I have to admit, that I was never a fan of Chevy's Avalanche, no matter what model year and I always thought they looked bizarre. When I noticed that the Avalanche actually had a towing capacity, I started doing a little more in depth research and found out that some of them are very capable! Here's what I found...
Overview of the Data For the Chevy Avalanche:
Engine Choices: Over the years, the Chevy Avalanche did not really have many engine options available and to be honest, after looking through the data, it did not seem to affect towing capacity all that much.
Things like axle ratio and additional towing equipment that was installed on the vehicles had more of an impact than what engine was equipped.
Variations: There were a few different variations of the Avalanche's that affected towing capacity. Things like axle ratios and 2WD vs 4WD models made for smaller differences while things like optional towing accessories and 1500 vs 2500 series made large impacts in the tow specs.
Towing Capacity: The Avalanche's towing capacity over the years (2002-2013) did range quite a bit from 4,900 pounds on the low side and going up to 12,000 pounds on the higher end.
Models made from 2009-2013 had some of the lower tow ratings that we saw ranging from 4,900-8,100 pounds. Models made from '02-'06 that were the 2500 series, had some of the highest ratings we saw, ranging from 9,900-12,000 pounds.
Be sure to read the owner's manual for your specific model year Avalanche to get a full understanding of what Chevy recommends and what you can and shouldn't do.
Chevrolet did recommend that when towing with the Avalanche, if the trailer weighed over 2,000 pounds, then trailer brakes are required, as you can see in the image below that I pulled from the owner's manual.
The 2010-2013 Chevy Avalanche's had quite the span when it came to overall towing capacities, ranging from 4,100 pounds on the low end and going up to 8,100 pounds on the higher end.
The 2011 models had slightly different metrics for the 4WD models, 100 lbs. less but nothing significant as you can see in the two charts below.
The 2010-2013 Avalanche's that were 2WD had a 100 pound advantage over 4WD models when comparing the metrics in the charts and if you had the K5L HD cooling package installed, then you had the highest towing capacity available, no matter if you had a 2WD or 4WD model.
The towing chart for the 2009 Chevy Avalanche's was a bit more complex than later model years and the capacity was also a bit different too.
Overall, the towing capacity for the 2009 Chevy Avalanche's ranged from 5,100-8,100 pounds.
In order to decipher what your '09 Avalanche's towing capacities are, you will need to use the RPO codes. If you had the K5L cooling package installed on your Avalanche like the chart states (K5L RPO Code) then you will have the higher towing capacities.
The 2008 Chevy Avalanches had a higher overall towing capacity than later model years, ranging from 7,000-8,200 pounds, depending on a couple of factors.
There were two different engines used for the '08 Avalanches: a 5.3L and 6.0L engine, along with two different gear ratios: 3.73 or 4.10.
The '08 Avalanches came in 2WD and 4WD models, like other model years and the 2WD models had about a 200 pound advantage when it came to tow capacity when you compare similar specs.
The 2007 Chevy Avalanche's had a towing capacity range of 7,100-8,000 pounds overall for all sub-model types.
The same differences were seen for the '07 models like a slightly higher capacity for 2WD models (100-200 lbs.), the same engines and the same axle ratios.
The '07 model Avalanche's were very similar in specs compared to the '08 models with slight differences and is why I decided to make a completely new section for the 2007 models.
2006 & 2005 Models:
I decided to put the 2006 and 2005 Avalanche's together because their specs were so close but posted separate towing charts so you could see the differences for yourself.
In 2006 and 2005, the Chevy Avalanche was capable of towing between 7,100-12,000 pounds depending on if you had the 1500 or 2500 model.
The 2006 and 2005 Avalanche 1500 models had the "average" capacity range of 7,100-8,200 pounds like we saw with other later model years while the 2500 models boasted a much larger capacity of between 10,100-12,000 pounds, with the help of a larger engine too.
In 2004, the Chevy Avalanche had a 2WD and 4WD 2500 model, which changed the towing chart a bit compared to the '06 and '05 models but the metrics were still close.
The towing capacity for the 2004 Avalanche's ranged from 7,100 pounds on the low end and went all the way up to 12,000 pounds on the higher end.
I did notice that the axle ratios made quite a difference too for the 2004 Avalanches, having a difference of between 900-1,900 pounds in some instances so it would be worth noting that.
The 2003 Avalanches had close specs to the 2004 models but many of the stated towing specs were different by a couple of hundred pounds, which prompted me to make an individual evaluation instead of a combined one.
The towing capacity for the 2003 Chevy Avalanche's ranged between 7,000 pounds and 12,000 pounds.
Again, the '03 Avalanche's had some similar specs when looking at the information like models equipped with the 4.10 gears had higher cpacities than models equipped with 3.73 gears. 2WD models were also slightly more capable than 4WD models by about 100-300 pounds.
The first year that the Chevy Avalanche debuted had different towing specs than '03 models, even though a lot of the same engines, gear ratios and GCWR were the same.
The towing capacity (overall) was slightly different though, ranging from 7,100 pounds for the 1500 models and going up to 12,000 pounds for the 2500 models.
Yet again, the same similarities existed for the '02 models that I noticed throughout the life of the Avalanche where the axle ratios and 2WD vs 4WD models had minor to major differences in the towing numbers.
Resources For Chevy Avalanche:
I decided to pull all of my data from the owner's manuals I found online, most of them which come directly from GM's website. There are a couple of owner's manuals that I could not find directly through GM's site and instead I pulled them from a third party source that had the manual.