Vehicles for towing a camper

What is considered a tow package? Does anybody want to recommend a good towing vehicle? We are looking at Tahoes but would consider anything SUV and we are not considering a truck. We will be towing a small to med sized camper.

You need some raw horsepower and good low speed torque. For a medium size trailer, a Dodge Durango with V8 would do without being excessively large, or expensive.

If you are considering Japanese SUVs, I would go for the largest V6 engine available. You will need a Tow Package, which can mean many things, but normally is a load distribution hitch, a heavy duty wiring harness, a transmission oil cooler,often a high numerical ratio rear axle (pulling axle) and heavy duty radiator. General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler all have these as factory options, and they often include heavy duty rear springs, and a pulling rear axle. I had one on my 1988 Caprice and it included HD radiator, HD transmission oil cooler, HD wiring hasness, HD rear springs and shocks. The total cost was only $300 or so.
Many rental outfits have these factory installed, since it makes it much easier to sell the vehicle. Most people looking for a tow vehicle will want to install this equipment.

You might want to contact car & truck rental agencies to see if they have any low mileage units for sale. The local Chrysler/Jeep dealer equips all his Jeep Grand Cherokees with tow packages.

Good Luck!

It really depends on WHAT you are towing. Campers weight can range from 1500lbs to 8000lbs. I have a popup that when fully loaded weighs around 3400lbs. And I had no problem what so ever hauling it with my 3.3l Pathfinder or my new 4.0l 4runner.

I do recommend getting an automatic. The towing capacity on my Pathfinder is 3500lbs…but with the Automatic it’s 5000. And if you don’t get the towing package then get a good hitch from Either Reese or Draw-Tite (actually same company now)…and get the tranny cooler.

I won’t recommend any vehicle until I see some trailer weight numbers (GVWR) and the length#.

Most times it is wise to get the GVWR of the trailer you really want and THEN buy the right tow vehicle.

But, to give you an idea: I tow a 21’ Trail Lite (GVWR: 4200#) with my '02 Tahoe 5.3L V8 and a 3.73 rear end gear ratio. It has the factory tow package.

If you get a proper tow vehicle (without a tow package) to match the trailer you get (Think safety first) at least install an aftermarket tranny oil cooler.

You’ll need more than those items mention here, but if you want to find all the info you need in one place, check out: