Sunday, May 28, 2023


Chevrolet ups ante in top-end towing capacity comparison

By James Raia
Bragging rights at the top-end of pickup trucks’ towing capacities just got a little more competitive among Chevrolet, Ford and Ram.

Chevrolet recently announced an increase of 500 pounds for the 2021 Chevrolet 2500/3500, pushing the maximum to 36,000 pounds towing capacity on the 3500. The boost occurred after engineers made changes to the suspension and available wheel packages.

The 2021 Chevrolet 2500/3500 has an increased towing capacity.
The 2021 Chevrolet 2500/3500 has an increased towing capacity.

The improvement to the Chevy places it 1,000 pounds less than the Ford Super Duty (37,000) and 900 pounds more than the Ram HD (35,100).

Chevy’s 36,000-pound maximum is available only on the regular-cab Silverado 3500 Work Truck with dual rear wheels and rear-wheel drive. The 445-horsepower, 6.6-liter Duramax diesel making 910 pounds-feet of torque, with the 10-speed Allison transmission and Max Tow Package.

Besides its new towing capacity, the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado HD also has a dashboard of new features, including jack-knife alert. It warns the driver if the angle between the truck and trailer indicates a jack-knife situation could occur.

Cargo bed view and rear side view improvement make it easier to either hook up a gooseneck trailer or use a split-view monitor to properly position your cargo.

Rear trailer view and trailer-angle indicator help back up a trailer and judge the angle between it and the truck are also improvements. Additionally, forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking can be added to the Work Truck and Custom trims. They’re part of the Safety Confidence Package.

Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connections are available on the LT trim and standard on the upmarket LTZ and High Country.

Production of the new Chevrolet Silverado HD lineup began in September, with the vehicle available in late fall 2020 and early in 2021.

James Raia, a syndicated columnist in Sacramento, California, publishes a free weekly automotive podcast and electronic newsletter. Sign-ups are available on his website, He can be reached via email:



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Norm W
2 years ago

I just can’t imagine trying to stop that much weight if the trailer brakes fail.
My 2017 Chevy 3500 has (with this so called 445hp) difficulty pulling my 16k 5th wheel over the I-80 & I-5 summits….slows down to 37mph going up Vail (Colorado) summit and getting (?) 3…4? Mpg with wide open throttle…..we don’t pass up too many gas stations!

RV Staff
2 years ago
Reply to  Norm W

Hi, Norm. That reminds me of my trip to Skagway with my two young sons about 30 years ago in my ’75 Suburban. It got about 8.5 mpg, so we stopped at every gas station on the more remote parts of the trip because we didn’t know how far to the next one. That was back before cell phones, etc., so we couldn’t look them up. (At least the gas prices were much less back then.) 🙂 —Diane at

Sink Jaxon
2 years ago

So…towing at 6 MPG? hahaha!

Norm W
2 years ago
Reply to  Sink Jaxon

my 2017 Chevy get 4.5mpg in the mountains and 7.8 across the Midwest with a tail wind. Trailer is a 16k# 5th.

John K
2 years ago

Another item that many RVers are not aware of with these increased towing/weight capacities is they can be over the 26,001 weight threshold. Meaning in many states a non-commercial drivers license is required. Texas and California are two states I know enforce this not just for HotShot drivers.

Norm W
2 years ago
Reply to  John K

Nevada also…however, not GCWR but actual weight. California is based on capacity to carry.

Bob P
2 years ago

The big thing they always forget in their advertising is this is a bare bones 2 dr single cab long bed with standard equipment with no options. Since most people want a highly optioned truck in crew cab style the towing capacity is reduced by the weight of every option installed.

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