Hands Down: These Are the Best Trucks for Towing

This post may contain affiliate links.

You don’t want to hitch your trailer up to just any truck. You want to know that the truck can handle the weight of your trailer and safely stop it. If you’re planning to tow your trailer through mountains or steep grades, you’ll quickly discover whether your truck is capable or not. To help you avoid making an expensive mistake, look at some of the best trucks for towing.

Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Truck for Your Needs

You should consider a handful of essential things when choosing the best truck for your needs. That fancy color scheme and chrome accents may catch your attention, but you’ll have to look past those to find the most capable truck.

Let’s look at some things you need to keep in mind when shopping.

A GMC Sierra 1500 outside, one of the best truck for towing

Maximum Towing Capacity

One of the most important numbers to look at is the maximum towing capacity manufacturers set. These numbers represent the weight a vehicle can safely tow. You increase the risk and dangers of towing the closer you get to a vehicle’s towing capacity.

This can be confusing because many factors go into this number, such as the engine and suspension components. You can have two vehicles sitting next to each other that look the same but have very different maximum towing capacities.

You must look up the specific towing numbers for the vehicle you’re considering.

Bed Length

One factor that many shoppers overlook is the bed length. The length of your bed is very important, especially when towing a fifth wheel.

Long beds reduce the chances that your RV and truck will contact each other when making sharp turns or tight maneuvers. It’s not uncommon to hear of RVers busting out their rear windows because they didn’t see how close the truck and trailer were when turning.

A long bed truck will provide more stability and a smoother ride for towing trailers. However, remember that long bed trucks can reach over 20 ft long. This means you’d likely have a hard time fitting in most standard-sized parking spaces.

Gas Engine Versus Diesel Engine

There’s no competition between gas and diesel engines when towing.

Diesel engines are more efficient and more powerful. However, they also weigh much more, which reduces a vehicle’s payload capacity. Many diesel owners feel surprised when they find out their beefy and robust truck has a lower payload capacity than the gas alternative.

You’ll likely need to consider how you’ll use your truck when choosing between a gas and a diesel engine. If you’ll only tow occasionally and you can safely do so with a gas engine, then it might not make sense to spend the extra on a diesel. 

Gas engines are efficient as daily drivers and less expensive to maintain. However, if you’ll tow regularly or have a large RV, you’ll need to go with diesel.

Manual Transmission Versus Six-Speed Automatic Transmission

Choosing between a manual and six-speed automatic transmission is a no-brainer for most people. Some reports state that only 18% of drivers even know how to drive a vehicle with a manual transmission.

So if you don’t know how to drive a manual, you don’t want to learn on a fancy and expensive new truck.

A manual transmission can be great, especially if you plan to take your vehicle off-roading. Experienced off-road drivers can shift between gears when needed to increase traction and control of the vehicle.

However, automatic transmissions likely won’t go anywhere, and most drivers prefer the simplicity of letting the vehicle do all the shifting.

A woman driving a RAM truck down the road with black interior
Source: RAM

Single Rear Wheels Versus Dual Rear Wheels

You’ll find plenty of powerful and capable single rear wheel trucks for towing. Dual rear wheels spread the weight out between two tires in the back. This provides a more stable and smoother towing experience.

However, dual rear wheel trucks provide a rougher ride than single rear wheel vehicles when not towing.

Those with large fifth wheels will typically need to use a truck with dual rear wheels. They can handle heavy loads and provide a much smoother driving experience.

You’ll have to pay more for a truck with dual rear wheels, but many owners feel it’s worth it.

Learn More: There is a third option when it comes to single vs. dual rear wheels. Read What Are Super Single Tires? to learn more!

The Best Trucks for Towing

You want a reliable and capable truck that will get the job done when you need it the most. Your truck must be up for the task. Let’s look at some of the best trucks for towing!

GMC Sierra 1500

Maximum Towing Capacity: 13,000 lbs
Maximum Payload Capacity: 5,380 lbs
MSRP: $34,600

The 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 can handle anything from daily commutes to weekend camping trips. With its powerful engine and spacious interior, the Sierra 1500 is sure to meet your needs.

It’s the perfect blend of power and efficiency. Its V8 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission can handle any terrain or load you throw at it.

And with its fuel economy of up to 20 MPG city/26 MPG highway, you can take it on the longest road trips without breaking the bank. 

A black GMC truck parked at dusk next to a big building
Source: GMC

GMC Sierra 2500 Heavy Duty

Maximum Towing Capacity: 36,000 lbs
Maximum Payload Capacity: 7,442 lbs
MSRP: $41,400

The 2022 GMC Sierra 2500HD is the most capable and powerful truck from GMC. It has an advanced 6.6L Duramax turbo-diesel engine and an impressive towing capacity of up to 18,100 lbs. This Sierra is ready for any job, big or small.

The Sierra 2500HD also features a luxuriously comfortable interior with plenty of space for passengers and cargo. You may feel impressed by the attention to detail and premium materials throughout the cabin.

And it has standard features like heated front seats and a Bose sound system.

Keep in Mind: Need an SUV instead? You’ve got options. Let’s check out the best SUV for towing.

RAM 2500

Maximum Towing Capacity: 20,000 lbs
Maximum Payload Capacity: 4,380 lbs
MSRP: $40,865

 The 2022 Ram 2500 is the most advanced pickup truck in its class. Its sturdy frame and powerful engine can handle any job you throw at it. Whether hauling lumber or towing a trailer, the Ram 2500 is up for the challenge.

Its comfortable interior ensures that everyone stays comfortable even during long trips. So if you need a truck that can do it all, consider the Ram 2500.

Keep in Mind: Upgrade your truck even more with these awesome Ram Truck Accessories!

A RAM 2500 outside, one of the best truck for towing
Source: Ram Trucks

RAM 3500

Maximum Towing Capacity: 37,090 lbs
Maximum Payload Capacity: 7,680 lbs
MSRP: $42,600

As the most powerful pickup on the market, the 2022 Ram 3500 was built for those who demand the very best. Its 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel I6 engine churns out an incredible 1,000 lb-ft of torque.

It’s more than capable of taking on the most challenging jobs. And with a towing capacity of 37,090 lbs, there’s nothing this truck can’t handle. 

However, the Ram 3500 is more than just a workhorse — it’s also a comfortable and stylish ride. The spacious and well-appointed interior features premium materials and state-of-the-art technology.

You can enjoy all the comforts inside this truck during a long workday or trip. 

Pro Tip: Interested in dual rear wheel trucks to tow your toys? Check out The Best Dually Trucks for Towing!

A RAM truck towing a fifth wheel parked next to three semi trucks at a gas station

Ford Super Duty F-350 XL

Maximum Towing Capacity: 37,000 lbs
Maximum Payload Capacity: 7,850 lbs
MSRP: $39,410

The 2022 Ford Super Duty F-350 XL is a  heavy-duty truck perfect for those who need a reliable workhorse that can handle any job. It can take on practically anything with its beefy frame, powerful engine, and tough suspension.

Whether hauling cargo or towing a trailer, the Super Duty F-350 XL is up for the task. 

Ford Super Duty F-450 Platinum

Maximum Towing Capacity: 37,000 lbs
Maximum Payload Capacity: 6,210 lbs
MSRP: $54,075

The all-new 2022 Ford Super Duty F-450 Platinum is the most powerful, sophisticated, and capable truck in its class. It’s been completely redesigned inside and out with a more refined exterior, a luxurious interior, and a host of new safety and technology features. 

It has a 6.7L Power Stroke V8 turbo diesel engine that delivers best-in-class torque and power.

Additionally, it has an upgraded frame, chassis, and suspension for improved durability and towing capacity. The Super Duty F-450 Platinum is ready to take on any challenge.

F series Ford truck towing a travel trailer down the highway

Is 4×4 Better for Towing?

If you want a towing vehicle, a 4×4 typically has more capability. However, these have lower towing capacities due to the added weight of the components that provide the 4-wheel-drive.

While it may take off a few MPGs, the added power is well worth the sacrifice when you need it. The added traction when using 4×4 can be a lifesaver in mud, snow, ice, gravel, and many other situations.

What Is the Most Reliable Truck for Towing?

Reliability is one of the most important qualities you want in a truck, especially when towing. You don’t want to find yourself stranded on the side of the road when hitched to a trailer.

Luckily, vehicle manufacturers have taken large strides to make their vehicles incredibly reliable in recent years. Ford and Ram lead the way with reliability and capability with many satisfied customers.

A Ram 3500 outside which is one of the best truck for towing
Source: Ram Trucks

Tow With Confidence 

If you want to stay safe while towing, you need to have confidence in your tow vehicle. It needs to pull heavy loads and stop them.

Never exceed the towing capabilities. You’ll likely find yourself gripping the steering wheel so tight your knuckles turn white.

When you have a powerful and capable vehicle to tow your trailer, you can drive confidently, knowing that you have the right tools.

Are you a brand loyalist when it comes to trucks?

1 comment
  1. One often overlooked item when selected a truck for towing is the axle ration. It can make all the difference if choosing a trailer!
    A lower gear ratio (e.g. 3:31) will get you better mileage while a higher gear ratio (e.g. 3:73 or 4:10) will allow you to tow a heavier trailer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous Article
View of Wisconsin from a Wisconsin campground

Are These Campgrounds in Wisconsin the Best?

Next Article
Marshall Point Lighthouse near one of the campgrounds in Maine

These Campgrounds in Maine Are Simply Perfect