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Increase towing capacity Chevy 1500

Discussion in 'GM Powertrain' started by milkmanny, Jul 19, 2013.

  1. milkmanny

    milkmanny New Member

    Hi, I am new to this forum and it looks great. Hope you can help. I have a 2010 K1500 , 5.3L flexfuel, crew cab short box with 3.08 rear. The towing capacity is 6800 lbs. I just bought a travel trailer that weighs 6480 lbs. dry weight. Is there anything I could do to increase the towing capacity. Can I change the gear ratio to 3.42 which would increase the max towing to 9500lbs.? And how much would this cost? Or is there anything I could do?
  2. RayVoy

    RayVoy Active Member 2 Years 1000 Posts

    Hi Milk, welcome to the club.

    Definitely, changing the rear axle will improve the towing ability. What does it cost and is it worth it, I can't answer that.

    But, a shorter ratio is not the complete solution, is your truck equipped with the factory towing package (and, I'm not talking about the steel receiver on the rear of the truck)? Read this thread, and maybe search for others: http://www.gmtruckclub.com/forum/showthread.php/127694-2013-Silverado-1500-factory-hitch

    Your truck should also have the 6 speed auto transmission. When I tow a heavy trailer, I use the M selection (instead of D), I do not let the tranny shift into 6th gear, I use 5th on level, or on down hills and, I manually shift (using the +/- switch) into 4th on hills. If the hill is real steep, I'll downshift into 3rd.

    You also have the TOW mode button on the end of the shifter arm. Using the TOW mode, the transmission upshifts are delayed.
  3. CKNSLS

    CKNSLS Member 2 Years 100 Posts

    Hi-Welcome to the forum!

    Unfortunately there is nothing you can do legally to increase what the manufacturer says you can tow with your truck. If at all possible-I would try to back out of the purchase of the trailer. You have purchased too much trailer for your truck. There is a big problem with RV dealers misleading those looking to buy trailers. Once a customer likes a certain floorplan-the salesman more often than not tells the potential buyers that their rig can tow it, when in reality they cannot.

    If you decide that you want to change the rear end ratio-in the event of an "at fault" accident what you were towing and the capacity from the factory will be closely looked at. Don't mean to scare you but that's reality.
  4. milkmanny

    milkmanny New Member

    Thanks for the quick reply. Where can I find out how much it would cost?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Hi CKNSLS, Thank you also for the quick reply. Suppose I blew the diff out and it needed to be replaced and I put 3.42 gears instead of the3.08 gears, According to GMC the towing would be 9500 then how would I libel for any accident that may occur?
  5. 95C1500

    95C1500 Member 2 Years 100 Posts

    I would guess it's because you are changing the way the factory intended for that truck to be.
  6. TimTom64b

    TimTom64b Member 2 Years 500 Posts ROTM Winner Gold Member

    The main safety issues would be large enough suspension and breaks to support towing that extra weight. Wouldn't want to end up loosing control... changing the gearing would just add to pulling capacity. If you want to increase towing capacity you need to look at the entire package.

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