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Towing limits and equipment definitions

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The more I read the more confused I am. I have a '10 ext cab Z71 with 7000lb GVWR and HD cooling pkg. My published towing capacity is 9600lbs, according to the owner's manual. I have the factory receiver HITCH and a ball mount from Autozone (or the like) that is printed with 5,000lbs capacity and 500lbs tongue weight. I have looked around and this is the largest capacity ball mount I can find in your ordinary retail store. Etrailer and others sell these ball mounts for up to 18,000lbs and 1800lbs tongue weight, I've seen.


Now the question: what do I need to tow, say, 7000lbs, and be within the rules/capacities published by GM?


In the manual, it states a max tongue weight on a weight carrying HITCH is 600lbs and is 1100lbs for a weight distributing hitch. Are they calling this a weight carrying hitch?


Because, technically that is a ball mount -- not a hitch, right? If using a WD "hitch" instead, one does not replace the factory receiver HITCH, just the ball mount with something like this.




So, to tow a 7000-lb trailer with over 600lbs tongue weight I would need picture #2. If the trailer had tongue weight between 500 and 600lbs, I could simply replace my Autozone ball mount with one that was slightly higher in capacity. Is this correct? And under these circumstances, there's no reason for me to need another HITCH (the piece bolted to the frame under the rear bumper), right?


Many thanks -- I did some searching, but, inevitably, the hitch vs ball mount discrepancy always kept me from understanding.

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In the manual, it states a max tongue weight on a weight carrying HITCH is 600lbs and is 1100lbs for a weight distributing hitch.


Keep in mind just because the hitch is rated to carry TW (tongue weight) up to 600lbs, doesn't mean you don't need or shouldn't use a wd hitch. I can't remember the rough estimate, but somewhere around 400lbs of tw or more, and the ride and handling of the truck will be greatly improved when using a wd hitch compared to a wc (weight carrying) hitch. Biggest thing is the steering won't feel like it is "floating" as much.


There is a ton of info over on rv.net.



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