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Choosing the Best Tow Truck for Your RV

Discover the ultimate guide to selecting the perfect tow truck for your RV adventures, ensuring safety, comfort, and confidence on the road.

best tow trucks for RV

Your RV is packed, your itinerary is planned, and the spirit of adventure thrums in your veins. But before you hit the gas and embark on your dream vacation, there's a crucial consideration: what happens if your RV breaks down? Unlike a standard car, an RV requires a specialized tow truck to get you back on track. Here's where this guide comes in – to equip you with the knowledge to choose the best RV towing truck for a smooth and stress-free journey.

Understanding Your Needs: RV Weight and Size

The first step is understanding the specific needs of your RV. RV tow trucks come in various capacities, and the key factor determining the right one is the weight of your RV, also known as the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). This information can be found on a sticker inside your RV driver's side door or your owner's manual.

Here's a breakdown of RV tow truck capacities and their suitability for different RV weights:

  • Light-duty tow trucks: These are typically used for smaller vehicles like sedans or light trucks. They are not suitable for towing RVs due to their limited towing capacity.

  • Medium-duty tow trucks: These tow trucks can handle RVs up to around 26,000 lbs. They are a good option for smaller travel trailers and Class B motorhomes.

  • Heavy-duty tow trucks: These are the workhorses of the towing industry, capable of handling RVs exceeding 26,000 lbs. They are best suited for larger Class A motorhomes, fifth-wheel trailers, and heavy-duty travel trailers.

RV size also plays a role. Consider the length and width of your RV to ensure the tow truck has the appropriate equipment to secure and transport it safely.

Types of RV Tow Trucks: Choosing the Right Fit

Now that you understand your RV's weight and size, let's delve into the different types of RV tow trucks available:

  • Wrecker Tow Trucks:  These are the most common type of tow truck. They utilize a winch and tow bar to pull the RV onto the flatbed. While wreckers are a versatile option, they may not be ideal for all situations. For example, if your RV is stuck in a ditch or soft ground, a wrecker might struggle to pull it out without causing damage.

  • Rotator Tow Trucks:  These specialized tow trucks have a hydraulic boom that lifts the RV and places it onto the flatbed. Rotator tow trucks are ideal for situations where the RV is difficult to access or needs to be lifted from a precarious position.

  • Integrated Tow Trucks: These combine the features of a wrecker and a rotator. They have a boom for lifting and a winch for pulling, making them highly versatile for a variety of towing scenarios.

How to Tow an RV With a Truck?

Towing an RV with a truck requires careful consideration of factors such as towing capacity, hitch compatibility, and weight distribution. Follow these steps for safe and effective RV towing:

  1. Determine Your RV's Weight: Know the weight of your RV, including its loaded weight and tongue weight, to ensure that your tow truck can handle the load.

  2. Choose the Right Hitch: Select a hitch that is compatible with your RV's hitch receiver and provides sufficient towing capacity for your RV's weight.

  3. Distribute Weight Properly: Use weight distribution systems and sway control devices to distribute the weight of your RV evenly across your tow truck's axles, ensuring stability and control while towing.

  4. Check Tire Pressure: Inflate your tow truck's tires to the manufacturer's recommended pressure to optimize towing performance and safety.

  5. Drive with Caution: Practice safe towing habits, such as maintaining a safe speed, leaving extra space for braking, and avoiding sudden maneuvers or sharp turns.

Can I Rent a Truck to Tow My RV?

While it's tempting to rent a heavy-duty truck and tow your RV yourself, it's generally not recommended. Towing an RV requires specialized knowledge and equipment. RV tow truck drivers are trained professionals who understand the unique challenges of towing large vehicles. They possess the necessary equipment, such as towing hitches, dollies, and wheel lifts, to ensure your RV is towed safely and securely. Furthermore, towing an RV with an improperly equipped truck can be dangerous and even lead to further damage to your RV.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Trucks for RV Towing

Now that you understand the basics of RV towing, let's explore the key factors to consider when selecting the best tow truck for your RV.

RV Towing Capacity

The maximum weight that a tow truck can safely tow, including the weight of the RV and any additional cargo or passengers. Choose a tow truck with a towing capacity that exceeds the fully loaded weight of your RV for optimal safety and performance.

Engine Power and Torque

Look for a tow truck with a powerful engine and high torque output, especially if you plan to tow a large or heavy RV. A robust engine will provide the necessary power and performance for towing uphill, accelerating, and maintaining speed on the highway.

Transmission and Gear Ratios

Opt for a tow truck with a transmission and gear ratios optimized for towing, such as a heavy-duty automatic transmission or a manual transmission with low gearing. These features will ensure smooth and efficient towing performance, even under heavy loads.

Towing Package

Choose a tow truck that comes equipped with a towing package or towing-specific features, such as a factory-installed trailer hitch, integrated trailer brake controller, and towing mirrors. These features will enhance towing capability and convenience, making it easier to tow your RV safely.

Suspension and Braking System

Select a tow truck with a robust suspension system and powerful braking system designed to handle the additional weight and stress of towing. Upgraded suspension components, such as heavy-duty shocks and springs, will provide stability and control, while larger brakes will ensure reliable stopping power when towing.

Fuel Efficiency

Consider the fuel efficiency of the tow truck, especially if you plan to tow long distances or frequently. Look for a tow truck with a fuel-efficient engine and aerodynamic design to minimize fuel consumption and reduce operating costs over time.

Tow Truck Size and Configuration

Choose a tow truck size and configuration that suits your RV towing needs and preferences. Options include:

  • Full-Size Pickup Trucks: Versatile and popular choice for towing RVs, offering ample towing capacity, payload capacity, and towing features.

  • Heavy-Duty Trucks: Ideal for towing large and heavy RVs, such as fifth wheels and toy haulers, with maximum towing capacity and towing-specific features.

  • Specialty Towing Vehicles: Specialized towing vehicles, such as medium-duty trucks or RV haulers, designed for towing large RVs and motorhomes with superior towing capability and comfort.

5 Best Tow Trucks for RVs

Here's a breakdown of the best trucks to tow RV trailers, highlighting their capabilities and suitability for different RV types:

Peterbilt 389

Type: Heavy-duty wrecker tow truck

Features: Renowned for its robust build and powerful engine, the Peterbilt 389 is a towing beast. Its impressive towing capacity makes it ideal for hauling the heaviest RVs, including:

  • Class A Motorhomes (over 35 feet)

  • Large Fifth-Wheel Trailers

  • Luxury Buses Converted to RVs

Kenworth T880

Type: Heavy-duty integrated tow truck

Features: The Kenworth T880 combines the capabilities of a wrecker and a rotator. It boasts a powerful winch for pulling and a hydraulic boom for lifting, making it a versatile choice for a variety of RV towing scenarios. It's well-suited for:

  • Large Class A Motorhomes

  • Heavy Fifth-Wheel Trailers

  • Large Travel Trailers (over 30 feet)

International LT Series

Type:  Medium and Heavy-Duty Wrecker Tow Trucks

Features: International offers a range of tow trucks within the LT Series, catering to different RV weight capacities.

  • Medium-duty models are suitable for smaller RVs like:

  • Class B Motorhomes

  • Smaller Travel Trailers (under 26,000 lbs)

  • Heavy-duty models can handle larger RVs like:

  • Class C Motorhomes

  • Mid-size Fifth-Wheel Trailers

2020 Ford F-350 Super Duty

Type: Heavy-duty pick-up truck

Features: When properly equipped, the F-350 Super Duty can handle conventional towing up to a maximum of 32,500 lbs. This range comfortably accommodates most mid-size to large travel trailers, including:

  • Expandable trailers

  • Bunkhouse trailers

  • Toy hauler trailers (depending on weight)

  • Luxury travel trailers (within weight limits)

  • Heavy-duty travel trailers

  • Large destination trailers

5. 2020 Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra 3500 HD

2020 Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra 3500 HD

  • Type: Heavy duty pick up truck

  • Features: Both the Silverado/Sierra 3500 HD boast impressive towing capacities, reaching up to 35,500 lbs with a gooseneck or fifth-wheel hitch. This allows them to tow a variety of travel trailers, including:

  • Large travel trailers

  • Destination trailers

  • Some fifth-wheel trailers (depending on weight)


Selecting the best tow truck for your RV is essential for a safe and enjoyable travel experience. Whether you opt for a full-size pickup truck, heavy-duty truck, or specialty towing vehicle, investing in the right tow truck will provide you with the confidence, control, and comfort you need for your RV adventures. So, take the time to research and test drive different tow truck options, and get ready to hit the road with peace of mind and confidence in your RV towing setup.

1 comment

1 комментарий

Jim Richard
Jim Richard
20 мая

What are you talking about? This article makes no sense! It appears you are using AI to write you stuff and not proof reading it.


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