The Chevy Silverado 2500HD is an outstanding choice when it comes to hauling a large truck camper on a 3/4-ton pickup truck. Available in single, double, or four-door crew-cab body styles, heavy-duty Silverados can be ordered in 2WD and 4WD with bed lengths between 6.9 and 8.2 feet. Chevy’s powertrain offerings are impressive too with the choice between either a Duramax 6.6L turbo diesel or a gasoline-powered 6.6L V8. But before you buy, it’s extremely important to know what the truck is rated for when it comes to payload. Why is the payload rating so important when buying a truck camper? Because the payload rating tells you how much weight you can safely carry without overloading your truck. The weight rating includes passengers, your camper, and cargo—basically everything not permanently attached to your truck.
Unfortunately, finding Chevrolet’s payload and GVWR ratings online can be a chore and very time consuming. Sure, you can quickly find the maximum payload rating for an Silverado 2500HD regular cab long-bed model, but very few truck camper owners go that route. Most go with Chevy’s crew cab model. Fortunately, Truck Camper Adventure has done the research for you. Now you can find all of these ratings in one, easy-to-read location. In order to streamline the payload information presented in our chart, only Chevy’s LT trim is presented with one engine choice though various options including drivetrain (2WD and 4WD) and bed-size are presented to help buyers make the right choice.
2023 Chevy Silverado 2500HD
Minimal changes were made to the Silverado is 2023. The standard offering for the Chevy Silverado 2500HD is a small block, gasoline-powered 6.6L V8 that generates 401 horsepower and 464 pound-feet of torque that is linked to a mediocre 6-speed automatic transmission with a 3:73 rear axle. However, Chevy offers one of the best diesel powertrain combinations available on the planet—the venerable Duramax turbo diesel 6.6L V8 mated with the Allison 10-speed automatic. The Duramax cranks out 445 horsepower and 910 pound-feet of torque with the standard 3:42 rear. Unfortunately, at 835 pounds, the Duramax weighs a good deal more than the 6.6L gasoline V8, which tips the scales at 523 pounds, but that’s the tradeoff when you go with a diesel.
Equipped with an excellent suspension featuring tried-and-true leaf springs, the Silverado’s weight ratings compare favorably to the competition. A crew cab LT model with the standard bed and 4WD drivetrain offers a GVWR of 10,450 pounds and a payload of 3,817 pounds, while a standard cab LT model with an 8-foot bed and 2WD nets a GVWR of 10,250 pounds and payload of 4,023 pounds. If you plan on taking your truck camper rig off-road, we recommend taking a hard look at Chevy’s Z71 Off-Road package, which comes with a 2-inch lift, 18-inch wheels, all-terrain tires, lockers, a spray-in bedliner, an upgraded suspension, and skid plates.
- Base price: LT $43,095
- Powertrain: 401 horsepower 6.6L cast iron, small block V8 engine, 6-speed automatic transmission
- Max Payload: 4,203 pounds
A Warning About Options
Everyone loves options, but beware. Options can torpedo a truck’s payload rating. As a truck camper owner, you should always opt for the “maximum payload” or “max tow package” as this maximizes payload. As for other options, however, choose wisely. Yes, having a diesel engine is great for climbing mountains and raising your testosterone, but it’s also heavier. This means less payload—not to mention more emission hassles—for you. Ditto for 4WD. That feature, while great for driving on rough roads, sand, and snow, isn’t so great for your payload rating—the typical 4WD drivetrain weighs 300 pounds more that the 2WD version. Think twice about getting that spacious crew cab as well. That larger cab outweighs a standard cab by roughly 350 pounds. For a 3/4-ton truck, that increase in weight is huge.