What camper can I tow with a minivan? (7+ models)

In today’s article, we will answer the following question: What camper can I tow with a minivan? We will also discuss what is towing with a minivan like and give you some tips for safe towing.

What camper can I tow with a minivan?

Your minivan can tow any camper on the market as long as you don’t exceed the vehicle’s towing capacity. With the right equipment, the towing capacity of a minivan is up to 3600 lbs, so check the weight and size of the camper you want to tow against what the minivan owner’s manual says is compatible. 

We have selected a few models of campers that we believe are the best for minivans. Check them out:

Best campers to be towed with a minivan

Camper ModelWeight (unloaded)Options
Caretta Caravan1545 lbsThe range includes four models: the flagship Caretta 1500 version, a 4 × 4 version and two utility vehicles (Cargo and Shop).
Hero Camper 1820 lbsThis camper is characterized by a body height above the standard of the “mini” type, offering at the same time more roominess. It is equipped with a sink, storage space and a place for a refrigerator. 
MyDrop Teardrop trailer 1650 lbsThe originality of the product lies not only in its construction (aluminum sandwich panel) but also in the particular style with the painted wooden wheel fenders. Another find is the indoor table option.
Micro Teardrop Trailer1000 lbsThis Breton manufacturer offers a catalogue with customization possibilities. The offer is based on the Micro, the Teardrop, the 4 × 4 Prestige, not to mention the Mini, which can be towed by a trike or a sidecar. 
My Mini Trailer600 lbsThis is an eco-responsible trailer that you can easily maintain yourself. Like its counterparts, it can be equipped with much optional equipment.
Timberline by Homegrown Trailers 3900 lbsA little larger camper, but still towable by many minivans. Can sleep up to six people, depending on the layout you will choose. 
​The Terrapin by Casual Turtle Camper1360 lbsA very aerodynamic and waterproof camper. Good quality insulation and enough space for a small family. Can be used for four seasons. 
The Cricket by Taxa Outdoors1753 lbsThis camper can be towed even by many 4-cylinder vehicles. It sleeps two adults + two children and it is easy to tow without any additional equipment. 

How much can your minivan tow?

To know how much your minivan can tow we need to define a few essential terms:

  • Payload is the weight of the entire powertrain, passengers plus the weight of the trailer tongue, it does NOT add to the weight of your vehicle. 
  • Total vehicle weight is the total weight of the vehicle, passengers, transmission, and fuel plus the weight of the tongue. 
  • Gross weight is the weight of the vehicle without payload and passengers. Gross vehicle weight minus payload. 
  • The gross combined weight of the vehicle is the total weight determined by the manufacturer, added to the vehicle, each and every passenger, cargo and fuel plus the attached trailer. 
  • Maximum trailer weight is the heaviest weight a vehicle can carry while towing. 
  • Tongue weight is the weight that the tongue accommodates on the trailer hitch.
  • Maximum tongue weight is the maximum weight that can be installed on the trailer hitch and within the maximum added payload. This can transform depending on the type of hitch used. 
  • Dry weight is the weight of the camper without adding water, gasoline, or equipment. 
  • The maximum trailer payload is the maximum ratio of equipment, water and gas that can be reliably carried on the trailer. Dry weight plus maximum trailer payload is the gross vehicle weight of the trailer. The gross vehicle weight with the trailer is the total weight of the trailer with all its contents.

So what size camper can I tow with a minivan?

The first place to take a look at how much your specific vehicle can pull is in your owner’s manual. For multiple minivans, this can come up with a very easy and straightforward answer. 

Vehicles with multiple engine configurations, wheelbases, cab designs and/or final gear configurations have a table with the combinations and the respective towing power. Read these tables carefully. Often they only apply if the vehicle is equipped with the hitch assembly. The diagrams also contain many footnotes. Too many tables are ranked by gross combined weight or gross vehicle weight as the determining factor, as well as by wheelbase, engine, and final drive ratio. 

The towing weight of a base vehicle as compared to a properly equipped vehicle can be a few thousand pounds. Just knowing how your vehicle is equipped can tell you how much it can pull.

Don’t overload your minivan

Not exceeding the towing capabilities of your minivan is as essential for occupant safety as it is for the safety and protection of your car’s powertrain. 

An overload is primarily dangerous because it uses not only the front tires to drive but also 75% of your stop. With the weight of the car and whatever happens to be towing, you lose control of the steering and the ability to stop effectively. The transmission and suspension of your car are also exposed to high loads.

By properly understanding the capabilities of your minivan, you can ensure that you will be spending some picturesque family weekends together, protecting you from costly repairs.

What is towing with a minivan like?

A minivan is a vehicle that is smaller than a van but large enough to accommodate seven to nine people. Nowadays, these vehicles are associated with soccer mothers and families with children, but they have actually been around for a long time. The minivan’s predecessors include vehicles such as the Volkswagen Bus, but the first true minivans began series production by companies such as Toyota and Chrysler in the 1980s.

Minivans were often preferred to cars like station wagons, a typical car for large families, because they looked more like cars and could be slightly more fuel-efficient. They were also a prime choice for people who wanted plenty of passenger space. 

Many parents thanked the creators of minivans for creating three rows of seats, thus providing the ability to separate children quarrelling in a row.

The dimensions of these vehicles can vary and can be made in smaller and smaller sizes, which can increase in length. The height is typically around 65 inches (165.1 cm) or slightly higher. Especially in the early days, minivans may not be preferred because many of them lacked powerful engines. 

If people wanted large transports with a lot of power, they tended to turn to SUVs. Today, many minivan models are made with a V6 or V8 engine. This gives them more power and makes them more capable of towing things like small trailers.

The popularity of these vehicles has remained high, although there has been some decline in popularity because they are not fuel-efficient vehicles. Some people have turned to smaller cars with higher fuel efficiency or hybrid SUV types. 

There was also a concern for the safety of the first models. The addition of driver and passenger airbags and side curtain airbags has improved crash tests and safety features on most minivans.

Trends in creating alternative fuel or more efficient vehicles are driving car manufacturers to find ways to produce hybrid minivans. Several car manufacturers are developing hybrid models for minivans. These will likely replace standard minivans in the years to come as fuel consumption demands increase.

The bottom line

Most minivans were designed with the towing capacity in mind. Check the combined weight of the minivan and the camper, as well as the towing capacity of your minivan by referring to the owner’s manuals for both vehicles. 

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or comments on the content.

Other FAQs about Camper Vans that you may be interested in.

Is Van life lonely?

Is Van Life Legal?

How much is the lot rent for a camper?

FAQ on What camper can I tow with a minivan?

Can you pull a travel trailer with a minivan?

Yes, you can pull a travel trailer with a minivan. Check the combined weight of the minivan and the travel trailer, as well as the towing capacity of your minivan by referring to the owner’s manuals for both vehicles. 

Can a van pull a trailer?

A van can definitely pull a trailer. While many associate trailer driving with SUVs, a minivan can do just as a great job. Besides, you have more space for your luggage and passengers!

Which minivan is best for towing?

Some of the best minivans for towing are Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey, Ford Transit, Nissan NV and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter or Metris. 

Can a minivan tow a U-haul trailer?

Most minivans have a towing capacity of 3,500 lbs (1587 kg), which is in most cases just enough to tow a U-haul trailer.

References

What was missing from this post which could have made it better?