We were desperately searching for a Travel Trailer/Camper, which we could tow easily with our SUV. No, upgrading our SUV wasn’t in the budget, this is why we were looking for easy tow Travel Trailers with weight indicator.
Hours of searching online what our SUV could tow, ended up in an overview list of the best Travel Trailers which are easy to tow.
What are actually the best Travel Trailers you can tow with an SUV without blowing your engine?
What you need to know about your car before you start searching for the best Camper Trailer:
TOWING WEIGHT OF YOUR CAR:
You can’t just go and buy a Camper without knowing the Towing capacity of your car. The towing capacity refers to how much weight you can safely pull behind your truck/SUV with a trailer. But that is not all you need to know, there are many more factors to consider.
WHERE DO YOU FIND THE TOWING WEIGHT OF YOUR CAR
You can find your car’s towing capacity in the owner’s manual or calculate it on your own. To find your truck’s towing capacity, subtract your truck’s curb weight from its Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating (GCVWR)… Or so much easier than this, just get your VIN Number.
You can also just put your vin number here to find it out: https://rv.campingworld.com/towguide
WHAT DOES GVWR STAND FOR?
GVWR stands for Gross Vehicle Weight Rating and is the the maximum amount of total weight the vehicle can handle including towing and payload.
It is also the gross amount of weight the trailer is able to carry, including the weight of the trailer itself.
The GVWR is the amount of weight after your vehicle and your trailer is loaded and everybody is sitting in the car. This weight is your absolute maximum weight and should never be right on the limit.
A good rule of thumb is do not go over 2/3 of the suggested GVWR to be on the safe side.
So much more you should know:
ADD THE WEIGHT YOU BRING INSIDE YOUR CAMPER
Therefore, start weighing everything you put inside your Camper to get a feeling for how much weight you actually put inside. Estimating is not a good tip. And you will be surprised how much weight you put inside your Camper.
Just imagine if you fill up your water tank before you leave on your trip (what you shouldn’t really do). Then add all your food, clothes, towels, tools ect. and there are many other things you don’t even think about right now.
We have our camping chairs, umbrellas, beach toys, cleaning stuff and so many little things in the outside compartments. Every storage area is filled, so do not underestimate the weight what adds up easily to a couple of hundred lbs.
This measurement refers to the amount of weight that a vehicle can safely pull behind it. You should never go to the limit of what is indicated in your manuals, never go over 2/3 of the suggested limit.
WHAT IS THE TONGUE WEIGHT?
The tongue weight is the weight of the trailer that is directly pressing down on the towing vehicle. The tongue weight is usually nine to 14 percent of the gross trailer weight.
More information around towing, how to hook up a trailer and so much more important information can be found here: https://www.tripsavvy.com/what-everybody-ought-to-know-about-towing-capacity-2912512
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU GO OVER THE TOWING WEIGHT?
If you just drive for a short distance, probably nothing is going to happen. It gets stressful when you go on vacation, driving up the mountains or just a longer distance. An overloaded trailer can put stress on a vehicle causing erratic steering, acceleration, and braking.
It is also very important to pack your Camper evenly. Distribute the weight and always keep the limits. You don’t want the Camper get out of control.
Travel Trailers you should look at:
WHICH TRAVEL TRAILERS ARE EASY TO TOW?
Now that you know how much your SUV/Truck/Car can tow, here is an overview of Travel Trailers which are pretty lightweight and a good start.
The different models can sleep from 2 up to 8 people, depending which layout you are going to choose. There are so many different options, it is unbelievable.
You can choose from King Size Bed, Queen Size Bed, Twin Size Beds, Murphy Beds and Bunk Beds to accomodate your needs.
Some manufacturer indicate starting prices on their Homepage and some don’t. There is so much to choose from when you buy new, this is why it is hard to indicate a price point.
You can custom-build almost every Travel Trailer according to your family situation, your style and your needs.
LET’S START WITH THE 14 BEST TRAVEL TRAILERS
It can be hard to know where to start when you have decided that you want to buy a Travel Trailer, therefore I have made this list as a beginner guide. You still have to dig deeper to be sure you make the right choice.
List of 14 lightweight Travel Trailers which can be towed with standard SUV’s.
Check your towing capacity and then see what type of Travel Trailer will work out for you. And of course there are so many more RV manufacturer which offer great Travel Trailers, but to begin with start right here:
14 Easy tow Travel Trailers (list with weight indicator)
Many of these Travel Trailers are also recommended by RV Lifestyle magazine. See more details here https://rvlifemag.com/travel-trailers-2019-buyers-guide/
Download the Travel Trailer Overview, copy the link of the model you are interested in and paste it into Google and you get directly onto the manufacturer’s floorplan site. See for yourself. Get the floorplan which fits to your need, a cost estimate and the weight of the Camper from the manufacturer. Then decide if that will work with your car or SUV.
If you found the perfect Camper, search for a used one and you will pay so much less for it.
TIP: Did you find the perfect floorplan for your family, then check if you can get a fairly used one which will save you at least 30 % of the value.
Good places to check out is RVtrader, Facebook Marketplace, Ebay.
Unfortunately most of the Travel Trailers, RV’s and Motorhomes are dark on the inside. Furnished with dark brown couches, beds and tables, even the floor, curtains and accessories are often in a dark beige.
If you like it light and airy, you have to add a little work to make it look pretty. A lot of tips how to do that you can find right here:
SUV’s that can tow a lightweight Travel Trailer :
- Jeep Grand Cherokee
- Mercedes GL
- Land Rover
- Chevy Tahoe
- Ford Expedition
- Dodge Durango
- Toyota Four Runner
- Honda Pilot
- Porsche Cayenne
- GMC Suburban
- Ford Explorer
- BMW X5
- Nissan Armada
- Toyota Sequoia
You still want to check your towing weight on your SUV to be sure and safe.
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What kind of accessories do I need for towing a Travel Trailer?
Accessories you need for towing a Travel Trailer: You will definitely need a hitch, a power connector, a brake controller, a weight distribution set and a sway bar to be safe on the road.
1. A hitch
If you don’t have a factory installed hitch, you can always get an after market tow hitch installed.
|I||Light Duty||1.25″||2,000 lbs|
|II||Moderate Duty||1.25″||3,500 lbs|
There is also Class IV and V for trucks.
The tongue weight capacity for these hitches is between 200 and 600 lbs.
2. A power connector
Any vehicle towing a trailer requires trailer connector wiring to safely connect the taillights, turn signals, brake lights and other necessary electrical systems.
3. A brake controller
Just imagine you are driving down the Highway with 60 miles per hour. You have to stop suddenly. Your SUV stops, but the trailer keeps pushing you forward, increasing your stopping distance and possibly even causing a crash. That is pretty scary to think about.
So in other words you definitely need a brake controller. Brake controllers help manage your stopping distance and control trailer sway by syncing up the two sets of brakes (tow vehicle and trailer) so that both activate when you need them.
You can easily wire the brake controller yourself, most of the newer SUV’s with tow hitches are already pre-wired. With a special adapter cable you can connect your brake controller. Check your car’s manual for the requirements.
4. Weight distribution hitch
You need a weight distribution set to distribute the weight evenly among your car axle. With the weight–distributing hitch properly set up, your load is evenly distributed over the axles on the trailer which gives you more stability and control. It also gives your tow vehicle and trailer a more level ride.
No matter what brand you like best, get one that is easy to put on. You don’t want to fight with metal.
5. Anti Sway Control
A sway control will cut down on the sway of the trailer when being pulled in windy driving conditions. And we just experienced this while driving to Palm Springs. We were so glad we had our Travel Trailer set up correctly. Because driving through gusty winds of over 30 mph is scary.
More information around towing can be found on https://www.discountramps.com/info/towing/what-you-need-to-know/a/B43/
What are the must-haves before I go on a trip?
I wish someone would have told me that I need a water pressure regulator or a water filter. Do you know what a surge protector is? Well, I found out about basic must-haves by talking to fellow campers. But, I was on the road without using important things, I wish I knew before. So here they are:
Frequently asked questions before you buy a Travel Trailer
Can my children ride in the Camper Trailer?
Every passenger has to be buckled up to ride safe in a car or camper. “Legality of Transporting Children in an RV For RV travel, this means the following: when a seat is not installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions on a forward facing vehicle seat that has properly anchored seat belts it is de facto illegal to transport your child in the vehicle”.
Do I need insurance for my camper?
It actually depends in which state you are registered. A camper without a motor doesn’t necessarily need an insurance.
A towable camper is usually covered by your car insurance while on the road. However, your auto insurance policy will only cover basic liability. This means that if your camper were to come unhooked or if you hit someone with your camper while towing it, your car insurance would cover you.
If you buy a new Camper, you definitely want it insured. Check out different insurance companies for the best offer. Go to RV Insurance Solutions for help on this matter.
Here is a snippet about autoinsurance for a camper:
“Automotive liability insurance coverage may cover many of the costs associated with damage from a travel trailer due to an accident, so there is no legal requirement to purchase travel trailer insurance”.
However, optional insurance policies are available for recreational vehicles which cover important aspects of owning a travel trailer.
Check out the following Insurance Companies for an estimate:
- State Farm
- Good Sam
- and of course the insurance company you use for your car
Do I need a storage place for my Travel Trailer?
We bought our Travel Trailer when we lived in S.C. and thought we could store it in our driveway. Well, unfortunately it took only 1 week and we got a message from the city that it is not allowed to store an RV in the driveway. Should have checked this out before.
If you have HOA you are probably not allowed to put your TT in the driveway.
For budgeting, please also consider if you have a place at your house to store your Travel Trailer otherwise you definitely will have additional costs.
How much does storage space for a Travel Trailer cost?
We paid for our 19 ft. Travel Trailer $ 60 in SC, we are paying now $ 150 in CA. It depends on which state you are living in, how much you will be paying for storage and how big your Travel Trailer is. We are paying by the foot in CA, we paid for the spot in SC.
And of course also consider if you want a storage with cover or without cover, how far from your home is the storage, how accessible is the storage. It is a convenience for loading before you go on a trip, how far you will have to drive to get to your Camper.
Summary of 14 Easy tow Travel Trailers (list with weight indicator)
If you plan it right, you won’t regret buying a Travel Trailer. We had so much fun going on RV trips all over the country, when our son was still very small. And now, that we are empty nesters we enjoy trips almost every month or we take the Travel Trailer out for a drive cross country. No regrets.
See you on the road,
Did you buy an older Travel Trailer or RV and you need to update the interior? Get my Ebook, which helps you to do this transformation step by step:
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