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Jack the Knife: The 2021 GMC Sierra is getting some new trailering tech

Jack the Knife: The 2021 GMC Sierra is getting some new trailering tech
Autos
For the upcoming model year, GMC is expanding the Sierra’s suite of towing technology to help keep customers who haul heavy loads on the straight and narrow.

New for 2021 are Trailer Length Indicator and Jack-Knife Alert. The latter tracks the position of a compatible trailer in relation to the truck. If the front of said trailer approaches the rear of your pickup, it alerts you to the potential jack-knife situation.

(This would have been useful to your author nearly two years ago when he ran into himself while trying to execute a three-point turn with a 40-foot camper in tow.)

The equally new Trailer Length Indicator also sounds like a useful feature. When the feature is enabled and the truck is driving forward with the turn signal activated, the infotainment screen displays a red overlay twice the length of a compatible trailer. It also shows when other vehicles are present and may interfere with a lane-change maneuver. Those of us who have had a friend run interference behind us while trying to navigate a busy multi-lane highway will appreciate this addition.

As for upgrades to existing features, Rear Trailer View now has guidelines and a Trailer-Angle Indicator, to show the relationship between truck and trailer. An enhancement to the Rear Side View system, drivers will have access to this image – which displays a split-view of the left and right sides of the truck – while driving in reverse, making it easier to see surrounding vehicles and objects while positioning a trailer. Once can now use a zoom feature on the cargo bed camera as well.

GMC asserts these updates are arriving as an ever-growing number of North Americans are turning to outdoor activities that require a trailer. Shipments of RVs increased this summer compared to previous years, with towable RVs making up a solid percentage of those sales.

On the surface, this may be surprising given world events, but actually makes more than a lick of sense after peeling back the curtain. With the pandemic scuppering many vacations, some families are spending money earmarked for those activities on new toys; it also goes without saying that it’s much easier to social distance inside an RV than on a cruise ship.

Look for these trailering improvements on properly optioned 2021 models of the Sierra 1500 and Sierra Heavy Duty.
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