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Toyota Rav4 Towing Capacity: Every Year & Generation’s Towing Data

Well, hello there, road warriors and highway heroes! Ever find yourself wrestling with the age-old dilemma, “Can my trusty Toyota model handle towing that shiny new boat or the family’s beloved caravan?”

If you’ve ever scratched your head and wondered, “Just what is the Toyota Rav4 towing capacity?” then buckle up, because you’re in the right place!

Have you spent countless hours on Google, sifting through endless forums and outdated blog posts, trying to find a simple answer to what Toyota’s towing capacity is for your Rav4 model year or generation?

It’s like trying to find a pristine ’64 Mustang at a scrapyard, isn’t it? Frustrating, time-consuming, and downright exhausting. Well, it’s time to put the brakes on that wild goose chase!

We’re about to embark on an adventure down memory lane of the Toyota RAV4, an epic journey through every model year and generation. And, oh boy, you’re in for quite a ride!

We’re going to reveal the full, unadulterated truth about the Toyota Rav4 towing capacity no matter which model year of the car you are using for towing. You heard that right – every year, every generation, every juicy car detail you’ve been dying to know.

Toyota now offers five generations of the compact SUV Rav4 which all offer various towing power depending on the year, whether it’s a hybrid (for some model years), and if it has a towing package or not.

The newer model years of the Toyota Rav4 vehicle offer an additional towing package to maximize the towing capacity for your convenience.

All of the Rav4s (including the entry-level Toyota Rav4) can tow between 1,500 lbs and 3,500 lbs depending on the Toyota model year and its specs (whether it is equipped with a towing package or not).

But wait, there’s more. What if I told you that understanding your RAV4’s towing capacity could also help you get more out of your car in ways you never thought possible? Intriguing, right? And what about the secret benefits of using your RAV4 for towing? We’ve got those covered too.

So, are you ready to unravel the mysteries of your Toyota RAV4’s true capabilities? Are you eager to discover the power that lies beneath its unassuming exterior? Then rev up those engines, my friends, because we’re just getting started!

Complete List of Rav4 Towing Capacities for Every Model Year

Let’s take a closer look at the exact capacity for towing for every Rav4 model year. They are:

Rav4 Model YearRav4 Towing Capacity (lbs)Rav4 Towing Capacity (kg)
1996 Toyota Rav41,500lbs680kg
1997 Toyota Rav41,500lbs680kg
1998 Toyota Rav41,500lbs680kg
1999 Toyota Rav41,500lbs680kg
2000 Toyota Rav41,500lbs680kg
2001 Toyota Rav41,500lbs680kg
2002 Toyota Rav41,500lbs680kg
2003 Toyota Rav41,500lbs680kg
2004 Toyota Rav41,500lbs680kg
2005 Toyota Rav41,500lbs680kg
2006 Toyota Rav41,500lbs680kg
2007 Toyota Rav42,000lbs907kg
2008 Toyota Rav42,000lbs907kg
2009 Toyota Rav42,000lbs907kg
2010 Toyota Rav42,000lbs907kg
2011 Toyota Rav42,000lbs907kg
2012 Toyota Rav42,000lbs907kg
2013 Toyota Rav41,500lbs680kg
2014 Toyota Rav41,500lbs680kg
2015 Toyota Rav41,500lbs680kg
2016 Toyota Rav41,500lbs680kg
2016 Toyota Rav4 Hybrid Models1,750lbs794kg
2017 Toyota Rav41,500lbs680kg
2017 Toyota Rav4 Hybrid Models1,750lbs794kg
2018 Toyota Rav41,500lbs680kg
2018 Toyota Rav4 Hybrid Models1,750lbs794kg
2019 Toyota Rav4 (without towing package)1,500lbs680kg
2019 Toyota Rav4 (with towing package)3,500lbs1,587kg
2020 Toyota Rav4 (without towing package)1,500lbs680kg
2020 Toyota Rav4 (with towing package)3,500lbs1,587kg
2021 Toyota Rav4 (without towing package)1,500lbs680kg
2021 Toyota Rav4 (with towing package)3,500lbs1,587kg
2022 Toyota Rav4 (without towing package)1,500lbs680kg
2022 Toyota Rav4 (with towing package)3,500lbs1,587kg
2023 Toyota Rav4 (without towing package)1,500lbs680kg
2023 Toyota Rav4 (with towing package)3,500lbs1,587kg

The Rav4 is great for handling most terrains and conditions and although it is a smaller SUV it boasts some exciting features that you might not see on other compact SUVs.

Having the ability to handle towing a decent amount of weight is a huge advantage for vehicles whether it be for work, moving furniture, helping friends to move, or taking extra luggage on a trip.

Check out the information below to find out more about the Toyota Rav4 and its towing abilities.

Rav4 Towing Capacity: How Much Can a Toyota Rav4 Tow?

From the first generation until now, The Toyota Rav4 can tow a minimum of at least 1500 lbs in each of their trim levels and models and a maximum of 3500 lbs with the right trim level and towing package.

The towing package in the Rav4 vehicles is less of a package and more of a whole model of a car.

The Toyota Rav4 Adventure and the Toyota Rav4 TRD Off-Road trim level vehicles offer the ability to handle a maximum of up to 3500lbs in towing capacity whereas the basic trim levels such as the LE, XLE, and Limited Rav4 vehicles will only have a maximum towing capacity of up to 1500lbs.

1500lbs is still reasonably decent for vehicles as far as towing capacities go though and we’ll show you below what you can tow with 1500lbs!

Toyota also offers the Rav4 in Hybrid and plug-in versions which also have a different towing capacity from the normal vehicles. The Toyota’s Hybrid Rav4 can tow up to approximately 1750 while the plug-in can tow up to 1295lbs (587kg) which is still impressive compared with other compact SUVs on the American car market today.

What Can A Toyota Rav4 Tow?

With its superior towing capacity, you can be sure that your Rav4 will easily handle minor tasks needing small trailers. Although 1,500lbs isn’t much and means you can’t tow heavy loads it will still meet many of your towing needs.

Being able to help friends move or getting your dirt bike to the track in one piece, and taking the kids for vacation will be easy with a towing capacity of 1,500lbs while the 3,500lb towing capacity (on Rav4s with the towing package) will allow you to tow much much more.

Here are some of the larger-scale objects that you can tow with a 1500lbs tow range:

  • Jet ski or two, we recommend checking their weight first
  • Up to two dirt bikes, again check their weight
  • A snowmobile
  • A Small camper like the Meerkat or the TigerMoth
  • An ATV
  • A cargo trailer

Here are some of the items you can tow with up to a 2000lbs towing capacity:

Here is what you can tow with the impressive towing capacity of a maximum of 3500lbs:

  • A popup trailer like the Happier Camper HC1 or the Casita Independence 17 which sleeps four!
  • A heavy-duty utility trailer
  • A fiberglass fishing boat or a mid-size fishing boat – check out this blog from Go Downsize for fishing boat examples under 3500lbs
  • A small camper trailer, including aluminum, fiberglass, and other teardrop campers

Toyota Generations of the Rav4 and Their Towing Capacity

Because there are numerous configurations of the Rav4 made by Toyota it can be impossible to know which towing capacity you already have.

For those in the market for a Toyota Rav4 and a larger towing capacity is important to you, you’ll want to read this before you purchase your new or used car.

Here are the generations of the Rav4, from its earlier release in America in 1996 to the present day Rav4, currently in its 5th generation, and what each of their towing capacities is:

First Generation Toyota Rav4 1996 – 2001 Specs

2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 120 horsepower with standard front-wheel drive (FWD) and optional all-wheel drive (AWD).

  • The towing capacity is up to 1500lbs (680kg)

Second Generation Toyota Rav4 2002 – 2006 Specs

Slightly bigger than the original mini-SUV Rav4, the second generation boasts a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 160 horsepower and the addition of a sports package.

  • The maximum payload capacity is up to 1069lbs (484kg)
  • The towing capacity is up to 1500lbs (686kg)

Third Generation Toyota Rav4 2007 – 2012 Specs

Still available in its 4-cylinder trim, Toyota now introduces a V6 engine with 268 horsepower which is the best compact SUV in its class compared with all other competitors.

The addition of a sports model is introduced among numerous other safety and technology features to suit buyers across all demographics.

  • The maximum payload capacity is up to 1071lbs (485kg)
  • The towing capacity is up to 2000lbs (907kg)

Fourth Generation Toyota Rav4 2013 – 2018 Specs

Back to the original 4-cylinder, Toyota Rav4s are yet again more fuel-efficient vehicles which also makes them more affordable vehicles in gas and maintenance.

A hybrid car model is also introduced in the fourth generation Rav4 with the standard 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor or two depending on the model chosen. AWD Rav4 Hybrids come with two electric motors, one is specifically for delivering power to the rear tires.

The Adventure trim level was also introduced in the fourth generation of the Rav4s making them great vehicles for limited off-road capabilities.

  • The maximum payload capacity is up to 1050lbs (476kg)
  • The towing capacity is up to 1500lbs (686kg)
  • The towing capacity of the Rav4 Hybrid model is up to 1750lbs (793kg)

Fifth Generation Toyota Rav4 2019 – Present Specs

Still a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, now the Rav4 has a powerful 206 horsepower to keep up with its competitors.

The fuel economy and efficiency are superior and the AWD system has been enhanced for extraordinary road control and handling, especially in snowy, wet, and muddy conditions.

As well as the new Adventure, TRD Off-Road, and Limited trims, the fifth generation Rav4 also introduces another new configuration, the plug-in Rav4 Prime with an impressive 302 horsepower from its 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and combined electric motor.

  • The payload capacity is up to 1240lbs (562kg)
  • The towing capacity is up to 1500lbs (686kg)
  • The towing package that comes standard with higher-level Rav4 trims allow the maximum towing capacity of up to 3500lbs (1587kg)

What is Toyota’s Towing Package?

The Toyota Rav4 Adventure and the Toyota Rav4 TRD Off-Road trims are designed to handle a higher towing capacity. Their maximum 3500-lb towing range is incredibly handy for such a small SUV. The payload capacity of these reliable vehicles is also up to 1090 lbs so the car can handle the towing and the payload of over 4000 lbs.

The towing abilities come with additional features such as:

  • Active cornering assist
  • Alternative drivetrain modes such as rock, mud, sand, and snow
  • Over 8 inches of ground clearance
  • Power-assisted disc brakes

And plenty more!

Which Toyota Rav4 Can Tow 3,500lbs?

Well, gather ’round, folks! I have a tale to tell. A tale of the mighty Toyota RAV4, a trusty steed of steel and chrome that’s more versatile than a Swiss army knife on wheels.

You see, there’s been a rumor floating around town that a certain RAV4 model can tow a whopping 3,500 pounds. “Preposterous!” some may say, but I’m here to tell you it’s as real as the rubber on its tires.

Now, you may be thinking, “All RAV4 vehicles can pull that off, right?” Well, my friend, it’s not quite that simple. You see, not all RAV4s are created equal.

Sure, they’ve all got that rugged charm and reliable Toyota engineering, but when it comes to towing 3,500 pounds, there’s only a select few that can step up to the plate.

So, which brave Toyota models can shoulder this Herculean task, you ask? Prepare to be wowed, because it’s the RAV4 Adventure and TRD Off-Road that can haul that mighty load​.

The Rav4 Adventure and TRD Off-Road Rav4 models can both tow a whopping 3,500 pounds without needing any additional parts on the vehicles. That is because both of these models come with the towing package which allows them to tow an additional 2,000 lbs over the normal Rav4 model vehicles.

That’s right, these two are the true heavyweights of the RAV4 lineup, the cream of the crop, the… well, you get the idea. With their upgraded parts, they can take on the challenge and come out on top.

So, next time you find yourself needing to haul a small army of garden gnomes or a particularly hefty hot tub, you know which RAV4 vehicles to call upon. But remember, with great towing power comes great responsibility, so always make sure to tow safely.

And as always, drive it like you stole it… but, you know, legally.

2023 Hybrid Rav4 Towing Capacity

So, let’s dive into the depths of this beast called the 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. A hybrid, you say? Why, that’s like a magical creature straight out of a fairy tale!

But how much can the 2023 hybrid Toyota Rav4 tow?

You know, those mythical beasts that are half one thing and half another? Well, the RAV4 Hybrid is half gas-guzzling machine and half eco-friendly, battery-powered miracle! And with great hybrid powers come great… towing capacities?

In the case of the 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, it seems that’s precisely what happened. These amazing vehicles can tow up to a whopping 1,750 pounds when properly configured!

So the 2023 Rav4 hybrid can tow 1,750 pounds which is 250 pounds more than the standard gas-powered Rav4 vehicles can tow!

Yes, you read that right, dear traveler. One thousand, seven hundred, and fifty pounds of glorious towing capability with no extra parts required! That’s like hauling a whole herd of baby elephants! Well, okay, maybe not quite that many, but you get the idea.

So, there you have it, my dear friend. The 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is a magnificent hybrid beast with a towing capacity fit for a king (or queen) – 1,750 pounds when properly configured. Now you can strut your stuff, knowing you’re driving a vehicle that’s not only eco-friendly but also capable of towing a small mountain (or at least a really heavy trailer)!

Safe travels, adventurer, and may your RAV4 Hybrid always be filled with laughter, joy, and plenty of towing capacity.

Can You Pull a Trailer with a RAV4?

Absolutely! The Toyota RAV4 is a versatile and popular compact SUV known for its reliability, fuel efficiency, and towing capabilities. Depending on the model year and specific RAV4 trim, you can tow a small to medium-sized trailer without any issue.

Let’s dive into more detail about the RAV4’s towing capacity and what you need to know before hitching up a trailer to your RAV4.

Understanding Towing Capacity

Towing capacity refers to the maximum weight that a vehicle can safely tow, including the trailer and its contents. The towing capacity varies depending on the engine, drivetrain, and other features of the vehicle. It’s essential to adhere to the specified towing capacity to ensure safety and avoid potential damage to your RAV4.

Here’s a breakdown of the towing capacities for various RAV4 models in a markdown table:

TrimEngineDrivetrainTowing Capacity (lbs)
RAV4 Adventure2.5L 4-cylinderAWD3500
RAV4 Limited2.5L 4-cylinderAWD1500
RAV4 TRD Off-Road2.5L 4-cylinderAWD3500
RAV4 Prime2.5L 4-cylinderAWD2500
RAV4 Hybrid2.5L 4-cylinderAWD1750
Other RAV4 Trims2.5L 4-cylinderFWD/AWD1500

Preparing Your RAV4 for Towing

Before you start towing with your RAV4, you’ll want to make sure it’s properly equipped to handle the task. Here are a few things you should have in place:

  1. Trailer Hitch: Ensure you have the appropriate trailer hitch installed on your RAV4. Toyota offers a factory hitch for the RAV4, but there are also aftermarket options available.
  2. Wiring Harness: A wiring harness is necessary for connecting your RAV4’s electrical system to the trailer’s lights and signals. Most hitches come with a pre-wired harness, but if not, you’ll need to purchase one separately.
  3. Towing Mirrors: Depending on the size of your trailer, you may need to install towing mirrors to extend your field of vision when towing.
  4. Brake Controller (Optional): If you’re towing a trailer with electric brakes, you’ll need to install a brake controller in your RAV4 to manage the braking system.

Tips for Safe Trailer Towing

Once your RAV4 is properly equipped, here are some tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable towing experience:

  1. Load Your Trailer Properly: Distribute the weight evenly within the trailer, with about 60% of the weight in front of the axle and 40% behind it. Make sure the trailer is level when hitched to your RAV4.
  2. Practice Driving with a Trailer: If you’re new to towing, take some time to practice driving, backing up, and parking with the trailer attached in an empty parking lot.
  3. Check Your Tires: Ensure both your RAV4 and trailer tires are properly inflated and in good condition before hitting the road.
  4. Adjust Your Driving Style: When towing, accelerate and brake gently, take wider turns, and give yourself more space to stop. Keep in mind that your RAV4’s fuel efficiency will likely decrease when towing, so plan accordingly.
  5. Monitor Your Vehicle’s Performance: Keep an eye on your RAV4’s temperature gauge and transmission to make sure the vehicle isn’t being overworked. If you notice any unusual performance or warning lights, stop and investigate the issue.
  6. Regular Maintenance: Make sure your RAV4 is up-to-date on all maintenance, including oil changes, fluid levels, and brake inspections.

In conclusion, the Toyota RAV4 is more than capable of towing a small to medium-sized trailer, provided you adhere to the vehicle’s towing capacity and take the necessary precautions. By properly equipping your RAV4 and following safe towing practices, you can enjoy many adventures with your trailer in tow.

Does Towing With A Toyota Cause It To Need Serviced More Often?

When it comes to towing with a Toyota, many people wonder whether doing so will cause the vehicle to require service more often. In this section, we’ll delve into this topic, exploring factors that can influence service requirements and providing some tips on how to tow safely and efficiently without needing extra service.

Towing with a Toyota may cause it to need servicing more often if the vehicle is frequently used for towing heavy loads or not operated within the manufacturer’s towing capacity guidelines. However, if you are staying below the manufacture’s recommendations when towing with your Toyota model you won’t have to service it any more often than if you aren’t towing anything.

Toyota vehicles are only designed to handle a certain amount of weight (whether towing it or hauling it inside of the vehicle. So as long as you don’t have more weight than recommended it shouldn’t need any extra service on top of the regular service intervals that are recommended in the owner’s manual.

Factors to Consider

Towing can put extra strain on a vehicle, leading to more frequent servicing needs. However, the impact on a Toyota vehicle can vary depending on several factors:

  1. Model and Towing Capacity: Different Toyota models have different towing capacities, which will influence how well the vehicle can handle the load. Always consult your owner’s manual for the specific towing capacity of your Toyota model.
  2. Driving Conditions: Towing on rough terrain, in extreme temperatures, or in heavy traffic can put additional stress on the vehicle, potentially leading to more frequent servicing needs.
  3. Frequency of Towing: If you’re only towing occasionally, the impact on your vehicle’s maintenance needs might be negligible. However, if you tow regularly or for long distances, your vehicle may require more frequent servicing.
  4. Proper Setup and Maintenance: Ensuring that your vehicle is set up correctly for towing and that you’re keeping up with regular maintenance can help minimize any potential negative effects on your Toyota.

Tips for Towing with a Toyota

To minimize the impact of towing on your Toyota’s maintenance needs, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Use the Right Equipment: Make sure you have the proper hitch, trailer, and towing accessories for your vehicle and the load you’re towing.
  2. Stay Within Towing Capacity: Never exceed your Toyota’s towing capacity, as doing so can put undue stress on the vehicle and lead to more frequent servicing needs.
  3. Inspect Before You Tow: Before hitting the road, check your vehicle’s fluid levels, brakes, tires, and other essential components to ensure they are in good condition.
  4. Drive Carefully: When towing, give yourself extra time and space for stopping, turning, and changing lanes. Accelerate and brake gradually to avoid putting unnecessary strain on your vehicle.

In conclusion, while towing can put extra strain on a Toyota vehicle, the impact on maintenance needs can vary depending on factors such as the specific model, driving conditions, and frequency of towing.

By staying within your Toyota’s towing capacity, using the right equipment, and practicing safe towing habits, you can minimize any potential increase in servicing needs.


The Toyota Rav4 has a decent and above-average towing allowance compared to other small SUVs on the market today. If you are buying a new Rav4 and intend to tow with it regularly then it is a good idea to go ahead and get the towing package so your reliable vehicle can tow 3,500 pounds instead of the standard 1,500 pounds.

Towing capacity might not be important to some but it’s important to learn what your vehicle’s capacity is before towing anything to prevent ruining the drivetrain or the engine. Towing more than your car’s capacity is dangerous for the car and can result in costly damages.