What should I buy for towing more than 9,000 pounds?

I have a travel trailer that has a gross vehicle weight rating of 9,460 pounds. I am looking for the best vehicle for towing.

Jeff F., Pahrum, Nev.

If you add a couple of occupants and some cargo to the vehicle you will use to pull your trailer, you need a minimum towing capacity of 10,000 pounds and probably should have more, just in case. That puts you in heavy-duty-full-size-pickup territory, possibly with a diesel engine, so you should check out the extensive resources of our partners at PickupTrucks.com to help you find the right tool for the job.


Basically your choices will be among the Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra 2500/3500, Ford F-250/350 and Ram 2500/3500. Toyota also competes in the full-size-truck market but not in the brute-strength, heavy-duty segment.

The Chevrolet Suburban 2500 and similar GMC Yukon XL 2500 are the towing kings among SUVs, with a maximum capacity of 9,600 pounds. As we noted previously, in your case that leaves no margin for extra weight, including passengers, cargo and optional equipment, so you should be looking at pickup trucks.

PickupTrucks.com can tell you what you need to know about towing and gross vehicle weights, here. In addition, they have literally done the heavy lifting for you with their Heavy-Duty Shootout, which compared the performance of three-quarter and one-ton pickups (gasoline and diesel) when pulling 10,000-pound trailers under different conditions.

Though those tests were conducted in 2010, the results still largely apply and should help get you on the right path to safely and reliably towing your trailer.

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Answered by Rick Popely on January 10, 2013 in What Car Should I Buy? | Permalink

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