The Best Pickup Trucks for Towing a Boat

Towing a boat is no easy feat. And, unfortunately, not all vehicles are up to the challenge of doing so. The good news is that there are plenty of pickup trucks that are capable of towing a boat. Let’s talk about your best options.

A 2021 Ram 1500 pickup truck seen towing a boat
2021 Ram 1500 Limited | Stellantis

What size pickup do you need to tow a boat?

First things first, you need to know how much your boat weighs. After all, that will be the most sure-fire way to determine how strong of a pickup you need for towing your boat. The good news is that finding out how much your boat weighs is fairly simple. Most boat manufacturers even include such information on their websites. 

However, it’s worth keeping in mind that most boat manufacturers don’t account for things like trailer weight, passenger capacity, or fuel when calculating the weight of a particular boat model. As to be expected, you will have to calculate that extra weight on your own. 

Once you understand how much your boat weighs, you can determine what size pickup you need to tow your boat. Consider a compact pickup truck like the Ford Ranger or a full-size pickup truck like the Ram 1500. While the Ford Ranger can tow approximately 7,700-pounds when properly equipped, the Ram 1500 can pull up to 12,750-pounds. And if neither the Ranger nor the Ram 1500 are the right fit for you? There are plenty of other capable pickup trucks worth your consideration.

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The Tundra is a pickup truck that has what it takes to tow a boat

According to Autobytel, if you’re in the market for a pickup truck capable of towing a boat, you need to check out the Toyota Tundra. Not only is it one of the best pickup trucks for towing a boat, but it also offers convenient towing features like an integrated trailer brake controller, trailer sway control, and a tow/haul mode switch. As for how much this year’s Tundra can pull? When properly equipped, you can count on it to tow a maximum of 10,200-pounds.

2021 Toyota Tundra parked in front of a mountain
2021 Toyota Tundra | Toyota

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Don’t overlook the Chevy Silverado if you need a pickup strong enough to tow a boat

Here’s the thing, the Toyota Tundra isn’t the only pickup Autobytel recommends checking out if you need a pickup strong enough to tow a boat. For another option, Autobytel suggests the Chevy Silverado. This year’s model comes driven by your choice of engine and can tow up to 13,300-pounds when properly equipped. It’s available with towing features such as trailer sway control, hill start assist, and auto-grade braking too. It also offers segment firsts like trailer theft alerts, electric parking brake hookup assist, and brake gain memory on its integrated trailer brake controller.

The 2021 Chevy Silverado driving
2021 Chevy Silverado High Country | Chevrolet

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Do you really need a truck to tow a boat?

While owning a pickup truck can come in handy if you need to tow a boat, Formula Boats reports that you don’t necessarily need a pickup truck to tow a boat. In fact, several SUVs can tow a boat too. According to Formula One, SUVs like the Toyota Sequoia, Ford Expedition, GMC Yukon, Chevrolet Tahoe, and Suburban are just a few options worth considering.