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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

So this question comes about from looking into purchasing a travel trailer for my truck (2017 4x4 longbox Z71) and the published numbers of truck GVWR on the door is 6200#s and the max towing capacity is 7600#s from the manual and then I looked at chevy’s published GCVWR is 12700#s. Now if some one could correct me, but is one of these numbers incorrect? If we added the published numbers from the door and the hitch that GCVWR would be 13800#s or we took the published GCVWR and subtracted the truck GVWR the tow limit would be 6500#s.
I’m a newby to all this, so maybe I just don’t understand all the figures. Happy to have someone straighten me out.

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Good question. Wish I knew enough to be of more help.
Yeah, my problem is my curiosity and penchant for watching YouTube when bored. Came across a video and the guy broke down all the weights to figure out what the maximum tow capacity your vehicle could actually carry. Has a neat link to a spreadsheet to plug in all your numbers. With the travel trailer I was looking at, I still would be below the manufactures numbers, so maybe it doesn’t matter‍♂

http://www.keepyourdaydream.com/payload/
 

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Hi,

So this question comes about from looking into purchasing a travel trailer for my truck (2017 4x4 longbox Z71) and the published numbers of truck GVWR on the door is 6200#s and the max towing capacity is 7600#s from the manual and then I looked at chevy’s published GCVWR is 12700#s. Now if some one could correct me, but is one of these numbers incorrect? If we added the published numbers from the door and the hitch that GCVWR would be 13800#s or we took the published GCVWR and subtracted the truck GVWR the tow limit would be 6500#s.
I’m a newby to all this, so maybe I just don’t understand all the figures. Happy to have someone straighten me out.

Thanks.
The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is the maximum weight that can be safely handled by the truck itself. This would include curb weight (which typically includes the weight of an average size driver) plus any payload. The Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating is the maximum your truck plus any towed trailer can weigh. Most maximum tow weights are based on curb weight and a relatively light payload (1-2 passengers and some luggage for you all). In your truck's case, the curb weight is 4,520 pounds. You can tow up to 7,600 pounds so long as you don't exceed the GCVWR and don't have the vehicle heavily loaded with payload (max 580 pounds). If you were to fully load your truck up to the maximum GVWR and intended to also tow a trailer, you would need to reduce your trailer weight accordingly so you stay below the 12,700 GCVWR threshold. You also have to keep in mind that a trailer's tongue weight (typically 10-15% of the total trailer weight) also needs to be factored into the the GVWR, so your total payload in the vehicle needs to be reduced accordingly. So let's say you want to max possible GVWR and trailer weight. Your trailer's weight would need to be restricted to 6,500 pounds, and you would have to shave off at least 650 pounds from your payload weight to account for the tongue weight. At that point, you'll have at most 1,030 pounds of payload you can still put in your truck.

Hope this helps.
 

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The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is the maximum weight that can be safely handled by the truck itself. This would include curb weight (which typically includes the weight of an average size driver) plus any payload. The Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating is the maximum your truck plus any towed trailer can weigh. Most maximum tow weights are based on curb weight and a relatively light payload (1-2 passengers and some luggage for you all). In your truck's case, the curb weight is 4,520 pounds. You can tow up to 7,600 pounds so long as you don't exceed the GCVWR and don't have the vehicle heavily loaded with payload (max 580 pounds). If you were to fully load your truck up to the maximum GVWR and intended to also tow a trailer, you would need to reduce your trailer weight accordingly so you stay below the 12,700 GCVWR threshold. You also have to keep in mind that a trailer's tongue weight (typically 10-15% of the total trailer weight) also needs to be factored into the the GVWR, so your total payload in the vehicle needs to be reduced accordingly. So let's say you want to max possible GVWR and trailer weight. Your trailer's weight would need to be restricted to 6,500 pounds, and you would have to shave off at least 650 pounds from your payload weight to account for the tongue weight. At that point, you'll have at most 1,030 pounds of payload you can still put in your truck.

Hope this helps.
Nice, complete explain DPH. But here's my non data based opinion, based on towing 6 TT's over the last 40 years, and as a seabee equipment operator as a kid. Stay below 85% of GCVWR, but feel free to push the payload rating. It will keep you in your comfort zone w.r.t. tractor weight/trailer weight and reduce the chance of you being one of those swayers going down the road. No fun for you, no fun for me being passed by you. And my personal fav - why go fast? As long as you pull over on 2 lanes when you start trailing 3-5 behind you, it's SO much more relaxing. Not to mention you will save enough for lunch and add years to your rig life...
 

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“Actual towing capacity” is far less than 7600 in my opinion. I’m with @bigoilbob 85% is a good target to shoot for.

I don’t know who was in charge of the tow rating but they should be fired from GM. My experiences with the truck were that anything over about 6500lb was starting to show the trucks weaknesses even with a tow tune on the engine and trans. Not only was the power insufficient but the brakes on the truck were always subpar even unloaded.

Can it move 7600lb? Yes. Can it tow it safely on the highway? IMO, no.

Once my trailer weight grew over 6500lb I had to sell my 2.8L for a bigger truck. As always, YMMV
 

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Nice, complete explain DPH. But here's my non data based opinion, based on towing 6 TT's over the last 40 years, and as a seabee equipment operator as a kid. Stay below 85% of GCVWR, but feel free to push the payload rating. It will keep you in your comfort zone w.r.t. tractor weight/trailer weight and reduce the chance of you being one of those swayers going down the road. No fun for you, no fun for me being passed by you. And my personal fav - why go fast? As long as you pull over on 2 lanes when you start trailing 3-5 behind you, it's SO much more relaxing. Not to mention you will save enough for lunch and add years to your rig life...
I do agree that if you're consistently towing above 85% of the GCVWR, you should consider a bigger tow vehicle. The Colorado can do it, but you're pushing it to its limit and a half ton or bigger will do it better, even if you have to go with a gas motor. For example, I would be willing to tow a friend's 7,000 boat to the water as a one time or very rare trip, but I wouldn't want my Colorado to be the regular tow vehicle for such a boat. The Colorado excels in the 4-6k range, and it doesn't even care if it's any load below that level.

I'm also a big proponent of keeping the speed down. I personally tow a Forest River R Pod that maybe tops out at 3,200 if I have it loaded with water and a lot of gear. My Colorado pulls it effortlessly and can do a 70+ MPH speed with the load, but I like keeping the speed at 65 MPH because it's so much easier to safely handle the vehicle and better on the fuel economy.
 

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I do agree that if you're consistently towing above 85% of the GCVWR, you should consider a bigger tow vehicle. The Colorado can do it, but you're pushing it to its limit and a half ton or bigger will do it better, even if you have to go with a gas motor. For example, I would be willing to tow a friend's 7,000 boat to the water as a one time or very rare trip, but I wouldn't want my Colorado to be the regular tow vehicle for such a boat. The Colorado excels in the 4-6k range, and it doesn't even care if it's any load below that level.

I'm also a big proponent of keeping the speed down. I personally tow a Forest River R Pod that maybe tops out at 3,200 if I have it loaded with water and a lot of gear. My Colorado pulls it effortlessly and can do a 70+ MPH speed with the load, but I like keeping the speed at 65 MPH because it's so much easier to safely handle the vehicle and better on the fuel economy.
"even if you have to go with a gas motor". Bingo. As a Trumpian YUGE diesel lover, I can't deny the improvements of the new gassers. A Ford eco, correctly maintained and operated, will run like a train for many years. Even under heavy loads. They just don't build them like they used to - and thank God for that....
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Awesome. Appreciate everyone’s inputs. Another factor I hadn’t taken into account was the cargo carrying capacity and the affect of the tongue weight. Took the truck to a CAT scale and with the girlfriend on board the truck came out to be just about 5100 or so pounds. Looking at the max tongue weight under the hitch, if I loaded up a trailer with a tongue weight of 900 pounds, I’d have maybe 20#s to spare or have to figure out how to convince the girlfriend to lose some weight or get a new girlfriend. That helped me narrow down my search to trailers that were less than 80% of towing capacity and have been chatting with a number of Minimax owners on travel trailer forums. It seems a lot of them were choosing much lighter trailers more for the lighter tongue weights rather than the total GCVWR. Never had really considered the weight penalty the tongue would have on the cargo carry capacity of the truck itself.

Thanks again for everyone’s inputs. I think rather than upgrading to a 1/2 or 3/4, gonna work with what I have and be realistic with what it is the lady and I need in a trailer. (Not much really)
 
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