Jump to content
  • Sign up for FREE! Become a GM-Trucks.com Member Today!

    In 20 seconds you can become part of the worlds largest and oldest community discussing General Motors, Chevrolet and GMC branded pickups, crossovers, and SUVs. From buying research to owner support, join 1.5 MILLION GM Truck Enthusiasts every month who use GM-Trucks.com as a daily part of their ownership experience. 

Towing a Travel Trailer (coach, not fifth wheel)


Recommended Posts

Greetings,

Okay, I'm confused, maybe someone will be able to enlighten me. I've got a 2009 GMC Sierra 1500 extended cab with standard box, 3.42 rear axle, 5.3L V8, 4L60E transmission, and the transmission cooling package. My problem is the specs don't show up in the owners manual so I can't nail down the maximum trailer wieght and gross combination wieight rating.

 

I spoke to the parts guys at the dealership, he pulled the specs from the VIN and said I had a deluxe towing package option, including chasis upgrade. This was one of the reasons I bought the truck way back when, along with a locking rear differental. Looking at the extended cab with short box, I can find 9,600 lbs with 15,000 GCVR. Would anyone be able to clarify this for me?

 

I'm sure I'll be okay, we're looking at buying a travel trailer and I'm figuring around 6,000 lbs max or so. When I bought the truck I was thinking boat, not travel trailer.

Link to post
Share on other sites

What's the sticker on the door frame say?

 

This is from a 2011 manual for 4wd ext cab std box:

5.3LV8 K5L HD Cooling Pkg 3.42 4 354 kg (9,600 lbs) 6 804 kg (15,000 lbs)

 

(same ratings as you found) 2wd is slightly higher for the max trailer number

 

The headings indicate that the max trailer weight is 9600 lbs,and max weight of trailer plus truck plus load (GCVR) is 15,000lbs. You are supposed to satisfy BOTH requirements. Weigh the combined rig, loaded and ready to go, and it should be 15000 or less. Unhook the truck and just weight trailer (and its load) and it should be 9600 or less.

 

The heavier the truck (and its load) the less you can (should?) carry on the trailer. Also the heavier the empty weight of the trailer, the less you can carry on it. The weight rating of the trailer should also not be exceeded.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is no such thing as a heavier chassis unless you have an HD. You need to look at the yellow and white sticker inside your driver's door jam. Above the tire sizes it will say something as follows-The passengers and cargo for this vehicle shall not exceed XXXX. This is your PAYLOAD. A trailers tongue weight is 15% (roughly) of the trailer weight. You will never be able to tow 9,600 pounds (if this is your real max) because once you load your truck and trailer in all likelihood you will exceed payload. This is assuming you are taking passengers and all the stuff you take camping-bikes, ice chests, firewood,easy ups, etc.,etc.

 

For example -7,000 pound trailer = 1,000 pounds tongue weight. I am assuming your payload is somewhere around 1,500 pounds. And we haven't figured in your passengers yet. Payload is more important than the trailer's maximum weight.

 

 

When looking at a trailer I would look at "Ultra Lights" and be aware there is no RV standard that constitutes what an "Ultra Light" is. I would suggest no more than 7,000 pounds READY TO CAMP so your thinking is correct. Remember, slides are your enemy in the sense that they weigh about three hundred pounds a piece.

 

You become THE EXPERT. There are too many guys who listened to the RV salesperson and came away with way too heavy of a trailer. It wasn't a safe combo for their family.

Good luck!

Edited by CKNSLS
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

Greetings,

Okay, I'm confused, maybe someone will be able to enlighten me. I've got a 2009 GMC Sierra 1500 extended cab with standard box, 3.42 rear axle, 5.3L V8, 4L60E transmission, and the transmission cooling package. My problem is the specs don't show up in the owners manual so I can't nail down the maximum trailer wieght and gross combination wieight rating.

 

I spoke to the parts guys at the dealership, he pulled the specs from the VIN and said I had a deluxe towing package option, including chasis upgrade. This was one of the reasons I bought the truck way back when, along with a locking rear differental. Looking at the extended cab with short box, I can find 9,600 lbs with 15,000 GCVR. Would anyone be able to clarify this for me?

 

I'm sure I'll be okay, we're looking at buying a travel trailer and I'm figuring around 6,000 lbs max or so. When I bought the truck I was thinking boat, not travel trailer.

Okay, here goes. I’m new to towing big stuff behind my truck, just bought a 29 ft. travel trailer this year. I learned a lot from a friend who has been towing travel trailers an fifth wheels for years. He explained everything to me with some pretty good detail. I will try to relate it to you is best as I can. First there are several pieces of info about your equipment that you need to gather.

·

  • Gross Combined Weight rating (GCWR)- This is the maximum that you entire setup can weigh including Truck, Trailer, Gear, People, Fuel, Water etc. I can’t say for certain that these apply to your truck, but according to my manual for a 2008 Sierra, the GCWR for a 5.3 with a 3.42 is 12,000 lbs.
  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)- This is the maximum weight that your fully loaded truck can weigh. Again we are talking Truck, Gear,People, Fuel, and very important is tongue weight of the trailer. The GVWR can be found on the driver’s door stick
  • Towing capacity and max tongue weight for the hitch that you are using. This should be on the label on your hitch. I’ve heard that the stock hitches on GM 1500 trucks are rated 6000/600 but I don’t for sure.
  • Your truck weight. I would estimate that your truck by itself should be somewhere around 5200 lbs, but you should be able tfind this on the internet.

 

I will show you what I have figured for mine. I have a 2008 Sierra 2500HD, with the 6.0L and 4.10 gears. My GCWR is 18,500 Lbs. My GVWR is 9,200Lbs. The curb weight of my truck is approximately 6,000 lbs. My Trailers empty weight is 6,250 Lbs.

 

Trailer weight- I would estimate my trailer weight at 7,400 lbs fully loaded without fresh water, grey water or black water.

 

 

First let’s look at GVWR.I would estimate my truck at approximately 7500lbs fully loaded with me, the wife, kids, fuel and gear. When

you add in the estimated tongue weight of the trailer (10% to 15% of the trailer weight) it comes out to 7,500 + (7,400*.15)=8,600 lbs Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) with a GVWR of 9,200 lbs I am good there.

 

Next we will look at the GCWR. The fully loaded truck is an estimated 7,500 lbs + the 7,400 lbs. for the trailer= 14,900 lbs. With a GCWR

of 18,500 lbs. I am good there to.

 

The other items that need to be looked at are the towing and tongue weight capacities of the hitch. I have a Class V hitch which has ratings

of 16,000/2,400. With a trailer weight of 7,400 lbs, and a tongue weight of 1,100 lbs, I am good there.

 

I have read that there are also laws in many states that require the use of a weight distributing hitch if the loaded trailer weighs

more than the loaded truck. Personally, I wouldn’t tow a travel trailer without a WDH and sway control anyway.

 

To simplify things a little bit, your max trailer weight is is your GCWR minus the fully loaded weight of your truck. But you still need to pay attention to trailer tongue weight and and the GVWR of the truck.

 

It looks like you are probably going to be pretty close on your weights, so I would not use estimates, but I would actually load

everything up and get it weighed.

 

One other thing. A friend of mine has an 07 Sierra 1500 5.3 and I believe he has 3.42’s but I don’t know for sure. He use a WDH with sway

control, often complains that he doesn’t like the way his truck pulls his 24 ft trailer. Not sure of his weights, but he doesn’t like the setup very much. He says his 97 1500 was a much better tow vehicle.

 

I hope this helps

 

Sean

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Similar Content

    • By Demarsico
      Hello everyone. My first time here. I have a 2021 Sierra AT4 with the 6.2L. I have started to notice a noise when towing our boat that weighs about 6,000lbs. Several times during the trip to and from the lake I hear a rumbling sound that last like 2-4 sec. almost sounds like it can be a jake brake or hitting rumble strips on road. I hit no strips. I can’t recall if it happens on downshift or what. But it does concern me. I drove home from work today with our towing and put it in tow haul mode. It made the noise 3 times in 45 min drive. Any ideas what I’m dealing with? Would it be a bad clutch issue or is this normal?  I do have the performance GM installed exhaust and performance GM installed air intake. I called dealer today and they said bring it by and they MIGHT have time to get to it next week. I planned to hit the lake this weekend for Labor Day. Thanks. 
    • By Bcoyle21
      I am currently in the market for a camper and I am wondering how much weight I can tow. I have 2019 Silverado 1500 RST 5.3 V8 crew cab short bed. From what I can find online I should be “okay”, but really wanted some feedback from those of you that have a similar setup. I am aware the 2500 is the ideal setup, but that will be down the line a bit for me. 

       
      Truck Trailering Info:
      GVWR 7100lbs
      GCWR 15000lbs
      GAWR RR 3800lbs
      Max Payload 1819lbs
      Max Tongue Weight 960lbs
      Curb Weight 5281lbs
       
      The camper I am looking at has a dry weight of 6300lbs and GVWR of 9,480lbs (no intent to load our camper down or travel with full tanks). Hitch weight of the camper is 680lbs. 32’ 11” tongue to bumper. Really only looking at going camping within 100 miles on the weekends.
       
      We typically travel light with basic necessities for hook up campgrounds (clothes, food, chairs). 

      any help would be great!



    • By IveLostContact
      Hello! I'm a new member looking for some opinions on towing. I have an 88 Chevrolet r20 suburban (3/4 ton). It's a 454/th400 combo. Not 💯 sure on the rear gear as the speedo reads about 10 mph off at 60 so some previous owner has tampered with the rear gear I'm sure considering it use to haul a travel trailer back in the day for a gentleman in the air force.  Assuming I replace the 33 year old leaf springs, brakes are in good working order, etc etc do you think it would tow a 8k travel trailer safely at say 60-65 mph with trailer brakes. I plan to install a Firestone airbag leveling system on the rear as well.  The factory hitch says it's rated for 10000 GVWR with a weight distribution hitch. I don't see a GCWR anywhere. Trailer specs are 36ft, Dry weight of 7756lbs, with a hitch weight of 942lbs.

    • By Looch403
      Im looking at getting a 3,380 LBS travel trailer, its not a goose neck, with a GVWR of 4,300 in the brochure.
      Ive looked at the sticker in my Door jam but cant seem to figure what numbers are important to consider. 
      im a complete noob to towing so go easy on me lol
       
      the sticker on my truck says GVWR 7100 lbs, GCWR 15000, RGAWR 3800, Curb Weight 5312, Max Payload 1788, Conventional TWR 9400Lbs, Max  Tongue  weight 940lbs
       
      thanks in advance. 
    • By ForwardJulio
      I just bought a boat I need to know how many pins do I buy the plug for. The trailer has 3 female and 1 male. But the round one that plugs into my 2020 1500 high country does anyone know which one it takes ? 
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Forum Statistics

    233,809
    Total Topics
    2,488,097
    Total Posts
  • Member Statistics

    252,137
    Total Members
    8,960
    Most Online
    Dale Driggs
    Newest Member
    Dale Driggs
    Joined
  • Who's Online   18 Members, 0 Anonymous, 1,726 Guests (See full list)



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.