Can A Rav4 Tow A Camper? Find Out How Much Can A Rav4 Tow

If you own or are considering a Rav4 and you’re looking to pull your rig, you’re probably wondering: can a Rav4 tow a camper?

Yes, a Rav4 can tow a camper or travel trailer up to 3500 pounds depending on the trim level.  Rav4 LE models can tow up to 1500 pounds, Rav4 LE Hybrid models can tow up to 1750 pounds, and Rav4 Adventure or TRD Off-Road models can tow up to 3500 pounds.

There are additional factors you’ll need to consider when towing a travel trailer with your Rav4 which we’ll cover below.

Towing A Camper With A Rav4

So, can a Rav4 tow a camper? Yes: the Rav4 towing capacity is between 1500-3500 pounds, so as long as your camper, toy hauler, travel trailer, or pop-up camper is under 3500 lbs your Rav4 can successfully tow it.

Now we need to explore the additional factors you’ll need to keep in mind when towing your camper using your Rav4.

Can A Rav4 Pull A Trailer
How much a Rav4 can tow ranges from 1,295 to 3,500 pounds depending on the trim level.

Rav4 Tow Package Details

Does The Rav4 Come With A Tow Package?

The Rav4 does not come with a tow package included, so you’ll need to add one yourself or have one installed professionally.

What Do I Need To Tow A Camper With A Rav4?

At minimum you’ll need a trailer hitch and wiring harness to tow your camper behind your Rav4.

Do I Need A Brake Controller To Tow A Camper With A Rav4?

If your travel trailer or camper has electronic brakes then you’ll also need a brake controller to send a signal from your vehicle to the brakes on your trailer.

Most states have laws stating that any trailer over 3,000 pounds must have a brake controller, but check with your state for specifics.

Rav4 Tow Package Cost

Rav4 Trailer Hitch & Wiring Harness Cost

Rav4 trailer hitches run between $100-$200

CURT 13149 Class 3 Trailer Hitch, 2-Inch Receiver, Fits Select Toyota RAV4
  • DEPENDABLE STRENGTH. This trailer hitch is rated for 3,500 lbs. gross trailer weight, 525 lbs. tongue weight, 4,000 lbs. weight distribution capacity and 525 lbs. weight distribution tongue weight (limited to lowest-rated towing component)
  • VERSATILE DESIGN. This class 3 hitch equips your vehicle with a standard 2-inch x 2-inch hitch receiver, allowing for a wide variety of towing options. It can accept a ball mount, cargo carrier, bike rack, tow hook and much more
  • FULLY TESTED. Every CURT class 3 trailer hitch design is tested in real-world, on-vehicle conditions at our Detroit engineering facility. Aftermarket hitches are tested according to SAE J684 standards for the utmost safety while hauling
  • RUST, CHIP, UV-RESISTANT. This tow hitch is protected with a unique dual-coat finish of rust-resistant liquid Bonderite and highly durable black powder coat. The two finishes are co-cured together for exceptional resistance to rust, chipping and UV rays
  • EASY TO INSTALL. This hitch offers a custom, factory fit on select model years of the Toyota RAV4. Material-Carbon Steel

A Rav4 trailer hitch wiring harness runs between $35-$50.

CURT 56434 Vehicle-Side Custom 4-Pin Trailer Wiring Harness, Fits Select Toyota RAV4, Black
  • EASY TO INSTALL. No cutting! No splicing! This trailer wiring harness kit plugs into existing factory wiring on your vehicle and equips it with a standard, rear 4-pin trailer wiring connector for plugging in and towing a trailer
  • STANDARD CONNECTOR. This plug-in 4-flat trailer wiring can be used to connect trailer tail lights, brake signal lights and turn signals. 4-way trailer light wiring is popular on a variety of trailers, adding versatile towing options for your vehicle
  • VEHICLE-SPECIFIC. This aftermarket, vehicle-trailer wiring harness is designed for select years of the Toyota RAV4
  • RELIABLE POWER. This 4-way trailer wiring harness is built with surface mount technology. This type of circuitry generates less heat, optimal light intensity and durable performance
  • DUST COVER. To promote long-lasting use and weather resistance, this 4-pole trailer lighting wire harness comes with a rubber dust cover. It easily fits onto the 4-way flat connector when not in use, protecting it against the outdoor elements

Rav4 Trailer Hitch Installation Cost

Expect to pay between $200 and $500 to have a tow package professionally installed on your Rav4 (including the hitch and wiring harness).

Rav4 Brake Controller Cost

Rav4 brake controllers cost between $100-200 for the part, and up to $250 for the installation of the brake controller.

Rav4 Tow Package Installation

If you’re handy and looking to save money, you can install the trailer hitch and wiring harness yourself.

Always follow the manufacturer’s directions and use proper safety precautions.

Here’s a great video walkthrough on a Rav4 trailer hitch installation:

What Else Will I Need To Pull A Trailer With My Rav4?

Depending on what trailer or camper you’ll be pulling with your Rav4, you may opt for a suspension enhancement kit to reduce rear-end sag and to improve your ride quality and stability.

Additionally, if your trailer or camper has electric brakes then you’ll need a 7-way connector and brake controller kit.

What Campers Can A Rav4 Tow?

The Toyota Rav4 can tow lightweight and ultralightweight campers up to 3500 pounds depending on the trim level.

Your Rav4 can pull a trailer, camper, or pop-up camper under 3,500 pounds which is going to be most utra-lightweight and lightweight campers.

The Rav4 LE and LE Hybrid models can safely tow the following travel trailer and camper models under 1500 lbs:

  • TAXA Outdoor TigerMoth
  • Meerkat Camper
  • Oregon Trailer DoDrop Alpha
  • Colorado Teardrop Basedrop
  • Rustic Trail Teardrop Papa Bear
  • Scamp 13’ Camper

The Rav4 Adventure and TRD models can safely tow the following campers and trailers under 3500 lbs:

  • Forest River Wolf Pup 16FG
  • Coachmen Clipper Ultra-Lite 17CFG
  • Vintage Cruiser 19CSK
  • Forest River R-POD RP-180 & RP-172
  • Oliver Legacy Elite
  • Aliner Ascape Camp
  • Venture Sonic Lite SL169VUD
  • Jayco Hummingbird 10RK
  • 17’ Deluxe Casita Travel Trailers
  • Scamp 13’, 16’, and 19’ Deluxe Models
  • Droplet Camper
  • Taxa Outdoors Cricket
  • Airstream Nest
  • Palomino Puma Ultra Lite 16QBX

This is by no means a full list, but the above are some popular examples of campers that can be towed by a Rav4.

When determining what travel trailers you can pull behind your Rav4, you’ll want to know the following specs:

  • UVM (Unloaded Vehicle Weight) aka Dry Weight: This is the weight of a trailer as it’s manufactured at the factory.  This figure includes all the weight including the axles and hitch of your trailer or camper.
  • Cargo Carrying Capacity (CCC): This is the maximum weight of your personal belongings that can be added.  This is the GVWR minus the UVM, full fresh water tank weight, and full LP (liquid propane) gas weight.  In other words, CCC = GWVR – (UVM + water + gas).
  • Tongue Weight aka Hitch Weight: This is the amount of weight that’s pressing down on your vehicle’s hitch or 5th wheel connection when your travel trailer or camper is fully loaded for travel.

The most important factor to look for is the dry weight or UVM of your travel trailer or camper and making sure it’s below 3500 lbs so your Rav4 can safely tow it.

Understand that if it’s close to that number, you must also factor in any additional weight added to your trailer via cargo, water, or propane tanks and make sure the total does not exceed 3500 pounds. 

How Much Can A Rav4 Tow?

So, what is the Toyota Rav4 towing capacity?  How much a Rav4 can tow varies by trim level, so refer to the following to find the towing capacity of your Rav4.

Toyota Rav4 ModelToyota Rav4 Towing Capacity
Toyota Rav4 LE1,500 lbs
Toyota Rav4 LE Hybrid1,750 lbs
Toyota Rav4 Prime Plug-In Hybrid1,295 lbs
Toyota Rav4 Adventure3,500 lbs
Toyota Rav4 TRD Off-Road3,500 lbs

Rav4 LE 1500 Rav4 LE Hybrid 1750 Rav4 Prime Plug-In Hybrid 1295 Rav4 Adventure 3500 Rav4 TRD Off Road 3500

You’ll want to pay attention to the following specs to make sure your Rav4 can tow your camper or travel trailer:

  • CGWR (Combined Gross Weight Rating): This is the max allowable weight including your vehicle, cargo, passengers, and the trailer.
  • GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating): This is the maximum weight capacity of your vehicle including the vehicle itself, passengers, and cargo without a trailer or camper attached.  Exceeding either or both of the Rav4 GVWR or Rav4 towing capacity can damage the vehicle.

Can A Rav4 Tow A Camper? Wrapping Things Up

Hopefully this guide helped you to understand that yes, you can pull a trailer with a Rav4 as long as you pay close attention to the total weight (the camper or travel trailer must be under 3500 pounds or even less depending on your Rav4 trim level).

Since a Rav4 doesn’t come with a towing package installed, you’ll need to add one to the vehicle, and after that, you’re ready to hit the road!

What hitch did you choose for your Rav4, and how did the installation go?  Let your fellow campers know in the comments below.

While you’re here, check out our other helpful RV repair guides:

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