The Right Horse For The Right Cart

I own a 02 Chevy Extended cab 4x4 with the Z-71 package. It has a 5.3 V-8. I would like to know a round a bout size of bumper hitch camper I could tow. The specs say 7500 towing capacity. I am sure this means empty. I have also been told the Z-71 package will increase the amount of weight my truck can handle. I want a camper that sleeps 6. Through the grapevine I have been told dont go any bigger than a 26 foot camper. Does such an animal exist or do I have to get a bigger horse to pull what I want?
Re: The Right Horse For The Right Cart

Welcome to the forum, Brett!

Someone will probably reply to your question, but be sure and use the search function here on the forum. This topic has been covered many times here, and you will find lots of good info by looking at older posts. Perhaps 'GVWR' would be a good term to look for. I found over 20 posts just this year.


Senior Member
Re: The Right Horse For The Right Cart

No, the 'Z71' package will probably not increase the towing capacity. A 'Towing Package' might. 4x4 reduces the towing capacity (due to the weight of this option). So make sure you are looking for the towing capacity of your exact truck.

The rated towing capacity for a truck is mostly for marketing purposes. If you look at the fine print, you will likely see that it is with a completely empty truck, no passengers, no cargo, no accessories; nothing but a 150 pound driver and a bit of fuel. Everything above that, comes right off the towing capacity. And that is for a flat bed trailer with 'no' wind resistance.

So as a rule of thumb, you may want to look at your approximate 'true' towing capacity as '(rated capacity - 1000 pounds) x 80%' Obviously, you should modify the 1000 pounds up or down based on how you load the truck. You might be able to up the 80% a bit if you will be pulling a hi-lo or popup or other tow with lower wind resistance.

To tow with an auto transmission, make sure you have a good transmission cooler and a transmission temperature guage.

When looking at a trailer to fit within your tow weight, don't be mislead by 'dry weight', which does not include any changes made after it left the factory, and it's not usable 'empty' any way. GVWR of the trailer is a much safer measurement.
RE: The Right Horse For The Right Cart

Thanks for the info Texas and Hurtig. I am new to this site and appreciate any guidance. I would like to get into RVing and
was pretty sure I didnt have the power for the camper needed. I test drove a one ton Bowtie dually diesel with the Allison
transmission and the tranny cooler. It was pretty.....pretty expensive. That is what made me try to find something that might
work with what I have. Thanks again.


Senior Member
Re: The Right Horse For The Right Cart

Finding sleeping for 6 would be a challange even if you were not limited in weight. Have you checked out the 'expandables'? These have (canvas) sections which fold out to provide more room when camped.