The quickest way to spend more than you intended on an RV is to fall in love with one that is too heavy for your current family car to tow and end up buying a new car to tow the new RV you just bought! The best strategy to keep yourself from falling into this trap is to pay careful attention to the towing capacity of your family car and the GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating, or the total weight of the RV including cargo, fuel and passengers) of the RVs you’re considering.
If you drive a full-size SUV such as a Chevy Tahoe, Ford Expedition, or GMC Yukon, there are plenty of towable options open to you. While mid-size SUVs can typically tow around 5,000 pounds and full-size trucks can pull up to 20,000 pounds, full-size SUVs are the Goldilocks option right in the middle that tend to have around 8,000 pounds of towing capacity. That’s enough for a family travel trailer that gives everyone a little bit of personal space and a lot of amenities. The key is to check your SUV’s owners manual and find out what it’s towing capacity is. If you drive a mid-size SUV, try checking out our posts on RVs you can pull with a mid-size SUV or lightweight travel trailers for families. If you are looking for something to tow behind your standard SUV, read on.
Clocking in with a GVWR of 7,600 pounds, this family travel trailer is not only roomy inside, it’s luxurious as well. The Lance 2445 has a queen size bed with a pillow top mattress up front and fold-up bunk beds in the rear. It features a spacious U-shaped dinette the entire family can gather at, as well as an outdoor shower so the kids can wash off after a busy day of adventuring outdoors. Lance also provides some nifty optional packages such as factory-installed solar panels or a convenient exterior pull-out storage tray.
While there are smaller Airstreams such as the Bambi, Caravel or Flying Cloud that work work on this list, we’ve selected the most spacious Airstream a standard SUV can tow in the Airstream International. Different floor plans have different GVWRs, but there are several that have GVWRs under 8,000 pounds. The International gives you all the things you love about Airstream – the classic bulleted aluminum exterior, wide windows and longevity – while keeping your RV lightweight and easy to tow.
This rig comes in toy hauler and travel trailer varieties, and you’ll find that most all of the the Palomino Puma XLE Lite travel trailer floor plans weigh in at 8,000 pounds or less in GVWR. It’s lighter than many of the travel trailers in its class, but it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice amenities to get there. It’s decked out with many small but thoughtful touches such as a spice rack, a built in knife rack, a glass range cover and glass shower doors. You’ll also enjoy many residential-quality features such as a full-size refrigerator, designer window treatments and residential carpet with pad.
The options are endless with the standard SUV-friendly Forest River Salem Cruise Lite. Forest River provides an abundance of floor plan choices that fit well within the towing capacity of your average full-size SUV, and the features inside are modern and on-trend. You can choose from models with a singular bed, or ones with bunk beds and murphy bed options as well. You’ll also love all the natural light and views of your camping locations with the large windows on this rig.
Coachmen Spirit Ultra Lite
Not only is the Coachmen Spirit Ultra Lite easy to tow with your standard SUV, it makes RVing easier than ever. Its calling card is “Camping Simplified” and it provides tons of small but hugely convenient features such as a laundry hamper and toothbrush holder in the bathroom, motion-activated floor lights and pass-through storage lights and storage areas for fishing poles. This rig also prides itself on being one of the most pet-friendly RVs on the market with an exterior dog leash clip and a “pet center” with a dog wash on some models! With the exception of their 36 foot-plus models, the floor plans stay under 8,000 pounds of GVWR.
RVs You Can Pull with a Full-Size SUV
This list just scratches the surface of all the fantastic lightweight RV options out there that can be pulled with a full-size or standard SUV. The most important thing to do is to check the towing capacity of your SUV and make sure the GVWR of the RVs you are interested in fit under that number. To find the perfect RV for your SUV to tow, use the advanced search on RVUSA.com and consider entering a dry weight limit (the weight of a rig WITHOUT passengers and cargo) somewhere around 6,500 pounds. You’ll be on the road towing your new RV in no time.