There is no reason that hybrid vehicles cant be powerful and tow heavy loads. In fact, some of the biggest vehicles on earth like ships and trains are hybrid vehicles.
With manufacturers looking for more ways to improve fuel economy, the hybrid vehicle is still one of the best options. While electric vehicles are becoming more and more standard, trucks that are required to tow heavy loads will struggle with a battery range. Hence the hybrid truck! A hybrid truck can help with acceleration and torque while also offering long-range and ease of fueling.
This article looks at four hybrid trucks that can tow lightweight travel trailers or fifth wheels. Let’s start by diving into the benefits and specifics of a hybrid.
What Is a Hybrid Truck?
Hybrid trucks have an internal combustion engine that works in tandem with an electric motor. They have an onboard generator that produces electricity directed to its battery. Unlike electric vehicles, you don’t need to plug in hybrids. However, some can, and they’re called PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles).
➡ Interested in a fully electric truck? Find out: Will a Rivian Make a Good Camping Vehicle?
You’ll see two classes of hybrid trucks: mild and full. A mild hybrid has engine start and stop systems that shut down the gas engine when the vehicle isn’t moving. Then, when you push the gas pedal, the electric motor restarts the gas engine. This system increases fuel economy by 10-15% in city conditions over a regular gas-only engine.
Full hybrids use more powerful electric motors and have larger battery packs. The electric motor enables the truck to run in all-electric mode for short periods at low speeds. It can run on battery at highway speeds for just seconds, but this process improves fuel efficiency by 25-40% more than a non-hybrid truck.
The electric motor on hybrid trucks makes the gas engine more efficient and sometimes takes over for short periods. All in all, it has better fuel economy than non-hybrids.
The Benefits of Hybrid Trucks
In theory, a well-built hybrid truck can outperform a nonhybrid for towing. This is because the electric motor can work in tandem with the engine to produce much more torque at low engine RPM. This can help with slow starts and acceleration with heavy loads.
Fuel efficiency and savings are key benefits of hybrid trucks, but that’s not all. A hybrid also puts less CO2 emissions into the air to help the environment. Plus, you may love not having to stop at gas stations as frequently when you tow an RV.
Hybrid trucks are typically a lighter build, which requires less energy to run. And having a lighter-weight truck makes for easier driveability and maneuvering.
They also tend to have a higher resale value. If you want to buy one to tow your RV, pay attention to this. You may end up upgrading your RV down the road or selling it, which means you might sell the truck too. Setting yourself up to get a better resale value is a wise move financially.
How Long Does a Hybrid Battery Last?
Hybrid battery packs can last the life of the vehicle if well designed. But most people contend that the lifespan is 100,000 to 200,000 miles.
Vehicle manufacturers in the U.S. must legally warrant high-voltage hybrid battery packs for at least eight years or 100,000 miles of use. But some hybrid vehicles may have a warranty that lasts ten years or 150,000 miles.
Can Hybrid Trucks Tow RVs?
Yes there are hybrids that are capable of towing larger trailers or RV’s. Just because its a hybrid does not mean weak, in fact the combination of electric and gas can make a truck even more powerful. Some of the hybrid trucks are considered mild hybrid, where they just have a simple motor generator that sits on the engine like an alternator. This type is a very simple way to add hybrid capability to any existing drivetrain.
Some hybrids on the market have the towing capacity to pull lightweight travel trailers and fifth wheels. While the weight they can tow depends on engine size, some strong trucks can get the job done. Take a look at four great options.
What Hybrid Truck Has The Best Towing Capacity?
Currently both the Ford F150 and the Ram 1500 eTorque mild hybrid both boast max tow capacities of about 12,700 lbs. This is an increadible ammount of weight for any half ton truck. Read on to learn more about these trucks.
4 Best Hybrid Trucks for Towing RV Campers
Shopping for the right vehicle can take time. So we’ve identified the four best hybrids for towing RV campers. Let’s take a look at models from three top-rated manufacturers.
1. Ford F-150 Hybrid
About: When it comes to towing with a hybrid the Ford F-150 Hybrid offers some of the best capacity with its max tow package. The truck has a 3.5L PowerBoost™ full hybrid V6 engine. If you choose a model with the Max Trailer Tow Package, this hybrid can tow up to 12,700 lbs.
The F150 Hybrid is an incredibly well-rounded vehicle with features of both a work vehicle and an around-town car. One of our favorite options built into this vehicle is the optional power outlets in the bed eliminating the need for a generator while camping or on the job site.
MSRP: Starting at $29,290
➡ This is one truck that truly pulls double duty. In addition to towing, The 2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid Can Power Your RV too!
2. 2022 Ford Maverick
About: The 2022 Ford Maverick is a full hybrid truck. The Maverick has a towing capacity of 2,000 to 4,000 lbs depending on the model.
It has a 2.0L EcoBoost® engine, which is available with a 4,000 lb towing package and all-wheel drive. You can tow a lightweight travel trailer or pop-up camper with this truck.
While this vehicle has a truck body the actual design of the drive system is more like that of a car or small SUV. This vehicle will be great around town and good for light-duty work and towing.
MSRP: Starting at $19,995
3. Ram 1500 eTorque Mild Hybrid
About: The 2021 Ram 1500 is a mild hybrid truck with a 5.7L Hemi® V8 engine with eTorque. It has a 48-volt battery-powered, belt-driven motor generator that increases performance and efficiency. This vehicle is not considered a full hybrid as the electric motor is used more for an assist than actually capable of driving the vehicle. This is accomplished through a motor that drives the engine belt like a giant alternator.
With an incredible 12,750 lbs max towing capacity in the 2023 model, the Ram 1500 hybrid is a good option for towing larger travel trailers and even some ultra-lite fifth wheels.
This is a neat concept as it changes very little with the traditional design of a truck but adds the benefit of electric torque. You won’t see massive gains in MPG with this truck but the power is great. We wish that this power could be used a larger generator for powering 120 or 220V appliances like the ford, and expect this will available in the future.
MSRP: Starting at $34,240
4. Toyota Tundra i-Force Max
About: The 2022 Toyota Tundra i-Force Max has a core twin-turbo 3.5L V6 engine paired with a motor-generator system.
Its inline hybrid powertrain produces 437 horsepower and 583 lb-ft of torque. It has a towing capacity of 12,000 lbs, which means you can pull a wide range of RV trailers.
Toyota produced the Prius the most succesful and reliable hybrid of all time and we hope this truck will rock the truck segment in the same way. The electric motor torque in this beast pushes the small engine of this truck into the torque range of midsize diesel trucks. This should
MSRP: Starting at $37,645
Are Hybrid Trucks Worth It?
We think hybrid trucks are worth it for their fuel efficiency and the added torque of the electric motor. Additional electric motors can benefit any vehicle but when towing torque is king, and the electric motor can be seriously beneficial. Whether you use it as your daily driver or for towing an RV, what you save in fuel makes these vehicles a good choice.
We hope you have an opportunity to test drive one soon!
Looking for a family-friendly tow vehicle with ample passenger seating and cargo space? Check out the 11 Best SUVs for Towing RV Campers.
Become A Mortons On The Move Insider
Join 10,000+ other adventurers to receive educating, entertaining, and inspiring articles about RV Travel Destinations, RV Gear, and Off-Grid Living to jump-start your adventures today!