You can’t go wrong going with the 2023 Chevy Silverado 1500. Consumers have a plethora of powertain offerings including a 310-horsepower turbo four-cylinder, two V-8 engines, and a Duramax turbodiesel with 495 pound-feet of torque. While most of the half-ton truck’s equipment stays the same, Chevy engineers did up the power and torque of its Duramax diesel. A smorgasbord of trim lines are also offered by Chevy, including the Custom Trail Boss, LT, ZR2, RST, LT Trail Boss, LTZ, and High Country. But before you buy, it’s extremely important to know what each 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 the Chevy Silverado 1500’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 Chevy Silverado 1500 regular cab long-bed model, but very few consumers go that route. Most go with the short-bed, 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 Ram’s Tradesman trim is presented with one engine choice though various options including drivetrain (2WD, 4WD, and AWD) and bed-size are presented to help buyers make the right choice.
2023 Chevy Silverado 1500
The Chevy Silverado 1500 offers five engine choices in 2022: a turbocharged 2.7L V4, a 5,3L V8, and 6.2L V8, and a 3.0L I6 turbo diesel. All are backed with a 10-speed automatic transmission coupled to either a 3:23, a 3:42, or a 3:73 rear axle. For hauling a truck camper like the Cirrus 620, we recommend going with the 5.3L V8 that generates 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. Equipped with standard leaf-springs, the payload ratings for the Chevy Silverado 1500 are the best across the board. A 4WD crew cab model with a 6.6-foot bed will net a payload rating of 2,217 pounds with the 5.3L V8, while a 2WD crew cab model with the smaller 5.7-foot bed will get you a slightly higher payload of 2,275 pounds with the same engine. For those looking for a rugged off-road model, the Trail Boss will not disappoint, though we recommend going with the new ZR2 instead that features a 6.2L V8, size-33 Wrangler Territory off-road tires, front and rear lockers, Multimatic spool-valve shocks, a 2-inch lift, and a 31.8 degree approach angle. Unfortunately, the ZR2 payload is only 1,440 pounds, which limits you to a small pop-up or truck topper.
- Base price: $45,990 LT
- Powertrain: 5.3L V8 engine, 10-speed automatic transmission
- Max payload: 2,443 pounds
A Warning About Options
When it comes to payload, options can either hurt or help a truck’s 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 half-ton truck, that increase in weight is huge.