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Silverado 1500 4X4 Crew Cab 5.3 V8 - What Size Camper Can I Tow?

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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!




Edited by Bcoyle21
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I tow and that is too much trailer for too little truck.  A trailer that size is firmly in 3/4 ton territory.  I'm sure plenty of people will say that they tow even more, but the bottom line is it's too big and heavy.  You'll more than likely exceed the max hitch weight of 960 lbs.  The 680 lb tongue weight is based on the trailer's empty weight from the factory.  Add in propane, batteries and all your supplies and it's going to be much higher.  My 5.3 would struggle in the mountains with a 5500 lb trailer.  I can't imagine towing your trailer with a 5.3.   But if you're only going 100 miles and it's fairly level you'll probably get by.  

Edited by AlaskaErik
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Have to figure in what rear end is on that truck. I don't think it's too much trailer for the 5.3 I've towed heavier with my 5.3 2019 Sierra SLT. Go with the manual, find out what rear is in the truck, that is a big factor in towing. 


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Can you tow it?  Yes.  Will you be happy?  Maybe or maybe not.  This is coming from someone who just towed a travel trailer from Minnesota to Colorado and back, including a 10,000 foot mountain pass with my GMC Canyon.  The canyon got the job done but I got home in the not happy camp.


My trailer is a Rockwood Mini Lite 2506 with a sticker UAW of 5,271 pounds (sticker meaning the yellow sticker the manufacturer puts on your specific trailer rather than the generic numbers found on their web site ).  The first thing I did on the way home from the RV dealership was stop at a truck stop with CAT scales and weigh everything.  The yellow sticker turned out to be honest.  The differences were due to things I had the dealer install after it left the factory but before I picked it up.  I then loaded up the truck and trailer the way I expected to load things in real life and did a mini experimental trip to a near by camp ground - once again stopping at the CAT scales on the way.  Every single number for my Canyon and my trailer were within limits.  But...


The weight of the truck (all numbers based on CAT scale weights unless otherwise noted), including tongue weight, the weight of my weight distributing hitch and all contents of the truck and passengers came out to 5960# (GVWR is 6000).  The rear axle was at 3400 (max is 3500).  The loaded trailer was just over 5,900 (Trailer GVWR is 6800 and Canyon's max towing capacity is 7000).  Combined weight was 11,480 (max for the Canyon is 12000).  Tongue weight was at 720 (Canyon's max is 770) which is a hair over 12%.  About right but well over the manufacturer's published 644 pounds.  Doing the math, the manufacturer's published tongue weight was about 12% of the UAW - honest but misleading.  They couldn't know how much stuff I would load or where in the trailer I would load it.  Basically all my numbers were under the maximums and the tongue weight was in the acceptable 10% - 15% range. By the way, this is all with just two adults and no one else in the truck.


So how did this configuration handle?  Going down country roads at 55 MPH felt OK...until I was in 20 MPH cross winds.  Then it was no fun at all even with a WDH that included sway control.  Before the trip to Colorado I stripped the stuff carried in the truck down to the bone and tried to lighten up anywhere I could, but cross winds and getting passed by semi-s on the interstate was a bit scary.


The thing I had worried about the most was getting up and down the mountain passes.  But that turned out to not be such a big deal to my surprise.  I just went slow and every thing was fine.  The worst part was actually crossing Nebraska on the interstate.  I was doing 55 MPH in 75 MPH zones to keep the sway in check and felt like I'd be blown off the road every time a semi went by.  But I made the trip and got home...and vowed "never again".


That's why I'm now on this forum.  I'm reading up while I wait for my new truck to come in.  This will be a Sierra 1500 SLT.  Going through everything, I'm pretty comfortable that the Sierra is going to handle my under 6000 pound (as loaded) trailer just fine.  But you are starting out with a UAW that's higher than my loaded weight.  And the 9480 GVWR exceeds your maximum.  I think this could work but you really need to be serious when you say you will travel lite.  Remember everything counts and your 1919 payload can be eaten up quickly.  Tongue weight can get you too.  for example if you were at 12% like me, you would hit your max of 960 when the trailer is at 8000.  Also, if you are at 960, that only leaves you with 859 pounds of payload.  Two adults and a couple of kids could easily eat up half of that.


Anyway, this is a long winded way of saying that just because you can, doesn't mean you will like it.  In my situation, even going a short distance at lower speeds wasn't any fun if the weather wasn't cooperating.


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1 hour ago, Bcoyle21 said:

Just wondering If I am calculating the “max” towing capacity of the truck (google and vin checks are not consistent). From what I can tell it is 9500lbs***. Does that sound correct?

My 2020 LT 5.3L has 9600lbs listed on the sticker for max tow weight, with 960lbs for max tongue weight (10% of the max tow weight).  Not sure why your sticker doesn't show the max tow weight like mine does.

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2 hours ago, Anacortes Army Guy said:

My 2020 LT 5.3L has 9600lbs listed on the sticker for max tow weight, with 960lbs for max tongue weight (10% of the max tow weight).  Not sure why your sticker doesn't show the max tow weight like mine does.

Does the other trailering specs match your truck? 

Edited by Bcoyle21
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On 6/26/2021 at 6:32 PM, Anacortes Army Guy said:

My 2020 LT 5.3L has 9600lbs listed on the sticker for max tow weight, with 960lbs for max tongue weight (10% of the max tow weight).  Not sure why your sticker doesn't show the max tow weight like mine does.

2019 stickers didn't have the tow rating; they made you do some math off the numbers on the sticker. GCWR - curb weight comes out to be around 9719 lbs on the sticker shown above (but that doesn't include the weight of a tank of fuel).  But most of us use the 10% tongue weight estimate, so a 960 lbs tongue weight rating would be good for 9600lbs max tow rating.


2020's changed up the sticker to include actual tow ratings.

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  • 3 months later...

I just recently traded in my 2015 Silverado Z71 Crew Cab with the 5.3 and 6-speed.  I tow a 2013 Forest River Cherokee Wolf Pup 22BP, which is 3600lbs dry and has a hitch weight of 450lbs.  We have loaded the trailer down with all kinds of stuff, I'd estimate at least 1500lbs worth.  The truck pulled it like it was nothing.


I'd say you're fine with the truck you have.  Even if you loaded the trailer to the max, you'd still be in the ballpark of your max towing capacity.  Definitely get a weight-distributing hitch to help.  Just always travel with empty tanks and you'll be fine.



Edited by EpisodicDoleWhip
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