Best Trucks for Towing for 2024

(iSeeCars) – While pickup trucks are known for their wide array of capabilities, including off-road adventures, hauling heavy loads, and even offering a fair degree of luxury in their upper trim levels, a truck’s maximum towing capability is typically its most impressive specification. Unlike SUVs that have to balance passenger space and cargo capacity with towing needs, trucks have a more utilitarian focus that’s reflected in their powertrains specs, including payload capacity and tow rating. We’ve included the max tow rating for each truck listed below, but keep in mind that achieving a truck’s highest towing capacity will often involve ordering (and paying for) a tow package. 

You can also increase any truck’s maximum towing capacity by adding a gooseneck or fifth wheel hitch in the center of the bed, which locates the trailer’s tongue weight directly over the rear axle to improve trailer stability. We’ve listed compact and full-size trucks below but we don’t have heavy-duty pickups like the Silverado 2500HD included in our ranking yet.

Best Trucks for Towing: Full-Size Pickups

Full-size pickups are consistently the best-selling vehicles in the U.S. market, reflecting their strong demand as both work vehicles and weekend adventure vehicles. Available as both regular cab (two-door) and crew cab (four-door) models, full-size trucks like the Chevy Silverado, Nissan Titan, Ram 1500, and Toyota Tundra have evolved into capable, even luxurious, family transportation. But they haven’t yet dethroned the Ford F-150 as the best-selling truck for the past four decades. Does Ford’s variety of configurations and powerful engines in the half-ton truck category play into its ongoing sales success? Probably. It’s available as a fuel-efficient hybrid or pure electric model in the Ford F-150 Lightning. You’ll find impressive horsepower and towing figures in both configurations, though Ford has sadly discontinued the turbo diesel engine option unless buyers step up its three-quarter ton heavy-duty truck line (known as the Ford Super Duty).

Best Trucks for Towing: Midsize Pickups

Although physically smaller than modern full-size pickups, today’s midsize trucks still offer roomy, comfortable cabins and enough towing capacity to serve many of today’s truck buyers while being easier to park and delivering superior fuel economy. You can’t get a high-torque diesel or V8 engine in this category, but you will find capable V6 and four-cylinder engines, rear-wheel and four-wheel drive powertrains, plus premium features like advanced infotainment systems and safety features. There’s even fully-electric midsize trucks like the Rivian R1T, though their starting prices are between two and three times the cost of a traditional model.

Pickup trucks come in many configurations and offer a wide range of features across trims. There are also more models to choose from than ever before, thanks to the growing compact and midsize truck lineups in recent model years. Hauling capability can also vary widely, so if towing capacity is a priority, consider the full-size haulers on this list.

Best Towing Features

While cars and minivans can be equipped with a tow hitch, and may technically have trailer weight ratings and towing ability, only trucks and SUVs are likely to have the most helpful towing features and technology. Some key features to look for when buying a vehicle for towing include:

Electronic Trailer-Sway Control: Similar to stability control for cars, trailer-sway control can sense when a trailer is sliding sideways (maybe during a sudden evasive maneuver) and counter it by adjusting the brake and throttle of the tow vehicle

Four- and Seven-Pin Trailer Connector: You need to hook up taillights and brake lights to your trailer, which use either a four- or seven-pin wiring harness; having both connectors on a tow vehicle means you’re covered for every trailer type

Integrated Trailer Brake Controller: Coordinates the tow vehicle’s brake system with the trailer’s brake system, and lets drivers adjust them to ensure the two systems work together for balanced braking between both vehicles

Tow/Haul Mode: This changes the programming for a tow vehicle’s automatic transmission settings, altering when upshifts and downshifts occur to reduce strain on the engine, transmission and brake system

Trailer Hitch Camera: Hooking up a trailer is pretty straightforward when you can see both the trailer and the hitch; some new models offer advanced guidance systems that make aligning the hitch and trailer very easy

Calculating Your GVWR When Towing

Once you’ve confirmed your towing needs consider which vehicle categories can serve them and browse the rankings below. In addition to each vehicle’s maximum towing capacity we’ve included (when available) the maximum payload, the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and the curb weight for all models.

With these figures you can calculate how much total weight you can add to your vehicle, which is essentially the difference between its curb weight and GVWR. You should never exceed the GVWR, which includes the curb weight plus the weight of all passengers, cargo, and the tongue weight of your trailer. Tongue weight is approximately 10 percent of the trailer’s total weight, and it must also not push a vehicle’s total weight past its GVWR.

Best Midsize Trucks for Towing

Chevrolet Colorado: Max Towing Capacity: 11,600 lbs

GMC Canyon: Max Towing Capacity: 7,700 lbs

Jeep Gladiator: Max Towing Capacity: 7,700 lbs

Ford Ranger: Max Towing Capacity: 7,500 lbs

Nissan Frontier: Max Towing Capacity: 6,640 lbs

Best Full-Size Trucks for Towing

Ford F-150: Max Towing Capacity: 13,500 lbs

Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Max Towing Capacity: 13,300 lbs

GMC Sierra 1500: Max Towing Capacity: 13,300 lbs

Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Limited: Max Towing Capacity: 13,300 lbs

GMC Sierra 1500 Limited: Max Towing Capacity: 13,000 lbs

Best Small Trucks for Towing

Hyundai SANTA CRUZ: Max Towing Capacity: 5,000 lbs

Ford Maverick: Max Towing Capacity: 4,000 lbs

Best Heavy-Duty Trucks for Towing

Ford F-450 Super Duty: Max Towing Capacity: 40,000 lbs

Ford F-350 Super Duty: Max Towing Capacity: 38,000 lbs

Ram 3500: Max Towing Capacity: 37,090 lbs

GMC Sierra 3500HD: Max Towing Capacity: 36,000 lbs

Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD: Max Towing Capacity: 36,000 lbs

Best 6-Seater Trucks for Towing

Ford F-450 Super Duty: Max Towing Capacity: 40,000 lbs

Ford F-350 Super Duty: Max Towing Capacity: 38,000 lbs

Ram 3500: Max Towing Capacity: 37,090 lbs

GMC Sierra 3500HD: Max Towing Capacity: 36,000 lbs

Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD: Max Towing Capacity: 36,000 lbs

For those needing a reliable and powerful truck for towing, these lists provide a great starting point. Whether you’re looking for a midsize, full-size, small, heavy-duty, or 6-seater truck, there are excellent options available to meet your needs. Each vehicle on these lists excels in towing capacity, ensuring you can handle your towing tasks with confidence.

More from iSeeCars: is a data-driven car search and research company that helps shoppers find the best car deals by providing key insights and valuable resources, including the iSeeCars VIN Check report and Best Cars Rankings. iSeeCars has saved users over $417 million so far by applying big data analytics powered by over 25 billion (and growing) data points and using proprietary algorithms to objectively analyze, score and rank millions of new cars and used cars.This article, Best Trucks for Towing, originally appeared on


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