If you own a boat, camper or fifth-wheel, you know how important it is to have the right truck towing in front.
You need major power underneath the hood and the right technology inside so you can get the job done while on the road
We’ve found five, beefy trucks that fit both of these requirements. They also include new features for 2016 that were specifically designed to make your life a-hell-of-a-lot easier.
Flex your muscles this summer in one of these beasts.
When you opt for a powerful ride, you usually end up having to sacrifice certain “niceties” along the way.
The Ram 3500 though… Well, this truck is different.
For 2016, Dodge has completely recalibrated the 3500’s engine, adding 900 pounds of torque. That gives it an overall towing capacity of 31,000 and a payload rating of 7,400 pounds, meaning there’s pretty much nothing this thing can’t haul.
And as for classiness? Depending on what you decide on for included features, the Ram 3500 can easily be one of the nicest trucks you’ll ever cruise in.
Ram 3500 | Trims, Performance, Power
The Laramie Limited (MSRP $62,995) has enough leg room for even your tallest friend. The luxuries abound inside this bad boy. We’re talking premium black leather-faced front bucket seats, Argento wood accents throughout the interior and chrome wheel-to-wheel side steps (SRW), just to name a few. You’ll also find LED taillights and a cargo-view camera.
As you work your way down the ladder to the ST trim, you lose some of the fancy amenities, but you lose absolutely none of the power.
A huge plus for the Ram 3500 is the load-leveling rear air suspension option. It supplements the 3500’s standard leaf spring rear suspension with a dual-mode airbag system. That helps keep the back of your truck nice and level while you’re hauling a trailer or fifth wheel… Or anything, really.
All versions of the 2016 Ram 3500 are available with rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. You also have three engines to choose from: 5.7L HEMI VVT V8, 6.4L HEMI V8 or a 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel l-6.
Finally, you have your choice of three available cab styles: two-door regular, four-door crew cab and a four-door Mega Cab. The two regular cabs come with an 8-foot bed only, while the Mega Cab has either an 8-foot bed or a 6-foot 4 bed.
Major Plus: The 2016 Ram 3500’s cargo-view camera is one of the best in the business. It’ll keep you in total control when it comes to backing your attachment up.
Another formidable beast in the towing department.
Whether it’s a boat, fifth-wheel, or RV, the Ford F-350 has enough “give” to tow just about anything you want. You have two engine options (both of which are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission): The standard 6.2-liter gasoline V8 or the optional turbocharged 6.7-liter diesel V8.
If you decide to get the F-350’s 6.7-liter turbodiesel V8, you’re looking at 400 horsepower and roughly 26,500-pounds of towing capacity. The available fifth-wheel setup boosts it to 16,500 (SRW) and 26,500 (dual rear-wheel) of torque.
F-350 | Trims, Performance, Power
The 2016 Ford F-350 comes in five trims: XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum. If you’re just looking for a workhorse than the XL is an affordable, fully-stocked choice. It comes with a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a two-speaker sound system with an AM/FM radio, manual telescoping trailer towing mirrors, driver, front passenger and roof ride handles, air conditioning and a heavy-duty vinyl front 40/20/40 split bench seat.
The 2016 Ford F-350 Super Duty is available in three cab designs: two-door regular cab, extended cab and four-door crew cab. Four-wheel antilock disc brakes come standard on all models and a rearview camera comes standard on the Lariat and higher trims.
Major Plus: Both engines have SelectShift and a Tow/Haul mode, which makes for easier hauling and gives the casual observer the impression you’re a fifth-wheel towing bad ass.
There’s no denying our first two choices have some *cough* heftier *cough* price tags, especially for the higher-level trims. But if you’re looking for something that can still haul a trailer with relative ease, without breaking the bank, then the Nissan Titan might just be a perfect choice.
Technically speaking, the Titan is a heavy-duty pickup because it weighs more than 8,500 pounds. That almost means it has a 6.5-foot bed, which is longer than most regular-duty crew cabs.
Titan | Trims, Performance, Power
There are five trim levels with the 2016 Nissan Titan: The S, SV, Pro-4X, SL and Platinum. There are also two choices of engines: A 5.6-liter gasoline V8 or the Cummins 5.0-liter V8 diesel. Regardless of which combination of truck/engine you choose, all XD heavy-duty Titan pickups come with your choice of rear- or four-wheel drive.
The Cummins engine is what makes the Titan a worthy adversary against giants like the 3500 and the F-350. Nissan has put all the focus on towing. They even installed a gooseneck hitch directly into the frame.
Nissan also made towing user-friendly (which for anyone that’s hauled a trailer before can attest to, it can be a confusing, multi-step process).
New Features for 2016
- Trailer Light Check: With Nissan Intelligent Key you can initiate a system of checks that will make sure the turn, brake, and running lights are working (lock, lock – hold lock)
- Rearview Camera w/ Adaptive Guidelines: Basically, it’s hitch-free hitching. There’s an available 7” high-res display screen with a blue center guideline so you can align everything with your trailer
- Integrated Brake Controller: This links the brakes on your Titan with your trailer’s brakes, meaning that when you apply the brakes, a signal is sent to your trailer telling it to do the same thing
- Trailer Sway Control: One of our favorite features. Your Titan will be able to sense even the smallest amount of sway. If it does, it automatically applies the brakes on one side of your vehicle. If that’s not enough, all you need to do is tap your brakes and the trailers brakes will engage. Even cooler? You don’t have to deal with aftermarket parts, extra wiring or figuring out how to convert your pin sizes. The Titan as a 4 and 7 Pin Trailer Connector located directly on the bumper.
- Extendable Tow Mirrors with Around View Monitor: When you move your mirror, the camera’s view won’t change. A minor detail that will make your life a lot easier.
Major Plus: If you’re looking to ball out, the Platinum trim is pretty stacked. There’s the unique dark chrome plating that adorns the 20-inch wheels. The front seats are comfortable and beautiful (bucket and black and brown pleated leather). There’s a DVD entertainment system in the backseat for the kids (which also comes equipped with LATCH anchors and seat belts with automatic locking retractors).
If you’ve been truck shopping recently, you’ve probably heard about Ford’s decision to switch to an all-aluminum body. Because of this change, repairs on the F-150 are slightly more expensive. However, we think it was an intelligent decision by the automakers and it’s paying off for them in a huge way.
If you want to tow, this truck is an excellent pick. Here’s why.
F-150 | Trims, Performance, Power
With the 2016 Ford F-150, you have six trims as options: XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch Platinum and a new for 2016 Limited edition. There are three cab styles to choose from: Regular, Supercab (extended) and Supercrew. There are also three-bed lengths you can pick from: A 6.5- or 8-foot bed is available on regular and Supercabs, while the Supercrew is eligible for a 5.5- or 6.5-foot bed only.
All this means is that you can find an F-150 that is perfectly suited to your needs.
The 2016 Ford F-150’s base engine is a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 282 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque. If you decide to upgrade to the turbocharged 2.7-liter V6, you increase output to 325 hp and 375 lb-ft of torque. If you really want to go balls-to-the-wall, the top-of-the-line turbocharged 5.0-liter V8 is good for 365 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque.
Maximum towing capacities start from 7,600 pounds with the base V6 engine and climb to 8,500 with the 2.7-liter V6. For heavy lifting, the 5.0-liter V8 can tow 11,100.
That’s a lot of numbers, all of which basically say this baby can tow huge units for you all summer long.
Major Plus: Its lightweight transformation makes it agile, more fuel-efficient while still keeping it just as tough looking as it was before. Essentially, it lost some weight without losing its strength.
The Tundra isn’t as strong as our first four choices, but it can still haul quite a bit. Its rear suspension was built for heavy-duty towing and the numbers speak for themselves.
The 2016 Toyota Tundra is offered with a choice of two V8 engines. Rear-wheel drive is standard and four-wheel drive with a two-speed transfer case is optional. A six-speed automatic transmission comes standard as well.
Tundra | Trims, Performance, Power
For SR double cab models and all SR5 models, a 4.6-liter V8 comes standard, producing 310 horsepower and 327-pound feet of torque. A 5.7-liter V8 is standard on the regular cab and all variations of the Limited, Platinum, 1794 and TRD Pro. It is optional on SR5 trims. It produces 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque.
Depending on the configuration, maximum towing capacity is between 9,800 and 10,500 pounds.
Like we said, it’s not as muscular as our first four options but it can still tow smaller types of equipment.
What we really like is the Tundra’s cabin. It’s jam-packed with great standard features including the Toyota’s user-friendly Entune touchscreen interface. The platinum trim is especially luxurious, designed to indulge your every whim. There’s perforated black diamond-stitched leather seating, door and instrument panel inserts, and brushed aluminum accents.
Major Plus: If you’re looking for the strongest, beastliest choice, you’ll probably opt for something else. But if you’re towing needs are on the smaller side of things and you want a nice interior and a boldly-designed exterior, the Tundra might just do it for you.
Five great trucks. Which one do you like best? Let us know in the comments section below.