Choosing the right type of hitch receiver depends on several variables that will affect your towing class. While a Silverado 1500 can tow up to 12,500 lbs., without the right hitch receiver towing that much would be dangerous. Knowing the hitch class of your receiver, your gross combination weight rating, and your trailer’s tongue weight will be important factors affecting your tow capacity.
Hitch Classification represents the towing capacity of the trailer hitch based on the diameter of the receiver tube. There are five classes with I being the weakest towing class and V the strongest. Typically, newer and older Silverado 1500 hitch receivers are 2” in diameter and considered class IV receivers. Of course, some older Silverado hitch receivers may have a lower tongue weight capacity.
Tongue Weight represents the amount of weight exerted downward onto the hitch receiver from the tongue of the trailer. Tongue weight also determines the amount of weight the tongue can take to remain balanced. Tongue weight can usually be calculated using a tongue scale. You can measure tongue weight under 300 lbs. using a bathroom scale.
If your Silverado utilizes a weight distribution hitch then you will need to select special spring bars that can support the weight of the items located behind the rear axle.
Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) represents the maximum weight limit that can be towed. This includes the weight of the vehicle, all contents inside, and gross weight of the trailer (including all contents inside the trailer).
It’s important to remember your Silverado’s tow capacity will be tied to the rating of your hitch system. Search for an aftermarket hitch receiver or hitch system that will allow your Silverado to do what it was made to do: tow close to 6 tons of weight.
Ensure the ball mount has the same diameter as the couplers. A disproportionate ball mount could leave your trailer loose and uneven with the ground. This could potentially damage your trailer.
Placing a spare tire on the rear bumper of your vehicle may obstruct your hitch receiver, so it's ideal to purchase a hitch extender so you can still fit spares on your rear during towing. Most aftermarket hitch systems are designed with durable powder-coated steel to prevent corrosion and ensure safe towing.