Don’t know which tow truck for your fifth wheel to buy? With hundreds of options in the market, that can be a serious problem.
Finding the right truck is crucial. It’s not as simple as picking a pair of shoes. You need to do a lot of research and consider many details before you finally choose a tow truck.
There are too many factors to consider, including these important ones:
- Size of your fifth wheel
- Truck size
- Towing capacity
- Length of the bed
- Engine’s power
- Turning clearance
If that’s keeping you from buying the best towing truck, I’ll make sure you leave this page after removing all your concerns.
Along with the mandatory list of 10 best trucks for towing the fifth wheel, you’ll also find a detailed buyer’s guide covering all important aspects of the vehicle you should keep in mind while buying one.
Let’s dig in to find more.
13 Best Trucks for Towing 5th Wheels
The F 350 has a towing capacity of 27,500 pounds and is considered a workhorse of the heavy-duty range. It includes a 1,050 lb-ft Power Stroke diesel engine.
One of the fantastic features is the Trailer Reverse Guidance system that allows the driver to check and view the fifth wheel from numerous angles. It promises clearance, as well.
With the enormous payload capacity, you can load your fifth wheel comfortably. In addition to these, comfort, safety, and convenience are also guaranteed.
- Expansive Cab Configurations
- The Diesel V8 Engine Option
- Light-weight Aluminum Body
- Off-roading Capabilities
- User-friendly Sync 3 Infotainment System
- Limited Visibility
- Expensive alternatives/ options
Although the 2018 Honda Ridgeline doesn’t brag about very high towing capacity, this medium-sized truck can tow up to 5,000 pounds owing to its multi-link independent rear suspension.
It brings the luxury of smooth ride and excellent towing capacity together.
The Ridgeline is not a heavy lifter. However, it provides a superior driving performance. 2018 Honda Ridgeline is ideal if you plan to drive along smooth highways instead of hilly areas or bumpy mountain ranges.
The suspension and construction it offers, adds to a pleasant riding experience while towing a 5th wheel on smooth trails.
- Precision Steering and Control
- Superior quality Interior Materials
- Smooth Transmission
- Triple insulation ensure no noise
- Low Road Clearance
- Finicky Driver Assist Features
Currently, Ford is the one holding the crown with its updated and modernized F 450 Super Duty.
This mighty beast produces 475 horsepower and a whopping 1050 pound-feet of torque from a 6.7-liter Power Stroke Diesel V-8.
This one-ton truck comes with a tremendous towing capacity of 37,000 pounds. You can easily pull your fifth wheel without worrying about the payload.
The interior is comfortable, and the ride is smooth and quiet.
- The ultimate towing camera system
- Superior quality built
- Robust towing platform
- The big truck doesn’t fit car washing designated areas
The 2020 GMC Sierra 2500 HD is another amazing towing truck on my list of top ten. It’s an improved version with an even better, sturdy frame and powertrain choices to pull up to 3,979 pounds of payload.
With diesel engines in a regular cab and two-wheel drive configuration, GMC Sierra 2500 HD has a maximum fifth-wheel towing capacity of 18,510 pounds. As for gasoline-powered 4X4 crew cab, you can tow up to 16,650 pounds.
Sierra 2500HD can handle a payload of up to 3,979 pounds as a gasoline-powered, regular cab rear-drive model.
Bed length options are available. A standard bed’s length measures around six feet and nine inches with a capacity of 69.6 cubic feet, whereas an eight feet long bed comes with a potential of 83.5 cubic feet.
- Excellent optional Allison 10-speed automatic
- AT4 trim
- MultiPro tailgate available
- Dull interior styling
- Small storage options
- Not so good base powertrain combo
This truck is powerful. Although it is not as powerful as the Ford F-350, it can pull heavy campers easily. This is because it has an impressive towing capacity of 20,000 pounds (the 2020 model). Because the heaviest fifth-wheels weigh around 12,000 pounds, the maximum towing capacity of the Ford F-250 means you can use it to pull even the heaviest fifth-wheels.
What I like the most about this truck is the fact that it comes with comfort features and high-tech features. The comfort features include impressive leg spaces for tall people, great seats, powerful AC, and an optional heater.
The high-tech features include a productivity screen, a reverse sensing system, a rearview camera, a distance to empty measure, and adaptive steering. Adaptive steering is a brilliant feature because it gradually adjusts steering ratio based on speed for better control and safety. This makes this truck perfect for hauling heavy trailers.
The Ford F-150 Raptor is the third Ford truck on this list and one of the most popular half-ton trucks in the United States. The 2020 model is a very impressive truck.
While the F-150 generally does not have an impressive towing capacity like the F-250 and the F-350, it can tow fifth-wheels less than 8,000 pounds in weight. This means it is only suitable for towing lightweight fifth-wheels such as Forest River fifth-wheels.
The best thing about the 2020 FORD F-150 Raptor is that it has a powerful engine and it is equipped with a brilliant suspension system and other systems to effortlessly handle difficult terrain and off-road conditions. Therefore, if you want to take a lightweight fifth-wheel camper to an off-road location, it is an option you should strongly consider.
The second best thing about this truck is the fact that it comes with safety features including a blind spot information system, a lane-keeping information system, and a safe backing system.
In short, this F-150 is a great truck for hauling fifth-wheels.
- Numerous options available for configurations and prices
- Heavy-duty drivetrain offerings
- Superb off-road capability
- Excellent utility
- Occasional difference between real-world fuel mileage and EPA rating
Isn’t it pretty obvious that the 2020 Ram Heavy Duty would make this list? After all, it’s the 2020 Truck of the Year.
Ram 2020 has built quite a reputation when it comes to towing fifth wheel and gooseneck hitches.
With its turbo diesel engine, Ram 3500 is mighty and has a massive towing capacity of 30,000 pounds with comfort and luxury.
Moreover, you can equip your truck with a six to seven liter Cummins diesel inline-six. With this, you get 400 horsepower and 1000 lb-ft of torque. As a result, this heavy-duty truck with dual rear wheels can tow a big fifth wheel weighing up to 35,100 pounds.
The Ram 3500 includes a variety of features such as high-res in-bed camera and the air suspension’s trick Alt Trailer Height ability. Additionally, the truck comes with a factory-installed hitch.
Some of the shortcomings can be the top-dog diesel being an $11,795 option over the base gas V-8.
It somehow forces you to buy a high-torque version of the older six-speed automatic transmission instead of the new eight-speed.
- Powerful gasoline and diesel engines
- Stiff, towing-friendly assembly
- Power Wagon off-road trim still available
- Less spacious rear seat
This is one of the most powerful trucks in the United States! The 2018 Silverado 2500 HD has a very impressive towing capacity of 18,000 pounds. So unlike the Ford F-150 above, this truck can safely haul heavyweight fifth-wheels.
The 2018 Silverado 2500HD is a cheapish diesel truck. It is not like extremely cheap but when compared to other trucks with impressive towing capacities, it is certainly less expensive.
Compared to previous Silverado 2500HD models, the 2018 model has better torque and power. This makes it perfect for pulling heavy campers for long distances. Therefore, if you are in Texas or South Dakota and you want to pull a big rig all the way to Key West (Florida), it is one of the best trucks to use to do this.
This truck is also equipped with systems that enable it to handle high speeds and steep roads better.
While the 2018 Silverado is impressive, the 2020 model is much more impressive. It has a maximum towing capacity of 18,500 pounds and a host of features that make it more capable of towing heavy trailers including steering assist, powerful braking, tow mode, and a stability control system. It also has a luxurious interior and plenty of high tech features.
The only reason I talked about the 2018 Silverado first is that it is cheaper than this one.
- Firm platform
- Available towing cameras and technology
- Swift speeding
- Low-quality cabin materials
- Lowest maximum torque rating
- Polarizing exterior styling
The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado is one of the most impressive towing trucks ever made. It comes with a 6.6-liter V8 engine that is capable of hauling 20,000-pound trailers. Using the gooseneck method, it can haul trailers as heavy as 35,000 in weight. This makes it one of the most powerful towing trucks ever made.
One of the things I like the most about the Silverado 3500HD is the fact that its engine feels very strong regardless of the terrain, the speed, or the weight of the trailer or camper being towed. I also like the fact that it comes with a 15-way camera that makes towing and parking easy.
If you are a tall man or if you have tall people in your family, you will really love this truck. This is because it has spacious leg rooms for both front and rear passengers.
In terms of safety, this is one of the safest trucks out there. It has all the safety features you would expect from a heavy-duty truck including rear and front parking sensors, a collision-avoidance system, a blind-spot monitoring system, a lane-change alert system, a cross-traffic alert system, a rearview camera, a teen driver system and a hitch guidance system. It has six airbags for maximum protection, especially of front passengers.
Additional safety features include traction control, stability control, and auto-locking differential.
While everything I have mentioned so far about this truck is impressive, the most impressive thing about it is its infotainment suite. The Crew and Double cabs have six surround speakers that are controllable on a touchscreen interface. It has Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth compatibility. The premium High-Country version has Bose speakers for perfect quality sound.
In summary, this is a truck that can safely and easily pull big rigs and it is perfect because it is safe and has a good infotainment suite.
- Robust towing platform
- Classy Interior
- Standard 6.6-liter gas V-8
- towing technologies and assist cameras options available
- Old-fashioned interior design
- Restricted interior storage options
- Low visibility
According to Nissan USA, the 2020 Nissan Titan has the most standard safety features, tech, and power in its class. In other words, compared to competing trucks such as the Ford F-150, the Ram 1500, Tundra and Silverado, it is safer, more powerful, and high-tech.
The Nissan Titan is fitted with a powerful 5.6-liter V8 engine that is capable of towing fifth-wheels as heavy as 9,400 pounds. This means you can use this truck to pull lightweight and mid-size fifth-wheel campers.
Five key things stand out about this 2020 Nissan Titan. First, it has the best standard warranty. The truck is covered by a 100,000-mile full warranty. Not any other truck offers anything close to this.
Second, it is feature-rich. This truck has more standard features than most trucks on the market. You do not need to spend more money on feature-packages. Its features include safety features (backup camera, parking sensors, alertness sensors, cross-traffic alert, emergency braking, and pedestrian detection), driver assistance features, and so on.
Third, it has a large 8-inch control screen. The touchscreen has impressive graphics and it is perfect for controlling this vehicle.
Fourth, this truck has an amazing off-road capability. The Titan Pro-4X is the best one for off-road driving. So if you want to go somewhere off-grid, this truck is an option you cannot ignore.
Lastly, the Nissan Titan has excellent packages and upgrades including keyless entry, remote start, and climate control. It is absolutely brilliant.
- Base Endurance V8 Engine
- Diesel Engine Ideal for Hefty Lifting
- Family-Sized Pickup Truck
- Improved NissanConnect Infotainment System
- More Expensive
- Unimpressive Fuel Economy
- The big truck requires Space to Roam
One of the best towing trucks to make my list is the 2019 GMC Sierra 3500 HD. It is a full size, a one-ton pickup truck with a maximum conventional towing capacity of 20,000 pounds. As for the fifth wheel, the tow rating is 23,100 pounds.
A worth-mentioning feature here is the inclusion of a trailering camera system as a dealer-installed accessory. You get left and right-hand side-view mirror cameras along with a trailer-mounted camera.
It is to ensure you get a complete view and clearance of your towing vehicle and the fifth-wheel trailer.
The 2019 GMC Sierra 3500HD supports a 6.0-liter V8 gas engine that produces 360 horsepower along with 380 pound-feet of torque.
You can get a Duramax 6.6-liter turbodiesel as well, which produces 445 horsepower and 910 pound-feet of torque.
The GMC 3500 HD promises comfort, luxury, class, and quiet drive with a Snow Plow Prep Package, which includes heavy-duty front springs, a 220-amp alternator, and underbody shields.
- The Diesel Engine Option available
- High-grade Build
- Strong Braking Proficiency
- Easy to Use Controls
- Ample Cabin Space
- The Telescoping Steering Wheel’s Limited Availability
- Limited Visibility
- Limited Off-roading Capabilities
Among the best trucks for towing fifth-wheels, the 2020 Toyota Tundra is one of the safest. This is because it comes with an impressive list of standard and extra features including a camera and a radar for collision detection, a dynamic cruise control system, a lane assist system, automatic high beams, and multiple airbags.
The 2020 Toyota Tundra has a towing capacity of approximately 10,000 pounds. This is thanks to its 5.7-liter V8 engine that provides nearly 400 horsepower. The fact that this truck has a high towing capacity makes it great for pulling fifth-wheels under 10,000 pounds.
The Toyota Tundra Off-Road and Sport models are particularly great for towing because they have been fitted with features that make them perfect for visiting/ touring off-road destinations. For example, the Tundra Off-Road model has big aluminum tires, Blistein shocks, and a skid plate.
In terms of comfort, the Toyota Tundra is among the most spacious and comfortable 2020 trucks. There is plenty of legroom for all passengers, the seats are comfy and ergonomic, and all the seats can be adjusted for comfort.
In terms of technologies, this is one of the most high-tech trucks out there. It has several technologies you will not find on other trucks including Destination Assist – a technology that gives truck owners access to live agents for free assistance.
Lastly, about this truck, it is built to perform well and last long even when put under pressure. This is the reason why it has been voted the most dependable full-size truck several times.
If you are young and you are looking for a truck that is convertible and that is also a serious off-road vehicle, you should get the Jeep Gladiator. The 2020 Jeep Gladiator is a very attractive truck and it is the only convertible truck on the market. Its soft top and its doors are removable for open-air cruising or driving.
The best thing about this truck is the fact that the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon has a towing capacity of 7,000 pounds. This means you can easily use it to tow a lightweight fifth-wheel camper or even an under 6,500 pounds camper.
As I mentioned a few moments ago, this is a serious off-road vehicle. It is capable of handling all types of difficult terrain. If you get the Rubicon model, you will not only be using it to tow your camper but also to enjoy exploring unbeaten off-road paths roads and 4X4 obstacle trails and courses. And you can do this confidently because it is a ruggedized truck made of high strength steel. It does not get damaged or totaled very easily.
Moreover, the low features of the Jeep Gladiator are high off the ground. For instance, the Rubicon version is 11 inches off the ground. This means you can easily drive this Jeep over streams and puddles without worrying about the water getting in.
Because the Jeep Gladiator is built to conquer rough terrain, it has a brilliant suspension system. The system makes it comfortable to drive and to sit in whether on even or uneven terrain.
Lastly, this truck is ideal for young people. This is because its infotainment suite is crazy good. It comes with a portable Bluetooth speaker that is rainproof, a rainproof electric outlet, a UConnect system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a USB port, and a five-inch touchscreen for control.
Now that we’ve shortlisted 10 best ones for you, it’s time to help you choose the perfect towing truck for 5th wheel. With my brief guide on what specs to look while investing in a tow truck, you can effortlessly figure out the basics you must know.
Let’s find out.
When it comes to the fifth wheel towing trucks, bed lengths matter a lot. There are generally three length options available.
Long Beds- eight feet
Long beds provide the best turning clearance and are the most convenient option for towing fifth wheels. Eight feet long bed offers the best traction with extremely reduced sway.
The driver feels more confident and in control. Moreover, it is the most cost-effective setup.
With an eight feet bed, the size of the truck is comparatively larger for a daily driver.
Medium beds- six feet
Trucks with medium-sized beds are very easy to maneuver and hassle-free to park. Often, you get a considerable crew cab, thus providing more space. This size is ideal for a daily driver as well.
However, there are few demerits of this sized bed. You get comparatively less turning clearance, making it less convenient for towing.
The grip is relatively less as well, while the setup isn’t very economical.
Shorter bed- four feet
Trucks with shorter bed lengths are light-weight and very easy to move around when you are not towing.
The crew cab is usually abundant with spacious seating and storage space. These are ideal for a daily driver.
However, when it comes to towing a fifth wheel, they provide the least turning clearance, making trucks with four-foot-bed length the least convenient option for towing.
Similarly, traction is the least, and the setup is costly.
The selection of hitches is crucial. It usually depends upon the bed length you chose. With a long bed, you may select a fixed hitch and for short beds, sliding hitch.
Let’s briefly discuss the hitches suitable for bed lengths below.
While choosing a long bed truck, you can opt for a fixed hitch to tow your fifth wheel. It is the most affordable option available on the market while being the most convenient and long-term one.
Once you have installed the fixed hitch, you don’t have to worry about adjusting the hitch for turns or cab clearance.
Fixed hitches may not be very practical for the medium or short beds. That’s where sliding hitches come to the rescue.
Sliding hitches are designed specifically for medium to short beds under eight feet. They provide better turning clearance by sliding back towards the truck’s tailgate, during sharp turns. It results in increasing the distance between the truck and the cab, thus eluding any collision.
Sliding hitches come in two types.
Manual Sliding Hitches
As the name suggests, you need to adjust the hitch’s position from locked to turn manually. It means, every time you need to take a sharp turn, you must pull over, exit your vehicle, and make the change.
Automatic Sliding Hitches
These sliding hitches self-adjust themselves according to your movement. You don’t need to readjust the hitch manually.
Every time you take a sharp turn, it would automatically move backward, toward the truck’s tailgate and get back to its original position smoothly, when you start moving straight.
Almost everyone knows that gasoline is an affordable option.
The gas engine is going to cost less. The fuel is less expensive, and even the maintenance cost is lesser as compared to the diesel engine.
However, in the long run, the diesel engine provides not only better fuel economy but also saves your money. The fuel consumption is mostly better with diesel engines.
Diesel engines generally provide higher towing capacity with their large torque outputs, making them ideal for pulling gigantic fifth wheels. Usually, the diesel engine has a longer life as well.
If you can afford to invest a comparatively more substantial amount initially, I recommend you to invest in a diesel engine, provided you’re planning to tow fifth-wheelers over long distances for more extended periods.
Some gas engines are also highly capable of hauling fifth-wheel trailers, so consider diesel a recommendation, not an obligation.
Trucks come in various weight categories, such as one ton, ½ ton, or ¾ ton, but it’s not very clear which one would be suitable for you.
For lighter trailers, you can go with ½ ton tow trucks such as Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Ram 1500, and more.
But when you are looking for a large trailer, you should at least choose a ¾ ton vehicle, if not a one-ton truck. Some ¾ ton towing trucks are Ford F-250, Chevrolet Silverado 2500, Ram 2500, and more.
As for hefty, massive fifth wheels, one-ton trucks are a perfect choice. Some of these are Ford F-350, Chevrolet Silverado 3500, and Ram 3500 and more.
Heavy-duty towing vehicles are popular in the market for a reason. With heavy-duty vehicles, you’ll experience less strain on your truck’s suspension and drivetrain components.
Towing a smaller fifth wheel with ½ ton truck is not impossible as long as the truck is rated at the sufficient weight capacity for your trailer.
How to Find Out the Weight I Can Tow?
If you want to determine which truck will meet your towing requirements, the best way is to check the sticker on the truck’s driver’s seat. It would help you determine the vehicle’s weight specifications and towing capabilities.
Check for the Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) on the sticker. It is the maximum, collective weight of the loaded truck and the fully loaded trailer.
Subtract your Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW), which is the mutual weight of your truck, fuel, passengers, and cargo when your vehicle is loaded and ready for towing.
The difference between the GCWR and the GVW is the maximum loaded trailer weight the truck can tow.
You can use the CVWR, mentioned on your vehicle’s sticker, to make a conservative estimate of how heavy a trailer you can tow.
If you want to determine the most precise measurement of your vehicle’s weight, I recommend you load up your truck with all the stuff and passengers you plan to take with you while towing and visiting a commercial scale.
Single Rear Wheel or Double Rear Wheel
It entirely depends upon your choice and preference when it comes to deciding between a single rear wheel or dual rear wheel, both have perks.
The single rear wheel offers better fuel efficiency and better visibility relative to dual rear wheel trucks. Moreover, replacing six tires is more expensive than replacing four tires if need be.
Single rear wheel trucks are ideal for routine use. Driving with a dual wheel is not comfortable when you are not towing your fifth wheel. Navigating through a tight parking area or a drive-through with a single rear wheel truck is much easier than a dual rear wheel truck.
Dual rear wheel trucks have their advantages. While towing a larger trailer, fifth wheel or toy hauler, you get more excellent stability.
The weight or payload capacity of the truck increases with these new tires. In case of an unfortunate blowout of a rear tire, you already have a backup, as you may not need an extra pair all the time.
They are ideal if you plan on towing frequently and regularly.
I hope my list of ten best trucks for towing the fifth wheel helps you to decide the one you want for yourself. Don’t forget to check out the buyer’s guide for assistance and help.
When you plan on hitting the road with your fifth wheel, a towing truck holds great significance. However, no one truck type is perfect for everyone.
Aspects like daily driving comfort, cab size, and up-front costs are worth considering as well. So, always weigh your requirements and decide accordingly.