How Big Of A Travel Trailer Can I Pull With A Half-Ton

How Big Of A Travel Trailer Can I Pull With A Half-Ton

How Big Of A Travel Trailer Can I Pull With A Half-Ton

Towing capacity plays an important role in RVing. This is the maximum weight your vehicle can haul, including passengers, fuel, and cargo as these all play a role in the size of a travel trailer you are pulling with a half-ton truck.

If you are thinking of purchasing a new travel trailer or 5th wheel, make sure you double-check your tow rating to ensure that it fits within the specifications of your half-ton truck.

The question of how big a travel trailer can I pull with a half-ton has been asked many times before by folks who have just purchased a newer 4wd pickup truck for their travels and wondered if they could haul a little over a thousand pounds without exceeding the limitations of their vehicles.

The answer to these questions depends on several factors, so let’s break them down into three categories: Weight Ratings, GCVW & GAWR

Weight Ratings:

These are the total weight of all passengers, cargo, fuel, and towing equipment that a vehicle can haul.

The ratings do not include the tow vehicle itself.

It is always a good idea to have as much as possible under your vehicle’s max weight rating.

This allows for some flexibility if you want to haul additional cargo or take more passengers on your adventures with you.


GCVW stands for gross combined weight rating, which includes the vehicle’s curb weight along with passengers, cargo, fuel, and any additional equipment installed within it such as aftermarket tow hitches, upgraded bumpers or winches, etc.

This information should be found in your owner’s manual somewhere where it states its maximum tow weight rating.

GAWR stands for gross axle weight rating and is the maximum allowable weight placed on a single axle.

This includes the weight of the vehicle, passengers, cargo, and any towed equipment/trailer.

You will need to find out the GAWR for both your front and rear axles as this information will be important when calculating the tongue weight of your travel trailer.

Now that we know a little more about weight ratings and GCVW, let’s take a look at how to calculate the tongue weight of your potential travel trailer.

Tongue weight is the downward force exerted on the hitch by the trailer as it pulls away from the vehicle.

The general rule of thumb is to keep the tongue weight between 10-15% of your GCVW.

This is an important number to know as you don’t want to overload your tow vehicle and cause any damage, or worse yet, have an accident.

You can use this easy calculation to figure out your trailers tongue weight:

GCVW x .10 = Tongue Weight

GCVW x .15 = Maximum Trailer Weight Allowed

So for example, if you have a 1500 lbs. truck with a max GCVW of 9,000 lbs. and your new camper has a dry weight of 1300 lbs you would plug those numbers into the following calculation:

9000 x .10 = 900 lbs. tongue weight allowed

9000 x .15 = 1,350 lbs. maximum trailer weight allowed

This means that if you were to purchase a travel trailer with a dry weight of 1400 lbs., it should be fine as long as its used tongue weight doesn’t exceed 100 pounds from your example above, which is 10% of your trucks allowed tongue weight limit.

The GAWR plays an important role in this equation since it dictates how much total load can be applied to each axle within your tow vehicle and travel trailer.

Hopefully, this gives you a little better understanding of how towing capacity works regarding RVs and helps answer the question of how big a travel trailer can I pull with a half-ton.

Always remember to double-check your owner’s manual for weight ratings and GCVW information before purchasing your next RV.


If you want to get an idea of how much tongue weight your trailer might have, use some heavy items in the bed of your tow vehicle and hook up a couple of straps or chains to it.

Then move them around until they are positioned somewhere where you’d set the hitch on your new travel trailer.

Keep in mind that this is just for calculation purposes only.

If the load is not properly distributed, then it could damage both your truck and trailer.

We hope you enjoyed this post on How Big Of A Travel Trailer Can I Pull With A Half-Ton

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