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Huh? Tow ratings drop on some new Chevy, GMC trucks

The 2022 Chevy Silverado and 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 have both received upgrades and plenty of innovation. But the pickup trucks also shifted into reverse in one characteristic—tow ratings.

At least that’s the case when using a fifth-wheel (or gooseneck) hitch compared to a standard ball hitch.

The 2022 Chevy Silverado upgraded and innovative with one exception.
The 2020 Chevy Silverado is upgraded and innovative with one towing exception.

In January, GM Authority published an in-depth look at both new trucks’ towing ratings. The study detailed different model configurations and maximum trailer rates.

Towing ratings for both models are highest when using a standard ball hitch; tow ratings decreased when using a fifth-wheel or gooseneck hitch.

The highest towing rating for the refreshed 2022 Chevy Silverado with a ball hitch is 13,300 pounds; the highest tow rating for the refreshed 2022 Chevy Silverado with a fifth-wheel gooseneck hitch is 9,900 pounds.

The 2022 GMC Sierra has plenty of innovation and one towing capacity oddity.dity
The 2022 GMC Sierra has plenty of innovation and one towing capacity oddity.

Heavy-duty trucks, like the Silverado HD and Sierra HD, offer higher tow ratings with a fifth-wheel or gooseneck hitch compared to a standard ball hitch.

According to GM, a fifth-wheel or gooseneck hitch places more weight onto the vehicle as compared to a ball hitch (15 percent typically, versus 10 percent).

As such, the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) become the limiting factor for towing in light-duty trucks. By contrast, the HD trucks have much higher GVWR and GAWRs. It means other factors become the limiters with regard to weight when towing.

Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra customers who plan to tow a trailer with a fifth-wheel or gooseneck hitch are advised to compare the numbers when considering the purchase of either an LD or HD pickup.

The refreshed 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 and 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 are offered with four engine options, including the turbocharged 2.7L I4 L3B gasoline engine (now rated at 430 pound-feet of torque), the naturally aspirated 5.3L V8 L84 gasoline engine, the naturally aspirated 6.2L V8 L87 gasoline engine, and the 3.0L I6 LM2 turbodiesel Duramax.

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

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TexasScout
7 months ago

All that fancy stuff adds weight. The more you put in, the less you can carry or tow.

AK Fish
6 months ago
Reply to  TexasScout

Also, be aware that if you pick one of these trim levels -the 5th wheel/gooseneck hitch tow rating is reduced even further: Footnotes-Trail Boss models are rated at 7,100 pounds (5.3L). ZR2 models are rated at 6,400 pounds (6.2L). https://gmauthority.com/blog/2022/01/2022-chevy-silverado-1500-towing-chart/

Towing by conventional ball hitch for 1500 series will allow for higher tow ratings (e.g. 11,200# & 13,300# when equipped with 20″ wheels not 18″) vs “only” 9,900 for 5th wheel/gooseneck hitch. Need more? Get a 2500 or 3500 series pickup with higher axle weight ratings.

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