the broverlander

January 16, 2020 /// issue no. 16

For a newsletter about cars, there sure is a lot of truck love. Yesterday, GMC announced the 2021 model year Yukon. GMC’s Professional Grade branding positions it as not a luxury brand above Chevrolet, but definitely a premium one. Not to be outdone by Rivian’s Tank Turn that we wrote about earlier this year, the GMC Yukon can perform it’s own “Hurricane Turn” from Motor Trend:

There are, of course, a few key differences between the GMC system and Rivian’s. The Rivian models are powered by four individually controlled electric motors, one per wheel, and can truly rotate around a central axis on a low-friction surface. (Watch the video below!) The Yukons are powered by a single engine each, which can drive either the rear wheels or—with four-wheel drive engaged—all four wheels. It probably goes without saying that, yes, at any given time those two-to-four GMC wheels are being spun in the same direction (either forward or backward).

Does your two and a half ton mall crawler need to be able to do donuts? Well, no. But how many lifted pickups never see dirt? a hell of a lot of them. As someone who has recently been on the backlot of a Chevy dealer looking at tow rigs, the “upscale” Yukon Denali piques my interest as a triple purpose family hauler, trailer hauler, and car camping rig.

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I found the first usage of broverlander to appear sometime around 2016. It’s a portmanteau of bro, used derogatorily, or brodozer and overlander. And though some use this as an insult to those who build their overlanders for instagram, I think the concept appeals to the builder in me that only really has time to camp twice a year.

I’ve spent hours comparing the Colorado/Canyon, Silverado/Sierra, and Tahoe/Yukon for a broverlander tow pig setup. My criteria is as follows:

  • can easily tow a 5th generation Corvette racecar and trailer
  • good aftermarket support for attachments and accessories
  • looks good parked

How I’d Build It

If you talk to an honest truck salesperson and tell them that you’re trying to tow a racecar with GM’s mid-size Colorado or Canyon they’ll tell you to just go for the full-size. The Colorado starts at $21,300 and the Silverado at $28,300… but when you start adding options, realize a max-tow Colorado Diesel starts at $37,700 and you consider that the full-size pickups regularly get $5,000 cash back deals you start to understand you should just go for the full-size truck.

If the family doesn’t already have an SUV you might spring for a Tahoe/Yukon over the full-size Silverado/Sierra, but we are now talking double the price to get that third-row seating with a towing capacity sacrifice. The value pick here is going premium for the GMC Sierra 1500 Limited. The Limited is just that. Limited in options. But it’s still a GMC. CarPlay and Trailering Packages are standard fare. It “only” tows 9,400 lbs but that’s going to be plenty for when you upgrade your open deck racecar trailer to an enclosed trailer. It will also pull an airstream as if it’s not even there.

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The trick here is finding a Limited on the lot that is in the color and drivetrain (4WD of course) that you want. whatever you configure on the manufacturer’s website is not likely to yield an exact match. I found a real life local non-limited Sierra with $7,000 cash back so that might be the smart buyer’s choice.

So we went to the dealership to buy a GMC Sierra 1500 Limited but drove home with a GMC Sierra 1500 Elevation. Now what?

Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. Hope to see you at the mall in your broverlander.

Coffee time,
Steven


daily automotive addiction.