How can a truck help a mom bridge the gap between her son’s childhood and his new life? Read on as our fearless TravelingMom leader explains the value – and the joys – of a good pick-up truck. Oh, and why a programmable crock pot is always a good idea.


GMC Canyon

The GMC Canyon was the perfect size to move my son into college. Photo Credit: Kim Orlando / TravelingMom

GMC Canyon Bridges the Gap: Mom Car & Teen Son Whisperer

The tables are turning for this TravelingMom. Instead of deciding where to go on vacation, I plan my trips around my kids in college and what they need.  I squeezed in a visit to see my own mom en route to help my son furnish his new Florida apartment. That “vacation” included a 5 hour road trip from Miami to Ocala for me plus more driving from store to store hauling a flatbed full of goods from IKEA and Target. The travel was made easier and a heck of a lot more comfortable with a loan of a new GMC Canyon pickup truck.

Disclaimer: My family is from Kentucky; pick up trucks are part of life.  I have been truck-less for 10 years and driving one felt like going home.


On this college visit, I flew to Florida then drove 5 hours to help my 19  year old son move into his very first apartment. Though I did all the driving when I got to Miami (in a very handy 2016 GMC Canyon pickup truck), he chose where we shopped and ate, from big box store to grocery store.  We hauled lots of furniture boxes, groceries and bedding in one load.

Bonding over a Crock Pot

Taking kids out of their environment is one of the benefits of travel and of sending kids off to college. You share an experience and get to know them on a different level. It was like that in our days spent shopping, too. I had my son all to myself – no girlfriend or schoolwork to distract him. It was fun to grocery shop with him and to watch him study labels and complain about the high price of beef.

I also discovered a quirk – that he had a crock pot obsession, and just had to have one to be able to make a roast. As the only person who has ever burned food in a crock pot, I knew I didn’t influence this obsession. Fast forward one month, guess who left the crock pot on for hours and hours and instead of cleaning it, threw the whole mess out? Like mother, like son.

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Proud crockpot owner. Photo: Kim Orlando / TravelingMom

From Crockpot to Canyon

The GMC Canyon  is referred to as a small pickup, which means it gets good gas mileage. We averaged 24 miles per gallon on the highway (more than our Toyota Rav 4). It isn’t a hulking vehicle that is difficult to park or navigate on the road. We didn’t test the towing capacity, but this could be a great second car for an adventurer who wants to launch a boat on weekends, or bring a couple of jet skis to the beach. Or in my case, a casual bike rider who misses being able to throw a bike in the back and find a path to ride.

Luckily, throwing an extra appliance into the roomy GMC Canyon was not an issue. We made multiple trips to Ikea, furnishing the apartment from the floor to the ceiling, and easily toting a mammoth flat screen television home from Best Buy.

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The GMC Canyon bed was big enough to keep my son’s college move to one trip. Photo: Kim Orlando / TravelingMom

I knew it was impractical to have a small car for all the shopping we needed to do. And loading heavy items into a truck bed is so much easier on your back than stooping over a low car trunk. It’s not like we had to sacrifice comfort or technology either.  The Canyon is loaded with amenities and a rich interior.  Plus, Dario really got a kick out of seeing his mom pilot a truck.

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Our haul, ready to unpack. Photo: Kim Orlando / TravelingMom

Not just for hauling stuff

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Setting up the college apartment. Photo: Kim Orlando / TravelingMom

We also used the truck to go out to dinner. Silly me, I thought that after spending a couple of days paying for my son’s furnishings and food, he might want to actually try out some of those new appliances and dishes, and cook some of that food I paid for. But no, he just wanted to go out to dinner. No worries – I didn’t feel like a redneck driving in a pickup truck to dinner. Instead, I felt cosseted by the big bucket seats (though watch out if you are wearing a short skirt and climbing into the truck!). We had plenty of back seat room to invite friends.

See how a GMC Canyon helped make a road trip to Miami, Florida with a grown son a success.

From one kid to another – and throw in my mom!

This moving and hauling trip turned into a roadtrip, driving 5 hours to meet my mom.  What I love about the pick up trucks of today is that you don’t have to choose between a luxury sedan and a truck because you can have luxe IN a truck.  I was thankful to have a comfortable vehicle for my roadtrip, one that had all the latest tech and great sight lines so I could see the other vehicles on the road.  I never felt like I was roughing it or compromising a memorable ride for function. I had both.

Note: General Motors loaned me the GMC Canyon pickup truck. I am a pick up truck kinda girl.  Opinions expressed are my own.