GMC Sierra Owners Manual
If the vehicle has a diesel engine, see the Duramax diesel supplement for more information.
If the vehicle is a hybrid, see the hybrid supplement for more information.
Do not tow a trailer during break-in.
See New Vehicle Break-In on page 9‑26 for more information.
The driver can lose control when pulling a trailer if the correct equipment is not used or the vehicle is not driven properly. For example, if the trailer is too heavy, the brakes may not work well or even at all. The driver and passengers could be seriously injured. The vehicle may also be damaged; the resulting repairs would not be covered by the vehicle warranty. Pull a trailer only if all the steps in this section have been followed. Ask your dealer for advice and information about towing a trailer with the vehicle.
Notice: Pulling a trailer improperly can damage the vehicle and result in costly repairs not covered by the vehicle warranty. To pull a trailer correctly, follow the advice in this section and see your dealer for important information about towing a trailer with the vehicle.
To identify the trailering capacity of the vehicle, read the information in “Weight of the Trailer” later in this section.
Trailering is different than just driving the vehicle by itself.
Trailering means changes in handling, acceleration, braking, durability, and fuel economy.
Successful, safe trailering takes correct equipment, and it has to be used properly.
The following information has many time-tested, important trailering tips and safety rules. Many of these are important for your safety and that of your passengers. So please read this section carefully before pulling a trailer.
Weight of the Trailer
How heavy can a trailer safely be?
It depends on how the rig is used.
Speed, altitude, road grades, outside temperature, and how much the vehicle is used to pull a trailer are all important. It can depend on any special equipment on the vehicle, and the amount of tongue weight the vehicle can carry. See “Weight of the Trailer Tongue” later in this section for more information.
Trailer weight rating (TWR) is calculated assuming the tow vehicle has only the driver but all required trailering equipment. Weight of additional optional equipment, passengers, and cargo in the tow vehicle must be subtracted from the trailer weight rating.
For kingpin weight and trailer tongue weight information, see “Weight of the Trailer Tongue” later in this section.
Use the following chart to determine how much the vehicle can weigh, based upon the vehicle model and options.
Weights listed apply for conventional trailers and fifth-wheel trailers unless otherwise noted.
Ask your dealer for trailering information or advice, or write us at our Customer Assistance Offices.
See Customer Assistance Offices (U.S. and Canada) on page 13‑5 or Customer Assistance Offices (Mexico) on page 13‑6 for more information.
Weight of the Trailer Tongue
The tongue load (A) of any trailer is very important because it is also part of the vehicle weight. The Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) includes the curb weight of the vehicle, any cargo carried in it, and the people who will be riding in the vehicle as well as trailer tongue weight. Vehicle options, equipment, passengers and cargo in the vehicle reduce the amount of tongue weight the vehicle can carry, which will also reduce the trailer weight the vehicle can tow. See “ Vehicle Load Limits” for more information about the vehicle's maximum load capacity.
Trailer tongue weight (A) should be 10 to 15 percent and fifth-wheel or gooseneck kingpin weight should be 15 to 25 percent of the loaded trailer weight up to the maximums for vehicle series and hitch type.
Do not exceed the maximum allowable tongue weight for the vehicle. Choose the shortest hitch extension that will position the hitch ball closest to the vehicle. This will help reduce the effect of trailer tongue weight on the rear axle.
Trailering may be limited by the vehicle's ability to carry tongue weight. Tongue or kingpin weight cannot cause the vehicle to exceed the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or the RGAWR(Rear Gross Axle Weight Rating). See “Total Weight on the Vehicle's Tires” later in this section for more information.
After loading the trailer, weigh the trailer and then the tongue, separately, to see if the weights are proper. If they are not, adjustments might be made by moving some items around in the trailer.
Total Weight on the Vehicle's Tires
Be sure the vehicle's tires are inflated to the inflation pressures found on the Certification Tire label on the drivers door or see Vehicle Load Limits on page 9‑17 for more information. Make sure not to exceed the GVWR limit for the vehicle, or the RGAWR, with the tow vehicle and trailer fully loaded for the trip including the weight of the trailer tongue. If using a weight-distributing hitch, make sure not to exceed the RGAWR before applying the weight distribution spring bars.
Weight of the Trailering Combination
It is important that the combination of the tow vehicle and trailer does not exceed any of its weight ratings — GCWR, GVWR, RGAWR, Trailer Weight Rating, or Tongue Weight. The only way to be sure it is not exceeding any of these ratings is to weigh the tow vehicle and trailer combination, fully loaded for the trip, getting individual weights for each of these items.