How Much Can A Chevy Express Van Tow?

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When it comes to vans that can do it all, the Chevy Express van should close to the top or at the top of the list. It is quite innovative for a van known for hauling several passengers, towing heavy loads, and reliability. However, if you want to use the Chevy Express van for towing, you will first need to know each model and engine’s capacity. We have broken down the towing capacity of each Chevy express model and engine below. 

Here is the towing capacity of the Chevy Express van by model and engine size:

  • Chevy Express 1500 (4.3-L V6) – 4,400 LBS Max Towing Capacity
  • Chevy Express 1500 (5.3-L V8) – 6,800 LBS Max Towing Capacity
  • Chevy Express 2500 (4.3-L V8 – 7,200 LBS Max Towing Capacity
  • Chevy Express 2500 (6.0-L V8) – 10,000 LBS Max Towing Capacity
  • Chevy Express 2500 (2.8-L I-4 Turbo Diesel- 6,100 LBS Max Towing Capacity
  • Chevy Express 3500 (4.8-L V8) 7,400 LBS Max Towing Capacity
  • Chevy Express 3500 (6.0-L V8) 9,700 LBS Max Towing Capacity
  • Chevy Express 3500 (6.6-L V8) 10,000 LBS Max Towing Capacity
  • Chevy Express 3500 (6.6-L V8 Turbo Diesel) 10,000 LBS Max Towing Capacity

As you can see from above, all three models of the Chevy Express van are more than capable of towing. The numbers don’t lie, and when properly set up with a tow package, the Chevy Express can handle hauling most loads. Read on as we discuss setting up the Chevy Express van for towing. In addition, we will suggest what can be towed behind the van and precautions to take when doing so. 

A Chevy Express van moving along the streets, How Much Can A Chevy Express Van Tow?

How Much Can A Chevy Express Van Tow? 

Since making its debut in 1996, the Chevy Express van gets a Swiss Army Knife credit. The van has many uses, from being able to seat several passengers (15 to be exact), or the seats can be removed and used as a work van. 

Don’t need it for work? No problem, turn it into a camper van and hit the open road. Maybe camping isn’t your thing, but you still need the room and enough power to tow a trailer; once again, the Chevy Express van can help. Read on as we discuss the latter and how the towing capabilities of the Chevy Express 1500, 2500, and 3500. 

Chevy Express 1500 Max Towing Capacity

The Chevy Express 1500 is an excellent cargo van for getting around city streets. It is an ideal choice for the consumer who doesn’t need an immense amount of towing capacity but just enough to handle minimal towing jobs. 

The towing capacity of the Chevy Express 1500 depends on which engine is under the hood. The 1500 model has two different engines, the 4.3-L V6 and 5.3-L V8. 

The V6 engine has a max towing capacity of 4,300 LBS. This is a low towing capacity, and this model is more of an economical choice for city driving. 

For towing, the V8 version of the Express 1500 is the better choice. It has more performance and low-end torque. Expect a max towing capacity of 6,800 LBS. 

So what can you tow with the Chevy Express 1500? With the V6 model, it is wise to stick to compact cars or small trailers. As for the V8 model, you have more choices. Small cars, crossover SUVs, mid-size trailers, and lightweight campers are ideal for being towed by the Express V8. 

Chevy Express 2500 Max Towing Capacity

It is a common misconception that if the number next to a vehicle’s name is bigger, it means it is a larger vehicle. This isn’t necessarily true, and in fact, the Chevy Express 1500, 2500, and 3500 are all the same size.

So, what’s the difference? 

The difference between the 1500 and 2500 isn’t the size of the van but how much it can haul. In addition, the 2500 and 3500 can tow more weight from behind to the increase in hauling capability. 

Here is a quick rundown of each Chevy Express 2500 towing capacity by the engine: 

  • Chevy Express 2500 (4.3-L V8 – 7,200 LBS Max Towing Capacity
  • Chevy Express 2500 (6.0-L V8) – 10,000 LBS Max Towing Capacity
  • Chevy Express 2500 (2.8-L I-4 Turbo Diesel- 6,100 LBS Max Towing Capacity

As you can see, the Express 2500 models all have a higher towing capacity compared to that of the Expres 1500 engines. 

This van can tow heavier loads such as campers, trailers, and small to mid-size SUVs. It is recommended to always check your owner manual before towing to ensure proper setup. 

Read on as we take a look at the 3500 and its towing capacity. 

Chevy Express 3500 Max Towing Capacity

Last but not least, we give you the Chevy Express 3500. This is the van you choose if you need to tow often. Here is a quick breakdown of the engine options and their towing capacities: 

  • Chevy Express 3500 (6.0-L V8) 9,700 LBS Max Towing Capacity
  • Chevy Express 3500 (6.6-L V8) 10,000 LBS Max Towing Capacity
  • Chevy Express 3500 (6.6-L V8 Turbo Diesel) 10,000 LBS Max Towing Capacity

As you can see, the Chevy Express 3500 can tow quite a bit. Those numbers are something you see when you look at pickup truck towing capacities! 

Keep in mind that just because it says it can tow 9,700 lbs doesn’t mean you can hook up a 28-foot camper and hit the road. Towing capacities are only as good as the tow package that comes on the vehicle. 

Check with your local dealer and ask what towing packages are the best for your Chevy Express van. Not doing so could end up in expensive repair bills or further damage down the road. 

Does Chevy Express Have A Tow Package? 

Before towing with your Chevy Express van, you will need to make sure you have a towing package. The Chevy Express doesn’t come standard with a towing package and will need to be installed by the dealer. 

However, the Express van is equipped with all of the proper wirings for trailer lights. It is recommended to check with your dealer for the best recommendations of tow package brands. 

How Much Does It Cost To Add A Tow Package To A Van?

The cost of adding a tow package to a van will vary on the brand and quality. However, you can expect to pay on average $300-$400 to have a tow package installed on your van. 

Some consumers have reported spending as much as $1,100 to add a tow package on their vans—this speculative as to what all those tow packages included. 

Contact your local dealer for a price quote. At times, having an aftermarket tow package installed can be more expensive due to labor costs. 

What Size Hitch Reciever Do I Need?

Figuring out what size hitch receiver to use when towing can be confusing. Choosing the right size ultimately depends on what you are towing. Receiver hitches are categories into five classes.

  • Class 1 – Cars and Crossovers – 1-1/4 inch (2,000lbs Towing Capacity)
  • Class 2- Cars, Crossovers, Minivans -1-1/4 inch (3,500lbs towing capacity)
  • Class 3- Crossover, Minivans, SUVs, Trucks – 2-inch (8,000lbs Towing Capacity)
  • Class 4- SUVs, Trucks – 2-inch (10,000lbs Towing Capacity)
  • Class 5- SUVs, Trucks – 2-inch (17,000lbs Towing Capacity)

As you can see from the numbers above, classes 1-3 are the ideal receiver hitch sizes for all three Chevy Express van models. If you plan on towing vehicles over 6,000 LBS frequently, it doesn’t hurt to consider the Class 4 receiver hitch option.

If you are still on the fence on which receiver hitch to go with, contact your local towing accessories shop or local Chevy dealer. They should have a good idea of what will fit your needs. 

Can A Chevy Express Pull A Camper?

If you want to tow a camper with your Chevy Express, then you are in luck. The Express, as we spoke about above, has plenty of power and a strong frame capable of towing a camper. 

Most campers are relatively light. Several trailers are under 5,000 lbs that can sleep four or more people. The Express 1500 will need a camper under 3,000 lbs to ensure max towing performance. The 2500 and 3500 don’t need to worry about camper size as much when equipped with a towing package. 

Suppose you don’t want to buy a camper and tow it. Several consumers converted their Express van to a camper! Just an idea! 

Conclusion

When it comes to versatility, the Chevy Express van is a top choice. Its spacious cabin and towing capabilities have made it popular over the years. Consumers note that once you have a van like the Chevy Express, it is hard to own any other vehicle in its class. 

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like:

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Have you towed with a Chevy Express van? Leave us a comment below and tell us about your experiences! 

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