What Campers Can a Toyota Highlander Tow?


The Toyota Highlander is a modern model of SUV (sport utility vehicle). These are great vehicles that are designed to comfortably seat up to 7 or 8 passengers. They’re perfect family cars and can be used by customers for all kinds of circumstances. While one of the main priorities of this brand is passenger comfort, the Toyota Highlander also has the capacity to tow a variety of campers and trailers!

There are a variety of different models within the Toyota Highlander family, with towing capacities that range between 1,500 and 5,000 lbs. Within this range, Toyota Highlanders can tow pop-up trailers, teardrop trailers, small airstreams, and small travel trailers.

Below is a table that describes some basic information on each sub-type of the Toyota Highlander. There are a fair amount of different options, so make sure that you know the correct information for your specific vehicle before you think about buying a camper.

Model Name:LELE PLUSXLESELimitedHybrid LEHybrid XLEHybrid Limited
Towing Capacity:1,500 lbs.5,000 lbs.5,000 lbs.5,000 lbs.5,000 lbs.3,500 lbs.3,500 lbs.3,500 lbs.
Unladen Vehicle Weight:4,134 lbs4,244 lbs.4,310 lbs.4,310 lbs.4,354 lbs.4,398 lbs.4,464 lbs.4,861 lbs.
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating:5,665 lbs5,840 lbs.5,840 lbs.5,840 lbs.5,840 lbs.6,000 lbs.6,000 lbs.6,270 lbs.

Once you’ve identified the Toyota Highlander that you have (or are interested in) you can start looking at the camper options that are available to you! The table below describes the weight ranges of the different types so you can get an idea of the sizes you’ll be working with.

Camper Type:Dry Weight:
Pop-up Trailer600-4,000 lbs.
Classic Travel Trailer2,200-7,800 lbs.
Teardrop Trailer520-2,000 lbs.
Airstream2,500-4,000 lbs.

Now we can take a more in-depth look at each of these trailer varieties, including pros and cons, the design of each category, and some good models for Toyota Highlander owners.

Because there’s a range of weight capacities between 1,500 and 5,000 lbs, I’ll only be discussing campers with dry weights that fall in this range (or lower). Make sure you keep your specific model in mind as you look for your own camper though because you don’t want to buy something that’s too heavy for your vehicle to tow.

Pop-up Trailers

Pop-up trailers (sometimes called camping trailers) are usually fairly small travel trailers with fold-out sections along the sides. These are different from traditional slide-outs because they are often covered by a flexible material such as canvas or other types of weather-proofed fabric. There are some pop-up trailers with hard-sided pop-ups, but generally, they will be soft-sided.

Pop-up trailers usually include a small living space inside which is enlarged once the pop-outs are extended. Dining space, kitchenettes, and small bathrooms are commonly found in these designs. The fold-outs usually contain beds. These are convenient for customers because space can be easily added and removed based on your needs.

If you’re a family that loves to travel and camp as you go, a pop-up trailer could be a good option for you. They’re basically pre-made campsites that take little to no setup once you arrive!

You can also enjoy the open-air feeling of a tent due to the soft sides of the pop-outs. Windows and airflow are a major benefit of this camper design. You can feel connected to nature, while also feeling safe and comfortable.

The most important measurement if you want to tow a pop-up trailer is the towing capacity of your car. Toyota Highlanders should be able to handle most models of pop-ups, but it’s a good measurement to look at regardless.

Look at the dry weight of any campers you’re interested in and try to calculate how much you’ll be packing into these trailers. Dry weights are recorded when the trailer is completely empty of luggage, water, fuel, etc. Once you’ve got them loaded up, they can be much heavier than you might have intended.

A good rule of thumb for all of the campers on this list is to try to stay at least 20-35% below your maximum tow capacity to create a safety margin for yourself! That being said, there are a lot of pop-up trailers that should fit very nicely into this range. I’ve picked out a few of my favorites, and there’s a little information on each one below.

Flagstaff Hard Side Pop-up T21DMHW

  • Unladen Vehicle Weight: 2,700 lbs.
  • Total Carrying Capacity: 653 lbs.
  • Hitch/ Tongue Weight: 353 lbs.
  • Total Exterior Length: 20 feet, 10 inches

For more information on this camper, including additional floor plans, interior and exterior gallery pictures, prices, and all optional upgrades visit their website here.

Flagstaff Tent 206LTD

  • Unladen Vehicle Weight: 1,608 lbs.
  • Total Carrying Capacity: 683 lbs.
  • Hitch/ Tongue Weight: 195 lbs.
  • Total Exterior Length: 20 feet, 1 inch (open) 14 feet, 5 inches (closed)

For more information on this camper, including additional floor plans, interior and exterior gallery pictures, prices, and all optional upgrades visit their website here.

Sylvansport GO

  • Unladen Vehicle Weight: 840 lbs.
  • Total Carrying Capacity: N/A
  • Hitch/ Tongue Weight: N/A
  • Total Exterior Length: 11 feet, 9 inches

For more information on this camper, including additional floor plans, interior and exterior gallery pictures, prices, and all optional upgrades visit their website here.

Rockwood Extreme Sports Package 1970ESP

  • Unladen Vehicle Weight: 2,076 lbs.
  • Total Carrying Capacity: 808 lbs.
  • Hitch/ Tongue Weight: 234 lbs.
  • Total Exterior Length: 20 feet, 1 inch (open) 15 feet, 4 inches (closed)

For more information on this camper, including additional floor plans, interior and exterior gallery pictures, prices, and all optional upgrades visit their website here.

Classic Travel Trailers

The classification of “travel trailer” can mean a lot of things! Within this type of camper, there is a huge range of sizes, weights, floor plans, etc. There are ways to distinguish one type from another though, and this section deals with classic (or standard) travel trailers.

Unlike pop-up trailers (which have soft sides that can flip out to extend interior space) or teardrop trailers (which are miniature trailers that usually include just a single room), classic travel trailers are much larger, offering a complex and comfortable living space on the road.

They range in length from 10 feet to 35 feet and often include bathrooms, interior kitchens, dining space, bedrooms, etc. Travel trailers are very popular among the camper community because they can be towed by any vehicle with a high enough tow capacity. You don’t necessarily need a truck to bring your travel trailer out on the road!

This comfortable and versatile nature might appeal to you if you’re the owner of a Toyota Highlander. All you’ll need is a ball hitch on the back of your car, plus maybe a weight-distribution hitch if your camper is pretty heavy.

Because they’re so popular, travel trailers have been made for vehicles of every shape and size. The general weights and lengths have been listed above, but there are specialty manufacturers that can create trailers for specific circumstances. There are even travel trailers that are almost the size of teardrop trailers!

If you’re the owner of a Toyota Highlander, you might want to look into the specialty market for travel trailers. Your vehicle should be able to handle some small-medium models, but custom campers could help you find a trailer that will fit your tow vehicle like a glove!

EVO 177FQ

  • Unladen Vehicle Weight: 3,334 lbs.
  • Total Carrying Capacity: 1,496 lbs.
  • Hitch/ Tongue Weight: 430 lbs.
  • Total Exterior Length: 22 feet, 8 inches

For more information on this camper, including additional floor plans, interior and exterior gallery pictures, prices, and all optional upgrades visit their website here.

No Boundaries NB16.5

  • Unladen Vehicle Weight: 2,991 lbs.
  • Total Carrying Capacity: 1,721 lbs.
  • Hitch/ Tongue Weight: 312 lbs.
  • Total Exterior Length: 20 feet

For more information on this camper, including additional floor plans, interior and exterior gallery pictures, prices, and all optional upgrades visit their website here.

R-Pod RP-176

  • Unladen Vehicle Weight: 2,669 lbs.
  • Total Carrying Capacity: 1,111 lbs.
  • Hitch/ Tongue Weight: 280 lbs.
  • Total Exterior Length: 20 feet

For more information on this camper, including additional floor plans, interior and exterior gallery pictures, prices, and all optional upgrades visit their website here.

Wolf Pup 16PF

  • Unladen Vehicle Weight: 3,584 lbs.
  • Total Carrying Capacity: 1,851 lbs.
  • Hitch/ Tongue Weight: 335 lbs.
  • Total Exterior Length: 22 feet, 4 inches

For more information on this camper, including additional floor plans, interior and exterior gallery pictures, prices, and all optional upgrades visit their website here.

Teardrop Trailers

Teardrop trailers are a great camper option for anyone with a small towing capacity and a sense of adventure! These miniature travel trailers are super easy to tow behind just about any type of vehicle. They’re light, aerodynamic, and are sometimes small enough that they won’t even block your rearview mirror!

This small size doesn’t mean that they can’t do anything though. Teardrop trailers come in a lot of different forms, lengths, and designs. Some of them have lots of fold-outs and extensions that make them great for outdoor cooking. Some maximize their storage space to double as storage and equipment haulers. Others even offer a good amount of sleeping space!

Teardrop trailers are easy to fit with just about any type of tow vehicle because they’re so light and adaptable. Towing capacity is rarely a problem with this type of camper. It’s unusual to find a teardrop trailer that weighs much more than 3,000 lbs. If you can’t tow anything else, you’ll be able to tow a teardrop.

If you’re just looking for a cozy, simple living space to bring along on trips, then teardrop trailers are probably the most stress-free option on this list. You may sacrifice a bit of space and functionality, but these campers still manage to do a lot despite their small size.

Most manufacturers have a totally unique approach to their trailer design, so each one is different. To help you in your search, here are some teardrop trailers that I think would be great matches for Toyota Highlanders.

Little Guy Max

  • Unladen Vehicle Weight: 3,140 lbs.
  • Total Carrying Capacity: 810 lbs.
  • Hitch/ Tongue Weight: 330 lbs.
  • Total Exterior Length: 21 feet

For more information on this camper, including additional floor plans, interior and exterior gallery pictures, prices, and all optional upgrades visit their website here.

Mean Bean

  • Unladen Vehicle Weight: 1,650 lbs.
  • Total Carrying Capacity: N/A
  • Hitch/ Tongue Weight: 200 lbs.
  • Total Exterior Length: 14 feet, 1/4 inch

For more information on this camper, including additional floor plans, interior and exterior gallery pictures, prices, and all optional upgrades visit their website here.

Timberleaf Classic Teardrop

  • Unladen Vehicle Weight: 1,400 lbs.
  • Total Carrying Capacity: N/A
  • Hitch/ Tongue Weight: 150 lbs.
  • Total Exterior Length: 14 feet

For more information on this camper, including additional floor plans, interior and exterior gallery pictures, prices, and all optional upgrades visit their website here.

nuCamp TAB Clam Shell 320CS

  • Unladen Vehicle Weight: 1,951 lbs.
  • Total Carrying Capacity: 777 lbs.
  • Hitch/ Tongue Weight: 157 lbs.
  • Total Exterior Length: 15 feet, 3 inches

For more information on this camper, including additional floor plans, interior and exterior gallery pictures, prices, and all optional upgrades visit their website here.

Airstreams

Airstream trailers are a variation on classic travel trailers. Their exteriors are generally rounded on the ends and plated in a shiny metallic covering. They come in a variety of sizes, though their outside appearance is usually pretty distinct and consistent. It’s always easy to spot an airstream!

These are more classic trailers and aren’t made as commonly now. If you’re interested in this style of camper, the first thing you’ll need to do is find a good source! There aren’t many places that sell new airstreams, but a fair amount of them are available second-hand.

Despite the dip in general popularity, there is still a niche market for new models, so check out airstream.com to check out all their offerings. Every year they premier new models, and they offer a wide range of layouts, floor plans, and optional upgrades.

Airstreams generally don’t have slide-outs or extensions that fold out. Their living space is confined to the interior, which can sometimes limit their space. But they still surprise me with how much form and function they manage to fit inside.

Airstreams can be as long as 33 feet and as short as 16 feet. This is quite a range and some of the models are perfect for people who have Toyota Highlanders. There are even some specialty models that are extra small. These look a bit different from the classic airstreams but still get the job done beautifully.

If you’re just interested in a quick overview of some models that are compatible with Toyota Highlanders, I’ve picked out a few to discuss below.

Caravel 16RB

  • Unladen Vehicle Weight: 3,500 lbs.
  • Total Carrying Capacity: 800 lbs.
  • Hitch/ Tongue Weight: 490 lbs.
  • Total Exterior Length: 16 feet, 2 inches

For more information on this camper, including additional floor plans, interior and exterior gallery pictures, prices, and all optional upgrades visit their website here.

Bambi 16RB

  • Unladen Vehicle Weight: 3,000 lbs.
  • Total Carrying Capacity: 500 lbs.
  • Hitch/ Tongue Weight: 430 lbs.
  • Total Exterior Length: 15 feet, 11 inches

For more information on this camper, including additional floor plans, interior and exterior gallery pictures, prices, and all optional upgrades visit their website here.

Basecamp by Airstream

  • Unladen Vehicle Weight: 2,585 lbs.
  • Total Carrying Capacity: 915 lbs.
  • Hitch/ Tongue Weight: 410 lbs.
  • Total Exterior Length: 16 feet, 3 inches

For more information on this camper, including additional floor plans, interior and exterior gallery pictures, prices, and all optional upgrades visit their website here.

Nest 16FB

  • Unladen Vehicle Weight: 3,300 lbs.
  • Total Carrying Capacity: 700 lbs.
  • Hitch/ Tongue Weight: 375 lbs.
  • Total Exterior Length: 16 feet, 7 inches

For more information on this camper, including additional floor plans, interior and exterior gallery pictures, prices, and all optional upgrades visit their website here.

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