Towing with SUV???

Discussion in 'Camper Pre-Purchase Questions' started by ScrappyGirl, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. ScrappyGirl

    ScrappyGirl New Member

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    We are planning on buying our first pop up next year, but we are buying a new SUV this year. We would really like to have a smaller SUV rather than a larger one. Does anyone here tow with an SUV? If so, what type and suggestions on pop up size we should look for? We are looking for a pop up with no bathroom/air and heat/smaller bunks since it is just two people/cook top/fridge. Any advice?
     
  2. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    Just be careful ....The latest trend is smaller engines. So do your homework as to what their towing capacity is and with what factory equipment. I would think a minimum of 2500 pound towing capacity.
     
  3. Whopper14

    Whopper14 Member

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    Make sure your SUV has a factory towing package. My Traverse will tow 5000Lbs with factory towing.
     
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  4. NMroamer

    NMroamer Well-Known Member

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    Jayco is one of several brands that make a 8 foot pop-up that weighs about 1500 lbs.
     
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  5. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

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    IMHO, don't under size your engine if you don't have to. You will be much happier towing if you go beyond the minimum necessary for towing. The down side is, the greater the towing capacity, the worse the gas mileage. Larger vehicles tend to be more stable while towing. Smaller vehicles have a harder time stopping a trailer, and a harder time controlling the trailer in an emergency situation. Yes, you can tow up to the max tow capacity, but it really isn't recommend.

    For a comfortable tow, I don't tow much past 50% of my tow capacity.

    Before I bought my RAM, I towed with Jeep Grand Cherokees. The first had an in-line six cylinder 4.0 liter engine. The second had a V-8 4.7 liter engine. The 4.0 towed OK, but when loaded down, had to work hard on the hills. The 4.7 towed much better, even on the hills. I still own my 4.7 liter Jeep and am happy to have it as my secondary tow vehicle.
     
  6. yetavon

    yetavon everything is better around a campfire.

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    I would recommend doing some serious camper research before you buy a SUV..... Yup cart before the horse... Would hate to see you later going,
    "You know I really like the idea of a Hybrid, But the new TV just isn't enough"
    If its just the 2 of you why an SUV? Our last 3 TV's have been Extended cab pickups. ...
     
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  7. Dudman5703

    Dudman5703 Jeep Guy

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    That's super deceiving. We have the 8SD (2017) and it's basically 2000 when you're done with it. It has a 28 gallon water tank, that's like 400 something pounds. (a little over). You can completely use a SUV, the tow package was a good thing to say if you don't want to verify everything yourself. My smaller one is rated at 2k, the other is 7.2k. Verify the vehicle.
     
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  8. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Figure out about what size pop up you want , then go from there. I would rather have bigger then smaller for a tv.
     
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  9. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Like other's said, find your camper first. Many many people are limited by their tow vehical and so are forced to buy something small only to find they are not happy with the smaller camper and then upgrade sooner than they had imagined. Which means they upgrade their tow vehical and it continues that trend. Once you know the GVWR numbers of the camper you are going to buy then look for a tow vehical. You don't need to have a big SUV to tow but you do want to leave a lot of play in your numbers especially if you tow in the mountains. I tow with a Toyota 4 runner a midsize SUV and for what I tow it is a good vehical. My popup weighs 3600 GVWR and my vehical has a max tow capacity of 5000 although my payload capacity is actually pretty close to max. I would not want to tow anything bigger with my vehical and deffenently don't want to tow a TT. I Wil tell you when my 3600 pound camper starts to sway the backend of my SUV does jerk hard but stays on the road so I'm able to control everything.
     
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  10. mattlreese

    mattlreese Active Member

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    If you get an SUV that can tow 3500 lbs you should be fine for almost all popups, except High Walls and those with slides. I tow a 2500 lb dry weight popup with a minivan (3500 lb capacity). Even though on paper it looks like I have 1000 more lbs of towing capacity I passed on a heavier popup.

    Many small Suv's can only tow 1500 to 2k lbs, which means you are restricted to a small popup.
     
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  11. ScrappyGirl

    ScrappyGirl New Member

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    The reason we are looking at a SUV is that we are in need of an everyday vehicle. We have a 1996 Suburban, but it has problems going up hills without towing (not sure what the problem is). We don't want a big truck to drive around daily just to have a towing vehicle for camping. I am wondering if we should invest in our existing Suburban as our tow vehicle?
     
  12. ScrappyGirl

    ScrappyGirl New Member

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    The reason we are looking at a SUV is that we are in need of an everyday vehicle. We have a 1996 Suburban, but it has problems going up hills without towing (not sure what the problem is). We don't want a big truck to drive around daily just to have a towing vehicle for camping. I am wondering if we should invest in our existing Suburban as our tow vehicle?
     
  13. mattlreese

    mattlreese Active Member

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    Its a 20 year old car, sounds like a money pit to me unless you have the skill / time to do all the work yourself.

    Looking around at small SUV's the CRV, and Forester both only tow up to 1500 lbs, which means a very small popup. The Rav4 can go up to 3500 lbs which is more doable, but I think its at a higher trim level.
     
  14. Matt Benoit

    Matt Benoit Well-Known Member

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    I tow with a jeep patriot. Self installed tow package. Its rated at 2500lbs. I'd say we're pushing 2000 fully loaded. The jeep handles it great. We have no real hills here in Michigan, but so far haven't been on any road it couldn't handle.
     
  15. HC1

    HC1 New Member

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    Find the camper first so you know if the SUV you want will handle the weight.

    Manufacturer dry weights are meaningless as they don't include any options, AC, heaters, stoves, propane, etc add up fast. Plus there is all the camping gear that adds weight.

    There are some lightweight camper like the livinlite brand and the 8 and 10 foot box pop-ups without slides that can be towed by smaller SUV's.

    Don't guess about what you are towing, do the math and make sure you are towing within the limits of the vehicle you are buying. Most people run out of payload capacity before they run out of towing capacity.

    Personally I wouldn't use the old suburban to tow, breakdowns ruin vacations and the farther you travel the worse it is.
     
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  16. Pilsnerpunk

    Pilsnerpunk New Member

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    It's already been said, but I would look for a vehicle that can tow 3500 lb as a minimum. If you already have a suburban it should be easy to find something smaller and more efficient that still has a reasonable tow capacity. Keep in mind that towing capacity isn't the only number that matters. Tongue weight and payload are also important to consider when making your choice of trailer and tow vehicle.
     
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  17. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    I don't think you would want to rely on your suburban to tow with especially if you are already having issues with it. If those issues have something to do with the transmission even worse. As your camper will put even more strain on the transmission. Dont do what my parents did. My parents towed a 1500 gross popup camper with a Ford Taurus station wagon with a tow limit of 1500 but towing the camper gave that car an early death. Less than 100k miles later and they are looking to buy a minivan with a 3000 tow limit. It did great except when we took it over some mountains and ran into break problems. As campers that small didn't have breaks back then the van couldn't stop the fully loaded car and camper on the steep hills of the mountain. So to say they again upgraded their vehicle. That popup cost my parents a LOT of money as they didn't do enough homework before buying the next car. Mountains are a killer when you tow.
     
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  18. lostboy

    lostboy Active Member

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    Not sure if it's helpful but here is a mid size suv list and their tow capacity, might be a good place to start. They all hover around 5,000 lbs.

    My 07 pathfinder has a 6000 tow capacity and towed our pup great (2800ish loaded) and our hybrid ok (4000ish loaded).
     
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  19. Sneezer

    Sneezer Well-Known Member

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    I tow with an SUV. Mine is a Chrysler Aspen - part of the 2nd gen Dodge Durango family. It is smaller than a Suburban or Expedition, but bigger than the Explorer and others. I have the Hemi, so gas mileage sucks but it will pull just about anything. I bought mine used so I would have something that had decent comfort for long trips and could tow a hybrid for when I hopefully make the change. I also needed something with higher clearance and 4wd for scout campouts - got real close to getting stuck with the family minivan once and that was enough for me.
     
  20. soft 17

    soft 17 Active Member

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    I would recommend a 4runner. Its a body on frame SUV and tows 5000lb. I get 20 mpg unless there are a lot of hills. Ive gotten as good as 24 MPG on flat ground.
     
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