Friday, October 7, 2022


Ask Dave: Can I tow this with that?

Dear Dave,
I need some advice on towing with my 2020 GMC Canyon Denali V6 308hp with tow package. It’s rated for 7,000 lbs. and has a GCWR of 12,000 lbs. I’m looking at a 2023 Grand Design Imagine 23LDE rated at 5,597 lbs. UVW and 6,995 lbs. GVW. Its payload would be 1,398 lbs., and I have 405 lbs of “stuff” in my current motorhome, so that leaves me with 993 lbs. under 6,995 GVW.

My truck empty is 4,488 lbs. and its GVRW is 6,000 lbs., which leaves me with a payload on it of 1,512 lbs. It’s looking like around 10,890 lbs. of GCWR combined, below the 12,000 lbs. rated. There’s not much more equipment to add.

The weight I gave you is from a fully loaded motorhome weighed on a trip with everything on board including food, etc. Do you think this is a good or bad idea? I don’t want to overload my truck, but I don’t really want to trade it in. Thanks. —Al

Dear Al,
From the GMC truck towing guide, it states that the maximum towing for any of the Canyon V6 308 hp is 7,000 lbs. According to several towing experts such as RV Safety & Education Foundation, it is a good practice to go at least 10 percent below the max. You don’t want maximum weight behind the truck on mountain driving, hot days, or on wet surfaces. So that puts a safe towing weight at 6,300 lbs. with everything inside.

Limits for safe towing

According to the Grand Design brochure, the rig weighs 5,597 lbs. unloaded. That’s just the average, so yours could be more, or it could be less. This means you have about 700 lbs. of cargo carrying capacity to stay under the 6,300 lbs. for safe towing.

If you do only have 405 lbs. of “stuff” that you put into the rig, it should be okay. However, you need to also add the weight of any water you might put into the 42-gallon fresh water tank at 8.6 lbs. per gallon, as well as the weight of the propane tank and house battery/batteries. Those usually are not part of the UVW provided by trailer manufacturers. You also need to factor in any optional equipment like solar panels.

Tony just did a review of this rig on June 26, 2022. Take a look at it here.

One thing I did not see in the GMC guide was the rear axle weight rating, so make sure the 524 lb. tongue weight is within specs, as well. The only other thing I might be interested in is if that V6 has enough guts to pull that weight, especially up a grade. I would suggest pulling something close or even hooking it up at the dealership to test drive.

 You might also enjoy this

Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and the author of the “RV Handbook.”

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Bob Palin
2 months ago

Even if you can technically pull that trailer it will be a miserable experience. I towed a trailer close to weight capacity for a few years, slow up every hill, strain on the engine and transmission, very poor fuel consumption, etc etc.

Tana Shively
26 days ago
Reply to  Bob Palin

I had the same issue. A 19ft Vintage cruiser towed by a GMC Canyon w/ Tow package. It did not have enough to tow on even a slight grade. The Ford F-150 V8 with tow package made a world of difference. Very little sway better gas mileage, and better braking.

Last edited 26 days ago by Tana Shively
2 months ago

I want to know how this person gets away with only 405#s of stuff in the RV? I actually weighed everything going into my RV that take on the road for 3 to 4 months at a time and with just clothes, toiletries, TP and a few dishes I would be over that. I did weigh everything going in and it was over 900 including all my tools, hoses, landing supplies, and fun stuff. Not including the small amount of water I travel with and propane. My CCC is 1050.

Bob p
29 days ago
Reply to  Vanessa

Unloading my first 5th wheel to move into the new one I took the bathroom scale and weighed everything as I unloaded it. Total weight just over 1200 lbs including DW complete collection of cast iron skillets she had acquired at yard sales. Lol

Duane R
2 months ago

Dave! You know the tongue wt will never be 524 lbs! That is the factory dry tongue wt. Using your target of 6,300 lbs, one should use 12.5% of the GVWR to guesstimate tongue wt, or 787 lbs. in your 6,300 lb scenario. Right there is approx. 260 lbs more cargo capacity of the truck gone. Too many people use the factory dry tongue wt, which is way-less than real-world.

Kevin Pilant
2 months ago

Thank you for the video. It is always good to review what you know. Better to review than to second guess yourself. Even though this video was done by Chevrolet, it concerns all who tow. It also is general description telling where to find more information for your vehicle.