There are tons of options for tow vehicles, and narrowing them down can take months. That’s why we want to help by sharing five of the best tow vehicles in 2021. They may not be what you expect. Instead, we’ve chosen practical, capable, and stable vehicles with luxury features and modern technology. Let’s take a look!
What Makes for a Good Tow Vehicle?
The first and most important thing to look for on a good tow vehicle is its maximum towing capacity. Of course, if you already have an RV, that will be the number one feature you look at. But there’s more to a good tow vehicle.
Stability should be a high priority when looking for a tow vehicle. It not only tow your RV but also do it safely. That’s where stability comes in as well as suspension. A longer wheelbase between the front and rear axle increases towing safety.
Truck, SUV, or Something Else?
It’s most common to see trucks pulling RVs. But certain SUVs can do the job as well. An SUV has its advantages, even though it might not pull as much weight as some trucks. SUVs typically have more seating and can be better daily drivers.
The 5 Best Tow Vehicles in 2021
Check out these five tow vehicles on the market now. Two are trucks, and three fall within the SUV category.
#1. 2021 Chevy Colorado
About the 2021 Chevy Colorado: The 2021 Chevy Colorado is a mid-size, half-ton truck. It has a 3.6L V6 engine with eight-speed automatic transmission. The payload is 1,540 pounds, and the max GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) of 5,800 pounds. Available cargo space on the Colorado is 49.9 cubic feet. And its gas mileage is 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. It’s an easy daily driver and tow vehicle.
The Chevy Colorado has a fully boxed frame and four-wheel disc brakes with Duralife rotors for added durability. The cab is comfortable with many standard and optional features, including heated leather seats and a heated steering wheel.
There are four Colorado models. The WT is the most basic model with a four-door cab. The LT has everything on the WT, except it has a two-door cab. The Z71 has a four-door cab and an off-road suspension package. Finally, the ZR2 is the most loaded model. It has everything the Z71 has, plus increased ground clearance for off-roading.
MSRP: $26,395 to $30,595, depending on the model
Tow Capacity: 7,000 pounds
#2. 2021 Jeep Gladiator
About the 2021 Jeep Gladiator: The 2021 Jeep Gladiator is a four-wheel-drive mid-size truck. You can get off-road with this truck and tow an RV. It has a Jeep four-door cab with a five-foot truck bed. The Gladiator has a 3.6L V6 engine with eight-speed automatic transmission.
The Gladiator has 10 models, including the Sport, Willys Sport, Sport S, Willys, Overland, 80th Anniversary, Freedom, Mojave, Rubicon, and High Altitude. Their payloads range from 1,120 to 1,700. And their GVWR is 5,800 pounds. The fuel economy for the Gladiator is approximately 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway.
Jeep’s Gladiator has a seating capacity for five people. The interior includes current technology features such as wireless phone connectivity and voice audio control. Safety features on the Gladiator include electronic stability control with anti-roll.
MSRP: $34,385 to $52,270, depending on the model
Tow Capacity: 4,000-6,000 pounds, depending on the model
#3. 2021 Toyota Highlander
About the 2021 Toyota Highlander: The 2021 Toyota Highlander SUV comes in 10 models, including gas and hybrid versions. It can seat up to eight people, making it an excellent option for RVing families that need a practical passenger and tow vehicle. And its fuel economy is cost-effective, as it gets between 20 and 36 mpg in the city and 27 and 35 mpg on the highway, depending on the model.
The Highlander gas models have a 3.5L V6 engine with a direct shift eight-speed automatic transmission. Hybrid models have a 2.5L four-cylinder EVCT. The gas models are more suited to tow small travel trailers and pop-ups. But the hybrid versions can pull up to 3,500 pounds so that they can handle a tiny travel trailer like the Scamp.
Toyota developed a sport-tuned suspension for the Highlander XSE so that it hugs the road better. It also has a rear stabilizer for better handling. These features and its 5,000-pound towing capacity make it a good option for RVing.
MSRP: $40,335 to $41,685, depending on the model
Tow Capacity: Gas models tow 5,000 pounds; hybrid models tow 3,500 pounds
#4. 2021 Ford Expedition
About the 2021 Ford Expedition: The 2021 Ford Expedition is a full-size SUV with seating for up to eight people. There are nine models, and each has plenty of legroom and room for camping gear. The Expedition has four doors and a rear hatch, and cargo space.
Ford’s Expedition has a 3.5L EcoBoost engine with a 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission. And it has 400 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque. It gets approximately 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. It also has front and rear suspension for optimum handling and stability when towing.
When equipped with the trailer tow package, you can get a pro trailer backup assist added to help steer a travel trailer in reverse with a turn of a knob. It also features a trailer sway control that works with the AdvanceTrac with roll stability control.
MSRP: $50,595 to $76,150, depending on the model
Tow Capacity: 9,300 pounds with the available trailer tow package
#5. 2021 Ford Bronco
About the 2021 Ford Bronco: The 2021 Ford Bronco is an SUV with seating for up to five people. Ford rolled out seven models, both two- and four-door versions, of the new Bronco, and each has off-road capabilities. While it can tow a small camper, the overall draw is its off-road features.
Engine options include a 2.7L EcoBoost with 4×4 or 2.3L EcoBoost. The 2.7L is a six-cylinder with 330 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. And the 2.3L is a gas four-cylinder with 325 pound-feet of torque and 300 horsepower.
The interior of the Bronco is sleek. You can get a removable roof or removable doors, which adds to the fun of off-roading. There’s also an optional Sasquatch package with 35-inch tires and 17-inch Beadlock-capable wheels with front and rear locking differentials.
MSRP: $28,500 to $56,915, depending on the model
Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
Can You Tow with an Electric Vehicle?
There isn’t an electric vehicle on the market that can handle towing an RV yet. Towing would damage their motors. Hopefully, the technology will come soon for electric vehicles to tow. Toyota’s Highlander, however, has a hybrid model to minimize the carbon footprint somewhat.
Which of these tow vehicles would you prefer to pull your RV? Each has its advantages. Perhaps you have a large family and need the extra seating that a Toyota Highlander can provide. Or, if off-roading is a priority, the Ford Bronco may fit your needs. Whichever tow vehicle you choose, remember to do the math and ensure your vehicle can handle your RV.