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Old 05-23-2014, 10:04 PM   #1
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GCWR of 2003 Silverado 3500 Duramax diesel

I'm looking at at 2003 Silverado 3500 extended cab, dually 4x4 with a 6.6 duramax, automatic for a tow vehicle on a 5er that is 12,000# dry wt and 14,000# GVWR.
My problem is that I'm having a hard time finding out the GCWR for this truck. I don't have the owners manual. Trailer Life gives me a 5 er towing capacity of 14,900#. Pickuptruck.com says it can tow 15,800#.
I know the sticker on the door and the build sheet I got from the dealer says the GVWR is 11,400#, so I'm pretty sure I'm OK with a 2500# pin wt (I'll get the vehicle weighed before I buy it though).
Can someone tell me of another reliable sources to get the GCWR? I already bought an F250 that I was led by the RV dealer, would tow 14,300#. They just didn't happen to mention that the 5er I'm looking at would make it go way over the GVWR for the truck. So I'm going to have to sell it at a loss to get out from under it. I DON"T want to make the same mistake twice, so I'm being extra cautious here. Thanks for any help you can give me. Rod

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Old 05-23-2014, 10:20 PM   #2
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I found this on these links

2003¬*Chevrolet¬*Silverado 3500 Specifications GCVW - 22,000

Had to mess with it a bit and scroll down. I was not sure what w/b you had so just selected one of the options. It only shows the gas V8 and not the diesel but this could be a starting point. Diesel should add a bit of GCWR (???) but dont quote me on that.

I think it can be more complex and factors in the transmission, rear axle ratio, etc.

Gordon and Janet
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Old 05-24-2014, 02:46 AM   #3
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From the owners manual:

6.6L Diesel 3.73 Rear End Max Trailer 14,900 GCWR 22,000 Max Pin Weight 3500
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Old 05-24-2014, 08:19 AM   #4
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Thanks for the responses. If some of you got multiple "thanks" from me I apologize. When I've used the "Thanks" button before, it popped up with a "comment" box. This time nothing happened, so I don't know if the "thanks" didn't go at all or went multiple times.
From what I'm told the owner's manual shows, it looks like it would probably handle 14,000# but it would be at it's limit. Assuming the loaded truck is about 8000# and GCWR is 22,000# that only leaves 14,000# in tow vehicle wt. The 5'er I'm looking at, is 12,000# empty, so if I don't pack it full, I'll should be under my limits. If you assume 20% pin wt, the max might be 2800# which should be OK. Thanks Rod
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Old 05-24-2014, 09:51 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by kgburns1 View Post
From the owners manual:

6.6L Diesel 3.73 Rear End Max Trailer 14,900 GCWR 22,000 Max Pin Weight 3500
That doesn't sound right for a 2003. Maybe for a 2007 or later. Ford was the first to increase GCWR from 20,000 to 23,500 for the 2005 model year. GM and Ram were a couple of years later before they increased the GCWR of the diesel dually to above 20k.

I'm not a good surfer, so I cannot find an Owner's Guide for a 2003 GM 3500 diesel. GM websites don't go back before 2008 model year. But KBB is usually pretty good with the accuracy of their specs.

Specs per KBB.com:

2003 GMC Sierra 3500 Crew Cab and 2003 Chevy Silverado 3500 CrewCab
Engine V8, Turbo Diesel, 6.6L
Maximum GVWR 11400 lbs.
Maximum Towing 12000 lbs.

The 12k tow rating looks a lot more likely for a 2003. 8,000 pounds truck weight plus 12,000 trailer weight = 20,000 GCWR = same as Ford. Add maybe 500 pounds to the tow rating for the lighter-weight SuperCab instead of CrewCab and that's 12,500, but nowhere near 14k+.

The 11,400 GVWR also looks right. Comparable Ford had 11,500 GVWR for 2003 model year.

But even if the quoted numbers are correct for a 2003 diesel GM, you need to analyze those numbers. The GCWR number is firm, but the "Max trailer" weight assumes the wet and loaded truck weighs only 22,000 minus 14,900 = 7,100 pounds. A wet and loaded 2003 GM dually diesel is going to gross a lot more than 7,100 pounds when you are wet and loaded for towing with 5er hitch, passengers, tools, other stuff, and full of fuel and backing up to a heavy 5er.

The max pin weight is also suspect, because it assumes there is absolutely no weight in the truck except a skinny driver, so the wet and loaded tow vehicle grosses only 7,100 pounds.

The 5'er I'm looking at, is 12,000# empty, so if I don't pack it full, I'll should be under my limits.
I doubt it. With a normally-loaded truck and 5er, you'll probably be overloaded over both the GVWR and GCWR. No problem in the flats, but not enough muscle to drag that monster trailer up a steep grade at normal highway speeds, or even at poke-along speeds without overheating something in the drivetrain.
Grumpy ole man with over 50 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 2012 F-150 EcoBoost SuperCrew.
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Old 05-24-2014, 06:22 PM   #6
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03 3500 with the duramax and Allison dually is 22,000# GCWR, straight from the owners manual. Your weights will all be fine with a 14,000# GVWR 5er, although your GCWR will be right at 22,000#. You will be under your GVWR of 11,400# also,
My 5er GVWR is 16,400# with a CCLB 2wd and the truck weight is 4400# front, 6600# rear and the trailer axle is at 12,500#,which =11,000# truck and 23,500# GCWR, which I know it is over the 22,000#.
I am positive that you will be ok, and your Dmax will be fine running up and down the hills pulling 14,000#.

03 Silverado cclb 3500 drw, D/A, Reese 22k hitch
07 Alfa SeeYa Gold 30RL,2 slides,power everything
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