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 2009 Chevy Tahoe?
The 2009 Chevy Tahoe can tow up to 8,500 pounds when properly equipped.
The 2009 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.
2009 Chevy Tahoe Towing Capacity
The 2009 Chevy Tahoe can tow between 4,500 lbs and 8,500 lbs depending on the engine, drivetrain, and whether it has the Heavy Duty Trailering Package.
A 2009 Chevy Tahoe 2WD 4.8L V8 can tow 4,500 pounds.
A 2009 Chevy Tahoe 2WD 5.3L V8 without a towing package can tow 5,400 pounds.
A 2009 Chevy Tahoe 2WD 5.3L V8 with a towing package can tow 8,400 pounds.
A 2009 Chevy Tahoe 4×4 5.3L V8 without a towing package can tow 5,700 pounds.
A 2009 Chevy Tahoe 4×4 5.3L V8 with a towing package can tow 8,200 pounds.
A 2009 Chevy Tahoe 2WD 6.2L V8 can tow 8,500 pounds.
A 2009 Chevy Tahoe 4×4 6.2L V8 can tow 8,100 pounds.
A 2009 Chevy Tahoe Hybrid 2WD can tow 6,200 pounds.
A 2009 Chevy Tahoe Hybrid 4×4 can tow 6,000 pounds.
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.
Here’s a video showing the Chevy Tahoe in a towing test against the GMC Yukon:
Refer to the chart below to find how much your 2009 Chevy Tahoe can tow.
2009 Chevrolet Tahoe Towing Capacity Chart
2009 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.
Chevy Tahoe Braked Tow Capacity: up to 8,500 lbs.
Chevy Tahoe Unbraked Tow Capacity: 3,500 lbs.
2009 Chevy Tahoe Towing Capacity Factors
There are several factors that affect the 2009 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.
Towing Capacity By Engine Type
The primary 2009 Chevy Tahoe engine is a 5.3L V8 Vortec FlexFuel engine.
This engine puts out 320 horsepower and 335 lb-ft of torque on gas fuel, and 326 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque on E85 fuel.
The 2009 Chevy Tahoe hybrid engine is a 6.0L V8 that puts out 332 horsepower and 367 pound-feet of torque.
2WD vs 4WD
Whether or not your Tahoe was 2WD or 4WD also affected how much it can tow.
The 2WD 2009 Tahoes typically have about 200 pounds of extra towing power than the 4WD versions.
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 2009 Chevy Tahoe, so always take into consideration the total load of your passengers and gear in addition to what you’re towing.
Towing Equipment Installed
In order to get the max towing capacity of 6,200 lbs from your 2009 Chevy Tahoe, you’ll need to have the towing package installed.
This includes extra features that allow for additional performance needed to pull heavy loads.
2009 Chevy Tahoe Tow Package Info
Does The 2009 Chevy Tahoe Have A Tow Package?
Every Tahoe model comes with a tow hitch automatically installed from the factory, along with a 7-pin sealed wiring connector, provision for an aftermarket brake controller, and a weight-distributing hitch platform.
2009 Chevy Tahoe Heavy Duty Trailering Package
The Chevy Tahoe Heavy-Duty Trailering Package is what you’ll need to get the highest tow rating on your Tahoe.
It includes everything in the standard equipment, plus an external transmission oil cooler, engine oil cooler, an optional trailer electric brake controller, and on 4WD models only, an optional 2-speed transfer case.
Can You Install A Trailer Hitch On a 2009 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.
2009 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
2009 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 2009 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 2009 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.
2009 Chevy Tahoe Towing Capacity Vs Competitors
The 2009 Chevy Tahoe has a maximum towing capacity of 8,500 pounds which makes it capable of doing some heavy duty trailer towing. This number is slightly less than its main competitors which are the 2009 Ford Expedition and the 2009 GMC Yukon XL.
Here are some similar vehicles to the Chevy Tahoe and their towing capacities below:
2009 Ford Expedition Towing Capacity: 9,200 pounds
2009 Chevy Suburban Towing Capacity: 9,600 pounds
2009 GMC Yukon XL Towing Capacity: 9,600 pounds
2009 Toyota Sequoia Towing Capacity: 10,000 pounds
2009 Nissan Armada Towing Capacity: 9,100 pounds
2009 Dodge Durango Towing Capacity: 5,900 pounds
How To Increase 2009 Chevy Tahoe Towing Capacity
If you’re looking to increase the tow capacity of your 2009 Tahoe, you’ll need to add the Max Towing Package.
Adding Chevy’s Trailering Heavy-Duty Cooling Package to your Tahoe will increase the towing power to the max tow capacity of 8,500 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.