First Tow

AXE

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I finally got my boat hooked up to the ZR2 for a short tow to the lake. I don't know the exact weight of my boat and trailer, but guessing 5500 lbs.

Overall, it towed pretty good, but it wasn't quite to my liking. I have been driving a Duramax for nearly 20 years and used to towing with it.

Truck had plenty of power to tow and brakes seemed to work fine.

I thought it squatted a little and rear suspension was a little soft. If I was gonna tow 5k+ regularly, it needs bags.

I thought it lugged in auto tranny mode, so I went to manual and tried to keep the rpms between 2500 and 2800 rpm. Then it seemed to be much easier to maintain speeds and pull small grades.

My boat trailer has surge brakes, so there is some inherent play in the hitch. I noticed that movement and slack when starting and stopping. Truck felt like it was getting bumped. Never ever felt that in my Duramax.

I cannot see around the boat sides with the mirrors and cannot see over the back of my boat. That was the thing that bothered me most. My Duramax had a 6 inch lift and wide tow mirrors, so it was easy to see around you. The side cameras were awesome when you turn your blinkers on.

In turns going 50 to 60 mph, I thought the truck pushed some due to weight of boat. It would be interesting to see what 70 mph feels like, but it wouldn't make me feel confident. That might be attributable to the Toyo Open Country RT Trail tires, as I sometimes feel that way not towing.

Braking was decent, but I was most impressed with transmission managing speed when dialing back the cruise or braking down hill. Tranny in tow haul mode makes controlling speed real nice.

In the short term, it'll have to do. I sold my Duramax to one of my boys and it is now 1500 miles away. Only solution I see is a new 2500 HD ZR2 to be ordered soon. I'm gonna try to justify keeping both, as I like running around way better in the ZR2 as it is such a great motor, transmission, and suspension package.

Nevertheless, being on the water and fishin is always good! My boy loves to fish.
 

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I towed my boat for the first time this weekend also. I've towed a few trailers and my tractor, But this was the first outing with the boat since I got my ZR2. Where we go is about 50 miles away with a small mountain in the middle. Speed limit is 65 for much of the way. I also came from a 6.6 Duramax, lol. I thought the ZR2 did really good. I do have air bags on mine though.

Power and brakes were good. I had NP with handling at all. I was actually really impressed with down hill. I use to use my exhaust brake going down the mountain while everyone else was riding their brakes. I sort of expected that to be a negative. ZR2 actually controlled it well. I only applied the brakes once or twice the whole way down. I was pretty surprised.

The only negative for me really was the side mirrors. The camera's changing lanes is nice. The rearview camera mirror helps. The side mirrors are a little small and short though. Which I knew going in and I expected it to be a downside. This is the first truck I've ever owned with out tow mirrors. So I don't really know how they compare to other standard mirrors. Compared to tow mirrors they do kind of suck.
My boat is 2800 or so dry weight. With 45 gallons of fuel and trailer I'm probably around the same 5k or so weight.
20230526_164943.jpg
 
Yeah, I am really impressed with transmission and tow/haul mode. It definitely manages speed and braking well.

I am guessing our boats have similar weight with tandem axle trailer. Mine is 21.5 feet with 265 HP I/O Mercury small block. I've got a fair amount of fishing gear and watersports gear stored in it. I thought my tank was 40 gallons, but I usually only run it half full max.
 
Yeah, I am really impressed with transmission and tow/haul mode. It definitely manages speed and braking well.

I am guessing our boats have similar weight with tandem axle trailer. Mine is 21.5 feet with 265 HP I/O Mercury small block. I've got a fair amount of fishing gear and watersports gear stored in it. I thought my tank was 40 gallons, but I usually only run it half full max.
Probably pretty close. Mine is 20' Tohoe Q6 with just a mercruiser 4.3. It also actually is a F/S version. So it has a live well, trolling motor mount, ect. I do normally fill my tank though. We go for 2 or 3 days at a time usually, so I fill up just to avoid having to refuel on the water. We have three kids, so mine stays full with stuff too, lol. I removed the trolling motor, but I kept the auxiliary battery for the stereo, electronics and lights. I've never took it by a scale. But I know the dry weight is like 2,840. You figure the gear, trailer and almost 400lb of fuel. It has to be around 5k.

I don't think the weight matters all that much with in reason. I pull my tractor NP and it's around 6500lb. That trailer does have really good electric brakes though. Surge brakes never seem to work right to me. Other than the soft rear end and mirrors, I think the ZR2 is pretty good light tow vehicle. The 8,900lb tow rating might be a bit optimistic with the 1400lb payload. That would be 900lb of tongue weight alone. I guess with an EQ hitch it might not be to bad. My tractor and trailer combo is front heavy and I HAD to have air bags, lol
 
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Yeah. Surge brakes are definitely not great. I hate hearing and feeling that clunk when the slack comes out. Never seemed to hear it in the Dmax, I guess it was big and heavy enough to not matter.

I'll never tow heavy again without bags. They make a huge difference. I could tow 13-15k with my Dmax and with the bags you leveled up and had no problem running 70-75 mph. Hardly knew you had a load.

I doubt that I would tow much more than that boat with this rig. So not much to worry about.
 
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I finally got my boat hooked up to the ZR2 for a short tow to the lake. I don't know the exact weight of my boat and trailer, but guessing 5500 lbs.

Overall, it towed pretty good, but it wasn't quite to my liking. I have been driving a Duramax for nearly 20 years and used to towing with it.

Truck had plenty of power to tow and brakes seemed to work fine.

I thought it squatted a little and rear suspension was a little soft. If I was gonna tow 5k+ regularly, it needs bags.

I thought it lugged in auto tranny mode, so I went to manual and tried to keep the rpms between 2500 and 2800 rpm. Then it seemed to be much easier to maintain speeds and pull small grades.

My boat trailer has surge brakes, so there is some inherent play in the hitch. I noticed that movement and slack when starting and stopping. Truck felt like it was getting bumped. Never ever felt that in my Duramax.

I cannot see around the boat sides with the mirrors and cannot see over the back of my boat. That was the thing that bothered me most. My Duramax had a 6 inch lift and wide tow mirrors, so it was easy to see around you. The side cameras were awesome when you turn your blinkers on.

In turns going 50 to 60 mph, I thought the truck pushed some due to weight of boat. It would be interesting to see what 70 mph feels like, but it wouldn't make me feel confident. That might be attributable to the Toyo Open Country RT Trail tires, as I sometimes feel that way not towing.

Braking was decent, but I was most impressed with transmission managing speed when dialing back the cruise or braking down hill. Tranny in tow haul mode makes controlling speed real nice.

In the short term, it'll have to do. I sold my Duramax to one of my boys and it is now 1500 miles away. Only solution I see is a new 2500 HD ZR2 to be ordered soon. I'm gonna try to justify keeping both, as I like running around way better in the ZR2 as it is such a great motor, transmission, and suspension package.

Nevertheless, being on the water and fishin is always good! My boy loves to fish.
nice.
 
I finally got my boat hooked up to the ZR2 for a short tow to the lake. I don't know the exact weight of my boat and trailer, but guessing 5500 lbs.

Overall, it towed pretty good, but it wasn't quite to my liking. I have been driving a Duramax for nearly 20 years and used to towing with it.

Truck had plenty of power to tow and brakes seemed to work fine.

I thought it squatted a little and rear suspension was a little soft. If I was gonna tow 5k+ regularly, it needs bags.

I thought it lugged in auto tranny mode, so I went to manual and tried to keep the rpms between 2500 and 2800 rpm. Then it seemed to be much easier to maintain speeds and pull small grades.

My boat trailer has surge brakes, so there is some inherent play in the hitch. I noticed that movement and slack when starting and stopping. Truck felt like it was getting bumped. Never ever felt that in my Duramax.

I cannot see around the boat sides with the mirrors and cannot see over the back of my boat. That was the thing that bothered me most. My Duramax had a 6 inch lift and wide tow mirrors, so it was easy to see around you. The side cameras were awesome when you turn your blinkers on.

In turns going 50 to 60 mph, I thought the truck pushed some due to weight of boat. It would be interesting to see what 70 mph feels like, but it wouldn't make me feel confident. That might be attributable to the Toyo Open Country RT Trail tires, as I sometimes feel that way not towing.

Braking was decent, but I was most impressed with transmission managing speed when dialing back the cruise or braking down hill. Tranny in tow haul mode makes controlling speed real nice.

In the short term, it'll have to do. I sold my Duramax to one of my boys and it is now 1500 miles away. Only solution I see is a new 2500 HD ZR2 to be ordered soon. I'm gonna try to justify keeping both, as I like running around way better in the ZR2 as it is such a great motor, transmission, and suspension package.

Nevertheless, being on the water and fishin is always good! My boy loves to fish.
This is dope AXE. Wish we were closer!

It's been a minute since this post and wanted to ask how the thought process is with the HDZR2?

I've justified keeping 3 so far 😆 might have to park a 2500 in the driveway the way business is going lol
 
This is dope AXE. Wish we were closer!

It's been a minute since this post and wanted to ask how the thought process is with the HDZR2?

I've justified keeping 3 so far 😆 might have to park a 2500 in the driveway the way business is going lol
Funny you should say that because I'm going to try and keep the 1500 ZR2 because it's so fun to drive. But I've been in HDs for 20 years and I already miss the size and towing prowess! I've had a good first half of the year, if second goes the same, I'm keeping both. Hell I'm might have to get a Colorado too. I had the original S10 ZR2 in 1997, so gotta keep the streak alive.
 
Funny you should say that because I'm going to try and keep the 1500 ZR2 because it's so fun to drive. But I've been in HDs for 20 years and I already miss the size and towing prowess! I've had a good first half of the year, if second goes the same, I'm keeping both. Hell I'm might have to get a Colorado too. I had the original S10 ZR2 in 1997, so gotta keep the streak alive.
😆 This is an expensive club to keep up with!
Those Colorado's have my attention for sure!
 
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Towed the boat for the first time this week.
IMG_8768.jpeg
Boat and trailer are approx 7,000 lbs dry weight so I would estimate 7500-8000 lbs. I had airbags added and they really helped a lot. Lake is probably 25 miles from my house. I’ve never towed anything this size, but it seemed to tow well. Plenty of power and control. I even managed about 9.5 mpg.
 
Towed the boat for the first time this week. View attachment 6354Boat and trailer are approx 7,000 lbs dry weight so I would estimate 7500-8000 lbs. I had airbags added and they really helped a lot. Lake is probably 25 miles from my house. I’ve never towed anything this size, but it seemed to tow well. Plenty of power and control. I even managed about 9.5 mpg.
Nice rigs! Air bags are the best mod on a truck if you plan to tow anything over 3-4k. Makes everything better.
 
So, on a recent trip, I was towing a trailer and decided to flip through the camera options and saw the views used during either of the turn signals were there while towing. This is the only time I have not had my screen time out while driving at normal speeds. I have heard others say the cameras don't time out for them at all no matter what screen they are on. Is there a bulletin to fix the cameras so they stay on no matter what speed you are traveling?
 
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So, on a recent trip, I was towing a trailer and decided to flip through the camera options and saw the views used during either of the turn signals were there while towing. This is the only time I have not had my screen time out while driving at normal speeds. I have heard others say the cameras don't time out for them at all no matter what screen they are on. Is there a bulletin to fix the cameras so they stay on no matter what speed you are traveling?

Mine is the same way. I've also seen a few comments that their camera view doesn't time out. Mine doesn't time out with a trailer connected, but it does any other time. The split side view while towing is amazing. I've always had tow mirrors and I wanted tow mirrors on this truck. Couldn't get them at the time. That split camera view does help a lot. I pulled a 37 foot camper with mine a while back. The factory mirrors only showed the sides of the camper, with the camera view I could actually see all the way down the side of the camper to the rear. Not as good as having to mirrors, but way better than just the stock mirrors.
 
Towed the boat for the first time this week. View attachment 6354Boat and trailer are approx 7,000 lbs dry weight so I would estimate 7500-8000 lbs. I had airbags added and they really helped a lot. Lake is probably 25 miles from my house. I’ve never towed anything this size, but it seemed to tow well. Plenty of power and control. I even managed about 9.5 mpg.
Did you notice and sacrificed ride quality when not towing with the airbags?
 
Towed the boat for the first time this week. View attachment 6354Boat and trailer are approx 7,000 lbs dry weight so I would estimate 7500-8000 lbs. I had airbags added and they really helped a lot. Lake is probably 25 miles from my house. I’ve never towed anything this size, but it seemed to tow well. Plenty of power and control. I even managed about 9.5 mpg.
What brand of airbags did you install? Do you have a link to what you bought? I saw one of the guys did a kinda hybrid system using a standard 1500 setup with daystar cradles.
 
Did you notice and sacrificed ride quality when not towing with the airbags?
I did not try to tow the boat without the air bags. It definitely helped with the leveling off. I've only towed tandem waverunners without and with the bags...and I could tell a difference in handling, etc. with the air bags. I would assume the difference would be greater with the larger weight.
 

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