Can You Tow a Toy Hauler With a Half-Ton Pickup Truck?

Half-ton pickup trucks are very popular and far more powerful than an SUV, which makes them a good option for pulling a wide range of travel trailers.

At the same time, toy haulers tend to be heavier than a travel trailer of the same size.

If you already own a half-ton pickup truck, you might be wondering if a half-ton truck can tow a toy hauler RV?

The answer is yes, there are a number of toy haulers that can be confidently towed by a half-ton pickup truck, like Ford F-150, Ram 1500, Chevrolet Silverado etc.

Fortunately, There are still some toy haulers that can be towed by half-ton trucks. You just need to take some important factors into account, including the maximum towing capacity and the payload capacity of the pickup truck and any potential toy haulers.

How Much Can A Half-Ton Pickup Truck Tow?

How Much Can A Half-Ton Pickup Truck Tow

Most modern days half-ton trucks like Ford F-150, Ram 1500, Chevrolet Silverado can usually tow somewhere around 8,000 to 12,000 pounds.

This is typically enough to tow a modest size toy hauler travel trailer with an ATV or snow machine in the cargo bay. 

However, it might not be a good idea to push the upper limits. Especially if your truck is one of the lower trim levels in its class.

Though fifth-wheel toy hauler can be a challenge too big for a lot of even the most robust half-ton pickup trucks.

The following are some towing capacity specs for some of the most popular half-ton pickup trucks.

Just keep in mind that the numbers can vary widely based on the truck’s trim level. 

  • The Ford F-150 – Has a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 to 11,300 lbs.
  • The Chevy Silverado 1500 – Has a maximum towing capacity of 7,200 to 9,700 lbs.
  • The GMC Sierra 1500 – Has a maximum towing capacity of 7,400 to 9,500 lbs.
  • The Toyota Tundra – Has a maximum towing capacity of 8,800 to 10,200 lbs.
  • The Dodge Ram 1500 – Has a maximum towing capacity of 6,150 to 8,290 lbs.
  • The Nissan Titan – Has a maximum towing capacity of 9,210 to 9,400 lbs.

There is a lot of variance in the maximum towing capacity of each make and model depending on the trim level.

If you want to tow a toy hauler with confidence, then you need one of the higher trim levels with an upgraded towing package.

Can A Half-Ton Pickup Truck Tow A Fifth-Wheel Toy Hauler?

Fifth-wheel trailers require a special hitch installed into the cargo box of the pickup truck.

This creates an interesting conundrum for half-ton pickup trucks, as the weight from the tongue of the fifth-wheel trailer also factors in the payload capacity of the pickup truck’s cargo box. 

A half-ton truck might be technically capable of pulling the weight of the fifth-wheel toy hauler on paper, but its suspension system and cargo box components don’t necessarily have the payload capacity to handle the tongue weight of the fifth-wheel trailer. 

To be able to safely and confidently tow a fifth-wheel toy hauler behind a half-ton truck we also have to factor in the rated payload capacity. 

  • The Ford F-150 – Has a maximum payload capacity of 1,745 to 2,238 lbs.
  • The Chevy Silverado 1500 – Has a maximum payload capacity of 1,750 to 2,280 lbs.
  • The GMC Sierra 1500 – Has a maximum payload capacity of 1,570 to 2,280 lbs.
  • The Toyota Tundra – Has a maximum payload capacity of 1,520 to 1,730 lbs.
  • The Dodge Ram 1500 – Has a maximum payload capacity of 1,242 to 2,322 lbs.
  • The Nissan Titan – Has a maximum payload capacity of 1,333 to 1,699 lbs.

How Much Can I Safely Tow With A Half-Ton Pickup Truck?

The prevailing wisdom is to never attempt to tow something that is more than 80% of the rated maximum towing capacity or payload capacity of the half-ton pickup truck tow vehicle. 

A comfortable 20% reserve of power helps for doing things like towing the toy hauler up a steep incline or across a loose surface.

Staying under 80% of your towing and payload capacity can also help with handling at highway speeds and reduce the risk of suffering a potentially dangerous trailer sway problem. 

Doing The Math

For example, let’s say that you have the highest trim level of the Chevy Silverado with a maximum towing capacity of 9,700 pounds.

To be safe, 80% means you can pull up to a 7,760-pounds travel trailer.

If you are thinking about getting a fifth-wheel toy hauler, you have to factor in the 2,280-pound payload capacity of the highest trim level Chevy Silverado.

80% of which is 1,824-pounds maximum hitch weight for a fifth-wheel toy hauler. 

6 Of The Best Half Ton Towable Toy Haulers

There are a few toy haulers and a small handful of fifth-wheel toy haulers that can be towed safely by a half-ton pickup truck.

The following are some of the best half-ton towable toy haulers that can easily be towed by many 1/2 ton trucks on the market. 

1. Forest River Rockwood Geo Pro 9FBTH

Forest River Rockwood Geo Pro
  • Dry Weight of 3,433 lbs.
  • Hitch Weight of 581 lbs.
  • 6’11” Cargo Bay

The Rockwood Forest River Rockwood Geo Pro 9FBTH is very light for a toy hauler, which makes it a great option for a half-ton pickup truck.

The 6’11” long rear cargo bay is just large enough to hold an average size ATV or perhaps a pair of dirt bikes.

When you back your chosen “Toys” out of the rear access ramp the rear converts into a comfortable living room and kitchen combo. 

2. QuickSilver 7x18FK Ultra Lightweight Toy Hauler

QuickSilver 7x18FK
  • Dry Weight of 3,320 lbs.
  • Payload Capacity of 3,680 lbs.
  • GVWR of 7,000 lbs.
  • Hitch Weight of 580 lbs.
  • 8’ Cargo Bay

The QuickSilver 7x18FK is a lightweight toy hauler that has an impressive amount of storage and cargo capacity.

Of course, the star feature of this travel trailer toy hauler is the 8-foot long cargo bay in the lack.

With that much room and a payload capacity of 3,680-pounds it can handle an ATV with room and weight to spare. 

When you get to your campsite and deploy your toys the rear cargo bay can be left as a living room, or you can set up a convertible queen size bed.

Though this is the only true bed in the QuickSilver 7x18FK, which makes it set up better for couples that want to take their toys with them on their RV adventures.

If you do happen to have an only child there is additional floorspace toward the galley for a cot.

3. Jayco Octane Super Lite 161

Jayco Octane Super Lite 161
  • Dry Weight of 4,724 lbs.
  • Payload Capacity of 2,786 lbs.
  • GVWR of 7,500 lbs.
  • Hitch Weight of 710 lbs.
  • 8’ Cargo Bay

The Jayco Octane Super Lite 161 offers a little more storage space and weighs a little more.

Though with a gross vehicle weight rating of 7,500-pounds, it’s still within range of most mid-to-high trim level half-ton trucks.

When you back your toys out the 8-foot long rear cargo area converts into comfortable sleeping quarters.

4. Forest River RV Wildwood FSX 180RT Toy Hauler Travel Trailer

Forest River RV Wildwood FSX 180RT
  • Dry Weight of 3,054 lbs.
  • Payload Capacity of 1,776 lbs.
  • Hitch Weight of 430 lbs.
  • 8’ Cargo Bay

The Forest River RV Wildwood FSX 180RT offers a lot of cargo space, so long as you pack it correctly.

With a plan in mind, you can get a dirt bike or a kayak at midship and tightly fit an average-size ATV in the rear.

This should just fit within the 1,776-pound payload capacity and still have a gross vehicle weight within the range of most mid-to-high half-ton pickup trucks. 

5. K-Z Escape E180TH Toy Hauler Travel Trailer

K-Z Escape E180TH
  • GVWR of 5,000 lbs.
  • Dry Weight of 3,210 lbs.
  • Payload Capacity of 1,790 lbs.
  • 9’ Cargo Bay

The K-Z Escape E180TH has a gross vehicle weight rating of 5,000-pounds, which is within range for most mid-trim and higher trim level half-ton pickup trucks.

The 9-foot long cargo bay also offers plenty of room for longer toys like kayaks or perhaps a snow machine.

When you take the toys out the flip-out sofa converts into an additional sleeping area or comfortable seating for a relatively large living room. 

6. 2020 Forest River – Cherokee Grey Wolf 26RR Fifth-Wheel Toy Hauler

Forest River - Cherokee Grey Wolf 26RR
  • Dry Weight of 5,030 lbs.
  • Payload Capacity of 2,745 lbs.
  • Hitch Weight of 775 lbs.

When you step up to fifth-wheel toy haulers the numbers get significantly heavier.

This means the 2020 Forest River – Cherokee Grey Wolf 26RR can just be towed by only the highest trim levels of half-ton pickup trucks.

Fortunately, the hitch weight of 775-pounds will fit within the payload capacity of many half-ton pickup trucks.

When you get to your campsite you can back out your favorite toys to convert the rear and mid-ship areas into a spacious living room with a flow-thru kitchen.

What Is The Difference Between Payload Capacity For A Toy Hauler & The Pickup Truck?

Payload capacity is a major factor when we are talking about the relationship between a fifth-wheel toy hauler and a half-ton pickup truck.

When you are reading the specifications for a toy hauler, the payload capacity is referring to how much weight in cargo the toy hauler can hold.

This includes the toys you load onto it as well as your camping gear and other essential items. 

With a half-ton pickup truck, the payload capacity is referring to how much weight the suspension and frame structure of the pickup truck’s cargo box can handle.

In the case of a fifth-wheel trailer, you need to compare the “Hitch Weight” of the fifth-wheel to the payload capacity of the pickup truck to make sure they are compatible. 

How Much Can My Half-Ton Pickup Truck Tow?

When it comes to determining if your pickup truck’s towing capacity is compatible with a toy hauler trailer, you need to compare the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) and the Maximum Towing Capacity of the half-ton pickup truck.

Ideally, you want the GVWR to be 80% or less of the pickup truck’s maximum towing capacity. 

Conclusion

The general weight of a toy hauler can put a fair number of models outside the safe, recommended towing capacity of some half-ton pickup trucks.

Though there are still a few travel trailer toy haulers and fifth-wheel toy haulers that are within the capabilities of a high-trim level half-ton pickup truck’s towing and payload capacity. 

Before you purchase a toy hauler to pair with your fifth-wheel trailer, you want to take a few minutes to compare the GVWR of the toy hauler to the Maximum Towing Capacity of the half-ton pickup truck.

Then make sure the GVWR is at least 80% lower than the truck’s towing capacity. 

If you are thinking about pairing your half-ton pickup truck with a fifth-wheel toy hauler, you will also need to factor in the hitch weight of the fifth-wheel to the rated payload capacity of the half-ton pickup truck.

So long as the hitch weight is 80% less than the truck’s payload capacity, and you have the appropriate hitch professionally installed in the truck’s cargo box, you should be able to safely tow it.

Last Updated on by Aaron Richardson

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