Car Reviews

The Best ½ Ton Truck for Towing Travel Trailer

By TheCarzingTeam February 7, 2022 | Car Reviews

Car Reviews

Owning a travel trailer means that there’s always a perfect time for camping. While tents can leak during rainstorms and get much too cold during crisp fall nighters, travel trailers (or campers) better protect against the elements…it’s camping, with an upgrade.

Travel trailers take the camping experience up a notch, but to use them owners have to tow them! This means they need a vehicle with the capacity to pull that travel trailer. Trucks are ideal for camping, going off the beaten path, and for towing trailers, too! What’s the best ½ ton truck for towing travel trailers? Check out these models and recommendations!

The Best ½ Ton Truck for Towing Travel Trailer

MotorTrend’s List

MotorTrend ranked the top half-ton pickup trucks. This list included:

  • Ford F-150
  • Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  • Nissan Titan
  • Toyota Tundra
  • Ram 1500
  • GMC Sierra 1500

Among these models, though, which one is the best for pulling a travel trailer? The answer depends on different factors including the weight of the trailer and the towing capacity of the truck. The vehicle cannot tow weight beyond its towing capacity.  

Each model, though, might offer different options that improve the towing capacity. Many truck models have multiple engine options (some offer up to five). Depending on the engine choice, towing capacity can vary. Here are low/high ranges for each model:

  • 2021 Ford F-150 

8,200 to 14,000 pounds

  • Chevrolet Silverado 1500 

From 7,900 to 13,300 pounds.

  • GMC Sierra 1500

Up to 13,000 pounds

  • Ram 1500

Up to 12,750 pounds

  • Nissan TITAN

9,310, to 11,040 pounds

  • Toyota Tundra

9,400 to 10,100 pounds

As many of these have variations on towing capacity based on the engine, buyers need to determine what option is the best choice for their towing needs. This could mean opting for a more powerful engine, and this could nudge up the price.

Best ½ Ton Truck for Towing Travel Trailer

What about the Weight of a Travel Trailer?

As a cheat sheet, Curt offers a list of different trailer types and their average weights. However, the list is just a guide and is for reference only. Some travel trailers could weigh more.

On average, though, a small travel trailer weighs 2,800 pounds, a pop-up camper weighs 2,300 pounds, a large travel trailer weighs about 6,700 pounds. Curt bases these estimates on average empty weight.

If a trailer is being used to store camping gear or other items, the weight would obviously increase. Based on the average empty weights, though, the ½ ton models would all be ideal for towing even a larger travel trailer (empty!).

Best ½ Ton Truck for Towing Travel Trailer

Think about that Budget!

For many buyers, the budget plays a significant role in the vehicle that they choose to purchase. Half-ton pickups can vary in price. Here’s how each of the ½ ton models ranks in price (from the least expensive to the highest priced models):

  • 2021 Ford F-150

$29,985 to $73,700

  • 2021 Nissan TITAN

$36,950 to $62,710

  • 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

$30,995 to $51,645

  • 2021 GMC Sierra 1500

$35,540 to $47,165

  • 2021 Toyota Tundra

$34,025 for the SR, $35,715 for the SR5

Prices also may rise with extra added features. The price ranges are based on the MSRP for all available models. Buyers can use these figures as an estimate for what they might expect to spend on a 2021 model. Older models could be less expensive, and newer 2022 models could bump the price higher.

Buyers also could have a specific model that they prefer. Some buyers are loyal to a certain brand or model, others might just be looking for the best price.

What about the Payload?

Car buyers might see another figure associated with pickup trucks called the payload. This is different from towing capacity.

While the towing capacity refers to the weight the vehicle can tow, the payload refers to the total weight the truck can tow and carry combined. Payload includes any weight in the bed of the truck, the trailer tongue weight, and the passengers (and anything else) in the cabin.

The payload capacity is an important factor to consider along with the towing capacity, especially if that truck will be carrying a lot of extra cargo in the bed (or the cabin!).

Kelley Blue Book explains that payload refers to the maximum weight a vehicle can carry, but the towing capacity refers to the weight it can actually pull. This is why the power of the engine affects the towing capacity…more power can pull more weight.

Finding the Best ½ Ton Pickup Using Carzing

Carzing makes it easy for buyers to find the best ½ ton pickup for towing travel trailers. Carzing’s easy to use search tool lets buyers search for vehicles by body type, keywords, price or make/model.

When buyers want a specific brand for their truck, they can just search via make/model. If buyers want to see all the available half-ton pickups, they can either do a keyword search or choose the body type.

When all the results are displayed, buyers can further refine their selection by choosing from different criteria and features. Specify color, drivetrain and more. Want to see the least expensive trucks first? Sort the results by price. Or opt to sort by distance, mileage, age (year) or just the best match. Find new models or used pickup trucks.

Carzing even lets buyers get pre-qualified for financing without entering a social security number. Buyers can review all their financing options and choose from monthly payment amounts or even loan terms that work best for their situation. Carzing will even show how much buyers should allocate for a down payment.

With Carzing, buyers can browse for new or used vehicles on their schedule. Online convenience means that the site is open 24/7. Some buyers might be night-owls and prefer to browse at midnight. That’s ok! They can get pre-qualified in the middle of the night, too!

Carzing also takes the stress and frustration out of the search. Buyers don’t have to walk through a car lot to try to find the best vehicle for their needs. Instead they can just do a quick search, and they can keep modifying that search until they find exactly what they want.

Some search queries via Carzing might offer limited results, but buyers can expand their search by widening their geographic scope. If the heart is completely set on a 2021 Toyota Tundra in blue with leather interior, they can set these parameters and find the car somewhere else in the state…or beyond.

Once buyers find that perfect pickup, they can visit a participating dealership and focus on the important details of the car hunt. Take a test drive of the truck, go over towing capacity with the dealership. Ask any questions about the vehicle that might need to be answered, fill out the credit application and review the financing details one last time.

Ultimately, the trip to the dealership can focus on finalizing the sale instead of trying to find the right car or truck. Once the paperwork is signed, drive off the lot in the new half-ton pickup truck, prepare the travel trailer, pack your bags, map out the destination and drive out into the next exciting wilderness adventure with the family…or just solo!

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