If you are an outdoor enthusiast who has an electric vehicle (EV), you may be wondering if your vehicle can tow trailers. After all, being able to hook up your camper would allow you to take advantage of all the eco-friendly benefits on your next camping adventure.
Before you hook up your camper to embark on a road trip, check out everything you need to know about towing with an EV.
Can You Tow a Camper With an Electric Vehicle?
While towing capacity might not be the first feature that comes to mind when talking about the best electric vehicles for camping, many of these vehicles are fully capable of towing small to medium-sized trailers. In fact, you will find that many EVs have similar towing capacities to comparable gas-powered vehicles.
This opens up a world of possibilities for campers who want to experience benefits ranging from lower fuel costs to zero tailpipe emissions while they are out exploring the great outdoors. As EVs continue to advance and develop, the towing capacities will continue to increase as well.
While there are several different electric vehicles that can tow, it is important to keep in mind that the added weight of a trailer or camper can increase the battery drain.
Why Tow With an EV?
Choosing to tow with an EV is a great choice for those who want to reduce their environmental impact. Unlike traditional gas-powered vehicles, an EV does not have an internal combustion engine, which means you won’t be contributing to smog or greenhouse gas emissions.
Also, with fewer moving parts, you will spend less time in the repair shop maintaining and fixing your vehicle. You will be able to head outdoors and experience peace of mind knowing there is less maintenance involved in towing with your EV.
While your camper most likely offers plenty of room to keep all your gear, EVs also provide you with some additional storage space. Since there is no conventional engine or moving parts, you will have enough space to pack a few extra items.
What to Look for
If you plan to tow and go camping with your electric vehicle, there are a few specs and features that you should pay special attention to:
Your EV’s towing capacity is the most important specification if you plan on pulling a camper or trailer. The towing capacity is calculated by the formula: the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) minus the curb weight of the vehicle = tow rating. This is the maximum amount of weight you can safely tow.
With an electric vehicle, it is even more important to stay within this recommended range and not exceed the towing capacity. Along with draining your battery more quickly, you will also be putting more strain on your vehicle.
If your EV happens to be a truck, the payload is another important measurement you need to take into consideration. The payload is the maximum amount of weight you can carry around in the bed.
When towing, you need to consider all the weight and strain your vehicle will be hauling around — not just the trailer or camper itself. This is even more important if you have a fifth wheel hitch, which puts even more strain on the bed.
Unladen Vehicle Weight and Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
The unladen vehicle weight (UVW) and gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) are two other types of specifications that you will need to keep in mind. Together, these amounts make up how much your camper itself weighs and then how much it will weigh when it is filled up with your family, friends and all your gear.
No matter what you are hauling, you need to always stay below the GVWR.
Best Electric Cars for Camping
While you always want to check the specific towing capacity of your EV, you can expect most SUVs to provide you with 5,000 pounds of towing capacity. Some electric SUVs that offer a bit more include the 2021 Infiniti QX80, which offers 8,500 pounds of maximum towing capacity and the 2021 Ford Expedition which offers 9,300 pounds of maximum towing capacity.
For the adventurers that need to pack more gear and equipment, you may find it more beneficial to look into an electric truck instead. That is because electric trucks like the Ford F-150 Lighting can provide you with up to 10,000 pounds of towing capacity.
Come Camp at Kampgrounds of America
Now that you found the best EV for camping, it is time to plan a stay at KOA. No matter where you are headed, we have more than 500 locations all throughout North America so you are sure to find a site nearby. And with a growing number of KOA campgrounds with designated EV charging satiations, traveling via electric car has never been easier.
Whether you prefer a full hookup with water, electricity and sewer or would rather just have a dry hookup, we have you covered. With all sites, you will get to take advantage of standard amenities like clean bathrooms with hot water, self-service laundry facilities, playgrounds and KOA stores.
Plan an unforgettable trip and reserve your stay today.
About the Author: Kampgrounds of America
Kampgrounds of America is the largest system of open-to-the-public campgrounds in the world, with over 500 locations across the United States and Canada. Founded in Billings, MT in 1962, KOA’s family of campground brands – KOA Journey, KOA Holiday and KOA Resort – today serve more than a million camping families each year. KOA is dedicated to “connecting people to the outdoors and each other” by providing people with a variety of camping experiences and the information they need to make the most of their camping trip. Read more of their camping and travel resources by visiting KOA.com/blog.