RV shopping is a big undertaking, in both financial and time commitment. If you’re looking for a towable, you’ll also have to consider what vehicle you’ll pull your new RV with, and you may not want to add shopping for a new vehicle in the mix as well. We have good news if you already own a midsize SUV: there are plenty of RVs out there you can tow with the car you already have!
It isn’t hard to find a lightweight travel trailer or pop up that fits under your vehicle’s towing capacity. First, you’ll need to read up on the manual of your midsize SUV to see what its exact tow capacity is and keep that number in mind as you search for your new RV. Most SUVs can tow anywhere between 1500 and 5000 pounds, so you’ll be looking for an RV with a GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating, or the weight of the RV including passengers, fuel, and cargo) under that number. We’ve simplified the process for you and narrowed down a few of the best RVs you can pull with a midsize SUV.
One of the most recognizable RVs on the road is an Airstream. Its signature riveted aluminum exterior is easily recognizable and highly coveted by Airstream enthusiasts. If you love its retro look but want to tow it with your midsize SUV, check out the Airstream Basecamp. It’s the smallest RV airstream offers yet makes the most of every inch of space inside. It measures at just over 16 feet long with a hitch weight of around 430 pounds depending on the package, and a GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) of 3,500 pounds.
This RV is perfect for SUV owners who want to get off the grid. The Taxa Mantis expandable trailer is powered by 12 volt batteries and has a pop up roof for extra room. It’s simplistic in its interior design, but never in its technology – the founder and CEO worked on the International Space Station after all! These rigs are designed to get you connected with nature and adventure. The Taxa Mantis is around 19 feet long and has a GVWR of 4000 pounds. If you need something even smaller and lighter, check out the Taxa Cricket or Taxa Tigermoth.
If pop up camping is your style, the Forest River Flagstaff is a great option. This RV comes in traditional pop-up style as well as hard side and high wall. Some floor plans even have enclosed showers and cassette toilets so you don’t always have to camp near a campground restroom. The hitch weight varies depending on the floor plan but doesn’t exceed 400 pounds, and the most well-equipped models still have a GVWR under 4000 pounds. You can’t go wrong with a pop-up camper if you’re looking for something to pull behind your SUV.
This rig gives you the spacious, homey feel of a standard travel trailer but with a fraction of the weight! The Keystone Bullet Crossfire is equipped with a modern interior, kitchen, living area, bedroom, and bathroom that somehow all feel separate yet still fit under 4500 pounds of GVWR. The hitch weight is 480 pounds and the length is just over 21 feet. If you don’t want to compromise on style or space with a lightweight RV, this is a perfect choice.
Forest River makes a number of lightweight RVs, from the Flagstaff Pop Up mentioned earlier to the Rockwood Geo Pro, NoBo, and Flagstaff E-Pro. One of the most popular ones, however, is the Forest River R-Pod. Unlike some travel trailers where only a few of the floor plans fit into the lightweight category, the R-Pod comes in a wide variety of floor plans that all weigh in at under 5,000 pounds of GVWR, so you’re sure to find the perfect floor plan for your travel needs. The hitch weight ranges from the mid-200s to high-400s, and the length varies from around 18 feet to 23 feet. This is another rig that although compact, looks like your traditional travel trailer inside and not a watered-down version.
RVs You Can Pull with a Midsize SUV
If you need to make your RV purchase work with the SUV you already drive, there are absolutely ways to make that happen. Once you determine your SUV’s tow capacity, try using the advanced search on RVUSA.com to enter a maximum dry weight as the basis of your search. Keep in mind you will have to add the CCC (cargo carrying capacity) to the dry weight to reach the rig’s GVWR, which as we mentioned earlier is the number you want to keep under your towing capacity. One simple way to go about it is to search for around 1500 pounds less than your SUV’s towing capacity (a typical CCC is around 1500 pounds). With these lightweight RV suggestions and search tools at your fingertips, you’ll be towing your new RV in your SUV in no time!