Ask TFL: Should I Buy A GMC Sierra 1500 AT4 Duramax Diesel To Tow A 25-Foot Travel Trailer?

The GMC Sierra AT4 offers up a solid case as an all-rounder — but would you choose one to tow your travel trailer? (Images: GMC, TFLtruck)

Bill is looking to upgrade his travel trailer — and find a new truck to tow it.

This week, our friend Bill reached out to us at with a great question: What the heck do I buy to tow an (upgrade) 25-foot travel trailer? We’ve gotten some photos (like the one below) from some folks who bought an AT4 and use it as a tow rig, but we’re curious to know what you all would choose. Would you go a similar route to Bill, as he lays out here, or go a different route?

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Here are his own words:

Hi Guys,

First I would like to say just how much I enjoy the videos and recommendations on all the different truck configurations.. but I have to say that now I’m in information overload! I’m not criticizing, this is definitely my issue. I just need someone to tell me, “Buy this truck!” 😉

A brief history…we’re early 60’s, originally boating people, now our friend circle is moving to camping. So, we’ve purchased a 2019 Forest River Mini-Lite (specs below) and have been towing it from Wilmington, NC to Myrtle Beach, SC with the wife’s 2015 4WD Tahoe. That works. However, now the group is getting more adventurous and wants to branch out.. maybe over to Blowing Rock NC, or maybe up to the coast of Maine.

So here’s my question:

I could see us upgrading our camper to a slightly larger model (maybe about 25′ @ 5,300 lbs.) but nothing bigger. So, I’m considering purchasing the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4, with the 3.0-liter diesel. I love the truck and your reviews, however I fear that I’m buying too low in the “towing capacity” range for fighting my way up the Blue Ridge Parkway and just wanted to get your thoughts. Solid purchase or should I look at something else? I’m sure we’re overthinking it.. but when you’re getting ready to spend ~$60k.. well, I don’t want to screw that up.

We appreciate you guys!

Camper Specs:


We’ve had good experiences with the AT4 Diesel.

Bill, buy this truck. (Just having some fun here — there are some important considerations before you pull the trigger)

In all seriousness, the GMC Sierra AT4 would be the truck I’d choose — particularly with the 3.0-liter Duramax. It makes solid use of its torque off the line and it’s decently fuel efficient to boot. It’s not the torquiest half-ton diesel, as that sits with Ram’s EcoDiesel V6 (480 lb-ft versus 460), but the Duramax is a competitive option if you’re averse to giving the current-gen EcoDiesel a shot.

It’s worth noting that the AT4’s 8,800-pound towing capacity is, blow-for-blow, half a ton less than the Ram 1500 Rebel EcoDiesel‘s 9,750-pound capacity. However, given a loaded trailer weight around 5,300 pounds, you should be all right going with either truck up Blue Ridge Parkway.