Can i Tow a Travel Trailer with a Half Ton Vehicle?

Last Updated on March 9, 2022 by Ted Mosby

If you love outdoors, camping, road adventures, and have bought a travel trailer, you might be familiar with the term half-ton towable”. The majority of RV owners don’t even know what it means and why it become so popular in the RVs market.

Camping and outdoors continue to grow so the half-ton truck sales in the United States. Travelers prefer having them for the love of their “outdoor life”, travel trailers that they can tow safely and with ease.

Can I Tow a Travel Trailer with a Half-Ton Vehicle?

Yes, You can tow a travel trailer with a half-ton vehicle. Some of the best half-ton vehicles to tow a travel trailer are Ford F-150, GMC Sierra Limited, Dodge Ram 1500, and Toyota Tundra.

Their ability to half-ton vehicles of pulling well-appointed and biggest trailers is the main reason why they are so popular. Keeping it in mind, the majority of manufacturers are entirely redesigning their full-size vehicles that are not only equipped with trending technology but also offer the extreme pulling capability and refine cabin comforts.

Combining all of that with the ability to hit twenty miles per gallon regularly, means you can have and comfortably tow an RV that is a perfect fit for the majority of RVers.

However, it is also a fact that the term “half-ton towable” can mislead many Camper consumers. The main reason behind this is their vast range of payload and towing capacities.

For 150/1,500 truck series depending on the engine, rear axle ratio, and other available options, has a range from 5,000 to 12,000 lbs. While the payload capacity entirely depends on the pounds, cab size, etc., as well as whether the vehicle has a two or four-wheel drive.

It means there is no pre-defined towing capacity for half-ton vehicles, which is also the same case as other bigger vehicles, such as 250/2,500 series vehicles. Before buying a camper, it is highly important to know the payload of the specific vehicle since these details are critical to match a vehicle and trailer perfectly.

For instance, you might find a vehicle that has a towing capacity of 12,000 lbs to tow a travel trailer. However, the 900 lbs hitch weight of that camper might be too much for that vehicle’s payload considering optional equipment, cargo, and passengers.

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Another important thing that you must consider is that some lightweight campers that can comfortably be towed by a well-equipped half-ton vehicle are larger than their weight.

To make it easier to understand, let’s suppose you have chosen a considerably long ultralight camper that is a perfect fit for your two campers; there are still chances that it can be affected by weather conditions and crosswinds.

Considering all these circumstances, here are some tips that you should consider while purchasing a full-size vehicle for towing. These tips will make sure you don’t end up having a vehicle that looks a perfect match to your RV, but it is not,

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Tips When Buying a Full-Size Vehicle

  • First of all, you should look for a vehicle with a maximum towing capacity. Dealers have all these details with them, and it is available on the manufacturer’s websites as well.
  • To determine the true towing capacity of a vehicle, minus the weight of passengers, cargo, pets, etc. that travels in the vehicle. It will help if you subtract all these weights from the vehicle’s GCWR. There are many small or mini travel trailers to choose from.
  • Rather than concentrating on the unloaded vehicle weight or dry weight, concentrate on the GVWR when selecting a trailer. The reason why you should do this is those weights don’t include cargo and other weights.
  • It would be great if you know the gross vehicle weight rating of the vehicle. It is the highest operating weight when loaded with cargo, passengers, etc. moreover, you can also find GVWR data on the driving-seat doorjamb.
  • If you desperately want to own a half-ton vehicle that you like the most while knowing that the numbers are tight, it might lead you to nothing but financial loss or unsafe towing.

Now, you might be wondering what the best half-ton vehicle options for safe towing are. Well, don’t worry, to make things simpler, below, I have arranged a list of the best half-ton vehicles that you should consider,

Best 1/2 ton Truck for Towing Travel Trailers

Chevrolet SilveradoChevrolet Silverado
Ford F-150Ford F-150
GMC Sierra LimitedGMC Sierra Limited
Dodge RamDodge Ram
Toyota TundraToyota Tundra

Campers who have some experience might already know that there were only a few half-ton vehicle brands that were dominating the RV market in the past. Those popular brands include Dodge, GMC, and Ford.

But now, things are changing quickly since the outdoors are constantly gaining more popularity each day. It means there are some other brands as well those manufacture vehicles that are loved by travelers. So, let’s take a look below;

1. Chevrolet Silverado

Chevrolet Silverado

One of the most popular and currently best-selling half-ton vehicle brands is Chevrolet Silverado. The main reason why travelers love it is its combination of comfort and power. The latest version offers some unique features that you will surely be going to fall in love with.

Equipped with a 6.2-liter V8 engine, it has the capacity of comfortably towing a 13,400 travel trailer, which makes it a furious competitor to its rival Ford.

Moreover, it also offers ten-speed transmission, so that you get the most out of its available torque when driving an RV on a highway.

Chevrolet makes sure that their vehicles do not only offer comfort but also offer some wonderful features. The thing I liked the most about it is its hands-free navigation system feature that integrates with Bluetooth.

Why Chevrolet Silverado?

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  • Towing capacity of 13,400 lbs.
  • Bluetooth compatibility
  • Navigation system
  • 10-speed transmission
  • 280-420 horsepower
  • MPG rating: 23/29

2. Ford F-150

Ford F-150

Ford brand has been in the business for quite a long time, and as I have said earlier, it is one of those few brands that is still dominating the half-ton vehicles category. That is why I have included Ford F-150 in our list of best half-ton vehicles to pull travel trailers.

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It is equipped with a dual-turbo V8 that enables it to tow a travel trailer of up to 13,000 lbs. It is rated as 18 MPG in the city while 25 MPG on the highway, which makes it one of the greatest half-ton vehicles.

The thing I liked about it is unlike other half-ton vehicles to pull campers, it is quite impressive when it comes to fuel consumption.

Moreover, it has a six-speed transmission that assists it in putting the power down. Furthermore, it also has a driveline in traction control and a backup assist solution equipped with an LCD.

It means you don’t need to ask someone for help when hitching up a travel trailer since you can do that alone with its LCD monitor.

Why Ford F-150?

  • Towing capacity of up to 13,000 lbs.
  • 18/25 rating for city and highway.
  • 290 horsepower.
  • 265 torque.
  • In traction control and ABS.
  • 6-speed transmission.

3. GMC Sierra Limited

GMC Sierra Limited

Although the same manufacturer manufactures both GMC Sierra Limited and Chevy Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra Limited has its own entity. The majority of the same engineers have worked on both of them as well.

However, the main thing that differentiates them from each other is Sierra Limited’s aesthetically beautiful exterior.

It is capable of comfortably towing a travel trailer of up to 10,000lbs which is quite impressive. However, it is still considerably less than the other half-ton vehicles to tow a trailer on this list.

But don’t forget it is significantly greater than other light-duty vehicles, such as Ford Ranger and Chevy Colorado.

It is equipped with a 5.3-liter V8 engine, and its city rating is 17 MPG while its highway rating is hitting 24 MPG. The most amazing feature that warmed my heart is its Dynamic Fuel Management System.

It means it is an extremely fuel-efficient half-ton vehicle that to its competitors. Moreover, it has a smooth six-speed transmission along with a traction control system that is highly responsive.

It also has various other comfort creatures, including a comfortable, unique, and stylish interior, weight-efficient carbon-fiber cargo bed, etc.

Why GMC Sierra Limited?

  • Towing capacity of up to 10,000 lbs.
  • 355 horsepower.
  • Traction control.
  • 383 Torque.
  • 17 MPG city and 24 MPG highway rating.

4. Dodge Ram 1500

Dodge Ram

Unlike the previous models of Dodge and the Mopar umbrella, their latest model Ram is a half-time pickup vehicle that evolves on its own. It is much more fuel-efficient and reliable than other models. It offers all of that without compromising on its towing capacity. To make it more attractive to individuals, it has various amazing features.

It is a great choice for those who are struggling to find a half-ton vehicle to tow a travel trailer comfortably and can work for a living as well. As a half-ton vehicle to tow a camper, it has the capacity of towing up to 12,750 lbs. Campers. Considering its towing capacity, it means it is much closer to what Silverado and F-150 can tow.

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Moreover, their powerful steel frame and air suspension system helps to prevent the risk of camper sway on the highway. You won’t find a better air suspension system in any other half-ton vehicle than it that ensures a smooth ride and comfortable towing. To improve aerodynamics, it is equipped with Active Air Dam on the front bumper.

Why Dodge Ram 1500?

  • Towing capability of up to 12,750 lbs.
  • 5.7-liter V8 engine.
  • 8-speed transmission.
  • Equipped with eTorque Hybrid Tech.
  • Powerful Steel Frame.
  • Active Air Dam.
  • Air Suspension system.

5. Toyota Tundra

Toyota Tundra

Toyota Tundra came into existence into the half-ton vehicles market over a decade ago and inserted itself in the category of best half-ton vehicles to tow campers. It is also considered one of the most powerful and reliable options. As you can expect from Japanese manufacturers, it has some amazing engineering.

It is basically manufactured in the United States to introduce itself to domestic vehicle companies. It is another impressive half-ton vehicle to tow RVs that is weighed up to 9,800 lbs. It means there is only the slightest difference between Tundra, Chevrolet Silverado, and F-150 when it comes to towing capacity.

However, it is not for those who have enormous fifth-wheel RVs. But it is still a great choice for those who have lightweight toy haulers, travel trailers, or teardrop campers.

The thing I don’t like much about it is its 5.7-liter V8 engine that might consume more fuel than you are expecting. It has a rating of 13 MGP in the city and 17 MGP on the highway. However, it has some wonderful creature comforts that you will enjoy.

It includes seek-scan radio, SiriusXM/FM/AM/HD and satellite, keyless remote entry, and LCD Monitor.

Why Toyota Tundra?

  • The towing capacity of up to 9,800 lbs makes it the best deal for lightweight camper owners.
  • Keyless remote entry.
  • 381 horsepower.
  • First-row LCD monitor.
  • Seek-scan radio.


How big of a travel trailer can I pull with a half-ton Vehicle?

It Depends, there are various factors that are involved in towing a vehicle. Anything above 10,000 lbs can safely be towed by a half-ton vehicle. 

Should I tow a 5th-wheel RV with a half-ton vehicle?

Yes, you can tow a fifth-wheel camper with a half-ton vehicle if it has a special hitch assembly installed. If it is already installed, you will be able to pull a lightweight fifth-wheel travel trailer with a half-ton vehicle comfortably.

How much does a trailer weight?

It depends but the average camper trailer weight is 5,200 pounds.

How can I improve my half-ton vehicle MPG rating?

There are a lot of ways to improve your half-ton vehicle MPG. The best way to do that is to improve its general maintenance.

Wrapping Up

That is it about the half-ton vehicle for towing a travel trailer. I have discussed everything in detail, and now I sincerely hope that you will find a perfect travel trailer that is a perfect match for your half-ton vehicle so that you can tow it with ease.

You should consider the tips I have mentioned above while purchasing a travel trailer that is a perfect fit for your towing vehicle. Moreover, if you are looking for the best half-ton vehicles, I have mentioned some of the above that you can consider.

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About Ted Mosby

I am Ted Mosby from Cleveland, Ohio. I am a Freelance Architect. I live in New Jersey, USA right now and I take my RV every alternate weekend. I own a Forest River Berkshire XLT Diesel 45A Class A Motorhome. As I am a Freelancer I can work anywhere so most of my work is done inside my camper remotely.