Can you pull a pop up camper with a 4 cylinder? (11+ cars that can)

In this article, we will answer the following question: Can you pull a pop up camper with a 4 cylinder? We will review 12 cars that can tow a pop-up camper and help you understand how much weight a car can tow. 

Can you pull a pop up camper with a 4 cylinder?

Yes, you can pull a pop-up camper with a 4 cylinder vehicle. Pop-up campers are relatively lighter and smaller than the average camper, and can therefore be towed even by smaller cars. But still, you need to check the towing capacity of your vehicle.

Given the variety of pop-up caravans, you should be able to find one that is suitable for your needs. Each style offers its own uniqueness and many benefits from additional exterior storage, sturdy wheels for travelling off-road or a comfortable and warm space for overnight camping. 

The important thing to remember is that the amenities are equally weighted, and that decision is yours based on your tow vehicle and the features you are looking for in a pop-up camper. It is never a good idea to exceed your car’s towing capacity. You should always leave some “space” so you don’t have to worry about carrying extra cargo, freshwater, or your child’s best friend.

Please see the table below for more details on 12 4-cylinder cars that can easily tow a pop-up camper. Some may surprise you. 

Car ModelTowing CapacityTowing and Driving Experience
Ford Explorer5,300 lbs/2400 kgA 2019 Ford Explorer can tow any caravan weighing up to 5,000 pounds, while the new 2020 Ford Explorer can tow up to 5,600 pounds. 
This means that a Ford Explorer can tow pop-up trailers, hybrid trailers, tear-off trailers, and some smaller caravans.
Ford Expedition5,900 lbs/2676 kgWhether you’re hauling a pop-up camper or towing a large load, the new Ford Expedition with its class-exclusive Pro Trailer Backup Assist ™ makes it easier than ever to perform these tasks with confidence. 
More than 50 per cent of customers use Expedition towing and 15 per cent weekly or monthly.
BMW X1 2.0 Liter Turbo3,700 pounds/1600 kgLike any self-respecting BMW, the X1 has a good road holding. Pushed to the limit, it subverts, but the ESP does its job well, but without exaggerating by brutally cutting the torque transmitted to the wheels.
GMC Canyon3,500 lbs/1587 kgThe diesel engine produces 181 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque and is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. 
Rear-wheel drive is standard, but a model equipped with the all-wheel-drive system will definitely impress you.
GMC Yukon8,500 lbs/3855 kgGMC Yukon is among the most spacious vehicles in their class and has more than the necessary towing capacity to pull a pop-up camper. 
VW Tiguan5,511 pounds/2500 kgsThe VW Tiguan is a comfortable car, built for long journeys. Besides, there’s a lot of space everywhere and the trunk can be enlarged by sliding the back seats. 
Volkswagen Jetta2000 pounds/ 900 kgTheoretically, a VW Jetta can tow a pop-up camper, but Volkswagen does not recommend installing a towing bar to this model as it can affect your warranty. The base version of the VW Jetta wouldn’t do too much, but with the SportWagen configuration you can tow up to 2000 lbs. (900 kg). 
Chevrolet Tahoe8,500 lbs/3855 kgA Chevy Tahoe is one of the most proficient sport utility vehicles on the market when it comes to towing with a capacity of 8,500 lbs which, when you think about it, is absolutely huge since it’s more than it needs for most trailers. 
Chevy Suburban8,300 lbs/3760 kgThis Chevy generation has three rows perfectly suitable for passengers of any size, without the restriction of head or leg space, although still a little across the width on the bench to the rear. 
Access is easy; the top of the range integrates electric seat folding.
Subaru Outback3,989 lbs/1800 kgTowing a pop-up camper with a Subaru Outback is easy and comfortable. A four-wheel-drive station wagon with a six-cylinder engine is now a more than a scarce commodity. 
Nissan Armada8,500 lbs/3855 kgThe full-size sports utility Nissan Armada is the largest and most powerful vehicle in the entire portfolio of SUVs and crossovers of the Japanese brand. 
Also in aspects such as performance, refinement, advanced technologies and even inheritance.
Toyota Sequoia7,000 lbs/3175 kgToyota Sequoia offers many different features to keep its drivers safe while towing. These include passenger-and driver-side airbags and ABS brakes.

Other questions you may be interested in

Do pop up campers leak when it rains?

Do pop up campers have a fridge?

Can you sleep in a pop-top in winter?

How much does a pop-up camper weigh?

A pop-up camper weighs about 2000 lbs/900 kg (unloaded) which makes it the easiest type of camper to be towed. When buying a camper, there are several weight-related notions that you must know. To safely tow your pop-up camper, you need to know what each weight term means. We explain them below. 

  • UVW (Unloaded Vehicle Weight) – This is the weight of the pop-up camper when it arrives at the manufacturer with a full tank of fuel. Essentially, this is the lightest your pop-up will be before packing it up with your gear.
  • CCC (carrying capacity) – This is the amount of equipment, water, and other necessities that you can pack. If you are starting with an empty caravan at UVW, weigh everything before you enter the caravan. Even if you don’t have an empty caravan, weighing everything will keep it within its carrying capacity. 
  • GAWR (Gross Axle Weight Rating) – This is the maximum weight that the trailer axles can safely support. This rating includes gear, water, and the bodyweight of the camper in the frame. Exceeding this rating could cause the trailer to fail under load.
  • GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Ratio) – This is how much your vehicle can carry, including the hitch weight plus the vehicle’s payload capacity. For your vehicle’s cargo capacity, think about passengers, pets, and equipment stored in your vehicle. 

How do you know if your car can tow a pop-up camper?

To find out how much your vehicle can tow, you can check your owner’s manual or look up your vehicle’s VIN number. You can also lookup the make and model of your vehicle to see what it is capable of towing. Please note that towing capacity may vary depending on whether you have the base model or all the amenities.

Once you figure out how much your vehicle can tow, it’s best to stay several hundred pounds under this limit. This gives you some leeway to collect additional equipment or water. Also, staying under the limit and not putting pressure on your weight reduces wear and tear on your vehicle.

Remember, when determining what your vehicle can tow, this weight includes both the weight of the packaged trailer and what you put on the vehicle. Don’t load your trailer with so much gear that you have to leave your dog behind.

Final advice

Normally the maximum allowed weight your car can tow is stipulated in the technical sheet, this usually varies in the brand, model, design, among other aspects. You can also search for Maximum Authorized Mass (MAM) and in this way, you will find the authorized weight capacity that your vehicle can carry.

While pop-up campers are among the lightest and easiest campers to tow, we want to highlight the importance of respecting your car’s towing capacity. Exceeding this weight can damage your vehicle and cause unwanted road accidents.

Please feel free to contact us, should you have more questions about this content. 

FAQ on Can you pull a pop-up camper with a 4 cylinder?

What happens when you exceed your vehicle’s towing capacity?

When you exceed your vehicle’s towing capacity you bring a series of consequences for your card, such as engine overheating; tire failure, overloading the drivetrain, CO2 emissions increase among others. 

What percentage of max towing capacity is safe?

A percentage of 80% or 75% of max towing capacity would be safe and recommendable. 

How do you know if you tow too much weight?

You know you are towing too much weight when the rear of the truck will appear hunkered down and the front end will feel light.

How do you know the weight that is carried?

There are all kinds of scales to know the weight carried both on the shaft and the lance. They exist from scales for the wheels to scales for the lance, passing through wheels that have the scale incorporated.


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