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Are you planning to buy a minivan and wish to know whether the vehicle is capable of pulling a pop up camper? Maybe you are looking at buying a pop up camper but are unsure if your minivan can pull it or not.
Whatever the reason for you being here we will try to answer this question as clearly as possible.
Most minivans can tow from between 3,000-3,500lbs and since popup campers weigh between 1,500 and 3,000lbs your minivan should be able to pull it without too many difficulties.
You can collapse the pop up camper for easy storage and transport. Once you collapse the camper, you can actually tow it not just with a minivan but even with a smaller car (as long as it’s a small camper.
But, what if the camper is on the heavier side? Can a minivan still pull it? If you want a single word answer, yes, you can. However, it relies on different factors like the weight of the camper and the pulling capacity of the minivan.
For instance, when you take the case of a Chrysler Town and Country minivan, it can pull 3,600lbs. So as long as the pop up camper doesn’t weigh any more than that you will be able to pull it just fine.
Steps involved in pulling a pop up camper with your minivan
The first thing you will have to check is the towing weight capacity of the minivan to determine whether it can pull the pop up camper you have or are considering buying or not. Also, you should check whether it will be possible to install a tow package in your minivan.
Most minivans will have a package that can be added at purchase for towing or by virtually all car shops can add them later as well.
Once the tow package is installed, you will have to attach the trailer to the hitch and then connect the light systems and safety chain to keep the camper attached safely. Prior to heading on the road, just drive the minivan with the camper attached in a huge parking lot to make sure that brakes are functioning well and that you know how long it takes to stop with the extra weight you are towing.
Also, during this test drive, check how easily your minivan can accelerate and be sure to check all the lights on the camper too.
Finally, you will have to get used to pulling the trailer before moving on to the road to ensure your safety. You should practice being able to judge the distances that it takes you to stop and get up to speed so you don’t accidentally rear end someone or pull out in front where there isn’t enough room.
It is better to have a lighter pop up camper when you are pulling it using your minivan. Only then, you will have ample room for the additional weight for food and other essential supplies.
Remember not to go for a camper that is close to the maximum towing capacity of your minivan if you haven’t bought the camper yet. Only then, you can carry all the stuff that you feel is essential during your family trip.
What size of the camper can a minivan pull?
As far as weight is concerned, as mentioned earlier, make sure that the weight of the camper is far less than the total towing capacity of your minivan. Only then, will you have enough room and weight for carrying foods and other essential supplies with you.
The weight of pop up campers can vary a bit but in general you should be able to pull a pop up that is a maximum of 20 feet long or so. Campers that are longer than that will typically have more hard surfaces which in turn will increase the weight over the limit of your minivan.
Even, the size of the camper you can pull using your minivan relies on the weight of the camper. When it comes to towing, foot length should not be the only consideration. Many other factors also restrict the size of the camper you can pull using your minivan.
Some campers will include small appliances that may or may not be included in the weight from the manufacturer so that is vitally important to know and plan for.
The easiest way to know the exact weight of a pop up camper is to take it to a truck scale, explain that you need to weigh the camper then pull it on the scale, unhook it from your vehicle, and get the actual weight of the pop up.
Again, as mentioned earlier, you should not forget about food and other supplies you will have to carry during a typical camping trip. Let’s pretend that you are carrying nearly 500lbs of these supplies (I know that sounds like a lot but it adds up quickly).
Now, if you have a typical minivan you can only pull a popup camper that is a maximum of 3,100lbs since the supplies are 500lbs.
It’s also important to know if the minivan’s engine has enough power to tow the camper. Of course, in most cases, minivans have enough power but it is something that you should pay attention to. Further, do not forget about the braking power of the minivan and your driving habits. You might feel that it will be safe to tow a larger camper. But, it may not be true.
The reason is that the other drivers on the road may not be driving as safely as you are.
What type of camper can a minivan pull?
If you are yet to buy a camper, the knowledge of the type of campers that a minivan can pull will help you make the right choice of the camper. Of course, there will be a difference of opinion as the personal preferences of one person will be different from the other. Nevertheless, we have found some campers that you can pull with your minivan.
Our choices are any small to medium size campers. If you feel that your minivan can handle larger campers, you can, of course, go for one. However, to be on the safer side, smaller campers will ensure that you never have any difficulty pulling them.
One reason that I prefer being more conservative is that the smaller campers are easier to handle just in case you face the unexpected. The smaller and lighter the camper is the easier it is to handle it when it’s attached to your minivan.
As you will likely have to make sharp and quick turns in some instances, a smaller trailer will make it easier for you to handle the situation. Considering this, here are our choices of campers that are ideal for towing with a minivan:
- The Cricket by Taxa Outdoors: The good thing about this camper is that it has pop-ups and other camping gear built in a very small space.
- The Terrapin by Casual Turtle Camper: If you are looking for a camper that can provide you a home-like feeling, you can go for this camper with a red cedar exterior.
- A Happier Camper: If you are looking for a camper that can meet all your basic camping needs, this variant can help.
- Timberline by Homegrown Trailers: If you are looking for a camper with more space, you can choose this camper that will be a little larger than the others here. This camper will help when you have an unexpected guest all of a sudden.
- Teardrop Campers: If you are looking for a compact and small camper that will have enough space to sleep, this camper can meet your requirements.
In short, a minivan can very well pull a pop-up camper and the right choice of the camper will help you achieve this with ease!
As long as the camper that you choose is below 3,500lbs including everything in it then you should be able to pull it with your minivan without any problem!