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Can my vehicle pull my travel trailer?

Generally, vehicles with rear-, four-, or all-wheel drive are a better choice to tow camping trailers: the extra weight of the trailer tends to increase traction in the back wheels at the expense of traction in the front.

Don't assume the listed maximum towing capacity of your vehicle automatically lets you tow the weight of the trailer. A special towing package or other options may also be needed.

All pickups and SUVs. plus most minivans and wagons can tow tent trailers up to 1000 lb. (453 kilograms). Small camping trailers up to 2000 lb. (907 kilograms) can also be towed by these vehicles, although some wagons may not be powerful enough (Class I trailer hitches are for up to 2000 lb.). All wagons become inappropriate for medium camper trailers of up to 3500 lb. (1587 kilograms), and some minivans also lack enough power (Class II trailer hitches are for up to 3500 lb.).

For medium travel trailers of up to 5000 lb. (requiring a Class III trailer hitch), only a few minivans have enough power, while all full-size pickups and most traditional SUVs should be fine. For any larger camper trailers beyond 7000 lb. (3175 kilograms), only full-sized pickups and SUVs should be considered (Class IV trailer hitches are for loads between 5000 and 10,000 lb.).

You should always get an exact legal definition, but initial estimations can be made by finding the Registered Gross Weight of your vehicle. This is indicated on the right portion (plate portion) of a truck's ownership, to the right of "REG. GROSS WT" and is given in kilograms (one kg equals 2.204 lb.). Significantly, the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario provides an exemption for lighter camper trailers: "where a trailer transmits to the highway a total weight of 2,800 kilograms (6,173 lb.) or less, that weight shall not be included in determining registered gross weight".

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