The 2021 GMC Sierra Takes Towing-for-Dummies Tech to New Heights

With recreational hotel and airport use still seen as ill-advised, RVs have been making a bit of a comeback. According to the RV Industry Association, RV sales jumped more than 53 percent in July 2020 over the same month last year with 90 percent of this summer’s sales consisting of towable RVs. It’s kinda perfect timing, then, for GMC to introduce a couple pieces of nifty, camera-based trailering tech in the 2021 Sierra.

Headlining the GMC Sierra’s 2021 updates are Jack-Knife Alert and Trailer Length Indicator. The latter is activated by the turn signals and throws up a live, mirror-view feed of the target lane with a red overlay on where it thinks the trailer will impede using “camera algorithms” similar to those powering GM’s Transparent Trailer tech, hopefully preventing any trailer fender benders while changing lanes. Jack-Knife Alert, meanwhile, keeps track of the trailer’s angle in relation to the Sierra while reversing and alerts the driver if it thinks it’s about to jack-knife. Because nobody wants to be the one who can’t back into the campsite. 


Trailer Length Indicator and Jack-Knife Alert will be available as part of the Technology Package on the 2021 Sierra 1500. On heavy-duty Sierras like the 2500 and 3500, it’ll be part of the “HD Surround Vision with Two Trailer Cameras” option on SLT and AT4 trims while standard on the Denali.

Existing features related to cameras and towing also get some minor upgrades for 2021. The Rear Trailer View now gets guidelines and a Trailer-Angle Indicator while the Rear Side View, which gives drivers a split simultaneous view of both the left and right of the truck and trailer, can now be turned on in reverse. Cargo Bed View and Bed Hitch guidance can now be had, which is helpful when connecting the Sierra to a gooseneck trailer.



What’s more, the 3.0-liter Duramax turbodiesel engine for the Sierra 1500 will now cost $1,500 less than before—it’s a $995 option over the 5.3-liter gas V8. That probably isn’t enough leftover cash to permanently equip your COVID-era RV with daily housekeeping and room service but, hey, it’s something. 

God, I miss hotels.

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