TOYOTA RAV4 TOWING CAPACITY

Towing with your Toyota RAV4 can be convenient, but understanding the TOYOTA RAV4 TOWING CAPACITY is crucial. Whether you’re considering purchasing a new RAV4 or already own one, knowing how much weight you can safely pull with a trailer attached is essential. We’ve compiled a handy chart to show you the towing capacity for different RAV4 models. But don’t worry if the RAV4 doesn’t meet your hauling needs – we’ll also explore alternative vehicles that might be better suited. From detailed towing capacity comparisons to step-by-step instructions on installing a hitch, this blog covers everything you need to know about towing with your RAV4 or finding a more suitable option. Stay tuned for a comprehensive overview presented in easy-to-understand language.

TOYOTA RAV4 TOWING CAPACITY CHART

Before towing with your Toyota RAV4, knowing the maximum weight your vehicle can safely pull is essential. To help you out, we’ve compiled towing capacity charts for the non-hybrid RAV4, RAV4 Hybrid, and RAV4 Prime models.

Before we dive in, let’s clarify what these capacity figures represent. You’ll see the trailer weight ratings (TWR) and the standard towing capacity measurements. TWR refers to the maximum allowable gross trailer weight, calculated by adding the weight of the trailer itself and the cargo it’s carrying.

These ratings assume a vehicle with two occupants, a towing package (if available), and a properly installed hitch system. To ensure accuracy, we’ve verified all the information directly from the Toyota RAV4 Owner’s Manuals.

RAV4 (NON-HYBRID)

Model YearTowing Capacity
2024
W/ towing package:
3,500 lbs. (1,590 kg.)

W/o towing package:
1,500 lbs. (680 kg.)
2023
W/ towing package:
3,500 lbs. (1,590 kg.)

W/o towing package:
1,500 lbs. (680 kg.)
2022
W/ towing package:
3,500 lbs. (1,590 kg.)

W/o towing package:
1,500 lbs. (680 kg.)
2021W/ towing package:
3,500 lbs. (1,590 kg.)

W/o towing package:
1,500 lbs. (680 kg.)
2020W/ towing package:
3,500 lbs. (1,590 kg.)

W/o towing package:
1,500 lbs. (680 kg.)
2019W/ towing package:
3,500 lbs. (1,590 kg.)

W/o towing package:
1,500 lbs. (680 kg.)
2018W/o towing package:
1,500 lbs. (680 kg.)

2WD w/ towing package:
2,900 lbs. (1,315 kg.)

AWD w/ towing package:
3,500 lbs. ( 1,590 kg.)
20171,500 lbs. (680 kg.)
20161,500 lbs. (680 kg.)
20151,500 lbs. (680 kg.)
20141,500 lbs. (680 kg.)
20131,500 lbs. (680 kg.)
20124-cylinder engine:
1,500 lbs. (680 kg.)

V6 engine w/o towing package:
2,000 lbs. (905 kg.)

V6 engine w/ towing package:
3,500 lbs. (1,585 kg.)
20114-cylinder engine:
1,500 lbs. (680 kg.)

V6 engine w/o towing package:
2,000 lbs. (905 kg.)

V6 engine w/ towing package:
3,500 lbs. (1,585 kg.)
20104-cylinder engine:
1,500 lbs. (680 kg.)

V6 engine w/o towing package:
2,000 lbs. (905 kg.)

V6 engine w/ towing package:
3,500 lbs. (1,585 kg.)
20094-cylinder engine:
1,500 lbs. (680 kg.)

V6 engine w/o towing package:
2,000 lbs. (907 kg.)

V6 engine w/ towing package:
3,500 lbs. (1,588 kg.)
20084-cylinder engine:
1,500 lbs. (680 kg.)

V6 engine w/o towing package:
2,000 lbs. (907 kg.)

V6 engine w/ towing package:
3,500 lbs. (1,588 kg.)
20074-cylinder engine:
1,500 lbs. (680 kg.)

V6 engine w/o towing package:
2,000 lbs. (907 kg.)

V6 engine w/ towing package:
3,500 lbs. (1,588 kg.)
20064-cylinder engine:
1,500 lbs. (680 kg.)

V6 engine w/o towing package:
2,000 lbs. (907 kg.)

V6 engine w/ towing package:
3,500 lbs. (1,588 kg.)
20051,500 lbs. (680 kg.)
20041,500 lbs. (680 kg.)
20031,500 lbs. (680 kg.)
20021,500 lbs. (680 kg.)
20011,500 lbs. (680 kg.)
20001,500 lbs. (680 kg.)
19991,500 lbs. (680 kg.)
19981,500 lbs. (680 kg.)
19971,500 lbs. (680 kg.)
19961,500 lbs. (680 kg.)

RAV4 HYBRID

Model YearTowing Capacity
20241,750 lbs. (795 kg.)
20231,750 lbs. (795 kg.)
20221,750 lbs. (795 kg.)
20211,750 lbs. (795 kg.)
20201,750 lbs. (795 kg.)
20191,750 lbs. (795 kg.)
20181,750 lbs. (795 kg.)
20171,750 lbs. (795 kg.)
20161,750 lbs. (795 kg.)

RAV4 PRIME

Model YearTowing Capacity
20242,500 lbs. (1,135 kg.)
20232,500 lbs. (1,135 kg.)
20222,500 lbs. (1,135 kg.)
20212,500 lbs. (1,135 kg.)

COMPETITORS

TOYOTA RAV4 TOWING CAPACITY

The Toyota RAV4 stands out among its compact SUV competitors in terms of towing capabilities. If hauling trailers or small campers is on your to-do list, you’ll want to pay attention to these impressive towing capacity figures:

  • Toyota RAV4: 3,500 lbs. max.
  • Subaru Forester: 3,000 lbs. max.
  • Hyundai Tucson: 2,000 lbs. max.
  • Mazda CX-5: 2,000 lbs. max.
  • Kia Sportage: 1,632 lbs. max.
  • Honda CR-V: 1,500 lbs. max.
  • Nissan Rogue: 1,350 lbs. max.

As you can see, the Toyota RAV4 outshines its competition with the highest maximum towing capacity in the compact SUV class. With its impressive 3,500 lbs. rating, the RAV4 offers unmatched versatility for hauling trailers, small boats, or even a compact camper on your next adventure.

HIGH-CAPACITY ALTERNATIVES

TOYOTA RAV4 TOWING CAPACITY

If the Toyota RAV4’s towing capacity doesn’t quite meet your requirements, don’t worry – there are plenty of other options to consider. As discussed earlier, the RAV4 boasts the highest towing capacity in its compact SUV class. If you need to haul heavier loads, move to a different vehicle class. We’ve compiled a list of examples across various categories so you can find a model that suits your towing needs:

Mid-Size SUVs:

  • Jeep Grand Cherokee (6,200 lbs.)
  • Nissan Pathfinder (6,000 lbs.)
  • Land Rover Defender (8,201 lbs.)

Full-Size SUVs:

  • Jeep Wagoneer (10,000 lbs.)
  • Toyota Sequoia (9,520 lbs.)
  • Ford Expedition (9,300 lbs.)

Trucks:

  • Toyota Tacoma (6,800 lbs.)
  • Chevrolet Colorado (7,700 lbs.)
  • Toyota Tundra (12,000 lbs.)

These vehicles offer significantly higher towing capacities than the RAV4, making them better suited for hauling heavy trailers, boats, or recreational vehicles. With a wide range of options across different classes, you’re sure to find a model that meets your specific towing requirements while accommodating your lifestyle and budget.

Remember, it’s essential to always stay within the recommended towing capacity for your vehicle to ensure safe and efficient hauling. Consult a professional for personalized recommendations if you have any doubts or needs.

GETTING A TOW HITCH

TOYOTA RAV4 TOWING CAPACITY

If you’ve decided that the Toyota RAV4’s towing capacity meets your needs, installing a hitch receiver is next. This square hole at the back of your RAV4 allows you to attach a trailer using a coupling point, typically a ball mount.

If you own a 2006 to 2012 RAV4 model, you can purchase a hitch kit directly from Toyota. Here’s what the installation process looks like:

  • Gather your tools and equipment:
    • Safety glasses
    • Support strap
    • Spray bottle
    • Flathead screwdriver
    • Exhaust removal tool
    • Torque wrench
    • 19mm socket and crowfoot adapter
  • Lower the exhaust system, which is held in place by three metal rubber hangers (one on the driver’s side, one on the passenger’s side, and one in the middle). Secure the exhaust using a support strap to lower it safely.
  • Use soapy water to help loosen the grommet and a flathead screwdriver to remove the stickers covering the weld nuts where you’ll attach the hitch.
  • Line up the two holes on the hitch with the exposed holes from the removed stickers. A hitch jack or an extra set of hands can help with this step.
  • Install the hardware (bolt and conical tooth washer) with the teeth facing toward the hitch. Start with the driver’s side, as the passenger side is typically tighter.
  • Tighten and torque all the bolts to the manufacturer’s specification using a 19mm socket and crowfoot adapter.
  • Re-attach the exhaust system using the original three hangers.

Following these steps, you can properly install a hitch receiver on your RAV4, preparing it for safe and secure towing adventures.

EXPERT TIPS FOR TOWING SAFELY

When towing with your Toyota RAV4, safety should be your top priority. Neglecting proper precautions can lead to severe damage and potentially put yourself and others at risk. To ensure a safe and stress-free towing experience, consider the following tips:

  • Pre-Towing Checklist:
    • Check the tire pressure of your RAV4 and trailer to ensure proper inflation.
    • Ensure your vehicle is up-to-date with maintenance, including fluid levels and brake inspections.
    • Pack a roadside safety kit in case of emergencies or breakdowns.
    • Verify that all lights (brakes, headlights, turn signals) function correctly on your RAV4 and trailer.
  • Proper Loading and Weight Distribution:
    • Distribute the trailer’s weight evenly and avoid overloading.
    • Stay within your RAV4’s maximum towing capacity, as specified in the owner’s manual.
  • Driving with a Trailer:
    • Practice driving in reverse with a trailer attached to become comfortable with the maneuvers.
    • Maintain a slow and safe speed, allowing for longer stopping distances.
    • Monitor your RAV4’s engine temperature, and take breaks if necessary to prevent overheating.

By following these safety tips, you can minimize the risks associated with towing and enjoy a safe and enjoyable journey with your RAV4 and trailer. Remember, prioritizing safety should always be your top concern when hauling additional weight.

Conclusion

We hope our comprehensive towing capacity charts have provided the necessary information for your Toyota RAV4. As highlighted, the RAV4 stands out in its class with an impressive maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds, making it a versatile choice for light to moderate hauling needs.

If your towing requirements exceed this capacity, we’ve also explored alternative vehicle options across mid-size SUVs, full-size SUVs, and trucks that offer higher towing capabilities. These options cater to those who need to tow heavier loads, such as larger trailers, boats, or recreational vehicles.

If the RAV4’s towing capacity meets your needs and you’re ready to start hauling, remember to install a hitch receiver if you don’t already have one. Our step-by-step guide will help you through installation, ensuring safe and secure towing adventures.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can a RAV4 Tow a Camper?

Yes, an RAV4 can tow a camper. The RAV4 has a towing capacity of up to 3,500 pounds, allowing it to tow smaller campers easily.

Can a RAV4 tow a boat?

Yes, an RAV4 can tow a boat as long as the boat’s weight is within the RAV4’s towing capacity. Check your specific model’s towing capacity in the owner’s manual or online resources.

Which RAV4 can tow 3,500 pounds?

Only the RAV4 Adventure and TRD Off-Road RAV4 trim levels can tow 3,500 pounds. They have a higher towing capacity than other RAV4 models, making them suitable for towing heavier loads.

Why can some RAV4s tow more?

Certain Toyota RAV4 trims can tow more due to specific upgrades that enhance towing capacity. These upgrades typically include a larger radiator, a more rugged suspension system, and an additional transmission engine oil cooler. 

Can I increase the towing capacity of my Toyota RAV4?

Yes, you can increase the towing capacity of your Toyota RAV4, but it will take work. You’ll need to consider upgrading the radiator, suspension, transmission, engine cooler, and more. The extent of the upgrades depends on how much you are interested in towing heavier loads.

What factors affect the RAV4’s towing capacity?

The towing capacity of a Toyota RAV4 is influenced by several key factors, such as the vehicle’s configuration, chassis strength, engine power, transmission type, rear axle ratio, and overall weight. 

What’s the RAV4’s tongue weight?

The Toyota RAV4’s tongue weight is typically 9-11 percent of the gross trailer weight. It’s essential to refer to your owner’s manual for specific guidelines on how to measure and adjust this weight properly. Tongue weight is crucial in ensuring safe towing and stability while on the road.