Minivans have been the perfect family vehicle for decades. They are extremely popular as everyday drivers and can be used in countless situations, whether you are hauling groceries, furniture, your kids and their friends, or anything in between. Camping is a common family activity, so it should be no surprise that people would want to take their minivan camping, but can a minivan pull a pop-up? We've reviewed minivan towing capacities and pop-up weights to get the answer for you.
A minivan is completely capable of pulling most pop-up campers. When it comes to towing, weight is more important than size. Most minivans can pull about 3,600 pounds, and most pop-up campers weigh anywhere from 1,500 to 3,000+ pounds. If your minivan is outfitted with trailer hook-ups and towing hitch, you should be set to tow almost any pop-up camper.
What are a few pop-up camper options you can tow behind a minivan? Which minivan is best for towing? How can you tell how much your minivan can tow? What happens if you exceed the GVWR? We have done the research and put the information here to answer these questions and more. Keep reading below!
Pop-Up Camper Options
If you are looking for a compact and light camper to tow, the SylvanSport GO is a perfect choice. Coming in at just 840 pounds, this is perfect for a family of two to four people looking for something to sleep in and a place to hang out, and be out of the elements. The price comes in at around $10,000.
Forest River RV Rockwood Freedom
This pop-up is a little bigger than the other and offers a lot more features like a dining area, cooking, two bedding areas, and more. If you are looking for a cheaper and lighter alternative to a hard-shell camper, this is going to be your new best friend. Oh, and it is only $8,500.
This camper is famous for its classic pop-up look and spacious interior. Because it is a bigger camper, you can expect the weight to be a little over 1,800 pounds while dry. Of course, this camper comes with a seating area, kitchen, queen and full beds, storage, and so much more. And just like all pop-up campers, it folds down to be easily towed away.
Aliner Ranger 12
This last pop-up option is a different type of pop-up known as an A-frame. Its name comes from its shape, which is wide at the bottom and gets narrower towards the top, resembling an 'A.' The great thing about A-frames is they have a hard shell all around, so you can truly be out of the elements. You can have this hard-shell roof without sacrificing weight because it comes in at just under 1,500 pounds!
Which Minivan Is Best For Towing?
There are a few minivans known to be the best overall, including in towing. The Honda Odyssey is a fantastic vehicle for carrying lots of passengers as well as towing a pop-up camper. The Odyssey has been around for decades and has only improved over time. The trailer hitch on the Odyssey is optional, so you will want to make sure your Odyssey has one installed or get one installed. This minivan is rated to tow 3,500 pounds.
Another awesome minivan is the Toyota Sienna. Toyotas are known to be the most reliable vehicles, and the Sienna is no different. This minivan can also tow 3,500 pounds and looks almost identical to the Odyssey. Choosing the right model is important as you may want to buy an all-wheel-drive version if you plan on going off-road at all when taking your camper to a campsite.
Finally, the Kia Sedona is another minivan coming in at a similar size and towing 3,500 pounds. For almost all pop-up campers, this is more than enough to tow it along with all your supplies and passengers. There are plenty of packages and options to add, including a tow hitch and premium upgrades so you can stay comfortable during your entire road trip.
If luxury is what you are after, the Mercedes-Benz Metris offers a whole lot. You get all the interior luxuries a Mercedes offers in a sizable minivan. On top of this, the Metris can tow up to 5,000 pounds, beating out all of its competition and allowing you to tow some of the more extreme pop-up campers. If money is not as big of an object, you cannot go wrong with this incredible choice.
How Can You Tell How Much Your Minivan Can Tow?
Figuring out how much your minivan can tow is fairly simple. Open your glove box or wherever you keep your owner's manual and find the page or section that mentions your towing information. No matter what manufacturer made your vehicle, you should be able to locate this information in your owner's manual. If you are unsure, try contacting your manufacturer directly or visit their website.
Knowing your vehicle's towing capacity is extremely important to you and the safety of your vehicle. Towing anything heavier than your designated weight limit can harm your vehicle, so we never recommend coming close to your weight limit.
What Happens If You Exceed The GVWR?
Your GVWR is your Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, and exceeding it can be harmful to your vehicle. This is different from how much weight your vehicle can tow, as the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating also includes the weight of your car. This is why knowing your GVWR is important because it can directly affect and be affected by your minivan. The most important thing is safety when it comes to driving a vehicle, especially with passengers.
Exceeding the GVWR can end up harming your suspension, engine, transmission, and everything in-between. The reality is, when you put too much stress on your vehicle, anything can go wrong. In order to ensure the safety of yourself and others and the longevity of your car, make sure you know your GVWR and other numbers like your towing capacity.
Overall, pop-up campers are the perfect campers for a minivan to pull because they just seem to go together. A minivan holds a lot of people but is not able to tow anything extraordinary. A pop-up camper is light and easily towable while still having the ability to hold a fair amount of people. It is no wonder minivan owners love to pair their van with a pop-up camper!
Interested in learning more about minivans? Check out this article: "Does A King Size Bed Fit In A Cargo Van Or Minivan?"
Need even more camping space than what you are hauling? Take a look at these tents: "10 Minivan And SUV Tents That Will Make Camping Even More Fun."