1/2 Ton vs 3/4 Ton Towing Travel Trailer: Why a 3/4-Ton?

There will be RVers who won’t contemplate anything but a 3/4 ton truck for towing. However, sometimes, that big of a truck is simply overkill. A 1/2-ton truck will work with those smaller trailers and be more economical at the same time.

A 3/4 diesel will have more power to get up those mountain hills. They also have a lot of strength to tow those big 5th wheel trailers. When you go large, you want nothing less than a 3/4 ton towing your expensive trailers.

To learn more about this topic, just continue to read our article. It gives you the information you need to know about so you can make the right truck choice when you have a large or a small trailer to tow. Not everything needs big.

1/2 ton vs 3/4 Ton For Towing a Travel Trailer


This will depend on the size of your trailer. The smaller and more economical 1/2 ton is perfect when you are towing a 20-foot trailer or smaller behind you. But if you are thinking of upgrading your trailer to something larger, then upgrade your 1/2 ton to a 3/4 ton.

One reason to do this is that the 3/4 tom truck has axles rated to carry between 6000 and 75000 pounds of weight. This weight capacity is essential when your 5th wheel has a pin weight of over 3000 pounds.

That fact is where most people end this debate. The 1/2 ton normally does not have such strong axles and can’t handle the weight. The next question in this debate though focuses on the type of 3/4 ton truck you should have.

There are strong arguments for only going with a single axle and strong arguments for going for a dually. 1/2 tons are not even in consideration at this point. So when you go large and heavy, then you need a 3/4 ton.

If you go small and light, then you only need a 1/2 ton. Then once you made that decision, you have to decide between gas or diesel. There is a power difference here that may benefit you when you go with diesel.

How Big Of a Camper Can I Pull With a 1/2 Ton Truck?


There are many different models of 1/2 ton trucks as well as many different trims to those models. In some cases, all the trims and models will have a different tow ratings.

In other cases, they may all have the same tow rating. It all depends on the manufacturer and what your 1/2 ton can tow. Generally speaking, a 1/2 ton can tow between 7000 and 14,000 pounds.

The diesel versions may be able to tow the higher end of that scale while the gas ones can only tow on the lower end. It all depends on if the truck has a tow package or not and how the brand built the truck.

Of course, you can tow lighter than 7000 pounds if you like those smaller trailers. But the best thing to do is check your owner’s manual or the manuals on the trucks you want to buy and see what the company says.

Never go beyond what the company has rated for towing and hauling.

How Big Of a Trailer Can a 3/4-Ton Truck Pull?


This is where you can tow those big spacious trailers you want to live in. Some 3/4 ton trucks can tow up to and possibly over 22,000 pounds. It will all depend on the engine, the axles, and payload weight capacities.

Other models may only tow between 16,000 and 20,000 pounds. Again it all depends on payload and other factors. While you can tow those smaller trailers that barely reach 5000 pounds, it is wasting all that power the 3/4 ton has.

You can pull a 5th wheel trailer as long as you do not go over your weight limits. If the trailer is too heavy for a 3/4 ton truck, then you will have to upgrade to a 1 ton to tow the heaviest trailers built for camping.

Again, check those owner manuals when you are doing your shopping for a new 3/4 ton and see what you can tow with the specific model you have your mind on. That way you will know exactly what type of trailer you can tow.

Why is a 3/4-Ton Better For Towing?


The main reason to use a 3/4 ton truck over a 1/2 ton is power. With the right engine, you have more than enough power to get that trailer to where you want to camp.

The next reason you need a 3/4 ton truck for towing is strength. You want something that is strong enough to hold that weight. That usually means getting those stronger axles that come with a 3/4 ton truck.

Also, you may be getting a better tow package with a 3/4 ton truck but that is not always true. Tow packages range depending on vehicles and sometimes the 1/2 ton truck gets a great tow package and sometimes not. The same applies to the 3/4 ton truck.

The thing to do though is to compare all the specs of the trucks you are interested in. That comparison includes the different trim models as well. Towing capacities, etc., are not always the same even in the same model year.

You have to look at the specs and decide which option fits your towing needs and go with that truck.

Some Final Words

You do not always have to go with a 3/4 ton truck when you are towing a trailer. But when you go large, then you have to go with a 3/4 ton or a 1-ton truck. The 1/2 ton just will not meet the demands of a heavy trailer.

Take your time to compare all the trims and models available to see which option will be the best fit for you and your family.

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