What Is The Best Truck For Towing A 5th Wheel?
Finding the right truck for towing is essential. You will need it to be strong enough to pull your trailer and carry everything you need – including your family!
A comfortable, strong truck of good size is exactly what you need to look for when shopping for your truck.
Here are some important things to think about when truck shopping:
- Size of your fifth wheel
- Truck size
- Towing capacity
- Length of the bed
- Engine’s power
- Turning clearance
This article will talk about the best trucks to tell your 5th wheeler and how to shop for them.
We will also cover all the important aspects of the vehicle listed that you should consider when shopping.
Most of all, we’ll make sure that you find the right model for you!
13 Best Trucks for Towing 5th Wheels:
The F-350 has a towing capacity of 27,500 pounds and is considered a workhorse of the heavy-duty range. It includes a 1,050 lb-ft Power Stroke diesel engine.
One of the Fantastic features of this truck is its trailer reverse guidance system, which allows the driver to check and view their 5th wheel from numerous angles.
This is helpful for driving, but it also promises great clearance and can navigate your large trailer more easily.
With the enormous payload capacity, you can load your fifth wheel comfortably. In addition to these, comfort, safety, and convenience are also guaranteed.
- Expansive Cab Configurations
- The Diesel V8 Engine Option
- Light-weight Aluminum Body
- Off-roading Capabilities
- User-friendly Sync 3 Infotainment System
- Limited Visibility
- Expensive alternatives/ options
The Honda Ridgeline can tow up to 5,000 pounds owing to its multi-link independent rear suspension, bringing the luxury of a smooth ride and excellent towing capacity together.
The Ridgeline is not a heavy lifter, but it does provide a superior driving performance.
The Honda Ridgeline is ideal if you plan to drive along smooth highways instead of hilly areas or bumpy mountain ranges.
The suspension and construction offer a pleasant riding experience while towing a 5th wheel on smooth trails.
- Precision Steering and Control
- Superior quality Interior Materials
- Smooth Transmission
- Triple insulation ensures no noise
- Low Road Clearance
- Finicky Driver Assist Features
With the ever-evolving truck industry, every company is coming up with powerful torque and features that would allow them to rule.
Currently, Ford holds the crown with its updated and modernized F-450 Super Duty.
The F-450 produces 475 horsepower and a whopping 1050 pound-feet of torque from a 6.7-liter Power Stroke Diesel V-8.
This one-ton truck comes with a tremendous towing capacity of 37,000 pounds. You can easily pull your fifth wheel without worrying about the payload.
The interior is comfortable, and the ride is also smooth and quiet.
- The ultimate towing camera system
- Superior quality construction
- Robust towing platform
- It doesn’t fit car washing designated areas
The GMC Sierra 2500 HD is an improved version with an even better, sturdy frame and powertrain to pull up to 3,979 pounds of payload.
GMC Sierra 2500 HD has a maximum fifth-wheel towing capacity of 18,510 pounds with diesel engines in a regular cab and a two-wheel-drive configuration. As for a gasoline-powered 4X4 crew cab, you can tow up to 16,650 pounds.
Sierra 2500HD can handle a payload of up to 3,979 pounds as a gasoline-powered, regular cab rear-drive model.
There are also a few bed length options available:
A standard bed’s length measures around six feet and nine inches with a capacity of 69.6 cubic feet, whereas an eight feet long bed, comes with a potential of 83.5 cubic feet.
- Excellent optional Allison 10-speed automatic
- AT4 trim
- MultiPro tailgate available
- Dull interior styling
- Small storage options
- Not great base powertrain combo
Although it is not as powerful as the Ford F-350, the Ford F-250 can pull heavy campers easily. The model has an impressive towing capacity of 20,000 pounds!
Because the heaviest fifth-wheels weigh around 12,000 pounds, the maximum towing capacity of the Ford F-250 means you can use it to pull even the heaviest fifth-wheels.
This truck comes with both comfort and high-tech features.
The comfort features include:
- Impressive leg spaces for tall people
- Great seats
- Powerful AC
- An optional heater
The high-tech features include:
- A productivity screen.
- A reverse sensing system.
- A rearview camera.
- A distance to empty measure.
- Adaptive steering.
Adaptive steering is a brilliant feature because it gradually adjusts the steering ratio based on speed for better control and safety.
This makes this truck perfect for hauling heavy trailers.
The Ford F-150 Raptor is the third Ford truck on this list and one of the most popular half-ton trucks in the United States!
While the F-150 generally does not have an impressive towing capacity like the F-250 and the F-350, it can tow fifth-wheels less than 8,000 pounds in weight. This means it is only suitable for towing lightweight fifth-wheels such as Forest River fifth-wheels.
The best thing about the FORD F-150 Raptor is its powerful engine.
It is equipped with an intelligent suspension system and other systems to handle difficult terrain and off-road conditions effortlessly. Therefore, if you want to take a lightweight fifth-wheel camper to an off-road location, it is an option you should strongly consider.
The second best thing about this truck is its safety features, including a blind spot information system, a lane-keeping information system, and a safe backing system.
In short, this F-150 is a great truck for hauling fifth wheels.
- Numerous options available for configurations and prices
- Heavy-duty drivetrain offerings
- Superb off-road capability
- Excellent utility
- Occasional difference between real-world fuel mileage and EPA rating
Ram has built quite a reputation for towing fifth wheel and gooseneck hitches.
With its turbo diesel engine, Ram 3500 is mighty and has a massive towing capacity of 30,000 pounds with comfort and luxury.
Moreover, you can equip your truck with a 6-7 liter Cummins diesel inline-six. With this, you get 400 horsepower and 1000 lb-ft of torque.
As a result, this heavy-duty truck with dual rear wheels can tow a big fifth wheel weighing 35,100 pounds.
The Ram 3500 includes various features such as a high-res, in-bed camera and the air suspension’s trick Alt Trailer Height ability. Additionally, the truck comes with a factory-installed hitch.
Some of the shortcomings can be the top-dog diesel being an $11,795 option over the base gas V-8.
It somehow forces you to buy a high-torque version of the older six-speed automatic transmission instead of the new eight-speed.
- Powerful gasoline and diesel engines
- Stiff, towing-friendly assembly
- Power Wagon off-road trim still available
- Less spacious rear seat
The Silverado 2500 HD has a very impressive towing capacity of 18,000 pounds. Unlike the Ford F-150 above, this truck can safely haul heavyweight fifth-wheels.
The Silverado 2500HD is not extremely cheap, but it is certainly less expensive than other trucks with impressive towing capacities.
Compared to previous Silverado 2500HD models, the model has better torque and power, perfect for pulling heavy campers for long distances. Therefore, if you are in Texas or South Dakota and want to pull a big rig to Key West (Florida), it is one of the best trucks.
This truck is also equipped with systems that enable it to better handle high speeds and steep roads.
While the Silverado is impressive, this years model is impressive. It has a maximum towing capacity of 18,500 pounds and a host of features that make it more capable of towing heavy trailers, including steering assist, powerful braking, tow mode, and a stability control system.
It also has a luxurious interior and plenty of high-tech features.
- Firm platform
- Available towing cameras and technology
- Swift speeding
- Low-quality cabin materials
- Lowest maximum torque rating
- Polarizing exterior styling
The Chevrolet Silverado is one of the most impressive towing trucks.
It comes with a 6.6-liter V8 engine capable of hauling 20,000-pound trailers. The gooseneck method can haul trailers as heavy as 35,000 in weight, making it one of the most powerful towing trucks.
I like the Silverado 3500HD because its engine feels very strong regardless of the terrain, the speed, or the weight of the trailer or camper being towed. I also like that it comes with a 15-way camera that makes towing and parking easy!
If you are a tall man or have tall people in your family, you will love this truck because it has spacious leg rooms for both front and rear passengers.
This is one of the safest trucks out there in terms of safety. It has all the safety features you would expect from a heavy-duty truck, including:
- Rear and front parking sensors
- A collision-avoidance system
- A blind-spot monitoring system
- A lane-change alert system
- A cross-traffic alert system
- A rearview camera
- A teen driver system
- A hitch guidance system
- It also has six airbags for maximum protection, especially for front passengers.
Additional safety features include traction control, stability control, and auto-locking differential.
The most impressive thing about it is its infotainment suite. The Crew and Double cabs have six surround speakers controllable on a touchscreen interface.
It has Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth compatibility. The premium High-Country version has Bose speakers for perfect quality sound.
In summary, this is a truck that can safely and easily pull big rigs, and it is perfect because it is safe and has a good infotainment suite.
- Robust towing platform
- Classy Interior
- Standard 6.6-liter gas V-8
- towing technologies and assist cameras options available
- Old-fashioned interior design
- Restricted interior storage options
- Low visibility
The Nissan Titan has the most standard safety features, tech, and power in its class, according to Nissan USA.
In other words, compared to competing trucks such as the Ford F-150, the Ram 1500, Tundra, and Silverado, it is safer, more powerful, and high-tech.
The Nissan Titan is fitted with a powerful 5.6-liter V8 engine capable of towing fifth-wheels as heavy as 9,400 pounds. You can use this truck to pull lightweight and mid-size fifth-wheel campers.
The Nissan Titan has the best standard warranty covered by a 100,000-mile full warranty. Not any other truck offers anything close to this!
Also, it is feature-rich. This truck has more standard features than most trucks on the market.
Its features include:
- Back up camera
- Parking sensors
- Alertness sensors
- Cross-traffic alert
- Emergency braking
- Pedestrian detection
- Driver assistance features
The Nissan Titan also has a large 8-inch control screen with impressive graphics perfect for controlling this vehicle.
It has an amazing off-road capability. The Titan Pro-4X is the best one for off-road driving. So if you want to go somewhere off-grid, this truck is an option you cannot ignore.
Lastly, the Nissan Titan has excellent packages and upgrades, including keyless entry, remote start, and climate control.
- Base Endurance V8 Engine
- Diesel Engine Ideal for Hefty Lifting
- Family-Sized Pickup Truck
- Improved NissanConnect Infotainment System
- More Expensive
- Unimpressive Fuel Economy
- The big truck requires Space to Roam
One of the best towing trucks to make my list is the GMC Sierra 3500 HD. It is a full-size, one-ton pickup truck with a maximum conventional towing capacity of 20,000 pounds.
As for the fifth wheel, the tow rating is 23,100 pounds.
The GMC Sierra 3500 HD has a trailering camera system as a dealer-installed accessory. You get left and right-hand side-view mirror cameras and a trailer-mounted camera.
This ensures a complete view and clearance of your towing vehicle and the fifth-wheel trailer.
The GMC Sierra 3500HD supports a 6.0-liter V8 gas engine that produces 360 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque.
You can get a Duramax 6.6-liter turbodiesel, producing 445 horsepower and 910 pound-feet of torque.
The GMC 3500 HD promises comfort, luxury, class, and quiet drive with a Snow Plow Prep Package, including heavy-duty front springs, a 220-amp alternator, and underbody shields.
- Diesel Engine Option available
- High-grade Build
- Strong Braking Proficiency
- Easy to Use Controls
- Ample Cabin Space
- The Telescoping Steering Wheel’s Limited Availability
- Limited Visibility
- Limited Off-roading Capabilities
Among the best trucks for towing fifth-wheels, the Toyota Tundra is one of the safest, with an impressive list of standard and extra features, including a camera and a radar for collision detection, a dynamic cruise control system, a lane assist system, automatic high beams, and multiple airbags.
The Toyota Tundra has a towing capacity of approximately 10,000 pounds. This is thanks to its 5.7-liter V8 engine that provides nearly 400 horsepower.
This truck has a high towing capacity, making it great for pulling fifth-wheels under 10,000 pounds.
The Toyota Tundra Off-Road and Sport models are particularly great for towing because they have been fitted with features that make them perfect for visiting/touring off-road destinations.
For example, the Tundra Off-Road model has big aluminum tires, Blistein shocks, and a skid plate.
The Toyota Tundra is among the most spacious and comfortable trucks in terms of comfort. There is plenty of legroom for all passengers, the seats are comfy and ergonomic, and you can adjust all the seats for comfort.
This is one of the most high-tech trucks out there in terms of technologies. It has several technologies you will not find on other trucks, including Destination Assist, which gives truck owners access to live agents for free assistance.
This truck is built to perform well and last long, even under pressure.
If you are looking for a convertible truck that is also a serious off-road vehicle, you should get the Jeep Gladiator. The Jeep Gladiator is a very attractive truck, and it is the only convertible truck on the market.
The best thing about this truck is that the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon has a towing capacity of 7,000 pounds.
You can easily use it to tow a lightweight fifth-wheel camper or even an under 6,500 pounds camper.
It can handle all types of difficult terrain, and its soft top and its doors are removable for open-air cruising or driving.
If you get the Rubicon model, you will use it to tow your camper and enjoy exploring unbeaten off-road paths, roads, and 4X4 obstacle trails and courses. You can do this confidently because it is a rugged truck made of high-strength steel, which does not get damaged or totaled very easily.
Moreover, the common features of the Jeep Gladiator are high off the ground. For instance, the Rubicon version is 11 inches off the ground. You can easily drive this Jeep over streams and puddles without worrying about the water getting in.
Because the Jeep Gladiator is built to conquer rough terrain, it has an intelligent suspension system. The system makes it comfortable to drive and sit in, whether on even or uneven terrain.
Lastly, this truck is ideal for young people. This is because its infotainment suite is crazy good. It comes with a portable Bluetooth speaker that is rainproof, a rainproof electric outlet, a UConnect system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a USB port, and a five-inch touchscreen for control.
Now that we’ve shortlisted the 13 best ones for you, it’s time to help you choose the perfect towing truck for your 5th wheel.
With my brief guide on what specs to look for while investing in a tow truck, you can effortlessly figure out the basics you must know:
1. Bed Length:
Bed lengths matter a lot when it comes to the fifth wheel towing trucks. There are generally three length options available.
Long Beds – 8 ft.
Long beds provide the best turning clearance and are the most convenient option for towing fifth wheels. Eight feet long bed offers the best traction with extremely reduced sway.
The driver feels more confident and in control. Moreover, it is the most cost-effective setup.
The truck’s size is comparatively larger for a daily driver with an eight-foot bed.
Medium Beds – 6 ft.
Trucks with medium-sized beds are very easy to maneuver and hassle-free to park. Often, you get a large crew cab, thus providing more space. This size is ideal for a daily driver as well.
However, there are a few demerits of this sized bed. You get comparatively less turning clearance, making it less convenient for towing.
The grip is relatively less, while the setup isn’t very economical.
Shorter Bed – 4 ft.
Trucks with shorter bed lengths are lightweight and easy to move around when you are not towing.
The crew cab is usually abundant with spacious seating and storage space. These are ideal for a daily driver.
However, when it comes to towing a fifth wheel, they provide the least turning clearance, making trucks with a four-foot-bed length the least convenient option for towing.
Similarly, traction is the least, and the setup is costly.
The selection of hitches is crucial. It usually depends upon the bed length you choose. You may select a fixed hitch and a sliding hitch for short beds with a long bed.
Let’s briefly discuss the hitches suitable for bed lengths below.
3. Fixed Hitch:
You can opt for a fixed hitch to tow your fifth wheel when choosing a long bed truck. It is the most affordable option available while being the most convenient and long-term.
Once you have installed the fixed hitch, you don’t have to worry about adjusting the hitch for turns or cab clearance.
4. Sliding Hitch:
Fixed hitches may not be very practical for medium or short beds. That’s where sliding hitches come to the rescue.
Sliding hitches are designed specifically for medium to short beds under eight feet. They provide better turning clearance by sliding back towards the truck’s tailgate during sharp turns.
It increases the distance between the truck and the cab, thus eluding any collision.
Sliding hitches come in two types.
5. Manual Sliding Hitches:
As the name suggests, you need to adjust the hitch’s position from locked to turning manually.
Every time you need to take a sharp turn, you must pull over, exit your vehicle, and make the change.
6. Automatic Sliding Hitches:
These sliding hitches self-adjust themselves according to your movement. You don’t need to readjust the hitch manually.
Every time you take a sharp turn, it would automatically move backward toward the truck’s tailgate and get back to its original position smoothly when you start moving straight.
Almost everyone knows that gasoline is an affordable option.
The gas engine is going to cost less. The fuel is less expensive, and even the maintenance cost is lesser than the diesel engine.
However, the diesel engine provides better fuel economy and saves money in the long run. The fuel consumption is mostly better with diesel engines.
Diesel engines generally provide higher towing capacity with large torque outputs, ideal for pulling gigantic fifth wheels. Usually, the diesel engine has longer life as well.
Suppose you can afford to invest a comparatively more substantial amount initially. In that case, I recommend you to invest in a diesel engine, provided you’re planning to tow fifth-wheelers over long distances for more extended periods.
Some gas engines can also haul fifth-wheel trailers, so consider diesel a recommendation, not an obligation.
Trucks come in various weight categories, such as one ton, ½ ton, or ¾ ton, but it’s not clear which one would suit you.
You can go with ½-ton tow trucks such as Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Ram 1500, and more for lighter trailers.
When looking for a large trailer, you should at least choose a ¾-ton vehicle, if not a one-ton truck. Some ¾-ton towing trucks are Ford F-250, Chevrolet Silverado 2500, Ram 2500, etc.
As for big fifth wheels, one-ton trucks are a perfect choice. Ford F-350, Chevrolet Silverado 3500, Ram 3500, and more.
Heavy-duty towing vehicles are popular in the market for a reason. You’ll experience less strain on your truck’s suspension and drivetrain components with heavy-duty vehicles.
Towing a smaller fifth wheel with ½ ton truck is not impossible as long as the truck is rated at sufficient weight capacity for your trailer.
How to Find Out the Weight I Can Tow?
If you want to determine which truck will meet your towing requirements, the best way is to check the sticker on the truck’s driver’s seat.
It would help you determine the vehicle’s weight specifications and towing capabilities:
- Check for the Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) on the sticker. It is the maximum collective weight of the loaded truck and the fully loaded trailer.
- Subtract your Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW), the mutual weight of your truck, fuel, passengers, and cargo when your vehicle is loaded and ready for towing.
- The GCWR and the GVW difference is the maximum loaded trailer weight the truck can tow.
You can use the CVWR mentioned on your vehicle’s sticker to make a conservative estimate of how heavy a trailer you can tow.
If you want to determine the most precise measurement of your vehicle’s weight, I recommend you load up your truck with all the stuff and passengers you plan to take while towing and visiting a commercial scale.
Single Rear Wheel or Double Rear Wheel?
It entirely depends upon your choice and preference when deciding between a single rear wheel or dual rear wheel.
The single rear wheel offers better fuel efficiency and better visibility than dual rear wheel trucks. Moreover, replacing six tires is more expensive than replacing four tires if need be.
Single rear wheel trucks are ideal for routine use. Driving with a dual wheel is not comfortable when you are not towing your fifth wheel. Navigating through a tight parking area or a drive-through with a single rear wheel truck is easier than a dual rear wheel truck.
Dual rear wheel trucks have their advantages. You get more excellent stability while towing a larger trailer, fifth wheel, or toy hauler.
The weight or payload capacity of the truck increases with these new tires. In case of an unfortunate blowout of a rear tire, you already have a backup, as you may not need an extra pair all the time.
They are ideal if you plan on towing frequently and regularly.