Midsize vs. Half-Ton: Which Pickup Should I Buy To Tow a Big Trailer? [Video]

2016 Chevy Colorado Duramax vs. 2014 Ford Raptor

TFLtruck receives a question about matching a truck to a trailer nearly every day. Should I get a midsize vs. half-ton? It usually goes something like this: “I have this type of trailer that weighs X lbs, which truck should I buy?” It also goes the other way around: “I have this truck, how big of a trailer should I tow?”

There is no better way to answer a question than doing a real-world test. We took a 2016 Chevy Colorado Z71 Duramax 4×4 and mashed it up against our 2014 long-term Ford Raptor. These two trucks have a very similar maximum towing rating. The Raptor is rated at 8,000 lbs and the Colorado Z71 is rated at 7,600 lbs.

The trailer is a 20-foot CM Trailers Cargo Mate which is eight feet wide. We used a nearly empty trailer that weighed in at about 4,800 lbs. This is a perfect trailer for this test because it has a large surface area that provides a fair amount of wind resistance. It will make it difficult on both trucks. We are also not using a weight distributing hitch (WDH). First, we are not required to use a WDH for trailers under 5,000 lbs. Also, we want to see how the trucks handle a properly setup trailer (10% tongue weight) without the stabilization assist from the WDH.

We performed two tests: highway handling and a 0-60 MPH while towing. Check out all the details in the video below.