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Minivan Towable RV: What Camper Can I Pull With a Minivan

Not everyone wants a big RV. Sometimes they feel that a camper is enough and will meet their family’s camping needs. When that happens, they need to know what kind of camper can be towed with their current minivan. Not everyone drives a pick up either.

What camper can I pull with a minivan? The perfect camper you can tow with a minivan is not a brand name camper. It is the camper who does not weigh more than the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating your minivan can handle. This weight rating is usually located on a sticker placed on your front door frame.

When thinking about towing a camper with your minivan, you have to think about weight, not brand. To find out more concerning your minivan’s towing capacity just keep reading our article. It has the information you need so you do not purchase a camper that is too heavy for your minivan.

Can I tow a Camper With my Minivan?

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Yes, you can but it will depend on several factors. For example, some models of the Chrysler Town and Country can pull up to 3,600 pounds, others can only haul 1,600 pounds.

You need to check the towing weight capacity to see how big a camper you can pull safely. The next step is to make sure you have or can install a tow package on your minivan. Again, the Town and Country minivan is equipped to handle that package.

Once the tow package is in place, you attach the trailer to the hitch and connect the safety chain and light systems. Then before you go on the road, take your rig, trailer and all, and to a large parking lot and test the brakes, lights and pulling power.

The final step will get you used to pulling the trailer and give you an idea of what to expect when you are on the road. Then as another tip, you may want to go with a lighter trailer, say, 850 pounds when using your minivan. This gives you ample weight room for food and other needed supplies.

If you get a camper close to your vehicle’s tow weight, you may not be able to carry all the supplies you need.

Can I Pull a Pop-Up Camper With a Minivan?

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If you can pull a camper with a minivan, you should be able to pull a pop up trailer as well. There is not much difference between the two recreational trailers and both would need the proper tow package to make sure you tow the pop up safely.

Like pulling the camper, the key to pulling a pop up trailer is to make sure you are well below the towing weight capacity that your vehicle can handle. You will also want to make sure you have enough weight room left over to carry supplies like food, extra propane, clothes, and other safety equipment.

One concern you need to address is the hitch. You need to get the right hitch for your minivan. You may want to talk to a good repair man or your minivan dealer to make sure you get the correct hitch for your vehicle.

Just a word of caution though, not all minivans may be made to tow any type of trailer. You really should investigate this and see if your make and model has the right equipment to handle heavy tow loads.

How Big of a Camper Can a Minivan Pull?

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The size of the camper you can tow will depend on the weight of the camper. It is not about foot length when it comes to towing. Other factors involved restrict the size of the camper your minivan can tow.

For example, the 2017 Kia Sedona can tow about 3500 pounds but that does not just include trailer weight. You have to subtract passenger weight and a family of 4 may weigh about 500 pounds, so now your Sedona can only handle a 3000-pound trailer.

Then there is the issue of food and supplies. If you are carrying up to 800 pounds of supplies, your Kia can only pull a 2200 pound trailer and on it goes. The final factor you need to consider is does the engine on your minivan have the power to tow the trailer?

In a majority of cases they do. Some minivans have successfully towed certain airstream trailers but they may not have the power to get the rig up those steep mountain slopes many RVers travel.

You also need to consider your driving habits and the braking power of the minivan. While you may feel safe towing a larger camper, you may not actually be safe. That is because other drivers may not be as safe on the road as you.

Best Camper to Pull With a Minivan

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There is going to be a lot of subjective and personal preferences and opinions here but we found about 6 good trailers or campers you can pull with your minivan. These are on the small to medium size.

Your experience may find that your minivan can handle larger trailers and that is also good. We prefer to be on the safer side of the issue at this time. Smaller trailers are easier to handle especially when you encounter someone coming at you on the wrong side of the road and you have to make a very fast and sharp turn.

Here is the list of best campers you can tow with your minivan:

  • Tear drop campers - small, portable and still enough room to sleep inside.
  • Timberline by Homegrown Trailers - a little larger and it makes for a good guest house when the mother-in-law arrives unexpectedly.
  • A Happier Camper - it's a throwback to a simpler era and provides you with the basic camping necessities.
  • The Terrapin by Casual Turtle Camper - its red cedar exterior is a show stopper and gives you that down-home feeling.
  • The Cricket by Taxa Outdoors - this has pop ups and other camping gear built into a very compact space.

Which Minivan is Best for Towing a Travel Trailer?

This is important to know because you want the best vehicle handling the towing duties on your next camping excursion. We have a list of about 10 top quality minivans that may fill the role of best minivan that can pull a travel trailer.

Here is that list for you:

  • The Ford transit Connect - with its towing package installed it can handle about 2,000 pounds with ease.
  • The Kia Sedona - its tow rating is 3,500 pounds and comes with a 3.3 Liter 6 cylinder engine. That should be more than enough power for you.
  • Toyota Sienna - it also can handle up to 3,500 pounds of towing duty with its 3.5 liter V 6 engine. A trailer hitch is not a factory option.
  • Honda Odyssey - we are not sure of its tow weight so ask before you buy. It does come with a 3.5 liter V 6 engine so you should have the power to handle 3,000 pounds.
  • Chrysler Pacifica - its 3.6 V6 engine handles a hundred more pounds than the Kia Sedona. You can haul a good-sized travel trailer as long as it doe snot weigh more than 3,600 pounds.
  • Mercedes-Benz Sprinter - this vehicle may be a little larger than a minivan but it fits this list as it comes with a 3.0 liter V6 engine and can tow up to 5,000 pounds.
  • Mercedes-Benz Metris - the Mercedes Benz car company makes great vehicles. This can be seen in this 2.0 liter V4 minivan that tows up to 5,000.
  • Mercedes-Benz Metris - the Mercedes Benz car company makes great vehicles. This can be seen in this 2.0 liter V4 minivan that tows up to 5,000.
  • Ford Transit - It is also a full-sized van, but it handles towing like a pro. Its 3.5 liter V6 passenger version handles towing between 3,100 and 5,000 pounds approx.
  • Nissan NV - Another top van that can handle the pressure of towing a nice travel trailer. This 5.6 liter V* pulls just over 8,500 pounds without breaking into a sweat.
  • Chevrolet Express/GMC Savana - last but not least is this model. Its 6.0 V8 pulls over 9,500 pound with ease and may be the better choice over a minivan.

Can a Dodge Grand Caravan Tow a Camper?

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The good news is that yes it can tow a camper. The size of camper may be a different story as the Grand caravan’s towing weight may be a bit different from year to year. The 2005 3.3 liter model could handle about 3,500 pounds in total.

If you take a look at the 2016 model’s owner’s manual, you will find that the Grand caravan will tow 3,600 pounds. But, that towing weight includes 2 people and some luggage. Once you weigh those elements your towing capacity will be a lot less.

It may be reduced to something like 3,000 pounds depending on how much luggage you bring with you. The type of hitch you would need to tow safely would be the Draw-Tite # 75579, which is a Class III, 2" hitch. The ball needed would be the Ball Mount Kit # 989900, which is for 2” hitches.

But check with your local dealer to make sure you get the right ball size for your camper.

Tips to Find a Minivan Friendly Travel Trailer

Everyone needs a few tips now and then to find that perfect camper or travel trailer for their minivan. Although using a minivan has its supporters and detractors, you can find some good travel trailers that are minivan friendly. You just need to know what to look for.

  • Weight - you want lightweight. The lighter the trailer the more food and equipment you can pack inside.
  • Design - you want a space-saving design that lets you pack a lot of gear in a very convenient but compact space.
  • Storage - you want good storage areas that hold a lot of stuff without crowding you out. This would include wire racks, plastic shelves or drawers and so on.
  • Customizing capability - you want to be able to add your own personal touches that make use of any extra space you may have inside. The ability to use hanging racks without propping the cabinet door open is a great plus.
  • Fold up bed - this will give you extra storage space under the mattress.
  • Size is not the issue - we have to remind you that the size is not the main factor in finding a minivan friendly travel trailer. If it is a very lightweight trailer then you can get a larger travel trailer. If not, then you have to go with a smaller one.
  • Towing capacity - you want a trailer that will be well under the tow limit your minivan can haul. This includes the weight of food, your spouse, your kids, and all the other supplies and equipment you bring along with you.
  • Looks - you do not want a bad looking trailer behind your minivan, Get one that looks good and is in good shape.

Some Final Words

When you own a minivan, it is not the brand of the camper that is important. Any brand will do as long as the camper is made from top-quality construction materials and will hold up for years.

The key, as we have said over and over, is the towing capacity of your minivan and the weight of the camper or travel trailer. You get these two factors figured out and you should be good to go.

It is possible to use your minivan to tow pop-ups, campers and even travel trailers, just make sure you meet all the necessary requirements to have a safe trip and towing time.

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