There’s a reason every pickup commercial shows a truck towing a massive load. While towing might not be a feature that you use every day, it’s one that defines your truck. Whether you’re towing a boat for a leisurely weekend or essential equipment for work, you want to know that you can count on your towing capacity when you need it.

If you’re shopping for a truck with top towing capacity, it’s important to understand how this feature is measured. Most trucks advertise their towing capacity, but if you read the fine print you’ll see that this number is what the vehicle can tow “when properly equipped.” What the truck can actually tow will depend on variables, including your engine size (a V8 will tow more than a V6), torque, and transmission. Other specifications like the type of hitch and trailer you’re using and your braking setup will also affect your towing ability.

When you’re shopping for a truck, think about how you’ll be using the tow feature. Most mid-sized pick-up trucks are more than capable of meeting recreational towing needs, while larger engines and diesel models will increase towing ability to professional levels. The top-performing mid-sized trucks have a towing capacity of more than 10,000 pounds. An average camper weighs about 7,000 pounds fully loaded, a horse trailer with one horse weighs about 5,000 pounds, and a pontoon boat and trailer usually weigh under 4,000 pounds.

Still, some consumers want the best possible towing capacity in the class. If that’s you, you’ll want to turn your eye to four mid-sized trucks that are the most capable. These vehicles leave the competition in the dust, with at least 2,000 pounds more towing capacity than the next competitor.

The Ford F-150: The Ford F-150 is a great truck. In fact, it has such widespread appeal that it’s the best-selling vehicle in America. It’s also the most capable vehicle for towing, with up to 12,000 pounds of towing power. The great thing about the F-150 is that it’s ultra customizable, meaning that you can get exactly the truck you want. And despite its great capabilities, the Ford F-150 has better fuel economy than its rivals.

The Ram 1500: The Ram is a top-rated mid-sized pickup with a great interior that will give you a luxurious ride. The Ram can tow just under 11,000 pounds, making it more than capable for weekend warriors. This is a great truck choice for people who want come creature comforts in their cabin.

The Chevy Silverado 1500: The Chevy Silverado has plenty of room in the cabin, with seats that are spacious even when compared with other pickups. Plus, with up to 12,500 pounds of towing capacity, the Silverado can get all your toys where they need to go. The powerful V8 engine makes this truck a joy to drive, whether you’re towing or not.

The GMC Sierra 1500: The GMC Sierra has been redesigned for 2019, making it a great choice for drivers who want to be at the cutting edge of styling. The GMC Sierra is essentially the same truck as the Silverado, with a more upscale swing and the same great towing capacity. The Sierra can move up to 12,500 pounds without a problem.

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