Chevy Silverado 1500

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El Conquistador

New member
Joined
Jul 18, 2005
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2
I own a Silverado 1500 with a 4.8l V-8 and a 3.73 rear end.  I'd like to pull a trailer with this truck, but I'm sure I'm limited in what I can tow.  I know that the absolute minimum I need to do to this truck is stiffen the rear suspension and add a trans cooler and upgrade the braking system.  I would greatly appreciate other suggestions being that I'm new to this.  In addition to this, there are four of us in my family and I was needing suggestions on types and brands of trailiers you have experienced.  My wife doesn't want a pop-up as she calls them glorified tents!  Is there anything that I can tow safely and efficiently(as possible) in the real world?  Thanks in advance! ;D
 

John From Detroit

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Apr 12, 2005
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Location
Davison Michigan
Is there anything you can safely tow... Yes,,,, Without question.. I towed a 13' SCAMP trailer with a chevy Lumina APV (3.1 liter V6) no mods other than adding the hitch and wireing for the lights

That said, the Silverado should be able to pull a bit more than my Lumina :)

One suggestion though.. Instead of upgrading the brakes on the tow-vehicle, Make sure the trailer has a properly working brake system

Even on a lighter trailer.... No matter how good the "Tractor" brakes are.  Trailer brakes will do you a world of good

EVERY WHEEL that is on the ground should have brakes  EVERY ONE. even with a 1 ton trailer I'd recommend it (but they don't normally install on trailers till they are more than a ton)  Tekonsha makes very good electric brake controllers

Believe it or not... I grew up in Tekonsha  (It is the name of the Village/Township where the company was founded)
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
Posts
73,525
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
Your Silverado can pull somewhere around 6800-7300 lbs, depending on its exact configuration. See http://www.chevrolet.com/silverado/specifications/ and click on the "Trailering" tab for details.

The actual towing capacity will be reduced by the weight of anything else you carry in the truck, so figure a max trailer weight of about 6000 lbs.  When looking at trailers, first check the trailer weight, which should be shown as both an unladen (empty or dry) weight and a GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating).  For safety's sake, you should assume that the trailer will in fact to loaded to its maximum, so look at trailers with a GVWR of 5400- 6000 lbs and you should be OK.

By all means add a transmission coller. Your brakes should be OK, but make sure the brakes on the trailer are in top notch condition. Trailer brakes are usually only marginally adequate for their GVWR, so there is no safety factor there.  Your rear suspension should also be OK as long as you do not exceed the trucks rear axle capacity, which should be plenty for a trailer in this size range.  The trailer's tongue (hitch) weight will be 10-14% of the trailer weight or somewhere around 600-750 lbs, which is not a big load for a 1500.

You should have lots of trailers to chose from in this weight range. Light duty (vacation) models of up to around 24 feet may qualify, but something around 21 feet would probably be a better choice.  If you choose a fifth wheel model, you can go a bit heavier, as is shown in the Chevy trailer specifications. That's because a fifth wheel positions the weight over the truck axle rather than behind the bumper.
 
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