Can A Buick Enclave Tow A Camper?

If you are considering traveling with a pull-behind camper, you'll want to be sure that the vehicle you are attaching it to is capable of doing the job. If you want to tow a camper with your Buick Enclave, being confident that it can handle the additional load is a matter of safety. We researched this popular SUV from various professional sources, so you'll know for sure if the Enclave can tow a camper.

The Buick Enclave is capable of towing certain models of campers. Safely doing so will require an Enclave to be equipped with the Buick Trailering Package. This package dramatically increases the towing capacity of your Enclave, enabling it to tow greater weight behind it. It will also come with a trailer hitch.

Now that we know that the Buick Enclave can tow travel campers up to a certain weight, we'll take a closer look at towing capacity and why it is so important. You might also be wondering what the Buick Enclave Trailering Package is or if the Enclave has a good engine for towing. What size hitch does the Enclave come equipped with? For the answers to these questions and more, read ahead in this post to see what our research has uncovered.

A Buick and GMC logo outside a factory, Can A Buick Enclave Tow A Camper?


Why towing capacity is important

The towing capacity of the 2021 Buick Enclave is only 1,500 pounds. While this seems like a lot of weight to carry, it doesn't do much by allowing this SUV to pull most campers or travel trailers. Certain trim levels of the Enclave will allow for the Buick Enclave Trailering Package to be added, which increases the towing capacity up to 5,000 pounds.

We'll look into this package ahead in this post. For now, we'll look at what towing capacity means precisely and why it's so important never to exceed it.

Towing capacity is the amount of weight your vehicle can safely pull behind it. Taken into consideration are the weights of the trailer and its cargo, the curb weight of the towing vehicle, and the payload of the towing vehicle.

The Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating (GCVWR) is the total weight of the tow vehicle and all the additional weight it has onboard, plus the weight of what is being towed behind it. Subtracting the curb weight of the tow vehicle (how much it weighs empty of cargo and passengers) will give you the towing capacity of that vehicle. 

A simple way to figure this is to add the curb weight and the weight of all passengers and cargo on board the tow vehicle. Subtract that combined number from your tow vehicle's Gross Combined Weight Rating. The resulting figure is how much you can safely tow.

As you can see, the less you have onboard the tow vehicle, the more you will be able to tow behind it. This number should never be higher than the maximum towing capacity that the manufacturer sets.

Exceeding towing capacity can have catastrophic results, like the following:

Increased likelihood of an accident

If you are hauling more weight than the vehicle was built for, the consequences can be dire. Your braking system and transmission can only handle so much. Too much weight will result in delayed braking, which can cause an accident. Exceeding the towing capacity will also make the vehicle harder to control, contributing to a collision. 

Engine damage

An engine will strain too hard if it is forced to pull more weight than it is built for. The engine will become hotter, making the radiator work harder. Too much heat will damage both of these vital components, 

Transmission damage

A transmission that has to work at shifting gears can only do so much. They are only made to have so much pressure placed upon them. If your vehicle is towing too much behind it, it can create a situation where your transmission is unable to properly shift between gears.

Drive with too much weight for too long, and you can cause permanent damage to the transmission, resulting in a replacement that will cost thousands of dollars. 

What is the Buick Enclave Trailering Package?

As we pointed out earlier in this post, you can significantly increase the towing capacity of the Buick Enclave if you opt for the Buick Enclave Trailering Package. This package is available for the Essence, Premium, and Avenir trim levels and will allow your Enclave to tow as much as 5,000 pounds behind it. 

Equipping your Enclave with this package will give your SUV the following features, as listed by the official Buick Enclave webpage:

  • Trailer hitch
  • Heavy-duty engine cooling system
  • Hitch guidance with hitch view
  • Increases towing capacity to 5,000 lbs.
  • Includes tow/haul mode

With this package, you'll be able to tow these great travel trailers and campers behind you:

The Airliner Classic Travel Trailer 480

This travel trailer by Airliner will sleep two adults comfortably. Weighing a mere 1,500 pounds, towing it with your Buick Enclave will be a cinch.

Eriba Touring Trailer

Weighing only 2,500 pounds, this trailer from Eriba is a step up in size from the Airliner listed above. Equipped with a full kitchen and bath, it will sleep two in its king-sized bed.

Forest River Flagstaff

This popup camper from Forrest River tops the scales at 3,000 pounds. Roomy and equipped with many of the creature comforts you're used to having in your own home, this camper will house up to four adults. 

What size hitch does Buick Enclave have?

Should you choose to equip your new SUV with the Buick Enclave Trailering Package, it will come equipped with an APS Class 3 trailer hitch. This size trailer hitch can tow up to 6,000 pounds.

As the towing capacity of the Buick Enclave is only 5,000 pounds, this will be more than suitable for all of your towing needs with the Enclave. 

Does Buick Enclave have a good engine for towing?

The 2021 Buick Enclave is built with a 3.6-liter V-6 engine. With 310 horsepower, this engine is more than capable of towing, so long as you don't exceed the towing capacity set forth in your owner's manual.

Does Buick Enclave have AWD?

While the base model Enclave will only come with a front-wheel drive, you will be able to upgrade to an all-wheel drive with the remaining trim levels. Motor Biscuit reports that the 2021 Enclaves have a more stripped-down version of the all-wheel-drive feature that previous model years had, however. This came standard with the top two trim levels.

Motor Biscuit states:

 [It's] a more advanced system than traditional AWD, allowing the vehicle to control torque on each wheel. It adjusts automatically depending on the conditions of the road to supply adequate traction. This also lets the car make safer turns over snowy or wet roads.

Is it okay to tow with FWD?

In general, it is not advised to tow with a vehicle that has front-wheel drive. With all the power regulated to the front axle, some of the power won't be balanced out from wheel to wheel during acceleration. This can create some control issues. 

This doesn't mean that you can't ever tow with a front-wheel-drive vehicle. If you are in a situation where you have no other option, you'll need to pay attention to the towing capacity. This will be far less than all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive configurations. Making sure that the load is balanced is also a giant benefit.

Finally, be aware that you will experience delayed braking when towing with a front-wheel-drive vehicle.

In closing

Towing with a Buick Enclave is undoubtedly possible. To make it able to pull a travel trailer or a camper, you'll need to select the Buick Enclave Trailering Package so that the towing capacity will increase to 5,000 pounds. Pay attention to the towing capacity, and be sure that you never exceed it. Doing so will result in increased risks to your safety, as well as putting the engine, transmission, and brakes of your Enclave in peril. Drive safe!

If you found this post on the Buick Enclave to be informative, we believe you'll enjoy reading the following posts on towing with different SUVs:

Can a Toyota Rav4 Pull a Trailer? [Towing Capacity and more]

Does The Hyundai Palisade Have A Towing Package?

What's The Best SUV for Towing A Travel Trailer? [Including Six Recommendations]

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