To ensure your travels across the country are safe, choose a towing vehicle that can easily tow the entire weight of your RV plus passengers, cargo, liquids, and any other equipment. Below, we’ve listed the four best trucks for towing RVs based on their maximum weight capacity and performance.
The Importance of Max Towing Capacity
Choosing the proper towing vehicle for your RV is essential to making your family vacations a safe affair. Far too often, RVers don’t pay attention to the weight limits and restrictions on their vehicle before hitting the road. This oversight often leads to permanent damage to the truck’s engine, but in worst cases can cause accidents or total the towing vehicle and RV.
If your vehicle is rated for towing at a max capacity of 10,000 lbs, then hitching your 25,000 lbs RV to your truck is not only unsafe but often illegal. Insurance companies may not cover damage caused by towing over your vehicle’s weight limit in case of accidents. Additionally, even if you avoid significant problems on the road, hauling too much weight will wear out your braking system and engine.
Towing Capacity Terms
Another critical step in towing your RV safely is understanding the different terms associated with towing weight and towing capacity. Below are some simple definitions of commonly used towing terms in the RV and motor vehicle industry.
- Dry Weight/Shipped Weight – The weight of the RV as shipped from the manufacturer without any passengers, cargo, liquids, or additional accessories or dealer installed options.
- Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) – The current combined weight of the RV (dry weight) plus passengers, cargo, and liquids.
- Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) – The maximum allowed weight of an Vehicle/RV, including passengers, cargo, fluids, etc..
- Cargo Weight – The total weight of all passengers, food, clothing, liquids, accessories, etc.. that you might put into your RV.
- Tongue/Hitch Weight – The weight/pressure applied from the trailer tongue/coupler to the conventional/bumper hitch on your vehicle.
- Pin Weight – This is often referred to as the weight/pressure applied from fifth wheel king pin to the hitch in the bed of your truck.
- Payload Capacity – For Trucks the amount of weight you can safely add to the bed of the truck. Your Fifth Wheels Hitch Weight or Pin Weight plus the actual weight of hitch plus any other accessories you have in the bed of the truck must not exceed the Payload Capacity amount. Confirm Payload Capacity with your vehicle’s manufacturer.
- Max Towing Capacity – The maximum weight limit that can safely be towed by your specific vehicle. This weight is calculated by adding the RV’s GVW with weight of all passengers, cargo, and liquids in your tow vehicle.
Dodge Ram 3500 Heavy Duty Pickup
This truck features a high-strength steel frame with an auto-leveling rear suspension that automatically adjusts to provide a parallel hitch. This unique feature ensures whatever you are towing is always in the safest position to lessen the strain on both the RV and your truck.
The Dodge Ram 3500 Heavy Duty boasts an incredible towing capacity of 35,100 pounds, thanks to the 6.7L High-Output Cummins® Turbo-Diesel engine. The truck also comes with a factory-installed rear-axel structural cross member for fifth-wheel and gooseneck hitches.
Ford F-450 Super Duty
Another great towing truck for your RV is the Ford F-450 Super Duty. There are numerous options in the F-450 series, including F-450 Limited, F-450 XL, F-450 Ranch King, and more. These trucks feature towing capacities of up to 24,000 lbs and 45,300 GWCR on specific builds. They have a mono-beam wide track front suspension with an extended axle, and the optional fifth wheel hitch kit offers an increased DRW towing capacity of up to 32,000 lbs. Additionally, Ford F-450 trucks are built with a blind spot information system called “BLIS®” that offers trailer assisted views to keep you safe on the road.
Chevy Silverado 3500HD
If you’re looking for something that can tow your travel trailer with easy, the Chevy Silverado 3500HD is perfect for your needs. This truck can tow up to 35,500 with ease and provides the strength and endurance you need for those long-distance road trips. The Allison® 10-speed automatic transmission pairs with a Duramax 6.6L V-8 Turbo-Diesel engine to give this incredible towing capacity. Additionally, the truck has a heavy-duty frame so that it can keep up with everything you throw at it.
Similar to the F-450, the Ford F-350 Super Duty is a working truck that is built to haul heavy loads. These trucks feature a 6.7L Power Stroke® V8 Turbo Diesel engine with TorqShift® Heavy-Duty 6-speed SelectShift-G™ automatic transmission. Additionally, this four-wheel-drive truck has a mono-beam front axle with coil spring suspension on the 4×4 models and a twin I-beam front axle with coil spring suspension for 4×2 models. The F-350 Super Duty provides a max towing capacity of up to 20,000 lbs, depending on your exact model’s specifications. Talk to your dealer about which options are the best for your towing needs.
The next time you load up your family for a camping trip, be sure your towing vehicle can handle the load. Check with your local RV dealer about your RV weight rating and learn more about your vehicle’s max weight capacity by searching online.