Does the 2021 F-150 tow and haul more than the Ram 1500?

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People buy pickup trucks to haul and tow a lot more compared to any other type of vehicle. Even though trucks have gotten better in terms of aesthetics, ride quality, premium features, and so on, the biggest selling points are hauling and towing prowess.

No matter what, this is one thing that automakers can’t compromise on. With the number of trims, engine options, and body styles offered on trucks these days, it can get confusing to get a hang of which truck offers what kind of ratings. So, here’s a comprehensive look at the best trucks you can buy in the U.S. today – the 2021 Ford F-150 and the 2021 Ram 1500.

2021 Ram 1500 Towing Capacity

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Ram 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The 2021 Ram 1500 is offered with four different engine options and two different body styles, one of which is further offered in two bed sizes. The Quad Cab model comes with a 6.4-foot bed, whereas the Crew Cab 1500 is available with a 5.7-foot and a 6.4-foot bed. All these options can be had with a two-wheel- or a four-wheel-drive layout. What makes the Ram lineup a little less complicated is that each trim in both the drive layouts is available with all the four engine options that are offered on the truck. Here’s how much each engine option can tow based on the body style and bed size:

Quad Cab (6.4-foot Bed)

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Ram 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities Exterior
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When powered by the 3.6-liter, V-6 Pentastar engine, the 2021 1500 can tow up to 7,750 pounds in the two-wheel-drive configuration and 7,530 pounds in the four-wheel-drive layout.

Opt for the 3.0-liter, V-6 EcoDiesel engine, and the towing prowess increases to 10,080 pounds in the two-wheel-drive layout. The four-wheel-drive iteration of this engine/body can tow up to 9,900 pounds.

The two-wheel-drive model can be had with the Max Towing Package, which increases the rating to 12,560 pounds.

When you opt for the mighty 5.7-liter, V-8 HEMI engine, you will be able to tow up to 11,650 pounds in the two-wheel-drive configuration and 11,440 pounds in the four-wheel-drive configuration.

The same engine with the eTorque system has different tow ratings. It is rated at 11,560- and 11,350 pounds when sending power to the rear wheels and all the wheels, respectively.

The two-wheel-drive model can be had with the Max Towing Package that pushes the towing capability to a massive 12,750 pounds. This is the best that Ram has to offer on the 2021 1500 in terms of towing capacity.

Crew Cab (5.7-foot Bed)

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Ram 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The 3.6-liter, V-6 Pentastar engine in this body style can tow up to 7,530 pounds when powering two wheels and 7,460 pounds when powering all the wheels. The 3.0-liter, V-6 EcoDiesel engined Ram 1500 can tow up to 9,930 pounds and 9,540 pounds in the two-wheel- and four-wheel-drive layouts respectively. Opt for the 5.7-liter, V-8 HEMI engine and you will be able to tow up to 11,450 pounds in the two-wheel-drive configuration and 11,320 pounds in the four-wheel-drive configuration.

The V-8 HEMI with the eTorque system takes a little hit, in comparison, and tows up to 11,370 pounds and 11,200 pounds when equipped with the two-wheel-drive and the four-wheel-drive configurations.

Ram doesn’t offer the Max Towing Package on this body style. The recently-unveiled 2021 Ram 1500 TRX is offered in the Crew Cab form with a 5.7-foot bed. It is powered by a 6.2-liter, supercharged V-8 HEMI engine that makes 702 ponies and 650 pound-feet of torque. Even though it is a performance truck, it comes with an impressive towing capacity of up to 8,220 pounds. The TRX comes only in the four-wheel-drive avatar.

Crew Cab (6.4-foot Bed)

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Ram 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The Crew Cab model is offered on the Ram 1500 with a 6.4-foot bed, too. As I mentioned earlier, all the body styles are offered with four engine options. Here, the 3.6-liter, V-6 Pentastar engine can tow up to 7,600 pounds in the two-wheel-drive form and 300 pounds less in the four-wheel-drive iteration. Get the third-gen EcoDiesel engine and you can tow up to 9,950 pounds when two wheels are powered and 9,610 pounds when all wheels are powered.

The V-8 HEMI workhorse trumps the rating in this body style with a towing capacity of up to 11,500 pounds in the two-wheel-drive form and 11,320 pounds in the four-wheel-drive layout.

The V-8 with an eTorque system can tow up to 11,410- and 11,060 pounds, respectively. Ram doesn’t offer a Max Towing Package on this body style, either.

2021 Ford F-150 Towing Capacity

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Ram 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities
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Ford offers the 2021 F-150 with six different engine options and three different body styles. The three body styles are further offered with an option of two different bed sizes. The Regular Cab and SuperCab models can be had with either a standard bed (6.5-foot) or a long bed (Eight-foot). The SuperCrew models are available with a small bed (5.5-foot) and standard bed (6.5-foot) layouts. Here’s how much each engine option can tow based on the body style and bed size:

Regular Cab (6.5-foot Bed)

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Ram 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities
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This body style is available with three different engines. When you opt for the 3.3-liter, V-6 engine, you can tow up to 8,200 pounds in both two-wheel- as well as four-wheel-drive layouts. When your truck is powered by the 2.7-liter, EcoBoost V-6 engine, the F-150 can tow up to 8,600 pounds in the two-wheel-drive configuration and 8,500 pounds in the four-wheel-drive layout.

Opt for the V-8 Coyote mill and you will be able to tow up to 9,100 pounds in the two-wheel-drive model and 9,600 pounds in the four-wheel-drive iteration.

Regular Cab (Eight-foot Bed)

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Ram 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities Exterior
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In this body style, the 2021 F-150 is available with four different engine options. The 3.3-liter, V-6 can tow up 8,200 pounds in both, two-wheel and four-wheel-drive configurations. The figures increase to 8,600- and 8,400 pounds for the two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive configurations when powered by the 2.7-liter, EcoBoost V-6. Ford also offers an engine-exclusive ‘2.7-liter, EcoBoost V-6 Payload Package’ that pushes the towing capacity to 10,000 pounds in the two-wheel-drive configuration and 10,100 pounds in the four-wheel-drive model.

The Regular Cab with the long bed can also be had with the 5.0-liter V-8 engine under the hood. Here, the maximum towing capacity is rated at 10,400 pounds for the two-wheel-drive model and 10,500 pounds for the four-wheel-drive model. The automaker offers an optional ‘Max Trailer Tow Package’ that increase the towing prowess to 13,000 pounds in both the drive configurations. The 3.5-liter, EcoBoost V-6 is also available in the Regular Cab/Eight-foot bed model and it can two up to 11,200 pounds in both the drive configurations. The Max Trailer Tow Package is available on this engine, too, and it increases the capacity to 13,000 pounds in the two-wheel-drive configuration and 13,100 pounds in the four-wheel-drive model.

SuperCab (6.5-foot Bed)

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Ram 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities
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Ford offers the SuperCab with a 6.5-foot bed with five different engine options. The 3.3-liter, V-6 can tow up to 8,200- and 8,100 pounds in the two-wheel- and four-wheel-drive iterations. This increases to 8,400- and 8,100 pounds, respectively, when powered by the 2.7-liter, EcoBoost V-6. Equip your truck with the Payload Package, and the towing capacities increase to 10,000- and 10,100 pounds for the two-wheel- and four-wheel-drive models. The 3.0-liter, Power Stroke V-6 diesel engine is also available here, but only in the four-wheel-drive avatar. You can tow up to 10,500 pounds as standard, or up to 12,100 pounds with the Max Trailer Tow Package.

SuperCab body with a 6.5-foot bed with the 5.0-liter, V-8 engine can tow up to 10,500 pounds in both drive layouts as standard.

The Max Trailer Tow Package adds extra strength, enabling the truck to tow up to 12,800 pounds in case of the two-wheel-drive configuration and 12,300 pounds with the four-wheel-drive layout. The ratings stand at 11,000- and 11,100 pounds for the two-wheel-drive layout and four-wheel-drive layout, when equipped with the 3.5-liter, EcoBoost V-6 engine. Opt for the Max Tow Trailer Package and tow up to 12,300 pounds in both drive configurations.

SuperCab (Eight-foot Bed)

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Ram 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities
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Other than the 3.3-liter, V-6 and the 3.0-liter, Power Stroke V-6, all the other three options are available in this combination. The 2.7-liter, EcoBoost V-6 is also offered only in the two-wheel-drive avatar and it can tow up to 8,300 pounds as standard. Equip the ‘2.7-liter, EcoBoost V-6 Payload Package’ and enjoy towing up to 10,000 pounds. Opt for the 5.0-liter V-8 and you will be able to tow up to 10,400 pounds in both drive layouts. You can equip the V-8 option with the Max Trailer Tow Package to increase the towing capacity to 13,000 pounds.

The 3.5-liter, EcoBoost V-6 engine is offered on this body style combination in both, two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive layouts. It can tow up to 11,200 pounds in both configurations. The Max Trailer Tow Package can be opted for, and this increases the towing capacity to 14,000 pounds in the two-wheel-drive configuration. This is the best tow rating that the truck has to offer. The four-wheel-drive version with this package comes with a maximum towing capacity of 13,800 pounds.

SuperCrew (5.5-foot Bed)

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Ram 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities
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This body style+bed length combination is the widest spread that Ford has to offer on the F-150. You can choose any of the six engine options with this body style. The 3.3-liter, V-6 engine-equipped F-150 can tow up to 8,200 pounds in both, the two-wheel- and the four-wheel-drive iterations. The 2.7-liter, EcoBoost V-6 has a maximum tow rating of 8,300- and 8,100 pounds as standard, but can be increased to 10,000- and 10,100 pounds for the two- and four-wheel-drive models equipped with the engine-exclusive Payload Package.

The 5.0-liter, V-8 Coyote comes with standard tow ratings of 10,500 pounds and 10,400 pounds, respectively. The Max Trailer Tow Package pumps up the ratings to 12,900 pounds for the two-wheel-drive model and 13,000 pounds for the four-wheel-drive layout model. The 3.0-liter, Power Stroke V-6 is available only in the four-wheel-drive avatar, and you can tow up to 10,400 pounds as standard with it. Opt for the Max Trailer Tow Package and be able to tow up to 12,000 pounds without any adverse effects.

When our 2021 F-150 is powered by the 3.5-liter, EcoBoost V-6 engine, you can tow up to 11,200 pounds in the two-wheel-drive format and 100 pounds more in the four-wheel-drive layout. The Max Trailer Tow Package-equipped trucks can tow up to 14,000- and 13,900 pounds. Opt for the new 3.5-liter, PowerBoost Hybrid engine on your F-150 and tow up to 11,000 pounds in both drive layouts. With the Max Trailer Tow Package, the ratings increase to 12,700 pounds in the two-wheel-drive layout and 12,400 pounds in the four-wheel-drive configuration.

SuperCrew (6.5-foot Bed)

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Ram 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities
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This body style comes with restrictions, as you can’t have the 3.3-liter V-6 engine, or the 2.7-liter, EcoBoost V-6 four-wheel-drive model. The two-wheel-drive layout comes with a maximum tow rating of 8,300 as standard with 10,000 with the Payload Package. The 5.0-liter, V-8 Coyote-equipped F-150 can tow up to 10,400 pounds when powering two wheels and 10,300 pounds when powering all four wheels. These ratings jump up to 13,000 pounds in both layouts when opted with the Max Trailer Tow Package. The 3.0-liter, Power Stroke V-6 can be had only with the four-wheel-drive configuration, wherein it can tow up to 10,400 pounds and 12,100 pounds with and without the package.

The F-150 with the 3.5-liter, EcoBoost V-6 can tow up to 11,300 pounds in the two-wheel-drive layout and 11,200 pounds in the four-wheel-drive iteration. This goes up to 14,000- and 13,800 pounds respectively with the Max Trailer Tow Package. In the case of the 3.5-liter, PowerBoost Hybrid, the ratings stand at 11,100- and 11,000 pounds for the two iterations, and the Max Trailer Tow Package ups the ante with ratings of 12,700 pounds for the two-wheel-drive models and 12,400 pounds for the four-wheel-drive configurations.

2021 Ram 1500 Payload Capacity

Quad Cab (6.4-foot Bed)

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Ram 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities Exterior Wallpaper quality
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When powered by the 3.6-liter, V-6 Pentastar engine, the Ram 1500 can haul up to 2,300 pounds in the two-wheel-drive layout and up to 1,830 pounds in the four-wheel-drive iteration. The EcoDiesel comes with ratings of 2,060 pounds for the two-wheel-drive configuration 1500 and 1,800 pounds for the four-wheel-drive model.

Get the Ram 1500 powered by the 5.7-liter, V-8 HEMI engine and you will be able to haul up to 1,930 pounds in the two-wheel-drive layout and 10 pounds more in the four-wheel-drive iteration.

The HEMI V-8 with the eTorque system comes with a max payload rating of 1,840 and 1,850 pounds, respectively. The Max Towing Package doesn’t affect the payload ratings.

Crew Cab (5.7-foot Bed)

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Ram 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The Crew Cab Ram 1500 can carry up to 2,020- and 1,838 pounds when powered by the 3.6-liter, V-6 Pentastar engine in the two-wheel- and four-wheel-drive models. The payload ratings stand at 1,799 pounds for the two-wheel-drive layout and 1,800 pounds for the four-wheel-drive configuration.

When your 1500 comes with the 5.7-liter, V-8 HEMI engine under the hood, it can haul up to 1,840 pounds in the two-wheel-drive iteration and 1,860 pounds in the four-wheel-drive model. The ratings dip a little when you opt for the V-8 with the eTorque system. The payload ratings stand at 1,760 when the engine is powering two wheels and 1,800 pounds when powering all four wheels. The Ram TRX with the 6.2-liter, supercharged V-8 HEMI engine is offered in this body style and comes with a payload rating of 1,350 pounds.

Crew Cab (6.4-foot Bed)

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Ram 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The Pentastar V-6 engined-1500s can haul up to 1,990 pounds in the two-wheel-drive avatar and 1,800 pounds in the four-wheel-drive configuration. The EcoDiesel V-6 has a payload rating of 1,740 pounds in both the drive layouts. As for the V-8 HEMI, the rating stands at 1,810 pounds for the two-wheel-drive model and 10 pounds more for the four-wheel-drive truck. The 5.7-liter engine with the eTorque system can haul up 1,710 pounds in both the drive layouts.

2021 Ford F-150 Payload Capacity

Regular Cab (6.5-foot bed)

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Ram 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities
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When you have the 3.3-liter, V-6 under the hood, the F-150 can haul up to 1,985 pounds when powering two wheels and 1,775 pounds when powering all four wheels. The 2.7-liter, EcoBoost V-6 engined models can haul up to 1,875- and 1,705 pounds, respectively, for the two-wheel- and the four-wheel-drive models. As for the 5.0-liter V-8 Coyote, it comes with a maximum payload rating of 1,900- and 1,835 pounds for the respective drive layouts.

Regular Cab (Eight-foot bed)

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Ram 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities
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The 3.3-liter, V-6 engine has a payload rating of 1,975- and 1,960 pounds for the two-wheel- and four-wheel-drive models. The 2.7-liter, EcoBoost V-6 engined truck is rated to haul up to 1,905- and 1,885 pounds, but is increased to 2,480- and 2,125 pounds, respectively, when packed with the Payload Package.

The 5.0-liter V-8 engine can haul up to 2,350- and 2,300 pounds in the two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive layouts. Throw in the Heavy-Duty Payload Package and see the ratings increase to 3,325- and 3,050 pounds, respectively. The 3.5-liter, EcoBoost V-6 comes with a standard payload rating of 2,620- and 2,360 pounds, whereas the Heavy-Duty Payload Package-equipped truck can haul up to 3,250- and 3,035 pounds.

SuperCab (6.5-foot Bed)

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Ram 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities
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The base 3.3-liter, V-6 engine can help your truck tow up to 1,905 pounds in the two-wheel-drive configuration and up to 1,880 pounds in case of the four-wheel-drive layout. With the 2.7-liter, EcoBoost V-6 engine under the hood, the truck comes with a slightly lower rating of 1,855- and 1,745 pounds as standard, and 2,175- and 2,165 pounds, respectively, when equipped with the Payload Package.

The payload ratings are pretty good when you have the V-8 engine powering it, as it can haul up to 2,345 pounds in case of the two-wheel- and 2,240 pounds in four-wheel-drive models. The 3.0-liter, Power Stroke V-6 is offered only in the four-wheel-drive avatar and it can haul up to 1,840 pounds. With the 3.5-liter, EcoBoost V-6 engine, the F-150 is rated to haul 2,290- and 2,190 pounds, respectively.

SuperCab (Eight-foot Bed)

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Ram 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities
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You don’t get this body style with the 3.3-liter, V-6, or the 3.0-liter Power Stroke V-6 engine. Even the 2.7-liter, EcoBoost V-6 is available only in the two-wheel-drive version, wherein it can haul up to 1,925- and 2,225 pounds. The 5.0-liter V-8 Coyote-powered truck comes with a payload rating of 2,325- and 2,205 pounds, which can be increased to 3,010- and 2,765 pounds respectively with the Heavy-Duty Payload Package. When powered with the 3.5-liter, EcoBoost V-6 engine, you can haul up to 2,285- and 2,125 pounds as standard. Equip it with the Heavy-Duty Payload Package and you will be able to tow up to 2,980- and 2,740 pounds.

SuperCrew (5.5-foot Bed)

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Ram 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities
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Your F-150 can haul up to 1,785 pounds in its bed when it is powered by the 3.3-liter, V-6-engine in the two-wheel-drive avatar.

Switch to the four-wheel-drive layout and you can haul up to 1,765 pounds. The 2.7-liter, EcoBoost V-6-engined F-150 can carry up to 1,815- and 1,760 pounds as standard, and up to 1,960- and 1,965 pounds when equipped with the Heavy-Duty Payload Package. The Coyote V-8 truck can haul up to 2,335- and 2,135 pounds, in the two-wheel- and four-wheel-drive configurations. With the 3.0-liter, Power Stroke V-6 oil-burner powering all the wheels, the 2021 F-150 can haul up to 1,805 pounds. There’s no two-wheel-drive layout available here.

The 3.5-liter, EcoBoost V-6 powerhouse allows you to haul up to 2,050 pounds in your bed when it is powering just two wheels. If you opt for the four-wheel-drive model, you can haul up to 2,100 pounds. These ratings increase to 2,300 pounds when you opt for the Max Trailer Tow Package (not to be mistaken with the Heavy-Duty Payload Package). Sadly, it can be had only on the two-wheel-drive model. As for the 3.5-liter, PowerBoost Hybrid mill, it comes with payload ratings of 2,090 and 1,830 pounds.

SuperCrew (6.5-foot Bed)

2021 Ford F-150 vs 2021 Ram 1500: Towing and Payload Capacities
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Starting with the 2.7-liter, EcoBoost V-6 engine, it’s available only in the two-wheel-drive configuration and can haul up to 1,830 pounds as standard. Equipping it with the2.7-liter, EcoBoost V-6 Payload Package ups the ante to 2,085 pounds. The 5.0-liter V-8-engined model can take up to 2,235 pounds in its bed in the two-wheel-drive avatar, and 2,135 pounds in case of the four-wheel-drive layout. The Heavy-Duty Payload Package helps increase these ratings to 2,900- and 2,650 pounds, respectively. This body style + bed combination cannot be had with the 3.3-liter, V-6 engine.

The 3.0-liter, Power Stroke V-6 is offered only in the four-wheel-drive avatar in this combination and it comes with a maximum payload rating of 1,805 pounds. When powered by the 3.5-liter, EcoBoost V-6-engine, the ratings stand at 2,245- and 2,155 pounds for the two-wheel- and four-wheel-drive models. The capacities increase massively to 2,880- and 2,640 pounds when you opt for the Heavy-Duty Payload Package. In the case of the 3.5-liter, PowerBoost Hybrid, you can haul up to 2,120- and 1,810 pounds with the two-wheel- and the four-wheel-drive models, respectively.

Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read full bio
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