What Truck Can Pull A 5th Wheel

By Nicholas Bourgeois

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Fifth-wheel trailers are becoming increasingly popular among recreational vehicle enthusiasts. With the fifth-wheel trailer, consumers have the advantage of a larger living space than traditional travel trailers and can tow heavier loads.

As such, consumers need to understand what truck can pull a 5th wheel to ensure they make an informed decision when selecting their vehicle of choice. According to recent studies, approximately 11 million Americans own recreational vehicles, expected to increase in the coming years.

When selecting a truck for fifth-wheel towing, several factors must be considered, such as capacity, upgrades, and enhancements. This article will provide an overview of these considerations and offer insight into what truck can pull a fifth-wheel trailer safely and securely.

Key Takeaways

  • Truck selection is essential for towing a fifth wheel, considering capacity, upgrades, and enhancements.
  •  Long bed trucks recommend decreased turning radius, but short beds can still use with the right hitch.
  •  Ford trucks are considered the best for towing fifth wheels, with the Ford F-450 Super Duty having a towing capacity of up to 37,000 pounds.
  •  Upgrades and enhancements, such as airbags, suspension upgrades, and exhaust brakes, are necessary for safer towing of fifth wheels.

Aspects to consider when selecting what truck can pull a 5th wheel

The truck's maximum payload must be at most to ensure safety when towing.
The truck’s maximum payload must be at most to ensure safety when towing.

When selecting a truck for towing a Fifth Wheel, four critical weights should take into consideration:

  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)
  •  Pin weight
  •  Towing capacity
  •  Payload capacity

Due to decreased turning radius, long bed trucks recommend, but short beds can still use with the right hitch. Diesel engines have tremendous pulling power and mileage, while Ford trucks are considered best for the job. Gear ratio is essential for boosting towing capacity and dual rear wheel trucks which are necessary only if hauling over 20,000 lbs. 4×4 trucks have slightly lower tow and payload capacities.

To ensure safety when towing, the truck’s maximum payload, including the driver, passengers, cargo, and pin weight, must not be exceeded. The truck tires should also have a higher load rating to increase payload capacity. Lastly, check the loaded truck’s Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR), including the Fifth Wheel, before driving off; this considers fuel, kayaks, bikes, and trailers if being towed too.

Understanding these basics of hitches explained and laws on trailer brakes will help drivers make an informed decision when choosing a truck for their Fifth Wheel needs.

Related Post

You can check what is the fifth wheel on a truck from our team

You can also check what size 5th wheel for what size truck

5th wheel towing capacity chart and How big of a 5th wheel can I tow

Navigating the path to determining a fifth wheel’s towing capacity is like sailing an uncharted sea; it requires knowledge, experience, and reliable resources. A towing capacity chart can guide what size 5th wheel a truck can tow. To ensure safety, one must consider factors such as trailer weights, truck maintenance, towing age of the vehicle, and towing safety practices.

  1. Trailer weights should calculate to determine the trailer’s total weight, including cargo and water tanks. This calculation will help identify if the combined weight exceeds the maximum payload capacity of the truck.
  2.  Truck maintenance should not overlook when deciding what size 5th wheel can be towed safely with a ½-ton truck. Regularly servicing brakes, tires, and other components is essential for safe hauling operations.
  3.  Towing age must also consider when determining how big of a 5th wheel can safely be towed with a ½-ton truck, as older models may have reduced engine power or lack up-to-date suspension systems, which could inhibit their ability to haul heavier loads safely over long distances.
  4.  Finally, strict adherence to proper towing safety practices should always observe regardless of the trailer’s size to ensure safe operation and prevent untoward incidents on the roadways.

When it comes down to it, choosing an appropriate fifth wheel for your ½ ton truck depends on several key factors that require careful consideration before making any final decisions.

Read more: how to tell if your truck is stuck in 4 wheel drive

What’s the best truck for towing 5th wheel

Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD can pull 13000 - 18500 lbs
Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD can pull 13000 – 18500 lbs

For those needing a reliable vehicle for towing a fifth-wheel trailer, there are various options ranging from light-duty pickups to heavy-duty diesel. The best truck for towing 5th wheels depends on the size and weight of the trailer, as well as the payload capacity of the vehicle.

Popular trucks for this purpose include:

  • Ford F-450 Super Duty
  •  2019-2020 GMC Sierra 3500 HD
  •  Ram 3500
  •  Ford F-150
  •  Nissan Titan
  •  Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD

The Ford F-450 Super Duty has a towing capacity of up to 37,000 pounds and has equipped with a 6.7 liter Power Stroke Diesel V8 engine.

The 2019-2020 GMC Sierra 3500 HD offers an impressive 23,100 – 35,500 lbs in tow rating with its diesel engine option and particular trailering camera system.

For heavier loads up to 30,000 – 35,100 pounds, Ram’s powerful gasoline and diesel engines with factory-installed hitch will do the job.

The Nissan Titan can tow up to 9400 lbs while providing excellent off-road capability thanks to its 5.6 liter V8 diesel engine, making it ideal for family-sized daily commuters.

Last but not least is the Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD, which can pull 13000 – 18500 lbs but suffers from subpar interior quality (2018 model).

Gas-powered trucks are more common and cheaper than their diesel counterparts. However, they offer better fuel economy when not towing heavy loads due to their lighter-weight engine design compared with heavier torque-producing diesel required for heavier trailers.

When choosing which truck is right for you, consider firstly what type of brakes your trailer has (electric or hydraulic). Then consider vehicle payload capacity before loading trailer tongue weight on top and weight distribution between front & back axles when hitching up & driving off at speed, especially over long distances or rough terrain. Also, choose matching hitch types such as gooseneck or bumper pull style hitches, etc.

Upgrades and Enhancements for Safer Towing 5th wheel

Upgrading and enhancing a vehicle’s towing capacity is essential to transport fifth-wheel trailers safely. When selecting a truck, it should prioritize towing safety, as it will determine how much weight can tow without compromising its performance.

The manufacturer’s recommended tow weights must consider when choosing a truck for 5th-wheel hauling, as exceeding these limits may damage the engine or transmission. Additionally, certified installers should do hitch installation correctly to ensure the trailer and truck are in sync while driving.

Extra features such as airbags, suspension upgrades, and exhaust brakes can help improve vehicle handling and reduce the strain on brakes during hilly terrain or long distances. Some trucks come with factory-installed airbags that aid in leveling out the load while cornering or stopping abruptly.

Furthermore, good quality tires with higher load ratings should also consider when upgrading vehicles for 5th-wheel hauling; this ensures better contact between the road surface and tire treads for improved stability during turns or braking maneuvers.

Lastly, adding additional lighting systems can increase visibility at night or low light conditions, making it easier for oncoming traffic to recognize the size of your rig from further away, thus increasing safety on highways. It also recommends that drivers use trailer brakes for better control over their rigs; this will prevent skidding or fishtailing during emergency stops due to heavy loads.

In summary, extra care must take while selecting a vehicle for 5th-wheel hauling, along with necessary upgrades and enhancements to ensure safe travel across all terrains and weather conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much extra fuel will I need to tow a 5th wheel?

Proper preparation for towing a 5th wheel is essential. The hitch and trailer connection installation should follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Towing tips include calculating extra fuel needed before setting out on a trip to account for the additional load.

How do I adjust my truck’s suspension for towing a 5th wheel?

Preparing your truck for towing a 5th wheel requires assessing the hitch and cargo, monitoring trailer brakes and tires, and inspecting tire pressure. Adjusting accordingly suspension will ensure a safe and successful journey.

Do I need to know any regulations or laws when towing a 5th wheel?

When towing a 5th wheel, knowing the laws and regulations regarding RV selection, driving habits, hitch installation, and towing prep is essential. It is necessary to understand what type of vehicle requires for such an endeavor.

What safety measures should I take when towing a 5th wheel?

When towing a 5th wheel, safety measures should include:

  • Making sure the trailer is securely attached.
  • Using tow mirrors for better visibility.
  • Checking the tire pressure regularly.
  • Understanding the truck’s and trailer’s weight limits.

What type of insurance coverage recommend for towing a 5th wheel?

When towing a 5th wheel, it is crucial to ensure adequate coverage. Consider deductible levels, trailer weight, hitch types, and brake systems when assessing insurance needs. Ensure the policy covers all eventualities so your journey can be as safe and secure as possible.


It is essential to consider several factors when choosing what truck can pull a 5th wheel.

Properly equipping the vehicle and understanding its limits is critical for safely hauling the load.

The average weight of a 5th-wheel trailer is 8,500 lbs. Some models reach over 20,000 lbs.

For this reason, the tow vehicle must be able to accommodate the extra weight.

A wide range of trucks can effectively pull 5th wheels, but those with powerful engines and heavy-duty construction tend to provide the best performance.

With proper research and planning, you can find the right truck for your needs and ensure safe travels on your next trip.

Nicholas Bourgeois is a lifelong pickup truck enthusiast with a passion for sharing his knowledge and expertise with others. From a young age, Nicholas has been fascinated by the versatility and reliability of pickup trucks, and has made it his mission to learn everything there is to know about these amazing vehicles. Through his pickup truck blog, Nicholas shares his insights and tips with fellow enthusiasts, offering advice on everything from maintenance and modifications to buying and selling pickup trucks. With a focus on providing accurate and up-to-date information, Nicholas is committed to helping others discover the joys of pickup truck ownership. Whether you're a seasoned pickup truck fan or just starting out, Nicholas welcomes you to his community, and invites you to join him on his journey of discovery and exploration of these amazing vehicles.

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