If you are a recreational camper or avid outdoorsman, you need to have the ability to haul your toys, tools, and equipment. More importantly, you want to know that your vehicle is up to whatever task is at hand. Can a GMC Canyon tow and pull a travel trailer? We have done the research and have your answer.
The GMC Canyon has an advertised towing capacity ranging from 3,500 to 7,700 pounds, meaning that it is more than capable of towing vehicle extensions like travel trailers and campers.
Having the ability to tow is great, but knowing how to safely calculate your tow capacity is even better for you and your truck's longevity. That said, it's time to sit back, buckle up, and keep reading on through our guide for more in-depth discussion and suggestions regarding trailering and your GMC Canyon.
Canyon Engine Size Vs. Towing Capacity
As we begin to discuss the towing options and tow capacities, our focus will be directed underneath the Canyon's hood. Features are nice, but functionality is far better! Ultimately, the version/configuration of the vehicle you select will impact the power you have available for towing. In the 2020/21 GMC Canyon lineup, there are three engine types:
- 2.5 L 4-Cylinder Engine
The standard engine included with the base level trim of the Canyon. This engine's towing capacity is 3,500 pounds, which is half the advertised possible 7,700 pounds capacity. If you have this engine, you will be more limited in terms of your travel trailer selection. While still a great option, it may leave you wanting more in the "power" department.
- Standard 3.6 L V6 Engine
This is the most frequently selected engine build and is available across all the trims of the Canyon. The towing capacity for this engine is 7,500 pounds, so if you opt for this selection, you will have a much greater pool to select from when choosing your preferred travel trailer. There will be slight variations in the towing capacity depending on the size of the truck bed, vehicle cab, and wheelbase.
- 2.8 L Duramax Turbo-Diesel 4-Cylinder Engine
By far, this is the most capable of the three engines in terms of raw power and tow capacity. The towing capacity is approximately 7,770 pounds, but once again, it can be increased depending on the possible Canyon configurations available. The diesel engine does come with a noticeably higher price tag than the prior two engines but with good reason. While diesel engines are marginally slower than the latter two standard cylinder engines, it more than makes up for that shortcoming and deficiency in speed with markedly improved towing proficiency.
Understanding your engine and its towing capacity will simplify your search by narrowing and eliminating incompatible trailers from your selection pool. With a better grasp of these specifications, let's get to our travel trailer recommendations.
Travel Trailer Selections & Capacity Calculation
A few quick points to be cautious of before we begin to delve into our trailer selections and recommendations for the GMC Canyon:
- Be sure you are familiar and comfortable with how to calculate your vehicle's towing capacity.
- Always defer to the manufacturer's information and details if there are concerns regarding your vehicle's towing capacity and setup.
- Do NOT confuse payload with towing capacity. They are relevant to each other in the towing capacity calculation but less important when discussing trailer towing.
- NEVER exceed the Gross Combined Weight Vehicle (GCVW). The likely outcome will be extensive vehicle damage.
Mobile Tow Scale
Listed below are a few different travel trailers from some highly recommended and rated travel trailer/RV brands. While there are many styles and sizes of trailers available, our primary focus was to identify the smaller and lighter versions of travel trailers, towable with a GMC Canyon.
Airstream Caravel Travel Trailer
Airstream is one of the oldest and most iconic luxury RV manufacturers active in the recreational camping marketplace. The Caravel is a compact, lightweight reinterpretation of the classic Airstream model. Capable of handling long or short trips, the floor plans include dedicated sleeping spaces, convertible dining and lounging area, kitchen, and an onboard restroom. There are four floor plans available to select from, none of which exceed a 5,000 pound GVWR, so this is well within our weight requirements to tow behind the GMC Canyon.
For more products and detailed specifications regarding these trailers, visit the Airstream website.
Winnebago Micro Minnie Travel Trailer
Winnebago is another classic travel trailer brand recognized for high-quality trailers. The Micro Minnie is a further consolidated version of the larger and wildly popular Minnie model. The trailer unit is a compact 7-foot wide trailer with up to 10 available floor plans to choose from. This trailer comes equipped with all the travel essentials, including a spacious kitchen, double door refrigerators, and auxiliary power connections for when you are at your final destination. Conveniently for us, all the floor plans are under 6,000 pounds GVWR, so they too are within the weight requirements to tow behind the GMC Canyon.
For more products and detailed specifications regarding these trailers, visit the Winnebago website.
Jayco Jay Feather Micro Travel Trailer
For the better part of the last two decades, Jayco has been a leader and innovator in the RV and camper industry. The Jay Feather Micro is the newest and most lightweight addition to the Jayco lineup. This unit is available in five different floor plans, with each of the layouts and designs featuring the highest-quality and handcrafted amenities. Stainless steel kitchens, spacious sleeping, and seating arrangements are only a few of the notable features. The five separate floor plans do not exceed 5,000 pounds GVWR, which means that each plan is well within the Canyon's towing capacity requirements.
For more products and detailed specifications regarding these trailers, visit the Jayco website.
What Is The GMC Trailering Package?
The GMC Trailering package is an optional equipment bundle available to all GMC model vehicles. This equipment is usually included as a standard feature along the Canyon, Sierra, and Yukon model lines and most often includes the trailer hitch platform and the hitch itself. Other trailering equipment that may be included in the setup are wiring harnesses and trailer braking systems.
If the equipment is not provided, you can acquire the missing components from many compatible tow rig manufacturers. There is also a Max Trailering Package available, which enables select GMC vehicles to execute the advertised 13,400 pound towing capacity!
Weight Distribution Rig
Does The GMC Canyon Have Tow/Haul Mode?
The GMC Canyon comes stock equipped with the Tow/Haul mode. When activated, it automatically adjusts how the transmission shifts to reduce cycling times during the shifting action. This featured driver-assistance mode comes in especially handy when pulling heavier loads or driving on steep grades roads.
In an effort to further convenience towing and hauling, GMC includes the StabiliTrak system -one of those improved upon and proprietary GMC features. Integrated trailer brake controls, Trailer Assist, and spotter mirrors are other standard features to facilitate the safest trailering experience.
Can A GMC Canyon Tow A Boat?
Most towable toys, including boats, can be towed by the GMC as long as you use the correct equipment and are mindful of weight and tow capacity. Typically, smaller boats and PWCs (Personal Watercraft) weigh under 3,500 pounds to be easily towed even with the base level Canyon engine. Of course, you will need to exercise caution if you have or are considering towing larger boats. As long as the towing capacity is not being tested, you should have no problems.
Can A GMC Canyon Tow An ATV?
There are two methods that we can use to tow an ATV with the GMC Canyon. The first and more straightforward method is to use a detached trailer with your ATVs loaded on top. The second option is to drive and situate the ATV inside the bed of the truck. This, of course, will only work as so long as your ATV fits inside and the model and trim that you selected for your Canyon. As long as the dimensions match and towing or payload capacity is not exceeded, there should be no issues in doing either method.
If you choose the latter of the two methods, make sure you have the appropriate equipment to handle ATV transport safely. Tie-down straps should always be used to secure cargo in the bed during transport.
Yutrax Tri-Fold Ramp
If you follow this guide, you should have no issues finding the right travel trailer to tow behind your GMC Canyon. Always be sure to adhere to all rules and regulations regarding towing. Lastly, if you find yourself in need of further assistance, do not hesitate to defer to more knowledgeable professionals' advice.
For more tips and recommendations about GMC vehicle ownership, visit VEHQ: