It might be the smallest truck in the Ford fleet, but the 2021 Ford Ranger is no slouch when it comes to performance. Our biggest question: can it tow an RV?
Ford introduced the model in 1983 as a diminutive gas saver for smaller jobs. The 2021 Ford Ranger won’t tow or haul as much as a full-size truck, but it has plenty to offer. As an industry leader in the mid-size category, it deserves respect. Find out the Ranger’s towing capacity and more in this article.
The 2021 Ford Ranger
One of the main selling points of the 2021 Ford Ranger is what’s under the hood. It’s the only truck in its class that offers a gas turbo engine. It has a 2.3L EcoBoost engine and a 10-speed automatic transmission. Together, they deliver 270 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque.
With the Ranger, there are two body styles and two different bed lengths. Four-wheel-drive is optional. The three different trim levels are the base model Ranger XL, the intermediate Ranger XLT, and the luxury Ranger Lariat. Their suggested starting retail prices are $24,820, $28,870, and $32,910, respectively.
Estimated MPG ratings are 21 in the city and 26 on the highway.
When equipped with an optional tow package, the 2021 Ford Ranger can tow up to 7,500 pounds and has a payload capacity of 1,860 pounds.
There’s a difference between towing capacity and payload. The towing capacity refers to how much weight a vehicle can pull. In other words, it means the vehicle’s total weight, including the cargo and your passengers. Alternatively, the payload refers to how much you can haul in the truck cab and bed.
It’s also helpful to understand a few other numbers. The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) is how much the vehicle can safely weigh when it’s fully loaded. Curb weight is how much it weighs before anything is loaded. The Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) is the tow vehicle’s total weight and everything in it, plus the trailer’s weight, including its contents.
We cover tow vehicle and RV weight ratings in greater detail in this article: The Most Important Question New RVers Don’t Ask: RV Weight
Other Specs for the 2021 Ford Ranger
Other numbers will help you see how the 2021 Ford Ranger stacks up against its competition. The overall length is 210.8 inches, and the wheelbase is 126.8 inches.
The cab height, depending on the version, ranges from 70.7 inches to 73.2 inches. Additionally, the truck’s width is 85.8 inches with the mirrors extended and 77.8 inches when folded.
Ground clearance is 8.4 inches, and the fuel tank capacity is 18 gallons. The GCWR is 12,500 lbs, and curb weight ranges from 4,145 to 4,441 lbs.
Can the 2021 Ford Ranger Tow an RV?
Ford likes to say its Ranger is “built for adventure.” That holds true for lots of RVers. With a towing capacity of up to 7,500 lbs, the 2021 Ford Ranger can easily and safely tow many RV types.
If you are looking at these trucks be sure to get it spec’d out with the towing package to get the 7500-pound rating. It’s a good idea to get the tow package even if your trailer is lighter than this.
What Kind of RV Can You Tow with a Ford Ranger Truck?
Many people prefer a mid-size truck because they’re smaller and handle better than full-size trucks. With a towing capacity of up to 7,500 lbs, this means lots of possibilities when it comes to RVs.
For the new Ranger, tiny teardrop trailers and even most pop-up campers should be no problem. Travel trailers average around 5,000 lbs, so many of them will be safely within the Ranger’s limits, as well.
The good news is there’s a trend toward lightweight travel trailers loaded with comforts. This means there are plenty of options to pair with the 2021 Ford Ranger.
Always be extra cautious when adding up the numbers. All of your cargo, as well as slide-outs and full tanks, add significantly to a trailer’s dry weight.
Also, note that the ranger has a very short wheelbase. This means that while it has the power to pull it may still be susceptible to sway when pulling a longer trailer. Be sure to learn how to properly set up a hitch with sway control and weight distribution to safely tow larger and longer loads with this truck.
While the below video was done with a 2019 ranger, the 2021 model has only been improved and should exceed this performance!
Is the Ford Ranger a Reliable Truck for Towing?
When paired with the right RV trailer and proper towing setup, the Ford Ranger can be a reliable tow vehicle.
Ford trucks, in general, are known for their dependability. This article by U.S. News and World Report gives the Ranger a three out of five reliability rating and even higher overall marks. It praises the Ranger’s towing and payload capacities, as well.
Modern mid-size trucks have a lot of muscle along with versatility and convenience. Smaller models like the 2021 Ford Ranger are worth a look if you need a tow vehicle for your RV.
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Sunday 18th of July 2021
I’ve been researching trucks and towing capacity for an upcoming RV purchase, but was not familiar with all the other lingo. This article really spelled it all out for me. I was so sad when Ford removed the ranger because I’ve always wanted one, so glad to see it back and to know it has what I need for what I want.
Mortons on the Move
Thursday 22nd of July 2021
Glad you found the article helpful! :)
Saturday 5th of June 2021
We started down this road of finding a truck and an RV. We chose the 2021 Ford Ranger for size and towing capability. Been on a search for a RV which would compliment the truck as well as give us what need for two people and 2 dogs. We chose the Flagstaff E-Pro 19FBS. We will let you know how it goes.
Mortons on the Move
Wednesday 9th of June 2021
Thanks for sharing! Hope the E-Pro works out well for you. :)
Sunday 14th of February 2021
Your article on the 2021 Ford Ranger says GVWR 12500 lb. Should that be the GCWR? That's about 8000 lb payload! Like your articles. Ken & Gayle
Mortons on the Move
Tuesday 16th of February 2021
OMG you are so right! That would be insane on a tiny truck like that lol. Thanks for the heads up.