Lots of people have their favorite vehicle manufacturer. But when it comes to trucks, it seems like there are three big names that you always hear: Ram, Ford, and Chevy. This never-ending truck debate can get heated at times. But is there a clear winner? Let’s take a look.
Table of contents
About the Big Three: Ram, Ford, and Chevy
Although each company is competitive and they all seem to make similar vehicles, there are some differences you should know about. These differences drive the timeless rivalry. Truck owners love to chat about their capabilities and truck options, Let’s dive into the details of each company and see if we can find a winner.
Dodge has been producing vehicles since 1917, but trucks bearing the Dodge Ram name didn’t hit the scene until 1981. Then in 2009, Dodge and Ram formed two sister companies, with Ram focusing on producing high-quality, competitive trucks, such as the 2020 Ram 1500. The 2020 Ram 1500 placed second in the nation for best-selling pickups.
Some people get a bit upset when Dodge is put in front of the Ram name now, as they are “technically” separate companies. They all fall under Fiat however as the parent company.
Pro Tip: Interested in investing in a Dodge Ram? Read more to find out What Is The Dodge Ram 5500 Towing Capacity?
Chevrolet was founded in 1911 by William Crapo “Billy” Durant, who was also a co-founder of General Motors and Louis Chevrolet. Although initially built as touring cars, popularity increased rapidly, and production began to boom. In 1936, the Chevrolet truck received accolades for economy. Today, Chevrolet is a common household name, with the Silverado holding top marks in their truck department.
The Ford company is the oldest and was founded in 1903 by Henry Ford, who built his first automobile in 1896. However, Ford didn’t manufacture their first truck until 1917. This truck was based on the Model-T car and used the same base. But it wasn’t until after World War II, in 1948, that Ford created a unique truck base, known as the F-Series. This series eventually evolved into the F-150 in 1984. The F-150 has been competitive on the market ever since.
Most Popular Ram, Ford, and Chevy Models
The never-ending debate not only revolves around which truck is best but also which truck is most popular. Although it may be more challenging to determine which truck is best, it’s simple to decide which truck is most popular. In 2021, the Ford F-150 was the best-selling truck, with the Ram 1500 series taking second and the Chevrolet Silverado taking third.
On the larger trucks all three have the 2500 or 250 (3/4) ton truck series and 350 or 3500 (one ton) truck series. All of these are popular for towing heavy loads.
Ram Versus Ford Versus Chevy
To determine which truck is best, let’s look at the specifications of each in a direct comparison. When you have all the facts, you can determine which rig is the best for you. Let’s begin.
The 2021 Ford F150 has a 3.5L PowerBoost Hybrid V6 Engine, which has 430 horsepower and 570 pound-feet of torque. The 2021 Ram 1500 series has various engine options with a close comparison of 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine with Etorque, 305 horsepower, and 269 pound-feet of torque. Finally, the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado has a 5.3L Ecotec3 V8 engine with 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. When only comparing the engine, the Ford F-150 has the highest horsepower and torque.
In the larger trucks it’s the diesels that are most commonly compared. The Duramax in the chevy, Powerstroke in the Ford, and Cummins in the Ram. All of these are great strong engines but the Powerstroke and Duramax are V8 designed while the Ram is an inline 6 cylinder. This means that both the Ford and Chevy diesel will produce more horsepower and be a bit quicker, while the Cummins will have a bit more low-end torque due to its longer and larger stroke.
The race for most reliable is a dead tie, and most would deem it too close to call. However, if we’re getting technical, the 2021 Ford F-150 received a J.D. Power Quality and Reliability rating of 8.6, whereas the other two received ratings of 8.5. Therefore, we can conclude that the F-150 barely eked out the victory in this category.
In the Diesel category they all last a very long time and reliability metrics for the trucks overall tend to be similar. As for the engines, it depends heavily on how the truck is used and maintained as to how long they will last. The Cummins engine in the Ram is the only engine that is considered a heavy-duty engine that is regularly used in other applications like tractors, generators, and other machinery. Of course in a truck with emissions controls and high power tunings, the engine won’t last as long, but it’s well known for being a million-mile engine when cared for.
For most people, truck safety ratings are of the highest importance. The 2020 Ford F-150 received a good safety rating in all IIHS crash tests but lower for its headlights. The 2020 Ram 1500 series earned the 2021 IIHS TopSafety Pick award. The Ram received good ratings in all categories and high praise for its LED headlights. Finally, the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado performed well, with good ratings on the IIHS crash tests. But it received a marginal rating on the Small Overlap Crash rating on the passenger side, which brought its rating down. Overall, the winner of this category is the Ram 1500, but not by much.
According to UsNews.com’s 13 Most Comfortable Trucks for 2021, the Ford F-150 received 9.1 out of 10, the Ram 1500 received 9.0, and the Chevrolet Silverado received 8.2. Although the Silverado definitively came in third, the F-150 and Ram were almost tied. But the Ford did barely beat out the Ram in this comparison.
In a direct comparison of 2021 truck performance ratings, the Ram 1500 came in first, with a rating of 8.6, the Ford F-150 came in second with 8.5, and the Chevrolet Silverado came in last with 8.0.
The 2021 Ford F150 has a maximum towing capacity of 12,700 pounds. Meanwhile, the 2021 Ram 1500 series has a maximum towing capacity of 12,750 pounds. The 2021 Chevrolet Silverado has a towing capacity of 9,400 pounds. In this comparison, the Ram just barely comes out ahead.
In the larger trucks, all three of them can be specd out near 30,000 lbs towing capacity, far more than most should ever pull regularly. In the past when the numbers were in the teens one over the other might make sense for towing a fifth wheel, but today all three can properly tow most any load when properly maxed out for towing performance.
Keep in Mind: Regardless of if you go Ford, Chevy, or Ram, you’ll want a solid hitch to tow your 5th wheel. These are the 5 Best Fifth Wheel Hitches for Solid RV Towing.
Most Popular Trucks for Towing RVs
When determining which truck is the most popular for towing an RV, the most critical factor to look at is towing capacity. RVs are heavy. Even the lightest RV can be strenuous for some midsize SUVs. And if you have a large fifth wheel, you need a truck with a large towing capacity. Of the models we looked at, the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado has the largest towing capacity at up to 11,300 pounds, but it depends on the model and features.
Is There a Clear Winner in the Never-Ending Truck Debate?
These models have some unique and intriguing features, and we found clear winners in some categories. But keep in mind, you can customize each of these vehicles with different engines and finishes. Furthermore, each available engine has optional specifications and features, which will affect its performance. In addition, each individual’s needs are different, so the perfect truck is a matter of personal factors. Therefore, we can’t declare one clear winner for everyone, so the debate goes on.
Which of these trucks fits your RVing needs best? Drop a comment below!
Become A Mortons On The Move Insider
Join 7,000+ 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!
Read More From The Mortons: