"What is my max trailer weight?" topics / questions come up often. The problem is every van's max trailer weight is different based on lots of variables. I haven't towed with my van but did a lot of reading on the topic when I was thinking of getting a trailer.
My van weighed 8820 lbs last June. Subtract that from the GCWR (13000) equals 4180 so right away I know I can't exceed that. Our B vans are loaded so an easier and quicker calculation of GCWR (13000) minus GVWR (9500) equals 3500 lbs which might be the best answer for very general advice when "What is my max trailer weight?" questions come up on B forums. The 3500 lb quick answer for my van is actually close to what two online calculators came up with.
The max trailer weight for my particular van if it was just an empty cargo van is 6000 lbs. It is not an empty cargo van though. If I had the 4.10 axle the max trailer weight would jump to 7500 lbs. I have the 3.73 axle ratio. You need the specific info from the actual van that will be doing the towing to figure out the max trailer weight for the van.
Looking at my 1997 GM brochure shows that 3500 unloaded cargo vans max trailer weight varied from 6,000 lbs (6.5L diesel) all the way up to 10,000 lbs (Vortec 7.4L V
. GCWR's varied from 11,000 lbs (5.7L Vortec w/ 3.42 axle ratio) to 17,000 lbs (7.4L Vortec w/ 4.10 axle ratio). I would think it varies like that with newer Chevy's too.
It would be interesting to hear from B van owners who tow with their vans. What did the calculations indicate was safe and what weight did they end up towing? Was it comfortable? What was the performance like on hills? etc. etc. etc.
The brochure for my van lists max trailer weight as 6000lbs (unloaded cargo van)
My owner manual lists max trailer weight as 6500 lbs (unloaded cargo van)
How do you find your van's Gross Combination Weight Rating GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating)? I happen to have the original 1997 GMC Savana brochure which lists it for my van. Is it printed on newer van stickers? It is not printed on my van's sticker and I don't see it in my owner manual.