Truck Towing Capacity | Head-to-Head Comparison

truck towing capacity for camper
Photo credit: Canva

You want a truck that can tow what you need. That’s why it’s essential to understand the different towing capacities of the range of trucks available. Once you know their towing capacities, you can make your decision easily. In this blog, we’ll help you understand what truck towing capacity is, what kind of truck towing capacity is capable in each vehicle class, and what can be hauled with each truck’s towing capability.

What is a Truck Towing Capacity?

According to Firestone, a truck’s towing capacity refers to how much weight you can safely pull behind your truck with a trailer. This weight is different from a payload weight, which refers to the amount of weight your truck can safely transport without any kind of trailering attachments. To find out what your truck is capable of trailering, look in your owner’s manual or call your local dealership to see if they can assist you in understanding your truck’s towing capacity.

Towing Capacity Needed To Pull Different Trailer Weights

One important consideration when determining what truck to purchase is how much weight it will have to tow. Let’s go over a few common weight amounts to help you make your decision:

What Size Truck Do You Need To Pull A 5,000 Pound Trailer?

A mid-size truck such as the Toyota Tacoma, Ford Ranger, and Chevrolet Colorado are all rated to tow between 5,000 to 7,000 pounds. However, a full-size truck like the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, and Ram 1500 can tow well over a capacity of 5,000 pounds, making them a better option if you’re planning to tow at higher capacities. 

What Size Truck Do You Need To Pull A 10,000 Pound Trailer?

To tow a 10,000 pound trailer, you’ll typically want either a full-size or heavy-duty truck. Full-size truck options capable of pulling 10,000 pounds include the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Ram 1500, and GMC Sierra 1500. Heavy-duty trucks include the Ford F-250 and 350, the Chevrolet Silverado 2500 or 3500, and the Ram 2500 or 3500.

What Size Truck Do You Need To Pull A 15,000 Pound Trailer?

For a 15,000-pound trailer, you’ll typically need a heavy-duty truck. Some heavy-duty truck options that fit this bill include the Ford F-250 and F-350 Super Duty, the Chevrolet Silverado 2500 and 3500HD, the GMC Sierra 2500 and 3500HD, and the Ram 2500 and 3500.

Which Truck Has The Most Towing Capacity By Fuel Type

diesel truck towing capacity

Which Diesel Truck Has the Most Towing Capacity?

The diesel pickup truck with the most towing capacity is the Ford F-450 Super Duty, which can pull up to 40,000 pounds with a gooseneck trailer and 30,000 pounds with conventional towing. However, the Ram 3500 is a close contender with a maximum towing capacity of 37,090 pounds and a high-output 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel I6 engine. The Ford F-450 model only has a 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel engine, but you can choose between the standard output and higher output engine. For more detailed information, check out Ford’s Super Duty Towing Guide

Which Gasoline Truck Has the Best Towing Capacity?

When it comes to the gasoline truck with the best towing capacity, the Ram 2500 is the top contender. This truck is able to have a maximum towing capacity of up to 15,220 pounds. While other trucks may come close to this towing capacity, this truck truly dominates this class. However, with a rating of 18 miles per gallon on the highway, it may make this truck something that is a bit less desirable when compared to other models and towing capacity.

Which Hybrid Truck Has the Most Towing Capacity?

Truck towing capacity for hybrid trucks puts the Ford F-150 Hybrid truck at the top of its list. The Ford F-150 Hybrid truck has a towing capacity of up to 12,400 pounds. This truck’s towing capacity seems a bit lower than the diesel or strictly gasoline trucks available. However, the average weight of a camper is only 5,000 pounds. With a truck tow capacity over nearly triple and the average camper weight and highway milage of 24 mpg, we believe this truck is a strong contender for the weekend vacationer.

What is the Highest Towing Capacity of an Electric Truck?

The truck towing capacity for the Electric truck class puts the Rivian R1T at the top. This truck style is capable of towing up to 11,000 pounds. However, the battery life will be affected by the increased demands of towing. While we agree using an electric vehicle is a really awesome idea, the price tag of over $68,000 and difficulty charging the battery in remote areas make this truck a bit difficult to recommend fully.

Best Truck Towing Capacity By Fuel Type Verdict

While we are not a car dealership, we do understand the dollars and cents of these kinds of issues. After our research, and assuming you do not have a pickup truck already, we would recommend a Hybrid Pickup Truck for the average person. The truck tow capacity for these vehicles is more than adequate for the average person and will give you a full-sized pick-up to drive around when you need to do some of life’s smaller jobs. 

Additionally, if you are someone who needs a higher truck tow capacity, we would recommend diesel trucks. These trucks are going to be able to give you the maximum truck tow capacity without the need for a CDL (so long as the weight is 26,00 pounds or below).

Truck Towing Capacity By Brand

The highest towing capacity by brand will depend on the type of truck you wish to get, whether diesel, gasoline, hybrid, or electric. It will also depend on the maximum load you need to haul. Let’s take a look at the current highest towing capacity of any truck out of each of the following brands:

Ram Truck Towing Capacity

The Ram truck with the highest towing capacity is the Ram 3500, which can pull up to 37,090 with its High-Output 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel I6 engine. Check out Ram’s towing guide for a more detailed breakdown of their truck towing capacity. 

Rivian Truck Towing Capacity

The Rivian Truck with the highest towing capacity is Rivian R1T, which can pull up to 11,000 pounds. 

Ford Truck Towing Capacity

The Ford Truck with the highest towing capacity is the Ford F-450 which can pull up to 40,000 pounds with a gooseneck trailer. Check out their towing guide for more detailed information on Ford’s towing capabilities. 

Chevy Truck Towing Capacity

The Chevy Silverado 3500HD has the highest towing capacity of any Chevy truck coming in at 36,000 pounds. Depending on your needs, you can explore the various Chevy Silverado models to learn more about their towing capabilities. 

Toyota Truck Towing Capacity

The Toyota model with the highest towing capacity is the Toyota Tundra, which can tow up to 12,000 pounds. 

GMC Truck Towing Capacity

The GMC truck with the highest towing capacity is the heavy-duty 2024 GMC Sierra 3500HD which can tow up to 36,000 pounds with a gooseneck trailer. Check out its towing capabilities here.

Tesla Truck Towing Capacity

The all-new Tesla Cybertruck can tow up to 11,000 pounds, which puts it on par with the Rivian electric truck. Check out Tesla’s page to learn more about their Cybertruck.

Truck Towing Capacity Comparison Chart

chart comparing different truck brands by fuel type and maximum towing capacity

What Is The Average Truck Towing Capacity Needed For A Boat?

white truck towing a small white boat

The truck towing capacity you need to tow the average motorboat is about 10,000 pounds. This means that virtually any truck we discussed has the truck towing capacity to pull a motorboat. However, keep in mind not all boating sports use a fully motorized boat to enjoy the activity. Some people have found that an enclosed trailer is a great way to transport several kayaks, life jackets, and paddles.

What Is The Average Truck Towing Capacity Needed For Two Dirtbikes?

dirt bake trailer

The truck towing capacity you need for towing 2 dirt bikes in a utility trailer is at least 2,000 pounds. This equates to a typical 5×8 trailer and the weight of (2) 400-pound dirt bikes, as well as some fuel and protective riding gear.  You may even find that other vehicles are capable of towing a small load like this. However, it is best to look at the owner’s manual of your vehicle to see what the vehicle is able to handle.

What Is The Average Truck Towing Capacity Needed For A Camper?

beige truck pulling a white camper down the road

The average truck towing capacity for a camper is 5,000 pounds. However, a camper can quickly outweigh 5,000 pounds based on the items you put in it. Especially if you are someone who stores a lot of the items you need for your trip in your camper. Additionally, each camper goes up in weight depending on the length of your trailer. Some common camper lengths and weights are 

Forest River RV Wildwood Grand Lodge 42DL43’7”13,068 pounds 
Jayco Eagle 330RSTS39’3”10,249 pounds
Keystone RV Outback 328RL37’10”8,710 pounds
Highland Ridge RV Open Range Lite LT272RLS35’8,085 pounds
2017 Cherokee West 274DBH 32′7,705 pounds
2016 Jayco Jay Flight 38BHDS38′7,690 pounds
2015 Jayco Jay Flight 27RLS276,030 pounds
Dutchmen Aerolite 2133RB25’8” 5,632 pounds
2015 Jayco Jay Flight 26RKS265,605 pounds
Grand Design Imagine 2150RB26’9”5,482 pounds
2017 Salem Hemisphere 24BH245,118 pounds
2017 Rockwood Mini-Light 2504s29′4,800 Pounds
Cruise LITE 19DBXL24’8”4,418 pounds
2017 Coleman CTS192RDWE23′3,974 pounds
2017 R-Pod RP-176173,786 pounds
2015 Jayco Jayflight 19RD19′3,715 pounds
Coachman Clipper Ultra-Lite Travel Trailer18’4”2,978 pounds


As you can see, understanding what truck towing capacity is and how much you can haul is important. Maybe you didn’t see your truck mentioned; if that’s the case, a great link to check out your truck’s towing capacity is right here*. If you find that you are ready to get a trailer for your towing needs, give us a call, fill out a quote, or check out our existing inventory. We look forward to helping you make the hauling in your life easier, more affordable, and just all-around better! You may also find our trailer towing guide useful!

*Multiple times throughout this blog, we mention using tools and researching your vehicle’s tow capacity. It is best to look up the owner’s manual of your vehicle to ensure that you are not going to damage your car. If you are unable to locate your owner’s manual, call your local dealership and explain your situation. Most times, they will be more than happy to assist you with the needs that you have.