Having a fifth wheel RV is literally having a home on the go: you can enjoy the comfort and luxuries of your home while still being able to have an outdoor adventure! However, to ensure a smooth and safe ride, you need to have the best trucks for towing a fifth wheel RV.
Even if you have the cash to spare, going straight to the biggest and most powerful truck on the market doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you won’t encounter any issues when it comes to towing your fifth wheel RV. There are many other factors to consider besides the price, such as the bed size, safety features, interior comfort, and fuel mileage of each vehicle.
While there are so many truck options out there to choose from, this straightforward guide we have compiled will break down the top 5 best truck models for towing a fifth wheel RV. We’ve looked into important features as well as vehicle specs and considered which one is the best for each type of truck.
Let’s dive into our rundown of the best trucks for towing fifth wheel RVs on the market and how each one stacks up against the competition.
Best Trucks for Towing a Fifth Wheel RV: What to Look For
When it comes to pure towing ability, the RAM 3500 takes our top spot on this list. This vehicle can tow up to 30,000 lbs. safely which means that it can accommodate even the largest fifth wheel RVs on the market.
Aside from its unparalleled towing weight restriction, the RAM’s patented Uconnect infotainment system will give you a reliable navigation system as well as a great entertainment system to take out the drudgery of long drives. While it does have a rugged exterior to match your outdoor adventure, the RAM’s interior is still roomy and comfortable, giving you a smooth and enjoyable ride. What’s more, the RAM has exceptional handling and off-roading capabilities, which means that it will be up for any outdoor adventure you choose.
Compared to other trucks on this list, the RAM’s baseline model has a more affordable price point. With a diesel engine, you’ll also be enjoying great mileage for long road trips.
Even with its powerful towing ability, the RAM is noticeably less powerful compared to other trucks on this list in terms of horsepower and torque, which means that you could have some trouble when you’re on muddy or slippery terrain. It also lacks in safety features such as driver-assist and emergency brake options. Finally, the RAM 3500 gives a bumpy ride when it is unhitched, or the bed is not loaded down.
Chevrolet Silverado 3500
If you’re looking for a vehicle that has great towing capacities as well as offers a smooth ride for city driving, the Chevrolet Silverado 3500 is your vehicle of choice. Although it has a large and rugged appearance, driving the Silverado 3500 is still quiet and smooth. The Silverado has a towing capacity of 12,000 lbs., making it a good choice for most medium to large motor homes.
The 2019 model offers six driving modes, including one specifically for towing a fifth wheel RV. The Silverado also boasts an impressive array of safety features such as a backup camera, bling spot monitoring, and forward collision alert with automatic emergency brake.
One of the best features of the Silverado is the rear-view camera mirror, which is a camera mounted on the rear of the vehicle. Even if you are hauling a large fifth wheel RV, this camera mirror allows you to see past the RV to make backing up easier and safer. You can even opt for the Hitch Guidance feature, which allows you to easily hitch your RV to truck.
Compared to other trucks on this list, the Silverado has one of the highest price tags in relation to its power and features. Even with the high price point, it does not offer the horsepower of the Ford F-350 nor the weight pulling capacity of the RAM 3500.
For pure engine power and torque, the Ford F-350 is our top pick. With a staggering 450 horsepower engine and 935 torque output, the F-350 can handle virtually road or terrain condition that you care to throw at it. What’s more, it has a roomy interior and large payload capacity that can accommodate large groups and any outdoor gear.
For a truck of the Ford F-350’s size, you will still get a comfortable and quiet ride especially if the bed is weighted down. With a towing capacity of 27,500 lbs., the F-350 is second only to the RAM3500 and can handle over-sized rigs without breaking a sweat. This vehicle also has seven different cameras located all around the vehicle for maximum visibility, including a center high-mount camera to make hitching your fifth wheel RV easier.
When it comes to challenging off-road conditions, the F-350 is going to be your best friend. Whether you want to tackle a steep climb or wade through muddy fields, the F-350 can power through all these conditions and still give you a smooth riding experience. What’s more, the F-350 has an extensive infotainment system that offers reliable navigation, surround sound, and even 911-calling assist for emergencies.
The price tag of the F-350 is not for the faint for heart. The price of the baseline model of the F-350 significantly outpaces all other truck models on this list, and the more features you want to add on, the heftier the price tag will get. What’s more, the F-350 is a known fuel monster.
Nissan Titan XD
The Nissan Titan XD is the prime example of power in a compact package. Compared to other trucks on this list, the Titan is smaller, but don’t mistake the small size for lack of power! This truck can still haul an impressive 12,760 lbs., and its diesel engine gives you a great bang for your buck when it comes to fuel consumption.
The Nissan Titan XD has great steering and handling capacities for a vehicle with its size and engine power, and its roomy interior makes it a top choice for families and large groups. The infotainment system is compatible for both Apple and Android systems, and it has an easy user interface. The Titan XD also has the patented Intelligent Around View monitor, which allows for 360-degree views around your vehicle to reduce blind spots.
Aside from its roomy interior, the Nissan Titan XD has one more feature that makes it perfect for large groups going on long drives: the premium sound and entertainment system! The 2019 model has a 485-watt Fender sound system, which will make you feel like you’re listening to a live concert rather than music from a radio. It also has WiFi hotspot capabilities, allowing all the passengers to stay connected to the Internet at the same time.
GMC Sierra 3500
Whoever said that you couldn’t ride in luxury when going off-road has obviously never ridden in the GMC Sierra 3500. This stylish vehicle is arguably the most decadent ride on this list with heated leather seats, wireless charging capabilities, and a Bose sound system. If you opt for the top of the line Denali model, you’ll be getting a beautiful chrome exterior trim with stunning wheel rims.
The beauty of the Sierra’s exterior and interior is matched by the quality of the engine and suspension. The V8 engine has 360 horsepower and 380 torque output, allowing it to drive as effortlessly over rugged terrain as a smooth highway. What’s more, the suspension and interior insulation of the vehicle is top-notch, giving you a smooth and quiet ride.
Aside from the luxurious and roomy interior, the Sierra has one of the best on-board infotainment and driver assist systems on this list. The OnStar communication system gives you reliable navigation and one-touch emergency contact options. The vehicle has a center brake light camera to make hooking up your fifth wheel rig easier, as well as enhanced driver alert features such as lane assist, forward collision alert, and adaptive cruise control.
Just like the F-350, the price tag of the Sierra can make one step back and hesitate. Even the baseline model is pricier compared to comparative vehicles on this list, and the engine falls far below the horsepower and output of the Ford-350. What’s more, only automatic transmission models are available.
Buyer’s Guide to the Best Truck for Towing a Fifth Wheel RV
Here are four things that you need to consider when choosing a truck for towing your fifth wheel RV:
- Bed Length – The standard length of the truck bed is around 8 feet; however, you can now find models that have shorter bed lengths at around 6-7 feet and under 6 feet. Longer beds can handle large and bulky gear and are rated for the heaviest loads but can be difficult to turn and park. Shorter truck beds are great for daily driving and have the largest cabs, but are not suited for towing large RVs and will accommodate less outdoor gear.
- Gas vs. Diesel – Gas-powered vehicles cost less money when it comes to upfront costs, maintenance costs, and refueling, but diesel engines generally have better fuel economy and will save you money in the long run. What’s more diesel engines also have larger torque outputs and are more durable compared to gas engines, making them more suited for hauling heavy fifth wheel rigs.
- Payload Capacity – Simply put, you need to match your truck’s payload capacity to the size of the RV that you will be hauling. Large tow trucks (3/4-ton to full-ton trucks) are better suited and safer to drive if you have a large rig. Always check the user’s manual on the truck to see if the payload capacity matches the weight of your rig, otherwise, you could damage the suspension of your truck as well as cause an accident during towing.
- Dually vs. SRW – A dually, also called a dual rear wheel, increases the stability and safety of your vehicle when towing large rigs because the weight of the payload is distributed evenly over two wheels. If you have a large and heavy rig, getting a dually is a good investment. However, if you have a small to medium-sized rig, most trucks can handle the weight load safely.
There you have it: our picks for the best trucks for towing a fifth wheel RV! Always remember that your safety and comfort are your top priorities when it comes to choosing the best truck for the job. If you have a large fifth wheel RV, make sure that the truck you choose is rated for the weight of the rig. This means that for heavy-duty rigs, your best options are the RAM 3500 or the Ford F-350. However,if you have a small and lightweight rig, the Nissan Titan XD can handle the job. Get more tips on fifth wheel RV.