Travel trailers are, no doubt, one of the best ways to hop around from place to place. You save a lot of money on hotel accommodation, commercial utilities, and likes.
However, it’s given that going on an RV adventure can be pricy. A travel trailer can already take so much out of your budget.
You don’t necessarily have to splurge on large trailers if you don’t really have the budget for it. A good way to somehow cut down on costs is to get a trailer that will already match the existing load capacity of your truck or vehicle. Hence, if you have a 1/2 ton truck, then look for small travel trailers that can match it. Opt for models with a slide-out feature, so you can expand your space.
That said, if you are a camper or an RV enthusiast with a limited but still workable budget, then the best thing to look for is a 1 2 ton towable travel trailer. It’s significantly cheaper.
To help you, we will walk you through the best travel trailers for 1 2 ton trucks in this article. We’ll also acquaint you with seemingly complex RV terms for the buying process.
What Does Half-Ton Towable Mean?
A half-ton towable refers to vehicles, trailers, and RVs that can be towed using another vehicle with a payload capacity of 1/2 ton.
To put it piece by piece, half-ton, alone, refers to the 1/2 ton payload capacity of a truck or trailer, whichever is the subject.
Towable, on the other hand, is a term used to classify vehicles that people can bring through towing. Here, the towable vehicle does not necessarily have to be driven.
Together, a half-ton towable points to a 1/2 ton vehicle that can be towed around by a valid vehicle. As you can see, the definition is a bit far from what half-ton means. The payload capacity is not a concern in the term’s meaning. It only refers to towable trailers. This is a common misconception that some RV enthusiasts have.
There are many examples of this, but one of the best is a towable travel trailer. This is why half-ton towables are usually tied to the term “lightweight travel trailers.”
What is a Half-Ton Fifth Wheel?
A half-ton fifth wheel is a much more specific term used to classify trailers that can be towed or pulled by a vehicle with a half-ton payload capacity. This is usually used by the RV market to refer to small towable travel trailers.
Again, let’s define the term one by one to give you a clearer view.
We have already discussed what half-ton is. It refers to either the payload capacity or weight of the vehicle. It will depend on whether we’re talking about the towing or towable vehicle. In this case, we’re talking about the former, which means that the towing vehicle that you will use needs a half-ton payload capacity for the setup to work.
Moving on, the fifth wheel is the part of the trailer that will be used to connect it to the towing vehicle. It’s mostly shaped like the letter “U” or a tongue. It’s called the fifth wheel because of the additional wheel that is connected to it. You will usually see this in front of the travel trailer.
To conclude, a half-ton fifth wheel refers to a towable travel trailer that vehicles with 1/2 ton payload capacity can tow
Can a Half-Ton Pull a Travel Trailer?
Half-ton trucks can definitely pull a travel trailer under the condition that the trailer fits the payload capacity of the truck, which is 1,000lbs. You will have to look for accredited truck models if you want a seamless towing experience with your trailer.
Some trucks can carry up to 13,000lbs. The total payload will vary from model to model, so make sure that you take note of your vehicle’s towing capacity to ensure that you won’t buy a trailer that is too heavy for your truck.
Important Features to Look for in Half-Ton Towable RVs:
To choose the best travel trailer for 1 2 ton truck, you need to consider a number of important features. Here is a list of some things that you should include in your list:
If you’re planning to bring your towable RVs to regulated campsites, then you should definitely consider the length of the trailer that you’re going to get. On average, it should be around 35ft or less. If it’s longer than this, then you may have a hard time being allowed in most camps.
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR):
The trailer’s GVWR refers to the exact payload capacity that it needs in order to be towed. This is why apart from the unloaded and dry weight, you should ensure that the model you are looking at has a GVWR that is below your towing truck. Don’t look for an exact match with the truck since you still need to consider factors like the passengers and luggage that will be inside the trailer.
A small travel trailer can fit 2 up to 10 people, depending on the exact length and dimensions. You should consider the exact capacity that a trailer can hold, especially if you will be traveling with friends and family. In this way, you won’t have problems with having an overcrowded RV.
If you want a functional travel trailer, then another thing that you should look at is the set of built-in amenities included in a model. Check if there is a bathroom, passenger couch, bunk beds, and likes. Note that you shouldn’t set high expectations, especially if you’re looking at small-sized trailers. You may also have to prepare a bigger budget for more amenities.
A towable trailer requires a tongue in order to be connected to the towing truck. It will also serve as the trailer’s balancer throughout your drive. Now, what you have to consider in this aspect is its weight. Experts say that it should only take 9% to 15% of your trailer’s total weight.
It’s a must that you take your time in assessing a travel trailer’s specifications, no matter how cheap or expensive it is. Doing so will help you ensure that you will be making the most out of your investment. To add, it’s also a vital step in making sure that your truck and the trailer are compatible with each other.
5 Best Travel Trailers For 1/2 Ton Truck:
For the highlight of this article, here are some of the best travel trailers for 1 2 ton trucks that you should consider:
Rockwood Ultra Lite 2441WS:
The first on our list is the Rockwood Ultra Lite 2441WS. This is an ideal model for campers who are looking into a family-friendly towable trailer. With a net weight of 7,149lbs, the 2441WS can cater to 6 people.
You’ll be glad to know that this RV has a wide internal space. It comes with amenities like a bathroom, bedroom, and lounge. A dinette is also installed for your dining needs.
The bathroom is a basic one consisting of a toilet, sink, and shower. The bedroom, on the other hand, comes with a queen-sized bed. It has a carpeted floor, shirt ward, and a TV opt for entertainment. For the lounge, it’s equipped with a ceiling fan and a separate light opt. A 2-person convertible sofa is also placed. You will find the dinette and its built-in chairs in the same room.
Other accessories include a cooker, lounge TV, refrigerator, microwave, and other cooking needs. There are also built-in storage compartments for suitcases and stocks.
At the present, a brand new model of Rockwood Ultra Lite 2441WS has a suggested retail price of $48,953. If you’re lucky, you may find a cheaper one if you look for secondhand models.
Airstream RV Flying Cloud:
Next up, we have the Airstream RV Flying Cloud. This is probably one of the most popular models for those that can afford a more high-end price. Its length comes up to about 28 feet, but no more than 30 feet.
What made this most unique is the long line of floor plans that it offers. This will give you full control over the amenities that you can get. Your choices include the 23FB, 25FB, 25FB Twin, 25RB, 25RB Twin, 27FB, 27FB Twin, 28RB, 28RB Twin, 30FB Bunk, 30FB Office, 30RB, and 30RB Twin. You can see the full view of each floor plan here.
Note that the models will have varying prices, amenities, layout, and dimensions. However, you can expect all to have the same features, which are:
- Quickstream Climate Control System
- Leather Seats
- Fully-Equipped Kitchen
- Overhead Storage
- Retractable Awning
- Complete Tech Set (TV, Surround Sound, Bluetooth, etc.)
- Customizable Interior
- Extendable Lounge Room
Since this small travel trailer has combined qualities of luxury, comfort, and functionality, you should be ready to allot more money for the models of Airstream RV Flying Cloud. Suggested retail prices will range from $89,900 to $119,500. The cheapest would be the Flying Cloud 23FB.
Forest River Arctic Wolf 285DRL4:
The Forest River Arctic Wolf 285DRL4 has a GVWR of around 9,800lbs. It’s made out of aluminum and fiberglass, which forms a sturdy and balanced travel trailer. Since this has a maximum capacity of 4 people, this will only be perfect for small families and/or groups of friends.
As for the included amenities, this travel trailer model stuck to the basics. It has one private bedroom, lounge room, bathroom, kitchenette, and dinette. All are fully equipped, just without the additional advanced features involved in the previous models.
For reference, the private bedroom consists of a queen-sized bed and two bed stands. For the lounge room, you can expect a 2-person convertible sofa bed and another couch for heat and massage purposes. The bathroom has a toilet, shower, and sink. The kitchenette has a complete set of the necessary cooking appliances, and the dinette comes with a 4-person seat.
The Forest River Arctic Wolf 285DRL4 is one of the most affordable 1 2 ton travel trailers in the market. You can expect its suggested retail price to go round more or less than $30,000. This model also has several secondhand sales, so check them out if you want a lower price.
Escape 5.0TA Fifth Wheel:
The Escape 5.0TA Fifth Wheel is on the lightweight side of the market. Its GVWR only goes about 5,500lbs. This means that most, if not all, SUVs and trucks are compatible with this travel trailer. This is an even more basic yet still functional choice to consider if you will only be traveling with one to two people.
This model comes with a bedroom, bathroom, lounge area, and kitchenette. The bedroom has a queen-sized bed. The wardrobe and cabinets are just outside it. For the bathroom, it only comes with a toilet and a sink, so it’s considered more of a wet bath. The lounge area and kitchenette are in the same place. It’s also near the fully-equipped kitchen.
The suggested retail price of the Escape 5.0TA Fifth Wheel comes up to around $33,495. This is reasonable enough considering that you will still get a fully-functional travel trailer despite the comparatively less space that it comes in.
Heartland Wilderness Trailer:
The Heartland Wilderness Trailer offers a classic, traditional RV with its wooden finish interior. It has a length of 31 feet and a GVWR of 9,900lbs. If your top priority lies in spaciousness, then this will definitely be a steal for you.
The most distinct quality that this model has is its extendable roof. This means that apart from being able to extend the lounge room, you will also be able to fit in tall furniture pieces since you also have the choice to increase the trailer’s ceiling height.
Its amenities, specifically the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and dinette, come in a bigger space. It also comes with built-in appliances for cooking, entertainment, and an outdoor kitchen.
At present, the suggested retail price of the Heartland Wilderness Trailer comes up to $34,300.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Here are some frequently asked questions with their respective answers for you to better understand the things involved in owning a towable travel trailer:
- Are towable travel trailers cheaper?
If you already have a truck or vehicle that you can use to tow your 1 2 ton travel trailer, then it’s significantly cheaper compared to motorhomes or full RVs that don’t need to be towed.
However, tables can turn if we’re talking about buying a whole new vehicle alongside the towable RV. If this is the case, then you may be better off with a small motorhome.
- How do I know if travel trailers are better for my needs?
First off, you have to evaluate your needs and reasons to know if a travel trailer will be a perfect fit. If you have a limited budget, an existing vehicle with a 1/2 ton capacity, then adding a travel trailer to your setup will surely be the answer that you’re looking for. A small-sized towable RV will also be ideal for small families who are traveling with pets and children since it’s much safer.
- Is it legal to drive with a towable travel trailer?
Towable travel trailers are usually legal to drive with in most countries. This is as long as safety accessories like seatbelts, proper seats, and likes are present in the model. Some US states, however, prohibit passengers from riding inside the towed trailer itself.
Note that you may have to abide by additional legal laws if you plan on bringing your trailer to national parks and state camps.
- How can you know your truck or vehicle’s payload capacity?
To get your truck’s payload capacity, get its curb weight and gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). You will see this in your vehicle’s specification list. Head on to its manufacturer or website for reference. After that, subtract the curb weight from the GVWR. The answer will be your payload capacity. It should be more than 1,000lbs if you want to use it for a towable travel trailer.
- Will it be hard to drive 1 2 ton towable travel trailers?
If you’re versed in driving your truck or car, then driving with a 1/2 ton towable travel trailer will be easy. You just have to be extra careful when it comes to making sharp turns and roundabouts.
Now that you are fully knowledgeable about what you will get in a travel trailer for 1 2 ton truck, as well as some of the best choices that you should consider, you can now head on to your preferred RV shop. Don’t forget to take a close look at a model’s specifications, and make sure that its offers are in line with your needs.
On the last note, remember that travel trailers for 1 2 ton trucks need to have certain safety features like seatbelts and well-installed seats to be driven legally, so choose one that already has these.
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