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Old 09-15-2012, 05:01 PM   #1
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2008 Chevy Silverado

I have a 2008 Chevy Silverado work truck with the 4.3l motor and 3:43 rear end grears. It shows a gvwr of 6400 lbs on the door frame My question is what is a realistic weight of travel trailer i should stay under. Im looking at the 25-30ft range with a slide out. From what i find on the web it shows around 4600 lbs. towing capacity and that looks like its going to be tuff to find a travel trailer under that weight.

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Old 09-15-2012, 05:25 PM   #2
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The truck is rated for 6,400. The problem is the 4.3l motor. Not that it won't pull it, but anything but level routes will take a toll on the motor and transmission. I would stay around 5600 (loaded with all your personals) and you should be fine with a weight distribution hitch system.

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Old 09-15-2012, 08:25 PM   #3
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I'd keep the loaded and wet trailer weight under 4500# with that engine and axle ratio. It won't do well in the hills.

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Old 09-16-2012, 01:48 PM   #4
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I had a truck with that combination...very weak. What is your GCWR?
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Old 09-16-2012, 05:14 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by harmank70 View Post
From what i find on the web it shows around 4600 lbs. towing capacity and that looks like its going to be tuff to find a travel trailer under that weight.
That truck had a standard towing rating of between 4,300 lbs. and 7,500 lbs. With your V6 engine, you shouldn't count on more than 4,300.

And yeah, there aren't many TTs with a GVWR of 4,300 or less. But all is not lost. Think about a fold-down "tent trailer". There are some with GVWR over 4,300, but most are between 3,000 an 4,000. I would look for one with a GVWR of about 3,500 pounds. Start with this one:

Flagstaff Tent Pop Up Camper by Forest River

Or if Darling Wife insists on a pottie in the camper, then maybe this one, which is a bit heavier with GVWR of 3,810?
Rockwood Tent Pop Up Camper by Forest River

We had a much smaller (8-foot floor, no slide) fold-down camper for 20 years when the kids were home, and our pottie was a 5-gallon "slop jar" with a toilet seat lid. It did the job. We drug that camper all over the USA, from Maine to Washington to Floridaand back to Denver several times. One time we set up ina rainstorm at Sequoa Nat'l Park. Lots of fond memories.
Grumpy ole man with over 60 years towing experience. Now my heaviest trailer is a 7,000-pound enclosed cargo trailer, RV is a 5,600 pound Skyline Nomad Joey 196S, and my tow vehicle is a 2019 F-150 Lariat 3.5L EcoBoost SuperCab with Max Tow (over 1,800 pounds payload capacity).
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:47 PM   #6
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The problem is as much with the 3.43 rear end. Chevy rates the tow capacity of the trucks with the 4.10 rear end 25% higher than for the same truck with the 3.73 rear end so you can guess the relative tow capacity of your truck with the 3.43 gearing.

I would never buy a gas powered tow vehicle with anything higher than 4.10 gearing as the engine is seldom going to be operating at its most efficient RPM's when driving down the highway at 55-65 MPH. The auto makers use the higher gearing to improve the MPG figures for their trucks and not for best performance when towing.

With a 2WD truck having the rear gears changed out can be done at a reasonable cost and greatly improve your truck's ability to tow. It should be able to tow at least 6k lbs. with the proper gearing that allows the engine to be inside its peak power band. Not sure with your engine but the 2012 gas engines don't reach peak torque until 4200 RPM (diesel at 1600 RPM) and the only gearing options for the gas powered Silverado trucks is 3.73 and 4.10.
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Old 09-21-2012, 02:35 AM   #7
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What model or brand of truck that performs well and consuming less fuel? Typically, a mistake at a vehicle factory means something is about to explode. However, it occasionally is in the car-buying public's favor. For instance, GM went a bit overboard on truck production and as a result of making too many, there are some good bargains accessible for GMC and Chevy trucks.
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Old 09-21-2012, 03:30 PM   #8
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There hardly any trailers with slides worth buying that will be under 5600lbs. The truck will tow it but will not be capable to operate in comfort. I have a friend with same truck towing a 7300lbs GVW trailer but never any weight in it, so closer to unload weight.

Barbara and Laurent, Hartland Big Country 3500RL. 39 ft long and 15500 GVW.
2005 Ford F250 SD, XL F250 4x4, Long Box, 6.0L Diesel, 6 Speed Stick, Hypertech Max Energy for Fuel mileage of 21 MPusG empty, 12.6 MPusG pulling the BC. ScangaugeII for display..
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