Our Chevrolet Silverado Tow Vehicle

Our truck was purchased before we found our fifth-wheel trailer. We knew that we wanted at least a 2500 (3/4 ton) or 3500 (1 ton). Unfortunately, we were trying to spend as little cash as possible at that time and didn’t have a lot of choices, or the ability to get a diesel.

We ended up buying a 2004 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD, with around 300,000km. It is the Vortec 6.0L V8 gas, extended cab, with a long box. This allows us the extra enclosed storage area in the vehicle for our dog. The long bed eliminates the need for a sliding fifth-wheel hitch when going around tight corners. The long bed also makes parking our truck a little tougher.

When we bought the truck it needed a used vehicle inspection before insuring, and at that time the brake calipers, rotors, and pads were all replaced. Since then, I personally replaced all of the brake fluid hydraulic lines after one corroded through and leaked. The lines were replaced with pre-cut, bent, and fitted stainless steel lines from ClassicTube. The install of this was a bit of a struggle, but I completed it in the driveway without removing and parts of the vehicle.

We had a Reese 15K hitch installed by Eastside Hitch & Truck Accessories, along with a box installed trailer plug. The extra plug allows us to not have the trailer electrical cable hanging over our tailgate. Another modification completed was the removal of a headache rack that came with the truck, and installing a Tonno Pro rolling tonneau cover bought from Costco. The installation of this cover was relatively simple, and it has held up well, other than the clips and straps that hold the cover when rolled up.

In the future, there are some items that need to be fixed on the truck. There is an exhaust leak that I need to track down and either repair or replace the exhaust. This leak is changing the readings that one of the oxygen sensors on the truck is sending to the computer. This bad reading is telling the truck to add more fuel then is needed, due to the increased oxygen amount that it is reading. Not so good for that fuel efficiency, especially towing.

Another couple of problem areas are leaking oil cooler lines and leaking steering gear. These are common areas that leak, and will all have to be replaced. Our muffler and tailpipe also need to be replaced, as the tailpipe fell off after some rough gravel road driving.

When we bought the truck, the door stickers with weight rating had been removed. We are trying to research what ratings it may have.
Trailer Life Towing Guide – 2500HD Ext Cab 4WD LB 6.0L V-8 9,900lbs 4.10 rear end, automatic.
From JustAnswer

K-2500 Extended Cab Long Box HD (4WD)* Axle Ratio Maximum Trailer Weight GCWR**
6.0L V8 3.73


9,700 lbs (4 400 kg)

12,200 lbs (5 534 kg)

16,000 lbs (7 257 kg)

18,500 lbs (8 391 kg)

*Fifth-wheel or gooseneck kingpin weight should be 15 percent to 25 percent of trailer weight up to 3,000 lbs (1 361 kg) maximum.

*Trailer rating limited to 13,000 lbs (5 897 kg) with weight distributing hitch.

**The Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) is the total allowable weight of the completely loaded vehicle and trailer including any passengers, cargo, equipment and conversions. The GCWR for your vehicle should not be exceeded.

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