Skip to Content

Can A Minivan Pull An Airstream? (Which Models Can They Pull?)

Few of the most important discussions that are happening on online forums related to automobiles and the like are on the topic of towing. Why is towing so important you may ask? 

Sometimes when vehicles get stuck and can’t move due to some malfunction, you need another vehicle to tow the vehicle to another place. Towing can also be done to simply move a recreational vehicle like a boat or camper from one place to another. 

However, towing cannot be done with all vehicles. Towing something with a vehicle that cannot handle its weight and has incompatible dimensions will do more harm than good. 

Now onto the main question of whether you can use a minivan to tow an Airstream. 

Most minivans can tow 3,000-3,500 lbs which means that a minivan can tow an Airstream Basecamp, Bambi, Carnival, or Nest. If you have a lot of cargo in your minivan or Airstream however you won’t be able to pull it as it will quickly be over your max weight. 

The weight that a minivan can tow is diminished when you add people or cargo to the minivan so if your minivan is rated to tow 3,500 pounds but you have 1,000lbs in passengers and cargo then you can actually only tow an Airstream that weighs a maximum of 2,500 pounds. 

Some people think minivans can’t really handle towing any weight and there are better options available when it comes to towing and on that part they would be correct. Pickup trucks and many large SUVs can tow a lot more than a minivan can but they have much less space inside of them for passengers or cargo than minivans do. 

Minivans in general are very sturdy vehicles with a low center of gravity, independent suspension and powerful engines. Not only this, there are other advantages of using a minivan for towing purposes like less fuel usage and stable towing. Even though a minivan facilitates stable towing, it is best to avoid any chances of trailer sway by purchasing a good hitch. 

At the end of the day, a minivan indeed is a decent option to tow an Airstream as long as it isn’t a larger Airstream or you aren’t also trying to put a bunch of passengers or cargo in it as well. 

What factors should you consider before purchasing a towing vehicle for your Airstream?

There are indeed many vehicles that are great for towing that you can get that can easily pull an Airstream without much hassle. 

However, strength isn’t always enough. 

There are other factors like safety, stability and the like that you should look for in a towing vehicle. Here are the various factors that you should most definitely consider before purchasing a towing vehicle for your Airstream.

  • Safety
  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)
  • Tow Rating
  • Unit Base Weight (UBW)
  • Hitch Weight (HW)
  • Maximum trailer capacity.
  • Occupant and Cargo Carrying Capacity (OCCC)
  • Max payload.
  • Tire quality.
  • Maintenance costs.

These are only a few of the many factors that need your consideration. A towing vehicle, like all other vehicles, require proper research as they are quite expensive and are often a one time purchase. 

As they are heavy duty vehicles, they are often exposed to a lot of rough roads so regular maintenance is a must and adds to the cost of the vehicle. Different towing vehicles require different levels of maintenance and that must be kept in mind before selecting any specific type of vehicle for towing your Airstream. 

How much weight can a minivan handle when it comes to towing?

One of the main concerns when it comes to purchasing a vehicle when you plan on towing anything is the amount of weight it can handle. If you want to tow a heavy item, you will require a vehicle that can handle such substantial weight. 

Usually, minivans are great towing vehicles for middle to small sized campers, boats, etc. The average weight that a minivan can handle is 3500 to 3600 pounds with the proper equipment. 

A heavier or larger item may be difficult to tow with a minivan. 

However, with time there might be more advanced versions of minivans that are able to handle towing larger and heavier items. Although these minivans aren’t here yet I wouldn’t be surprised to see them sometime in the future as the current minivan manufacturers try to stand out from the competition. 

What accessories do I need to buy in addition to a minivan for better towing?

Just like any vehicle that you will tow something with, a minivan also requires a few accessories that help it immensely in increasing its safety while towing. When it comes to minivans for towing, you will likely need to purchase a towing hitch and a wiring harness. 

These are integral as they will attach your vehicle to the item you are towing and they need to be strong and resilient enough to be able to handle the weight of the camper, boat, etc. that you are hauling. 

There are a lot of hitches and harnesses available on the market that are not only within budget but are also very quality products. Along with this, you may also want to purchase a load levelling suspension that will help to keep things in balance once you hit uneven roads.

Is the towing vehicle used only for towing?

Of course not. Usually people rarely purchase a towing vehicle for towing purposes only. One thing that you should most definitely consider is the multiple uses of the vehicle that there are besides towing. 

For example, a minivan can not only act as a towing vehicle but can also be very travel friendly for families and is perfect for long road trips and camping.

Are minivans very difficult to maintain?

Usually, minivans are simpler to handle and have lower maintenance costs than vehicles that are more geared towards towing things. Minivans usually have better gas mileage and hence will save you a lot in the fuel department as well. 

The only maintenance costs that you would have to incur are the occasional maintenance that you would have to do with your regular vehicles as well. Since a minivan has so many uses and has a strong build as well, it is indeed one of the best choices for a towing vehicle that are on the market as long as you aren’t towing something that is very heavy. 

Apart from minivans what vans are the best for towing?

If you are someone who isn’t comfortable with using a minivan to tow an Airstream and wants to try out their options, you’re in luck. Full size vans happen to have a diverse range and you can choose from a plethora of sizes and designs. Some other vans besides minivans are city vans, mid-size vans and full-size vans. 

All of these kinds of vans have their own advantages and disadvantages. 

According to many experts, minivans are indeed among the best when it comes to versatility. However, if you want to experiment with the other variants of vans, they will not disappoint you either. 

Even though they may differ when it comes to features, there are few things that are common to all vans, a few among which are great pulling power and substantial interior space. One thing to remember before you consider purchasing other variants of vans is that they are typically used for professional and commercial drivers whereas minivans are easier to drive around and require less expertise to use. 

However, I don’t want to completely neglect the advantages of bigger vans. Bigger vans typically have greater towing capacity and will work very well if you have a very heavy Airstream that you need to tow. 

Sometimes, larger vans also provide more stability and prevent trailer sway. It is best to do proper research and assess all your options carefully before making a final purchase.