As part of our online series on 2019 trucks, Chris Hemer reviews the new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra and their towing features

Perhaps now more than ever, an old truck is yesterday’s news. Where the traditional pickup has always been valued as a faithful companion and hard worker, today’s truck must take on additional roles to remain relevant in the minds of discerning buyers. It’s got to pull more, carry more, ride smoother, be safer and get better mileage with each new generation. Let’s just say we’re glad to be journalists and not truck engineers.

While GM has always made incremental improvements to its Chevy Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 lines, the company pulled out all the stops for 2019, improving the trucks in almost every meaningful way, and introduced new features that RVers will love.

2019 Silverado RST
The Silverado RST comes standard with an all-new 2.7-liter turbo engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Vehicle weight may not be a hot button for most truck consumers, but shedding some of it allows the savings to be spent in more useful ways. In the case of the Silverado 1500, up to 450 pounds were saved (depending on the model) through the use of mixed materials and manufacturing techniques, which translates to a 14 percent increase in payload, or 340 pounds in the popular Crew Cab model. Paradoxically, GM did this while making the truck larger in almost every dimension than its predecessor, including a wheelbase that is up to 3.9 inches longer and an overall length that has grown by 1.6 inches, enabling more cargo volume and more interior room for all cab lengths.

In all, there are six engine/transmission choices available, including a new 2.7-liter turbo four-cylinder that can tow up to 7,200 pounds, and a brand new 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder Duramax diesel with 10-speed automatic transmission that will be available later in the model year (ratings not available yet). Across the board, towing capability has increased, with the 4.3-liter V-6 rated to tow up to 8,000 pounds, and the 5.3-liter V-8 with Max Tow Package offering up to 11,600 pounds. The potent 6.2-liter V-8 10-speed automatic, meanwhile, is now only offered with 4WD and can pull up to 12,200 pounds.

During the new Silverado’s development stages, Chevy interviewed 7,000 customers, and found that 60 percent of them viewed towing capability and convenience as a key purchase consideration. With that in mind, GM dug deep and really gave RVers some love.

Towing Features

The myChevrolet app includes a trailer-light test.
The myChevrolet app includes a trailer-light test, pre-departure towing checklists, how-to videos and towing-term glossary.

myChevrolet: The mobile app offers trailering features such as pre-departure step-by-step towing checklists and a glossary of towing terms for compatible smartphones and data plans. It allows drivers to conduct a trailer-light test that uses an automatic exterior light sequence to help confirm that the trailer is properly connected.

Advanced Trailering System: The available ATS offers the following problem solvers:

Hitch Guidance with Hitch View adds dynamic backing guidelines to the Rear Vision Camera system.
Part of the Advanced Trailering System, Hitch Guidance adds backing guidelines to the Rear Vision Camera system to help line up the hitch.

Hitch Guidance with Hitch View: Leverages the rearview camera to make hitching a one-person job.

Auto Parking Brake Assist: Keeps the hitch ball in alignment by preventing the truck from rolling after it is placed in Park.

Trailer Tire Pressure Monitoring System: Displays trailer tire pressure and temperature on the truck’s infotainment system (requires optional equipment and dealer installation).

Brake-gain memory stores the setting of the integrated trailer-brake controller.
Brake Gain Memory stores integrated trailer-brake controller settings for multiple trailers.

ATS infotainment app: Tracks fuel economy and transmission temperature while towing. In addition, the app includes Brake Gain Memory for the integrated trailer-brake control, which lets users establish and save the brake-gain setting for each trailer in their profile.

An all-new Trailer Camera Package includes the standard rear-vision camera, plus two side-view cameras and an optional fourth camera that mounts to the rear of the trailer.

Chevy Silverado industry-first trailering label
An industry-first trailering label provides information needed to calculate weight capacities.

Finally, an industry-first Trailering Label, located in the driver’s side doorjamb, provides truck buyers with the information needed to find the perfect tow vehicle, including gross vehicle weight rating, gross combined weight rating, rear gross axle weight rating, maximum payload, maximum tongue weight and curb weight.

Tow Limits

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
2.7L turbo:
7,200 lbs.
3.0L I-6 diesel: NA
4.3L V-6: 8,000 lbs.
5.3L V-8: 11,600 lbs.
6.2L V-8: 12,200 lbs.

Base MSRPs

Double Cab Standard Bed 2WD
WT:
$33,695
Custom: $36,095
LT: $38,395
RST: $40,295
Custom Trail Boss: $40,995
LTZ: $44,495
LTZ Trail Boss: $49,795
High Country: $54,495

Crew Cab Short Bed 2WD
WT:
$36,095
Custom: $38,495
LT: $40,795
Custom Trail Boss: $40,995
RST: $42,695
LTZ: $46,895
LTZ Trail Boss: $49,795
High Country: $54,495

Crew Cab Standard Bed 2WD
WT:
$36,395
Custom: $38,795
Custom Trail Boss: $40,995
LT: $41,095
RST: $42,995
LTZ: $47,195
LT Trail Boss: $49,795
High Country: $54,795

GMC Sierra 1500

2019 GMC Sierra Elevation exterior
Like the 2019 Silverado RST, the GMC Sierra Elevation comes standard with the new 2.7-liter turbo engine.

The Sierra 1500 is the Silverado’s close corporate cousin, with the same chassis improvements, weight reduction, cab availability and engine/transmission choices. However, there are some differences on the GMC side of the family.

2019 GMC Sierra Denali CarbonPro Bed
CarbonPro, the industry’s first carbon-fiber cargo box, replaces the truck bed’s standard steel inner panels and floor.
2019 GMC Sierra Denali MultiPro Tailgate Full-Width Step
An inner gate on the MultiPro tailgate folds down to create a step into the truck bed.

Exterior and interior styling aside, the Sierra offers a few features that the Silverado doesn’t, such as an industry-first CarbonPro carbon-fiber cargo box matched with a MultiPro Tailgate. In addition to six functions and positions for convenient second-tier loading and load-stop solutions, the new tailgate can function as a standing workstation and offers easier access to items in the cargo box.

Inside, Sierra offers more firsts, such as a Rearview Camera Mirror that can function as a traditional mirror or a camera screen, and a Multi-Color Head-Up Display that projects customizable vehicle data on the windshield in a 3-by-7-inch display.

Safety Features: New standard and available active safety features across the Sierra line include LED headlamps, HD Rear-Vision Camera, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert and HD Surround Vision.

Adaptive Ride Control: The upscale Denali trim level features Adaptive Ride Control, which monitors road-surface conditions and driver inputs, and adjusts damping in milliseconds for optimal body control and ride isolation.

Towing Features

Sierra offers the same features as the Silverado but with brand-specific names. For example, the Silverado’s Advanced Trailer System and myChevrolet app are called the ProGrade Trailering System and Trailering App in the Sierra.

2019 GMC Sierra Denali ProGrade Trailering System
The available ProGrade Trailering System and Trailering App work through the infotainment system to simplify connecting and towing a trailer.

Tow Limits

2019 GMC Sierra 1500
2.7L turbo:
6,900 lbs.
3.0L I-6 diesel: NA
4.3L V-6: 7,700 lbs.
5.3L V-8: 11,400 lbs.
6.2L V-8: 12,200 lbs.

Base MSRP

Double Cab Standard Bed 2WD
Sierra:
$34,995
SLE: $39,295
Elevation: $41,795
SLT: $45,795
AT4: $52,295
Denali: $56,195

Crew Cab Short Bed 2WD
Sierra:
$37,395
SLE: $41,695
Elevation: $41,795
SLT: $48,195
AT4: $52,295
Denali: $56,195

Crew Cab Standard Bed 2WD
Sierra:
$37,695
Elevation: $41,795
SLE: $41,995
SLT: $48,495
AT4: $52,295
Denali: $56,495


Trailer Life contributor Chris Hemer

A frequent contributor to Trailer Life, Chris Hemer is the former technical editor of Trailer Life and MotorHome, and has been an RV and automotive journalist for more than 20 years. An outdoor enthusiast who now makes his home in Portland, Oregon, he enjoys camping, motorcycle riding, mountain biking and hiking.


Related Stories:

2019 Full-Size Trucks for Towing

More Choices for Truck Lovers

Towing 2019: New Trucks and SUVs


9 COMMENTS

  1. This article does nothing for someone looking at fifth-wheels, needing a heavy-duty truck. What about the 2500 and gooseneck ratings?

  2. I too would like to see information on the GMC/Chevy 2500HD & 3500HD. Only covering the 1500 barely addresses what should be covered!

    • I have the 2017 Sierra Denali 2500 Duramax. I put in rear air bags to help level when I pull the 43.5-foot fifth-wheel we have. Approximately 15,000 pounds loaded/1300 pounds hitch weight. I have no problems pulling this RV around anywhere. Driving 70 mph down the interstate with power and handling, no problem. I love this truck.

  3. Big problem is there is only a 24-gallon gas tank and no large tank option like Ford and Ram. Other issue is max payload option requires a high trim level; Ford and Ram don’t.

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