Table of Contents
- 1 Introduction
- 2 How to Choose the Right Truck for Towing a Camper
- 3 What Mistakes to Avoid While Towing
- 4 Comparison Table
- 5 Mid-Size/Compact Trucks
- 6 Full-Size Trucks
- 7 Heavy-Duty Trucks
- 8 Conclusion
Best Truck to Tow a Camper - Our Top 3
We put together a list of Our Top 3 Trucks to Tow a Camper to help you find the best truck for your towing needs and budget.
Towing has been around for a very long time. It’s the coupling of at least two objects together so they can be pulled by something, like a designed power source. The pulling can be done by any type of vehicle as long as it can handle the load. It’s also used in a wide range of industries and more and more people need it at home as well. This is why there are various vehicles on the market that are specifically made for towing.
The reason why towing vehicles are so popular is that they’re capable of helping you move even the biggest and heaviest campers. This makes them a must for people that are heavy campers but love taking as much of the modern world with them as possible.
Towing vehicles are made to handle even the biggest trailers and campers. However, it’s very important to find the vehicle that’s specifically made to handle the weight you plan to tow. There are also vehicles that can be equipped with OE gear that helps them pull even more.
If you don’t tend to tow heavy objects, light vehicles made for light towing are the most affordable. There are also vehicles, typically SUVs and trucks that can handle mid-size campers or heavy-duty trailers.
This is why it’s extremely important to inform yourself about what you can find on the market. And this will help you make an informed decision that will never feel like you’ve thrown the money away when you’ve bought the ideal camper towing truck. If you’re only using it to tow trailers, make sure the car can also handle the terrain of your vacation destination.
How to Choose the Right Truck for Towing a Camper
Besides towing capacity there are also various other things to consider when getting a new towing truck. This naturally includes what type of camper you have. Fifth-wheel are much more spacious but also have their own needs when it comes to towing. The lighter the trailer, the easier it will be to maneuver on the road.
You also have to option of choosing a pull-behind trailer if you need a less stressful drive and to save up on gas. But regardless of what your decision is, your truck needs to be capable of towing a bit more and a bit easier to ensure maximums safety.
You’ll also need to think about the size of the truck bed, more specifically its length. If it’s smaller than 8’ in length, it might not be capable of accommodating the forward hump of the trailer. Shorter trucks are also capable of pulling fifth-wheel campers, but they need an adaptable hitch. This will help shift the trailer backward when you’re dealing with sharp and steep corners.
But you should keep in mind that the best truck for towing a camper is the one that allows you to completely avoid an adaptable hitch. However, these might be a bit too pricey or inconvenient for your other needs.
This means that if you’re a heavy camper and you use your truck for towing most of the time, a truck with an 8’ trunk bed is the best choice. On the other hand, if you rarely tow and mainly spend your time driving around town, a truck with a 6’ trunk bed might be better. And if you need an adaptable hitch, the manual one is more affordable while the automatic model is easier to use.
What Mistakes to Avoid While Towing
Let’s also talk about what to avoid doing while you’re towing so you can make the experience as pleasant and surprise-free as possible. The biggest mistake drivers make is being impatient and overworking the engine of the towing truck.
This can happen by driving at extremely high temperatures, which can cause various engine problems, including overheating and parts of it starting to crack. Remember to always keep an eye on pressure gauges, temperature gauges, along with the exhaust gas temperature.
You will also run into trouble if your weight distribution bars are not set up properly. The road will feel a lot bumpier and the hitch and frame might even get damages. It’s also important to keep in mind that having bigger distribution bars is not actually better. They have to be the proper size and the camper properly loaded. If you have a poorly loaded camper, your towing vehicle won’t be able to last very long.
Another mistake you need to avoid is not getting a brake controller. This easily leads to not checking or maintaining the brakes, which can get you in all sorts of trouble. Since the trailer brakes can’t self-adjust like the ones on your towing truck, a brake controller is the best option.
And as mentioned before, don’t be impatient. Attempting to start racing while towing can put both you and other road users at risk. And more often than not, you’ll end up on the side of the road. Don’t forget to always get the right ball mount, either. The size you need is stamped right on the mount.
In this article, we’ll talk about Our Top 3 Trucks to Tow a Camper.
Ford Super Duty F-250
1 Nissan Frontier
The Nissan Frontier are excellent mid-size trucks that can help move small loads from one place to another. You can use them to tow your boat to the beach or your small camper to your favorite camping spot. There is a wide range of Nissan Frontier trucks available and the one with the maximum towing capacity is the Frontier SV King Cab V6 4×2.
The Nissan Frontier SV King Cab V6 4×2 can reach a maximum towing capacity of 6,720 pounds. This makes it the perfect truck for towing smaller campers while also maintaining a compact design. Its configuration makes it great for both constant lights towing and driving around town.
If you’re OK with a smaller towing capacity, you have where to pick from as the models are quite versatile. The 2020 Frontier S trucks have a towing capacity anywhere between 3,800 pounds and 6,620 pounds. When it comes to the 2020 Frontier SV trucks, they have a towing capacity from 3,790 pounds to 6,720 pounds.
The 2020 Frontier Desert Runner has two models, one tows up to 6,620 pounds, and the other up to 6,690 pounds. You’ll also find that the 2020 Frontier PRO-4X has a towing capacity between 6,450 pounds and 6,320 pounds. And the 2020 Frontier SL also has two models, one tows up to 6,240, while the other tows up to 6,480 pounds.
2 Ford Ranger
The Ford Ranger is another great mid-size truck that can be used to haul lighter cargo. This includes small campers, trailers, boats, snowmobiles, and a lot more. You should keep in mind that the truck doesn’t include a hitch ball or ball mounting. It only comes with a hitch receiver.
Without the trailer tow package, this truck can tow up to 3,500 pounds. But if you want to use it to tow more, you’ll have to also invest in a tow package that will allow you to haul up to 7,500 pounds. When it’s properly equipped, its capability doubles and more. Unfortunately, the tow package will be quite pricey.
When you’re getting ready for the road, make sure the cargo’s weight is perfectly distributed to avoid any problems on the road. This means that around 60% of the cargo should be in the front half of the trailer, while the rest in the rear. And don’t exceed the weight limit as it can cause serious issues while you’re driving.
3 Toyota Tacoma
The Toyota Tacoma is another truck that’s perfect for helping you with a weekend gateway, be it alone or with family. Regardless if you’re going skiing, surfing, or biking, this truck can help you bring everything you need with you. It can be used for bikes, a boat, a snowmobile, etc.
This truck is easily capable of towing up to 3,500 pounds and offers great control on the road. But you also have the possibility to increase its towing capability by equipping it with the 3.5-liter V6 engine. Then you will be able to tow up to 7,500 pounds with this truck. The towing package is naturally quite expensive but if you need a higher towing capacity for a safe experience, it’s worth every dime.
These trucks have the configuration and engine performance that’s perfect for people that don’t tow heavy objects too often. And if you spend a lot of time in the city, the length of the truck won’t make finding a parking spot a nightmare. It’s a good choice for small vacations and towing small campers.
1 Ford F-150
The Ford F-150 is a slightly bigger and stronger truck than the ones mentioned above. It’s designed to help you do a lot more than tow a small boat or a few bikes. You can use it to move bigger and heavier objects from one place to another. This makes it the perfect truck for towing medium-sized campers safely across the country and allow you to enjoy time with your family anywhere you want.
Thanks to the high-strength steel fully boxed ladder frame, this truck can help you tow up to 13,000 pounds. It uses a high-quality, military-grade, aluminum alloy body as well. This helps maintain a slightly lighter weight and increase its towing capabilities. It’s also designed with staggered rear outboard shocks that can help offer a much more stable driving experience. This is the perfect towing truck as it offers lots of space and towing capacity without breaking the bank.
You’ll also have 6 different engines to choose from that will determine how much your truck will tow. A Ford F-150 with a 3L Ti-VCT V6 allows you to tow up to 7,000 pounds. On the other hand, the EcoBoost H.O. V6 offers you a towing capability of up to 13,000 pounds.
2 RAM 1500
The RAM 1500 is another great truck that can be used for heavier loads and for longer distances. It also offers various engine options, however, the car with the 5.7L HEMI V8 engine has the highest towing capacity, 12,750 pounds. This gives you the possibility to tow everything you need wherever you need. The car is also designed with the latest available sensors, cameras, and complex software. Its job is to help you move heavy objects around without a problem.
Thanks to the multifunction tailgate, you will also enjoy a fast loading and unloading process. It’s made with a 60/40 split and it can provide various ways for you to access the bed. This includes a swing-away door that offers a forklift loading and opens at 88 degrees. You’ll be able to step up, load bulky objects, unload, and easily wash out the bed.
You’ll also find this truck with multiple engine configurations that will offer various towing capabilities. The revolutionary eTorque Mild Hybrid System is used to replace the old alternator on the engine. It also comes with a 48V battery-powered, belt-driven motor generator that is designed to enhance the performance, payload, efficiency, and drivability.
3 Toyota Tundra
The Toyota Tundra is also very good at towing heavier objects, like medium-sized campers, other vehicles, trailers, etc. It has the capability to tow anywhere between 8,800 and 10,200 pounds. Having a new and revolutionary engine also helps offer a great towing capability regardless of the length of the drive. And besides the engine, this truck is also known for various other much-talked-about features. This includes a highly-reliable tow package, special side mirrors, etc.
Thanks to the outboard-mounted shocks and reliable Triple-Tech frame and integrated trailer hitch receiver, you’ll benefit from all the towing capacity you need for a wide range of jobs. You’ll also get all the peace of mind you need with the 12 high-strength bolts that are driven into the frame and can secure the trailer hitch for extra support.
Towing often puts a lot of pressure on your vehicle, which is why this truck is designed with a combination of various gauges. This includes the meter with a voltmeter coolant temperature, engine oil pressure, and fuel gauge. You’ll also like the 4-/7-pin connector that allows you to tow larger objects easier. This is because the system is made to automatically hold lower gears for longer and increase throttle responses.
1 Ford Super Duty F-250
The Ford Super Duty F-250 is the truck to go to if you need to tow heavy-duty campers, trailers, vehicles, and even slightly bigger boats. It has the capability to tow up to 20,000 pounds as it’s equipped with a 6.7L Power Stroke V8 Turbo Diesel engine. It can offer an excellent 450 horsepower and 1,050 lb-ft of torque.
Thanks to the TorqShift G 6-Speed Select Shift Automatic transmission, the truck offers an even more impressive performance. The transmission is designed to provide power promptly for a quick and smooth shifting every single time. More than that, it allows you to customize the power delivery so you can benefit from maximum capabilities. A simple switch to Tow mode will immediately minimize gear hunting while driving uphill and reduce speed while driving downhill.
Other things this truck is known for are the 22,800 pounds capacity for fifth-wheel towing, various smart safety features, class-exclusive Trailer Reverse Guidance, Blind Spot Information System, Cross-Traffic Alert, Trailer Tow Camera System, etc.
2 RAM 2500
The RAM 2500 is also great at towing heavy campers and other objects from one place to another. It can tow up to 18,680 pounds and can be used on a wide range of terrains. You can use it to take your bigger boat to the beach, your camper to a location on a mountain, your trailer near a lake, etc. This truck can handle both highways and mild off-road terrains.
Thanks to the 6.7 Cummings Turbo Diesel engine, this truck can be used to tow even small farming equipment. And if you want to enjoy a camping week with the family, you can confidently take out your big camper and bring it with you. More than that, you’ll benefit from heavy-duty factory-installed rear-axle mounting hardware. It works perfectly with the fifth-wheel/gooseneck prep package. And the best thing about it is the high-quality class-exclusive auto-level rear air suspension. It automatically adapts to shifting loads and responds to your command.
With the Trailer Tire Pressure Monitoring system, you’ll be able to get live pressure readings for up to four trailers, along with up to 12 tires per trailer. You’ll find the information on the in-vehicle, high-quality Driver Information Digital Cluster Display.
3 Chevrolet Silverado
The Chevrolet Silverado is an amazing towing truck as well. It can tow up to 13,400 pounds and handle a wide range of campers and trailers. This is because of the reliable and high-quality high-strength steel frame and high-end towing features. You’ll also have the chance to choose between various engines that provide different towing capacities. This includes s 2.7L Turbo Engine, 4.3L V6 Engine, 5.4L V8 Engine, 6.2L V8 Engine, 3.0L V6 Turbo-Diesel.
Thanks to the trailing package, you will be able to start towing as soon as your car gets home. The package includes a traveling hitch platform along with a 2-inch receiver, a 4-pin connector, a 7-wire harness with a 7-way sealed connector, and an automatic locking rear differential.
This truck also has an Optional Max Trailering package that’s available for select trims. Its job is to add the handling suspension package, revised shock tuning, better rear springs, etc. And to enjoy the safest towing experience, you can opt for tow mirrors as well.
Towing a camper seems a fairly easy job until you actually get to do it. It requires a truck that can handle its size and weight without causing any trouble for the driver on the road. This is why this list includes a very wide range of trucks you can opt for regardless of your towing needs.