Can toyota camry tow a light van

Submitted: Friday, Nov 05, 2021 at 14:40
ThreadID: 142810 Views:4796 Replies:11 FollowUps:4
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l am interested in a small caravan for one person, what small caravans can be towed by a 4 cylinder toyota camry
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Reply By: Member - John - Friday, Nov 05, 2021 at 14:45

Friday, Nov 05, 2021 at 14:45
john, depends on the Camry model?
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Reply By: john j10 - Friday, Nov 05, 2021 at 15:36

Friday, Nov 05, 2021 at 15:36
Just a 4 cylinder 2010 model camry, what small models or types of caravans can be towed by it
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Follow Up By: Member - John - Friday, Nov 05, 2021 at 17:51

Friday, Nov 05, 2021 at 17:51
A Google search shows 1200kg for that model.
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Reply By: Kazza055 - Friday, Nov 05, 2021 at 16:03

Friday, Nov 05, 2021 at 16:03
If it is front wheel drive you will find it hard getting traction on surfaces like wet grass.

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Reply By: RMD - Friday, Nov 05, 2021 at 17:01

Friday, Nov 05, 2021 at 17:01
john j10
Yes, it will tow something but the weight and ball weight of the van and the ball weight MAXIMUM you must know before ever trying. Check your tow weights and ball weight allowed by checking handbook. Best to err on the lowest you can achieve, preferably lower than the MAX for safety and control.
The fuel usage will skyrocket as the vehicle will not be able to maintain it's economy mode programmed into the ECU. Plan distances!
If ever trying to tow up hills or mountainess country, the auto fluid will likely overheat if no auto cooler is added prior to the towing. Summer is near. Not sure how much reserve cooling ability the Camry has to get rid of auto fluid heat dumped into the radiator bottom as it tries to cool very hot auto fluid leaving the torque converter.
With the towbar, the closest the ball can be made to fit/operate to the rear bumper skin the better. That may require someone modifying the tongue to achieve closeness. Most bar setups, stick the ball out far to far and that loads the rear suspension more and lifts the front wheels, ie lighter floaty steering and less traction as KAZZA mentioned.
Earlier Camry's doing heavy towing have been known to break the final drive shaft where the final gear drives the differential carrier. They just didn't like heavy loads, not really designed as a towcar unfortunately. Unsure if this still applies to 2010 onward. Ask around! Lifetime use otherwise and great reliability too.
Tyre rating must be able to handle the additional load and shocks if worn, especially the rears, and not in top condition will not control the additional mass the van applies.
A few awareness issues. Nothing is simple.

Edit. I see a couple of members have stated 1200kg. That is the maximum and for many reasons you shouldn't be near that in real life operation. You do need a brake controller fitted too.
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Follow Up By: Member Kerry W (Qld) - Tuesday, Nov 09, 2021 at 11:12

Tuesday, Nov 09, 2021 at 11:12
The subframe and metal panels where the towbar attaches and bolts to is fairly frail on a lot of these newer lighter vehicles especially towards the rear bumper area - It would not hurt to use much larger washers when installing the towbar. (Or even having (gussetted) strengthening plates made to suit...)
Speaking from personal experience...
Kerry W (Qld)
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Reply By: Notso - Friday, Nov 05, 2021 at 17:14

Friday, Nov 05, 2021 at 17:14
Maximum braked towing capacity 1200 kg, maximum tow ball down force 120kg. this might help, not too sure how old the info is.
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Reply By: Phil G - Friday, Nov 05, 2021 at 17:31

Friday, Nov 05, 2021 at 17:31
Something like a Jayco JPod would be about the limit:
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Reply By: Erad - Saturday, Nov 06, 2021 at 21:34

Saturday, Nov 06, 2021 at 21:34
Jayco used to make a small back-door poptop caravan which would be ideal for one or two people. They would weigh about 750 kg. As for your Camry, it would tow one of these quite well. Obviously, in hilly country or with strong headwinds the car would be working harder, but if you are prepared to go slower, it will do the job no problems.

We used to have a 4 cylinder Magna (2.6 L, the first model Magna - front wheel drive). It towed our 750 kg camper trailer around Australia twice with no problems at all. It was a manual transmission, but autos do the job quite well. If you have an auto, I would consider getting a transmission cooler fitted. Also, do not tow in the highest gear unless it is downhill or with a tail wind. Feel the car, and if it does the job easily, then you can push it a little bit harder.

Being a front wheel drive, you can expect to have traction problems on a wet road uphill start, or any slippery surface for that matter, including gravel. However, if you take it easy, you can go where everyone else goes with no problems.

I recommend that you fit some load levellers on the van. They help transfer some of the caravan weight to the front wheels, and also they help with caravan sway (should you be unlucky enough to get caught with sway).

Regarding fuel consumption, any caravan has the aerodynamics of a brick. You can expect to use probably around 15 or 16 L/100 km of petrol, regardless of what you are using to tow the van. This is with moderate speeds (95 - 100 km/h). If you push it harder eg 110 km/h, you can expect to use up to 20 L/100 km.

Many years ago, I was driving my 4WD from Tiboorburra (NSW) to Innaminca (SA) via Camerons Corner. Just West from Camerons Corner, the road crosses many sand dunes (the road is capped with clay topping). I came over one dune and saw a 12 ft back-door caravan being towed by a 4 yrs old Nissan Bluebird. A single woman was driving it. I moved over as far as I could to give her a wide berth, but she had no trouble in handling the rig. The next day we returned to Tiboorburra and she was still there so we spoke to her. She decided one day to buy a van and travel this wonderful country. She could do everything herself, except reversing the van. If there was no-one to help her, she simply uncoupled the van and pushed it back herself. Now, that Nissan Bluebird most likely had a 1600 cc engine. It certainly had about 100 mm (if that) of ground clearance. She had no troubles.

Assuming your driving skills are of a reasonable standard, I can see no reason that your Camry would not tow a small van safely and with no mechanical damage.
AnswerID: 638522

Reply By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Monday, Nov 08, 2021 at 06:41

Monday, Nov 08, 2021 at 06:41
Maybe a tear drop van would do the trick.
AnswerID: 638524

Reply By: CSeaJay - Tuesday, Nov 09, 2021 at 21:19

Tuesday, Nov 09, 2021 at 21:19
Yes you can tow with the 4 cylinder Camry, of course you can.
To the limits imposed by the manufacturer of course. Check ball weight, total weight etc are within limits and bobs your uncle.
We have, for several years, towed a camper trailer (on road model, those were the years before manufacturers started overloading the Aframe )
AnswerID: 638545

Reply By: Phil G - Wednesday, Nov 10, 2021 at 11:27

Wednesday, Nov 10, 2021 at 11:27
John J10,
You haven't responded. What you think of the options such as the Jpod and teardrop suggested above?
AnswerID: 638548

Follow Up By: Member - John - Wednesday, Nov 10, 2021 at 12:33

Wednesday, Nov 10, 2021 at 12:33
Phil, been 5 days and only one response to my reply from John j10.... maybe a troll post?
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Follow Up By: Phil G - Wednesday, Nov 10, 2021 at 19:39

Wednesday, Nov 10, 2021 at 19:39
I think the post was genuine, but when forumites expend the time and effort in giving a reply, it would be nice to know the original poster is still around
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Reply By: Peter Ando - Tuesday, Nov 16, 2021 at 17:19

Tuesday, Nov 16, 2021 at 17:19
Not really related, but it can help answer your question.

I have a 2014 Nissan Pulsar with a 1.8 litre motor and Constant Variable Transmission. I tow a Jet Ski that has a dry weight off 330Kg + trailer that weighs 150Kg= 480Kg. Add to this fuel and camping gear etc I would estimate the towed weight to be around 600 to 700Kg.

The Pulsar tows it ok 98% of the time. You have to push it a little more at times to keep it going, so you do notice the weight a little bit. The pulsar works harder climbing moderately steap hills at about 3000rpm. So the motor sings along a bit when going up hills, but it's not laboured. The only time I've been concerned is climbing Mt Ously near Wollongong. It's possible to do 80Km/h up there if I push it, but what's the point?. I just sit in the left lane and do 60Km/h quite easily.

Brakes and tranny overheating haven't been a problem. However, I'm being sensible, If I have a long down hill run I use engine braking as much as possible so I'm not dragging the brakes. If I know I have any constant uphill runs I don't push it and plan rest stops to let things cool down. Just because the temp gauge isn't climbing, doesn't mean it's not getting hot. The thermistate my be stuck open 100% of the time and the radiator might be struggling.

The Camry has a larger tourqier motor and better gearbox. So if the van isn't much heavier I'd say you be ok.
AnswerID: 638623

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