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I'm in the market for a camper (travel trailer). I have a 2018 Sierra Denali 1500 with the 5.3L. First I'm trying to determine my towing capacity and I'm a little confused on how to do so. In the book it lists both a "5.3L V8" and a "5.3L V8 with 8 speed transmission with enhanced towing package". Both say 3.42 axle ratio, but the difference is the first one lists the max trailer weight at 9,100lbs, the 2nd one lists at 10,700 lbs. Thats a big difference. How do I know which I have? I pretty confident I have the 8 speed tranny in the denali, but I do not remember them saying anything about "enhanced trailering package" I found a sticker in the glovebox but it only gives a QR code. I read somewhere online the only models that you can get the max tailer package is the SLT and maybe SLE, is that true?

 

side note, we are looking at travel trailers around 23 feet long, with a curb weight around 5,000 lbs and GVWR of around 6,700lbs - does anyone have any feedback on if that will tow easily around the country? planning a long trip out west in the next year or so. Trying to decide between a decent size camper, and something that won't max out the denali.

 

Thanks for the help

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Not a issue. 23 foot trailers with race cars are the same spec. Zero issues do it all the time.
I would make super you set it up right. Do you have a trailer brake controller and swaybars?

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

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Posted (edited)

Look for NHT on the sticker in the glove box.  NHT is the tow max package

Edited by muddkatt
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I tow a 7k lb GVWR trailer confidently with the 4.3 and 3.42.  You won't have any problems with your truck.

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You didn't mention if your have 2 wheel drive or 4 wheel drive. Generally 4WD will lower your tow rating by a few hundred pounds because of the extra weight of the 4WD.

 

However, either way, you should be fine with your current set up. Based on the Travel Trailers (Campers is the incorrect term, trailers are towed. Campers fit inside the bed of your truck) that you are looking at, you should have some extra weight as cushion. But I would invest in good sway bars and trailer brake system. There are many lightweight trailers out there that would satisfy your needs. 

 

Also, make sure you know the difference between "dry weight" and "wet weight" of your trailer. "Dry" meaning empty tanks and no stuff in your trailer and "Wet" meaning full tanks and lots of stuff in your trailer. The difference between the two could be several hundred pounds or more. 

 

Very important note. Any RV salesman worth their salt will want to inspect your tow vehicle before they sell you a trailer to insure that you can properly tow it. If they don't, run away fast. There are many RV sales folks who just want a quick sale and will push you towards something unsuited for your vehicle or needs.

 

Good luck

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4 hours ago, muddkatt said:

Look for NHT on the sticker in the glove box.  NHT is the tow max package

He has a Denali, so no max tow package and no RPO sticker on 2018’s. 

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2 hours ago, SMSgtThor said:

You didn't mention if your have 2 wheel drive or 4 wheel drive. Generally 4WD will lower your tow rating by a few hundred pounds because of the extra weight of the 4WD.

 

However, either way, you should be fine with your current set up. Based on the Travel Trailers (Campers is the incorrect term, trailers are towed. Campers fit inside the bed of your truck) that you are looking at, you should have some extra weight as cushion. But I would invest in good sway bars and trailer brake system. There are many lightweight trailers out there that would satisfy your needs. 

 

Also, make sure you know the difference between "dry weight" and "wet weight" of your trailer. "Dry" meaning empty tanks and no stuff in your trailer and "Wet" meaning full tanks and lots of stuff in your trailer. The difference between the two could be several hundred pounds or more. 

 

Very important note. Any RV salesman worth their salt will want to inspect your tow vehicle before they sell you a trailer to insure that you can properly tow it. If they don't, run away fast. There are many RV sales folks who just want a quick sale and will push you towards something unsuited for your vehicle or needs.

 

Good luck

Thanks for the response, that was going to actually be my next question. Would it benefit me to add a sway bar? What about adding anything to the rear suspension? I really don't want the truck to look like it's squatting in the back going down the road. As for the trailer brake system you mentioned, don't these trucks already have an electric brake system built into the them on the left side of dash, or are you talking about something different?

 

Thanks again for all the replies.  

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So you have the factory trailer braking system. Good now the swaybar is not on the truck but the hitch to the trailer. But you could buy one for the truck if you like. If the truck has factory suspension with he rake then you are fine. If you tow alot I don't care what some people say I would add a helper bag. Better ride better control and easy adjustable.

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1SLOW1500 answered correctly. The sway bar attaches to the trailer hitch. My High Country (2500HD) comes with a built in trailer brake system. If your Denali does as well, then you are all set. As 1SLOW1500 mentioned, air bags on the rear axle could also help with weight issues.  

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I'd get a good Weight distribution hitch with anti sway built in. Shouldnt need air bags with this setup. 

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23 hours ago, jdaddy33 said:

 

side note, we are looking at travel trailers around 23 feet long, with a curb weight around 5,000 lbs and GVWR of around 6,700lbs - does anyone have any feedback on if that will tow easily around the country? planning a long trip out west in the next year or so. Trying to decide between a decent size camper, and something that won't max out the denali.

 

Thanks for the help

As previously suggested,  the trailer size you are considering can be towed with most modern full sized pick-ups.  A good weight distributing, anti-sway hitch will provide you with a safe comfortable ride.  I suggest you wait until you have used your trailer for a season before adding aftermarket helpers to your truck or going on an extended road trip.  

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anyone have a particular weight distribution/sway hitch they could point me in the direction of? Greatly appreciated 

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26 minutes ago, jdaddy33 said:

wow! that bad boy ain't cheap 😳

not at all, but its the best of the best. If you're looking for a traditional setup, I'd say an Equalizer 4 point. 

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