Toyota RAV4 towing a teardrop camp trailer

What Camp Trailers Can a Toyota RAV4 Tow? Towing Guide


As a proud owner of a Toyota RAV4, I can confirm its reputation as a reliable and versatile compact SUV that can tow small trailers and campers. Its compact size doesn’t compromise its strength, making it a popular choice among a variety of users. Each model within the RAV4 range comes with unique specifications, but they all share one common trait – their ability to tow camper trailers.

The Toyota RAV4 can tow Pop-up and Teardrop trailers with a dry weight that is less than the maximum tow capacity according to the RAV4 year and trim. See a detailed breakdown of the RAV4 towing capacity by year and trim.

Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a cross-country road trip, the RAV4 can tow a range of campers. Some of the campers that a RAV4 can tow include:

  • Sylvansport GO
  • QuickSilver Rock Climber
  • Flagstaff 176LTD
  • Jay Sport 8SD
  • Tinycamper MINI
  • Polydrop Trailer Limited Edition
  • Timberleaf Pika
  • Timberleaf Classic Teardrop
  • FronTear Teardrop

Curious about your RAV4’s fuel efficiency? We’ve got you covered!

Towing Capacities of Different RAV4 Models

Before you hitch up and hit the road, it’s essential to understand the specific model and trim of your RAV4. The towing capacity can vary significantly between models, which is crucial when selecting the right camper. 

Here’s a handy table to help you understand the towing capabilities of different RAV4 models:

RAV4 Trim/ModelTowing CapacityRAV4 Dry Weight*GVWR
LE1,500 lbs.3,370 lbs.4,610 lbs.
LE Hybrid1,750 lbs.3,710 lbs.4,920 lbs.
XLE1,500 lbs.3,380 lbs.4,610 lbs.
XLE Hybrid1,750 lbs.3,755 lbs.4,920 lbs.
XLE Premium1,500 lbs.3,380 lbs.4,610 lbs.
Adventure3,500 lbs.3,615 lbs.4,705 lbs.
TRD Off-Road3,500 lbs.3,615 lbs.4,705 lbs.
XSE Hybrid1,750 lbs.3,755 lbs.4,920 lbs.
Limited1,500 lbs.3,485 lbs.4,610 lbs.
Limited Hybrid1,750 lbs.3,800 lbs.4,920 lbs.
The above table shows that the RAV4 towing capacity ranges from 1,500 to 3,500 lbs (see a full RAV4 towing capacity guide for all years and trims).

*GVWR stands for Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. It’s the maximum weight that your vehicle can safely handle, including the weight of the vehicle itself, passengers, cargo, and any trailers it’s towing. Think of it as the total weight your vehicle can carry without risking damage or compromising safety.

Did you know that Toyota used to make V6 RAV4s? See details about the RAV4 V6.

The Adventure and TRD Off-Road models can handle heavier campers like a small travel trailer or airstream.

RAV4 adventure towing a trailer

Upgrading the suspension or adding a lift kit kit to a RAV4 can make it better suited for towing trailers.

Are you interested in lifting your RAV4? See everything you need to know about Toyota RAV4 lift kits and which is the best kit for you.

What Kind of Campers Can the RAV4 Tow?

Now, let’s look at the types of campers you can consider. Pop-up trailers and teardrop trailers are your best bet with a RAV4.

2 Types of Suitable Campers 

  1. Pop-up Trailers
  2. Teardrop Trailers

Here’s a quick comparison between the two:

Camper TypeDry WeightLength
Pop-up Trailer600-4,000 lbs.8-16′ (box only)
Teardrop Trailer520-2,500 lbs.4-6′
The above table is a comparison between pop-up trailers and teardrop trailers that can be towed by a RAV4.

Remember, even within these two camper types, there’s a wide variety of floorplans, weights, and amenities. 

As a RAV4 owner, I lean towards the lighter end of this spectrum to avoid putting too much strain on my vehicle.

Are you interested in Overlanding in your RAV4? See our beginner’s guide on how to take your RAV4 Overlanding.

In the following sections, we’ll take a look at some high-quality campers that your Toyota RAV4 should be able to handle comfortably. With a bit of luck, you’ll find the perfect match for your adventurous spirit!

Exploring Pop-up Trailers

Pop-up trailers, also known as fold-out campers or tent trailers, are a fantastic option for the adventurous RAV4 owner. They’re lightweight, compact, and offer a unique blend of comfort and convenience.

Pop-up trailer that can be towed by a Toyota RAV4

What is a Pop-up Trailer?

Imagine a compact box on wheels that magically transforms into a spacious camper. That’s a pop-up trailer for you! When collapsed, they’re small enough to be towed by your RAV4. Once you reach your destination, they expand to provide a comfortable living space.

Advantages of Pop-up Trailers for RAV4 Owners

  • Lightweight: Pop-up trailers are typically lighter than other types of campers, making them a perfect match for your RAV4’s towing capacity.
  • Compact: Their small size when folded makes them easy to maneuver, especially for first-time towers.
  • Spacious: Don’t let their size fool you. Once expanded, they offer ample space for sleeping, cooking, and relaxing.
  • Affordable: Compared to larger campers, pop-up trailers are generally more budget-friendly, both in terms of initial cost and fuel efficiency.

Key Considerations When Choosing a Pop-up Trailer

When choosing a pop-up trailer, consider its weight, size when expanded, and the amenities it offers. Remember, it should be within your RAV4’s towing capacity and suit your camping lifestyle.

How can you get better gas mileage in your RAV4? See how to increase gas mileage in your RAV4 (tips that work).

Best Pop-up Trailers for Your RAV4

Here are the top pop-up trailers that your RAV4 can comfortably tow:

Sylvansport GO

The Sylvansport GO is often referred to as the “Swiss Army knife of campers” due to its versatility. It’s incredibly lightweight, making it easy to tow with your RAV4. Plus, it’s packed with features that adapt to your camping needs, making every trip an enjoyable adventure.

QuickSilver Rock Climber

If your adventures often take you off the beaten path, the QuickSilver Rock Climber is your perfect companion. This pop-up trailer is designed for off-road adventures, with a sturdy build and features that can handle rough terrains. It’s the ideal match for the adventurous spirit of RAV4 owners.

Flagstaff 176LTD

For those who value comfort and convenience, the Flagstaff 176LTD is a fantastic choice. It offers a great balance of both, providing plenty of living space once expanded. Despite its compact size when folded, you’ll be surprised by the roomy interior that awaits you.

Jay Sport 8SD

The Jay Sport 8SD stands out for its durability and spacious interior. It’s built to last, ensuring you have a reliable home away from home on all your camping trips. Plus, its roomy interior means you won’t have to compromise on comfort, even while on the road.

The best pop-up trailer for you depends on your personal needs and the adventures you plan to embark on with your trusty RAV4.

Pop-up Trailer Comparison at a Glance

Use the below table to compare the best pop-up trailers to tow with a RAV4.

CamperKey FeaturesIdeal For
Sylvansport GOVersatile, incredibly lightweight, adaptable featuresCampers who value flexibility and easy towing
QuickSilver Rock ClimberDesigned for off-road adventures, sturdy buildAdventurous campers who often venture off the beaten path
Flagstaff 176LTDOffers comfort and convenience, spacious living spaceCampers who want a balance of comfort and convenience
Jay Sport 8SDDurable, spacious interiorCampers who prioritize durability and interior space
This table should give you a quick overview of each camper’s key features and who they’re ideal for, helping you make an informed decision.

Want to know how much cargo space the RAV4 has? See a detailed breakdown of the RAV4 cargo space and dimensions with photos.

Exploring Teardrop Trailers

Teardrop trailers are a classic choice for those seeking a compact yet comfortable camping experience. Their unique shape and design make them a favorite among RAV4 owners.

A teardrop trailer that can be towed by a RAV4

What is a Teardrop Trailer?

A teardrop trailer is a small, streamlined camper with a distinctive teardrop shape. Despite their compact size, these trailers are designed to provide a cozy and efficient camping experience, often featuring a sleeping area and a kitchenette.

Why Teardrop Trailers are Ideal for RAV4 Owners

  • Compact: Their small size makes them easy to tow and park, even in tight spaces.
  • Efficient: Despite their size, teardrop trailers are designed to maximize space, often featuring a bed and a small kitchen.
  • Retro Charm: Teardrop trailers have a classic, retro appeal that adds a touch of charm to any camping trip.

Things to Keep in Mind When Selecting a Teardrop Trailer

When choosing a teardrop trailer, consider its weight, size, and the amenities it offers. It should be within your RAV4’s towing capacity and suit your camping needs.

Best Teardrop Trailers for Your RAV4

Here are the top teardrop trailers that your RAV4 can comfortably tow:

Tinycamper MINI

The Tinycamper MINI lives up to its name. It’s compact, lightweight, and perfect for solo travelers or couples. Despite its size, it doesn’t skimp on amenities, offering a comfortable sleeping area and a functional kitchenette.

Polydrop Trailer Limited Edition

The Polydrop Trailer Limited Edition combines modern design with functionality. It’s lightweight, easy to tow, and features a unique geometric design that’s sure to turn heads on your camping trips.

Timberleaf Pika

The Timberleaf Pika is a compact, off-road capable teardrop trailer. It’s perfect for those who love to venture off the beaten path. Despite its rugged exterior, the interior is cozy and well-equipped.

Timberleaf Classic Teardrop

The Timberleaf Classic Teardrop is a nod to the traditional teardrop design. It combines classic charm with modern amenities, offering a comfortable and stylish camping experience.

FronTear Teardrop

The FronTear Teardrop is all about luxury. It offers a spacious interior with high-end finishes, ensuring you can camp in comfort and style. Despite its luxurious features, it remains lightweight and easy to tow with your RAV4.

Remember, the best teardrop trailer for you depends on your personal needs and the kind of adventures you plan with your RAV4.

Teardrop Trailer Comparison at a Glance

Use the below table to compare the best Teardrop trailers to tow with a RAV4.

CamperKey FeaturesIdeal For
Tinycamper MINICompact, lightweight, functional amenitiesSolo travelers or couples who value efficiency and compact design
Polydrop Trailer Limited EditionModern design, lightweight, easy to towCampers who appreciate unique, modern aesthetics
Timberleaf PikaCompact, off-road capable, well-equipped interiorAdventurous campers who enjoy off-road trips
Timberleaf Classic TeardropClassic design, modern amenitiesCampers who love the blend of classic charm and modern comfort
FronTear TeardropLuxurious, spacious interior, high-end finishesCampers who want a luxury camping experience without compromising on weight
This table should provide a quick overview of each teardrop trailer’s key features and who they’re ideal for, helping you make an informed decision.

Can a Toyota RAV4 go off-roading? See a comprehensive Toyota RAV4 Off-Roading guide and Review.

What You’ll Need to Tow a Camper with Your RAV4

Towing a camper with your RAV4 isn’t just about hitching up and hitting the road. There are a few essentials you’ll need to ensure a safe and smooth journey.

RAV4 towing a teardrop camp trailer

A Suitable Hitch

First and foremost, you’ll need a suitable hitch. This is what connects your RAV4 to the camper. Make sure it’s rated to handle the weight of your chosen camper.

Towing Mirrors

Towing mirrors are crucial for safety. They provide a wider field of view, allowing you to see the camper and the road behind you clearly.

Brake Controller

If your camper has its own braking system, you’ll need a brake controller. This device allows you to control the camper’s brakes from your RAV4, ensuring synchronized braking.

Safety Chains

Safety chains are a must-have. They provide an extra layer of security, keeping the camper attached to your RAV4 in case the hitch fails.

Properly Inflated Tires

Ensure your RAV4’s tires are properly inflated. This helps maintain control while towing and improves fuel efficiency.

Knowledge of Your RAV4’s Towing Capacity

Last but not least, know your RAV4’s towing capacity. This is the maximum weight your RAV4 can safely tow. Never exceed this limit as it can lead to serious safety issues and potential damage to your vehicle.

Remember, towing a camper involves more than just connecting it to your RAV4. It’s about ensuring a safe and enjoyable journey. So, make sure you’re well-prepared before you set off on your camping adventure. 

How much weight can a RAV4 rooftop hold? See the Toyota RAV4 roof rack weight limit before you overload it.

Safety Tips for Towing a Camper with Your RAV4

Towing a camper with your RAV4 opens up a world of adventure, but safety should always be your top priority. Here are some tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey.

Understand Your RAV4’s Towing Limit

Knowing your RAV4’s towing limit is crucial. This is the maximum weight your RAV4 can safely tow. Always stay within this limit to avoid damaging your vehicle or compromising safety.

Check Your Equipment

Before setting off, check your towing equipment. Ensure the hitch is secure, the safety chains are properly attached, and the brake lights on the camper are working. A quick check can prevent potential issues down the road.

Pack Wisely

How you pack your camper can affect its stability on the road. Try to distribute the weight evenly and keep the center of gravity low. This can help prevent the camper from swaying while you’re driving.

Drive Carefully

When towing a camper, your RAV4 will handle differently. It may take longer to accelerate and stop. So, drive at a moderate speed, keep a safe distance from other vehicles, and avoid sudden maneuvers.

Practice Makes Perfect

If you’re new to towing, practice driving with the camper in a safe, open space. Get a feel for how your RAV4 handles with the extra weight and learn how to reverse with the camper attached.

Remember, safety is key when towing a camper. By following these tips, you can ensure a safe and memorable camping adventure with your RAV4.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a RAV4 Tow a Trailer?

Absolutely! The RAV4 is capable of towing a variety of trailers, including pop-up and teardrop campers. Just make sure the weight of the trailer is within your RAV4’s towing capacity.

Can a RAV4 Pull a Small Camper?

Yes, the RAV4 is perfectly suited to pull small campers. Its towing capacity makes it a great match for lightweight pop-up and teardrop trailers.

How Heavy a Trailer Can a RAV4 Pull?

The towing capacity of a RAV4 can range from 1,500 to 3,500 lbs., depending on the model. Always check your vehicle’s specific towing capacity to ensure you don’t exceed this limit.

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