5 Best 3/4 Ton Trucks for Towing RV Trailers
Getting into the camping lifestyle is so exciting! But you have to be properly equipped in order to avoid stressful towing.
Being underpowered is a serious no-no.
Luckily, there are numerous ¾ ton pickups that can easily tow most travel trailers and 5th wheels.
What Classifies as a Three Quarter Ton Truck?
A ¾ ton truck is the “middle” size of most pickup brands, usually 250 or 2500 designated.
Half ton trucks (150 or 1500) are the smaller full-size trucks. And 1 ton (350 or 3500, sometimes duallies) are the bigger size before getting into commercial-sized trucks.
The terms are weight classifications and are outdated as far as modern trucks hauling capacity are concerned.
What To Look For In A Three Quarter Ton Truck for Towing
When shopping for a ¾ ton truck for towing your camper or trailer, first make sure you are comparing apples to apples.
Most of these trucks come in gas and diesel engine options. The payload (what can be carried inside the truck, including passengers) and what it can tow will vary between brands.
For instance, not all Ram 2500 will tow the same weight.
Even between year models things can change rapidly!
Make sure you are looking at the specs for your individual truck, especially if you’re at the top of the towing range.
Consider the Extras
Take into consideration the “extras” and how that will impact towing.
Big wheels are nice to look at, but they can also mess with the level when towing, especially for 5th wheel campers.
Towing packages vary between brands, but in this class of trucks, most of them will come with pre-wired electrical and towing amenities. Some even come with factory-installed gooseneck hitches.
4×4 will also decrease the towing weight capability slightly. However, it will come in handy when trying to get into and out of some campgrounds or when the weather hits.
Gas or Diesel?
Gas or diesel. Well, that depends.
If you are towing towards the high end of your weight ratings or towing often, diesel is the winner. If you are towing in mountains, diesels have engine brakes which will allow safer braking on descents. Additionally, diesels do not lose power in altitude like gas engines do.
Diesels last longer than gas vehicles and have higher resale value in most areas of the country. But they also cost more upfront and have slightly higher maintenance costs. Those gaps are lessening though.
Many newer gas engines require synthetic oil, so the oil change costs aren’t that much different.
Think about where you drive most and if diesel is available at the pump where you live.
If you tend to camp in rural areas, many small-town gas stations have “trailer” pumps that don’t even have gas! Large truck stops tend to be more well equipped with both options at numerous pumps.
5 Best 3/4 Ton Trucks for Towing
The 2019 and 2020, Ram trucks were Motortrend Truck of the Year. The Ram 2500 can tow up to 19,680 pounds with the 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel engine and up to 17,040 with the 6.4 Hemi gas engine.
The max payload is 4,380 (diesel) and 4,060 (gas). New units come with an integrated structural support and factory mounting hardware for 5th wheel or gooseneck hitches.
The Ram has a strong receiver system for bumper hitch trailers.
Available useful options include a Trailer Reverse Guidance view camera, and Trailer Tire Pressure Monitoring system that will track up to 4 trailers and show tire pressures in the drivers cluster display.
Auto Level Rear Suspension is available as well to assist with keeping the hitch level.
MSRP ranges from $33,895-$67,660 depending on trim packages and additional luxury options.
Ford F-250 Super Duty
Ford F-250 is available in all-new 7.3 gas V8 and a Power Stroke V8 Turbo Diesel engine. Both with 430 horsepower.
A smaller, 6.2 liter gas engine is also available but has much lower towing capabilities.
15,200 is the limit for the diesel engine and 14,000 for the 7.3 gas engine, and up to 20,000 for the diesel super crew (4 door) version. Ford also has a payload of up to 4,200 pounds in the F250.
The F-2500 has features that help with towing, such as Automatic Emergency Braking, and Pro Trailer Backup Assist. Co-Pilot 360 technology can alert you to potential collisions, even behind trailers, and a trailer sway control that applies braking to individual wheels.
GMC Sierra 2500 HD
The GMC Sierra 2500 HD can tow up to 14,500 conventional or 18,500 gooseneck, and a payload of up to 3,979 pounds.
It’s available in short or long bed, regular, double or crew cab and in gas or 6.6 Liter Duramax diesel engines.
Optional towing add-ons include hitch guidance, rear vision cameras, trailer cameras, dual alternators, and more.
Chevy Silverado 2500
Starting at $34,600, the Chevy Silverado has a max towing of 10,550 in gas and 18,500 diesel with gooseneck towing. It comes in a 6.6L gas engine or a 6.6L Duramax turbo-diesel.
Advanced Trailering System is standard, which includes trailer tire pressure monitoring alert. Available StabiliTrak is an electronic control system with traction control that includes trailer sway control and hill start assist.
Nissan Titan XD
The Nissan Titan XD has an updated gas powered 5.6 L V8 with 400 horsepower and 413 lb ft of torque. All of these trucks have 4wd with a 6.5 foot bed.Integrated towing brake controllers and surround cameras are standard, as is a factory installed gooseneck hitch.
The towing capacity is 9,210 to 9,400 pounds, with payload 1,326-1,696 pounds.
Starting at $36,190 MSRP, this truck can get up to 22 mpg highway. In 2020, Nissan did not make the Titan with a diesel engine, due to lack of consumer demand.
Take Your Pick, Because They All Rock
For towing campers and 5th wheels, the ¾ ton pickup is a solid choice.
Easily able to tow most bumper pulls and capable enough for upgrading to a smaller 5th wheel, ¾ ton pickups are a great tow vehicle for the long term camping lifestyle aficionado.
They’re still agile enough to drive around town and park in regular parking spots. Most of these trucks come in gas or diesel and have integrated towing features that will be appreciated by the outdoor enthusiast.
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In 1980, my ex father-in-law purchased a new Ford E150 van with 4.9l inline 6 engine and manual transmission. He then proceeded to add a receiver hitch to begin towng a 33ft Airstream trailer weighing 11,000lbs. all over the contiguous states, doing this for 14 years when the trannmission wore out. Capability is more important than statistics.
By the amount of sentences you wrote for the Dodge pickups it’s obvious your a Ram fan. Although being an avid 5th Wheeler I must say that more 5th wheelers trend for the Ford F250. Every park or RV resort we stay in has a majority Ford F250 or F350 pickups pulling their medium to large 5th wheel campers. Now that Ford has beefed up its F150 for 2020 and again in 2021 with huge 5th wheel towing capacities, I think you will see more of them hawking the smaller 5th wheels.
Full disclosure, I own a Ford F250. 2018 superman 4×4. I tow a 36ft Grand Design 5th wheel. We’ve been full time traveling across the US and Canada for 2 years now. Seen high mountain roads as well as off road. Our Ford always beats a Chevy, GMC and a Ram up the mountain highways. We travel with others that have these. They always say how do you do that.
Thanks for the information it was great.