Reader Question: Should I Buy a Chevy Silverado HD 2500 or 3500 for my Toy Hauler?

rv trailer toy hauler chevy gmc hd

We recently received this question from Jon:

Are you planning to review the 2016 Chevy 2500 Duramax Midnight Edition when it comes out? I have a 2006 Chevy 2500 Duramax, and I just recently bought a 2016 Grand Design Momentum toy hauler. I am currently down in Austin, but I am planning on towing the trailer back up to Denver in May. I assume you probably have enough trailers to use for your tests, but I would love to volunteer my trailer for the Ike Gauntlet challenge this summer. In exchange I would like to be part of the test, or at least get your results.

I absolutely love the new 2016 Midnight edition, but I am trying to see if it is worth spending $65,000 on a new truck. Below are the numbers:

I own a 2006 Chevy Silverado LT Crew Cab with the Durumax and Allison Transmission – It has 165,000 miles on it and is in excellent condition.

My trailer is a 39′ Grand Design 2016 Momentum M350

I am trying to figure out two questions:
1. Should I buy a new Midnight Edition
2. If I do, do I need to upgrade to a 3500, or is the 2500 enough truck to tow my trailer.

Jon, thank you for sending the questions!

2016 chevy silverado hd midnight edition
2016 Chevy Silverado HD 2500

We saw the 2016 Chevy HD Midnight Edition debut at the 2015 State Fair of Texas. It’s a cool looking truck, but we have not tested or drove it yet. I cannot offer an opinion on this package yet, but if you decide to get a new truck and like the Midnight Edition, I am not going to stop you.

Next, which truck to pick to tow your M350 toy hauler? Lets looks at the trailer specifications. It has an empty weight of 13,500 lbs, GVWR of 16,500 lbs, and 2,900 lbs of tongue weight on the hitch.

The 2006 Duramax is rated at a maximum 3,163 lbs of payload and 14,600 lbs of maximum towing with the 6.0L V8 gasoline engine. The rating are lower for the 6.6L Duramax. If you load your toy hauler to the max, then it will be over the ratings of your truck. It may exceed the payload with the tongue weight and it will be over the maximum towing rating. Running the truck loaded to over capacity is dangerous, and this is amplified if you plan to traverse mountainous regions. You need to have some capability in reserve to stay safe.

2015 Chevrolet Silverado LT 2500HD with Z71

The 2016 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Crew Cab 4×4 Duramax short bed is rated at 2,583 lbs of payload and 13,900 lbs of towing. This is again not enough.

The 2016 Chevy Silverado 3500 HD Crew Cab 4×4 Duramax with the short 6’6”-foot bed and single rear wheels is rated at 4,080 lbs of payload and 17,200 lbs of towing. This could be just enough to tow your toys and bring several people with you.


Your trailer is relatively and long a tall and you want a stable platform for your tow truck. I would recommend a crew cab with the longer 8-foot. A truck with dually rear wheel will provide some extra stability as well. Whether you go with a long bed or dually wheels is up to you, but I recommend the 3500 HD truck to safely handle your trailer. The 2500 HD is not enough.

Here is the 2015 Silverado 3500 HD Dually running the Ike Gauntlet.

And here is the 2015 Sierra 3500 HD with single rear wheel taking on the towing challenge.