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Old 08-27-2016, 05:33 PM   #121
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Opted for the 6' rather than the 5'

Quote:
Originally Posted by 10Canyon53 View Post
I have a question on using the older generation GMC Canyon as a tow vehicle. I own a 2010 GMC Canyon Z71 4X4 crew cab with the optional 5.3L V8 (pic below). It is rated to tow 5,000 lb. with the factory hitch and 6,000 lb. with a weight distributing hitch. I have been looking for a small 5th wheel camper to pull with it and discovered the 5.0TA a couple of days ago. What issues am I likely going to run into with this potential setup?
Nice looking Colorado, near identical to the 2011 I traded this morning. I have a 5.0 TA on order and really wanted to go with the 5' Colorado/Canyon but the more I thought about putting the 5th wheel hitch behind the axle the more I was pushed towards the 6'. Like I said I traded this morning and ended up with a Colorado 4X4 Crew cab 6' box with the Diesel. At least I can have the hitch installed where it should be. So I know it has and can be done but now I would advise against the 5'. A local hitch shop had a look at the truck took measurements and said no problem installing it in the right place so that's what sold it for me.

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Old 08-31-2016, 02:41 PM   #122
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Gross Vehicle Weight Rating

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Originally Posted by 10Canyon53 View Post
I am less concerned with how much weight it can pull as how much weight it can stop.
...
My GVWR is 5,500 lbs.
A 2010 Canyon brochure from GM says that payload is 1,272 pounds, suggesting that the curb weight (for the Crew Cab 5.3L, but without options and possibly only 2WD) is 4,228 pounds. The new one has a higher GVWR, but is also heavier (higher curb weight) so the payload isn't much more. Add up a driver, 600 to 800 pounds of pin weight, at least 150 pounds of hitch, and you don't have much if anything left for passengers and/or cargo in the truck. This is a good reason to consider alternatives:
  • get a 5.0 rather than the heavier 5.0TA, and/or
  • load the trailer carefully to avoid high pin weight without loading up behind the trailer axle(s), and/or
  • consider a truck with more payload capacity
While the trailer is stopped primarily for the trailer's brakes, the portion of the trailer's mass which is carried on the truck is for the truck to stop. The way Ford puts this in their owner's manuals is something like "the brake system is rated for the truck at GVWR".
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Old 08-31-2016, 02:56 PM   #123
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Gross Combined Weight Rating and trailer weight limit

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Originally Posted by 10Canyon53 View Post
My GCWR is 10,400 lbs.
It's interesting that GCWR isn't higher with that engine, since it is dependent primarily on the ability of the drivetrain to withstand sustained heavy work. The limitation is presumably engine cooling or the transmission. The GCWR of the new Colorado (with a 3.6L V6 gas engine) is 12,000 pounds... so this is more of an issue for the first generation.

A side note about engines and towing: power is not generally a big factor. The current 3.6L V6 has a bit more power than the 2010 5.3L V8, but significantly higher towing capacity... presumably because it is better cooled and/or has a different transmission.

With a curb weight of 4228 pounds (plus options), a GCWR of 10,400 pounds leaves 6,172 pounds for options, driver, passengers, cargo... and the trailer (and thus the 6,000 pound trailer rating - it's what's left after allowing for nothing but a driver). The 6,000 pound trailer weight limit itself won't matter - like most trucks, GCWR is the real limit.

Fortunately, Escapes are relatively light, and all of them are well under 5,000 pounds even with options, and with water in the tank. Unfortunately, there's also all your stuff in the trailer, and a current 5.0TA has a GVWR of 5,500 pounds - if you use all of that capacity, it will be too much for the truck, because the pin weight will be too high. The coming "2017" 5.0TA will likely be heavier. I would consider Escape's original fifth-wheel, the 5.0 (the single-axle predecessor to the 5.0TA) for this truck.

Another way to see this limit is that with any fifth-wheel you are likely to max out the 5,500 pound GVWR of the truck. With a 10,400 pound GCWR that leaves 4,900 pounds for the portion of the trailer weight carried on the trailer's axles. That's enough that your whole challenge is what is in the truck and on the hitch. Even if you could increase GCWR, it won't change the GVWR challenge, and that's a common situation for truck owners considering a fifth-wheel - even full-sized trucks.
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Old 08-31-2016, 03:19 PM   #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
...While the trailer is stopped primarily for the trailer's brakes, the portion of the trailer's mass which is carried on the truck is for the truck to stop. The way Ford puts this in their owner's manuals is something like "the brake system is rated for the truck at GVWR".
While it may be the intent of the manufacturer to size the brakes such that they can stop a weight equivalent to the GVWR, the connection between trailer and truck means that the actual weight being stopped by the truck brakes is highly dependent on the brake settings on your trailer. If the trailer brakes are set too high, the trailer could be stopping the trailer weight plus part of the truck weight. Conversely, if the trailer brakes are set too low, the truck brakes may be forced to stop more than the GVWR.
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Old 08-31-2016, 03:21 PM   #125
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Axle weight rating and pin placement

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Originally Posted by 10Canyon53 View Post
My GAWR RR is 2,896 lbs.
The bed length is 5'
Would something like an RV5 Kingpin Extension help with the bed length?
GM's 2010 Canyon brochure has nice drawings showing the truck in side view, which help explain the cab and bed configuration choices... and how close the cab is to the axle with the Crew Cab. Because the truck was offered for commercial use, there is upfitter information available from GM, including a Body Builder Manual, and the image below is from that manual, for the Crew Cab; these diagrams have more dimensions shown.

The cab-to-axle spacing is 22.54" or 573 mm... not as much shorter than the larger trucks as I thought, so maybe only "very short", rather than "ultra short" . That means the hitch will need to be mounted at least 8" (200 mm) behind the axle line. With a 126" (3.2 m) wheelbase, that means every pound added to the hitch will add 1.06 pounds to the rear axle (and unload the front axle by 0.06 pounds). At a wild guess, the empty truck might have 45% of its curb weight on the rear axle, so with the trailer perhaps
45% of 4228 pounds of truck = 1900 lb
+ pin weight = 700 lb (for example)
+ 1/2 of driver and passenger at 170 lb each = 170 lb
+ 100 pounds of cargo in box = 100 lb
= total: 2870 lb
Yes, that's the entire rating of the rear axle, but each component is a rough estimate. I would take the truck to a scale, and put in more suitable numbers (and I did with my van).

The 5.0 is 8" (200 mm) narrower than the 5.0TA, so the pin can be a bit closer to the cab, very slightly reducing rear axle load and increasing stability.

The equivalent version of the new Colorado/Canyon (Body Builder Manual) isn't much longer in wheelbase, and has a bulkier cab, so it only has 1.4" or 35 mm more cab-to-axle space (23.94" or 608 mm)... but there is a longer-wheelbase version which stretches the box and cab-to-axle spacing, so it gets significantly better for fifth-wheel towing, with over 36" of cab-to-axle space.
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File Type: jpg 2011CanyonCC-dimensions.jpg (59.1 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg 2016CanyonCC-dimensions.jpg (128.3 KB, 11 views)
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Old 08-31-2016, 05:37 PM   #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ice-breaker View Post
While it may be the intent of the manufacturer to size the brakes such that they can stop a weight equivalent to the GVWR, the connection between trailer and truck means that the actual weight being stopped by the truck brakes is highly dependent on the brake settings on your trailer. If the trailer brakes are set too high, the trailer could be stopping the trailer weight plus part of the truck weight. Conversely, if the trailer brakes are set too low, the truck brakes may be forced to stop more than the GVWR.
I agree. Ford's point is that the truck's brakes are not for stopping any substantial trailer. Any manufacturer allows towing up to some moderate limit without trailer brakes (usually between 1,000 and 2,000 pounds), recognizing that there is some margin of capacity, so imperfectly set trailer brakes can be tolerated - you just don't deliberately plan to have the truck's brakes stopping much more than the truck's own GVWR.

The 2010 Canyon is typical of light vehicles with decent towing capacity, in that the trailer weight rating is substantially higher than the truck's curb weight, and moderately higher than even the truck's GVWR. Larger trucks (with drivetrains equipped for high loads since they are expected to be heavily used) are routinely rated to tow more than twice their own weight, so less-than-ideal brake balance is tolerable to a significant extent.

It's still worthwhile to adjust the trailer brake controller properly.
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Old 08-31-2016, 06:04 PM   #127
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For those interested in getting a current Colorado or Canyon for towing, I see that GM is upgrading the transmission from the current 6-speed (6L50) to the 8L45 8-speed for 207.
2017 GMC Canyon Adds New V-6, 8-Speed Automatic -- News -- Car and Driver | Car and Driver Blog

The new transmission is the same design as the 8L90 used with the 5.3L and 6.2L V8 engines in the full-sized pickup trucks (and Camaro, Corvette, etc), but is not the same model. This series of transmissions can be built in various capacities, with the smaller components in the lower-capacity variants making them lighter and more compact. The digits after the "L" in these GM transmission codes indicate the capacity, so the 6L50 and 8L45 are designed for about the same capacity.

GM vehicles currently using the 8L90 will eventually move to the new 10-speed automatic, starting next year. Aside from issues of which model has room to fit a particular transmission, I think this is part of ensuring that there are always features reserved for more expensive models, to drive upgrades in the showroom.
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Old 08-31-2016, 07:28 PM   #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
For those interested in getting a current Colorado or Canyon for towing, I see that GM is upgrading the transmission from the current 6-speed (6L50) to the 8L45 8-speed for 207.
2017 GMC Canyon Adds New V-6, 8-Speed Automatic -- News -- Car and Driver | Car and Driver Blog
...
ONLY the (new) V6 gets the new transmission.

https://www.gmfleetorderguide.com/NA...ID=1&year=2017
https://www.gmfleetorderguide.com/NA...page=6&butID=3
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Old 08-31-2016, 07:51 PM   #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamman View Post
Good catch - the diesel still gets the 6-speed. Also, thanks for the fleet order guide link.
It appears that the 6-speed auto is "only available with (LWN) 2.8L Duramax Turbo-Diesel engine", and the 8-speed auto is "Included and only available with (LGZ) 3.6L DI DOHC V6 engine". What comes with the 4-cylinder engine, and what configurations can have the manual transmission, both seem irrelevant to towing, so the remaining choices are
  • gas V6 with 8-speed auto, or
  • diesel with 6-speed auto
... and the diesel only comes in a Crew Cab.
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Old 09-01-2016, 10:28 AM   #130
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There is a lot of Canyon expertise in this thread and I have a couple of questions.
I'll be picking up my 19 next June and I am preparing my build while on my learning curve.

I am driving a 2016 Canyon diesel, crew, short box and I'd like to have recommendations on the WD hitches offered by ETI and which mount I should buy for the required 2" ball.

I plan on travelling alone and will keep the weight of cargo (and hopefully myself) well within limits.

JP
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