How Much Weight Can A 1/2 Ton Truck Pull?

Half-ton trucks have been best-selling vehicles in the United States for more than four decades. Their utility and reliability make them the staple vehicle in every garage and driveway. And since these vehicles’ best reputation is towing, you might wonder how much weight a half-ton can pull. We have gathered different information about the towing capacity of half-ton pickups and which tows the most. 

For the available 2021 models, the best figure for towing by a pickup truck is 14,000 lbs, while the least is only 7,700 lbs. The higher the trim, the higher towing capacity, so keep that in mind. The half-ton truck market is a very competitive class for trucks as it bridges the gap from mid-size to full-size heavy-duty trucks. 

Want to learn more about this kind of truck? Continue reading until the end to ultimately help you choose the car of your dreams. And if you’re not in the market for a car, finish this as well because hey, it’s free.

A heavy duty pickup truck and trailer, How Much Weight Can A 1/2 Ton Truck Pull?

What 1/2-ton trucks are available on today's market?

The half-ton truck segment is very strong as it bolsters a model from most major car brands in the United States. This market is rich with choices and competitive models and trims. Last year over two million vehicles sold in the United States were half-ton pick-up trucks. Here is a quick rundown of the most common and bought pickup trucks in America.

Ford F-150

The Ford F-150 is America’s favorite truck; it is the most sold truck in American history. According to Ford, each year, 900,000 units of their half-ton truck are sold. The F-150 has seven available trims to choose from. These are XL, STX, XLT, Lariat Sport, King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited. 

Ford F-150 display at a dealership, Ford F150 XLT Vs Lariat: Which Is Right For You?

Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500

GM’s line of iconic trucks has been part of American culture ever since and does not shy away from its direct competition. The sister company, Chevrolet, and GMC boast a wide range of trims for 2021. The GMC trims are Base, SLE, Elevation, SLT, AT4, and the top-of-the-line Denali.

GMC Sierra 1500 AT4 display. The GMC Sierra 1500

Meanwhile, Chevy has an offering of WT, Custom, LT, Custom Trail Boss, RST, LTZ, Custom Trail Boss, and the cream of the crop High Country.

2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 pickup truck

Ram 1500

Ram has been kicking it up trying to compete with Ford and GM in this class as these are the big three players for trucks in America. In 2021, Ram offers a package of trims, including Tradesman, Big Horn, Laramie, Rebel, Laramie Longhorn, and Limited. Interior and amenities are the strong suits of Ram and by far offer the most luxury feel in an otherwise workman’s vehicle.

Dodge RAM 1500 on a paved road

Toyota Tundra

Now let’s move over to non-American brands. The Toyota Tundra is best known for its reliability, so as with other Toyotas, they have developed the reputation as indestructible cars  -one Tundra even reached a million miles. The 2021 Tundra offers trims of the base SR, The SR5, Limited, Platinum,1974 edition, and the TRD PRO.

Toyota Tundra on display during the International Auto Show

Nissan Titan

The Nissan Titan is Nissan’s flagship truck in America that has been performing well in the past year. Nissan was better known for its mid-size Frontier but has since played with the big-boys over at the half-ton division. For the 2021 model year, the Titan offers trims of S, SV, Pro-4x, and Platinum Reserve for its crew cab. While the King Cab offers S and SV variants.

A 2020 Nissan Titan Pickup Truck at a dealership. What Pickup Trucks Have 6 Seats

What size travel trailer can a 1/2-ton truck pull?

When it comes to towing, limitations do not necessarily rely on the size of what you’re pulling but the weight. Generally, half-ton trucks can tow as much as 14,000 lbs; including any trailer mounts. It is best to refer to your owner's manual or the sticker at the driver-side door that indicates your truck's tow rating. 

If you have a truck and want to do some RVing, know its towing capacity and gauge your trailer from there. Or you can get a truck that fits your needs in pulling your trailers.

Even though half-ton nowadays are rated high in towing, it is better not to always push your truck's limit for your safety and for your truck to last. We have a list of the best under 4,000 lbs trailers available today click here to check it out.

It is very important to know the limit of your truck to avoid any hassle and accidents on the road. Overloading is illegal in most states, so you should check if your trailer weight is inside the recommended weight of your truck's capacity. You also need to consider what’s inside your truck, like your passengers and gear, that affect your towing capacity. 

It is best beforehand to know what you need and base what you will want off of it. The primary concern here is safety; you wouldn’t want your truck to suddenly overheat while climbing up a steep road because you have pushed your limit or parts wearing down faster than they should because they are in constant stress. It is also better to equip your truck with tow packages for better towing. 

So, in the long run, it is best to do your research, consult your dealership, or ask the previous owner about it. It will save you hassle on the road and save you some money.

What size truck do you need to pull a 30-foot travel trailer?

The answer will heavily depend on the trailer; some are made lighter than others. The most typical weight of 30-foot trailers ranges from about 5,000 lbs to 7,000 lbs, so you will need a full-size pickup. With modern trucks, most half-tons can easily tow this with much power left in the engine to tackle those tough hill climbs and descents. 

But just because your half-ton can tow it doesn’t mean you can just hitch your trailer and go on a road trip immediately. You may want to scale your setup just to make sure your safety and your passenger’s safety are not compromised.

Knowing how to properly load your trailer can prevent it from tipping over while driving on swirly roads. Safety should always be your main priority, so here’s our list of tips every driver should know when towing a trailer. 

Can a half-ton truck pull a fifth-wheel camper?

The quick answer is, yes  -though, proceed with caution. Modern half-ton trucks can in theory tow 5th wheel campers but to a limited extent. Some are light enough for high-powered half-ton trucks. Here are some 5th wheels that work great with half-ton.

Scamp 19'

The Scamp, at its lightest, is just below 3,000 lbs making it one of the lightest on the market compared to any other 5th wheels out there. With just a hitch weight of 400 lbs, both medium- and light-duty pickup can easily handle this camper. Though, some trade-offs because of its smaller size compared to other 5th wheels.

Escape 5. o TA

Grossed at over 3,000 lbs, this 5th wheeler is slightly bigger than the scamp. Its lightweight features compared to common trailers of its kind makes it a good gas saver. Though again it lacks space because of the weight saving.

Keystone Cougar

The name of this model says it all, as the Cougar Half-Ton 27RLS is made specifically for use with half-ton trucks. Its hitch weight of 1,335 lbs and its 7,925 lb dry weight is in the ballpark for your half-ton. Slightly bigger than the first two but still relatively small compared to the other 5th wheels on the market. 

Can a half-ton truck pull a gooseneck horse trailer?

Yes, it surely can, but there is a catch. Just make sure that the load of the trailer is still within the given capacity of your half-ton. Another very important note to remember is that half-tons are not designed to be used in extra heavy-duty towing, so trailer braking won't be as good as the 3/4 and one-tons do. Proceed with caution. 

Which half-ton truck can tow the most?

It is no surprise the 2021 Ford F-150 does not only top as the best-selling car in the USA but also the best towing in its class for this model year. The F-150’s 3.5L EcoBoost V-6 Super cab and the double cab has a maximum towing capacity of 14,000 lbs. the F-150 out-tows its fellow competitors, the Tundra, Sierra, Silverado, Titan, and RAM 1500, with the nearest coming short by 700 pounds of towing capacity


In conclusion, modern half-tons are very well-capable trucks that can do the work required by higher-rated ton trucks in the past. With this much technology and innovation that these trucks have, let us still remember to abide by the limit and never cross it. As Uncle Ben once said, "Great power comes with great responsibilities." So, let's be sensible and prioritize safety and be responsible for the great power these modern trucks possess.

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