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Old 01-13-2021, 02:07 PM   #1
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GMC Sierra Towing Questions

We are ready to replace our 2001 F-350. Still researching brands but seriously considering the GMC 3500 to pull our TT. This question is for anyone who has a 2019, 20 or 21 GMC with the new trailering options. Below is a summary from a GMC press release. But really I am just wondering how people use and like the various parts of the technology. I do have a few specific questions also:

I would assume the transparent view can remain on the screen as you drive?

If the transparent view is not easily kept on the screen when driving, or if doing that interferes too much with other uses of the screen, then it looks like there is an app that would allow you to use a phone or tablet to keep the view on while driving. Anyone do that or is the app only for other functions and not for viewing the cameras?

The trailer camera that is required for transparent view appears to be hardwired? Does it come with a wire that you run under the trailer and connect at or near the 7 pin connector?

Anyone understand what the “Auto Grade Braking” is and how it works? How do you like it?

Same question for the “Digital Variable Steering Assist”.

Thanks!


Quote:
ProGrade Trailering Technology
First introduced with the 2019 Sierra light duty, the ProGrade Trailering System leverages technology advancements to offer additional features and functionality for the 2020 Sierra Heavy Duty.
“Trailering is the most important consideration for Sierra Heavy Duty customers, and the new features and technologies in the 2020 Sierra HD make it easier than ever to hitch a trailer and tow it confidently,” said Jaclyn McQuaid, vehicle chief engineer, Heavy Duty Trucks. “We’ve developed this new truck to offer the greatest trailering experience ever offered by GMC.”
An available class-leading 15 unique camera views1, including an industry-first transparent trailer view, help optimize the driver’s view around the truck and compatible trailers to provide added confidence when towing. The revolutionary transparent trailer feature uses the tailgate-mounted camera and an available accessory camera mounted on the rear of the trailer. The resulting display helps the driver to virtually see through the trailer4, a benefit when navigating parking lots, merging into traffic or making tight turns.
Owners of the 2020 Sierra HD will have access to available smart trailer technology designed to allow access to select features of the iN∙Command® control system from ASA Electronics2 through the myGMC mobile app, either on compatible Android and iOS smartphones or on the vehicle’s infotainment system via Apple CarPlay5 or Android Auto6. Similar to the features of a smart home, the iN∙Command® control system acts as the central hub of operations to monitor and control an array of systems in trailers equipped with the next-generation technology. Depending on how a compatibly equipped trailer is configured, owners of the 2020 Sierra HD may be able to turn on the trailer’s air conditioning or water heater, check water and holding tank levels, or monitor fuel levels on trailers equipped with generators — all before arriving at their destination.
The ProGrade Trailering System also includes an in-vehicle Trailering App7 with Trailer Light Test, Trailer Electrical Diagnostics, Trailer Tire Pressure and Temperature Monitoring, Pre- Maintenance Reminders and Departure Checklist. Many of the Trailering app’s functions, including the lighting test and pre-departure checklist, are also available with the myGMC mobile app, a feature that offers great convenience when outside the truck or trailer.
Additional available technologies and hardware to aid trailering include:
 Auto Electric Park Brake to automatically apply the parking brake to help maintain truck position when hitching.
 All-new Park Grade Hold Assist enhances hill hold by using braking effort at each wheel for an extended period of time.
 All-new larger, door-mounted trailering mirrors with a four-bar link providing power extend and retract for the driver and passenger sides.
 Integrated trailer brake controller that works with the trailer profile in the Trailering App to recall a specified trailer’s most recent gain setting.
 Tow/Haul mode that remains engaged on the next key-on cycle, for up to four hours; includes a reminder the feature is engaged.
 Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control.
 Trailer Sway Control.
 Auto Grade Braking and Diesel Exhaust Braking.
 Digital Variable Steering Assist that dynamically optimizes power steering according to driving scenarios, including trailering, and enables features like road pull compensation.
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Old 01-13-2021, 04:06 PM   #2
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This is all pretty new technology. I only have seen it on TV. It looks cool. If going from a 2001 truck to a 2020 truck a lot has changed. The multiple camera views is handy. I have a 2017 with out a front camera of a camera that shows me the bed. I am kinda stuck towing a travel trailer because I do not have the 5th wheel prep package. I had a 2012 F-450 that had the 5th wheel prep but my 2017 F-250 does not. GM also offers heads up display.

GM redesigned their truck for 2020 with a new better frame and better engine cooling. Also a new gas engine.

Sorry I can not help with any specific questions. I do think the camera views would come in handy.
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Old 01-13-2021, 05:56 PM   #3
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For digital variable steering assist: GM retains the traditional heavy duty steering box and hydraulic power steering. These prove more robust on heavy vehicles. They add electronic assist, but unlike some makes, don't put an electric steering rack worth thousands. Power steering will be controlled electronically and GM will phase in all the features of the 2021 Escalade in the next 2 years, probably dependant on trim level. Auto lane change is an interesting one.

Auto Grade braking : basically, it's engine braking. On the gas model it'll control shifts just like my 2011 does, but likely much better. On the diesel, it'll control the exhaust brake (some incorrectly call it a "Jake brake" or "Jacob's exhaust brake" which is an entirely different setup). It'll also control downshifts and work in conjuction with cruise control to keep speeds set and minimize brake applications. AFAIK GM does NOT apply brakes via the EBCM (electronic brake control module) like RAM does on their HD. GM exhaust brake works very well.

I'm gonna get back to you on the camera setups as I'm hungry and gotta make some grub. It,s one of the features that entices me to upgrade to a new or newer GM in a few years.
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Old 01-13-2021, 06:03 PM   #4
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kdauto - That is exactly the sort of information I have been looking for. Thanks. Look forward to your take on the camera system. I was wondering how Auto Grade Braking would work on the diesel since there is already exhaust braking... It seems like it may just fine tune the function of the exhaust brake rather than like on the older models where I think there was just an on/off switch.
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Old 01-13-2021, 06:53 PM   #5
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kdauto - That is exactly the sort of information I have been looking for. Thanks. Look forward to your take on the camera system. I was wondering how Auto Grade Braking would work on the diesel since there is already exhaust braking... It seems like it may just fine tune the function of the exhaust brake rather than like on the older models where I think there was just an on/off switch.
Auto grade braking works with or without exhaust brake. It's nice empty when going down a hill I don't have to hit the brakes or turn the exhaust brake on, it just gently holds me back by downshifting. It gets more aggressive with the exhaust brake and even more with tow haul mode. As for cameras I can't talk about the trailering ones as my 21 chevy 3500 is a work truck and doesn't have those options, but I love the rear camera mirror. It's so clear and great if your eyes are sensitive to headlights behind you.
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Old 01-13-2021, 07:10 PM   #6
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Now for the cameras: informative video

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Originally Posted by WillT View Post
kdauto - That is exactly the sort of information I have been looking for. Thanks. Look forward to your take on the camera system. I was wondering how Auto Grade Braking would work on the diesel since there is already exhaust braking... It seems like it may just fine tune the function of the exhaust brake rather than like on the older models where I think there was just an on/off switch.
I could type out pages on the system, but I think it's easier to comprehend visually. Here's a link to a good 16 minute video on it.

Keep in mind this is an early rollout, things might have been slightly tweaked and improved. AFAIK this was designed for bumper pull and NOT for 5th wheels as far as the "invisible trailer" mode goes. That said, I have read anecdotal reports that it does work on some 5th wheels. Length of trailer, bed configuration etc is likely a big factor. I think they were designed for 32' max but I'd ask if extensions are available or if the system can work on a longer trailer.

Nissan must use the same supplier for the camera system. I drove a late model Infiniti SUV last month and I was surprised to see the "top view" mode show on the backup camera screen. Most likely fewer cameras, but probably needs a minimum of 4 to do that properly. It's a bit freaky the 1st time you see this.
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Old 01-13-2021, 07:21 PM   #7
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The GM camera is a bit expensive at around $500. All the other options are fun. Traded Chevy 2020 dsl SWD short bed for a 2021 GMC dwd dsl long bed. Really wanted a bigger truck for the TH 5er I’m now looking for.

Have a great day
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Old 01-13-2021, 08:46 PM   #8
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The GM camera is a bit expensive at around $500.
Yes it is but I suspect you need that specific one to work with the system. Hopefully is is well waterproof as that has been the issue with the wireless system I have now. Well that and intermittent connectivity from the back of the TT to the truck dash.
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Old 01-13-2021, 10:57 PM   #9
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You can ask the dealer but I suspect if it is ordered as a package with the truck it may be covered by the base warranty, likely at least 3 years/60 000km at a minimum. They make good backup cams for the trucks so I suspect these are more of the same.
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Old 01-14-2021, 02:13 PM   #10
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Have a 2020 Gmc 3500 cc srw long bed. I paid about 350.00 for my camera. I have a 40' toy hauler and the camera wire was long enough I think it's about 75'. Keep in mind if you want the invisible trailer to work the camera has to be mounted center on the back of the trailer slightly above the tailgate camera on the truck putting it almost center on the back of the trailer. I ran the wire under the trailer and mounted it above the garage door I get a great HD view of what's behind me and it will stay on while your driving. It can also be used when backing up however you must change to the trailer camera view every time you put it in reverse. all other camera views work as advertised. the camera wasn't available as an option to order when I ordered the truck however the trailer tire pressure sensors were and are only 50.00 if ordered with the truck for 4. trailer tire pressure sensors work good however only read to 102PSI. However also show temp of each tire. The digital steering makes the steering a lot easer to turn the wheel at lower speeds.
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Old 01-14-2021, 02:44 PM   #11
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Thanks @rblanch - It would be perfect if you could port the rear trailer view to the rear view mirror as it seems the logical place for that view when driving down the road. The camera on the back of truck cab that does go to the rear view mirror will be useless to me as I will have a canopy on the truck. I would even pay for an after market system that had a camera for the rear of the TT that broadcast the view to a rear view mirror that would replace the OEM rear view mirror.

As I have the rear of trailer view on all the time, sharing the main OEM dash screen for it seems a pain. The other views are great on the screen though as they are not needed all the time. The one where the turn signal activates the camera on that side seems great! Do you find that one helpful or do you just use only the mirrors?
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Old 01-15-2021, 07:48 AM   #12
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I find it somewhat helpful on certain roads. The skinny trailer view is helpful also in traffic. Usually when I'm on a long trip I keep the rear trailer view camera view on the screen and the fuel usage on the dash telling me how many more miles to the next fill up. I'll flip once and a while and ck trailer tire pressure and temps and truck tire pressure on the dash screen.
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Old 01-15-2021, 07:52 AM   #13
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I also wish you could switch the rear view mirror camera from the cab camera to the tailgate camera when hauling large loads in the bed of the truck. I think they could probably set up anything you want through software changes however as of now it is not available.
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Old 01-15-2021, 07:59 AM   #14
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Yes it is but I suspect you need that specific one to work with the system. Hopefully is is well waterproof as that has been the issue with the wireless system I have now. Well that and intermittent connectivity from the back of the TT to the truck dash.


I don’t have, the camera. As it’s hard wired to the bumper where the 7 pin plugs in, I doubt that it’s intermittent and would be specific to GM trucks with that option. I am also sure that it’s weather proof for diving down the road. For that kind of money, I might be inclined to go with a wireless option.

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