A few days ago, I received this surprising email from Steve in Utah about his brand new 2014 Chevy Silverado.
Hi, Mike. I am in the process of buying my first truck camper and have some info that might be of use to your readers. After carefully reviewing the specs, I bought a Chevy Silverado 2500HD 4×4 with a double cab (not a crew cab) and short bed. I purchased this primarily for the intention of going into the back country. My considerations included ground clearance, truck ratings, warranty, what would fit in my garage, and truck payload. With the 6.0L engine in the truck, Chevy’s website said that the truck could carry a payload of 3,379 pounds. Since we didn’t want a huge camper, this seemed fine.
We initially planned to buy an all-aluminum camper, but when we subsequently saw an Adventurer 86FB aluminum and fiberglass camper we liked it much better, and since it was only 2,380 pounds we thought we could easily do this. We ordered the Adventurer and were due to pick it up the following week.
I am the type of person who reads manuals, so I sat down to read the Chevy owner’s manual. It is tedious reading to say the least. In the middle of the manual I came across a section on truck campers. It said to check in the glove compartment of your truck to see what the camper capacity is. This seemed somewhat puzzling since the website made no mention of a separate camper capacity. When I checked the glovebox, I found that the capacity was only 2,014 pounds! I called the dealer, who did not believe me. When I went to see him, he pulled out a dealer sheet that says that the truck’s capacity is only 3,120 pounds for cargo, again with no mention of camper capacity. So Chevy lists three different carrying capacities for this vehicle. Nobody at my dealer knew about these discrepancies. The website has no information on the Silverado’s ability to carry a truck camper. The 2015 Silverado catalog, which was just released as a PDF, makes no mention either (the PDF can be viewed here).
I am sure that the truck could easily handle the weight of the 2,380-pound-camper, but I don’t want to buy it because, 1) if something goes wrong with the truck, Chevy will say I exceeded the payload, 2) if I have an accident, my insurance company won’t cover me because I violated the specs of the truck and, 3) if I have an accident and hurt someone, the plaintiff’s lawyers will have a field day.