You bought the SUV so that you could tote the kids and all their gear to school and soccer practice. Now that you are planning a summer vacation, the thought of camping sounds appealing. Can you enjoy a trip to Banff National Park without renting a huge truck to tow a camper large enough for your crew?

There is a huge selection of pop-up campers and travel trailers that meet the weight ratings of many popular SUVs like the Ford Explorer or Toyota 4Runner. But before you buy, read your owner’s manual to verify what is your tow rating. Your trailer should have a gross vehicle weight rating of 80% of your tow rating. Now, let’s go shopping!

Hiker Trailers Go Anywhere with Your SUV

The Hiker Trailer company builds aluminum trailers on a rugged platform designed to travel over rough trails and splash through streams. If you are taking your 4WD SUV up into the mountains, most other travel trailers would be left behind. Each Hiker Trailer can be customized by the buyer, so you decide just how many upgrades you want to include. There is room for a double air mattress, cubbies for luggage, and a compact but functional galley accessed through a side door.

Bring the Family in a Coleman Lantern LT

If you think that it is impossible to find a trailer that can sleep six and still ride behind your all-wheel-drive SUV, think again. There are several models of the Lantern LT that fits a queen bed, bunk bed, and fold-out dinette to accommodate your entire crew inside. There are a stand-up shower and a two-burner stove. Parked next to your favorite lake, it’s the perfect size for your summer camp.

Added Flexibility in the Forest River r-pod 192

Find all the comforts of home in the 20-foot r-pod 192. The full-size master bed is able to fold up against the wall, expanding useable floor space on rainy days. The kids sleep in the convertible dining area. Air conditioning, on-board vacuum, an outdoor shower, and large white, gray, and black tanks make it a fabulous choice for dry camping over the weekend.

Camp in Style in the Airstream Bambi

Have you always dreamed of cruising the Trans-Canada highway while pulling a gleaming Airstream? They made it possible for owners of mid-size and large SUVs with the introduction of the Bambi line. It comes with the same bullet-shaped aluminum cocoon in a much smaller footprint. At only 15-feet long, you will be amazed at all the premium appointments thoughtfully positioned inside. Enjoy a memory foam mattress, plush dinette upholstery, contemporary kitchenette styling, and large windows.

Timberleaf Teardrop Pairs with Nearly Any SUV

Did you skip the all-wheel-drive for your SUV but still want to visit a few campgrounds? Consider the Timberleaf Teardrop trailer. With a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 1,000 kg, it can be towed by even some smaller SUVs. Sized just right for two adventurous individuals, its sleek style can fit all your luggage inside, provides ample room for sleeping, and can pack a fully functional kitchen in its galley. Pull in to park, pop open the back, unfold your camp chairs, and light a fire. At night, watch the stars dance through the huge skylight.

FAQs for Trailer Shopping

What is the GVWR on the trailer?

This number combines the dry weight of the trailer and adds in the expected weight of water and luggage. In order to remain in control of your trailer while towing, the GVWR should not exceed 80% of the approved tow rating for the vehicle.

Do I need special equipment to tow with my SUV?

You will need a bumper-mount ball that is sized to match the hitch of the trailer that you purchase.

You may also want to add anti-sway bars if you intend on driving on highways over extended distances.

You will also need a brake controller that connects the trailer brakes to your SUV brake system.

Finally, you will need to install a 7-pin electrical trailer connection that hooks up the trailer lights with the SUV.

Do I need special insurance or a license for the trailer?

You do not need a special driver’s license to tow a travel trailer. You will want to practice driving with the trailer in a large parking lot to get accustomed to taking wide turns and stopping. You should also add RV insurance so your investment is protected, both on the road and at the campsite, to help defray the cost of any accident or theft.

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