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Old 03-04-2021, 12:54 PM   #1
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2011 1500 GMC Sierra towing rating

Good afternoon,
At first I started to look for a class A motorhome but none of our car could be toad. So now I am looking for a 5th wheel trailer therefore the old Civic will be replaced by the tow truck.
I am looking for a 5th wheel with a GV of 10,000# or less.
Found a VERY nice 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 with the 5.3 engine, 3.42 rear end ratio and a complete tow package including the transmission cooling radiator... It is a 4x4 crew cab, standard bed.
My issue is to find the towing capacity for this truck.
Where can I find the GCWR and the GRAWR...?
I found info ranging from 9600# to 12.200# towing capacity...

So where is the best place to find a definitive answer...
Thank you so much for your help.
J.C.
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Old 03-04-2021, 01:02 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elmobile View Post
Good afternoon,
At first I started to look for a class A motorhome but none of our car could be toad. So now I am looking for a 5th wheel trailer therefore the old Civic will be replaced by the tow truck.
I am looking for a 5th wheel with a GV of 10,000# or less.
Found a VERY nice 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 with the 5.3 engine, 3.42 rear end ratio and a complete tow package including the transmission cooling radiator... It is a 4x4 crew cab, standard bed.
My issue is to find the towing capacity for this truck.
Where can I find the GCWR and the GRAWR...?
I found info ranging from 9600# to 12.200# towing capacity...

So where is the best place to find a definitive answer...
Thank you so much for your help.
J.C.
Payload is your limiting factor.

Absolutely no way you can legally and safely tow a 10000# 5er with a 1/2 ton. That 5er would have 2000-2500 lbs pin weight. You need to be careful even with 3/4 ton trucks. IMO, it’s in the 1 ton SRW territory.

5ers are heavy on the pin. 5000 gvwr 5ers are rare.
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Old 03-04-2021, 01:30 PM   #3
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Would then a TT be what I should look for?
Obviously not a 10.000# unit...

I am starting from scratch so I/we are open minded. Just want to do it right!
If so what weight?
What about getting the towing capacity for this truck. I can carry on from there.
I am looking at how truck for my budget I can get. Nice in a 150/1500 range. Not so nice when looking at 250/2500 especially in diesel...
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Old 03-04-2021, 01:58 PM   #4
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According to the owner's manual, 9500lbs.


I wouldn't tow anything over 7,000lbs loaded weight.
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Old 03-04-2021, 02:08 PM   #5
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A 150/1500 series truck will typically have a payload of 1,500 - 1,800lbs. and not be able to carry all the weight of 99% of 5th wheels. So a 5th wheel is out with a 150/1500 series truck.

On the inside of the drivers door jam you will find a occupants and cargo sticker. That occupants and cargo number is also known as payload.

A 150/1500 series truck can typically tow a 6,000lb 28' total length trailer relativly comfortably. I towed a 5,500lb 26.5' TT very comfortable with a 2011 F-150 5.0 coyote engine.

Your selection of 150/1500 series trucks will he 7x more than 250/2500 series trucks. I would try hard to stay with a 150/1500 series trucks because they drive like a big car.

But again, small truck means smaller trailer trailer.

Look at a Keystone Bullet 22RBPR as an example of a travel trailer you could tow comfortably with a 150/1500 series truck.
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Old 03-04-2021, 02:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elmobile View Post
Would then a TT be what I should look for?
Obviously not a 10.000# unit...

I am starting from scratch so I/we are open minded. Just want to do it right!
If so what weight?
What about getting the towing capacity for this truck. I can carry on from there.
I am looking at how truck for my budget I can get. Nice in a 150/1500 range. Not so nice when looking at 250/2500 especially in diesel...
TTs eat less on your payload. 5ers are 20-25% in the bed, TTs are 12-16% on the bumper. It really depends on the trucks payload. The number on the door, not online. 1/2 tons are usually ok for TT under 7000#, again, it depends on the truck, cargo and passengers.
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Old 03-04-2021, 04:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elmobile View Post
Would then a TT be what I should look for?
Obviously not a 10.000# unit...

I am starting from scratch so I/we are open minded. Just want to do it right!
If so what weight?
What about getting the towing capacity for this truck. I can carry on from there.
I am looking at how truck for my budget I can get. Nice in a 150/1500 range. Not so nice when looking at 250/2500 especially in diesel...
A GMC/Chevy 1500 is an OK towing vehicle even with the 5.3, but the 3:42 gearing kinda sucks and you won't like the lack of power and fuel economy hauling. 3:42 is a nice highway gearing unladen, NOT pulling a huge brick behind you.

Forget just about all 5th wheels with a 1/2 ton. A 2500 series is not much more money but it is quite a different truck. A 2500HD can haul a small 5th wheel, but you should really prioritize what you want to do, for how long, and your total budget.

There are setups that'll be fine for weekend warriors but suck on long multi-week, multi-month trips and vice-versa. A 15000-20000$ budget will be very limiting but 100k will bring you decent examples of both.

With your wish and want lists I'm sure we can all help you better.
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Old 03-04-2021, 06:31 PM   #8
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Did look at the Keystone Bullet 22RBPR trailer. That is indeed a very nice trailer.
Would more likely do us (me and my DW) just fine.
I was leaning toward a 5th wheel because they are so call "easier" to tow. Doing more reading looks like a TT correctly set up would tow just as well. So I keep this option wide open.
I have a class 2 license (BUS here in Nova Scotia) so length/size do not worry me the least. But I have seen how a bus can "push" a camper if the driver does not prepare himself for the passing or crossing... I will now be in the wrong lane

How quickly things can change. I just got a call from a fellow who has 2 GMC 2500 for sale now. One in a HD Duramax 4x4 8ft bed with 148K miles on it. A so call Florida truck here meaning it spend the winter in Florida and only comes back to Canada for the summer. The other in again a 2500HD with the 6l gas 4x4 6'6" bed with 75K miles on it. I think they are both the same $ and in my budget. The diesel is for sure.
Going to see them on Saturday but wondering if there is any one better than the other. All my internet reading seems to favor the diesel...
Again thank you for all the input. Very much appreciated!
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Old 03-04-2021, 08:33 PM   #9
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For the same weight, 5er is always more stable to tow than TT. Check payload on the 3/4 ton trucks. Diesel would have 5-700 lbs less payload, but 6L gas engine is a bit under power for 5ers north of 10000 lbs. stability-wise, diesel and gasser are the same. You may have some problem to get gas, unlike diesel pump at truck stops, some gas pumps don’t have the clearance.
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Old 03-04-2021, 09:56 PM   #10
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Elmobile, before you rush through this I'd recommend you read my previous post and prioritize. If you pull the trigger on a truck and discover its payload is well under what you need you may regret it.

There are tons of posts on this but no one can help much without the specifics. Snap pics of the payload and towing capacity and axle weights of the truck you're interested in.
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Old 03-04-2021, 10:20 PM   #11
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My 11 Sierra has the most payload/towing capacity you can get in it and zero chance Id drop a 5er on it. Like none. Nada.

Even with the modded 6.2/3.73 Id hate to pull up any decent grade with 10k
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Old 03-04-2021, 10:21 PM   #12
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Also the trans coolers are a joke on the gmt900 trucks. If you end up with one go bigger ASAP before you cook it.
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Old 03-05-2021, 04:41 AM   #13
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Ease of towing - my very best towing rigs, other than boats, were a 2011 Sunnybrook Bristol Bay 5th wheel with a dually truck.

But just as good was my F-150 towing a Gulfstream Streamlite 22SLB. At 5,500lbs and 26.5' long it towed as good as the 5th wheel. I used a Drawtite WD hitch and no sway control was needed.

I towed this same TT with my 2006 Honda Ridgeline but that was white knuckle starting at 60mph. Lots of sway and push/pull from semi trucks.

With the F-150 which had a longer wheelbase, was heavier and more powerful I had zero sway and no affect from Semi's. It was so comfortable that I let the wife drive for a few hours. She never tried the Dually truck and 5th wheel.

So you can get a very good towing combo in both a 5th wheel and travel trailer.
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Old 03-05-2021, 05:34 AM   #14
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Also the trans coolers are a joke on the gmt900 trucks. If you end up with one go bigger ASAP before you cook it.
I don't think you can "blanket statement" that. Mine has never gotten fluid over 200F even in 100F humid weather pulling 13000 lbs uphill for miles. In fact, I have many customers with 1500s and 2500s and not a single one has cooked a trans.

Are you sure you're not talking about a Dodge? THEY have a proven track record of failure.
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