GMC Trailering Academy
Learning to tow an iconic trailer in GMC's powerful pickup truck
Earlier this summer GMC invited us out to Santa Barbara, CA for a unique adventure. We arrived at an airfield housing Cary Grant's old plane and were met by a gleaming fleet of Airstream trailers. The goal for the day was to latch an Airstream onto the 2014 GMC Sierra and navigate a labyrinthine series of twists, turns and pedal-to-the-floor drag strips to build our trailering chops for a long haul up the California coast with the Airstream in tow. After crushing just a single traffic cone, we received our diplomas and were all set to cruise to Ocean Mesa at El Capitan Canyon for two nights of camping.
Having never towed anything at all, hauling a 23-foot trailer was daunting at first. But with our confidence bolstered by GMC's expert guidance we readily made our way through city streets and finally onto the highway. The stability of the trailer in tow was phenomenal. With the Sierra's hitch and the plethora of tools provided in the GMC trailering package it was easy to forget about the mobile home—and the 5,000 pound trailer was child's play for the Sierra's massive 5.3 liter engine. The combination made for a solid performance and let a couple of city-dwelling subway riders feel pretty tough as we received an endless stream of ogling eyes and thumbs up from fellow travelers.
Upon arrival at the camp ground we had a chance to actually get inside the trailer and discovered it's not your typical mobile home. GMC partnered with Airstream2Go—a company founded by Airstream's former CEO, who purchased his own fleet of trailers to create a luxurious camping experience. The entire fleet of trailers has been outfitted to the max; from the 650 thread-count sheets to the extra sound-proofing, it far exceeded all expectations for both comfort and convenience.
After settling into camp we took the Sierra out on the road to see how the four-door beast performed on its own. "Luxury vehicle" may not be the first term that pops to mind when considering a pickup truck, but the Sierra stood up to many high-end vehicles in both comfort and performance. Powerful, and with great handling, the truck had many modern features—most interesting being the Safety Alert Seat, which vibrates the driver's seat on the appropriate side if the vehicle drifts across traffic lines. Most exceptional was just how quiet and smooth the ride was. Because of this serenity, there were several occasions we were caught off guard by how fast we were going. Unfortunately, the Sierra's exceptional cabin design was not a sufficient excuse for California's highway patrol.
GMC's 2014 Sierra 1500 pickup truck starts at $28,115 and is available now.
Images by Greg Stefano