Can you pull a trailer behind a pop-up camper?

In today’s article, we will discuss: Can you pull a trailer behind a pop-up camper? We will find out if your car can pull both a trailer and a pop-up camper. We will also share the best vehicles that, in our opinion, are best for double or triple towing. 

Can you pull a trailer behind a pop-up camper?

Yes, you can pull a trailer behind a pop-up camper. However, be mindful that not every state allows towing two trailers or a boat and a trailer. This is called triple towing, and in the table below you will see the states that allow it and those that don’t.

Even if triple towing is allowed in your state, we suggest you read the legislation carefully. Some states limit the complete length (eg. car+camper+boat) to 65 feet, while in other states the limit is 70 or 75 feet. 

Besides, in most cases, the second trailer can only be recreational equipment such as boats, ski jets or ATVs. 

Triple Towing in the United States

StateAllowed
AlabamaNo
AlaskaYes
ArizonaYes
ArkansasYes
CaliforniaYes
ColoradoYes
ConnecticutYes
DelawareNo
FloridaNo
GeorgiaNo
HawaiiYes
IdahoYes
IllinoisNo
IndianaYes
IowaYes
KansasNo
KentuckyYes
LouisianaYes
MaineNo
MarylandNo
MassachusettsNo
MichiganNo
MinnesotaNo
MississippiNo
MissouriYes
MontanaYes
NebraskaYes
NevadaNo
New HampshireNo
New JerseyNo
New MexicoYes
New YorkNo
North CarolinaYes
North DakotaYes
OhioYes
OklahomaNo
OregonNo
PennsylvaniaYes
Rhode IslandNo
South CarolinaYes
South DakotaYes
TennesseeYes
TexasNo
UtahYes
VermontYes
VirginiaNo
WashingtonNo
West VirginiaNo
WisconsinNo
WyomingNo

Can your car pull a trailer behind a pop-up camper?

Once you have established that you are allowed to triple tow in your state, the next aspect you should be concerned about is whether your car has enough towing capacity and torque to pull a trailer behind a pop-up camper. 

You can find the towing capacity of your vehicle in the owner’s manual. We advise you to not exceed the towing capacity recommended by the manufacturer as it could damage your vehicle’s transmission. Our suggestion is not to tow more than 80% of the towing capacity of your vehicle, in fact. 

Once you know how much you can tow with your car, it is only a matter of simple math. The average pop-up camper weighs 2000 lbs, but some models, as you will see in the table below, can weigh up to 3,900 lbs. 

Pop-up camper average weight

Popular ModelsWeight
Rockwood Freedom 1640LTD1,465 lbs
Rockwood Freedom 1940F2,204 lbs
Rockwood Freedom 19801,896 lbs
Rockwood Highwall HW2773,334 lbs
Rockwood Highwall HW2963,721 lbs
Coachmen Clipper Express 9.01,277 lbs
Coachmen Clipper ELS 128LS3,223 lbs
Coachmen Clipper Sport 125ST3,241lbs
Coachmen Clipper Classic 1285SST3,296 lbs
Coachmen Clipper V-Trec V34,427 lbs
SylvanSport Go1,850 lbs
Aliner Classic3,000 lbs
Aliner Expedition3,500 lbs
Opus Lite3,527 lbs
Opus OP23,970 lbs

What happens if you exceed the towing capacity?

If you exceed towing capacity, you will be able to see the effect of the trailer load on the vehicle only when it is running. If the weights are evenly distributed and the car is collided from behind, the vehicle hardly destabilizes. But if, on the contrary, the weight is poorly distributed on the trailer and it suffers a blow, the vehicle loses control. 

This, on a busy road and at a high speed, could cause a fatal accident, so we emphasize the importance of dedicating the necessary time to properly place the load on the trailer and stop considering it an unimportant process. 

Top 10 vehicles that could pull a trailer behind a pop-up camper with ease

If you are one of the people who need serious towing requirements from your car, you know that pickups can get the most out of it, even towing beyond 10,000 pounds. But if what you need is to transport a lot of people or to triple tow, there are many SUVs as an option.

Here is the list of the 10 SUVs with the best towing capabilities announced by the manufacturer.

  1. Ford Expedition Max – Ford Expedition tops out at 9,300 pounds (9,200 pounds with four-wheel drive), with an optional heavy-duty towing package. The Expedition Max, an extended-length version of the Expedition, exceeds 9,000 pounds with the same package, regardless of the driveline.
  1. Dodge Durango SRT – The Dodge Durango SRT features standard four-wheel drive and a 6.4-litre V-8 engine with 475 horsepower, with a maximum capacity of 8,700 pounds. With Durango’s 3.6-litre V-6 or 5.7-litre V-8, towing capacity drops to 6,200 to 7,400 pounds, respectively.
  1. Lincoln Navigator L – The Navigator, sibling to the Ford Expedition, tops out at 8,600 pounds (8,300 pounds with 4WD). The extended-length version, called the Navigator L, tops out at 8,400 pounds (8,100 pounds with 4WD).
  1. Chevrolet Tahoe, Suburban – Both the Chevy Tahoe and Suburban are similar SUVs but have slightly different towing specifications Maximum towing capacity for the Tahoe comes with the 5.3-litre V-8, and is 8,600 pounds (8,400 with 4WD); The 6.2-liter Tahoe V-8 tops out at 8,400 pounds (8,100 with 4WD).

Maximum towing capacity for the Suburban comes with the 5.3-litre V-8, and is 8,300 pounds (8,000 with 4WD); The 6.2-liter Suburban V-8 tops out at 8,100 pounds (7,900 pounds with 4WD).

  1. Nissan Armada – The Armada with a 5.6-litre V-8 has a maximum towing capacity of 8,500 pounds regardless of the driveline.
  1. Infiniti QX80 – The Armada’s more luxurious sibling, the Infiniti QX80 has a 5.6-litre V-8 with slightly more power but the same maximum towing capacity – 8,500 pounds regardless of the driveline.
  1. GMC Yukon, Yukon XL – The two GM brands both the Tahoe and the Suburban, the GMC Yukon and the long-running sibling Yukon XL are truck-based SUVs with large V-8 engines. Maximum towing capacity comes with the standard 5.3-litre V-8, which peaks at 8,500 pounds in the Yukon (8,200 pounds with 4WD).

The Yukon XL reaches 8,300 pounds (8,000 pounds with 4WD). The optional 6.2-litre V-8 engine tops out at 8,400 pounds (8,100 with 4WD) in the Yukon and 8,100 pounds (7,900 with 4WD) in the Yukon XL.

  1. Cadillac Escalade, Escalade ESV – Extended-length siblings to previous GMC and Chevrolet models, the Escalade and ESV Escalade have a standard 6.2-litre V-8. Maximum towing capacity is 8,300 pounds (8,100 with 4WD) on the Escalade and 8,100 pounds (7,900 pounds with 4WD) on the Escalade ESV.
  1. Land Rover Discovery – Land Rover’s new three-row SUV, the Discovery, boasts a maximum towing capacity of 8,201 pounds when equipped with a supercharged V-6 engine. An available turbo-diesel V-6 reduces that capacity to about 7,716 pounds.
  1. Toyota Land Cruiser – Toyota’s very reliable Land Cruiser, with a 5.7-litre V-8 and 4WD engine, has a maximum towing capacity of 8,100 pounds.

The bottom line

Having two trailers behind your car involves the use of two joints. In the absence of a trailing axle, significant skidding would have to be taken into account and some trajectories could be complex. 

It is necessary to be well informed about it before getting started but be careful, you must first practice and gain enough experience before making long journeys or carrying heavy masses.

We wish you a safe journey and please let us know if you have any questions or comments on the content.

FAQ on Can you pull a trailer behind a pop-up camper?

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.

Can you tow a camper and a boat at the same time?

In California, you can tow a camper and a boat at the same time. This would allow the towing of a boat trailer behind a gooseneck or bumper hitch camping trailer.

Is it legal to pull a trailer behind a fifth wheel?

In some states, such as California, Idaho, Nebraska or Tennessee, it is legal to pull a trailer behind a fifth wheel. It is called a triple towing.

How much weight can you pull behind a 5th wheel?

You will have to research the laws in your state, but generally, the weight you can pull behind a 5th wheel is 6000 lbs with 600 lbs of tongue weight.

References