Josh Schukman
by Josh Schukman
Postato il November 3, 2022

When it comes to towing a travel trailer, you have many options for a tow vehicle depending on your needs. Pickup trucks — for example — are a very common choice for towing a camper. You can even tow some campers with a motorcycle! Certain SUVs are also some of the best vehicles for towing a travel trailer. 

But what SUVs can tow a travel trailer? The best SUVs for towing a travel trailer feature robust towing capabilities, ample storage room, and flexible seating options. Unlike pickup trucks, SUVs can offer multiple rows of seating — making them a great tow vehicle for camping families.

In this post, we’ll discuss the features you need in an SUV for towing a camper and then list the 10 best SUVs for towing a travel trailer. We’ll list these tow-ready SUVs by category — meaning that we’ll show you the best SUVs for towing heavy trailers, medium-sized travel trailers, and lightweight trailers

Capabilities to consider when selecting the best SUV for towing a travel trailer

When it comes to the best SUV to pull a travel trailer, the same capabilities you’d consider with any tow vehicle come into play. That means you need to understand the towing capacity, payload rating, and tongue weight rating to find the best SUV for towing your travel trailer.

Towing capacity

Any truck, car, or SUV that is capable of towing a travel trailer will have a maximum towing capacity you’ll need to know in order to figure out the best SUV to tow a camper.

It’s also important to note that travel trailers have an unloaded weight rating — aka “dry weight rating” — and a loaded weight rating — aka “gross weight rating”.

Because you’ll almost always be towing a travel trailer with some weight added to it — e.g. water, clothes, gear, etc. — the best SUV to pull a travel trailer will be one that can easily handle the fully loaded weight rating of your trailer.

Consult your dealer and/or owner’s manual for your vehicle’s weight ratings.

Payload rating

The payload rating is how much weight a vehicle can handle inside it.  The payload rating also includes any weight allowed on the SUV’s roof, such as a cargo box. The SUV will have a separate roof weight rating that will be listed in your owner’s manual.

When considering the best SUV to tow your travel trailer, it’s also important to consider how much gear — and how many people — you might be hauling inside it/on it.

Tongue weight

The tongue weight refers to the weight of the travel trailer’s tongue. The trailer tongue is the front part of the trailer that hooks to the bumper. The tongue weight rating of an SUV will almost always be 10% of its max trailer weight rating.

So if you have an SUV with a max trailer weight rating of 8,000lbs. Then its tongue weight rating should be 800lbs. For this reason, travel trailer manufacturers will rarely make a trailer whose tongue weight exceeds 10% of the trailer’s overall weight.

It’s also vital that you understand how to properly hitch your travel trailer to your SUV. This video will show you how:

10 best SUVs for towing a travel trailer

The best vehicle for towing a travel trailer depends on a variety of factors with the most important factor being the size of the RV you’re wanting to tow.

We’ve broken down the 10 best for:

Best SUVs for towing a heavy travel trailer

best suv for towing a travel trailer

Chevy Tahoe/Suburban, GMC Yukon/Yukon XL, or Cadillac Escalade

The best SUVs for towing a heavy travel trailer are SUVs built on pickup truck frames. GM’s large SUVs are built on the Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra platform — making them some of the best SUVs for towing a camper on the market because of their strong steel frames, beefed-up engines, and tow-rated axles.

  • Maximum tow rating: 7,900lbs. when properly equipped.
  • Payload rating: 1,655-1,927lbs.
  • Price range: $49,700-$90,000+

Ford Expedition

Built on the same platform as the Ford F-150, this beast of an SUV is best for towing very heavy travel trailers. When you need an SUV that can tow a heavy camper, seat up to eight passengers, and carry some major payload, the Expedition is a worthy choice.

  • Maximum tow rating: 9,300lbs. when properly equipped.
  • Payload rating: 1,757lbs.
  • Price range: $50,000-$80,000

Nissan Armada

The Armada shares the same bones as the Nissan Titan pickup, making it a capable SUV for towing heavy travel trailers. The Armada is also packed with features and can usually be had for a lower price than similar competitors, making it a worthy option.

  • Maximum tow rating: 8,500lbs. when properly equipped.
  • Payload rating: 1,542-1,723lbs.
  • Price range: $48,900-$72,300

Dodge Durango

The Durango recently came back with a vengeance as one of the best SUVs for towing a camper. Its high towing capacity combined with spacious seating, cutting-edge technology, and wide-ranging trim options make the Durango a worthy family SUV for towing a camper.

  • Maximum tow rating: 8,700lbs. when properly equipped.
  • Payload rating: 1,437-1,924lbs.
  • Price range: $32,962-$81,390

Best SUVs for towing a medium-weight travel trailer

best vehicle for towing travel trailer

Toyota 4Runner

Toyota’s 4Runner is one of the longest-standing and most trusted SUVs for towing a camper because of its truck-based frame and legendary reliability. The 4Runner is also one of the best SUVs for towing an off-road camper.

  • Maximum tow rating: 5,000lbs. when properly equipped.
  • Payload rating: 1,495-1,700lbs.
  • Price range: $39,180-$55,150

Jeep Grand Cherokee

This tried and true rig is one of the best SUVs for towing a medium-sized travel trailer because of its high tow weight rating and luxury amenities.

  • Maximum tow rating: 7,200lbs. when properly equipped.
  • Payload rating: 1,266-1,812lbs.
  • Price range: $39,180-$55,150

Chevrolet Blazer

The all-new Chevy Blazer has been completely reimagined as a nimble SUV that’s perfect for towing a medium-sized camper. With sporty, Camero-inspired styling and cutting-edge features, the Blazer is one of the best SUVs for towing a travel trailer. 

  • Maximum tow rating: 4,500lbs. when properly equipped.
  • Payload rating: 1,706-2,094lbs.
  • Price range: $33,400-$52,150

Best SUVs for towing a light travel trailer

Jeep Wrangler

This ever-popular SUV is the perfect rig for towing a light travel trailer. The Wrangler has been the SUV of choice for light campers — such as these best popup campers — for years because of its extreme versatility and wide range of options.

  • Maximum tow rating: 3,500lbs. when properly equipped.
  • Payload rating: 1,052-1,351lbs.
  • Price range: $28,475-$42,375

Volkswagen Atlas

This powerful and spacious rig is packed with technology and features that make it one of the most family-friendly SUVs for towing a camper. Volkswagen’s loyal following is a testament to the company’s skill at creating vehicles that people fall in love with — the Atlas is no exception.

  • Maximum tow rating: 5,000lbs. when properly equipped.
  • Payload rating: 1,080lbs.
  • Price range: $33,475-$57,645

Honda Pilot

The Pilot is a rock-solid family rig that’s also one of the best SUVs for towing a travel trailer. The Pilot features three rows of seating, ample cargo room, and epic reliability.

  • Maximum tow rating: 5,000lbs. when properly equipped.
  • Payload rating: 1,418-1,614lbs.
  • Price range: $36,830-$53,040

Ready to go SUV shopping?

The best SUV to pull a travel trailer depends on the type of camper you want to pull, how big your family is, and how much extra cargo room you’d like to have. You might even opt to tow your SUV behind a motorhome.

The good news is that SUV manufacturers know that more and more people are using SUVs to tow campers every day. That’s why car makers have responded with SUVs for towing campers — and families — of all types and stripes.

Looking to rent an RV you can tow with your SUV? Check out available travel trailers in your area on Outdoorsy. Or, if you’d like to make money by renting out your SUV-ready camper, you can list it here

Josh Schukman

 

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