The Chevy Equinox is a smaller, more compact SUV and has comparable trailer weight specs when compared to other similar models in the marketplace. The towing capacity is pretty impressive, considering the Equinox's size and is pretty straightforward as far as numbers go.
This article will break down the maximum trailer weight capacities for the Chevy Equinox based on the year, because there were slight variations for some years and everything is presented in an easy to read format. Hope it helps!
Overview of the Data For the Chevrolet Equinox:
Engine Choices: In general, there were two or three different engine options for the Equinox and it boiled down to a 4 cylinder or 6 cylinder engine, which was the main factor when it came to overall capacity.
The 6 cylinder engines had the larger capacity ratings (3,500 lbs.) and the 4 cylinder engines had the lower (1,500 lbs.) towing capacity.
Axle Ratio/Configurations: There were a couple of different axle ratios available but this was irrelevant when it came to the specs and did not directly affect the numbers. The axle ratios did coincide with the engine configurations though, which was the determining factor for the specs.
Towing Capacity: The towing capacity for the Equinox ranged between 1,000 lbs. and 3,500 lbs. depending on which engine you had equipped and a couple of oter variables. The 4 cylinder engine was rated to pull 1,500 lbs. maximum and the 6 cylinder engine was rated to pull a maximum of 3,500 lbs. There was no range in this case, it was either 1,500 lbs. or 3,500 lbs.
Notes On Towing With The Chevy Equinox: There were a few notes that I came across that are worth mentioning. The later models stated that a weight distribution hitch was not required to achieve their tow ratings.
On a couple of the earlier models, it stated that if you had two passengers, the max. capacity (applicable models) was the higher 3,500 lbs. but with 5 passengers, that weight was reduced to 2,900 lbs.
The GCWR is always a good number to look at if you are unsure of the weight you can haul, in addition to the weight of passengers, cargo, etc.
The 2021 models got rid of two out of the three engine options that were offered for the 2020-2018 model years and only offered the 1.5L engine for their 2021 model.
This led to a lower overall towing capacity of between 1,000-1,500 lbs. for the 2021 models and is the lowest numbers out of all of the model years.
The towing capacity for the 2020, 2019 and 2018 Equinox's ranged from 1,000-3,505 lbs., the lower rating for trailers without brake systems and the higher rating for models that had the trailer package installed.
The 2020-2018 models came with three different engine configurations, the 1.5L, 1.6L (diesel) and the 2.0L engines. The towing capacity was not affected by the drivetrain configuration, only the engine that was equipped.
The 2.0L engine had the larger (3,500 lb.) towing capacity, while the 1.5L and 1.6L engines had the lower 1,500 lb. rating.
From 2017-2013, there were different engine configurations that were offered, the 2.4L and 3.6L engines, but it didn't really change the towing capacity trends that we have been seeing.
The towing capacity for the 2017-2013 models still had a very similar range of between 1,000-3,500 lbs., when comparing these model years to later model years.
The 2.4L and 3.6L engines were the two choices and the typical towing capacity for 2013-2017 Equinox's was 1,500 lbs. for the 2.4L engine and 3,500 lbs. for the 3.6L engine.
The Equinox's that were made from 2010-2012 had two different options, as far as engine configurations go, the 2.4L or 3.0L engines.
The 2.4L engine had a maximum capacity of 1,500 lbs. and the 3.0L engine had a maximum capacity of 3,500 lbs.
The 2008 and 2009 models had two 6 cylinder engines that were offered and these shared the same maximum trailer rating.
The maximum towing capacity for either engine was a maximum of 3,500 lbs. More specifically, the engine used were the 3.4L and 3.6L engines.
The early years of the Chevrolet Equinox (2005-2007) only came with one engine option, the 3.4L engine, which was a 6 cylinder engine.
The towing capacity was rated at 3,500 lbs. max. for 2005-2007 models.
Tongue weights for these SUVs was pretty much the same it is for nearly all manufacturers and hovers somewhere around the 10% mark of the maximum trailer weight. Since most of these SUVs had a maximum trailer weight rating of around 3,500 pounds, then the maximum tongue weight would be set at 350 pounds max.
Each model year had it's own set of tongue weight ratings and recommendations listed and you need to look these up for your specific model year but a good general number to go by is that 10% mark.
Trailer brakes are important and are required (legally) in many states but each manufacturer will have their own trailer brake recommendations and for the Equinox this was required for trailers that weigh over 1,000 pounds.
GCWR, GVWR And The GAWR Figures:
The GCWR, GVWR and the GAWR figures are important to have and use in your calculations when determining your maximum load limits for your vehicle, trailer and a combination of the two weights together.
The GVWR and the two GAWR figures can be found on the certification label that is located on the driver's side door jamb, when the door is open. This label has the GVWR listed, along with the front and rear axle weight ratings.
The GCWR can be found in the charts that are listed in the manuals and can actually be found in this article for model years 2010 and up (newer). For older models, you will have to perform an independent search on your own, as these were harder to obtain than the later model years were.
When you plan on purchasing a new vehicle with little to no miles on in, then you will have a break in period where you have to drive the vehicle more gently and be mindful of a couple of things.
For the equinox, there was a stated break-in period when pulling a trailer and for the 2018 models it was stated that you should not do any kind of towing for the first 500 miles and after that you should limit your maximum speed and make soft starts from a stop.
Here is a screenshot I took from the manual on what the recommendations are and remember, check your specific model's manual for your break in period recommendations, as they could differ from what this example states.
Where Can I Find The Data?
I used the owner's manuals to conduct the research for this article and pulled all of the most important information (in my opinion) from these resources. They contained the most detailed information with charts and other helpful data but finding the manuals themselves was not as easy as some other manufacturer's make it.
If you use Chevy's website to search for their owner's manuals, you only have a choice of the latest model years (3 in my case) which is great for the newer models but leaves a huge gap when it comes to older model years.
For the older model years, you just have to search via a search engine and try to find a manual from a source of some kind. A lot of the time, I was able to view the manual from Chevy's site but a couple of links I found were from a third party source, which is usually fine too.
Last updated on May 10th, 2021 at 02:11 pm