Best Trucks for Towing Campers (With August 2020 Deals)
If you've gone tent camping in a local, state, or national park there's a very good chance that the campers all around you have had much more elaborate camping setups than you had. From 30-foot long motor homes to 40-foot trailers that fold out like massive pieces of origami, the vehicles that folks use to "get away from it all" these days definitely run to the luxurious.
And there you are sleeping on the ground.
But it doesn't have to be that way. The first baby step from a tent to a big rig is a pop-up camper-trailer. It'll get your aching back off the ground and give you some creature comforts without requiring you to drive or tow something as big as a school bus.
Couples and families who want some of the comforts of home will find a great deal to like in a pop-up-style trailer like the almost zany Sylvansport Go Pop Up Camper or the Aliner Family Expedition Pop Up Trailer. The Sylvansport Go is only 143 inches long and weighs less than 900 pounds, while the Aliner Family Expedition is just 18 feet long and weighs less than 2,000 pounds.
From there the sky becomes the limit. You can purchase pop-up campers with elaborate floorplans and tons of features. As with a boat, longer typically means more comfortable and more feature-filled. Families planning on a lengthy vacation might like a larger and more traditional pop-up like the Coachmen Clipper Sport or the Forest River Flagstaff.
Of course, choosing the right pop-up camper is only part of the equation. It is equally important to have — or acquire — the right vehicle to tow it. To help you make up your mind on that score, we've compiled a list of the best SUVs and trucks for towing camper trailers ranging from compact SUVs to midsize SUVs to midsize pickups.
As you seek out the right tow vehicle, remember that manufacturer tow ratings represent the maximum weight you are advised to tow with a given vehicle when it's properly equipped with the manufacturer's towing hardware. Also, in addition to the weight of the camper and the gear you haul in it, you need to keep tongue weight in mind. Usually about 10% of the trailer's weight, it counts against your vehicle's payload.
Taking a conservative approach, it's wise to stay well below a vehicle’s maximum tow-rating threshold. When you buy a pop-up camper, you'll want to consider both its base weight and its net carrying capacity, as well as its tongue weight, in mind and match to your tow vehicle accordingly.