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What Campers Can a Toyota RAV4 Tow?

Published on August 13th, 2019 by Camper Report
This post was updated on April 27th, 2021

The Toyota RAV4 is a modern car brand that’s been very popular among users. They are compact sport utility vehicles with a lot of strength built into every one. There are a lot of different models within the Toyota RAV4 class, and each one has slightly different specifications. But these are all sturdy cars that are capable of towing campers. Some of these campers include:

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

But before you even start looking into the right camper, you need to make sure that you know the specific model and trim of your Toyota RAV4. The table below gives some of the most important information you’ll need to know before you begin your search.

Model NameLELE HybridXLEXLE HybridXLE PremiumAdventureXSE HybridLimitedLimited Hybrid
Towing Capacity:1,500 lbs.1,750 lbs.1,500 lbs.1,750 lbs.1,500 lbs.3,500 lbs.1,750 lbs.1,500 lbs.1,750 lbs.
Dry Weight:3,370 lbs.3,710 lbs.3,380 lbs.3,755 lbs.3,380 lbs.3,615 lbs.3,755 lbs.3,485 lbs.3,800 lbs.
GVWR:4,610 lbs.4,920 lbs.4,610 lbs.4,920 lbs.4,610 lbs.4,705 lbs.4,920 lbs.4,610 lbs.4,920 lbs.

As you can see, there is some variety in the tow capacities and weight ratings from one type to the next. Generally speaking, however, Toyota RAV4s are only capable of towing between 1,500 and 1,700 lbs. of weight. If you have Toyota RAV4 Adventure, you might be able to handle heavier campers such as a small travel trailer or airstream.

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Generally, this vehicle will end up limiting your camper options somewhat, but don’t give up yet! Below is a little table that describes some of the campers you can look into. Pop-up trailers and teardrop trailers are your best bet with a tow vehicle like this. You may be able to find miniature travel trailers or airstreams, but these will be the exception rather than the rule.

Camper TypeDry WeightLength (ft)
Pop-up Trailer600-4,000 lbs.8-16′ (box only)
Teardrop Trailer520-2,500 lbs.4-6′

Even within these two camper types, there are still a wide variety of floorplans, weights, and amenities. Toyota RAV4 users will need to lean toward the lighter end of this spectrum to ensure that they don’t put too much strain on their cars. It can sometimes be hard to find campers that fit the specifications of these models, but it’s not impossible.

Below I’ll detail some high-quality campers that a Toyota RAV4 should be able to handle. With any luck, you’ll find one that speaks to you!

Pop-up Trailers

Pop-up trailers are basically small versions of classic travel trailers. These can be pulled by any vehicle with a high enough towing capacity. These campers require simple ball hitches on the bumpers of their tow vehicle or else weight-distribution hitches for heavier models.

Pop-up trailers are generally lighter and more compact than full luxury models and they’re kind of a mix between trailers and tents. When driving, they can fold into a smooth and streamlined exterior, and when parked, flaps from the side can fold out. These extensions contain beds and create additional living space for a campsite.

These fold-outs are generally covered with layers of fabric or canvas. This helps them to stay flexible, and also creates great airflow inside once all the windows are opened. Pop-up trailers are great for people who like the comforts of a trailer, with some of the openness and flexibility of tent camping.

The most important measurement if you want to tow a pop-up trailer is the towing capacity of your car. In this case, you need to pick a trailer that has a towing capacity that falls within the boundaries of what your specific Toyota RAV4 can handle.

Look at the dry weight of any models 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.

If at all possible, try to stay at least 20-35% below your maximum tow capacity to create a safety margin for yourself! With that in mind, I’ve picked out a few of my favorite pop-up models that should work well with the weight limitations of Toyota RAV4s.

Sylvansport GO

  • Unladen Vehicle Weight: 840 lbs.
  • Hitch Weight: 90 lbs.
  • Total Carrying Capacity: N/A

This pop-up trailer is incredibly versatile. It has three different forms it can be converted into, each one suited to a different purpose. It has a camper mode, which is a miniature living space with rain flys and extensions, as well as a gear hauler and utility hauler mode. Depending on what you need it for, you can add and remove pieces from the trailer base!

The trailer is ready to travel through any terrain, rough or smooth. It’s fitted with diamond plated protection, which protects the structure from dents and rock damage. The tent material for the camping format is heavy and completely waterproof.

For more information on this pop-up trailer, including pricing, gallery pictures, floor plans, and optional upgrades visit their website here.

QuickSilver Rock Climber

  • Unladen Vehicle Weight: 1,270 lbs.
  • Hitch Weight: 124 lbs.
  • Total Carrying Capacity: 930 lbs.

The Quicksilver Rock Climber is a compact little trailer that is a perfect addition to any camping trip. It has a small floor plan, but once the fold-out is extended, you’ve got a lot of space to enjoy!

The interior space includes a sofa bed, table, and storage space in the corner. When the sofa bed is folded up, there is a good amount of space to move around, sit down, and enjoy a meal. A single fold-down flap is built into the far side, which contains a large bed base once it’s extended.

For more information on this pop-up trailer, including pricing, gallery pictures, floor plans, and optional upgrades visit their website here.

Flagstaff 176LTD

  • Unladen Vehicle Weight: 1,465 lbs.
  • Hitch Weight: 162 lbs.
  • Total Carrying Capacity: 793 lbs.

This pop-up fits the whole package into a small floor plan! It has one of the most complete living setups you’ll find in this size range.

There are two beds available in this unit, one on either side. These fold-out in the extensions, leaving the middle segment clear for day to day use. A dinette, set of cabinets, countertop, pair of stoves, and the customer’s choice of a sink or refrigerator fill the inside. There’s even an extension for a carry-out range for outdoor cooking!

For more information on this pop-up trailer, including pricing, gallery pictures, floor plans, and optional upgrades visit their website here.

Jay Sport 8SD

  • Unladen Vehicle Weight: 1,570 lbs.
  • Hitch Weight: 210 lbs.
  • Total Carrying Capacity: 675 lbs.

This pop-up trailer is on the heavier end of the spectrum but can be handled by Toyota RAV4s with a towing capacity of 1,750 or higher.

Like the previous model, the Jay Sport 8SD has two beds that fold out from either side. A dinette, sink, stove, and pair of large storage cabinets occupy the rest of the interior space. There’s also a carry-out stove in this model for those who want to take their cooking outside.

For more information on this pop-up trailer, including pricing, gallery pictures, floor plans, and optional upgrades visit their website here.

Teardrop Trailers

Teardrop trailers are a great camper option for anyone with a lower 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 can carry much more than you might expect. I would personally recommend a teardrop trailer for people with Toyota RAV4s due to their small size and lightweight.

This small size doesn’t mean that they can’t do anything though. Teardrop trailers come in a lot of different forms. 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 and a limited payload isn’t a problem because their weight doesn’t rest on the bed of the tow vehicle.

If you’re worried about picking the right teardrop trailer, just keep an eye on their dry weight measurements and compare it with your Toyota RAV4’s tow capacity. Generally, these will line up pretty smoothly, so 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 of things despite their small size. Besides, they’re often compact, easy to maneuver, and frankly kind of adorable!

To help you in your search, here are some teardrop trailers that I think would be great matches for Toyota RAV4s.

Tinycamper MINI

  • Unladen Vehicle Weight: 1,212 lbs.
  • Hitch Weight: 121 lbs.
  • Total Carrying Capacity: 440 lbs.

The Tinycamper MINI is a compact, rounded trailer that has all of the basic essentials you need for a trip on the road or out in the wilderness. This model is the most popular of the Tinycamper family.

Each one comes with a comfortable sleeping space, lighting and ventilation systems, power sockets, and even a cooking station at the back. This camper includes a queen-sized bed in the main space, which can accommodate up to three people. A small refrigerator and a dual-stove gas cooker are included in the kitchen as well.

The manufacturers offer three basic packages, plus additional upgrades that users can apply to add extra amenities and features.

For more information on this teardrop trailer, including pricing, gallery pictures, floor plans, and optional upgrades visit their website here.

Polydrop Trailer Limited Edition

  • Unladen Vehicle Weight: 760 lbs.
  • Hitch Weight: 80 lbs.
  • Total Carrying Capacity: N/A

The Polydrop Trailer is a unique teardrop trailer with an angular design. Even with its lightweight and compact size, this unit still manages to fit a lot of perks into its little floor plan!

Up to two people can sleep in this teardrop trailer and the majority of the interior space is taken up by the bed. There’s a working ventilation system, as well as polystyrene insulation around all the walls. This helps keep it cool or warm as needed!

A section on the backside can be opened up to reveal a small kitchenette with 2 drawers to store cooking or camping gear. Speaking of storage, the interior also has 3sections of storage. Don’t let the small size trick you! This little trailer can get the job done just fine!

For more information on this teardrop trailer, including pricing, gallery pictures, floor plans, and optional upgrades visit their website here.

Timberleaf Pika

  • Unladen Vehicle Weight: 970 lbs.
  • Hitch Weight: 120 lbs.
  • Total Carrying Capacity: N/A

The Timberleaf Pika is a beautiful teardrop trailer with a warm and welcoming interior. The walls are covered in a lovely wood pattern and there is interior lighting as well as a skylight and multiple windows. With this camper, you can sleep under the stars in comfort!

A series of stretchy netting around the walls provides a good amount of storage space for personal items inside the space. A large bed takes up most of the floor plan. Doors can open on both sides to open it up to the air. There’s also a fan above the bed, which helps keep the space ventilated once it has been closed up.

The back of this teardrop has a kitchen space as well, including a refrigerator/ cooler, lots of storage drawers, and a nice countertop. The Pika also comes with options to upgrade its safety and performance features. Some of these include being fitted with all-terrain tires, rock sliders, or electric drum brakes.

For more information on this teardrop trailer, including pricing, gallery pictures, floor plans, and optional upgrades visit their website here.

Timberleaf Classic Teardrop

  • Unladen Vehicle Weight: 1,400 lbs.
  • Hitch Weight: 150 lbs.
  • Total Carrying Capacity: N/A

This is another model from the Timberleaf family of products. It’s a bit larger than the Pika and has more amenities as a result of this. It does still offer the large bed in the main area though, as well as the skylight and beautiful wood interior.

There are also a set of storage cubbies behind the bed and a set of shelves than can fold down when not in use. These both increase the storage capacity and convenience of the classic teardrop design.

The back of this trailer flips up to reveal a kitchenette with a lot of storage drawers, a sink, a set of burners, and a good amount of counter space. A customer cooler is also included in this area!

For more information on this teardrop trailer, including pricing, gallery pictures, floor plans, and optional upgrades visit their website here.

FronTear Teardrop

  • Unladen Vehicle Weight: 1,100 lbs.
  • Hitch Weight: 110 lbs.
  • Total Carrying Capacity: N/A

FronTear trailers come with a wide variety of upgrades and personalized options. They have a lot of different configurations that users can choose between, but all of them are compact and easy to access.

One of the greatest parts about the FronTear is that they are custom-built for each customer. You can tell the manufacturers what you want and they will work with you to fit everything together. As such, there isn’t a standard model of this to compare.

Despite this, you can count on a bed and kitchen area being included, no matter what other options you choose! Sleeping and eating areas will be important to any trailer.

For more information on this teardrop trailer, including pricing, gallery pictures, floor plans, and optional upgrades visit their website here.

2 thoughts on “What Campers Can a Toyota RAV4 Tow?”

  1. I tow a 1380 lbs pro lite camper with a 2018 rave 4 and you can hardly tell you have a camper on I use sport mode and have no problem

  2. Can a 2019 Toyota RAV4 LE AWD tow a 13 foot Scamp? (About 1200 pounds). We towed a 13 foot Scamp with our 2015 Toyota RAV4 and it pulled the Scamp fairly easy.


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