Heavy-duty truck buyers have lots of decisions to make, especially if they plan on towing a trailer or hauling cargo. The first and most obvious one is, do I really need a heavy-duty truck? If the answer is yes, the 2022 Chevy Silverado 3500 HD is up to the task. Outfit yours with the available Duramax diesel, and you’ll tap into 36,000 pounds of towing capability.
All that towing power does no good unless you have the skills to hook up and haul your toys safely. Even the most experienced drivers will tell you that hitching the trailer is a lot easier with today’s advanced trailering technology. It takes the guesswork out of lining up your hitch and eliminates the need for a helper to guide you in.
Nowadays, every new vehicle is required to have a standard backup camera. Drivers who rely on it to safely back out of parking spots might not realize how dependent they’ve become on the extra set of eyes, and the same holds true for modern trailering technology. Multiple camera views and app-based data storage may seem like luxuries at first, but once you get used to using them, you’ll wonder how you ever managed to do without.
3500 HD Trailering Camera Views
The 2022 Silverado 3500 HD‘s eight available onboard cameras provide up to 15 different views. According to Chevrolet, these include four hitch views, six driving views, and five parking views. Combined, these camera views make trailering nearly effortless, justifying the extra cost to add them.
Using the hitch views, you can get a close up look at the hitch for easy hook-up, use the surround-view feature to see the truck from a bird’s-eye view, select the rear top-down view to gauge clearance around the truck bed, or check a gooseneck trailer connection with the bed view camera. You might recognize many of these views, but unique angles like bowl view, front top-down view, and front side view let you get granular.
While you’re on the road, a transparent trailer view lets you see “through” and behind your trailer to monitor oncoming traffic. Also, the front camera view beefs up its usefulness with guidelines for parking help. Picture-in-picture side view displays two views, a rear view of the truck and a rear view of the trailer. This feature requires the optional trailer camera accessory feature.
Newer Chevy vehicles, including the Silverado HD truck lineup, feature an available Rear Camera Mirror that converts the rearview mirror into a panoramic live camera view behind the vehicle. It stays active while you’re driving (in a way that won’t distract you), which is helpful for those of us who like to check our trailers obsessively. When you hit the turn signal, the rear side view camera displays a red zone that adjusts for the length of your trailer and indicates the unsafe lane change area.
The same rear trailer camera can also display a live feed of the area behind the trailer and predict your current path. The cool Trailer Angle Indicator displays two sets of guidelines: the first shows your current path, while the second shows where the trailer is headed based on your steering. Meanwhile, switching to the inside trailer view lets you check on the livestock or anything else you are hauling.
Trailering and Smartphone Connectivity
Chevy’s connected services include the myChevrolet smartphone app. For Silverado 3500 HD buyers, the trailering features found on the app add another layer of support. The app supports multiple trailer brands, which means it’s preloaded with data like GVWR, GCWR, maximum payload, maximum tongue weight, and curb weight.
Gone are the days of guessing whether your trailer and cargo exceed your truck’s capabilities, thanks to the Trailer Load Calculator. It does the math for you, utilizing the dynamic load calculator tool to determine an accurate combined weight with the embedded trailer specs from your specific trailer. The app can also perform a real-time brake light and turn signal test while you stand behind your trailer; no extra person required.
The app also offers more general conveniences like a service scheduling tool, a searchable electronic owner’s manual, and an activation portal for the truck’s Wi-Fi hotspot. Buyers can also monitor vehicle status right from the app, including driving range and remaining fuel, tire pressure, and the odometer reading. It can even send push notifications with service reminders. Subscription-based capabilities include a remote key fob, so you can start and stop the truck, lock and unlock the doors, and sound the horn right from the app.
Combined with the app-based trailering capability, myChevrolet and its features equal more convenient day-to-day vehicle operation. On a cold day, the remote start feature makes life a lot more pleasant. The 3500 HD is also compatible with Alexa, so many of these features can be voice-activated and integrated with smart home devices.
Additional Technology and Driver-Assist Features
Technology extends to safety features on the 2022 Silverado 3500 HD. Ad the Safety Package to some trims, and you’ll get an array of driver-assist systems that make handling a massive rig a whole lot easier. Six specific systems are included in the Safety Package, starting with Forward Collision Alert.
The Forward Collision Alert System monitors the area ahead of your truck and alerts you when a crash is possible. The accompanying Automatic Emergency Braking system will join the driver in applying maximum braking capability to help avoid a crash. Lane Departure Warning uses sensors to determine if the truck is drifting to the edge of its lane and notifies the driver to make corrections.
In a similar way, the Following Distance Indicator keeps watch on the area ahead to ensure you’re traveling at a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you. It’s ideal for habitual tailgaters, serving as a retraining tool for even the worst offenders. The package also includes IntelliBeam automatic high beams, eliminating a pesky but important task when driving at night.
All of these systems work interchangeably to make life simple for heavy-duty truck drivers. Slow-speed maneuvers like trailer hook-up or even navigating in tight spots (with or without a trailer attached) get a whole lot easier with multiple camera views. During highway driving, lane drift monitoring and camera views that help drivers make safer lane changes are quite literally lifesavers.
Is It Worth It?
None of this technology is more than a few years old, and big trucks have capably hauled heavy trailers for decades without it. This may leave many Chevy buyers asking whether it’s worth the extra cost to move up the trim lineup or add optional equipment packages. In our opinion, life is hard enough, especially if you’re towing a trailer behind a massive rig.
If you need the kind of utility that only a heavy-duty truck like the Silverado 3500 HD delivers, paying a little more to equip it with some high-tech shortcuts makes sense. All in, the Safety Package and Technology Package don’t substantially increase the cost of the truck, yet the benefits of 15 camera views will pay dividends every time you haul your trailer. Even everyday tasks like parallel parking or highway driving get a lot easier and less fraught with issues.
Choosing the right heavy-duty pickup used to come down to utility and capability, but in this connected age, our metrics are shifting. Manufacturers are tapping into semi-autonomous technology and deploying an army of cameras and sensors to make piloting a beast like the Silverado 3500 HD a whole lot easier. Forget craning your neck or calling the neighbor for help hooking up your gooseneck trailer: just grab your smartphone or display the camera view you need in full HD color on the infotainment touchscreen. Easy, fast, and safe–who doesn’t want that?