The Chevrolet Tahoe was introduced into Chevy’s lineup as a full-size SUV in 1994 and remains popular today. The Tahoe is known for its unique styling and for having the features consumers expect from SUVs, including towing. But what is the towing capacity of a 1996 Chevy Tahoe?
The 1996 Chevy Tahoe can tow up to 7,000 pounds when properly equipped.
The 1996 Chevy Tahoe tow capacity can vary based on a few different factors such as engine size, towing equipment, and others which we’ll discuss below.
There’s a bit more to know about Chevrolet Tahoe towing capabilities which we’ll cover in today’s guide.
1996 Chevy Tahoe Towing Capacity
The 1996 Chevy Tahoe can tow between 5,000 lbs and 7,000 lbs depending on the engine, drivetrain, and axle ratio.
A 1996 Tahoe 2WD with a 3.08 axle ratio can tow 5,000 lbs.
A 1996 Tahoe 2WD with a 3.42 axle ratio can tow 6,000 lbs.
A 1996 Tahoe 2WD with a 3.73 axle ratio can tow 7,000 lbs.
A 1996 Tahoe 4WD with a 3.42 axle ratio can tow 5,500 lbs.
A 1996 Tahoe 4WD with a 3.73 axle ratio can tow 6,500 lbs.
You can check out our guide to Chevy Tahoe towing capacity by year if you’re looking at a different model year’s max capacity or if you want to compare different years of this vehicle.
Take a look at the chart below to see how much your 1996 Tahoe can tow:
Here’s a video showing the Chevy Tahoe in a towing test against the GMC Yukon:
1996 Chevy Tahoe Braked Vs. Unbraked Towing Capacity
All vehicles have different towing capacities based on whether or not you’re towing a trailer that has trailer brakes installed.
Trailer brakes allow the trailer to stop faster than if only the vehicle is using its brakes, allowing the vehicle to tow more weight, so braked towing capacity will always be higher than unbraked towing capacity.
1996 Chevy Tahoe Braked Tow Capacity: up to 7,000 lbs.
1996 Chevy Tahoe Unbraked Tow Capacity: 3,500 lbs.
1996 Chevy Tahoe Towing Capacity Factors
There are several factors that affect the 1996 Chevy Tahoe tow capacity which we’ll cover next.
You can also read our guide on what makes a vehicle towing capacity to learn all the aspects that go into it.
2WD vs 4WD
Whether or not your Tahoe was 2WD or 4WD also affected how much it can tow.
The 2WD 1996 Tahoe models typically have less towing power than the 4WD versions.
The 1996 Tahoe’s tow capacity can also be affected by the axle ratio. Usually, the larger the axle ratio, the greater the towing power.
Towing Equipment Installed
Although your drivetrain, engine size, and trim level will limit your 1996 Tahoe tow capacity, you will need to use a weight distributing hitch for towing anything over 5,000 pounds.
Number of Passengers
A big factor in calculating your vehicle’s towing capacity is how many passengers you’re carrying, which directly calculates into the vehicle’s GCWR.
This is true of all vehicles, not just the 1996 Chevy Tahoe, so always take into consideration the total load of your passengers and gear in addition to what you’re towing.
1996 Chevy Tahoe Tow Package Info
Does The 1996 Chevy Tahoe Have A Tow Package?
Chevy offered a 1996 Tahoe trailering package that included a weight-distributing hitch platform, trailer wiring connector, electric brake controller jumper, and 7-pin to 4-pin adapter.
Can You Install A Trailer Hitch On a 1996 Chevy Tahoe?
If you plan on towing anything with your Chevy Tahoe, you’ll need a tow hitch and wiring harness.
Depending on what you’re towing, you’re going to need a ball mount (aka a trailer ball hitch) so you can attach items for towing.
Make sure to get the right trailer ball size that matches your hitch and trailer.
You’ll also need a weight distributing hitch to tow anything over 5,000 pounds.
1996 Chevy Tahoe Tow Hitch
Trailer hitches come in different hitch classes, which are rated for different vehicle sizes and weight limits.
The Chevy Tahoe uses a Class 3, Class 4, or Class 5 hitch.
Here’s a great option for a Class III Chevy Tahoe trailer hitch:
- DEPENDABLE STRENGTH. This trailer hitch is rated for 6,000 lbs. gross trailer weight and 600 lbs. tongue weight (limited to lowest-rated towing component)
- VERSATILE DESIGN. This class 3 hitch equips your vehicle with a standard 2-inch x 2-inch hitch receiver, allowing for a wide variety of towing options. It can accept a ball mount, cargo carrier, bike rack, tow hook and much more
- FULLY TESTED. Every CURT class 3 trailer hitch design is tested in real-world, on-vehicle conditions at our Detroit engineering facility. Aftermarket hitches are tested according to SAE J684 standards for the utmost safety while hauling
- RUST, CHIP, UV-RESISTANT. This tow hitch is protected with a unique dual-coat finish of rust-resistant liquid A-coat and highly durable black powder coat. The two finishes are co-cured together for exceptional resistance to rust, chipping and UV rays
- EASY TO INSTALL. This hitch offers a custom, factory fit on select model years of the Chevy Tahoe
Here’s a great ball mount option so you can hook up different types of trailers for towing with your Tahoe:
- DEPENDABLE STRENGTH. Rated to tow 3,500 pounds gross trailer weight and 350 pounds tongue weight, this ball hitch offers dependability for your towing setup (weight capacity may change if trailer ball is removed).Fit Type: Universal Fit
- VERSATILE USE. This trailer hitch ball mount comes with a 1-1/4-inch shank to fit virtually any industry-standard 1-1/4-inch receiver. The ball mount has a 3-1/4-inch drop, 2-inch diameter ball, 1/2-inch hitch pin hole and 7-1/4-inch overall length
- READY TO TOW. Hitching up your trailer is easy with this ready-to-use trailer hitch ball mount. It comes with a pre-attached tow ball for ready coupling and a trailer hitch pin to securely mount onto your hitch receiver
- CORROSION-RESISTANT. For long-lasting use, this ball hitch is protected with a durable black powder coat finish, and the trailer ball has a polished chrome plating. These finishes resist damage from rain, dirt, road salt and other corrosive threats
- EASY TO INSTALL. To install the trailer hitch ball mount on your vehicle, simply insert the shank into your vehicle's 1-1/4-inch hitch receiver. The rounded shank makes installation easy
1996 Chevy Tahoe Trailer Hitch Installation
If you’re considering having a tow hitch added to your Tahoe, expect to pay between $100 and $200 to have a tow package professionally installed (excluding the cost of the tow hitch and wiring harness).
If you’re handy and looking to save money, you can install the trailer hitch and wiring harness yourself.
Always follow the manufacturer’s directions and use proper safety precautions.
Here’s a great video walkthrough on a Chevy Tahoe trailer hitch installation:
Hitch Receiver Vs Rear Step Bumper Towing
Some vehicles allow for bumper towing, which means you can mount a tow hitch ball directly on the bumper instead of installing a tow hitch to the vehicle’s frame.
Can I Bumper Tow With A 1996 Chevy Tahoe?
Yes, you can bumper tow up to 2,000 pounds with a Chevy Tahoe.
But in most cases, it’s just as economical and better worth it in the long run to install a frame-mounted trailer hitch on your Tahoe.
Does My 1996 Chevy Tahoe Have A Tow Package?
You can start by looking under the rear bumper of your Tahoe to see if you notice a trailer hitch or trailer ball.
That will give you a good indication of if you have a tow hitch already installed on your Tahoe.
Another way to research this is by checking the paperwork that came with your vehicle or taking it to a local dealer to see what’s installed.
Make sure to have your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) handy if you call the dealer so they can look up the exact specs and whether or not your Tahoe has any towing packages or features installed on it.
1996 Chevy Tahoe Towing Capacity Vs Competitors
The 1996 Chevy Tahoe has a maximum towing capacity of 7,000 pounds which makes it capable of doing some heavy duty trailer towing. This number is less than the 1996 Chevy Suburban and the same as the 1996 Dodge Durango.
Here are some similar vehicles to the Chevy Tahoe and their towing capacities below:
1996 Chevy Suburban Towing Capacity: 10,000 pounds
1996 Ford Explorer Towing Capacity: 3,500 pounds
1996 Nissan Pathfinder Towing Capacity: 5,000 pounds
1996 GMC Yukon Towing Capacity: 7,000 pounds.
We’ve gathered all data represented here from the official Chevy Tahoe Owner’s Manuals on Chevy’s website and have checked all data thoroughly for accuracy.
Having said that, we still recommend you refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual yourself before towing with your Chevy Tahoe.