The Toyota Sienna is one of the most popular Minivans on the market. It’s not in the same bracket as a large SUV or pickup truck, but can it perform the same functions? To better find out if the Toyota Sienna can tow a camper, we will evaluate what we know about Sienna towing in general, which type of campers it is able to tow, the cost of a hitch that is required to tow, and what type of hitches are available.
Yes, the Toyota Sienna can tow a camper when equipped with the appropriate towing package. All models are able to pull up to 3,500 pounds. Since Minivans are on the large side and can hold more passengers than your standard vehicle, this makes them a key vehicle for towing. Even though they can tow a camper, they’re not as equipped for heavier duty as SUVs and pickup trucks.
In the event you are required to tow a camper with the Toyota Sienna, please keep in mind the important factors that are involved. For safety reasons, always make sure you’re staying within the weight limit of your Sienna. As you continue to read, we’ll discuss the other factors involved with towing your camper. It is important you evaluate all safety measures, as well as know every single detail involved when beginning to plan your trip. The last thing you want is to run into many obstacles along the way.
- 1 Toyota Sienna Towing – What You Need To Know
- 2 What Campers Can The Sienna Tow?
- 3 What Is The Cost Of A Hitch?
- 4 What Hitches Are Available?
Toyota Sienna Towing – What You Need To Know
When you think of a Minivan, the last thing you think of is a Minivan being able to tow campers or anything for that matter. Many of us view Minivans as a family vehicle that is able to haul big loads and great for traveling. But it is not uncommon to use an SUV to tow or even Minivan. The Toyota Sienna is able to tow up to 3,500 pounds.
If you live in the country and own a farm, you’ll be pleased to know that one of the things you can tow with a Toyota Sienna is a horse. A horse weighs about 1,000 pounds. A trailer that can carry one horse weighs roughly around 2,000 pounds. Since those totals are less than 3,500 pounds, that makes the Toyota Sienna capable of towing a horse.
If you want to tow with your Toyota Sienna, the first thing you should know is that you have to buy the towing parts for your Sienna. The parts recommended in buying are OEM parts. They are sturdy and reliable, and most importantly made by the same company that is familiar with your Toyota Sienna. The parts that are needed in towing with a Toyota Sienna include a hitch, wire harness kit, and a ball mount.
Towing Safety Tips
Once you have a plan set in place, it’s a great idea to have safety guidelines to follow:
To prevent swaying, make sure you have at least 60% of the weight in the front of your trailer.
- Don’t go over 55mph.
- Make sure safety chains under the hitch are installed.
- Don’t ride your breaks. Instead, use gentle pulses during downhill driving.
- For safe braking stay 4 seconds behind any vehicle.
- Have a spare tire available.
What Campers Can The Sienna Tow?
With low tow ratings, the Toyota Sienna cannot tow large campers. Additionally, the Sienna is also not a 4WD. However, there are still some campers available out there within the Sienna’s weight limit. Remember to check that your camper is 3,500 pounds or under. Having a camper that is over the weight limit is a safety hazard. Make sure that the camper you are towing is within the weight range at all times.
Forest River R-Rod Travel Trailer
The Forest River travel camper comes with eleven different floor plans. Depending on the model you get, you may have a smaller bathroom than others. This tent trailer is a great way to maximize your space, while also minimizing the total weight. The river model weighs just under 2,500 pounds but holds two large beds that will come out when you are camping.
It also comes with a dining area, kitchen, and sofa bed. The 2318G options are also available if you want the shower/potty combo if you don’t want to use any of the bathrooms at the campground.
There are various sizes of the Escape trailers. They have outstanding reviews because of the quality they provide, amenities with tiny spaces, and their ability to be towed by small vehicles. You also are able to custom build your own trailer to however you want it. This trailer has an open design with plenty of storage, appliances that are great in quality, and can sleep up to 4 people.
The one-piece fiberglass is very strong, durable, is easy to clean, and is waterproof. Drivers can sleep well knowing that won’t have to worry about structural issues.
Scamp 13’ Fiberglass Trailer
If you want a small camper than can be pulled by the Sienna, the Scamp camper is perfect for you. Even with its small size, it can still fit a toilet, bed, and kitchen depending on the type of floor plan that you choose. Believe it or not, the Scamp even comes with great insulation so you can stay comfortable even in the coldest of climates.
Little Guy Mini Max
The mini max is among the small trailer list option, although it’s not the smallest that is available. As hinted from the name, there are small trailers to consider. The Mini max has amazing features that shopper put atop their priority lists such as a sink, kitchen stove, refrigerator, and microwave. The small dining area can be formed into a twin or queen-sized bedding area. When loaded down, the total weight of the trailer remains under 3,000 pounds.
Aliner Pop-Up Trailer
These pop-up trailers are known for being lightweight. The family model is in between the traditional trailer and tent trailer. When you are towing the Aliner, the trailer will fold flat, which will minimize its drag. This trailer includes 3 different areas for sleeping, sink, and toilet accommodations.
The small kitchen is a slide-out kitchen, so cooking will be completed on the outside. The total unloaded weight of the Aliner is less than 2,000 pounds.
What Is The Cost Of A Hitch?
Choosing the right hitch for your Minivan is very important. No matter what you are towing, whether it be a camper, boat, or a trailer, the right hitch can protect your Minivan when you are towing. Before buying a hitch, make sure you have a full understanding of the weight requirements and hitches.
The standard hitch will cost you anywhere from $150-$800. Gooseneck hitches on average cost between $200-$600. Fifth wheel hitches are the most expensive and run anywhere from $300-$2,500. When towing with your Minivan, make sure you have taken all factors into consideration before purchasing the right hitch. This will help determine which one is right for you.
Bumper Towing. The majority of SUVs come with a hole that is in the bumper of their vehicle for a standard trailer ball without bolting to the car’s chassis. The additional wiring normally costs anywhere from $15-$50 for things such as trailer lights. The lightweight set up can tow up to 1,000 pounds.
Receiver-Ball Hitch. A receiver ball hitch that bolts to the chassis costs from $50-$250, but can also cost $300-$700.
Fifth-Wheel Hitches. Fifth Wheel hitches can cost anywhere from $300-$2,000 or more only for the hitch. It can be very costly. Other factors that come into play to determine the price are the materials, towing, and capacity. If you try to install a fifth wheel hitch yourself you’ll need to cut, drill, and weld. Professional installation would obviously be more in cost.
Gooseneck Hitch. A gooseneck hitch will run you about $200-$600, depending on the capacity it can tow and lock system options. A popup Gooseneck Hitch can cost you $415. From cutting a hole in the bed to professional installation, you can expect to pay anywhere from $400-$800.
What Hitches Are Available?
You’ll find that there are many different types of hitches that are available for towing campers. Each type of hitch serves a unique purpose and comes with different towing capacities. Hitches to tow small campers or trailers are much different than the hitches you would buy to tow a large camper or trailer. Some vehicles may even come with a standard hitch already installed. Hitches are attached in the back of the vehicle right below the bumper.
Receiver hitches are categorized in classes from 1 to 5 depending on how much weight they are able to safely tow. The most common type of hitch is the rear-receiving hitch. This hitch has a square receiver tube that allows you to mount components and accessories. The receiver tubes range from 1 inches sizes all the way up to 2 ½ inches.
The quality of receiver hitches is solid and key for safety and strength. In the majority of heavy-duty trucks, receiver hitches are already installed in the rear.
As the name suggests, this type of hitch becomes mounted on the bumper instead of the vehicle’s frame to allow flexibility and needed adjustments. This makes it possible to tow a variety of loads such as campers, trailers, boats, and more. Due to the way this hitch is mounted, bumper hitches are only able to tow as much weight as the bumper allows.
Front-mount hitches are mostly used for off-roaders and allow clearer vision when towing. Lining up your rig is also much easier with a front-mount hitch. For example, pulling your boat in and out of the water would seem like a breeze compared to before. Just like the receiver hitch, the front-mount hitch is attached to the frame.
Fifth Wheel Hitch
The fifth wheel hitch is installed on the inside and is designed for heavy-duty towing. This type of hitch would not be recommended for the Toyota Sienna. Fifth wheel hitches can tow anywhere from 15,000 to 30,000 pounds. The hitch is placed on the rear axle. This would make the fifth wheel hitch ideal for long bed trucks. It can also control bumps easier and is able to maneuver through twisty roads.
The gooseneck hitch is meant for towing for a tighter turn radius. Just like the fifth wheel hitch, gooseneck hitches are mounted in the bed of trucks if you have one. This type of hitch would not be ideal for the Toyota Sienna. Gooseneck hitches are efficient if you’re towing a bulky load like trailers, flatbeds, or livestock. They also come with a higher weight capacity, so choosing this hitch for the Toyota Sienna would not be recommended.
A pintle hitch comes with a hook that is used to tow your camper or trailer to your vehicle. It becomes attached to the frame of your vehicle and is ideal for larger trailers and trucks. One of the downsides to a pintle hitch is that it is noisy than the standard mechanism, and is mostly used in the construction industry. Therefore, the pintle hitch is not recommended to use for the Toyota Sienna.
If you’re going to choose the right hitch for to tow your camper, go with the bumper-mounted hitch. Using your Toyota Sienna to tow your camper, the bumper-mounted hitch would be the best hitch to attach to its frame. Since the hitch only allows you to tow what the bumper allows, it is best to stick with a camper on the smaller side.
In conclusion, the research conducted on the variety of hitches would better help you choose which hitch is right for you. Ensure that your Toyota Sienna has the right hitch attached to tow your chosen camper. Most importantly, always think of safety first, and make sure to not go over the weight limit. When covering all of the safety basics, this would enhance your camping experience, so you and your family are able to enjoy time together, without having to worry.