How to Know What to Tow
If you're newbies like we were just a year ago, knowing what your car or truck can tow can get complicated. Unfortunately the RV dealer can only tell you about the RV and how much it weighs in at, and the car dealer can only tell you about the truck and how much it can pull. Now you might think well thats simple if the truck tows this much and and the camper weighs this much then I should be fine. Well there are a lot of things that have to be taken in to consideration. Like all our stuff! The weight provided by the RV dealer is that camper's dry weight, meaning what it weighs when its completely empty. So after you start loading it down with dishes, coolers full of ice, folding chairs, and bikes, all that starts to add up. The average family of four packs about 600 to 800 pounds of stuff in their camper just for weekend trips.
RV manufactures are well aware that more and more people what to go much farther on a tank of gas. So before you write off RVs all together check your vehicle's tow rating, and then visit a RV dealer with lots of different size RVs. You will be surprised how light campers can be. Small doesn't always mean you have to give up the things you want. Our Salem Cruise Lite weighs in just over 3,000 pounds and sleeps 6 with, a shower, toilet, fridge, microwave, and gas stove top. Everything you need, pretty much.
You may think you need a big rig to pull the RV you want, but truthfully most large RVs can be pulled with a 3/4 ton truck. Be sure to talk to your RV dealer about breaking systems and sway control. Our little 3,000 pound camper has both and I would pull out of the drive way without them. Cause it doesn't matter how big or small these systems keep you safe on the road.