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The step-bumper reads 5,000 lb maximum trailer weight and 500 lb tongue weight. However, the manual says a 5300 V8 with a 3.73 axle ratio should pull 7,800 lbs. When I called the dealer he said that you defer to the step bumper. (So where the heck is the manual writer pulling his numbers out of?)

I'm no expert on towing, but different chassis and suspensions can be set up in various ways. Your drivetrain (motor and gearing) may be capable of greater capacity than the physical hitch and its attachments to the chassis.

Once again, I'm not well-versed in towing, but it seems a well-balanced trailer load is not going to approach your limits for tongue weight. If it does, you want to consider how you can safely alter the tongue weight. Just putting more weight at the tail may not be the answer, and may be even more unsafe.

Lots to consider, and getting one thing wrong can be disastrous at speed.

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