Sitting head and shoulders above the crowd of exacerbated daily commuters, your V8 diesel engine grumbles in protest over the endless sea of gridlocked cars ahead of it, while you relax above it all. Someone apparently didn’t know about the dangers of driving slow in the left lane, and before the authorities had the chance to pull them over, they caused a pileup on the interstate, and now everyone is stuck on the not-so-free-way. Sedans, vans, subcompacts, SUVs, pickups, lowriders, and crotch rockets all idle in the sweltering heat, and as you survey the scene you think back to the precious cargo directly behind you, because someone on the other side of town is waiting on their new house to arrive.
Yes, we’re talking about the glorious invention commonly referred to as the mobile home, and dammit if you don’t see a lot of them cruising down the interstate, with wide load warning vehicles flashing their little yellow lights fore and aft. It’s a crazy sight to see, especially if you don’t do a lot of long-distance driving. But if you embark on a road trip, chances are you’re going to come across more than the average double wide trailer on the highway. Preassembled cottages, mini beach bungalows, and even the occasional log cabin can be seen hauling down the interstate, on the way to their new owners.
This got us thinking: While semi trucks usually haul homes, you very rarely catch glimpses of civilian-oriented trucks towing a small house — even though quite a few of them could. So after doing a little bit of digging we’ve come up with six heavy duty haulers that could tow all but the biggest prefab houses.
1. Ford F-450 HD Series
Ford’s heavy duty F-Series has a maximum tow rating of 31,200 pounds, and if equipped with upgraded suspension, tire, and high-capacity trailer tow packages, can do all sorts of heavy lifting. Plus, with the help of things like a wide-track front axle, the F-450 boasts a best-in-class 440 horsepower and best-in-class 860 pound-feet of torque, as well as a unique turbocharging setup that gives it best-in-class fuel economy.
B20 biodiesel-capable, with driver-activated tow/haul modes to help maintain optimum power and reduce gear hunting when going uphill, this add-on helps increase control and reduce downhill brake wear when carrying heavy loads like small houses, as available electronic-locking rear differentials and trailer brake controllers keep everything in the back in check. Simply put, the F-450 has far more strengths than weaknesses in the trailer game.
2. Chevrolet 3500HD
Chevy’s heavy duty truck is powered by a Duramax 6.6-liter turbo-diesel motor and can “only” tow up to 23,200 pounds. That said, it should be enough to pull a small cottage. With 397 horsepower and 765 pound-feet of torque, this massive dually sports an exhaust brake system that enables vehicle slowdown on downhill grades with minimal brake actuation.
Like the F-450, it’s also B20 biodiesel friendly, and the Tow/Haul mode reduces shift cycling for better control and improved cooling when hauling heavy loads like a house. Drivers in cold-weather climates will love the Duramax 6.6-liter engine’s ability to start like most gas engines thanks to its glow plug cycle times, which take no more than three seconds in temperatures as low as -20 Fahrenheit.
3. Ram 3500 Turbo Diesel Dually
Equipped with a dually rear-wheel-configuration, and an optional 4.10 axle ratio, the Ram 3500 has the best-in-class tow rating for the diesel truck, with a whopping 31,210 pound limit. With 900 pound-feet of torque from its 6.7-liter Cummins engine, this monster is tailor-made for hauling cargo, especially if outfitted with the optional Aisin six-speed transmission and auto leveling rear air suspension.
4. Nissan Titan Turbo Diesel PRO-4X
The Nissan Titan PRO-4X is all-new, and nothing less than a Japanese juggernaut when it comes to hauling. While a gasoline V8 variant is also available, it’s the 555 pound-feet of torque from the available 5.0-liter Cummins turbo diesel that makes it a real contender. Sure, it only tows up to 12,300 pounds, but last time we checked, that’s enough to haul a few garden sheds at once, and we wager there are enough enterprising individuals out there that could fashion them into a home.
5. Ram 5500 Chassis Cab
Sporting the same 6.7L Cummins turbo diesel engine as the 3500, the Ram 5500 Chassis Cab has less torque at 750 pound-feet, but thanks to some clever engineering it can handle even more challenging work loads. Things like an available additional 22-gallon fuel tank piggybacks on the existing rear 52-gallon fuel tank to boost fuel capacity levels to a best-in-class 74 gallons. The 5500 Chassis Cab features trailer weight limits that top out at 29,600 pounds, and sports best-in-class 15,000-mile oil change intervals.
6. 2016 Ford F-750
Go big or go home, Ford says, and with a 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbo-diesel V8 that puts down 725 pound-feet of torque and rocks a maximum GVWR of 37,000 pounds, Ford’s biggest truck is one step removed from being a full-fledged semi. Featuring custom aero, side steps, wheels, exhaust, spike lug nuts, and a snazzy LED light bar, this brute can easily haul any single wide you want — for a whopping $145,000.