Livable Haulers

Our family likes to go camping, as you could have probably seen from the posts about camping prep and the other numerous road trips that we’ve been on.  That being said, we’ve always wanted to move up from tent camping to get an actual RV.  While looking at the RV’s, the most affordable ones are towable, but you need something that you can tow it with.  We currently own a vehicle that actually has a decent tow rating so this was not that big of a deal, but if you don’t currently have a vehicle that can tow, below is a list of vehicles that you can probably deal with everyday and can be used to tow a light RV. 

For the pickups listed below, I looked up 2009 model year capacities.  These trucks are new enough to still be pretty reliable, but old enough where you may actually be able to afford it.  If you’ve read any of my posts, you will know that I’m cheap!

I’m going straight for it!  The ford F150 is a vehicle that can be used every day and is plenty capable of towing a lightweight trailer.  I just went and looked up the specs for a 2009 F150 and see that it can tow between 5100 to 11000 pounds.  Of course this all depends on the trim that you get but you should be able to pull a light trailer with even the base model.  Plus these vehicles came in all kinds of configurations so if you have a family, a quad cab is available.  Older models may have lower towing capacities since those specs tend to increase over time.

You may think that the other Detroit models, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and Dodge RAM 1500 would be good haulers as well, they offer the different configurations for the family with plus and quad cab offerings, but their base models don’t have the capacity of the F150 so it would not be as easy to just go out and pick one up.  The lower end Ram’s and Silverado’s start with a meager 3650/4400 pound ratings to start and their max ratings are just a little higher than the base F150 of the same year.  Of course the newer models offer higher ratings, and these trucks in the proper trim can definitely do the job.  So they are on the table, you just need to do some shopping and research first.

Let us not forget the Japanese contenders.  The 2009 Nissan Titan offers a pretty good starting capacity of 6500 pounds but maxes out at 7400, which pretty much makes shopping for one straight forward.  The Toyota Tundra is also out there which has a starting capacity of 4800 but can be equipped to handle as much as 10800.  That is some serious towing! 

Those were just the pickups that were out there that seem like they would be livable.  For the most part I would not particularly want to drive a pickup everyday and may actually prefer an SUV that is build on frame rails. 

The Dodge Durango is an option for an SUV, plenty of room for the family and a towing capacity that can be as high as 5900 pounds if properly equipped.  That capacity is high enough to tow a small trailer and get your family to the campsite in comfort.

Finished Product

My personal vehicle is a GMC Envoy, this makes for a really good everyday hauler.  It’s comfortable, small enough to drive around in tight spaces, and can tow quite a bit.  The tow rating on a 07 GMC Envoy is 5200 to 6100 pounds.  That’s not bad for a pretty small vehicle.

There are a couple of other smaller SUV’s that are built on truck frames as well.  There is the Toyota 4 Runner, which has a pretty high towing capacity between 5000 and 7000 pounds.  There is the Nissan Armada (which is between the Envoy and Yukon in size) with a pretty high towing capacity between 6500 and 9100 pounds. 

You may also want to go a little larger and look at the Chevy/GMC twins.  The Yukon is definitely an option with the 2009 model capable of towing upwards of 8500 pounds.  That is plenty of towing capacity for a really nice trailer, and with Denali trims available, there is serious luxury as well.  If Luxury you are after, you could even look into the Cadillac Escalade which is built on the same platform.  This platform is actually quite large and I personally would not want to drive one every day, but I see them on the road all the time so people do it.  Plus they are super nice on the inside so it is worth mentioning.

I’m sure that I’m missing a couple of models, but that is a pretty good list of trucks that I would consider towing a trailer with.  Anything not built on an actual frame is out, I wouldn’t even consider it.  Good luck finding your next tow vehicle!

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