Despite the myriad of advancements in regard to pickup trucks themselves, it remains perplexing as to why the skillful art of trailering hasn’t progressed as rapidly. Sure, things like trailer sway control and rotary controlled backup assists have emerged over the years, but nothing’s really moved towing a generation forward. Until now.
Chevrolet has launched a trailering app with the all-new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500. When we say “app,” we mean it can be accessed via the MyChevrolet app on a smartphone. But that’s just supplementary to what’s available on the truck itself. We’re here to provide a bit on how it works, along with photos of varying trailer app displays.
Note the varying camera angles on the infotainment screen. Rear (with an overview), peripheral left and right, as well as mirror-mounted cameras that display footage along with a trailer surveillance system – something that we’ve been on about for years. Additionally, there’s a tire pressure monitoring display for the trailer’s rubber, a checklist of important safety items (such as if the lights are working and if the safety chains are latched), and even monitors impending trailer maintenance. And it can also be viewed from the phone. Brilliant.
Compared to the knob-controlled trailer backup assist from Ford, Chevrolet requires no special stickers to attach to trailers, and is easier to set up as a result. In total, the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 can support five different trailers on the trailering app, which is likely excessive for anybody with a half-ton truck. But better to play it safe than sorry.
So, with technology giving us some additional peace of mind, we set off on a trailering drive loop with a 6,000-lb load – comfortably below the 12,200 lb max tow rating for the 6.2L V8 models – the highest tow rating so far announced, with expected numbers of the incoming 3.0L Duramax diesel to be even higher. But we have to address the new trailer rating sticker on every 2019 Silverado 1500, which is unique for every model, based on the VIN. Nowhere does it directly say how much the truck can tow. Instead, it references Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (vehicle plus occupants and cargo), Gross Combined Weight Rating (weight of the vehicle, passengers and cargo, plus trailer, plus weight of cargo in said trailer), Gross Rear Axle Weight Rating (how much weight can be safely supported by the rear axle), maximum payload, maximum tongue weight, and total vehicle curb weight. Nevertheless, the added information remains helpful.
As a fan of trailer sway control, it was immediately noticed that the regulator was moved from the upper-left corner of the dash, to the bottom-left corner of the center console. In effect, the driver now has to use their right hand instead of their left to modulate the trailer sway controller, and the opposite hand on the wheel. It feels better if you’re a rightie, which most people are. We were otherwise perplexed as to why the 2019 Silverado 1500 that Chevrolet hooked up to a trailer didn’t have any tow mirrors, and we never got a straight answer about whether or not they will be available at the time of this writing. Nevertheless, the 2019 Silverado 1500 provided no shortage of confidence pulling 6,000 pounds, as expected. Switching into Tow/Haul mode with the selection of the column shifter, as well as choosing our own gears in “L” mode as we climbed moderate grades, kept the Silverado’s engine in its prime power band.
Along with the upgraded vehicle dynamics and reduced NVH, technology such as the trailering app are the major strong points of the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500. Sure, there are seasoned towers that have gone without something like this for as long as they can remember, but after sampling the tech for ourselves, we’re left wondering how.