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Bangkok, Thailand – Chevrolet pickup trucks and SUVs offer ample cargo capacity and engine power to move heavy loads with ease, but sometimes you need a secondary vehicle to help carry the burden. When properly equipped, Chevrolet’s high-trim Colorado pickup trucks and Trailblazer SUVs can enable customers to confidently tow trailers for business or leisure.

Towing (aka trailering) offers safer, more efficient weight distribution than piling high, oversized or extremely heavy cargo on top of a vehicle, a common sight in Thailand. Piling high or heavy loads not only creates a safety hazard, it also impacts vehicle handling, lowers fuel economy due to wind resistance and causes stress on the vehicle suspension. Towing solves these problems.

In Thailand, towing is often done by people who want to haul big boy toys like jet skis and motorcycles, but small businesses are discovering how towing can help them grow.

One business that has discovered the benefits of towing is Class Café, a tech-savvy food and beverage start-up that recently joined Chevrolet Thailand’s Chevy Plus member privilege program. There are 16 locations in northeast Thailand and one in Bangkok, all of which will soon introduce face recognition for customers. Class Café has mobile café trailers that it tows with a Colorado LTZ pickup truck to events like the MotoGP motocross competition in Buriram and a recent charity marathon where the Class Café team distributed 10,000 cups of coffee to runners.

Founder and CEO Mr. Marut Chumkuntod said towing the mobile cafés with Colorado has enabled the company to grow in a strategic way by allowing his team to test potential locations for future branches of Class Café. Getting to new places, especially in the rural, hilly countryside of northeast Thailand isn’t always easy.

“We needed a pickup with power, toughness and technology to tow our mobile café safely and reliably, wherever we need to go. That’s why we picked Colorado. Plus, it has American style that looks great for marketing our burger and coffee business. It catches people’s attention. They take photos and share on social media. It’s helping us build brand awareness,” said Mr. Marut.

For other Colorado customers, towing is essential for their lifestyle. Mr. Nagone Kamolsiri, a former member of Thailand’s National Show Jumping Team, uses his Colorado LTZ to tow an Olympic trailer carrying two horses from Bangkok to equestrian competitions in Chang Mai or Kuala Lumpur. He’s been riding for 30 years and is driving his second Colorado in 10 years.

“I trust Colorado for towing my horses and for every day driving, because of its reliable engine performance, power and handling,” said Mr. Nagone Kamolsiri.

Towing is a relatively new practice in Thailand due to unfamiliarity or misconceptions about what is allowed, according to Harry Sprangers, owner of UPBEAT, the first company to introduce trailers for passenger vehicles to Thailand 20 years ago, and the No.1 trailer manufacturer in Thailand. UPBEAT also manufactures and installs MasterHook tow hitches and ball mounts.

“Whether you want to tow a boat for recreation or products to market, towing it on a trailer can make it a lot easier to load and unload,” Sprangers said. “Unfortunately, many people in Thailand don’t tow simply because they don’t know what’s allowed, and that needs to change.”

According to Thailand’s transportation laws, a motorist can tow without a special permit if the trailer weighs no more than 1,600 kg, not including load. Any trailer weighing more than 1,600 kg requires a permit. Owners are advised to carry information about their trailer’s specifications in their vehicle in case of a traffic stop, and they should expect to pay a bit more at toll booths. Also, trailers require their own license plate.

Chevrolet Tips for Towing

Towing a trailer for recreation or business is a learned skill that requires attention to detail, excellent driving skills, weight calculations and proper load distribution. Here are some practical tips to help customers tow properly:

Pick the right vehicle

When properly equipped with a tow hitch and ball mount, a Colorado can tow up to 3,500 kg (trailer with brakes) and Trailblazer can tow up to 3,000 kg (trailer with brakes). Colorado High Country, High Country STORM and Centennial Edition as well as Trailblazer LT, LTZ and Z71 are equipped with technologies that help with towing, including:

  • Trailer Sway Control – Senses trailer sway and automatically applies the vehicle and trailer brakes (if equipped) and reduces engine power to help you get back on track.
  • Hill Start Assist – Helps hold the vehicle stationary for about a second on inclines greater than a 5-percent grade, allowing acceleration before the vehicle rolls backward.
  • Hill Descent Control – Sets and maintains vehicle speed while descending a very steep incline in a forward or reverse gear.
  • Downhill Mode (Grade Braking) – Uses transmission calibration to control engine braking, which reduces load of wheel brakes and trailer brakes during downhill driving.

Pick the right hitch

Choosing the right hitch and making the proper electrical connections affect how your vehicle handles, corners, and brakes, and allow you to alert other drivers about lane changes and turns while towing. Before selecting a hitch or trailer, you should be familiar with the weight ratings specific to your Chevrolet vehicle. Consult a professional installer to meet your towing needs.

Do the Math

Gross combined weight rating (GCWR) is the total allowable weight of the completely loaded vehicle and trailer including any fuel, passengers, cargo, equipment, and accessories. Do not exceed the GCWR of your vehicle. The GCWR for the vehicle is listed in the Trailering Table in the Owner’s Manual.

To check that the weight of the vehicle and the trailer are within the GCWR for the vehicle, follow these steps:

  • Start with the “curb weight”
  • Add the weight of the trailer loaded with cargo and ready for the trip
  • Add the weight of all passengers
  • Add the weight of all cargo in the vehicle
  • Add the weight of hitch hardware, such as a drawbar, ball mount, load equalizer bars, or sway bars
  • Add the weight of any accessories or aftermarket equipment added to the vehicle