DCD.jpeg

Edited by Nick Johnson

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