Many people need to figure out which type of vehicle is better for hauling items while also needing to take people with them. This article will compare a pickup truck and an SUV with a trailer attached. We will discuss which is better and our favorite of each choice!

6 Reasons a Pickup Truck is Better Than an SUV with a Trailer

1. Better for carrying everything

While an SUV and a pickup truck can handle both tow trailers exceptionally well, a pickup truck offers a truck bed. Truck beds are fantastic for carrying dirty items, oversized items, and loads of dirt or other debris. 

SUVs may be able to carry items in their rear cargo area; however, they are limited when you have dirty things, as you need to do more than powerwash them out. SUVs also struggle when you need to be able to put more oversized items that won’t fit, or you need to put things into them from the top, such as from a backhoe.

2. You don’t have to register multiple vehicles.

A pickup truck combines the usability of a trailer and an SUV by having an open-top truck bed in the back. This means you do not have to pay for registration on two vehicles (the SUV and the trailer). 

It is required to register trailers, and if all you need is the ability to transport things to the dump, a campsite, or to help someone move, a truck will be a great option because of that. Any little bit of money you can save is a good thing!

3. You can haul a boat or ATV and items as well.

An SUV can only haul one large item (a trailer) at a time by towing it! Meanwhile, a truck is the best way to go if you want to take everything (including the kitchen sink). 

One standard setup is to tow a boat or ATV behind the truck and then use a bed-mounted camper. This setup allows you to have plenty of fun but still have a comfy place to sleep at the end of the day. This is something an SUV is only able to do if you utilize a rooftop tent.

4. Pickups generally have more clearance.

Unlike SUVs (especially crossovers), pickups generally have more clearance for off-roading, which means they can handle rougher terrain. Camping, overlanding, or any other activities that require off-roading are excellent reasons to use a pickup truck.

However, remember that some SUVs are based on truck platforms, and these will likely have ground clearance similar to those of their truck alternatives. A great example of this is that a Chevrolet Tahoe will likely have a ground clearance similar to the Chevrolet Silverado on which it is based.

5. Better turn radius

If you have tried turning an SUV with a trailer, you will quickly find that pickup trucks have a much better turn radius! Not having to tow a trailer behind you to take a simple trip somewhere is a great deal, as you won’t find yourself stuck and unable to get out because you pulled in somewhere you can get back out of.

When not towing a trailer, SUVs generally have a considerably better turn radius than pickup trucks.

6. Easier to drive and back up

If you can either utilize a truck’s bed or resort to an SUV with a trailer, you will quickly find that a truck is much easier. Trailers can be a pain to navigate in parking lots; their tires tend to blow out more often, and backing up can be crazy for those who haven’t done it before. Alternatively, a pickup truck with items in the bed drives like any other vehicle.

4 Reasons It Is Worth Buying an SUV and a Trailer Instead of a Truck

1. You have more room for people.

This is the biggest reason someone would want an SUV (including police officers) over a truck. There is more cabin room for people and stuff in the interior space. SUVs with a 3rd row especially allow for more capacity, which a truck can’t do. Of course, I have seen three-row pickups, but that only happens aftermarket.

2. You can buy different types of trailers for your purpose.

Trailers come in so many different styles! You can have flatbeds, car haulers, campers, enclosed trailers, trailers with walls, and more. This means you can get something for your purpose instead of having to modify and buy accessories for your truck that will only do it half as well as a purpose-built trailer.

3. Trailers can be rented easily.

Don’t want to spend all that money buying a truck but only use it as a truck once or twice? Renting a trailer can be incredibly inexpensive and easy. This means you can get all of the upsides of an SUV but have an easy and cheap way of transporting large items without the downside of less passenger room.

4. SUVs are cheaper to buy

Since trucks are usually more capable than SUVs, they tend to be considerably more expensive! This can make an SUV an excellent option for someone who needs a vehicle for cheap that is still capable. You can purchase a trailer later and split your initial costs into two sections.

Which vehicle is better for towing heavy loads?

If you are looking at a full-size, body-on-frame SUV, these will generally tow heavy loads just as well as pickup trucks. That is, until you start getting into the weighty loads, your best bet is looking for an HD series of a Silverado or Super Duty Ford, for which there isn’t an SUV alternative. In the end, your safer bet for heavy loads will be a pickup.

How much does it cost to buy a pickup truck vs. an SUV with a trailer?

From experience, pickups are quite a bit more expensive than an SUV by a reasonable amount! This is especially true when looking at the higher end of both, with SUVs generally ending up cheaper. A more than $20K difference in sticker price can be seen for a truck vs. an SUV. If you have to ask yourself whether or not this will make much of a difference, then it won’t!


In conclusion, pickup trucks and SUVs with a trailer are great for hauling things. However, knowing when one will be better than the other is essential.

For example, SUVs can haul more people while still being able to tow something like an ATV or boat behind them (if you want to get creative!), but if you are looking to do more off-roading, it’s best to go with a pickup truck. If you don’t require a pickup, I recommend spending your money on an SUV that can haul heavier loads and take people along with items being towed.