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Old 12-06-2018, 07:16 AM   #1
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Newmar Owners Club
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Selecting a new tow vehicle.

After quietly bidding my time and purchasing 4 new tires for my DW's every day ride she has agreed that I could get a newer truck and I want to tow it when we are in the coach. I've always been a GMC guy. Having had 5 suburbans. So I decided to go with a 2015 GMC Sierra Crew Cab Z71. Started doing my research and I have found 3 what I think are problems with this truck flat towing. First the key has to left in the switch when you are towing, 2nd you have to remove the negative cable from the battery. This is not only inconvenient but you will loose all your preset's (radio, seats, ect.) and lastly it is a big job to install the base plate from the videos I've seen on you tube. If any of you are towing this particular truck and can convince me otherwise I am going to start looking for a 2015 Ford f-150 4X4 platinum even though I know nothing about a ford and no experience working on one.

2008 MADP 4523
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Old 12-06-2018, 07:42 AM   #2
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I'd also be looking at a Ram 1500 Crew Cab 4X4- it's really easy & simple to disengage the transfer case -push one button & pull the key out. No other issues are involved. I also love the ride of my 'Cowboy Cadillac' !

Happy Trails

Capt. Bill
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Old 12-06-2018, 07:49 AM   #3
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Hi patrickemb,
I hear you. We are in the same position. I too am a GMC guy. Currently have a GMC ENVOY XUV. Only 250K miles on it. GMC has made it difficult to buy a vehicle to tow. The ENVOY runs great. It needs to last until GMC decides to consider motor coach owners as part of their target market. Knowing GM, I'll have the ENVOY forever.
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Old 12-06-2018, 07:52 AM   #4
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Lol. The envoy is what my DW drives now and has the new tires. She couldn't decide between new tires or a new car. I ran out and bought the tires quickly.
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:11 AM   #5
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I am towing a 2016 GMC Canyon. I installed a negative cable disconnect switch under the hood so that is easy to deal with. On my previous toad I ran the negative cable to a switch under the dashboard but it was going to be more trouble than it was worth on the Canyon. My radio presets stay intact during disconnect. On the Canyon you must engage the parking brake or the transfer case will not go into neutral.
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:14 AM   #6
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What about the tail lights and brake lights. How did you get them to work with the negative cable off while towing?
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Old 12-06-2018, 09:49 AM   #7
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One word....NOPE!

Just what I need; another “hookup headache”! I want my wife and I to make an Indy Pit Crew look like they’re napping when we make and break our TOAD.

You’ve outlined not just 3 negatives, but actually DEAL-BREAKERS, for me! I’d love to tow my Raptor, but just the plate install is enough for me to say “no way”; I’m not gonna tip into my entire front end, including the ACC system, just so I can have my beloved truck with me. Not to mention, it’s a complete PITA to park, these days, with the ever-shrinking parking spots!!

A neutral Tx-case (4WD), unlocked steering, and easy plate install are my top 3 criteria before looking at ANY TOAD.

My 3 cents...hope they help.
Steve & Janice
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Old 12-06-2018, 09:54 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by CaptainGizmo View Post
One word....NOPE!

A neutral Tx-case (4WD), unlocked steering, and easy plate install are my top 3 criteria before looking at ANY TOAD.
Those are some of the reasons you see so many Jeeps as toads.
Paul, Christy and Leap
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:02 AM   #9
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I think there is a mountain being made out of a molehill here. There are a lot of us towing GMC trucks. I towed a 2012 Silverado for 5 years and then went to a 2016 GMC Canyon.

First off the baseplates are no more difficult than any other truck. I did my Canyon in about three hours. Typically the grill and front fascia come off and you install the baseplates.

GM trucks and SUV's from about 2015 on require the battery cable be disconnected. The reason why.....the newer trucks are using electric steering, which stays active, even if the key is off. While towing and turning, the electric steering will fight the wheels, even though the engine and key are off.

You can do the battery disconnect a couple of ways. The poor man's way is just a lever disconnect. I bought the Roadmaster solenoid disconnect. It disconnects the positive side of the battery (doesn't matter what side of the battery you disconnect), via a switch inside the cab. Mine is inside the glovebox, in the glovebox door frame.

You DO NOT lose your radio presets when you disconnect the battery!

The towing procedure requires you start the engine, put the truck in neutral, shift the transmission selector to neutral (N), ensure the transmission is in neutral and shut off the battery. Yes, the key is required to be left in the ignition in the accessory position. No big deal as no one can steal it without the battery being connected.

Lastly, the newer GM taillights don't work when the engine is off, even if the battery is connected. I prefer to wire mine directly and use one of the new simple wire kits from "Etrailer". All the diodes are built into a block with labeled wires, including the four way wire for running the length of the truck. Pretty easy and fast connection.

I don't see where some other brand of truck will require you to do any less than the GM to prep it for towing both in time and money, other than the battery disconnect.
Don & Mary
2019 Newmar Dutch Star 4018
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:12 AM   #10
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I looked at Jeep but ended up with a F150 because of storage space.
Transfer case in neutral and go. No battery issues. Nothing to disconnect. Aluminum body = less tow weight.
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Everything was working fine, until it wasn't.
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:45 AM   #11
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Tow truck

We just got rid of a 2015 Jeep Jku, rough riding and very uncomfortable. Yes, it was easy to tow, but after 60K miles we were done with it. Bought a 2018 Chevrolet Silverado. I have not set it up yet for towing but should not be more than 4-5 hours based on what I have read, hoping that is true. As DS Don says no more to hook up than anything else if set up right. Looked at the Fords but never was a Ford guy. The 2007 Chevy we traded in had 210K miles and never any issues. For radio and memory function saving you can plug into the OBD port with automotive memory saver, $60.00 more or less on Amazon.
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Old 12-06-2018, 03:43 PM   #12
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You tube is a handy thing to check. I am changing my mind about the GM Sierra after watching the install video of the base plate as well as the install video of the air force one braking system. Both videos were in a 2014 Chevy truck. Since the 14 and 15 are the same install will work for the 15. So after researching the web for both the 15 Sierra Crew Cab and the Ford crew cab I'll be going to look at both and test driving both before I make my final decision.
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Old 12-06-2018, 07:32 PM   #13
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Having driven two previous GMC Acadia Denalis I also had to go through the process of bypass switches and hassles to flat tow them. So I was interested in whether any offerings from GM would prove easier in the 2019 model Acadia.

According to my dealer and the guide for dinghy towing for this model, GM has streamlined the procedure to flat tow. It requires only “ removing the shift lever boot of the trim plate and using a small screwdriver or tool to press and hold the manual release button on the rear right”. Thereafter put the vehicle in neutral.

So being a bit doubtful that it could prove to be that easy we called the national service representative and he assured us that it was indeed the procedure. All power is cut and there is no key... it has only a fob. And the doors unlock with the fob upon destination while allowing the steering wheel to turn en route.

Will soon know as I am having the base plate installed along with the Air Force One braking system. I am holding my breath that all will be well as promised.
(By the way, this is the same procedure as outlined in the dinghy towing guide published by Motorhome magazine for 2018 models. Blue Ox also says there are no bypass switches or battery disconnect needed anymore for this model.)

I have other options but did not wish to tow my pickup or larger SUVs as an option. The Jeep Grand Cherokee is always a great contender for easy flat towing but I hated to leave the GM dealership with whom I associate.
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Old 12-06-2018, 07:43 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Winepress View Post
I looked at Jeep but ended up with a F150 because of storage space.
Transfer case in neutral and go. No battery issues. Nothing to disconnect. Aluminum body = less tow weight.
Actually bought an '18 JK and had it outfitted to tow, but after one season using it in Florida as a winter season driver, we got rid of it before the chiropractor had to be called... Roughest riding thing I've ever ridden in.

Back to a crew cab King Ranch F150 for me.... and it's my daily driver.

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