TOWING CAPACITY OF 2011 GMC SIERRA 1500 full guide (with charts and payload)

The towing capacity in the 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 ranges from 4,400 – 10,700 lbs. This is dependent on the cab size, bed size, drive, package, and most importantly engine.

The highest towing capacity in the 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 of 10,700 lbs is achieved with the 6.2L V8 Engine Extended Cab Standard Bed with Max Trailering Package.

You should always use your own data to determine your towing capacity by calculating towing capacity on your own by using the weight capacities listed in your truck door.

Information in this guide was taken from the 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 Owner’s Manual, the 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 Trailering Guide, 2011 GMC Sierra Denali Owner’s Manual, and the 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 e-brochure.

Though I tried to make this information as accurate as possible, you should always check your manual or contact your local dealer to determine the appropriate towing capacity of your vehicle and necessary equipment.

2011 gmc sierra 1500 towing capacity featured image

2011 GMC Sierra 1500 Engine Performance

There are 5 available engines in the GMC Sierra 1500. Not every trim is available with each engine, but there are definitely a lot of choices.

These engines come with an electronically controlled 6-speed automatic transmission with overdrive, electronic engine grade braking, and tow/haul mode.

We will walk you through the specs of each to help you decide what engine you want, or identify what engine you have if you already have your truck.

There is the 4.3 L V8, 4.8 L V8, 5.3 L V8, 6.0 L V8 and 6.2 L V8.

4.3 L V8 Engine

The 4.3 L V8 engine has a torque of 260 lb.-ft. @ 2,800 rpm and 195 hp @ 4,600 rpm.

Depending on the compatibility, this engine has a max towing capacity of 5,400 lbs.

4.8 L V8 ENGINE

The 4.8 L V8 engine has a torque of 305 lb.-ft. @ 4,600 rpm and 302 hp @ 5,600 rpm.

5.3 L V8 Engine

The 5.3 L V8 engine in the 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 provides 315 hp @ 5,200 and 335 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000.

6.2 L V8 Engine

The 6.2 L V8 engine in the 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 provides 403 hp @ 5,700 and 417 lb-ft of torque @ 4,300.

Towing Packages

There are two packages available in the 2011 GMC Sierra 1500.

The Trailering Package and the Max Trailering Package.

Trailering Package

The Heavy Duty Trailering Package in the 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 comes with:

  • Trailering Hitch Platform
  • 7-wire harness
  • 7-way sealed connector
  • Automatic Locking Rear Differential
  • External Transmission Oil Cooler

This package has no influence on the max towing capacity, but it makes the GMC Sierra capable of towing because it provides the necessary equipment.

Max Trailering Package

The Max Trailering Package, unlike the regular Trailering Package, provides additional features that improve the overall towing capacity when in use. This is only available for Extended and Crew Cab models. It includes:

  • Heavy Duty Automatic Locking Rear Differential
  • Handling/ Trailering Suspension Package
  • 9.5″ Hybrid Rear Axle
  • 3.73″ Rear Axle Ratio
  • Front and Rear Disc Brakes
  • Heavy Duty Trailering Package

Max Towing Capacity by Engine

To determine the towing capacity of your vehicle, you need to know the:

  1. engine type
  2. bed size
  3. cab size
  4. drivetrain
  5. axle ratio

If you know all of these items, then move on to the next section by engine to determine your towing capacity.

If not:

  1. Start with the VIN decoder from Autozone to determine the engine in the vehicle
  2. measure the bed size with a tape measure to determine whether you have a 5 ft 9.9 in, 6 ft 7 in, or 8 ft bed
  3. The cab size should be evident by whether or not the back doors are full-sized
  4. Drivetrain should be determined with the VIN as well
  5. The axle ratio will likely be listed on the side of the driver’s door on the certification sticker

You can find the GVWR and usually the axle ratio on the Safety Compliance Certification Label on the inside of the driver’s side door.

Related: What is GVWR?

4.3 L V6 Engine

The 4.3L V6 engine towing capacity in the 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 ranges from 4,400 – 5,400 lbs.

Axle RatioTowing Capacity (lbs)GCWR (lbs)
Extended Cab
Standard Bed
4×2
3.234,4009,500
Regular Cab
Standard Bed
4×2
3.23/3.734,800/5,4009,500/10,000
Regular Cab
Standard Bed
4×4
/3.735,10010,000
Regular Cab
Long Bed
4×2
3.23/3.734,700/5,2009,500/10,000
Regular Cab
Long Bed
4×4
3.734,90010,000
2011 GMC Sierra 1500 Towing Capacity Chart 4.3 L Engine

4.8 L V8 Engine

The 4.8L V8 engine towing capacity in the 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 ranges from 4,700 – 7,200 lbs.

Axle RatioTowing Capacity (lbs)GCWR (lbs)
Crew Cab
Short Bed
4×2
3.23/3.734,700/6,70010,000/12,000
Crew Cab
Short Bed
4×4
3.425,50011,000
Extended Cab
Standard Bed
4×2
3.23/3.734,700/6,70010,000/12,000
Extended Cab
Standard Bed
4×4
3.425,50011,000
Regular Cab
Standard Bed
4×2
3.23/3.734,700/7,2009,500/12,000
Regular Cab
Standard Bed
4×4
3.426,00011,000
Regular Cab
Long Bed
4×2
3.23/3.735,100/7,10010,000/12,000
Regular Cab
Long Bed
4×4
3.425,80011,000
2011 GMC Sierra 1500 Towing Capacity Chart 4.8 L Engine

5.3 L V8 Engine

The 5.3 L V8 engine towing capacity in the 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 ranges from 6,000 – 10,000 lbs.

Axle RatioPackagesTowing CapacityGCWR
Regular Cab
Standard Bed
4×2/4×4
3.086,600/6,30011,500
Regular Cab
Standard Bed
4×2
3.08/3.42Heavy Duty Cooling Package7,400/9,10012,200/14,000
Regular Cab
Standard Bed
4×4
3.08/3.42Heavy Duty Cooling Package7,100/8,90012,200/14,000
Extended Cab
Standard Bed
4×2/4×4
3.086,200/6,10011,500
Extended Cab
Standard Bed
4×2
3.08/3.42Heavy Duty Cooling Package6,900/9,70012,200/15,000
Extended Cab
Standard Bed
4×4
3.08/3.42Heavy Duty Cooling Package6,800/9,60012,200/15,000
Crew Cab
Short Bed
4×2/4×4
3.086,200/6,00011,500
Crew Cab
Short Bed
4×2
3.08/3.42Heavy Duty Cooling Package 6,900/9,60012,200/15,000
Crew Cab
Short Bed
4×4
3.08/3.42Heavy Duty Cooling Package 6,700/9,50012,200/15,000
Regular Cab
Long Bed
4×2/4×4
3.086,500/6,30011,500
Regular Cab
Long Bed
4×2
3.08/3.42Heavy Duty Cooling Package7,200/10,00012,200/15,000
Regular Cab
Long Bed
4×4
3.08/3.42Heavy Duty Cooling Package7,000/9,80012,200/15,000
Extended Cab
Long Bed
4×2/4×4
3.086,000/5,80011,500
Extended Cab
Long Bed
4×2
3.08/3.42Heavy Duty Cooling Package6,700/9,50012,200/15,000
Extended Cab
Long Bed
4×4
3.08/3.426,800/9,60012,200/15,000
2011 GMC Sierra 1500 Towing Capacity Chart 5.3 L Engine

6.2 L V8 Engine

The 6.2 L V8 engine towing capacity in the 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 ranges from 9,400 – 10,700 lbs with the Max Trailering Package.

Axle RatioPackagesTowing CapacityGCWR
Extended Cab
Standard Bed
4×2/4×4
3.429,700/9,40015,000
Extended Cab
Standard Bed
4×2/4×4
3.73Max Trailering Package 10,700/10,40016,000
Crew Cab
Short Bed
4×2/4×4
3.42Heavy Duty Cooling Package 9,700/9,40015,000
Crew Cab
Short Bed
4×2/4×4
3.73Max Trailering Package 10,600/10,40016,000
2011 GMC Sierra 1500 Towing Capacity Chart 6.2 L Engine

SIERRA 1500 HYBRID WITH THE 6.0 L V8 engine

The 2011 Sierra Hybrid 6.0 L V8 engine towing capacity ranges from 5,900 – 6,100 lbs.

Axle RatioTowing Capacity (lbs)GCWR (lbs)
Crew Cab
Short Bed
2WD
3.086,10012,000
Crew Cab
Short Bed
4WD
3.085,90012,000
2011 GMC Sierra 1500 Hybrid 1500 Towing Capacity Chart 6.0 L Engine

SIERRA DENALI 1500 WITH THE 6.2 L V8 engine

The 2011 Sierra Denali 6.2 L V8 engine towing capacity ranges from 9,400 – 9,600 lbs.

Axle RatioTowing Capacity (lbs)GCWR (lbs)
Crew Cab
Short Bed
2WD
3.429,60015,000
Crew Cab
Short Bed
AWD
3.429,40015,000
2011 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali 1500 Towing Capacity Chart 6.2 L Engine

2011 GMC Sierra 1500 Fifth Wheel/Gooseneck Towing Capacity

We’ve included the towing capacity charts for the GMC Sierra 1500.

The 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 Fifth Wheel/ Gooseneck Trailering can tow up to 10,300 lbs.

2011 gmc sierra 1500 towing capacity chart part 1
2011 GMC Sierra 1500 Towing Capacity Chart- part 1
2011 gmc sierra 1500 towing capacity chart part 2
2011 GMC Sierra 1500 Towing Capacity Chart – part 2
2011 gmc sierra 1500 towing capacity chart part 3
2011 GMC Sierra 1500 Towing Capacity Chart – part 3
2011 gmc sierra denali 1500 towing capacity chart
2011 GMC Sierra Denali 1500 Towing Capacity Chart

2011 GMC Sierra 1500 Payload Capacity

4.3 L V6 Engine

The 4.3 L V6 engine payload capacity in the 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 ranges from 1,494 – 1,937 lbs.

Axle RatioPayload Capacity (lbs)GVWR (lbs)
Extended Cab
Standard Bed
4×2
3.231,4946,400
Regular Cab
Standard Bed
4×2
3.23/3.731,9376,400
Regular Cab
Standard Bed
4×4
/3.731,6936,400
Regular Cab
Long Bed
4×2
3.23/3.731,8066,400
Regular Cab
Long Bed
4×4
3.731,5456,400
2011 GMC Sierra 1500 Payload Capacity Chart 4.3 L Engine

4.8 L V8 ENGINE

The 4.3 L V6 engine payload capacity in the 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 ranges from 1,566 – 1,815 lbs.

Axle RatioPayload Capacity (lbs)GVWR (lbs)
Crew Cab
Short Bed
4×2
3.23/3.731,7056,800
Crew Cab
Short Bed
4×4
3.421,6717,000
Extended Cab
Standard Bed
4×2
3.23/3.731,7596,800
Extended Cab
Standard Bed
4×4
3.421,7337,000
Regular Cab
Standard Bed
4×2
3.23/3.731,8156,400
Regular Cab
Standard Bed
4×4
3.421,5666,400
Regular Cab
Long Bed
4×2
3.23/3.731,6846,400
Regular Cab
Long Bed
4×4
3.421,8156,400
2011 GMC Sierra 1500 Payload Capacity Chart 4.8 L Engine

5.3 L V8 Engine

The 5.3 L V8 engine payload capacity in the 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 ranges from 1,512 – 1,788 lbs.

Axle RatioPackagesPayload CapacityGVWR
Regular Cab
Standard Bed
4×2/4×4
3.081,768/1,5236,400
Regular Cab
Standard Bed
4×2
3.08/3.42Heavy Duty Cooling Package1,7686,400
Regular Cab
Standard Bed
4×4
3.08/3.42Heavy Duty Cooling Package1,5236,400
Extended Cab
Standard Bed
4×2/4×4
3.081,732/1,7886,800
Extended Cab
Standard Bed
4×2
3.08/3.42Heavy Duty Cooling Package1,7326,800
Extended Cab
Standard Bed
4×4
3.08/3.42Heavy Duty Cooling Package1,7887,000
Crew Cab
Short Bed
4×2/4×4
3.081,663/1,7326,800
Crew Cab
Short Bed
4×2
3.08/3.42Heavy Duty Cooling Package 1,6636,800
Crew Cab
Short Bed
4×4
3.08/3.42Heavy Duty Cooling Package 1,7327,000
Regular Cab
Long Bed
4×2/4×4
3.081,649/1,7796,400
Regular Cab
Long Bed
4×2
3.08/3.42Heavy Duty Cooling Package1,6496,400
Regular Cab
Long Bed
4×4
3.08/3.42Heavy Duty Cooling Package1,7796,800
Extended Cab
Long Bed
4×2/4×4
3.081,656/1,5126,900
Extended Cab
Long Bed
4×2
3.08/3.42Heavy Duty Cooling Package1,6566,900
Extended Cab
Long Bed
4×4
3.08/3.42Heavy Duty Cooling Package1,5127,000
2011 GMC Sierra 1500 Payload Capacity Chart 5.3 L Engine

6.2 L V8 Engine

The 6.2 L V8 engine payload capacity in the 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 ranges from 1,628 – 1,980 lbs.

Axle RatioPackagesPayload CapacityGVWR
Extended Cab
Standard Bed
4×2/4×4
3.42Heavy Duty Cooling Package 1,725/1,6796,800/7,000
Extended Cab
Standard Bed
4×2/4×4
3.73Max Trailering Package 1,925/1,8797,000/7,200
Crew Cab
Short Bed
4×2/4×4
3.42Heavy Duty Cooling Package 1,680/1,6286,800/7,000
Crew Cab
Short Bed
4×2/4×4
3.73Max Trailering Package 1,980/1,9287,100/7,300
2011 GMC Sierra 1500 Payload Capacity Chart 6.2 L Engine

SIERRA 1500 HYBRID WITH THE 6.0 L V8 engine

The 2011 Sierra Hybrid 6.0 L V8 engine payload capacity ranges from 1,519 – 1,553 lbs.

Axle RatioPayload Capacity (lbs)GVWR (lbs)
Crew Cab
Short Bed
2WD
3.081,5537,100
Crew Cab
Short Bed
4WD
3.081,5197,300
2011 GMC Sierra 1500 Hybrid 1500 Payload Capacity Chart 6.0 L Engine

SIERRA DENALI PAYLOAD CAPACITY FOR THE 6.2L V8 ENGINE

The 2011 Sierra Denali payload capacity for the 6.2L V8 ranges from 1,615 – 1,622 lbs.

Axle RatioPayload Capacity (lbs)GVWR (lbs)
Crew Cab
Short Bed
2WD
3.421,6156,800
Crew Cab
Short Bed
AWD
3.421,6227,000
2011 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali 1500 Payload Capacity Chart 6.2 L Engine

GMC Sierra 1500 Tongue Weight

GMC recommends that the hitch weight for conventional towing should be 10%-15% of the loaded trailer weight. More so, the fifth-wheel or gooseneck tongue weight should be 15% – 25% of the total loaded trailer weight.

The maximum tongue weight for a conventional weight-distributing hitch is 1,100 lbs.

A loaded trailer exceeding 2,000 lbs must be equipped with its own brake system, with brakes working on all axles.

You must make sure you have the appropriate hitch receiver to accommodate the towing capacity you are targeting.

2011 GMC Sierra 1500 Trims

The GMC Sierra 1500 in the 2011 family has 5 trims.

  • Work Truck
  • SL
  • SLE
  • SLT
  • Denali

The SL Team is available only for the crew cab, and along with SLE and SLT, are available in 2WD and 4WD configurations.

Each of these models has various options for customization, engine selection, cab size, and bed size.

GMC Sierra 1500 Cab Sizes

The 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 has three cab sizes. These are the Regular cab, Extended cab, and Crew cab.

The Regular Cab has only one row of seating but the other two options have two rows and can seat up to 6 passengers.

The Crew cab is the largest cab and provides the most back seat legroom for passengers.

GMC Sierra 1500 Bed Sizes

The GMC Sierra 1500 has three bed sizes. They have a 5’8″ bed, a 6’6″ bed, and an 8′ bed. These beds are referred to as the short, standard, and long bed respectively.

Regular and extended cab models are offered with an 6’6″ bed or an 8′ bed. Crew Cabs are available with 5’8″ and 6’6′ beds.

This bed type is a fleetside truck meaning that the wheel wells stick out into the bed of the truck making the shape no longer perfectly rectangular. This is very common for trucks.

Conclusion

The 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 has a towing capacity ranging from 4,400 – 10,700 lbs.

The engine type, drive, cab size, and bed size can all impact the towing capacity.

You should always do your own towing capacity calculations before you ever tow anything, especially those that are close to these limits.

If you need help calculating your towing capacity, I wrote an entire article that walks you through the steps to calculate your towing capacity along with other considerations you need to make when towing.

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