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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good evening. I have been diligently searching to get confirmation on the weight of a travel trailer I can tow with my truck. My truck is a 2009 with 40k miles on it. I think it has the K5L "Equipment Enhanced Cooling Package" option on it along with the KNP "Cooling System, Transmission, Heavy Duty, plus the VR4 "Trailer Hitch (Weight Distributing Platform)" and the Z82 Trailering Package (Special) (Reese Type Hitch), but I am not 100% for certain. I do see in some paperwork that the GVWR is 6001-7,000 range and the GVW Rating is 6800 (did not see GCWR). I also did not see any trailering information stickers other than one in the glove box that said it should not have a slide in camper. I am considering purchasing a travel trailer, and the dry weights of the units I am looking at are 6,550, 6819 and 7,020 respectively. I do not want to tow anything that will be an issue. Can anyone give me good information on what weight I can tow?
 

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2019 Sierra 2500HD
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There is a "Payload" sticker in the drivers side doorjamb.
Look at yours and see what your max payload that can be carried.

Pulling a travel trailer, your truck will very likely run out of payload before you reach the max tow rating.

Doorjamb Sticker:
Font Material property Rectangle Transparency Magenta
 

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You should have an RPO sticker in your glove box showing all the factory installed options. Even if you have the RPO's you mention, I would not exceed a trailer of 6,000 lbs gross/loaded weight with any 1500 truck. That should keep you within your payload rating including passengers, luggage, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
There is a "Payload" sticker in the drivers side doorjamb.
Look at yours and see what your max payload that can be carried.

Pulling a travel trailer, your truck will very likely run out of payload before you reach the max tow rating.

Doorjamb Sticker:
View attachment 953831
Thank you
There is a "Payload" sticker in the drivers side doorjamb.
Look at yours and see what your max payload that can be carried.

Pulling a travel trailer, your truck will very likely run out of payload before you reach the max tow rating.

Doorjamb Sticker:
View attachment 953831
Thank You RollaMo. I will have to look at it later as the truck is at my mom's right now as it was my dad's truck, and he passed away late last year. I believe I saw the sticker earlier when I was looking at the truck, but I did not think it was relevant as it was mentioning tire pressures. I probably should have looked at the sticker closer.
 

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2013 Sierra SLE CC 2500HD Duramax
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As redSLEd mentioned check the RPO sticker in your glove box. I’m willing to bet you have a GVWR of 7k and GCVWR of 15k. Your payload will be determined by your options on the truck which affect actual weight.


2013 Sierra SLE 2500HD CC 4wd Z71 6.6 Duramax
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You should have an RPO sticker in your glove box showing all the factory installed options. Even if you have the RPO's you mention, I would not exceed a trailer of 6,000 lbs gross/loaded weight with any 1500 truck. That should keep you within your payload rating including passengers, luggage, etc.
Thank you RedSLEd. I did take a picture of the RPO sticker and saw those options on it. I also went by a local dealer today, and the parts department was nice enough to print off what I think is the build sheet (that is what I asked for/I believe it has same options as RPO, but I have not compared each one yet). What makes me wonder though is that the owner's manual mentions 1500 Series 2WD Crew Cab Short Box 5.3L V8 K5L HD Cooling Pkg with Maximum Trailer Weight of 9,600 lbs. Without the K5L option it drops to 6,100 lbs. You do have a good idea of keeping the weight of the trailer down to offset any additional weight added to the truck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Perhaps look in the owners manual, there's a towing section with a table of different configuration trucks and what their GCWR and towing rating is.
As redSLEd mentioned check the RPO sticker in your glove box. I’m willing to bet you have a GVWR of 7k and GCVWR of 15k. Your payload will be determined by your options on the truck which affect actual weight.


2013 Sierra SLE 2500HD CC 4wd Z71 6.6 Duramax
Thanks 660catman. The printout I received from the dealer today mentions "GVWR Range 6001-7000".
 

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2019 Sierra 2500HD
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Thank you

Thank You RollaMo. I will have to look at it later as the truck is at my mom's right now as it was my dad's truck, and he passed away late last year. I believe I saw the sticker earlier when I was looking at the truck, but I did not think it was relevant as it was mentioning tire pressures. I probably should have looked at the sticker closer.
Pay attention to what RedSLEd posted above too about not exceeding 6,000 GVW trailer.

Remember that trailer (even though your pulling it), will have approx. 12% of its weight on the hitch.
Combine that weight, along with everything else (people, gear, tools, etc), and you can see how you hit that payload limit faster than you think.

I would not exceed a trailer of 6,000 lbs gross/loaded weight with any 1500 truck. That should keep you within your payload rating including passengers, luggage, etc.
This too!
Anything more than that will usually not be a pleasant towing experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Pay attention to what RedSLEd posted above too about not exceeding 6,000 GVW trailer.

Remember that trailer (even though your pulling it), will have approx. 12% of its weight on the hitch.
Combine that weight, along with everything else (people, gear, tools, etc), and you can see how you hit that payload limit faster than you think.



This too!
Anything more than that will usually not be a pleasant towing experience.
RollaMo. Good point.
 

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I agree with the others about trailer weight for a 2009 1500, but that's not what the OM says for a 2009 with the K5L cooling package....
Also depends on if it is 5.3L LMG or 5.3 LY5 with that package.

If you don't have an owners manual, you can download one from GM.
It will have a chart with ratings in it.


From 2009 manual:

Weight of the Trailer

How heavy can a trailer safely be?

It depends on how the rig is used. For example, speed, altitude, road grades, outside temperature and how much the vehicle is used to pull a trailer are all important. It can depend on any special equipment on the vehicle, and the amount of tongue weight the vehicle can carry.
See “Weight of the Trailer Tongue” later in this section for more information.

Maximum trailer weight is calculated assuming only the driver is in the tow vehicle and it has all the required trailering equipment. The weight of additional optional equipment, passengers and cargo in the tow vehicle must be subtracted from the maximum trailer weight.

Use the following chart to determine how much the vehicle can weigh, based upon the vehicle model and options.

Weights listed apply for conventional trailers and fifth-wheel trailers unless otherwise noted.


These are max trailer weight and GCWR

1500 Series 2WD Crew Cab Short Box (c)
5.3L V8 K5L HD Cooling Pkg 3.42 9,600 lbs (4 355 kg) 15,000 lbs (6 804 kg)

1500 Series 4WD Crew Cab Short Box (c)
5.3L V8 K5L HD Cooling Pkg 3.42 9,500 lbs (4 309 kg) 15,000 lbs (6 804 kg)

(c) This model is neither designed nor intended to tow fifth-wheel or gooseneck trailers.

There is another 3 or 4 pages of stuff discussing tongue weight, GVW and hitch weight.



They have now made life much simpler by adding a detailed label on the doorpost with the trailer and payload ratings specific to a trucks VIN number. (finally....)
 

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From the owner's manual of the 2009 Silverado (Page 4-57)
1500 Series 4WD Crew Cab Short Box
5.3L V8 K5L HD Cooling Pkg
3.42 Axle
9,500 lbs (4,309 kg) Max trailer weight
15,000 lbs (6,804 kg) GCWR

Confirm with a Chevy dealer that you have the K5L HD Cooling package. If so, it appears that your max towing capacity is 9,500 lbs. Now here is the caveat...just because your max towing capacity may be 9,500 lbs, does not mean you should tow that much weight (I don't give a damn what a salesman says). For half tons, a good "rule of thumb" is to tow somewhere in the neighborhood of 66% of your max towing capacity. That would be in the neighborhood of 6,270 lbs (loaded). if the above data is correct.

Remember, the tongue weight of the trailer and the hitch assembly are all part of the payload capacity.

I have a 2001 5.3 4WD Extended cab with a max tow rating of 9,000 lbs. I pull a 25' camper that is just over 5,000 lbs. loaded. It tows like a dream.
 

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2004 Sierra 3500 6.0L, auto, extended cab, cab&chassis, upgraded to 4wd
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...and payload/what you can tow goes down with whatever people/equipment/luggage you have in the cab (I forget what they initially assume as weight for driver/passenger? by default, anything over that comes off what you can tow).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
From the owner's manual of the 2009 Silverado (Page 4-57)
1500 Series 4WD Crew Cab Short Box
5.3L V8 K5L HD Cooling Pkg
3.42 Axle
9,500 lbs (4,309 kg) Max trailer weight
15,000 lbs (6,804 kg) GCWR

Confirm with a Chevy dealer that you have the K5L HD Cooling package. If so, it appears that your max towing capacity is 9,500 lbs. Now here is the caveat...just because your max towing capacity may be 9,500 lbs, does not mean you should tow that much weight (I don't give a damn what a salesman says). For half tons, a good "rule of thumb" is to tow somewhere in the neighborhood of 66% of your max towing capacity. That would be in the neighborhood of 6,270 lbs (loaded). if the above data is correct.

Remember, the tongue weight of the trailer and the hitch assembly are all part of the payload capacity.

I have a 2001 5.3 4WD Extended cab with a max tow rating of 9,000 lbs. I pull a 25' camper that is just over 5,000 lbs. loaded. It tows like a dream.
Thank you for your detailed explanation and observation MacQ. You have given me some additional things to consider.
 

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2009 Chevy Z71; sounds fast.
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So...there is what is the recommended towing allowance.........then there is the what you can tow with the recommended amount of beer in your system or determination of weekend lightheartedness amount of total towing capacity dependent upon plans, i.e. NASCAR, AMA Supercross, Farmers Insurance Open, Pro Bowl. These concerns can skew the recommended amount of tow. For this matter I recommend talking to 09ChevyMan as he has stretched the allowed weight.
 

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Thank you for your detailed explanation and observation MacQ. You have given me some additional things to consider.
Didn't mean to burst any bubble you may have. The truth is, those of us with half tons really feel the pinch of not being able to tow what the guys with 2500 and 3500 trucks tow. However, there are still travel trailers out there that will provide the opportunity to have fun camping/traveling, while not stressing our trucks and ourselves out. Bigger isn't always better. Hell, my brother and his wife did 6 weeks in a slide-in camper last fall (with a Dodge 3/4 ton) in the New England states and had the time of their lives (they're used to a 30' fifth wheel with a slide-out).
 

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This is such a fun topic, everyone will weigh in on what they pulled and how easy it was to pull at or even over the limit. Depending on your driving experience pulling at max load can be an issue. We now have about 30K experience pulling at 80% of max tow and 70% of max capacity and I can advise to be careful at anything above 70%. Travel trailers have huge wind resistance and a high center of gravity. The length is also an issue not in the manuals but will affect driving quality, especially on windy days. And depending on the terrain engine and brakes can get quite a workout. At this point our 1500 has 2500 pound leaf springs, new shocks and higher load tires.
All that said you should be fine with a 5-6K pound trailer, under 28 feet ball to bumper. This will be an education, learning your actual load(in the truck and on the back) and ball weight when packed, how to set up a weight distribution hitch and what your truck needs to stay healthy as starters. But it is worth doing, a great way to travel and enjoy life. Spend some time on [email protected], a great forum.
 

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You have my twins truck! Ha I have a 2009 cc 2wd with the 5.3/6speed combo with the K5L and at one point it did have 3.42s as well but swapped them out.

I towed a 5-6k enclosed trailer around 16' long for a while with the stock setup (3.42s) and I found it to gear hunt a little bit when you get into the hills. Even with tow haul on it was very quick to kick down 1 or 2 gears then level back out then back down again at the slightest hill. going 65-70. I think 3.73s at least would've been a better option for out trucks.

So like others have already mentioned closer to 6k loaded the better, especially with something that has that much surface area for wind to push on. Think about water and gear weight that you will have on the trailer too. Water weighs about 8# per gallon.. propane, generator maybe, gas for it, luggage
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I agree with the others about trailer weight for a 2009 1500, but that's not what the OM says for a 2009 with the K5L cooling package....
Also depends on if it is 5.3L LMG or 5.3 LY5 with that package.

If you don't have an owners manual, you can download one from GM.
It will have a chart with ratings in it.


From 2009 manual:

Weight of the Trailer

How heavy can a trailer safely be?

It depends on how the rig is used. For example, speed, altitude, road grades, outside temperature and how much the vehicle is used to pull a trailer are all important. It can depend on any special equipment on the vehicle, and the amount of tongue weight the vehicle can carry.
See “Weight of the Trailer Tongue” later in this section for more information.

Maximum trailer weight is calculated assuming only the driver is in the tow vehicle and it has all the required trailering equipment. The weight of additional optional equipment, passengers and cargo in the tow vehicle must be subtracted from the maximum trailer weight.

Use the following chart to determine how much the vehicle can weigh, based upon the vehicle model and options.

Weights listed apply for conventional trailers and fifth-wheel trailers unless otherwise noted.


These are max trailer weight and GCWR

1500 Series 2WD Crew Cab Short Box (c)
5.3L V8 K5L HD Cooling Pkg 3.42 9,600 lbs (4 355 kg) 15,000 lbs (6 804 kg)

1500 Series 4WD Crew Cab Short Box (c)
5.3L V8 K5L HD Cooling Pkg 3.42 9,500 lbs (4 309 kg) 15,000 lbs (6 804 kg)

(c) This model is neither designed nor intended to tow fifth-wheel or gooseneck trailers.

There is another 3 or 4 pages of stuff discussing tongue weight, GVW and hitch weight.



They have now made life much simpler by adding a detailed label on the doorpost with the trailer and payload ratings specific to a trucks VIN number. (finally....)
Farmguy. Thank you so much for the information. According the the details I have, the truck has a 5.3 LY5.
 
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