We sell a lot of pickup trucks here at Dye Autos. With our level of experience, we get a lot of questions from consumers about trucks and towing capacity. It’s important to know the details of the truck you’re considering to purchase and we’re here to help you figure that out.
To choose the best pickup for towing, truck shoppers should consider the factors that contribute to towing capability.
Start by asking yourself two simple questions will help you narrow your choices:
- What do you plan to tow?
- How will you use your pickup when you’re not towing?
If you’ll often use your pickup without the trailer, you’ll want to choose a vehicle that suits those needs, too. You’ll want to choose a lighter or more-efficient pickup that’s able to handle your trailer but is also a ride that you can live with every day.
Determine the size and weight of your trailer.
You’ll need to find out the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of what you’re going to tow.
You’ll find this on the trailer “VIN plate” (Vehicle Identification Number) or by contacting the trailer manufacturer. The GVWR is the dry weight of the trailer (empty weight) plus the maximum allowed payload.
- Your trailer may be as little as a 12-ft pop-up camper with a GVWR of under 3,000 lbs.
- Perhaps, it’s a behemoth conventional camping trailer that is 40-ft long and approaching 14,000 lbs GVWR.
- How about a triple-axle 43-ft long 5th-wheel toy hauler that is pushing a total weight rating of 20,000 lbs?
- It may be a large boat, a cargo trailer, or a horse trailer.
Figure out the GVWR of the trailer, as well as the loaded weight of your specific setup.
Light Duty or Heavy Duty Pickup Truck?
Some light-duty trucks offer huge towing capacities in excess of 10,000 pounds, but drivers with big trailers, such as fifth-wheel campers or gooseneck horse trailers, may be better off with a heavy-duty pickup, such as the Ford F250 Super Duty, Dodge Ram 2500, or Chevy Silverado. Again, frequency of use is a consideration.
“The Ford F150 Ecoboost with Max Tow has trailer pulling capability that works well for many of our customers. It’s actually better than a diesel because it generally costs less and has less maintenance.” – Scott Dye
If you plan to tow a personal watercraft or a light-utility trailer, you may not even need a full-size pickup. Consider a smaller truck, such as the Toyota Tacoma or the upcoming Chevy Colorado, if you’re only pulling a light trailer.
Do I need a 4×4?
A 4×4 can be very handy, especially for pulling a trailer on uneven surfaces. A slippery boat ramp, soft ground or a hill with loose gravel might spell trouble for a 2-wheel-drive pickup, but a 4×4 should be able to climb right out, trailer in tow.
Four-wheel-drive pickups typically have slightly lower towing capacities than their 2-wheel-drive counterparts due to the extra weight of the 4-wheel-drive components.
What all this means for you…
Bottom Line? The best pickup for towing is the one that’s rated to pull your trailer and will suit your needs even when you don’t have a trailer behind you.
The task of determining the towing capacity of a particular pickup may seem daunting with so many factors coming into play. We can help you determine the best pickup truck for your specific lifestyle and needs. Get in touch >>here<< or call us at (303) 286-1665.
We’re here to help!