By James Raia
Every RVer likely has a favorite truck for towing their RV. Facts, figures and statistics tell a lot, but personal preferences and brand loyalty are also important components of the buying process.
It’s likely the variety of available RVs is nearly equaled by the choices of trucks offered to tow them.
Like it does with its general interest car and truck reviews, Edmunds tackles niche automotive areas, including the best trucks for towing.
The automotive online source based in Santa Monica, California, recently released its choices for best towing trucks in midsize, large and heavy-duty.
According to the Edmunds report:
“While many SUVs can handle moderate towing work, pickup trucks are the best vehicles for pulling truly heavy loads. Rugged body-on-frame construction gives pickups the strength to transport boats, trailers and campers without breaking a sweat.
“Midsize pickups are generally good for smaller camper trailers, while large trucks can handle larger campers and heavy trailers. However, if you need to tow horse trailers or want the stability that a fifth-wheel or gooseneck hitch provides, you’ll have to upgrade to a heavy-duty truck.”
Every truck has its variances, powertrain to axle-ration configurations to cab and bed length.
Here’s a selection of Edmunds.com’s favorite trucks overall for towing and their respective capacities.
2020 GMC Canyon
As one of the most well-rounded trucks on the market, the Canyon’s responsive V6 engine, comfortable seats and reasonably car-like handling are all highlights. The base four-cylinder engine is for commuting or light work duty only; the optional V6 has 7,000-pound towing capacity. Starting price $23,295. Maximum towing capacity: 7,700 pounds; maximum payload: 1,605 pounds; fuel economy: 19-23 combined mpg.
2020 Ford F-150
The current F-150 is an oldie but goodie, with towing and payload capacities that top the class. When this generation debuted in 2015, some scoffed at Ford’s use of lightweight, high-strength aluminum, but the numbers speak for themselves.
The reduced weight gives the F-150 far greater payload capabilities than its nearest competitor, and its tow ratings are class-leading as well. The premium cabin, well-shaped seats and a wide range of powertrain choices are major pluses. Starting price: $30,090; maximum towing capacity: 13,200 pounds; maximum payload: 3,270 pounds; fuel economy:16-25 combined mpg.
2020 Ram 2500
Like its baby brother, the 2020 Ram 2500 uses rear coil springs for unsurpassed ride comfort. The Ram 2500’s plush ride is even more apparent in the heavy-duty class, where towing performance is prioritized above all else.
But the coil springs don’t exist solely to make the ride better – they also free up space for the optional air suspension. It helps the Ram stay level by counteracting the forces that weigh down the back of the truck while towing, providing a more stable towing experience.
Add the trick suspension to class-leading towing and payload capabilities, and you’ve got the most well-rounded heavy-duty pickup in the 2500-series class. Starting price: $35,440; maximum towing capacity: 19,680 pounds; maximum payload: 4,010 pounds.
Here’s Edmunds’ top-10 list of overall best 2020 trucks and their corresponding towing capacities:
• Ram 3500 Heavy Duty, 35,100 pounds
• GMC Sierra/Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD, 35,500 pounds
• Ford F-450 Super Duty, 37,000 pounds
• Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra 2500HD, 18,500 pounds
• Ford F-250 Super Duty, 20,000 pounds
• Ram 1500, 12,750 pounds
• Ford F-150, 13,200 pounds
• Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra 1500, 12,100 pounds
• Ford Ranger, 7,500 pounds
• Chevrolet Colorado, 7,700 pounds
James Raia, a syndicated columnist in Sacramento, Calif., offers a weekly automotive podcast and electronic newsletter, both available via free sign-ups on his website: www.theweeklydriver.com. He can be reached via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am surprised that the NissanTitan XD 5.0 liter diesel is not included in this list. I have one and it tows like a dream.
It’s no longer available
I loved my diesel dually Silverado 6.6 with Allison tranny! Problem is with chauffer’s license you cannot haul over 26,000 gross, anymore weight requires CDL. 35,000 towing capacity was wasted. Plus side, would hold 65 mph going west out of Albuquerque, providing you could afford the extra fuel.
Towing 14,000 tt.
It’s one thing to read the specification sheets, it is entirely different to actually tow the trailer.
The list includes Ram 3500, Chev 3500 and then it jumps to Ford 450(0). Why wasn’t the Ford 350(0) listed so to compare apples to apples?
Wondered the same thing.
Bob P is right on here, towing capacity is giving people a false sense of a trucks ability. You really need load capacity for stability. And he is correct about the bragging numbers used as related to the real life versions of these trucks.
The thing that 99% of all automotive journalists fail to write when evaluating tow ratings is the specific truck the manufacturer is rating their tow specs on. They are base line trucks with only standard equipment, 2 dr standard cab. It’s not going to be the fully loaded crew cab truck that everyone likes. Every option’s weight reduces the towing capacity as well as the carrying capacity, then when you add the weight of each person inside the truck, plus all the “junk” we take with us to be comfortable you have a greatly reduced capacity of a tow vehicle. So do your research well before you sign the purchase order, or you may be sadly disappointed when you hook up your trailer. (Or motorhome if you tow that) lol
Pickup trucks tow motorhomes????!!!
Took the words right off my iPad
Sheesh! It sneaked by me — too much to do. Thanks, Fox. —Diane at RVtravel.com