2012 Chevy Tahoe Towing Capacity

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 2012 Chevy Tahoe?

The 2012 Chevy Tahoe can tow up to 8,500 pounds when properly equipped.

The 2012 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.

2012 Chevy Tahoe Towing Capacity

white chevy tahoe
How much can a 2012 Chevy Tahoe tow is 8,500 lbs.

The 2012 Chevy Tahoe can tow between 5,200 lbs and 8,500 lbs depending on the axle ratio.

A 2012 Chevy Tahoe 2WD with a 5.3L engine without a towing package can pull up to 5,500 pounds.

A 2012 Chevy Tahoe 2WD with a 5.3L engine with a towing package can pull up to 8,500 pounds.

A 2012 Chevy Tahoe 4WD with a 5.3L engine without a towing package can pull up to 5,200 pounds.

A 2012 Chevy Tahoe 4WD with a 5.3L engine with a towing package can pull up to 8,200 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.

Chevy Tahoe Trim LevelTowing CapacityTrailering Package
All (2WD)6,600 lbsNo
All (2WD)8,500 lbsYes
All (4WD)6,400 lbsNo
All (4WD)8,400 lbsYes
2012 Chevrolet Tahoe Tow Capacity Chart

2012 Chevy Tahoe Hybrid Towing Capacity

A 2012 Chevy Tahoe 2WD with a 6.0L Hybrid engine can pull up to 6,200 pounds

A 2012 Chevy Tahoe 4WD with a 6.0L Hybrid engine can pull up to 5,900 pounds

Chevy Tahoe Trim LevelTowing Capacity
All (2WD Hybrid)6,200 lbs
All (4WD Hybrid)8,500 lbs
2012 Chevrolet Tahoe Tow Capacity Chart

Here’s a video showing the Chevy Tahoe Hybrid in a towing test against the GMC Yukon:

Refer to the chart below to find how much your 2012 Chevy Tahoe can tow.

2012 Chevy Tahoe Tow Capacity Chart

2012 Chevy Tahoe Towing Capacity Chart

2012 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.

2012 Chevy Tahoe Towing Capacity Factors

There are several factors that affect the 2012 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 2012 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 348 lb-ft of torque on E85 fuel.

The 2012 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 2012 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 2012 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 8,500 lbs from your 2012 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.

2012 Chevy Tahoe Tow Package Info

what is the towing capacity of a 2012 chevy tahoe
How much can a 2012 Chevy Tahoe tow is up to 8,500 pounds.

Does The 2012 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, tow/haul mode, and a weight-distributing hitch platform.

2012 Chevy Tahoe Trailering Heavy-Duty Cooling Package

The Chevy Tahoe Trailering Heavy-Duty Cooling 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, and on 4WD models only, a 2-speed transfer case.

Can You Install A Trailer Hitch On a 2012 Chevy Tahoe?

rear view of chevy tahoe
The 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe tow capacity is up to 8,500 pounds.

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.

2012 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:

CURT 13161 Class 3 Trailer Hitch, 2-Inch Receiver, Fits Select Chevrolet Tahoe , Black
  • 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:

CURT 45148 Trailer Hitch Mount, 2-Inch Ball, Pin, Fits 1-1/4-In Receiver, 3,500 lbs, 3-1/4" Drop, GLOSS BLACK POWDER COAT
  • 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)
  • 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

2012 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 2012 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 2012 Chevy Tahoe Have A Tow Package?

chevy tahoe towing a travel trailer
The 2012 Chevy Tahoe can tow up to 8,500 pounds.

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.

2012 Chevy Tahoe Towing Capacity Vs Competitors

The 2012 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 similar to its main competitors, the 2012 Toyota Sequoia and the 2012 Jeep Wagoneer.

Here are some similar vehicles to the Chevy Tahoe and their towing capacities below:

2012 Ford Expedition Towing Capacity: 9,200 pounds

2012 Chevy Suburban Towing Capacity: 9,600 pounds

2012 GMC Yukon Towing Capacity: 9,600 pounds

2012 Toyota Sequoia Towing Capacity: 7,400 pounds

2012 Nissan Armada Towing Capacity: 9,000 pounds

2012 Dodge Durango Towing Capacity: 7,400 pounds

How To Increase 2012 Chevy Tahoe Towing Capacity

If you’re looking to increase the tow capacity of your 2012 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.

Data Accuracy

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.

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