Anyone have any input on max towing for a Silverado z71 with the 5.3. The truck is rated for 7400 lbs. I want to get a 26 ft sport cruiser, but am unsure if I am maxed at 24 or 25 ft safely. Most 24's I have looked at have dry weights around 5200lbs. IE Wellcraft and SeaRay. Figuring 1000Lbs for the trailer, and 1000 for fuel, passengers, junk etc.
Not looking to tow far but living in the finger lakes with lots of bodies of water and don't want to be locked in one spot like we are now.
We have a 26 ft now with no trailer, and are looking for a new boat anyway.
I used to tow a 24' boat behind my 1/2 ton Silverado that was right at the maximum towing capacity of the truck. It was a bit of a "white knuckle" experience, not bad for short trips, but NOT fun on long ones. When I purchased a 26' boat, I towed it one time with the 1/2 ton and then traded the truck in on a 3/4 ton diesel. With the long bed truck and big diesel engine, I barely notice the 5 tons of weight that I am now pulling.
I discovered after the fact that the hitch on the Siverado was only rated for 5000 lbs (Class III) and that towing anywhere near the maximum towing capacity will put you well over the GCVWR (Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating) of the truck. Having that much weight behind the soft-sprung Chevy will really push the truck around, even with air bags. You'd be happier towing with a bigger truck, but may have to see for yourself (like I did).
BTW, the dealer pulled the cover off the two-year-old Chevy's rear differential and it fell apart on the floor. I had always thought the transmission would go, but it turned out the differential was weaker.
Scott (Boydski) Boyd
Master Near Coastal
Sea Eagle, Nordhavn 47
Also make sure you find out how much your truck actually weighs and don't exceed the gross combined weight rating. My Dodge is rated to tow around 7800 lbs and the max gcwr is 12,500 lbs. With the 4 of us in the truck it weighs 5800 lbs. Since max gcwr is 12,500 and truck is 5800 that leaves 6700 as max for towing.
I really can't see an extra 1 foot of length in otherwise comparable boats adding that much weight that it will make or break your towing capability. If you were borderline with the 25, I don't see a 24 catapulting you miles further into your safety range.
Personally I think its too close and I would go up, also another thing I tell people who are thinking of towing is that the longer the wheelbase of the tow vehicle the easier the tow at highway speeds and that should be a consideration as well.