Our TCM Friends Visit GM's VEC


Our friends at Truck Camper Magazine thought a quick stop by the GM engineering headquarters would be a nice thing to do. After all, GM did help them pick out a brand-new Chevy Silverado 3500 HD Z71 4x4 for the their trek around the country with their new Lance camper. 

But a funny thing happened on the way to Warren, Mich.--they almost got arrested and found themselves smack in the middle of a "Faces of GM" video production. Publisher Gordon White offers all the behind-the-scenes details in the background story, and you can find the video that GM produced from their meeting (as well as other Faces of GM videos) by clicking here. We recommend the background story on the TCM site as well; it's pretty funny.

For those with good memories, you might remember we had the chance to follow Gordon and Angela White through their selection process when they were deciding on which heavy-duty pickup choose. In the end, they chose the Chevy Silverado HD 3500 4x4 Z71 crew cab with the short bed and Vortec 6.0-liter V-8. We expect to see more from them in the future as they push their rig to the limits doing what they love to do: driving their pickup and camper all over the country. 

TCM GM video II

TCM GM group II

TCM GM video side II



Really like that blue color. If they got one on the lot in that color next time its gonna be mine!!

Nice color. I wonder if there is and add-a-leaf or airbags in that truck. Sitting pretty level for that kind of weight.

I like it when gas motors get some attention in HD trucks, as it seems like everyone assumes diesels are always the best choice.

However, gas engines:

- cost less up-front and less to maintain
- perform as well as or better than diesels in many real-world situations
- don't smell, aren't as loud, and don't spew out carcinogenic exhaust fumes

I'm not saying I don't like diesels (I do), but it makes sense to choose gas too.

I think the color may have been the tipping point in this purchase. If I remember the article correctly, they were a bit overwhelmed by all the choices they had to pick from.

No way would a trust a wide bed camper like that lol

They chose a crewcab shortbed for a camper hauler ? thats nutty .

Their process to choose this truck was interesting. It went something like this.
"Can you help us decide which truck would be best?"
(then after receiving good advice)
"Oh, all that data seems confusing, so we'll just take that pretty blue one".


Holy cow!!! GM sold this truck to nerd!


Is it just me or is the news on pickuptrucks.com getting increasingly boring? I used to be excited to check it every day. Now they seem to have something good once a week if we are lucky. And I used to hear the pickup news here first. Now it seems like I hear pickup news on autoblog, motortrend, etc. before it makes it here. Maybe it's just me. Or maybe there just isn't a lot of exciting things in the pickup world?

@Gib- seriously, stop spewing uninformed, outdated notions about diesel exhaust.

I didn't know that Robert Carradine published Truck Camper Magaine!

Robert is a legend. Make a new Revenge of the Nerds!

This guy has no idea on what a truck is...Bet GM added some leafs to this one off.

It depends what you are going to use the truck for. With the camper they needed payload. Gas engines give you more payload then diesel.


That is a nice rig, but for me I would have a six wheel chassis, expecialy with a wide camper like that!, But if it was my choice, I would go with a reg width camper and 4 wheels!, that way I could drive on more beaches that way! but for the room, and on the hyw. a 6 wheeler is nice, it was the wife that wanted the Airstream, I wanted a camper like above, only with an ext cab and 8' bed for the room! A Chevy 3500 4 wheel 4X4 has a 4,400lbs load cap. and 13,000 towing cap. A siw wheeler has a 6,321lbs load cap. and a 13,600 towing cap. either way it is plenty for a camper!

The 3500HD's all have an auxillary overload leafs in the rear. They will set level even when loaded to max. GVW.

I agree, a HD pickup with a gas engine is the best choice for most HD pickup users these days.

The side load on those tires will be extreme. No way you can safely haul that camper on that truck in any type of crosswind.
They were hauling minimum amounts of supplies. But were still within a few pounds of max capacity.
The truck would be overloaded if you loaded it up with a weeks worth of groceries for the home.
Heck, what happens if you decided to take a couple of grandkids on a trip?
Horrible example to set for their camper readers.
That camper along with any others like it requires a 1 1/4 ton
chassis. Period!

Big bob

Yea, truck looks level. Down on it's bumper stops.
Look at the rear tires. Extremely flat on the bottom.
They would make a better square than a wheel.

I hope his mummy made him put on clean underwear , ready for a wedgie !!!! talk about dork !!! He looks the type who should drive a bright yellow Yugo . a right merchant banker mate !!! (cockney slang)

Optioned right, a 3500HD SRW can have a 10,700# GVW. That's more than enough for a large slide-in. Can't tell anything by the tires, you don't have any idea how much air is in them. Nonetheless, I would use a dually for a large camper. Not because of capacity, but because a dually would be much safer in the event of a rear tire blowout.

Give me a nerdssssss of you're a proud nerd!

The GM guy third from the left is a nerd! This nerd is the one probably approved the interior on the current and next gen Silverado that got scraped.

Nerds! Nerds! Nerds! Nerds! Nerds! Nerds! Nerds! Nerds!


Geez, there are very judgemental people on this site.

What makes the US, Canada and Austrlia great countries is the varied styles of clothing we wear and are permitted to wear.

Before you know you guys will make females wear full length dresses so their ankle are covered, even at the beach.

Talk about narrowed minded.

Daffy Duck
This is from the article. remember, this was with very little supplies. Enough for two for a long weekend.

'“No one is going to believe that!” I exclaimed, utterly confounded with what we were looking at.

The truck full of fuel, and camper wet with options and cargo had just come out exactly the same as our GVWR, 10,800 pounds. We weren’t over GVWR. We weren’t under GVWR. We were right on GVWR. This is like flipping a quarter and having it land perfectly on its edge, and stay.'

What's the point in having a 5 passenger vehicle if you are not going to use the space?
Heck, They themselves say that in a rain. The truck, would be overloaded unless you stopped and dried it off.

Lets hope that quarter doesn't land on the truck when they flip it.

I know this "ain't" truck stuff.

To all the people in the way of Sandy, I hope you guys are okay.

Take care.

That shevy is leaking at last picture from that weight.


The leaking is just the condensation out of the muffler. All
trucks do this at startup if they are designed properly. The ones that don't have the internals of the muffler rot away after a few years.

@Frank, Lou, Dave, Tom with Ranger, zviera -

I can't imagine a more versatile RV. A pick-up truck when you need one, a vacation home when you don't! And, no second motor vehicle to license, maintain, insure, etc. I bet these will really become popular when coupled with a Chevy!! truck with the highest payload in the industry. Chevy trucks--the choice of PROFESSIONAL truck campers!

That truck looks sharp. The color combo in conjuction with the camper make a very good looking overall package. If this camper was sitting on the back of a Ford Super Duty the headlights would be pointed towards the trees. Ford suspension simply isn't what it used to be!

The readers at TCM overwhelmingly picked the Super Duty and they picked the long bed vs short bed 62% to 17%. http://www.truckcampermagazine.com/survey-results:-2012-dream-truck-survey/ The readers who participated in the survey said Ford had the best camper truck.

As Mark Williams said in a previous article, their selection was half based on random personal preference. It is also worth noting that they traded in a Dodge Ram 3500 that was breaking down. http://www.truckcampermagazine.com/tcm-debuts-2013-chevy-silverado-3500/

If you go on Lance's website it is mostly Ford trucks used in the blogs and advertising. I saw two Fords, one Dodge and one Top Kick on the blog. No Silverados anywhere (except his that is featred in on the homepage). If the Silverados are the best truck campers, the regular people are not using them.


How much of his purchase based on the response to emails and phone calls to GM marketing and if he could get a plug for his website? And how much was fact based? It was half and half. The Silverado is not a bad truck but the marketing for GM and marketing for his website had a lot to do with it. The bad experience with the Ram with engine problems probably turned him off, too.

Dave, Now you are just giving his site more plugs! Which is exactly what he wanted all along. This is how it works: GM gets a plug for the Silverado, Lance gets a plug for the camper and this guy gets a plug for his website. There is too much plugging and horn tooting going on!

Are the Chevys the best camper truck and do they really have the most payload? I have no idea but I looked up his Silverado and it said 3900 lbs payload for his setup. I then looked up a comparable Ford and it was just over 4000 lbs. In addition to payload, you have to look at other criteria like gross axle weight rating, it's not just payload.

I hope some day pickuptrucks.com can do a real truck camper shootout. Maybe in 2015 when all of the trucks are new. This is something to think about!

Payload on gas 4x4 SRW short bed one tons;

Ram: under 3k payload with Hemi, have to step up to long bed dually for more payload.

Chevy: 4,190 lbs payload with gas 6.0

Ford: 4,420 lbs payload with gas 6.2
Check build and price and spec sheet to confirm it.

Took me a few minutes to find it. I didn't need a bunch of emails to GM marketing and a 45 minute conversation to find out which heavy-duty gas truck had the most payload. But I would need that if I was looking for a plug for my website.

TCM has been exposed. LOL.

And your point is?

TROLL, Dave's comments are in response to the comment above that Chevy has the highest payload in the industry and the guy from TCM said in the youtube video that he evaluated a lot of the trucks and "when it came down to it" Chevy had "the best payload." Dave's post shows otherwise.

This was a quid pro quo. You say we have the best payload and camper truck. You get a plug for TCM. And vice versa.

Hey Troll,
Question wasn't directed at you, first of all.
Unless Dave the Troll and Tom the Troll are the same person.
And probably are!

It's not a review when they don't have anything negative to say. It becomes an advocate piece. At least at pickuptrucks.com they talk about some of the negatives. The GM Marketing Manager helped him pick out a truck. Which do you think he would pick? Duh!

I knew it was suspect when they did the bit on how nice the interior was. Then when I looked up the payloads, that confirmed it.

Once again. And your point is?

Good catch DAVE!

Chevy HD is head and shoulders above F350.
Better engine, better frame, better truck!
If you wanna talk about interiors. LT interior on Chevy is nicer than Fords mid level equivalent, whatever it's called, XLT.
If you go to fords website, they don't even post any pictures in their gallery of that interior. Why would they, it's ugly.
It looks like somebody designed it with an ax!!
I think they made the best choice. Chevy team was very helpful. Ford basically pissed them off. (another area Ford needs to work on).
Good job TCM! You've made the right choice.
Ford girlies will get over it one day....maybe.

Now Frank is here putting in his two cents. I knew this would happen. I know for a fact if TCM picked Ford, both of these clowns would be singing TCM's praises. Bunch of trolls! Everyone knows GM makes the best HD. Go GM! Go TCM!

Gordon and Angela White love truck campers and when it came time to replace their old pickup and get a new camper, these people behind TruckCamperMagazine.com did a lot of analysis before putting their money down. Check out what they selected and how the package came together.


Great catch DAVE!

Good catch Dave!


This individual owned a Dodge one ton before purchasing thwe new Chevy. The Dodge broke down and kept hima nd his wife from attending a truck camper rally. So he bought a truck he could depend on. There you have it Dodge boys!


Uh .... The new trucks don't look so "NEW"...? GM guys get your square wheel wells back and some projector headlights... OOOOOOOHHHHHHHHH...... Goverment Motors is a FAILURE!

@JBrown - thanks for the link. I'm seeing a 6.5 box p/u with a bigger crewcab. The wheel flares don't seem to be much different than the previous generation. They have rear discs and a reworked front end. The hood looks more square.
The earth shattering changes must be under the hood.

My brother's new company truck is a base model crewcab 2012 GMC equivalent to this truck. He does like it better than his previous GMC truck. It gets better mpg and shifts better. The bumpers are already looking beat up and he hasn't hit anything with them, just rock damage even from the inside out.
We have another friend with a 2011 that looks and sounds like a twin to this truck.
I find it hard to believe that someone would say that the Chevy has a better interior than a Ford. My brother spends 1/2 his life in the cab of his truck and likes the interior of my XLT better. My friend's teenaged kids find that the back seat in my truck is more comfortable than theirs. I have limited seat time in both trucks but I'd have to agree.
I liked the fact that they had a transmission oil temp reading but to get to it you have to scroll through the information screen. Maybe I had it set up wrong but it looked like you would loose the tripmeter if you put it on oil temp. Some of the features seemed more "intuitive" on my truck. The power mirrors seemed simpler to use on miine.

Read the tcm article. That truck would be over loaded if a bird crapped on it. They weight it. It came in 10,800. Interestingly, that is what they claim the gvwr is. Unlike anther potter here that states it is 10,700.
What's the point on having a 5 passenger vehicle
If the weight of your grandchild car seat puts you over gvwr.
This truck selection was a horrible example to set for the TCM readers

Buddy, and to top it off GM agreed to write an article on payload ratings and how to buy a truck that fits your needs. If this is the kind of advice they give, then No Thanks! This smells like a typical slick sales job from a dealer, selling you a truck that can only haul what you need, illegally. Takes your money, smiles and waves as you drive off the lot, and starts looking for the next sucker immediately.

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