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2002 3/4 Ton Heavy Duty Diesel Chevy 2500

Nathanbates114
Explorer
Explorer
Hey everyone,
My wife and I bought our first travel trailer 2 years ago and we have been living in it full time and love it. We just had our first baby boy and the trailer we have now is starting to get cramped and we're looking to upgrade to a fifth wheel or larger travel trailer. My father in law said we can borrow his truck to tow and says it's a "2002 3/4 Ton Heavy Duty Diesel 4x4 Chevy (pretty sure it's a 2500) He says it can tow around 16,000-18,000 pounds but I'm having a hard time finding the towing capacity online. Can someone help me find the towing capacity?Or if you have the same truck, I would really appreciate it if you could give me the specs for this truck. Thanks in advance!
-Nate
34 REPLIES 34

Grit_dog
Nomad III
Nomad III
Looks like ole Nathanbates114 was a 2 post wonder!
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

Grit_dog
Nomad III
Nomad III
Well, unless you get a dually, you can’t get much better than a modern 3/4ton diesel (which is the vehicle being considered here). old Rams with the 48re and 6liter Flowerjokes excepted.
Making the 2002 a 2022 isn’t going to net any real driveability or safety improvements. Assuming you’re not overcoming any trailer short falls like no brakes.

Only things a newer 3/4 ton will improve is stock power (easy to fix on that LB7) and a fresher interior/more standard creature comforts in the cab.
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

JIMNLIN
Explorer
Explorer
Only thing I'm concerned a little bit about now (and I don't want to cause anymore controversy lol... but I probably will) is the TT we are interested in has a length of 38'-6". Going off of the wheel base for a 2500 3/4 ton Diesel... that's probably way over the length you should tow. With Sway Control + Weight Distribution Hitch, it should be fine? Thanks in advance everyone. I'm new to the Travel Trailer lifestyle. I want to make sure I'm being safe. Thanks again for any info/tips. I take everything into consideration.

Forums are made up with all types of folks. Some give you info requested to make a informed decision. Others will say no to a 3/4 ton pulling a 38' trailer of any type. And of course every forum has its blow hard know it all types who diss all input but his opinions are the only way to go. If you hang around , learn to read between the lines.

Anywayz...when choosing a good WD hitch for that 38' TT first read the clicky at the top of the TT forum from Ron Gratz on WD systems.
We also have several very experienced TT owners who can help you with making a good choice on brands or WD types. All WD hitches aren't the same.
And of course you will get input from my brand is best,others are junk.... and those that know little experience with the WD subject....but have a opinion.
JMO....you gotta' a stout older tow truck so keep a good maintenance program going on it.
"good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment" ............ Will Rogers

'03 2500 QC Dodge/Cummins HO 3.73 6 speed manual Jacobs Westach
'97 Park Avanue 28' 5er 11200 two slides

blt2ski
Moderator
Moderator
TV trailer length ratio was developed by an RV consumer grouo many eons ago.
went something like 110" of TV Wheel base to two 20' of trailer then 3" more per foot of trailer....
then of ALL contriversial BS, no rig under 110" of WB should tow a trailer. i would think if you're towing a 19' trailer, you'd want 107" min per above ratio....
As many note, controversy can occur. This was for back in the 50'/60's when most used sedans, station wagons basically based on an equal to a DOT class 1 under 6000 gvwr pickup. OP has a class 2b 8401-10,000 gvw rig. which imho should net him another 2-3' or 22-23' if trailer at 110". if he had a DW add another 2-3'. bed mount 5w/gooseneck, another 2-4'.....

Assuming a preferred crew can, with the trailer balance appropriately front to rear, side to side. Tires inflated all around correct etc etc, They shoukd not have issues with a basic WD system. Reality, if the trailer can not be towed at 60-65 mph on a level freeway with out sway, or finger tip driving. You have an issue that needs fixing from a mechanical basis of the rigs!
Once this is correct, mow ADD the approprita WD/anti sway bars. Then and ONLY then do you have a setup that is safe to tow! A hensley stopping sway on a trailer that sways, will sway out of control if it breaks down somehow.

my 02 on this.

marty
92 Navistar dump truck, 7.3L 7 sp, 4.33 gears with a Detroit no spin
2014 Chevy 1500 Dual cab 4x4
92 Red-e-haul 12K equipment trailer

Grit_dog
Nomad III
Nomad III
Nathanbates114 wrote:
Hey everyone. Thanks for all of the amazing info. Im blown away by the responses... and even though there's some controversy, that's how life is and I like hearing both sides of every argument. My wife and I have found our perfect TT and it clocks in at 11,200 GVWR. Only thing I'm concerned a little bit about now (and I don't want to cause anymore controversy lol... but I probably will) is the TT we are interested in has a length of 38'-6". Going off of the wheel base for a 2500 3/4 ton Diesel... that's probably way over the length you should tow. With Sway Control + Weight Distribution Hitch, it should be fine? Thanks in advance everyone. I'm new to the Travel Trailer lifestyle. I want to make sure I'm being safe. Thanks again for any info/tips. I take everything into consideration.


Everything you said is dependent on several bits of info you haven’t divulged.
Configuration of truck.
Traveling or one time move to site. (You haven’t said if you are travelers or just living somewhere semi permanently in a camper.). The latter is assumed by most since it’s unusual to just “borrow” a vehicle for an indefinite time period or miles.
How and where you travel. 60’ giver take of combination is, well, 60’ of combination. No indication you’ve considered that, given your lack of knowledge and experience with vehicles and towing.

New? Thought you’d been a TTer for a couple years

And there’s no controversy in what the truck is rated for. Just misinformation by some people who believe it’s controversial. You’re correct in the controversy of how much more the truck is capable of than it’s base ratings. But that requires experience to correctly deduce and utilize safely.

Good luck with your new camper!
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

mkirsch
Nomad II
Nomad II
Nathanbates114 wrote:
Hey everyone. Thanks for all of the amazing info. Im blown away by the responses... and even though there's some controversy, that's how life is and I like hearing both sides of every argument. My wife and I have found our perfect TT and it clocks in at 11,200 GVWR. Only thing I'm concerned a little bit about now (and I don't want to cause anymore controversy lol... but I probably will) is the TT we are interested in has a length of 38'-6". Going off of the wheel base for a 2500 3/4 ton Diesel... that's probably way over the length you should tow. With Sway Control + Weight Distribution Hitch, it should be fine? Thanks in advance everyone. I'm new to the Travel Trailer lifestyle. I want to make sure I'm being safe. Thanks again for any info/tips. I take everything into consideration.


Manufacturers do not say a thing about trailer length, only weight.

The whole length thing is made up and arbitrary by people who want to look smart in front of others. Why do I say this? Because according to conventional "wisdom" on length, a 1500 extended cab short bed truck is "too short" but a 2500 standard cab long bed is just fine. This assessment is based SOLELY on length, no other factor.

A 1500 extended cab short bed is overall longer and has a longer wheelbase than a 2500 regular cab LONG (edit) bed. The 1500 might not be suitable to tow a particular trailer based on suspension, tires, or other factors, but not length.

Make sure you keep the heavy stuff toward the front of the trailer so it has adequate tongue weight, and hit the road!

Putting 10-ply tires on half ton trucks since aught-four.

deltabravo
Nomad
Nomad
Nathanbates114 wrote:
...the TT we are interested in has a length of 38'-6". Going off of the wheel base for a 2500 3/4 ton Diesel...that's probably way over the length you should tow

Is the truck a Crew Cab or extended cab?
Is the truck a short bed (6.5') or long bed (8')?

That's a lot of trailer for anything other than a crew cab long bed.

If I were towing that length of trailer with any regularity, I'd probably seriously consider a Hensely or PropPide hitch, which are the ultimate sway prevention hitches.
2009 Silverado 3500HD Dually, D/A, CCLB 4x4 (bought new 8/30/09)
2018 Arctic Fox 992 with an Onan 2500i "quiet" model generator

Nathanbates114
Explorer
Explorer
Hey everyone. Thanks for all of the amazing info. Im blown away by the responses... and even though there's some controversy, that's how life is and I like hearing both sides of every argument. My wife and I have found our perfect TT and it clocks in at 11,200 GVWR. Only thing I'm concerned a little bit about now (and I don't want to cause anymore controversy lol... but I probably will) is the TT we are interested in has a length of 38'-6". Going off of the wheel base for a 2500 3/4 ton Diesel... that's probably way over the length you should tow. With Sway Control + Weight Distribution Hitch, it should be fine? Thanks in advance everyone. I'm new to the Travel Trailer lifestyle. I want to make sure I'm being safe. Thanks again for any info/tips. I take everything into consideration.

Grit_dog
Nomad III
Nomad III
mkirsch wrote:
OP was told by his father-in-law that truck was "rated" to tow 18,000lbs.

Owners manual states what the truck is "rated" to tow. It does not differentiate between 5th wheel and travel trailer, it explicitly states the rating is the SAME for both. 12,000lbs, period, end of discussion.

That's what the truck is RATED for. You can selectively turn on and off your blinders and come up with whatever number you want, but that is the official rating from GM. Want to tow 18000 with it? Knock yourself out. I don't care. I'm just quoting the manual.

This is yet another one of those discussions where the SAME person who blasted "Facebook Guy with the broken RAM frame" for "being over the ratings" is ENCOURAGING exceeding the ratings by a similar margin.

Either the axle is rated for 10,000lbs and none of the other ratings matter, or it isn't and they do.


Speaking of being selective, OP actually said “16-18k”. But who’s counting….since 02 2500HD ARE actually rated over 16k if the curb weight is low enough.
And as much as you want to believe the owners manual and only the owners manual, GM published 5ver ratings elsewhere. End of story.
And from a totally practical standpoint, the ratings support the capability of that truck.
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

mkirsch
Nomad II
Nomad II
OP was told by his father-in-law that truck was "rated" to tow 18,000lbs.

Owners manual states what the truck is "rated" to tow. It does not differentiate between 5th wheel and travel trailer, it explicitly states the rating is the SAME for both. 12,000lbs, period, end of discussion.

That's what the truck is RATED for. You can selectively turn on and off your blinders and come up with whatever number you want, but that is the official rating from GM. Want to tow 18000 with it? Knock yourself out. I don't care. I'm just quoting the manual.

This is yet another one of those discussions where the SAME person who blasted "Facebook Guy with the broken RAM frame" for "being over the ratings" is ENCOURAGING exceeding the ratings by a similar margin.

Either the axle is rated for 10,000lbs and none of the other ratings matter, or it isn't and they do.

Putting 10-ply tires on half ton trucks since aught-four.

Grit_dog
Nomad III
Nomad III
^ 1 word….
Airbags.

(Or any of the other multiple ways to stiffen up the springs.)
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

blt2ski
Moderator
Moderator
Grit
I had NO problem hauling upwards of 3 tons locally with my SW 3500's with the same suspension as the OP's fathers truck! Would I do this towing a trailer for a LONGER trip, heck no! I usually put 2500-3000 lbs loaded on the truck with family of 6, dogs, canoe, rack cross bed tool box, and a whopping 700 lbs of HW for my 24' travel trailer. I wont mention the day at the scale at I90 and HWY 18 after sitting at ALpental parking lot for 3 days as it snowed some 4-6' up there, a foot or more down here, roof collapsed on a local Orielly's auto parts, Covered marina floats went down taking boats under them too.... I had over 6000 lbs of snow load on the truck and trailer!
OUR trucks as you know can handle way more than rated depending on how speced to work. My tires on my truck are good to 3800 lbs or so, IF I keep the speed below 25mph, they are rated to 5700, as are ANY tires!
SOme of the truck ratings thru the years have been reasonably correct, others, you have to question the engineers' thoughts. Like the one blathering in the duramax kitchen facilities during a tour I took back in September 01. Saying don't put 265-75-16 rubber on your DA combo! It would harm the motor, trans, electronics etc etc etc blather blather....... 04 model IIRC came out with a SW 3500. What tire was on it? Yep, that tire size that would blow up our beloved motor trans etc.
IT WILL do it, but as I noted earlier, when folks bought the SW 2500's put 2 tons of hitch weight, they bottomed out as I have when you go over a speed bump too fast, hit the bottom of a hill then go back up quick.

Also to those with the payload sticker on an 02. I'm seeming to recall my 2000 having one. Even my 81 had one per say, look in glove box for max camper load, add in 150 lbs per seat belt, you have max payload for that truck and EVERY truck rated to carry a camper I've had since then. That is how the max hitch weight of a 5W or BP trailer should be figured too. Them engineers wont figure that out for a bit either....

Marty
92 Navistar dump truck, 7.3L 7 sp, 4.33 gears with a Detroit no spin
2014 Chevy 1500 Dual cab 4x4
92 Red-e-haul 12K equipment trailer

Grit_dog
Nomad III
Nomad III
valhalla360 wrote:
rhagfo wrote:
Tvov wrote:
valhalla360 wrote:
Check the payload sticker on the door jamb. You have access to the actual truck unlike the guy buying new.

Payload is typically the limiting number with 5ers due to pin weight counting against Payload. I would be shocked if you have enough Payload to tow a 16k trailer.

A travel trailer is probably better suited since the hitch weight tends to be much lower.

Or you can listen to the guys who know more the manufacturer.


Yes, and you could post a picture of the payload sticker.


There was no "Payload Sticker" in 2002, didn't really start until 2006. It will have a VIN sticker with GVWR and GAWRs.
Payload stickers are only valid as the truck leaves the factory, anything added by dealer or owner will reduce that number. The only way to know for sure is to take the truck to the scales ready to tow.


Since he has the truck easy to swing by the cat scales and get real numbers and not hard to back calculate available payload. I'm betting he doesn't have 3500++++ of payload available for the pin weight...and don't forget the weight of the hitch.


You’re correct if one adheres to the misnomers that surround class 2 pickups. Otherwise there’s nothing about that truck that wouldn’t allow it to handle a 3500lb pin weight with ease as long as it’s got the right tires and a little help for the springs.
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

Grit_dog
Nomad III
Nomad III
Thermoguy wrote:
Are you just looking to tow the trailer from where you buy it to your permanent spot or are you looking to travel around using that truck? It seems from the post you live in a stationary trailer on a lot somewhere. If you are looking to haul one time that is different from worrying about lots of travel. One option if you find a 5th wheel larger than the 2500 can tow, just pay someone to deliver it. I would stay in the 12-14K range if it is a 1 time tow to your lot. Don't want to have problems if you are borrowing a truck.

Also, do you have a 5th wheel hitch? A lot of people just think they can use a gooseneck hitch, so be careful of that. You don't want to bend a frame just getting something home.


^Very good point!
My assumption was young kids with a baby, that they were traveling and livin the #camperlife or whatever u call it.
But since the OP hasn’t contributed any more to their discussion and re-reading their post, they may just be looking to get a new camper moved once.
Depends how generous the father-in-laws offer is I suppose.
And yeah despite what some people think, there is a difference. Good catch.
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold