The GMC Sierra is among the most powerful and reliable trucks.
The towing capacity delivered by your car significantly depends on your engine’s configuration and wheel size.
How Much Can a GMC Sierra Tow?
The GMC Sierra 1500 has a maximum towing capacity of 13,000 pounds when equipped with the 3.0L Duramax Turbo-Diesel engine. This is the most you can tow with a GMC Sierra. The 2021 model will tow 11,800 pounds with the 6.2 L EcoTec3 V8 engine.
It is a full-size pickup that features among the top three bestselling vehicles in the United States.
Customization is one of the primary factors many love this vehicle, as it is available in single, double, or four-door crew cabs, with beds and different engine options.
Read on to learn more about the towing capacity of your GMC Sierra.
What is Towing Capacity?
The GMC Sierra is a truck built for exceptional towing capacity from its powerful engine.
Towing capacity is the maximum legal and safe weight your car can pull.
Excess weight when towing compromises your vehicle’s balance, making it more susceptible to losing control. It also creates complications when stopping, contributing to your brakes wearing out.
How Is Towing Capacity Measured?
There are several elements involved when measuring your vehicle’s towing capacity. You will need to consider the different aspects to guarantee safe towing. Here are some essential measurements you should know before calculating towing capacity;
Kerb Weight: Your vehicle’s total weight with only the driver and liquids
Towball weight: The weight the trailer exerts on your vehicle’s towball and is on the towball scale
Payload: The total weight of everything added to your car, including passengers
Tare mass: Your trailer’s weight, including accessories
Trailer payload: The total weight of everything added to your trailer
Gross trailer mass: Your trailer’s weight when attached to your truck
After understanding these elements, you must know the limits to stick to when towing.
You may find them written on your door’s sticker or in the owner’s manual, and they are;
- Gross vehicle weight rating: It’s the maximum weight allowed for your vehicle and cannot exceed your kerb weight + payload
- Aggregate weight rating: It’s the maximum weight allowed for your trailer and should not exceed your tare mass + trailer payload
- Gross combined weight rating: It’s the total weight of your vehicle and trailer when safely loaded and should not exceed your payload + kerb weight + tare mass + trailer payload.
- Towball weight: The towball weight should be around 10% of the total load for safe and stable towing
It means that towing capacity is your vehicle’s gross combined weight rating, less payload, and kerb weight.
How Much Can GMC Sierras Tow?
Let’s go over each model.
2023 GMC Sierra 1500
The 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 is the perfect light-duty pickup truck to consider when upgrading. It is a favorite to many, with exceptional performances and powerful towing abilities.
The maximum towing capacity for this model is 13,000 pounds, but it also depends on your engine configuration.
Here are the towing capacities for the different engine options available in the 2023 Sierra 1500;
2.7 L Turbo High-Output Engine
This engine option can tow up to 9,400 pounds and is standard at Pro, SLE, and Elevation trim levels. The horsepower generated is up to 310 hp, and the torque is up to 430 lb-ft.
5.3 L V8 Engine
The 5.3 Liter V8 engine is standard on the SLT trim and available in Elevation, Pro, and SLE. It can tow up to 11,200 pounds, producing 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque.
3.0 L Duramax Turbo-Diesel Engine
This engine option delivers the best-in-class 4WD diesel, having a towing capacity of 13,000 pounds. It is available in trim levels like SLT, SLE, and Elevation and produces up to 305 hp and up to 495 lb-ft of torque.
6.2 L V8 Engine
The 6.2 Liter V8 engine can tow up to 13,000 pounds and is available on the SLT trim. The maximum horsepower produced is 420 hp, while the torque is up to 460 lb-ft.
2022 GMC Sierra 1500
Another outstanding model of the GMC Sierra 1500 is the 2022 version. It is a powerful unit that leads the industry with exceptional performance, payload, and towing capabilities.
If you want a reliable and robust light-duty pickup, you should consider the 2022 Sierra 1500.
However, make sure to check our list of the best and worst years for GMC Sierra – especially if you’re looking for an older model.
Here is the towing and payload capacity of the different engine options available;
Enhanced 2.7 L Turbo High-Output Engine
The maximum towing capacity achieved by the enhanced 2.7 L turbo high-output engine variant is 9,400 lbs. Its maximum payload capacity is 2,280 lbs, generating 310 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque.
5.3 L V8 Engine
This engine option has a maximum towing capacity of 11,200 lbs, while its maximum payload capacity is 2,180 lbs. It also produces 383 lb-ft of torque and 355 hp.
3.0 L Duramax Turbo Diesel Engine
This engine option’s maximum towing and payload capacity in the 2022 Sierra is 13,000 and 1,830 lbs, respectively. It delivers 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque.
6.2 L EcoTec3 V8 Engine
The 6.2 L EcoTec3 V8 engine produces 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. Its maximum towing capacity is 13,000 lbs, while the maximum payload capacity is 5,420 lbs.
2021 GMC Sierra 1500
The maximum towing capacity of the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 is 11,800 pounds when equipped with the 6.2 L EcoTec3 V8 engine and the Max Trailering Package. It is enough power for anyone who wants to tow light-duty equipment like boats or campers.
It would help to note that the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 is available in many variants. The type and size of your engine will affect your vehicle’s towing capability. Here are the different build designs of the GMC Sierra that can affect towing;
- Drivetrain: Whether 4WD or 2WD
- Truck bed length: Standard or short box
- Engine options: Available in different engine options, from a 2.7L turbo engine to a 6.2 EcoTec3 V8
- Trim levels
- Cab style: Crew or double cab
If you’re seriously considering the GMC Sierra models, make sure to check our article with the most common problems across the GMC Sierra models.
Note also, that the 2017 model is considered the worst. We have a full list of the best and worst years in our article about how long a GMC Sierra lasts.
What Towing Features Are Available in the GMC Sierra?
Let’s start with the obvious: the Max Trailering Package.
Max Trailering Package
The Max trailering package is unique to GMC trucks and includes requirements to achieve the maximum towing capacity in your Sierra, 13,000 pounds.
The package includes an enhanced cooling radiator, automatic locking rear differential, 220-amp alternator, and other outstanding features.
Electric Parking Brake Assist
The Sierra also has an electric parking brake assist that controls braking when parking.
This feature is available only when using Hitch Guidance with Hitch view.
Trailering Camera Package
Another towing feature available on the GMC Sierra is the trailering camera package.
This package allows you to add two side-view mirror cameras, making it easier to switch lanes and reverse when you attach a trailer.
Traction Select System
This feature allows you to adjust your Sierra 1500’s throttle mapping, transmission shift points, and StabiliTrak system depending on the drive mode.
It helps optimize performance and is available in modes like:
- and Terrain.
Integrated Trailer Brake Controller
The integrated brake controller allows you to manipulate and monitor your trailer’s brakes using control buttons on the center console.
What Is the ProGrade Trailering System in Your GMC Sierra?
You can upgrade your GMC Sierra to the ProGrade Trailering System.
The upgrade provides access to a wide variety of new features using the car’s infotainment display, high-resolution cameras, and integrated smartphone apps.
These additional features make trailering smoother, simpler, and more convenient.
Some of the features of the ProGrade Trailering System are:
#1 Hitch Guidance with Hitch View assists in hitching your trailer on the first try. The system uses dynamic grid lines and zoom capabilities on the infotainment display to help with alignment.
#2 Trailer Light Sequence Test to test your trailer lights for optimal functioning.
#3 In-Vehicle Trailer App provides access to additional truck features like programmable trailer brake settings, trailer theft detection, and a pre-departure checklist.
How Big a Boat Can a GMC Sierra Tow?
The maximum towing capacity of your GMC Sierra 1500 is 13,000 pounds.
The largest boat your light-duty pickup truck can tow cannot exceed 13,000 pounds.
Most boat types fall under the mentioned weight.
- A small fishing boat weighs around 1,700 lbs
- A speed boat is approximately 8,000 lbs
- A Ski boat is 3,500 lbs
Other factors like the weight of fuel and gear on the boat will also affect the total weight and determine if your Sierra can tow it.
How Big a Camper Can a GMC Sierra Tow?
The 13,000 pounds towing capacity delivered by your Sierra 1500 can pull small travel and pop-up campers safely. Camper trailers have a weight ranging between 1,00 and 9,000 pounds.
The weight might increase when wet or depending on the items it houses.
It would help to ensure the equipped engine is strong enough for the weight of your camper for a safe drive.
The most potent engine configuration of your GMC Sierra 1500 will guarantee a maximum towing capacity of 13,000 pounds.
Few truck options can compare to the outstanding towing capabilities guaranteed by the Sierra 1500, making it a powerful alternative to consider.
If you plan on towing weighty loads, it will help to consider taking the necessary precautions for safe driving while pulling.