RVs provide the adventure of camping with the comforts of home. Towable RVs can be one of the least expensive ways to enjoy RV camping. While that’s true, you might be under the impression you need a larger budget for a motorhome or a heavy-duty truck to pull a towable RV.
However, did you know there are RVs small enough you won’t need to buy a new truck to pull it, and small enough not to need to pay for RV storage?
We’ve got you covered with five RVs you can pull with your SUV. Keep your car, save on storage, and camp in the comfort of an RV.
Key Things To Know About Towable RVs
When shopping for a towable RV, you will need to know a few terms. Knowing what these terms mean will help you figure out if your current vehicle can tow a specific RV you’re looking at.
Your Tow Vehicle
In your vehicle’s owner’s manual, you’ll want to look for your vehicle’s towing capacity. Most SUVs will be rated to tow somewhere between 1,500 pounds and 5,000 pounds. Each one is different, and of course, there are exceptions. Some SUVs can tow more than 5,000 pounds.
Equally as important is your vehicle’s payload, curb weight and gross vehicle weight rating. Curb weight means how much your vehicle weighs without anyone in it. Payload is what it can carry. Your GVWR is the dry weight of your vehicle and the maximum payload. If you don’t know your vehicles payload, find the GVWR and subtract the curb weight from that number.
The RV You Tow
As you look at RVs, you will see terms like dry weight AKA unloaded vehicle weight (UVW) and CCC. An RV’s dry weight is its weight straight out of the factory with no potable water, waste, or anything else in it.
Cargo Carrying Capacity is CCC. This is the weight your RV will be capable of carrying on board. This is important because you won’t be pulling an empty travel trailer to go camping. You’ll load up your camper with gear, potable water, accesories, and other supplies. On the way back, you’ll also have liquids in your grey and black tanks (if your RV has these, which most do).
Adding an RV’s CCC and dry weight will give you its gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). This is the number that needs to be within your vehice’s tow rating.
GCWR and Tongue Weight
There’s also gross combined weight rating (GCWR). This is the rating that includes your SUV and your trailer and any passengers and cargo. Just because you pull a camper within your towing capacity doesn’t necessarily mean you’re all set. You also need to stay below the vehicle’s GCWR. If you stay under the GCWR with all of the things discussed above, you’re headed in the right direction.
Don’t forget to take into account the RV’s tongue weight. Every vehicle will have its hitch rated for a certain weight. Even if you’re within the towing rating and under a GCWR, if your over the rating for your vehicle’s hitch, you can experience problems. It’s also important to note that the tongue weight of the RV factors into the vehicle’s GVWR. If the tongue weight of the RV puts you over on GVWR it’s too much trailer for your vehicle.
With all that said, lets dive into some good RVs for your SUV.
Forest River NoBo
Starting off our list is Forest River’s No Boundaries line of travel trailers. These fun little trailers pack quite the punch, yet are small and light enough to be pulled by many SUVs.
The NoBo line of campers range in length from 13 to 25 feet. The 10 series is the smallest in the line. Both 10 series NoBo travel trailers have a UVW under 2,000 pounds. Their CCC ranges from just under 2,000 pounds to just over 2,000 pounds.
The NoBo line is not only small and light, but rugged and highly customizable. They’re designed to go off-road, featuring higher clearance and chunky tires. Awning systems and storage systems are available to fully outfit your NoBo whether you like to fish, kayak, ski, or bike on your adventures.
TAXA Cricket & Mantis
Both the TAXA Cricket and Mantis are lightweight and garageable. Because they have a pop-up roof, they are small enough, when closed, to fit in most garages.
The Cricket is 15 feet in length and comes in at a dry weight of 1,732 pounds, and GVWR of 2,500 pounds. When closed, the total height is just six feet 11 inches. The Mantis is a bit larger at 19 feet in length and 3,020 pounds of dry weight. The Mantis has a GVWR of 4,000 pounds.
Both the TAXA Cricket and Mantis are designed to take you both on and off the road. They’re very innovative, as TAXA’s founder spent some time designing for NASA!
Airstream’s smallest offering is the Basecamp. Though smaller than other Airstreams it’s able to fit a kayak or any other gear you might want to take. The Basecamp comes in at 16 feet three inches in length and has a weight of 3,500 pounds.
It’s footprint can also be extended with side and rear tents. Another option is the Basecamp X option which makes it even better equipped to go off the asphalt with a three-inch lift kit and other off-road friendly features.
Forest River r-pod
The Forest River r-pod has been a favorite among RVers looking for a small rig. The r-pod line of campers range in length from 18 feet four inches to 22 feet two inches. The UVW ranges from 2,342 pounds up to 3,578 pounds. CCC ranges from 900 pounds to 1,390 pounds.
An r-pod is ready to take you anywhere, and at it’s compact size is a breeze to fit into national park campsites.
The Hummingbird is a lightweight offering from popular RV manufacturer, Jayco. You get the traditional RV comforts and features in a fun-size format.
Hummingbird travel trailers range in length from 13 to 20 feet. The weight of Hummingbirds ranges from 2,000 pounds to 3,950 pounds.
The hummingbird’s small size makes it great for touring and trips to the lake. And, like many of these travel trailers, you can fit into almost any size campsite.