Best 2021 Trucks For Towing A Travel Trailer
It’s about that time of year again: the new-model-year vehicles are starting to debut and the 2021 trucks are already looking better than ever. Some of the biggest names in the pickup truck market, including the Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado, and Ram 1500, will see a range of new upgrades, while lesser-known models like the Rivian R1T will set the bar high for electric pickups with zero emission.
However, not all of the new trucks on the market will have a heavy towing capability. These are the best 2021 trucks for campers towing a travel trailer or fifth wheel.
2021 Ford F-150
The Ford F-Series has dominated the pickup truck market for years, so it’s no surprise the new F-150 is expected to be their best model yet. Ford announced the latest F-150 will have best-in-class towing, payload, torque, and horsepower of any light-duty full-size pickup to date, though they have not released any specific towing capacity figures yet.
“We see it as our duty to deliver not just what our customers want and need, but what they might have never thought possible,” said Craig Schmatz, Ford F-150 chief engineer, in a Ford press release. “The F-150 will be tougher than ever, and with fully connected over-the-air updates, it opens up a much wider range of potential enhancements – from system upgrades to feature offerings.”
The 2021 Ford F-150 runs on a class-exclusive 3.5L PowerBoost™ Full Hybrid V6 engine that uses the collective power of gas and electric energy. The high-performance engine makes the new F-150 capable of driving an impressive 700 miles on a full tank of gas. Other upgrades include reclining seats, rear locking underseat storage, and a refined interior with a new 12-inch touchscreen display at your fingertips.
2021 Ram 1500 TRX
Ram’s all-new 2021 Ram 1500 TRX is their latest high-performance truck, built with the off-road adventurer in mind. The new TRX rides on giant 38-inch tires and an all-new coil suspension with 11.8 inches of ground clearance. Between eight driving modes, it’s easy to traverse almost any terrain in the TRX, from sandy beaches to snowy roads.
Ram is debuting many new features in the TRX, including the all-new Bilstein Black Hawk® e2 shock system, and Launch Control with Launch Assist, which regulates engine RPM and monitors wheel slip feedback in order to give you the fastest acceleration rate possible. It reaches 0-60 in just 4.5 seconds and achieves an incredible 702 HP.
Matching its powerful exterior, the available interior of the all-new 2021 Ram 1500 TRX blends performance-focused style with uncommon refinement. Customize yours at https://t.co/7lGJeHEcsh. #RamTRX pic.twitter.com/wMZxUQdMAB— Ram Trucks (@RamTrucks) August 17, 2020
The truck is powered by a Supercharged 6.2L Hemi V8 engine with 650 lb-ft of torque and an 8-speed automatic transmission. With a towing capacity of 8,220 lbs, the TRX could easily pull most travel trailers or boats.
The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX is already widely anticipated—according to Ram, the first TRX Launch Edition sold out in just 3 hours. The limited-production launch included 702 vehicles with a special exterior paint and premium options. The regular production is now underway and buyers can start building their own 2021 Ram 1500 TRX on Ram’s website today.
Get a first look from Kelley Blue Book:
2021 Chevy Silverado
The new 2021 Chevy Silverado, yet another leading truck on the market, will certainly be a step up from previous years. According to CNET, the 2021 Silverado was originally going to see some major upgrades, however, because of the pandemic this year, they have instead rolled out a variety of new features to enhance the signature design.
The biggest upgrade to the 2021 Silverado is the Multi-Flex tailgate, modeled very similar to the MultiPro Tailgate seen in the GMC Sierra. The 2021 Silverado has also increased its towing capabilities up to 9,600 lbs when equipped with the 2.7-liter and 3.0-liter Duramax turbodiesel engines.
Chevy added several high-tech features to their new Silverado, including enhanced camera technologies as well as wireless Apple Car Play and Android Auto capabilities. Adaptive ride control will also be available on High Country models.
The new-and-improved Silverado will be coming to a truck dealer near you in early 2021. You can get a closer look at the Multi-Flex system on Chevy’s website.
2021 Chevrolet Colorado
The restyled Chevrolet Colorado, reintroduced by Chevy as a larger more capable truck is no slouch when it comes to towing travel trailers. With its 3.6L V6 engine, the 2021 Chevy Colorado can tow up to 7,000 lbs, with a GCWR of 12,000 lbs when purchased with the trailering package.
When fitted with the 2.8L Duramax Turbo-Diesel, both of those numbers go up, to 7,700 lbs and 12,700 lbs respectively. An available Tow/Haul Mode package raises transmission upshift points to provide more power to accelerate with a trailer or heavy load and raises downshift points to use engine compression to help slow the truck instead of merely braking.
2021 Ford Ranger
Those looking for a mid-size truck, rather than a full-size truck like the F-150, may prefer the all-new 2021 Ford Ranger. Ford has announced the new Ranger will have a Tremor Off-Road package available with increased ground clearance, off-road tuned suspension, and heavy-duty all-terrain tires. When equipped with the towing package, the 2021 Ranger is capable of pulling up to 7,500 lbs.
The 2021 Ranger was designed much like its predecessors with new interior and color options. Ford shares more on the new Tremor off-road package in this video:
2021 Toyota Tacoma
What used to be considered a compact pickup hardly seems so now. The beefed up 2021 Toyota Tacoma has a tow rating of 6400 lbs with the V6 Tow Package, with a Gross Combined Weight Rating of 11360 lbs. Standard towing capacity is 3500 lbs. The tongue weight is either 360 or 640 lbs, again depending on whether you have the V6 tow package or not.
The Toyota Tacoma has great off-road capability too, with a ground clearance of 9.4 inches. This makes it a great truck to pair with an off-road capable travel trailer such as the Winnebago Hike or the Forest River NO BO.
2021 Toyota Tundra
If the Toyota Tacoma is on this list, you can believe that its big, beefy brother the 2021 Toyota Tundra is too. When the Tow Package is added to your Tundra purchase you can enjoy a tow rating of 10,100 lbs for the SR5 and Limited models. The Platinum comes in at a 9,400 lb towing capacity, allowing a little room for it’s additional curb weight.
As capable as it is, the excellent Toyota Tundra is still fairly low on the radar for US buyers, still averaging only about 115,000 units per year. That’s about 1/2 of what Toyota enjoys with the Tacoma.
2021 Jeep Gladiator
The 2021 Jeep Gladiator has a standard towing capacity of 4,000 lbs with some trim levels reaching 4500 and 6000 lbs. With the available towing package, that number is boosted to 7,650. The towing numbers on diesel Gladiator seem to have similar ranges depending on trim level.
Like most of these trucks, the price can really escalate as you had bigger engines, stronger transmissions, and off-road capability. The Jeep Gladiator is unique in that it will not only tow your travel trailer, it can also be your entertainment source as well. You can shed top and doors just like those Wrangler owners and hit the trail or the beach for some real outdoor fun.
2021 GMC Sierra
Last but not least, the 2021 GMC Sierra will see a host of new high-tech towing features. The features, available on both the 2021 GMC Sierra and GMC Sierra HD, will include a trailer length indicator, jack-knife alert, rear trailer view, and rear side view enhancement.
According to a statement from GMC Marketing Director Rich Latek,
“Trailering is essential for pickup truck customers,” he said. “More than half of our Sierra customers use their trucks to primarily tow equipment for outdoor adventures. We continually listen to customer feedback, which tells us they want class-leading safety, technology and comfort to tow what they need, whether it’s a boat, an RV or a trailer hauling off-road toys.”
More information on the new towing features can be found on GMC’s website. The new 2021 GMC Sierra is set to hit dealerships across the U.S. and Canada in the near future.
The Future of Trucks
2021 Rivian R1T
Though relatively unheard of compared to the Ford and Ram trucks, Rivian’s new R1T model will easily take the market by storm in 2021 thanks to its electric performance and off-road capabilities.
The R1T has up to 750 HP and can accelerate from 0 to 60 in just three seconds. Its max towing of 11,000 lbs means you can tow most travel trailers without having to sacrifice comfort or safety. It runs on a quad motor system and boasts a wading depth of over 3 feet, to take your adventures beyond the paved road.
The R1T has integrated an incredible amount of storage space throughout. This includes a built-in “Gear Tunnel” with lockable storage, as well as a rear bin that hides a spare tire. The flexible crossbar system comes with a rack that easily collapses and expands to mount gear on the roof or truck bed. The Rivian R1T is available to preorder now through their website.
The very image of the Tesla CyberTruck is striking. Behind that futuristic design and materials lies a capable towing truck. The current model that can be ordered today from Tesla boasts a 7500 lb towing capacity for the single motor RWD. The Dual Motor AWD provides a 10,000 lb towing capacity, which increases to 14,000 lb for the Tri Motor version.
Electric motors have phenomenal torque. The possibility of being able to plug in your camper and charge your truck with the same campground pedestal is quite intriguing. The future of RVing may be here soon.
Before you tow with any of these 2021 trucks, make sure you know your trailer weight. For more information on towing capabilities, see our article on What Kind of Camper Can my Vehicle Tow? Guide to Safe Towing.