Your love for the great outdoors and weekend adventures should not be impeded by the fact that you own compact cars. Good news, fellow adventurers! In this blog, we’ll uncover the possibilities of towing a micro camper with your small car, helping you figure out the right campers and necessary precautions to take to ensure even the littlest engines can provide you with big fun every weekend.
The Weight of the World (or Just Your Camper)
First and foremost, it is essential to determine your car’s towing capacity. You can typically find this information in your vehicle’s owner’s manual or online. Towing a camper beyond your vehicle’s weight capacity puts unnecessary strain on your car’s engine, transmission, and brakes—and trust us, no one wants to deal with those issues when venturing into the woods.
Once you know your car’s towing capacity, you can then search for a small camper that falls within the specified range. Check for models that are labeled “lightweight” or tailor-made for smaller vehicles. Don’t forget to consider the dry weight of the camper along with the additional weight of your camping gear, water, and propane tanks.
For a versatile camper that is big on features but still lightweight, SylvanSport offers two options: the TraiLOFT micro camper and the GO pop-up camper. Both offer the benefit of providing a shelter to sleep in plus the ability to carry your kayaks and bikes. In short, it’s a camper and a gear hauler all in one product. The TraiLOFT sleeps 1-2 campers and the GO pop-up camper sleeps up 4 and has a dry weight of just 840 lbs. Both of these innovative camping trailers are made in the Blue-Ridge mountain town of Brevard, North Carolina. Designed by an engineer who also happens to be very tall, they also are incredibly spacious with extra length on the TraiLOFT and lots of headroom in the GO pop-up camper.
Fun-Sized Hitch: Matching Hitches and Classes
Now that you have your towing capacity and the perfect lightweight camper in mind, you’ll need to look into installing a hitch to your small car. There are different classes of hitches, each rated for various towing capacities, so finding the right match is crucial. For most small or compact cars, a Class I or Class II hitch would suit your needs.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
When pulling a micro camper, your small car will require more time to slow down, turn, or change lanes. You’ll need to be especially vigilant and meticulous on the road, especially when performing the following maneuvers:
- Braking: With the added weight of the camper, braking takes longer. Maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you to avoid tailgating and causing potential collisions.
- Turning: Wide turns will become your new best friend. Navigating sharp corners poses additional challenges with a camper in tow, such as clipping curbs. Give yourself plenty of space to make wide turns.
- Accelerating: Put the pedal to the metal? More like, “Slow and steady wins the race!” Rapid acceleration is a no-go with a camper in tow. Instead, opt to gradually pick up speed to avoid placing unnecessary strain on your engine.
Can you tow a micro camper or pop-up camper with your small car? You bet you can! With the right camper, a suitable hitch, and a mindful driving style in place, you can bring your pop-up camper with you on all your travels. Embrace your inner adventurer as you take your compact car and lightweight camper—such as the SylvanSport GO—to new and exciting destinations!
Learn More about the TraiLOFT™ and GO pop-up camper