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Modern pickups are extremely versatile, not only being great long-distance travelers, but can also easily tow camper trailers, and even be used as generators when you go out to your favorite off-grid camp spot.

If you are looking to take a pickup for family road trips, I would recommend looking at the Ford F-150, Honda Ridgeline, Ford Maverick, Ram 1500 and of course the Ram 3500 if you are looking to tow. Each of these trucks have different reasons why they would make a great family road trip vehicle.

Let’s take a look at what those reasons area!

1. Ford F-150

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5.0
Specifications:
  • Horsepower: 290 - 700
  • Torque: 265 to 640
  • GVWR: 6,010 to 7,350
  • MSRP: $33,695 - $84,910
  • 0 - 60: 7.9 - 4.0 seconds
  • Towing Capacity: 14,000 pounds (up to)
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. [Image courtesy of Ford]

The newest generation of F-150 is one of the best of the best when it comes to a great pickup for family road trips.

Not only does this newest generation allow the front seats to lean back for a quick nap while on the road, but its stand-out feature for that road trip has to be the optional 2.4 kW (or 7.2kW) generator that is equipped with all of the Hybrid Powerboost engine F-150s.

If you need any form of power, whether it be for charging a phone, to powering the camper during the night, this truck can do it all.

These trucks are also known for being reliable, and high quality, meaning you don’t have to spend much time at the shop, rather you can be out at your favorite camp spot!

Pros

  • Available built-in generator on hybrid version of truck
  • Roomy cabin
  • Can tow over 11,000 pounds
  • Front seats can lay all the way back for naps

Cons

  • This is a larger pickup truck
  • Can get very expensive

2. Honda Ridgeline

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Specifications:
  • External Dimensions: 210.2″ L by 78.6″ W by 70.8″ High
  • Wheel Base: 125.2″
  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR): 6,019 pounds
  • Curb Weight: 4,510 pounds
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While the Ridgeline isn’t as big and bulky as some of the other pickup trucks on this list, it still packs a serious punch when it comes to features that are perfect for a family road trip.

One of the coolest things about the Ridgeline is that you can get an optional In-Bed Audio System.

This is a great way to keep everyone entertained while on the road, stopped at a rest top and more, and it’s also extremely convenient because it means you don’t have to pack extra speakers to enjoy that time with the family under the stars.

The Ridgeline is also one of the most fuel-efficient pickup trucks on the market, which is always a bonus when you’re going to be spending a lot of time on the road.

Finally, my favorite thing, is that the Ridgeline is based on a crossover platform (shared with the Pilot), meaning it rides considerably more comfortably than many other trucks on this list.

Pros

  • Rides like a car due to unibody design
  • Great gas mileage
  • High quality build
  • Built-in cooler in the bed of the truck

Cons

  • Does not have towing capacity of normal pickups
  • Not as good off-road as other trucks

3. Ford Maverick

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Specifications:
  • External Dimensions: 199.7" L by 72.6″ W by 68.7″ High
  • Wheel Base: 121.1″
  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR): 5,205 pounds
  • Curb Weight: 3,693 pounds
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The all-new Ford Maverick is one of the most interesting pickup trucks to come out in recent years.

It’s a smaller pickup truck that is based on the same platform as the Ford Escape (and Bronco Sport), meaning it’s much more nimble and easier to drive than many other pickup trucks on the market.

But don’t let its size fool you, the Maverick is still a capable pickup truck that can easily tow a small camper or boat.

It’s also one of the most fuel-efficient pickup trucks on the market, with an EPA-estimated 41 mpg highway.

If I were personally in the market for a smaller vehicle, whether it be sedan, compact SUV or similar, I would be hard pressed not to consider a Maverick, as it brings the best of all of these worlds and even has a bed.

Keep in mind, while this would be perfect for a smaller family, it isn’t going to have all the space that larger pickups have to offer. However the lower budget point may offset that problem.

Pros

  • Very inexpensive vehicle
  • Smaller design for easy trips in town
  • Great gas mileage
  • Can tow (some)

Cons

  • Very small vehicle in comparison to most all other pickups
  • Not the highest tow capacity
  • You probably will want to stay in hotels, rather than the truck

4. Ram 1500

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Specifications:
  • External Dimensions: 232.9" L by 88″ W by 80.9″ High
  • Wheel Base: 153.5″
  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR): 7,800 pounds
  • Curb Weight: 6,443 pounds
  • Towing Capacity: 12,750 pounds (up to)
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. [Image courtesy of Stellantis]

The Ram 1500 is a pickup truck that needs no introduction (especially to me, since I have owned an older version).

It’s been one of the most popular pickup trucks on the market for years, and it’s easy to see why.

The Ram 1500 is a capable truck that can tow up to 12,750 pounds, making it perfect for those who need to tow a camper or boat on their family road trip.

It’s also high tech, with an optional 12-inch touchscreen infotainment system that is one of the best in the business.

Finally, the Ram 1500 is available with a wide variety of engines, meaning you can find one that perfectly suits your needs.

Ram has really upped its game with this current and newest generation. It is quickly becoming more and more popular, and is hard to ignore when you compare it to the F-150.

One of the biggest reasons that the RAM 1500 drives so nicely is that RAM is the only full-size pickup manuacturer in the market that offers air suspension.

Pros

  • Very nice interior
  • Drives very smooth for a full-size pickup
  • Great technology

Cons

  • Doesn’t have an included generator like the F-150

5. RAM 3500

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Ram 3500 Heavy Duty
Specifications:
  • External Dimensions: 261" L by 79″ W by 80″ High
  • Wheel Base: 169.5″
  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR): 11,400 pounds
  • Curb Weight: 7,339 pounds
  • Towing Capacity: 37,090 pounds (up to)
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. [Image courtesy of Stellantis]

Looking for something to tow a much larger camper? The Ram 3500 is the pickup truck for you. This pickup truck can tow a whopping 35,100 pounds , making it one of the most capable pickup trucks on the market.

It’s also available with a wide variety of engines and offers a comfortable ride, even when hauling a heavy load.

So, if you’re looking for a pickup truck that can tow just about anything, the Ram 3500 is the pickup truck for you.

If you are someone that needs a higher towing capacity and just more size than what the Ram 1500 has to offer, these trucks are a fantastic deal. They look great, are high quality, and can tow a crazy amount of trailer.

Pros

  • Can tow anything you would want on a family road trip
  • High quality interior
  • Great technology for a pickup truck

Cons

  • Due to heavy duty build, it isn’t as smooth driving as other pickups
  • Very large truck, not great for in-town driving
  • Low gas mileage

What makes a great family road trip pickup?

There are a few things that make a pickup truck great for a family road trip.

First, it needs to be comfortable, with plenty of space for everyone to stretch out. This includes area in the bed of the truck to hang out, the interior of the truck where you will be spending most of the time, and of course area to stow your gear while on the road.

Second, it needs to be fuel-efficient, so you’re not spending all of your time (and money) at the gas station. Thankfully most pickups nowadays have engines that can have an incredibly high gas mileage!

And finally, it needs to be able to tow a camper or boat, so you can bring all of the comforts of home with you on your trip. This is one of the biggest things that family road trips need, as the camper or trailers carry everything you need to enjoy your time on the road.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are a wide variety of pickup trucks on the market that are perfect for a family road trip. So, whether you’re looking for a pickup truck to tow your camper or one that is fuel-efficient, there is an option for you.

I think that the best all-around pickup on this list is definitely the Ford F-150! Having that generator functionality built into your truck cannot be beat. Just knowing that you have the power when you need it outweighs any real downside that the truck presents.