Our 1989 Ford F-350 Gunsmoke Is a HEAVY Beast — Can The New 2020 Chevy Silverado Trail Boss Handle It?

Does the Chevy V8 dominate or submit to 7 tons of truck and trailer?

2020 Trail Boss Max Tow
Our 2020 Chevy Silverado Trail Boss on the job.

We had a chance to put our 2020 Chevy Silverado Trail Boss with the 5.3-liter V8 up to a max towing test, also nearly maxing out the truck’s payload and its Gross Combined Weight rating.

The job was simple: Pick up Gunsmoke, our 1989 Ford F350 4×4 diesel (which isn’t registered yet), and bring it back to headquarters in Boulder, Colorado. Between our Iron Bull trailer and Gunsmoke‘s sheer heft, that worked out to a total trailer of 9,100 pounds. That comes within 400 pounds of our truck’s max rating of 9,500 pounds. The total job between truck, trailer, Ford, and crew came to roughly 14,500 pounds. A big load for the Chevy’s 5.3L V8 and its 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. Making things harder: a 3.23 axle ratio that’s optimal for fuel economy, not so much for towing heavy.

Gen-Y Hitch Iron Grip Pins
Our Gen-Y adjustable hitch with their new Iron Grip pins in the hitch receiver on the truck and the receiver on the hitch.

Silverado Trail Boss Towing Results

To connect truck to trailer we broke out our Gen-Y adjustable hitch with their new Iron Grip pins that screw tight to mitigate rattle–a nifty solution to a problem we never even thought about. So how did the Trail Boss do?

All that weight did cause the off-road tuned suspension to sag, which we expected, but the truck never hit the bump stops on the rear, telling us that we had plenty of suspension left. Impressive! Behind the wheel, André could certainly feel the weight behind him, especially when making a turn or braking, but in a straight line, while cruising, the 5.3-liter pulled like a charm.

Over the course of our 52.3 mile trip on rural highways, the Trail Boss averaged a very respectable 11 MPG. Granted, this was no IKE Gauntlet™ hillclimb or Interstate fuel economy loop, but we feel confident that the Trail Boss can adequately do the job for around-town towing needs. See for yourself by clicking on the video below.