How Much Does A Camper Weigh?
Here is the average weight of each different kind of tow behind camper:
- The average Teardrop Trailer weighs 2500 lbs (1134 kg) and can be towed by most SUV’s and trucks.
- The average Pop-up Trailer weighs 1500 lbs (680 kg) and can be towed by most SUV’s and trucks.
- The average small Travel Trailer (<25 feet) weighs 3500 lbs (1588 kg) and can be towed by mid size SUV’s and small pickup trucks.
- The average large Travel Trailer (>25 feet) weighs 6300 lbs (2858 kg) and can be towed by larger SUV’s and 1/2 ton pickup trucks.
- The average small Fifth Wheel (<35 feet) weighs 9000 lbs (4082 kg) and would need a 3/4 ton truck once loaded.
- The average large Fifth Wheel (>35 feet) weighs 12000 lbs (5443 kg) and would need a heavy 3/4 ton or one-ton truck.
- The average Toy Hauler Fifth Wheel weighs 15000 lbs (6804 kg) and carries large cargo requiring a one ton truck to tow.
Of course, with many manufacturers and multiple lines of each type of camper there are many different variants. Having a good knowledge of the specifications that are critical in matching tow vehicle and trailer is the first step in teaming a rig that will keep you safe while on the road.
Vehicle Weight Factors To Consider
When it comes to calculating the average camper weight, there are several things that must be considered and understood in order to make the right match.
UVW -Unloaded Vehicle Weight
The Unloaded Vehicle Weight (exact dry weight) of a camper is the actual weight of an empty camper trailer, including all tanks i.e., water tanks, propane tanks, etc. It is the camper construction weight as you drive it off the lot, before you add anything of your own.
This is especially important during the buying process, because similar trailers with similar unloaded vehicle weights, may have very different cargo capacities.
CCC -Cargo Carrying Capacity
This is the allowable weight you can add to the trailer through belongings, accessories, and people. It is the allowable cargo weight. Also known as net carrying capacity.
GVWR -Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
This is the combination of the above 2 weights. It is the maximum travel trailer weight that is allowed when fully loaded.
GAWR -Gross Axle Weight Rating
Each axle of your RV, trailer, or tow vehicle has a Gross Axle Weight Rating, which is the maximum amount of weight that it can carry. With RV’s the axle’s are typically designed to carry the GVWR of the RV.
This factor becomes very important when you are towing a trailer, as there will be weight added to the rear axle of your tow vehicle. The added weight plus the portion of the vehicle cannot exceed the rating for the axle. So one trailer may allow you to add more weight in water, belongings, your propane tank, generator, etc.
It is also important when figuring out your weight distribution of a multi-axle trailer.
As explained above, this weight rating is the amount of trailer weight that is placed on your tow vehicle as opposed to what is carried by the axles/ tires of the trailer. This weight may go onto the bumper if you are hauling a travel trailer, or directly onto the axle if you are hauling a fifth wheel.
Typically, this is fifteen to twenty percent of the total weight of your camper, including camping gear. Of course it will rise as the trailer gets longer. A 20 ft camper trailer weight is going to be much easier on your hitch than a 38 ft camper!
Maximum Towing Capacity
This is the maximum weight that your tow vehicle can tow. Also known as your vehicle’s tow rating.
GCWR -Gross Combined Weight Rating
The gross combination weight rating is the maximum weight for your truck and trailer combined.
Here is a camper weight chart showing the average weights of each type of RV.
Camper Construction Can Effect Camper Weight
The construction of your camper can affect the weight of the trailer. For example, slide outs help increase the square footage of a camper; however, a slide out can increase the weight of the vehicle by about 800 pounds.
If you have multiple slide outs, the weight of the camper can increase significantly, and the type of towing vehicle needed can vary.
One thing to be very aware of is that sometimes, in order to keep weight down, the larger RV’s can carry undersized tanks, or have smaller allowable payloads.
Make sure you know what you are getting here before you buy- especially if you intend to spend a great deal of time in the rig.
Getting The Right Tow Vehicle
You can tow a camper with a car, SUV, or truck, depending on the weight of the camper. The highest towing SUV’s will pull around 10,000 lbs so if you are towing a larger camper, you will need a truck.
If the travel trailer is heavy or you will be traveling great distances, you may want to opt for a diesel engine. Diesel vehicles are designed for towing and will provide you with better gas mileage.
Additionally, running slightly below the speed limit can help decrease your gas consumption.
Average Camper Weight Examples
Let’s look at different types of camping trailers to help you determine the type of trailer (pop up camper, fifth wheel, travel trailer, toy hauler, airstream, or teardrop camper) your vehicle can handle. We have listed some of the most popular pull behind campers along with their average trailer weights, etc.
Escapod Topo Travel Trailer:
The Escapod Topo is a super small design known as a “teardrop” trailer. This trailer is 12.5 feet long and weighs in at 1600 lbs. A water tank is optional bringing the weight up to a whopping 1800 lbs. Lets face it, you could tow this baby with your bicycle.
One of the more intriguing tiny campers in the modern surge of adventurous teardrop trailers, the Escapod Topo combines rugged construction, compact design and killer graphics.
Forest River R-Pod Travel Trailers:
The Forest River R-Pods are a very successful line of exceptionally small and lightweight travel trailers designed to be towed by…well… just about anything. These trailers are indicative of a trend towards small “teardrop” designs. There is even a growing niche of people who buy steel utility trailers and build their own rigs.
The overall 2022 series of R Pods runs from 19 to 25 feet in length and have dry weights between 2700 and 4600 lbs and can hold cargo weighing from 800 to 2100 lbs. Fresh water tanks for all models hold 30 gallons of water. Gray and black tanks hold 30 gallons each across the line.
They have also added some nice features like larger refrigerators and central vacuums. So even the heaviest R-Pod could be towed with a tow package equipped Jeep Wrangler or most small pickup trucks.
Oliver Elite and Elite II Average Camper Weight
With its outer fiberglass double wall construction, the Oliver Elite line of travel trailers are quite unique to the RV industry. There are only 2 models available and each one is custom made for the consumer. The Elite model weighs in at 3700 lbs empty and 5000 lbs fully loaded. It has a 30 gallon fresh water tank, 32 gallon gray tank and an 18.5 gallon black tank. It is 18.5 feet long and has a hitch weight of only 370 pounds. It sleeps 3.
The larger brother, the Elite II is 24 feet long and weighs in at 4900 lbs dry and 7000 loaded. It has a similar water system as the smaller trailer and also sleeps 3.
Forest River Flagstaff Pop Up Camper:
Pop up campers are the type that have a roof that “pops up” to reveal soft sided walls, and bunks that fold out of the sides, front and back. The Forest River line includes 10 floor plans ranging from 12′ to 22′ (towing) and 17′ to 28′ (camping).
The popup camper weight will run from 1400 to 3700 lbs dry with Cargo Carrying Capacities from 500 to 1350 lbs and a hitch weight of 195 to 380 pounds. Many vehicles will tow these trailers.
Airstream Flying Cloud Travel Trailer:
The Airstream Flying Cloud line encompasses 13 floor plans ranging from 23 to 31 feet long and sleeps up to eight people. The Airstream’s fresh water holding tanks hold between 37 and 52 gallons, the gray water capacity is 37 gallons, and the black water holding tank is 17 to 41 gallons.
The dry weight of the Flying Cloud is from 5000 lbs to 6557 lbs and the gross vehicle weight rating is 6000 to 8800 pounds, depending on the model. The hitch weight is 500 to 899 pounds. So any of them can be towed by a 1/2 ton truck.
Coachmen Apex Nano Travel Trailers:
The Apex Nanoline offers 6 models (plus 4 temporary production models.) including the new 17th which replaces the award winning 15T model. This line includes travel trailers from 19 to 25 feet long and sleeps up to 7 people. These trailers have fresh water tanks between 30 and 50 gallons and gray and black tanks between 30 and 35 gallons.
ALL of these RV’s weigh under 4000 lbs dry, and have GVWR’s of 6000 lbs or less which means that ALL of them can be towed with a 1/2 ton truck. Hitch weights run between 330 and 596 lbs.
Coachmen Clipper Ultra-Lite Travel Trailers:
The Coachman Clipper Ultra-Lite camper line offers 24 different floor plans. They run from 16’6″ to 32 feet long and can sleep up to 7 people. They include a fresh water system of 27 to 40 gallons, a gray water capacity of 25 to 32 gallons, and a black water capacity of 25 to 32 gallons.
The dry weight of the Coachman Clippers runs between 2700 and 7000 pounds, the gross weight rating is 3823 to 8905 pounds, and a dry hitch weight is 340 to 946 pounds.
Most of these units can be towed by a 1/2 ton truck, but check the particular model to be sure.
Cruiser Radiance Ultra Lite Average Camper Weight:
The Radiance line of travel trailers includes units from 26 to 37 feet long and sleeps up to 9 people. The dry weight of these campers is between 5346 and 7532 pounds, and the hitch weight is runs from 702 to 1042 pounds. Gross vehicle weight rating is between 7700 and 9842 pounds which makes them questionably 1/2 ton towable.
The Radiance has a fresh water capacity of 44 gallons, a gray water capacity of 30 gallons, and a black water capacity of 30 gallons up to a whopping 87 gallons. Thats a LOT of poo!
Forest River Flagstaff Classic Travel Trailers and Fifth Wheels
The Flagstaff line of travel trailers and fifth wheels includes 13 models ranging from 29 to 37 feet long and able to sleep up to ten people The dry weight runs from 7809 lbs up to 10686 on the heaviest fifth wheel. With hitch weights maxing out at 1802, this entire line could potentially be towed with a 1/2 ton truck depending on how much payload is carried (and the specific truck).
The payload capacity of the Flagstaff is between 1502 and 2702 lbs. Ironically, the smallest allowable cargo payload is for the heaviest (large) fifth wheel, so this should be kept in mind. These trailers also do have motorized slide outs which greatly increases living space.
The fresh water tank capacity on every RV in this line is 54 gallons. The gray tanks 70 to 130 gallons, while the black tanks run between 40 and 50 gallons. Be aware here as well, that the largest rigs sometimes have the smaller tanks.
Heartland Cyclone Toy Haulers
The Heartland Cyclone is is a line of high end toy haulers. As such they are heavy duty, weigh a lot and have tons of storage capacity- including a bunkhouse/ garage that will carry your motorcycles/ golf cart. etc. The rear wall of the rig is hinged to drop down into a ramp gate for loading and unloading.
We include this specific line because its 2022 is a finalist for RV Businesses RV of the Year Award!
‘There are 6 floor plans in this line, running from 39’9″ to 46’7″ long and sleeping up to about a dozen people. The RV’s have a massive fresh water capacity of 100 to 150 gallons, a gray water capacity of 80 to 90 gallons, and black water capacity 80 to 91 gallons. This makes these units well suitable for longer term usage AND boondocking.
The dry weight of the Heartland Cyclone Toy Haulers is from just over 16000lbs up to 20000 lbs, which means these boys are HEAVY DUTY! The cargo carrying capacity is 3386 to 3926 pounds, and the dry hitch weight is 2488 to 4650 pounds. So the loaded trailer will be a monster to haul.
Jayco Eagle Fifth Wheels Average Camper Weight
The Jayco Eagle 5th wheel line includes 7 floor plans ranging from 36′ to 42′ and sleep up to 11 people. These are a “middle of the road” series as far as weight goes running from 10580 lbs to 13250 lbs fully loaded and hitch weights from 1745 to 2315.
This would put them in the 3/4 ton to one ton truck category depending on the truck. The water system for all models is similar with75- 81 gallons fresh, a gray water tanks of50- 87 and a black tank of 50 gallons. What is weird here is that the largest model has the smallest cargo capacity AND the smallest tanks. Maybe used a little light chassis here?
Grand Design Reflection Fifth Wheels
The Grand Design Reflection line of 5th wheels is one of the best selling and best built RV lines. The Reflection “150” series includes 6 floor plans ALL designed to be 1/2 ton towable.
The Reflection series is a line of 8 floor plans which are a bit larger and heavier so could require a 3/4 ton truck to tow. The entire line runs between 28 and 36 feet long and can sleep up to ten people.
The campers have a 52 to 60 gallon freshwater system, the gray water capacity is 71 to 94 gallons, and the black water capacity is 39 to 87 gallons. The dry weight of the series is 7204 to 12552 pounds, the gross weight rating is 9995 to 14995, and the hitch weights run from 1195 up to 2461 pounds.
Getting to our destination towing the Reflection with the Ford was about as pleasurable as possible; living in the Grand Design exceeded expectations. It’s a match with tremendous potential for enthusiasts looking for short and/or long-term journeys.
Highland Ridge RV Open Range Fifth Wheels:
The Open Range line includes 15 models. 4 models are called “Light,” 4 are called Roamer, and 9 are simply “Open Range.” These 5’ers run between 32 and 44 feet in length. The “Light” models weigh in starting at 8125 lbs up to the largest Open Range at13345 lbs. With GVWR’s maxing out at 11,500 lbs and hitch weights all below 1650 lbs, the “Light” series are all 1/2 ton towable depending on your truck. The other series will depend on which model.
Their GVWR’s start at 9995 and go up to 16250! Hitch weights are 1665 to 2535 so a 3/4 ton or one ton truck may be required. The largest sleeping capacity is ten people. The campers features 45 gallon up to 75 gallon freshwater system, a 58 to 80 gallon gray water system, and a 29 to 80 gallon black water system.
Keystone Montana Fifth Wheels
The Keystone Montana line is one of the most successful RV lines ever, topping sales for 5th wheels 14 years running. Their 2022 models are some very exciting new designs included in it’s 17 available floor plans. These are not small 5’ers, all models falling between 32 and 41 feet.
The dry weight is between 11081 and 14345 lbs and the Cargo Carrying Capacities run between 2280 and 2940 lbs. The water system is the same through out the line with fresh water tanks of 66 gallons, gray tanks holding 88 gallons and black tanks holding 49-88 gallons.
A 3/4 or one ton truck would be required to pull one of these beauties.
Many individuals will also use a generator for power when they are not camping in a campground (going off grid). The weight of the generator will also need to be calculated into the overall weight of the camper.
Campers come in a range of sizes and shapes. Understanding how much your travel trailer weighs when it is unloaded as well as how much it will weigh once you load in your camping gear will help you determine the type of vehicle that is needed to tow your vehicle.
Frank is the Head Hubby, Daddy, and Fix-It Guy of the Roving Foleys clan. He ia an avid traveler and has spent over 5 years traveling full time with his family. he loves helping others learn about the RV life. He has also traveled in Europe, Asia, and Australia with his wife Grainne.