Camper Weight Ratios Between 6 Different Trailers and Top Towing Vehicles

towing vehicle BEGINNER INFO

The average camper weight is about 2700 kg. Of course, this number is solely for the empty and unloaded metal carcass of the trailer. Keep in mind that besides passengers and other loads, there are no car fluids calculated into the weight.

When you go camping, you will take with you at least 700 kg of camping gear. Depending on the quantity of people, the weight will arise.

Moreover, you should count in the camper weight the food you take with you. If the number of people is in average 4, then count in another 150 kg of weight.

In any case, I will talk about 6 different trailers and how much they weight. We will go through some specifics of camper weight and characteristic on other small details regarding the camper weight.

camper weight

Appropriate towing vehicle

However, before we get into numbers, I would like to talk about the appropriate vehicles and cars that your trailer will require for towing.

This is a problem for many people. When looking for trailers they sometimes forget that there will be a need to tow the trailer.

Therefore, they have to rent trucks and SUV every time they go camping.

In order for you not to have this problem, I have decided to talk a little about the topic. In most cases, if the van has its tow rating at least 3500 kg, then you will be fine with almost any trailer, not to mention the lightweight travel trailers.

Additionally, people often think that having a truck is a must if you own a trailer. However, it is hardly ever the case with lightweight travel trailers. You can simply opt for a right size trailer and tow it with your vehicle, which has the sufficient tow rating.

Vans and SUVs are the most common towing vehicles for mid-size trailers, as well as lightweight travel trailers. My friend, who has a pop-up trailer, tows his with a car. As you can see, the situations are different.

towing vehicle

Unless you are considering a big RV, which is designed for a big family, you will not have to get a truck or rent one.

By the way, in case you do go for a family RV and decide to get a truck, keep in mind the fact that you will have the chance to save enormous amounts of money on fuel, if you go for a diesel engine truck.

Finally, let’s proceed to the list of multiple trailers and their weights. Please note that I have included the unloaded or so-called dry weights. It means that you should count for yourself the additional weight that it going to be there.

Regular Travel trailers

I am sure you will think that the gap is too big, but the average number is from 2500 lbs to 8500 lbs. Most of the time the towing vehicle is a truck.

However, SUVs, vans and minivans may also work depending on the weight of the travel trailer. Very few models are suitable for minivans.

Fifth wheel campers

This one is relatively bigger than many other trailers. Probably three to four times heavier than lightweight travel trailers. The average camper weight is from 6000 lbs to 12000 lbs. I think it is pretty clear that the towing vehicle can solely be a truck.

Moreover, you should consider a truck, which will be suitable for stabilizer arm of the trailer.

Toy Hauler trailers

This option can be extremely heavy due to its functions. The number lies somewhere between 5000 lbs and 15000 lbs.

Besides the truck, you have the options of SUV and cargo van as well for towing. There trailers are mostly used for carrying other smaller vehicles. They are not necessarily camp trailers.

Dirt bikes and ATVs are the number one and the most common items people load toy hauler trailers with.

Airstream campers

These trailers are among the most popular ones. They look like vintage trailers and people go for thee style too often.

The weight can vary from 2500 lbs to 8000 lbs. Since the materials for these type of trailers are different, the weight is mostly depending on what is used by the manufacturers.

Pop-up trailers

These campers are among the most lightweight travel trailers, if not the most lightweight option from all. However, you can opt for an option, which can be heavier because of its canvas and flowing materials.

Appropriate towing vehicles are of course trucks, vans, SUVs and minivans. As I have already mentioned, it depends on what you choose.

Teardrop campers

Extremely lightweight travel trailers, are very practical when it comes to towing. Teardrop lightweight travel trailers, for example, work great with regular cars as their towing vehicles.

However, again, depending on what material you go for, the weight will very. The range is from 600 lbs to 3000 lbs.

Keep in mind the fact that if the weight of your teardrop lightweight travel trailers exceeds 1500 lbs, you are going to be needing either a truck, an SUV, a cargo van or a minivan.


Passengers, cargo and liquid

Each of these components adds weight to your camper. There are multiple tanks, which are full when you get ready to go camping.

Gasoline, sewage, propane and of course fresh water resources all add a lot of weight.

Moreover, depending on the number of people you take with you camping, the weight is plenty affected.

Finally, the cargo. This may add as much weight as possible. With camping and/or climbing gear, as well as food and kitchen appliances. People can go really crazy with how much stuff they choose to bring with them to campgrounds.

Slide outs of the trailer

Of course, slide outs are made of metallic materials and this is obvious that the camper weight is going to be much. Therefore, think about how many of those are initially installed in your trailer and how many you want to install yourself.

However, if you have a pop-up camper or a hybrid trailer, then the canvas should be relatively lighter. The camper weight would not be too significant.

Construction is a game changer

In general, there are two ways of constructing a trailer. Depending on the manufacturer, you can buy either aluminum or wooden frame campers.

You may think that they should weight almost the same. However, it is not the case.

Aluminum is for lightweight travel trailers. Wooden campers can weight about 1000 lbs more. The density of the material adds up weight.

Do not be afraid that a buyer can fool you by lying about the material. It is extremely obvious. They have striking differences in appearance.

Wooden panels have copious ridges and lateral lines. Meanwhile, aluminum campers have a more futuristic look to them. They have smooth and whole canvas.

Be careful not to max out when it comes to towing

Any vehicle, which is suitable for towing has its towing capacity. The simplest way of figuring out whether or not you should tow the camper with a certain vehicle is the following: you take the dry weight of the camper and add around 1500 lbs when traveling with family.

They key is to make sure the number does not exceed 85% of the vehicle’s towing capacity. The added number of 1500 lbs really depends on your ratio of passengers, gear, camper fluids and so on.

Obviously, if you are travelling alone or with a spouse, there will be no need to pack up this much gear. Nonetheless, you should under no circumstances ignore the ratio rule I have just talked about.

Moreover, do not even consider campers, which are heavier than the towing capacity of your vehicle. You might think that small amounts should be fine.

However, over time the engine will lose its powers. Not to mention the transmission state. Moreover, you will be facing a huge risk of not being able to go uphill.

The easiest and the most correct way of checking a vehicle’s towing capacity is by looking for the right sticker inside the door frames. There is no better and more exact way of finding out about the towing capacity of your car.

Additionally, if there are any other or extra installations, which are made by the manufacturers, you will know about it as well from the sticker.

Measuring your camper weight

In case you have lost the manual of the camper, cannot find anything online or simply forgot the dry weight of your trailer, there is this smart and simple solution that I personally recommend.

I am sure everyone has heard of their local CAT scale. This is a roadside scale for trucks and other vehicles. These are very convenient for truck drivers who take up big orders from one state to another.

However, everyone can use these scales. You simply drive onto the platform and the scale shows the weight of the vehicle.

Since, obviously, you cannot drive your truck with its dry weight; my advice is to pack it up with everything necessary for your trip. Get the passengers, all the gear, vehicle fluids full, kitchen appliances, food and the rest of your camping list.

This will make sure you have the appropriate camper weight for your towing vehicle.

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Andy Fisher

Campers Mag is the website where I will share a lot of information about my experience, trailer, and things, that will help other camper owners to enjoy their RV even more.

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