What Is The Towing Capacity Of GMC Sierra?

Verifying the towing capacity of a GMC Sierra helps you understand if this pickup truck can tow different hauls. Now, you’re wondering about the tow packages available for this truck. We've researched this concern for your convenience, and here’s what we found.

Certain factors, such as the GMC Sierra’s engine and transmission, can affect the pickup truck’s towing capacity. For instance, the 2013 Sierra has a tow limit range of 4,800 to 9,600 pounds, but the 2022 model has a tow package range of 8,800 to 13,200 pounds.

Knowing the different tow capacities of the various GMC Sierras throughout the years can help if you’re looking for your next truck. Continue reading as we tackle this subject matter in greater detail.

GMC Sierra 1500 pickup display at a dealership. GMC offers the Sierra in HD, HD Pro, AT4 and Denali models, What Is The Towing Capacity Of GMC Sierra

GMC Sierra Max Tow Packages

The GMC Sierra’s max tow capacity often changes throughout its different makes. It started with a maximum tow package of 6,500 pounds for its first-generation model. Today, you can find GMC Sierras with tow capacities of over 10,000 pounds.

Szczecin, Poland-GMC Sierra HD Denali .3D illustration

Here are the maximum tow packages of GMC Sierras from 2013 to 2023 to give you an idea of the towing weight limits of this truck's different versions:

  • 2013: 4,800 to 9,600 pounds
  • 2014: 6,400 to 9,800 pounds
  • 2015: 5,900 to 9,100 pounds
  • 2016: 5,400 to 9,800 pounds
  • 2017: 4,600 to 9,800 pounds
  • 2018: 5,500 to 9,800 pounds
  • 2019: 6,500 to 12,200 pounds
  • 2020: 6,600 to 12,100 pounds
  • 2021: 7,400 to 11,800 pounds
  • 2022: 8,800 to 13,200 pounds
  • 2023: 8,900 to 13,000 pounds

Take note that the towing capacities of each GMC Sierra model often depend on different factors. These elements include:

  • Engine
  • Transmission
  • Suspension
  • Trim
  • Hitch quality

For example, a 2-wheel-drive 2023 GMC Sierra with a Turbo 2.7-liter I4 L3B engine and a crew cab short bed has a maximum towing weight limit of 9,200 pounds. On the other hand, the same truck has a tow package of 13,000 pounds, but it’s the crew cab standard bed option with a 6.2-liter V8 L87 engine.

Is The GMC Sierra Good For Towing?

 GMC Sierra 1500 pickup display at a dealership. GMC offers the Sierra in HD, HD Pro, AT4 and Denali models.

The GMC Sierra can be a good truck for towing, but you also need to think about the haul you will pull.

For example, you might be planning to buy a 2020 Sierra with a max tow capacity of 6,600 pounds. If so, this truck model can help you pull loads like travel trailers and some class-B motorhomes.

How Do I Make The Towing Capacity Higher On My GMC Sierra?

Trailer towing hitch on a passenger car

It might be possible to increase your GMC Sierra’s max tow package, but some solutions may require sufficient automotive know-how for you to complete those tasks with minimal risks of errors.

Also, bear in mind that certain methods, such as modifying the vehicle and installing aftermarket parts, may void the truck’s warranty. Make sure to consult with the truck manufacturer or vehicle dealer to check if proceeding with these tasks will nullify the coverage.

Method #1: Replace The Exhaust System

Titanium Exhaust System in Sport Racing Car.

The exhaust system is responsible for moving gases from within the vehicle to the environment. It should also get rid of harmful substances and helps reduce the truck’s overall strain as it runs.

So here are the general steps to help you replace your GMC Sierra’s current exhaust system with an upgraded model:

What You’ll Need

  • Exhaust installation kit
  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Wheel chocks
  • Penetrating oil
  • Socket wrench

Step-By-Step Guide

  1. Park the truck in a safe and shaded spot, and turn off its engine. Engage its hand or parking brake afterward.
  2. Raise the vehicle’s rear bumper with the floor jack.
  3. Install jack stands and chock the grounded wheels for additional safety.
  4. Go underneath the truck and spray penetrating oil on the bolts securing the old exhaust system.
  5. Use the appropriate socket wrench to remove those bolts.
  6. Pull out the cap connecting the old exhaust to the vehicle.
  7. Disconnect the hangers holding the exhaust system’s pipes. Remove the exhaust assembly afterward.
  8. Place the new exhaust assembly in the same location as the old system.
  9. Secure the new model by attaching it to its hangers and securing the cap that you removed earlier.
  10. Remove the wheel chocks and jack stands, and lower the vehicle to the ground.
  11. Remove the floor jack and turn on the vehicle’s engine to check if the new exhaust works as intended.

After completing this replacement procedure, you can try hauling a heavier load than usual to your GMC Sierra. Then, go for a test drive with the setup to inspect if you’re running into issues with the new exhaust while towing.

Warning: Don’t install a random exhaust system into your GMC Sierra. Ensure that the new model you’re installing is compatible with your specific truck model to prevent certain issues.

Check out this truck exhaust kit on Amazon.

The following video also shows you a visual guide of the steps mentioned above if you need it:

Method #2: Replace The Hitch

Replacing the current hitch on your GMC Sierra may increase the vehicle’s tow capacity. If you go with this solution, ensure that the new hitch fits your specific Sierra model.

Also, read the product’s owner’s manual to inspect the instructions. Bear in mind that some hitches may require you to complete unique steps to complete the replacement.

Here’s an example of the steps you may need to follow to replace the hitch on your GMC Sierra truck:

What You’ll Need

  • Socket wrench
  • Torque wrench
  • Standard wrench
  • Power drill
  • Trailer hitch kit

Step-By-Step Guide

  1. Park the truck in a safe and shaded parking site, and engage its hand or parking brake.
  2. Raise the vehicle with a floor jack and install jack stands. Then, chock the grounded wheels for added safety.
  3. Use the appropriate sockets on your torque wrench or power drill to remove the bolts securing the old hitch assembly.
  4. Remove the old trailer hitch from the vehicle.
  5. Install the new trailer hitch to the same location as the old unit.
  6. Secure the assembly by attaching the bolts that should come with the kit.
  7. Remove the jack stands and wheel chocks. Then, lower the truck to the ground.
  8. Test the new trailer hitch if it functions as expected.

Check out this trailer hitch receiver for select GMC Sierra models on Amazon. 

Tip: Request help from another person to help you in carrying and lifting the old and new hitches. The extra pair of hands can be of great assistance if you’re removing and/or installing large and heavy trailer hitches.

Watch this video for a visual representation of this procedure if you need it:

Also, watch the video below to gain additional insight into GMC's warranty on the Sierra:

Final Thoughts

Remember, GMC Sierras have different towing capacities for its various models. These tow packages often differ based on different factors like the truck’s engine and trim. You can contact your vehicle dealer or the truck manufacturer’s customer service department for additional information on the specific Sierra model you want to buy.

If you want to learn more about the GMC Sierra, check out these other great posts:

How To Turn On Mirror Lights On GMC Sierra

GMC Sierra Truck Bed Size & Dimensions