Whether you’re just starting with RV towing or seeking to improve your current vehicle, finding the perfect tow vehicle means finding one that fits your needs and the demands of your recreational vehicle.
Due to their increased tongue weight and susceptibility to wind resistance, recreational vehicles require careful consideration beyond towing capacity. In this case, payload capacity is the most critical factor.
Tongue weight is the total weight of the RV you plan to tow, the tongue weight of the vehicle you plan to tow it with, and any passengers (including pets) and their belongings.
The payload capacity, which may be found on the jamb of the driver’s side door, is the deciding factor when choosing a vehicle. That figure also shifts as you move up or down the trim hierarchy.
List of 7 Best Vehicle For Towing Travel Trailer In 2023
We’ve compiled a list of the best vehicles for towing travel trailers.
1. Ford F-150
Once reserved for heavy-duty vehicles, the 2023 Ford F-150 can now tow up to 14 tons. While the standard models can only tow 8,200 pounds, there are over 130 configurations of axles, bodies, and engines, many of which are formidable pulling machines.
Line-wide, the maximum towing capacity of all models is almost 10,600 pounds, often purchased models should easily be able to tow that amount. Additionally, when backing up with a trailer, the truck’s sensors can be configured with the Pro Trailer Backup Assist feature.
The Ram 1500 is the class leader in refinement and features in full-size pickup trucks, but the F-150 is a close second. The Ford F-150 Lightning, an electric pickup truck set to be released in 2023, will not have hauling specs available until much later.
Ford’s F-150 is one of our top picks for towing among half-ton pickups. In addition to its remarkable stability, the F-150 has an optional backup assistance system that guides the trailer while in reverse. This is accomplished by simply turning a dial on the dashboard in the desired direction.
Ford provides a wide range of engine options, but the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 has particularly pleased us with its potent output and respectable fuel economy. Remember that the F-150 can tow anywhere from 4,900 to 12,200 pounds, depending on your configuration (for a full breakdown, see Ford’s towing chart, available at your local dealership).
2. Chivrolet Silverado 1500
Towing capacity increases alongside other improvements made to the Silverado in 2023, making it a more formidable competitor in the pickup truck market.
It has the second highest maximum tow rating in its class, at 13,300 pounds when fitted correctly, while many variants have ratings in the 9,400 to 9,800-pound range. All along the production line, the maximum weight capacity has increased to an average of 10,295.
3. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
Few people know this, but vans, and notably the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, are capable of doing some serious towing. Sprinters have an ample wheelbase, which provides more stability, and diesel power, which reduces fuel costs.
The Sprinter has a GCWR of up to 13,500 lbs, which means you can safely tow a trailer at or near the Sprinter’s maximum towing capacity while still carrying plenty of cargo and passengers inside the van. The Sprinter’s towing capacity ranges from 5,000 to 7,500 lbs, enough for a small to a medium size travel trailer.
4. Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon
Regarding travel trailer towing, the Chevrolet Colorado is among the greatest automobiles. Models with crew cabs and extended beds feature a wheelbase that’s almost as long as some full-size pickups and stability that’s close to that of half-ton trucks, making them superior to other midsize pickups designed for off-roading or family use.
Only the V6 and diesel Colorados can pull more than 3,500 pounds, making them suitable for towing a large travel trailer. A 4-cylinder gas-powered Colorado can only tow 3,500 pounds. The GMC Canyon is nearly identical to the Chevrolet Colorado, save a refined cabin, and can tow just as much.
5. Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban
These reliable full-size pickups have long been favorites of those who tow travel trailers: They combine the utility of an SUV with the hauling power of a half-ton pickup truck, making them ideal for daily use. You may safely tow a medium-sized travel trailer with one of these sturdy pickups.
The Tahoe, when properly equipped, can pull up to 8,600 pounds behind it; the long-wheelbase Suburban, at a somewhat lower weight, tows slightly less, but its increased length makes it more stable when pulling longer trailers. GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade are both luxurious SUVs that are essentially the same as the Yukon (though the Caddy tows slightly less, again owing to greater weight).
However, unlike the Tahoe and Suburban, the GMC and Cadillac have a larger 420-horsepower engine, which doesn’t improve towing capability but gives them more power on steep inclines.
6. Ford Expedition
The Expedition has a V6 engine with twin turbochargers and a rear suspension with independent coil springs rather than a solid axle like a pickup truck. As a bonus, the latter improves ride quality and handling and boosts towing capability.
Class IV towing package-equipped Expeditions can pull 9,300 pounds, whereas the Expedition EL (with its longer wheelbase) can only manage 9,200 pounds. That’s more power than most of the SUVs on this list so that it can tow larger recreational trailers.
7. Nissan Titan XD
The Titan XD is between the half-ton (150/1500 model designations) and three-quarter-ton (250/2500) variants that are the norm for pickup trucks. With a maximum towing capacity of 11,000 to 12,500 pounds and the ability to tow gooseneck trailers, this Nissan is commonly referred to as a “heavy half-ton.” It has the steadiness of a three-quarter-ton truck but is smaller and easier to park.
The Titan XD is offered a V8 diesel from Cummins, providing abundant torque and a booming, semi-truck ambiance. When looking for a daily driver that can also tow larger travel trailers, we recommend the Nissan Titan XD.
8. Toyota Land Cruiser
The current Land Cruiser is renowned for its solid off-road capabilities and high-luxury cabin, making it a legend in the off-roading community. The Land Cruiser’s 381-horsepower V8 engine and 8,100-pound towing capacity put it within striking distance of the Chevrolet Tahoe.
In addition, Land Cruiser has a towing kit, so you only need an aftermarket trailer brake controller. The Land Cruiser’s standard all-wheel drive is another plus, especially for off-road camping (or when the rain turns dirt to mud).
9. Ram 1500 EcoDiesel
A pickup vehicle is ideal for towing a travel trailer because it was built to do this. However, few people have the financial means to invest in a specific towing vehicle. For low-income families, the fuel costs associated with operating a pickup truck as their primary vehicle can be disastrous.
The RAM 1500 EcoDiesel has this advantage. The EPA estimates it will achieve 19 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway with its V6 turbodiesel engine. The Ram 1500 lived up to its figures, and its quiet cabin made it easy to forget we were driving a diesel.
Although it is built for efficiency, the diesel engine has plenty of pulling power; the EcoDiesel-powered Ram can tow between 7,960 and 9,290 pounds (lbs), depending on the configuration. This is more than enough power for a respectable-sized travel trailer.
10. Ford Super Duty
Most of these cars can tow travel trailers, but what if you need something bigger? We propose Ford’s revamped 2017 Super Duty, a heavy-duty vehicle that will meet your needs. In addition, this is the most advanced HD truck available, with cutting-edge safety and driver aids not found on competing models.
The truck’s towing-specific technology, such as the numerous cameras (one of which can be put remotely on the trailer) that aid in steering and parking, is awe-inspiring.
The F-250 and F-350 are the tallest trucks here, making them more challenging to climb into than the other cars on this list. However, they are strong enough to take on significant tasks. They can pull between 12,000 and 19,000 pounds behind the bumper, while the Super Duty can pull up to 26,500 pounds behind a fifth-wheel trailer.
11. Land Rover Discovery
The Land Rover Discovery is a luxurious sport utility vehicle (SUV) with three rows of seats, enough space for seven passengers, and 74.3 cubic feet of storage space. It is a top choice among SUVs for towing, with a maximum capacity of 8,200 pounds when properly equipped.
Hill Descent Control keeps an eye on your brakes as you make your way down steep hills, and Advanced Tow Assist directs your towed vehicle and trailer in the direction you choose while you back up.
This seven-seat Land Rover Discovery is the practical everyday answer for group travel of up to seven people, be they friends, family, or schoolmates. Everyone can take in the road’s scenery thanks to the stadium seating.
The central console is an 11.4-inch touchscreen with ample storage and new venting. The Land Rover Discovery’s cabin is perfect for any family, with seven full-size seats, five ISOFIX spots, and a charging device for every passenger. Equipped with a high degree of competence and self-control.
Factors To Consider Before Choosing Vehicle For Towing Travel Trailer
You must consider the following elements to pick the ideal truck for towing a travel trailer.
– Payload and Towing Capacity
Things like towing capacity and cargo weight are crucial. Therefore, ” towing ” refers to the maximum load your truck can pull. Your travel trailer’s dimensions and load capacity will change due to this.
How much cargo can be carried is measured in terms of payload. The truck’s cabin and cargo hold are both fair game. Suppose you intend to haul loads with your truck. You’ll be able to tote a wider variety of items.
It’s also important to consider the inner area. A truck’s towing and payload capacities are of limited use if there isn’t enough storage space for your gear.
If you plan to bring along any family members or pets, there must be more room. In addition, you could use more space for moving your goods. The truck’s bed is handy for some goods, while the cab is the best place to store others.
Think about the price tag as well. However, while we’d all like to have the finest of everything, financial limits may prevent that from happening. Therefore, acquiring a truck that is within your financial means is essential.
After all, if you can’t afford the payments, you won’t be able to enjoy your truck very much.
– Engine Type
A diesel engine is superior to a gas engine for towing purposes. However, because the diesel engine provides higher torque, that doesn’t mean a gas engine can’t pull its weight. There are plenty of situations where a gas-powered engine is an excellent choice.
Typically, all-wheel-drive is an optional extra on SUVs. However, this is not the ideal choice in terms of towing. Instead, an SUV with rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive is ideal for pulling RV trailers.
Towing is the most popular way to haul behind your recreational vehicle, so choosing a reliable vehicle with a towing capacity that matches or exceeds your trailer weight is important.
In addition to its towing ability, it’s best to choose a vehicle with a rear-end locker to protect the drivetrain. You can find this feature on the rear differential (behind the rear wheels), available as standard equipment on several full-size pickups.
Along these lines, ensure your vehicle is equipped with at least one rear-view camera. This is handy when backing up and helps prevent trailers from kinking or twisting. With these precautions, you can tow comfortably behind your recreational vehicle and enjoy the freedom of being on the road again.