Are you unsure about how much your SUV or pickup truck can tow? For the adventurous drivers who are seeking refuge from the city and suburbs this fall and spring, camping is the best way to get outside to enjoy some fresh air from the daily cycle of office or work life. Even if you’re shopping new trucks and SUVs for 2021 and wondering which model offers the better towing capabilities for your next off-road adventure, we’ve put together the top camper hauling vehicles. From new trucks and capable SUVs, we’ve laid out the diesel, V6, V8, and even electric driven motors that are bringing massive capability to your next towing operation.

How much does the average camper trailer weigh?

There are a variety of camping trailer models and whether you’re interested in something small, or that can comfortably fit a family of five, pairing the right truck model with your camper is essential to avoid getting bogged down with a trailer brand that’s too heavy.

Teardrop trailer: Growing in popularity, the teardrop trailer is great for short distance or long distance camping adventures. If you want to camp in comfort while keeping warm or cool from the outdoor elements, a teardrop trailer is the perfect shell on wheels where you and a loved one can sleep in comfort. The tear drop design sleeps two and also keeps your gear clean and dry with multiple storage compartments. Trailer weights range from 600-lbs to 2400-lbs.

Fifth Wheel/Travel Trailer/ Airstream: If your family is expanding, the fifth wheel or whats is referred to by many as the travel trailer, is a top choice for the ultimate camping excursion. If you’re traveling to a variety of campsites and require the extra space, the fifth wheel can sleep 3 to 7 depending on the trailer size and interior. Commonly used with a gooseneck towing attachment on larger trucks, the fifth wheel brings the party wherever you go. Weights for larger trailers like the fifth wheel can range from 2,500-lbs to 12,000-lbs depending on load amount.

Midsize camping vehicles

  • Ford Ranger: 2.3-liter V6 engine 7,500-lbs towing capacity w/1,860-lbs payload.
  • Ford F-150: 2.7-Liter V6 & optional 3.0-Liter Diesel engine, and 5.0-Liter V8 11,300-lbs towing capacity w/3,270-lbs payload capacity.
  • Chevy Colorado: 3.6-Liter V6 engine & 2.8-Liter Duramax Turbo-Diesel engine 7,000-lbs towing capacity w/ 1,590-lbs payload.
  • Chevy Silverado 1500: 3.0-Liter 6-cylinder diesel engine, 4.3-LIter V6 engine, & 6.2-Liter V8 w/2,280-lbs payload.
  • Nissan Frontier: 2.5-Liter 4-cylinder engine & an available 4.0-Liter V6. When properly equipped the Frontier can tow 6,480-lbs and its bed holds a maximum 1,867-lbs towing capacity.
  • Toyota Tacoma: 2.7-Liter 4-cylinder engine & a 3.5-Liter V6 engine option with towing capabilities ranging form 3,500 to 6,800-lbs and a payload capacity of 1,120 to 1,620-lbs.
  • RAM 1500: With the available 5.7-Liter Hemi V8 engine which promotes a 12,750-lbs towing capacity and a payload capacity of up to 2,302-lbs.
  • Ford Explorer: 3.3-Liter HEV V6 engine with a 5,000-lbs max towing weight and a payload of 1,815-lbs.
  • Chevy Blazer: 3.6-Liter V6 engine with a 4,500-lbs towing capacity and a 2,081-lbs payload.
  • Toyota 4Runner: 4.0-Liter V6 engine with 5,000-lbs towing capacity with a 1,700-lbs payload.

Top heavy-duty trucks for hauling campers

  • Toyota Tundra: 5.7-LIter V8 engine capable of towing 10,200-lbs and holds a payload capacity of 1,730-lbs.
  • Nissan Titan XD: 5.6-Liter V8 engine and a Towing capacity of 11,040-lbs and a payload of 2,390-lbs.
  • RAM 2500HD & 3500HD: 6.4 Hemi V8 Engine and optional 6.7-Liter Cummins Turbo Diesel I6. Capable of towing up to 35,100-lbs when properly equipped and holds Gooseneck capabilities with a payload of 7,680-lbs.
  • Ford F-250 & F-350: Gas powered 6.2-Liter V8 engine and the option for a 6.7-Liter Power Stroke V8 Turbo Diesel. Holds a towing capability of up to 21,000-lbs when properly equipped and a payload of 7,033-lbs.
  • Chevy Silverado 2500HD & 3500HD: Both Silverado models hold available engines such as 6.6-Liter V8 engine, 6.6-Liter V8 Diesel engine with a towing capacity rated for 14,500-lbs and a payload of up to 4,572-lbs.
  • Chevy Suburban: 5.3-Liter V8 engine with a 8,300-lbs towing capacity and a payload of 1,884-lbs.
  • Ford Expedition: 3.5-Liter V6 engine with a towing capacity of 6,000-lbs and a payload of 1,750-lbs.

Travel to your campsite equipped with the the right trailer lights

No matter what type of camping trailer you settle for, remember to always check the vitality of the trailer tail lights. Having other additional lights while camping such as LED light bars or fog lights can benefit you in a number of ways, Remember, the more visible you are to others in the woods or on the highway, the safer you are when hauling your stuff to your favorite campsite. 

Check out our travel blogs on some of the top camping or driving destinations across the country and take your next truck or SUV adventure to new heights once you find a spot near you.

Patrick Kirk
I am a full-time copywriter from Naples, FL and living in Austin, TX. I have written for the automotive industry for three years, and enjoy other hobbies such as camping and mountain biking. I received my Bachelors from Florida Gulf Coast University, and served in the U.S Coast Guard.

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    2 Comments

    1. Wow, it is surprising how some of these smaller trucks can haul so much. Great read!

    2. Good info, I didn’t know the new F150 had such a great towing capacity.

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