towing a travel trailer


Guide for Towing a Camper Rental


Towing a Camper Rental is Easy with Practice

It is also important to factor in if and how much weight is added to the towing vehicle when a trailer is hitched. This is usually a percentage of the trailer’s total weight (with cargo and full fuel tanks and water reservoirs). Always ensure that the Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) is high enough to support the load of the trailer and its contents.

Although features like towing packages, axle ratios, drive systems and additional rear wheels might sound like added benefits that will boost a vehicle’s overall towing capabilities, these components have already been considered when calculating specs like GCWR, GAWR, GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating), and MTR.

The manufacturer of the travel trailer will also publish a GVWR, UVW (Unloaded Vehicle Weight) and CCC (Cargo Carrying Capacity) that will factor into the load capacity of the travel trailer and ultimately the towing capacity. Typically you can find a manufacturer’s sticker on the travel trailer rental unit with these weights listed. There may also be some dealer add-ons in which you would need to include those weights in your calculation.

There are many items of equipment that may either be required or assist in pulling a travel trailer rental. These include towing packages, weight distributing hitches, sway bars and breaking system controllers. All of these add to safety and make the camper rental easier to drive. These items may be already installed on your vehicle, provided by the rental owner or you may need to get them, as necessary. Some pop-up tent campers and small ultra-light travel trailers can be pulled without a towing package making them a popular rent camper choice. Nevertheless, most travel trailer and toy hauler rentals on the market can be pulled with a ½ pickup while some heavier campers will require a ¾ ton truck or larger.

A Few Pointers on Towing an RV 

Once you have established a safe and realistic towing capacity for your vehicle, it is equally important to pay attention to the hitching up and your driving habits when operating this extended rig.

For example: 

Know the towing limits and never exceed them. Pay close attention to details and take your time. Practice the routine. Check and double check. Keep a safe distance from other cars on the road and allow for additional time and space when slowing down or breaking. Install additional equipment like weight distributing hitches, sway bars and brake controllers, as needed. Install extensions to your side mirrors so you have a better view behind and around the trailer. Conduct a thorough safety check before departing. This includes making sure the hitch is on the ball and latched with a safety pin, verifying that safety chains have been attached properly and all lights on the trailer are in working order. Check and double check. Stay alert and make wise maneuvering decisions when turning, merging, and switching lanes. Enlist the help of someone else to assist with safe backing and efficient hitching of your trailer. Never drink and drive. Never text while driving! Never drive tired. By taking the time to verify and calculate an appropriate tow weight as well as paying close attention to safety standards while driving, you and your family will avoid unwanted hassles or damage to your automobile and RV rental equipment. 

Additional Resources:

2020 Guide to Towing