Max Truck Camper Payload Ratings of the Chevy Silverado 3500HD

The Chevy Silverado 3500HD is an outstanding choice when it comes to hauling a large truck camper on a one-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. In this article, we’ve done the research for you by providing the max truck camper payload ratings of the Chevy Silverado 3500HD.

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 3500HD regular cab long-bed model, but very few truck camper owners go that route. Most go with Chevy’s crew cab model. Then, there are the duallies, which are a completely different animal. 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.

Chevy Silverado 3500HD

Minimal changes were made to the Silverado is 2023. The standard offering for the Chevy Silverado 3500HD is a small block, gasoline-powered 6.6L V8 that generates 401 horsepower and 464 pound-feet of torque. The small block’s output 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 for your truck camper rig—the venerable Duramax turbo diesel 6.6L V8 mated with an Allison 10-speed automatic with a 3:42 rear. The Duramax cranks out 445 horsepower and 910 pound-feet of torque. Unfortunately, at 835 pounds, the Duramax weighs a good deal more than the 6.6L small block V8, which tips the scales at 523 pounds, but that’s the tradeoff when you go with a diesel. Compared to the competition, Chevy’s payload ratings are a mixed bag. While we were impressed with the 4,593-pound payload and 11,350-pound GVWR of a Chevy 4WD crew cab truck with a 6.8-foot bed, we were disappointed with the lowly 4,273-pound and 11,150-pound GVWR ratings of a 2WD crew cab with an 8-foot bed. So without further adieu, lets take a look at the max truck camper payload ratings of the Chevy Silverado 3500HD.

  • 2023 Base price: LT $42,700
  • Powertrain: 401 horsepower 6.6L cast iron, small block V8 engine, 6-speed automatic transmission
  • Max SRW Payload: 4,593 pounds
  • Max DRW Payload: 7,442 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 one-ton truck, that increase in weight is huge.

About Mello Mike 901 Articles
Mello Mike is an Arizona native, author, and the founder of Truck Camper Adventure. He's been RV'ing since 2002, is a certified RVIA Level 1 RV Technician, and has restored several Airstream travel trailers. A communications expert and licensed ham radio operator (KK7TCA), he retired from the U.S. Navy in 2004 as a CWO3 after 24 years, holds a BS degree, and now runs Truck Camper Adventure full-time. He also does some RV consulting, repairs, and inspections on the side. He currently rolls in a 4WD Ram 3500 outfitted with a SherpTek truck bed with a Bundutec Roadrunner mounted on top.

4 Comments

  1. Hey Mike!
    I found this while looking for my 2020 Duramax, long, crew, 4×4 3500HD DRW trucks payload being I’ve got a couple 275 gallon water totes in the back now and want to make sure. Then I came across this…
    Maybe didn’t get my info but wanted to shout out to you and your 24 years retiring as CWO3…..
    EM3 Chapman here. Great Mistakes April 11, 1990 to the gulf to meet up with USS BARBOUR COUNTY LST1195 out of SanDog in 91. Decommissioned
    Then off to Singapore to meet with the second one on her way to the gulf as well. USS ANTIETAM CG54 out of Long Beach.
    Good times I hated when there but would do everything all over again…

    What was your Rate prior to the success of becoming the big guy, CWO3?

    Thank you for your service sir. In Arizona ourselves but with a 43ft 5’r.

    God Bless….
    Chris Chapman EM3 90-94.

  2. I believe I read that GM is going to offer the gas engine coupled to the Allison 10 spd. Now THAT would be sweet.

  3. Unfortunately, even the Chevy “build and price” feature doesn’t garantee what you will receive from the factory. When we purchased our 2021 LT 4×4 crew cab diesel, we were told by the dealer it would have a 4300lb payload. It arrived from the factory with a 4050lb sticker, not enough to carry our loaded Cirrus 820.

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