CaravanAmpRV

This page is for notes and links related to caravans (aka travel trailers) and recreational vehicles.

General

Types

There are more or less four distinct classes of caravans & RVs:

  • Caravans/Travel Trailers (the term "travel trailer" is the one commonly used in the US, but I like the word "caravan", which is the common used in Europe). These are pulled behind a tow vehicle, and range from very light (e.g. teardrops) to very heavy
  • Recreational Vehicle: Integrated vehicle and living space, ranging in size from a van conversion to a full sized bus conversion
  • Popups: trailers that expand into a tent. These are more or less "camping" options, for heavyweight camping, and I'm tempted to put the "teardrop" class travel trailers together with them.

Tools and Equipment

Caravans

Caravans

Useful Links

Towing Vehicles

The choice of a tow vehicle is driven both by what you're going to tow, and by what else you're going to use the vehicle for. For discussion purposes, I'm assuming something in the general class of an Airstream Caravel, which has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 5000 lbs and a tongue weight of 525 lbs. With that as a basic weight, I'll comment that I think a tow vehicle capacity of 6000+ lbs is probably in order. We travel in the West, and the ups and downs can get pretty serious.

That leaves out most vans, and quite a few of the small pickup trucks and SUV, unfortunately. Some examples:

  • Unsuitable
    • Jeep Wrangler has a tow capacity of 3500lbs. Not suited for this use
    • Chevrolet Blazer tow capacity 4500lbs
    • Toyota Highlander
    • Toyota RAV4
    • Minivans in general are limited to 3500lbs, but check specifics
  • Marginal
    • Toyota 4Runner's rated capacity is 5000lbs. Marginal at best for this design case
    • Honda Pilot
    • Ford Explorer
  • Suitable
    • Ford F-150 towing capacity varies depending on the build, but most variations can easily handle 6000lbs
    • Jeep Grand Cherokee's rated capacity (when "properly equipped") is 7500lbs
    • Toyota Sequoia tows up to 9500lbs
    • Jeep Gladiator is rated at 7500 (2021 model year)
    • Dodge Durango
    • Nissan Armada
    • Ford Expedition
    • Chevy Tahoe/Suburban, GMC Yukon/Yukon XL, or Cadillac Escalade are all built on pickup frames, with around 7900lbs towing capacity
  • Overkill
    • Chevrolet Silverado's towing capacity is above 23000lbs; KOA thinks highly of it as a general tow vehicle

Useful References

Comparison Guides

RVs