I read these "Holy S" I cant tow with my vehicle threads all over the place.
I'm going to start by saying this, I believe in having too much truck for what i am towing, not too little.
As said before, You need to weigh each component as you intend to have it loaded while towing. only then can you tell if that vehicle is correct for your application. I know, if your buying new that presents a problem, as you may not be able to properly load, weigh, and tow during a test drive.
now, i too have towed some stupid loads. and by stupid i mean way way over the GVWR on the door sticker. my old 2001 F250-SD ECSB 7.3PSD had a towing capacity of 9700 lbs as stated by the manufacturer. These numbers are only valid as equipped by the manufacturer. it is based on tongue weight, trailer weight, braking and cooling capacities, and of coarse cargo load in the truck.
we regularly towed an 18k fifth weight with this truck. we went over the Rockies twice, all over the south and mid-west. ZERO issues. yup 2x stated towing capacity.
The catch is how you equip your TV, and your experience and ability.
The type of Hitch, braking capacity of the trailer, and many other factors play into what you can safely tow. Far greater capacities are possible on the same truck with a 5th wheel, that a rear receiver hitch. A weight distribution hitch also will help increase tow capacity by properly loading the steer axle of the truck on a highly tongue biased bumper pull trailer. Experience and ability play a huge part too. I have been scared to death riding in a truck that was way over kill for the trailer behind it, with an inexperienced driver. and also I've ridden with drivers in trucks that really were on the edge of capable, and felt completely comfortable, because the driver was not driving beyond the edge of safe travel given truck and trailer (think 10k Skytrack forklift on 30 foot gooseneck trailer, total trailed weight nearing 30,000, behind a SRW 2500 pick up)
I suggest if you don't understand the physics involved, and have access to a truck scale, or the ability to try out many different hitch set ups, or experience setting them up, go to a reputable trailer sales and repair facility. NOT an RV dealer, but a true utility/cargo trailer and hitch installer and servicer. These types of places want to be sure you are properly set up, and SAFE while traveling. Most dealerships don't care as long as you write a check, i said most. most do not care. there are a few independent RV dealers that have knowledgeable, honest and caring service guys who can really help, with both set up, and info on what you can safely tow with your vehicle. Ask your friends and neighbors, and other people you see in your area with non RV style trailers. Excavators, Building Contractors, anyone who tows a trailer as a daily activity, these great sources of information on how to properly set up a hitch and tow vehicle.
thanks for reading, happy camping, and safe towing.
2012 Ram 3500 DRW G56