2011 CHEVROLET TRAILERING GUIDE
Table of contents
02 SELECTING A VEHICLE 06 TRAILERING TIPS ON THE ROAD
03 VEHICLES AND HITCHES 06 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
04 HORSEPOWER AND TORQUE RATINGS 08 SILVERADO AND SILVERADO HD TRAILER WEIGHT RATINGS
05 TRAILERING BASICS 12 TAHOE, SUBURBAN, AVALANCHE AND EQUINOX TRAILER WEIGHT RATINGS
06 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE YOU TRAILER 13 COLORADO, TRAVERSE AND EXPRESS TRAILER WEIGHT RATINGS
Silverado 3500HD Big Dooley Crew Cab Long Box LTZ 4x4 shown in Steel Green Metallic.
SELECTING A VEHICLE/MAXIMUM TRAILER WEIGHT RATINGS (LBS.)1 02
The chart below gives you an idea of the maximum trailer and cargo, include the weight of any additional
amount of weight you can confidently and safely trailer passengers and optional equipment (driver weight and
with different Chevrolet models when your vehicle is base equipment are already included). See pages 0813
properly equipped. When determining the total weight of for maximum trailer weight ratings by specific model.
Express 1500 Cargo
1 Maximum trailer weight ratings are calculated assuming a base vehicle, except for any option(s) necessary to achieve the rating, plus driver. The weight of
other optional equipment, passengers and cargo will reduce the maximum trailer weight your vehicle can tow. See your Chevrolet dealer for additional details.
VEHICLES AND HITCHES 03
Hitch Ball on Step-Bumper Hitch Ball on Draw Bar Weight-Distributing Hitch with Sway Cover
Fifth-Wheel Hitch Gooseneck Hitch
SELECTING THE RIGHT HITCH Choosing the right hitch WIRING HARNESS This allows you to connect the electrical
and making the proper electrical connections affects how components of your trailer, such as turn signals and brake
your vehicle handles, corners and brakes, and allows you lights, to the trailering vehicle. Select Silverado models
to alert other drivers of your intentions. Before selecting a and all Avalanche, Suburban and Tahoe models feature a
hitch or trailering package, you should be familiar with the seven-pin wiring harness to streamline hookup of trailer
weight ratings specific to your Chevrolet vehicle, which are lighting and brakes, and a bussed electrical center makes
detailed on pages 0813. it easier to connect the integrated trailer brake controller.
SELECTING TRAILERING EQUIPMENT Most Chevrolet INTEGRATED TRAILER BRAKE CONTROLLER This is
vehicles offer a variety of standard and available equip- optional on Silverado pickups, Suburban (standard on 3/4-
ment for enhanced trailering performance. Aside from the ton), Tahoe (not available on Tahoe Hybrid) and Avalanche.
equipment described below, features such as heavy-duty Completely integrated within the electrical system and
cooling and extendable trailering mirrors may be available. antilock braking system and StabiliTrak (on SRW models),
See your Chevrolet dealer for more information on the it allows your trailer's brakes to operate simultaneously
model you're interested in. with the vehicle's brakes.
WEIGHT-CARRYING HITCH This consists of a hitch ball TRAILER BRAKES These are required above a 2,000-lb.
mounted to a step-bumper or draw bar, commonly used trailer weight on Silverado, Tahoe, Avalanche, Suburban,
for trailering light and medium loads. Hitch balls are avail- and above a 1,000-lb. trailer weight on all other models.
able in a range of sizes. Make sure that the diameter of The most common trailer braking systems are surge
your hitch ball matches your trailer coupler. Also check that brakes (found primarily on boat trailers) and electric
the ball meets or exceeds the gross trailer weight rating. brakes (often used on travel trailers, horse trailers and car
haulers). Surge brakes are a self-contained hydraulic brake
WEIGHT-DISTRIBUTING HITCH This is most often used system on the trailer, activated during deceleration as the
for heavier trailering. This hitch type distributes the trailer trailer coupler pushes on the hitch ball. An electric trailer
load by using spring bars to shift some of the hitch weight brake system uses a brake control unit mounted inside
forward onto the tow vehicle's front axle and rearward to the trailering vehicle; it operates by sensing the vehicle
the trailer's axles. brakes and then applying the trailer brakes.
FIFTH-WHEEL HITCH AND GOOSENECK HITCH These are SERIES In general, a higher series number in a model
designed for heavy trailering. Located in the bed of the indicates a greater load-carrying capacity. In addition, a
truck, these hitches position the trailer's kingpin weight vehicle with a higher series number typically has a stronger
over, or slightly in front of, the truck's rear axle. Fifth- frame, more rigid chassis and higher-capacity brakes,
wheel and gooseneck hitches are most frequently used increasing the vehicle's ability to trailer heavy loads.
with travel trailers, horse trailers and other large trailers.
OPEN-CARGO, CLOSED-CARGO VEHICLES There are two
TRAILERING PACKAGE An optional Heavy-Duty types of Chevrolet vehicles: open-cargo (Silverado and
Trailering Equipment Package is available for a wide Colorado), designed primarily for carrying lots of cargo;
variety of Chevrolet models (and is standard on some and closed cargo (Traverse, Tahoe, Suburban, Avalanche,
Silverado and Suburban models). The Z82 Package Express and Equinox) for carrying both cargo and pas-
includes a trailer hitch platform and may include other sengers. The multipurpose capabilities of our full range of
trailering equipment. closed-cargo vehicles make them good choices for drivers
with broad driving requirements.
HORSEPOWER AND TORQUE RATINGS 04
For trailering, Chevrolet recommends an automatic engine braking. The six-speed automatic transmission
transmission for convenience and improved performance. that comes standard on Avalanche, Suburban and Tahoe,
Silverado Heavy-Duty Trucks can be equipped with a and is available on Silverado, includes Tow/Haul mode. It
Duramax Diesel engine and an Allison six-speed auto- includes a passive shift stabilization feature that helps
matic with Tow/Haul mode, which raises upshift points eliminate overactive shifting and a shift schedule that
to use more of the engine's power for strong acceleration contributes to a solid shift feel, improved transmission
and raises downshift points to help slow your truck using life and overall trailering capability.
Engine HHR Equinox Traverse Colorado Express Suburban Tahoe Suburban Avalanche Silverado Silverado Silverado
hp@rpm 1/2-Ton 3/4-Ton 1500 2500HD 3500HD
2.2L I-4 VVT 155@6100
2.4L I-4 172@5800
ECOTEC 2.4L 182@6700
2.9L I-4 185@5600
3.0L V6 264@6950
3.5L V6 281@6300 1
3.7L I-5 242@5600
4.3L V6 195@4600 195@4600
4.8L V8 280@5200 302@5600
5.3L V8 300@5200 310@5200 320@5400 320@5400 320@5400 315@5200
320@4000 334@4500 335@4000 335@4000 335@4000 335@4000
6.0L V8 332@5100 332@5100
Hybrid 367@4100 367@4100
6.0L V8 323@4600 352@5400 360@5400 322@4400
373@4400 382@4200 380@4200 380@4200
6.2L V8 403@5700
6.6L V8 260@3100 397@3000 397@30002
Turbo-Diesel 525@1600 765@1600 765@1600
1 Traverse LTZ has 288@6300, 270@3400. 2 Silverado 3500HD models with 6.6L Turbo-Diesel V8 with chassis cabs and incomplete trucks will have a
335@3100, 685@1600 rating.
TRAILERING BASICS 05
NOTE Towing a trailer involves all major vehicle systems TRAILER BRAKES If your trailer weighs more than 2,000
of your Chevrolet Truck. Easy and safe trailering requires a lbs. loaded, then it must have its own adequate brakes. Be
properly equipped vehicle, additional trailering equipment sure to read and follow the instructions for the trailer brake
and an appropriate trailer. It also requires loading both controller so that it is installed, adjusted and maintained
the vehicle and trailer properly, using safe driving tech- properly. Don't tap into your vehicle's brake system if the
niques, meeting regional legal requirements, and following trailer's brake system will use more than 0.02 cu. in. of fluid
break-in and maintenance schedules. The vehicle owner is from your vehicle's master cylinder. If it does, neither
responsible for obtaining the proper equipment (hitch ball, braking system will work well. The trailer brake parts must
hitch type of the proper size, type and capacity) required to be able to take 3,000 psi of pressure. If everything checks
safely tow both the trailer and the load that will be towed. out thus far, have a qualified individual make the brake
For more information, consult your Owner's Manual or fluid tap at the master cylinder port that sends fluid to the
speak to a trailering expert at your Chevrolet dealer. These rear brakes. Use only double-walled steel brake tubing.
charts will assist in determining how to best equip your
Chevrolet Truck for trailering. To help you understand the HITCHES It's important to have the correct hitch equip-
charts, consider these trailering factors: ment. If you'll be towing a trailer that, when loaded,
will weigh more than 5,000 lbs.1, be sure to use a frame-
RGAWR AND GVWR Addition of trailer hitch weight mounted, weight-distributing hitch2 and sway control of
cannot cause vehicle weights to exceed Rear Gross Axle the proper size. If you have to make any holes in the body
Weight Rating (RGAWR) or Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of your vehicle to install a trailer hitch, be sure to seal the
(GVWR). These ratings can be found on the certification holes if you ever remove the hitch. If they're not sealed,
label located on the driver door or door frame. dirt, water and deadly carbon monoxide from the exhaust
can get into your vehicle.
GCWR The Gross Combination Weight Rating is the total
allowable weight of the completely loaded vehicle and trailer. FIFTH-WHEEL TRAILERING Chevrolet vehicles can be
equipped with a fifth-wheel or gooseneck trailer hitch.
TRAILER WEIGHT RATING This rating is determined by Follow the manufacturer's directions for installation, but
subtracting the tow vehicle's weight (curb weight) from the note that the hitch must be attached to the truck frame.
Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR). When a base Do not use the pickup bed for additional support. For
vehicle (curb) weight plus driver is used, additional proper kingpin tongue load distribution and control of the
passengers, equipment and cargo weight reduce this rating. trailer, the hitch must be mounted so the kingpin load is
Note The safety steps described here are by no means placed ahead of the rear axle centerline. Fifth-wheel
the only precautions to be taken when trailering. See the trailer kingpin loads are higher than conventional trailer
Owner's Manual for your Chevrolet Truck for additional tongue loads, so pay careful attention to the truck's pay-
guidelines and trailering tips. load capacity and rear axle weight ratings. Your Chevrolet
dealer can help you calculate the maximum allowable
TRAILERING CAUTION If you don't use the correct equip- payload and GVWR required for your fifth-wheel trailering
ment and drive properly, you can lose control of your vehicle application. The weight of any additional equipment and
when you pull a trailer. If the trailer is too heavy, your all passengers other than the driver must be subtracted
vehicle brakes may be less effective. You and your passen- from the payload weight to determine the maximum
gers could be seriously injured. Pull a trailer only after you kingpin load available.
have taken the following steps.
Trailer Classification Typical Examples Typical Examples Typical Hitch Type3 Typical Hitch (Tongue Weight)
Light-Duty (I) Folding camping trailer, snowmobiles Up to 2,000 lbs. gross trailer weight Weight-carrying hitch 10%15% of gross trailer weight
and personal watercraft trailers (200-lb. maximum)
(trailer and cargo combined)
Medium-Duty (II) Single-axle trailers up to 18 ft., open 2,0013,500 lbs. gross trailer weight Weight-carrying hitch 10%15% of gross trailer weight
utility trailers and small speedboats (350-lb. maximum)
Heavy-Duty (III) Dual- or single-axle trailers, larger 3,5015,000 lbs. gross trailer weight Weight-carrying hitch or 10%15% of gross trailer weight
boats and enclosed utility trailers weight-distributing hitch (600-lb. maximum)
Extra Heavy-Duty (IV) Two-horse, travel and fifth-wheel 5,00110,000 lbs. Weight-distributing hitch or 10%15% of gross trailer weight
recreational trailers gross trailer weight fifth-wheel hitch (1,200-lb. maximum)
Maximum Largest horse, travel and fifth-wheel 10,001 lbs. and above Weight-distributing hitch, fifth-wheel 10%15% of gross trailer weight
Heavy-Duty (V) recreational or commercial trailers gross trailer weight or gooseneck hitch (1,800-lb. maximum for
15%25% of gross trailer weight
(6,000-lb. maximum for fifth-wheel
or gooseneck hitch)
1 Maximum trailer rating may be less depending on powertrain combinations. 2 Not required on Silverado 2500HD or 3500HD. 3 Represents minimum
recommended hitches. Please refer to your trailer's Owner's Manual or ask your Chevrolet dealer.
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