Can the Ford Ranger Tow an RV Trailer?
You might think of a Ford Ranger as a small pickup truck, one that’s certainly not hefty enough to tow an RV.
And you’d be wrong.
The Ranger does seem to suffer a bit from its reputation. Ford Motor Company rolled it out in 1983 as a fuel-efficient compact designed for light duties. It was discontinued for the better part of a decade before being reintroduced as a much more muscular mid-sized truck in 2019.
With the modern makeover, today’s Ford Ranger is a versatile vehicle with a lot going for it. It offers comparatively good gas mileage, and there’s lots of power under the hood that gives it impressive hauling capabilities.
While it’s not exactly a towing beast like some of its larger relatives in the F-series (or these best half-ton trucks), it isn’t puny either.
Without question, the Ford Ranger is a viable partner for many, but not all, towable RVs.
How Much Can a Ford Ranger Tow?
Today’s Rangers have a turbo-charged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine and are available with a 10-speed automatic transmission and optional four-wheel-drive.
There are two body styles with two bed lengths and there are three different trim levels – the base model Ranger XL, the intermediate Ranger XLT (with improved technology and safety features) and the more luxurious Ranger Lariat.
When equipped with an optional tow package, the 2021 Ford Ranger can tow up to 7,500 pounds and has a payload of 1,860 pounds.
What Types of Camper Can the Ford Ranger Tow?
So while the Rangers of years gone by may have been out of their league pulling anything but the tiniest trailers, the newer ones offer a much bigger range of possibilities.
Depending on their weight, you can expect a Ford Ranger to handle towing these types of campers:
Pop-up campers have been a reliable and affordable style of camper for decades. They are pretty light because of their canvas sides, which extend to provide more living space.
The walls collapse when not in use, so the camper becomes a tight, compact trailer that’s easy to tow. They vary quite a bit in size and weight, from 600 lbs. at the very least up to around 4,000.
Known as the smallest towable RVs on the market, teardrops get their name from their distinctive shape and are generally designed to accommodate one or two people. Most of these tiny trailers are little more than a bedroom, though some have a small kitchen and wet bath.
Many are small enough to be towed with a sedan, and the largest ones top the scales at around 2,000 lbs.
These are the most common types of towable RVs, and they literally come in just about every imaginable shape and size and with various levels of comforts and amenities. Unlike similar fifth wheels, travel trailers are towed using a standard hitch.
How much a travel trailer weighs can range from around 2,000 lbs. on the low end up to about 8,000 lbs., which would put the average at 5,000.
The biggest (and heaviest) of the towable RVs are these types of trailers, which connect via a special type of coupler that’s located in the bed of a truck (which helps tremendously with stability). Fifth wheels can have one, two or three axles, so some of them are massive, weighing up to 20,000 lbs.
A few of the smaller ones fall safely within the Ford Ranger’s towing capabilities, however. The Scamp 5th wheel would likely be a safe bet.
Always Play it Safe
Figuring out a truck’s towing capacity is complicated because there are a lot of important factors. These include things like the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), Unloaded Vehicle Weight (UVW) and Cargo Carrying Capacity (CCC).
So any time we write about towing and talk about maximum loads, we like to reiterate that you should always err on the side of caution. Look at numbers carefully, and never get close to exceeding any limits. (Keep in mind, too, that just because a salesman tells you it’s safe doesn’t mean that it is.)
Are you looking for a versatile midsize truck to handle your towing needs? The Ford Ranger is a less-expensive option than many other trucks on today’s market.
Despite its outdated reputation for being a small truck, it is absolutely up to the task of towing many kinds of RV trailers.
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