Can a CR-V pull a pop-up camper?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Can a CR-V pull a pop-up camper? We will discuss Honda CR-V towing capacity and towing features. We will also review the car’s performance when towing. 

Can a CR-V pull a pop-up camper?

Yes, a Honda CR-V can pull a pop-up camper, lightweight trailer, even a small boat! The maximum towing capacity of a CR-V is 1500 lbs, while a pop-up camper weighs around 600 lbs. This leaves the CR-V with more than enough power to tow and impress us.

See the table below for more details on CR-V’ towing capacity depending on the model year. 

Honda CR-V Towing Capacity

YearTowing Capacity (pounds)Payload Capacity (pounds)
2020 Honda CR-V1,5001,106
2019 Honda CR-V1,5001,388
2018 Honda CR-V1,5001,106
2017 Honda CR-V1,5001,106
2016 Honda CR-V1,5001,027
2015 Honda CR-V1,5001,012
2014 Honda CR-V1,500850
2013 Honda CR-V1,500850
2012 Honda CR-V1,500850
2011 Honda CR-V1,500385
2010 Honda CR-V1,500385
2009 Honda CR-V1,500385
2008 Honda CR-V1,500385
2007 Honda CR-V1,500385
2006 Honda CR-V1,500956
2005 Honda CR-V1,500956
2004 Honda CR-V1,500973

Honda CR-V towing features

If you want to take full advantage of the towing capacity of the Honda CR-V, you should be aware that this SUV has been designed with a number of useful technologies, all to provide a safer experience with or without a trailer. Here are some of the more prominent features and options:

  • The Honda CR-V towing package includes a receiver-style trailer hitch, along with a drawbar, clip, and hitch harness.
  • Real-time AWD with intelligent control is an option available across the entire CR-V line. Torque is automatically redistributed to the wheels where it is most needed to ensure safer driving.
  • Vehicle Stability Assist with Traction Control is included on all CR-V models. This feature is designed to provide superior control during cornering or travelling on slippery roads.
  • Brake assist technology recognizes when you are at risk of colliding with an obstacle in your path. When you apply the brakes, you automatically apply all your force to slow down more quickly.
  • Hill Start Assist keeps your vehicle in place while you move your foot from the brake to the gas.

If you plan to spend a lot of time towing heavy cargo, speak with an expert to find out if you will need to make adjustments to the CR-V maintenance schedule.

Honda CR-V behaviour on the road

The Honda CR-V can boast great balance in all respects. Improved agility compared to its predecessor and even excels against rivals such as the Tucson, the Kodiaq or the C5 Aircross, effectively fulfilling its mission and always offering the driver noble and safe reactions, without surprises when we try to seek the limit.

At first glance, its exterior dimensions may seem remarkable to you, but the truth is that, after driving for a week with it, I have not noticed excessive differences with respect to taking a car. After all, most of the units sold will spend most of their life cycle in the city.

For that reason, this SUV has a high driving position that favours visibility in the city. It is not difficult to stroll with it or to manoeuvre to park, additionally it has front and rear parking sensors, reversing camera with three modes and a rear cross-traffic alert.

In addition, its turning diameter is quite good, stopping at 11 meters between curbs and 11.9 meters between walls. The steering wheel, on the other hand, has 2.34 turns between stops and offers a non-linear reduction of the steering, quite quickly, although I have missed the assistance depending on the speed on the highway and a little more feedback.

Safety tips for towing a pop-up camper

Each car has reported a maximum towable mass in its booklet. It would be good if this was higher than the caravan we intend to tow in order not to create a situation of excessive effort of the engine. 

The diesel engine is much more suitable than the petrol engine. In fact, when driving with a trailer, torque values ​​will have a lot of importance while the characteristics that make petrol engines brilliant, in acceleration and speed are less important. 

  • The first step to take is to become familiar with hooking the pop-up camper to the car. It is a question of bringing the hook closer to the eye of the rudder, then the caravan is raised using the crank of the wheel and it is lowered into the coupling position by snapping the handle on the rudder: a small green pin will come out which signals that coupling has been completed. operate the stabilizer button, connect the 13-pin plug, then lower the trailer brake lever.
  • A trick to make sure that the camper is properly hooked is to try to lift it with the crank of the wheel. If it releases, obviously, the operation was not performed correctly. Make sure the feet are raised, adjust the mirrors and the journey can begin.
  • The engine must always be in torque: a well-fired engine nips the oscillations of the trailer in the bud due to gusts of wind or simply due to the eddies produced by overtaking vehicles. Should the trailer oscillate, do not brake but accelerate to “pull” the caravan and put it back on the line.
  • The adoption of stabilizers on the hook has greatly reduced the effects of this phenomenon. They are installed as standard on almost all caravans or are available as options: we recommend them. Attention: the effect of the oscillation increases with increasing speed. Above 120 km / h this can become uncontrollable.
  • Overtaking on the motorway must be carried out without sudden manoeuvres with the steering but with full acceleration, downshifting before starting the manoeuvre and looking for the highest point of the torque to change. 
  • Keep in mind that the time to complete the manoeuvre will be tripled compared to what we do with the car alone and, above all, that many motorists do not understand the needs of those who tow. 
  • On ordinary roads, pay attention to the limits of shape in the signage. When turning, the trajectory is widened to compensate for the different turning dynamics of the caravan compared to the car. These are simpler manoeuvres than they seem and with a little practice, they will be automatic.

This is where our article reaches an end. Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions, comments or suggestions about towing with a Honda CR-V!

FAQ on Can a CR-V pull a pop-up camper?

How much can a CR-V pull?

A properly equipped Honda CR-V can tow up to 1500 lbs (680 kg).

What kind of trailer can a Honda CR-V pull?

A Honda CR-V can pull a lightweight aluminium trailer, a pop-up trailer or a teardrop trailer. 

Can a Honda CR-V tow a pontoon boat?

No, a Honda CR-V cannot tow a pontoon boat. The towing capacity of the CR-V is just too small for what is needed for a pontoon boat (at least 2000 lbs).

Is the Honda CR-V a good tow car?

Yes, Honda CR-V is a good tow car. It is economical and spacious enough, besides it performs really well even in high winds and more adverse conditions. 

Can a CR-V pull a boat?

Yes, a Honda CR-V can pull a small boat, as long as it doesn’t exceed the maximum towing capacity of 1500 lbs (680 kg).


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