Edmunds dealer partner, Bayway Leasing, is now offering transparent lease deals via these forums. Click here to see the latest vehicles!

Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra Trailer and Towing Questions



  • asylum575asylum575 Member Posts: 72
    GM site has the 5th wheel capacity on the 6.0 with 3.73 gears as 12200-12700 depending on cab and wheelbase. Which model Kubota are you towing, L-series or larger? With a machine that heavy, I'd imagine you need a tri axle trailer? I don't think the diesel on the 2500hd could pull it either. The 3500 series with the dual rear wheels and 5th wheel max out around 15K. You might be able to pull it off. Just remember, under certain condition you might be able to do it with your current rig, but not legally. If anything went wrong, you would be a world of trouble with a tow vehicle not able to handle the load. I'm talking legally and physically. You have to be able to stop the darn thing. So often I hear of guys pulling too much weight. Remember from high school physics class, an object in motion tends to stay in motion. Be safe. Better to contract out the tow than put yourself in harms way.
  • KCRamKCRam Member Posts: 3,516
    I agree completely with asylum. My Ram 3500 DRW with Cummins and 3.73s maxes at 13,000 pounds. The Kubota and trailer should be behind a class 6 that won't notice them.

    kcram - Pickups Host
  • newfoundnewfound Member Posts: 2
    I was wondering if you got a resolution to this problem. I am having a similar one with my 2003 2500 Sierra. A trailer dealer told me that this is a common problem especially with the 03's and it goes back to the clock spring in the steering column. So I am interested in finding out if yours was resolved with the hazard flasher as others had suggested.
  • yerardicyerardic Member Posts: 1
    I am hoping someone could help me out. I have a 2003 Chevy Silverado, and I am having a problem with my horn. When I turn my steering wheel it wheel let out an intermittent honk or a prolonged honk. It just does it intermittently. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what could be the problem?
  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    Sounds like some frayed wiring in your steering wheel causing the wires to make contact when you turn thus enabling the horn. Looks like you're going to have to take apart that steering wheel.
  • familycamper1familycamper1 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2008 Chevy Silverado 6.0 vortex, 3.73, with trailer/towing package, 5th wheel hitch. Can I tow a 13000 lb 5th wheel? If not, which truck would you recommend? Thanks for all the help. :confuse:
  • budster95budster95 Member Posts: 2
    what is better...... i have a 1988 1500 sierra long box, and want to put a camper on it, the camper is older and weighs about 800 lbs, our vehicle weighs about 6000 lbs. we do not know what the gvwr for our truck is, as it was removed from the door, if someone else has a truck like ours, could you let us know what it is...we want to know if we should put 1 or 2 leaves as we already have 4 on each side, or should we go with the air bags?
  • davethecarnutdavethecarnut Member Posts: 248
    I have an 03 2500 with 496 (8.1) and Allison and 3.73's that is rated to pull 13,000 lb. 5th wheel. I don't think your drivetrain combo is rated for that. And since the mfgs. gave up on gas big blocks (except Ford's V10) you're looking at diesel nowadays to get that rating and more.
  • davethecarnutdavethecarnut Member Posts: 248
    I had a 89 Chevy "light" 2500 with the 7200 GVW. It had a six lugs. I don't know the GVW of the 1500. Are you sure about the 6000lb weight of your truck? Even with the extended cab your truck should have an empty weight of no more than 5000lbs. Were you factoring in passengers and gear with that 6000?
    I'm no expert, but I would go with the helper springs/extra leaves if you were going to leave the camper on the truck the majority of the time. If you were to take the camper off often, I would go with the air bags, that way you wouldn't have such a rough ride without the camper.
  • rockyphillipsrockyphillips Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2006 GMC Sierra 1500 Crew Cab with the Vortec MAX Performance packgage. My owner's manual indicates that the 1500 Crew Cab is not designed for or intended to be used for 5th wheel towing. Does anyone know the design restrictions of the truck that prevents it from being able to tow a 5th wheel trailer?

    My owner's manual containes a list of GM truck towing capacities and the 1500 crew cab is only model that has this 5th wheel restriction.
  • quarquequarque Member Posts: 41
    I had the same question a while back when I was considering the Denali for towing. I noticed the GMC website had blanks for any Crew Cab model when it came to 5th wheels. So I did some poking around on the net and it seems that the issue is not weight or towing ability, it is space. The bed is too short for standard setups. But there appears to be some special hitches you can put in the bed that slide and let you get around the space problem. There are rumors that putting a 5th wheel on a CC model voids the warranty. I doubt that is true but who knows. I'm sure you will get a different answer from every dealer.

    If someone has more info on this topic please post it.
  • rockyphillipsrockyphillips Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for the input. I spoke with an RV dealer who suggested that a "slider hitch" is required to pull a fifth wheel with a GM crew cab short bed. Apparently, a slider hitch adjust forward for road towing and then adjust toward the back of the bed for backing/turning. I have emailed with GM customer service but they will not confirm or deny the existence of a "slider hitch", nor confirm or deny if it will safely and mechanically resolve the problem without damage to the truck, nor confirm or deny if it will void the vehicle warranty. They did however confirm that a GM crew cab shortbed is not designed nor intended to tow a fifth wheel trailer and they also indicated that there is not a fix to solve the problem. They confirmed that the problem is solely with the lack of horizontal space between the cab and the placement of where the kingpin hitch should be installed. I certainly do not want to damage my truck or risk safety so if there is anyone else out there that can further clarify if a slider hitch is a safe and mechanically sound solution to allow fifth wheel towing with a GM crew cab short bed - I would love to hear from you.
  • quarquequarque Member Posts: 41
    Will GM confirm or deny the existence of a truck? lol :)

    I hate it when companies do this kind of BS. I'm sure there are people out there with sliders in a CC model towing just fine. You only need to slide it back when the trailer is making an angle more than xx degrees with the truck. Otherwise the trailer will hit the cab. Depending on how "pointy" the trailer front end is, I bet most of the time you don't even need to slide it. It must have a pretty decent clearance otherwise you'd have to slide it every time you went around a corner.

    On another note, I found the 1500 series a little lacking on the payload rating for fifth wheelers. Ones I considered had a hitch weight of 1200+ pounds. Most are over 900 pounds. After you add the passengers and gear you can easily go over 1500 pounds. You might consider the 2500 series - much better suited for 5th wheels. I ended up going with a traditional trailer.
  • triker57triker57 Member Posts: 1
    I hooked up an electric brake controller to my 2008 silverado, also hooked the two wires under the hood to the battery. when I plug in my camper, and turn on the parking lights, the right side camper brake light is on constant, when not stepping on the brake. the left side is working fine. my 2004 silverado when hooked to camper was working fine.could the brake controller be cross wired or installed inproperly??? or is the seven pin plug different on the 08 than on the 04??? can any one answer this or have a suggestion to the problem.
  • davethecarnutdavethecarnut Member Posts: 248
    A company called Pull-Rite makes a hitch that "automatically" slides as you drive.
    I wouldn't get too crazy with pulling 5th wheels with a half ton. Unless it's those short ones ( no more than 24 ft.). Having a crew cab already lowers the amount your truck can tow anyway.
    Google Pull-Rite and see if they make a hitch for your truck. I know they make one for those shortbed Dodges.
  • mheggiemheggie Member Posts: 1
    I take it by reading all these post, that a brake controller does not come installed with the truck when ordered with a tow package? I have a 03 1500HD Quadrasteer. I guess I will have to install a electric brake controller to use the electric brakes on a trailer? Do brake controllers ever come included with a tow package? By hooking it up to the harness, it used the electric brake wire through the 7-way connector to use the brakes?

    Any clarification will help.

  • davethecarnutdavethecarnut Member Posts: 248
    Ford has a factory controller and I think Dodge will have one on the 09's.
    If you have the factory tow package, just buy a controller with the connector for GM trucks in your year and all ya gotta do is plug it into the harness under the driver's dash next to the steering column. Yes, it's just a plug in. At least it was for my 03 GMC.
    I don't know what these guys are doing with connecting wires to batteries,etc.
    Factory tow pkg. Simple plug in.
    I bought a Prodigy controller.
  • branhapbranhap Member Posts: 10
    GM does offer a factory brake controller. It was an installed option on my truck. *shrug*

    But it is an add-on in addition to the tow package.
  • ebrabhamebrabham Member Posts: 1
    I have an 03 Silverado z71.It has a3.73 rear axle and 4.8 liter engine.It does not have the factory tow package and therefor no transmission cooler.Does anyone know if this will be a problem pulling a 4000# camper trailer?
    Thanks for your help.
  • skidogmxz800skidogmxz800 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2004 Silverado /w towing package. I started having a problem with my left trailer brake light not working. The blinker works fine. I tried another trailer with the same results. I checked for voltage and there was none for the left brake coming out of the trucks factory towing package connector. Occasionaly it does work. I tried a jumper but it did not work right so I took it out and then it started working only to stop working later. It was working tonight and then stopped. I was parked in the drive way so there was no vibration. Is there a board that this goes into that could be bad. This is all right from the factory and I have never had a problem before. I use an electric brake control modual. Can anyone help me?
  • skidogmxz800skidogmxz800 Member Posts: 2
    Is this why my interior lights do not work on my brand new trailer? My father has the extra battery on his 2500 and the lights work fine but they do not work when it is hooked up to my truck. I do not have a battery in my trailer. I need 12v to that pin to make the lights work I believe.

  • newfoundnewfound Member Posts: 2
    I had a very similar problem with my 2003 HD2500 and searching here I had found that someone had the same issue with the source being the hazard flasher. I checked out mine and found that I could remove and replace it and get the lights working, move the vehicle and lights would stop working...basically it was intermittent. I purchased a new one (about $100 canadian), against the recommendations of the dealer, and fitted it - problem resolved. The feed for the trailer harnass does pass through this relay. The GM part # was 10383321 and this flasher relay is located on the backside of the fuse panel. I had to remove the panel from around the cluster and then take off the lower panel beneath the steering column to get at it. From there it just plugs in. Hope this helps.

  • llfarquellfarque Member Posts: 1
    Which plug under the dash would I plug my electric brake controller into? There are 3 available slots. It is on a 2008 GMC Sierra.
  • buckmeister2buckmeister2 Member Posts: 2
    Did anyone ever answer your question? First of all, I bet you have cooler, even though you don't have the tow pack. Have you checked closely to see if there is a smaller radiator in front of the large one?

    At any rate, the towability will depend upon the terrain. Your 1500 has plenty of chassis, but the motor is a bit light if you are going to do hills/mountains. The 3.37 is fine. I would go ahead and use it, don't abuse it, and watch the temp gauge. Don't operate at high rpm for long periods, uphill.

    I have an '04 1500 4x4 w/3.73, 5.3, and tow package. It pulls my 6500# 5th wheel great, even up most hills. Trans never heats up, and neither does engine.
  • buckmeister2buckmeister2 Member Posts: 2
    The "space" is not too short for a 5th wheel. It simply depends on the "hitch box" your 5th wheel has, and the actual hitch you use. Some 5th wheels have "extended pin boxes", which put the box a little in front of the unit. That gives you more room for turns.

    I have an /04 with the 6.5' "short" bed (not as short as the 5.5'). I have a standard 5th wheel hitch, and my unit has the EPB. I can make lock to lock turns in the tightest circle with no cab contact.

    GM has the blank in those spots because they do not want to be liable for some idiot crushing his cab.

  • patrick37patrick37 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2005 GMC Sierra K-1500 with the towing package. The factory hitch indicates a capacity of 5,000 lbs with 600 lb tongue load.

    I have to pull my '68 Camaro on a U-haul auto transport that is listed at a weight of 2,000 pounds and the Camaro is somewhere between 3,000 and 3,500 pounds (title says 3,100 but who knows if that is exactly right).

    Does anyone know if I should worry about being just a few pouds over the 5,000 since the truck is rated for more?
  • davethecarnutdavethecarnut Member Posts: 248
    I'd re-check the weight of that U-Haul trailer. I'm nor 100% sure, but those things can't weigh more than a 1000lbs.
  • dozziedozzie Member Posts: 1
    I know this has been talked about a lot here but I did not see the answer to my problem. I have a 2003 Silverado 1500HD w/Towing Package and Quadrasteer. When I purchased my truck used it had a Takonsha brake controller. I am replacing it with a Reese Brakeman Digital. I also bought a new pigtail for my truck and hooked it up black to black, red to red, blue to blue, and white to white. The controller works when I push the manual button but not when I push my truck brake. I must have wired this wrong but cannot figure it out. Any help would be appreciated.
  • chevy412spchevy412sp Member Posts: 2
    I had the same problem when I hooked up any trailer to my truck, the left set of lights on the trailer would not work. I took it into the dealer and they found that one of the wires for the trailer harness was pinched between the bed and the frame of the truck during assembly at the factory. It must be a common thing because while I was waiting in the waiting room at the dealership, another person had the same problem but with the right side set of light on the trailer. They found the same problem with his truck also.
  • wcviperwcviper Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2006 2500HD Diesel. I see that my hitch dealer installed my trailer brake using a pigtail in a distribution housing under the driver's side dash.

    I have a ham radio I want to install and need power from the battery. Instead of going through the firewall and connecting directly to the battery, I was hoping I could get a pigtail connector, place the power cables from my radio into it, and plug it into the same distribution box.

    Does anyone know if this is possible and where I might get information on what each of the connectors are for and what they provide in this distribution box? Do dealers sell the pigtails that connect to this?

  • banshee409banshee409 Member Posts: 4
    Has anyone tried a programer for a 2004 1500 chevy? I am currently towing a 20' V-nose enclosed trailer with my truck and it's a load. I have taller tiers so I believe my 373 are at about 361 compared to the stock tires. How about after market exhuast and a K&N filter also? Are these kind of things worth it or will I be wasting my money? I have a hard time keeping the truck in overdrive even on the flats with little wind.
  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    Forget the programmer you can use tow/haul mode. Forget the exhaust and filter as you will lose power on the lowend which you don't want. Swapping gears from 373 to 411 will definitely help power wise but not mileage which is probably suffering anyway.

    The power band of the 5.3 is up in the 3-4K range which doesn't help when towing in OD but I think you know that already.

    Consider the 411 probably your best bet and it doesn't make that much of a difference in gas.
  • iggy51iggy51 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2005 Chevy Silverado 1500 Z71. I just bought a 23 foot travel trailer that wieghs about 5000 lbs. What can I expect and how should I handle steep mtn. roads?Thanks
  • nacho1977nacho1977 Member Posts: 1
  • cubpilotcubpilot Member Posts: 1
    I just wired my brake controller on my 07 Silverado NBS. I know it is wired correctly because everything functions as it should. Only problem is after i finished, i manually applied the brake on the controller, and it sounded like my fuel pump began to run, and my compass on my mirror came on. I started the truck, applied the manual lever, and didnt see anything abnormal, shut the truck off, did it again, and nothing hapened the second time. Has anyone heard of this. I have the wires hooked up correctly under the hood, and could use some help. Thanks!
  • ritchiecritchiec Member Posts: 2
    I am looking to new or used 2500 hd. I know that the duramax is a pulling machine, I had one of the first ones and the latest was a 2005, but I don't work for that company anymore, So my question is with diesel as much as 50 to 70 cents higher depending on the time of year. What kind of fuel mileage does the 6L with 6 speed auto get pulling say 12000 lbs which it says it can do. I know the duramax will out pull it with ease, but to suffer the performance is it worth the cost of fuel and the $7000 difference in price. Any comments
  • jschroerjschroer Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2006 duramax and about a week ago I pulled my fifth wheel trailer for the first time this summer, and I think I blew a fuse or a relay because before I pulled it the trailer brakes worked fine but after they will only work when I squeeze the controller but not when I apply with the pedal. Where would I find the fuse that controls this? I have looked at the fuse blocks but can't seem to locate it.
  • davethecarnutdavethecarnut Member Posts: 248
    My 8.1 gets about the same mileage as a friends 6.0. And when towing, that 6.0 works alot harder than mine. If you're doing a lot of towing, go for the Duramax.
  • raisin67raisin67 Member Posts: 1
    I believe GM feels that 3 low batteries charging at once could overheat the alternator. 2 in truck, 1 or more in trailer. 2005 owners manual says not to put in 40 amp fuse if you have diesel (2 batt) or an aux batt in truck (2 batt).
    If you have 3 low batteries, lights on, a/c on hi, etc that's too much load. Leave lights off, fan off, charge truck batteries 10 min. then plug in trailer after dry camping.
    If your truck batteries are at full charge then no problem.. we put the 40 amp in an 05 today.
  • cprovostcprovost Member Posts: 3
    Why when I put the tow and haul on when I pull something it is winding out. I brought it in and they said they could not find nothen rong. A nother problum is my rear tires are locking up but not all the time. If I take off and at the same time I hit a bump are if the tire spins a little bit it starts to lock up. A nother problum that GMC said there was nothen rong. Its a 2006 GMC crew cab
  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    Tow haul mode causes the motor to rev higher before shifting so yes, it is winding out cause the truck don't have enough torque to begin with.

    When you hit a bump there is an amount of wheel spin. The locker will pick that up as slippage and engage. Nothing wrong there either.
  • cac4cac4 Member Posts: 11
    I have a 08 chevy 1500. It is says it has the tow pkg and even has the 7 pin connection in the rear bumper, it doesnt have the recepticle though. ( thats a $75 extra imagine that). The question is that i have not power on the wires in the rear. The manual says there has to be something connected, but doesnt say what and to have the dlr do it. So has anyone done this yet. Thanks for the help..
  • bapennisonbapennison Member Posts: 1
    On my 2008 Sierra 2500 I have located under the hood the wire going to the 12V assessory to provide power to say a RV. I connected the wire to Stud 1 on the fuse block behind fuse 68. There is a 40Amp fuse already in place. My issue is with the mounting stud itself. I have tried several different types of nuts to tighten the wire down with but it is either too small or too big. Does anyone know what is the tread on this mounting bolt is?
  • cac4cac4 Member Posts: 11
    I went to the dlr and they supplies the nuts to hook up the wires. Just ask the dlr to supply the nuts, they should after all you just gave them $30,000 for a new truck. They looked like factory nuts with the flanges built into them. ;)
  • bubby_wubbybubby_wubby Member Posts: 3
    did youever find out anything about your towing qustions
    what pins did not have power
  • cac4cac4 Member Posts: 11
    There are 2 wires by the fuse box that must be connected to the posts on the outside of the fuse box. I went to the dlr they connected the wires for me. That then connects the power to the towing recepticle. Thanks for asking..
  • akjbmwakjbmw Member Posts: 231
    I didn't see an answer to your question...
    Hope you got it resolved by now, but just in case, here is a half-cent worth.
    On my '98, I added a second battery in parallel (never got around to putting in an isolator) and ran a fused set of wires with Anderson power connectors into the cab to run my FT-8900.
    My counsel is to make sure that the transmit power requirement doesn't exceed the circuit capacity and use wire heavy enough to handle the current.
    I just got my 07 2500HD Duramax (new style) three weeks ago and haven't figured out how I am going to handle radio stuff yet. I have wondered about using the trailer plug to re-charge a gel-cell (that I will use operating stand-alone during extended field operations) on the return trip. Another local ham has a similar rig so I will be playing 20 (at least) questions when I get an audience with him.
    New rig means so many new questions...

  • billybob58billybob58 Member Posts: 1
    I am looking at a 1988 3500 with a dump box, a 350 engine and only 90,000 original miles. I want to tow a trailer and backhoe with a total weight of 10,000 lbs, can this vehicle legally pull this weight.
  • peltdudepeltdude Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 GMC Sierra SLT 4x4 Ext Cab. I was looking at getting a 30' toy hauler but did not know which rear end I have on my truck. The owners manual states 2 different types. How can I determine which one I have?
  • grizzly4grizzly4 Member Posts: 12
    How much does the trailer weigh? The toy haulers can be VERY heavy and a 30' one is probably more than the truck can pull.
Sign In or Register to comment.