Are you in the market to buy a new or used pop up camper for your Toyota Tacoma? If so, it’s important to make sure the Toyota Tacoma pop up camper you’re considering can be safely towed by your truck.
Thankfully, most pop up campers are towable by a Toyota Tacoma, but there are some important differences between makes of Tacoma you should be aware of.
I own a 2017 Toyota Tacoma and tow an ALiner Expedition (a hard-sided pop up). I love how easy it is to tow, while still providing me and my family enough room to enjoy our home state of Alaska! Even if that’s not the camper for you, there are thankfully a large number of pop up campers you can choose from that have a range of features.
In the post below I provide you with the information you need to determine which pop up campers will work for your truck. This includes tow ratings for Toyota Tacomas, additional equipment needed to tow certain weights of campers, and a list of current pop up camper weights that will fit Tacomas.
Toyota Tacoma Pop Up Camper Towing Capacity
Recent models of Toyota Tacoma have a towing capacity ranging from 3,500 – 6,400 lbs, depending on the truck’s specific build. Tacomas with 4 cylinder engines have a 3,500 lb towing capacity, as do Tacomas with a V6 engine, but no tow package. Only Toyota Tacomas with a V6 engine and tow package can tow at the 6,400 lb level.
Towing a fully-loaded trailer that weighs more than your vehicle’s towing capacity can be dangerous and affect your vehicle’s handling and braking ability. It’s VERY IMPORTANT to find the right trailer weight for your Tacoma!
Find Your Toyota Tacoma Pop Up Camper Towing Capacity
Your Tacoma’s towing capacity can be found in your owner’s manual and is the most reliable source of information on your specific Tacoma’s attributes. I highly recommend referring to it before purchasing or renting a pop up camper.
You can also use an online tool that allows you to look up your Toyota Tacoma’s towing capacity by entering the year and make of your truck, or its VIN number.
What Trailer Weight Should You Consider?
It is not uncommon to see multiple weights listed for a pop up camper. The two most important weights to consider are the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and dry weights. The dry weight of a pop up camper is the unloaded camper weight. No water, no camping gear. Just the trailer and its pre-installed equipment. Whereas the GVWR is the maximum weight the pop up camper can handle. This includes the camper itself and all your gear and full tanks.
At a minimum, your Toyota Tacoma should have a tow rating sufficient to tow the camper’s dry weight. But that means you don’t plan on carrying much, if any gear, and little to no water or waste stored in your tanks.
To be safe, you could rely more heavily on the trailer’s GVWR, and be sure your Tacoma is rated to tow that. But this means your trailer is carrying its maximum weight, which is likely not the case most of the time.
The right Toyota Tacoma pop up camper weight for your truck is probably somewhere between your trailer’s GVWR and dry weights. Then you’ll need to decide how comfortable you are towing a pop up near the top of your truck’s tow rating.
My Toyota Tacoma is rated to tow up to 6,400 lbs, yet my ALiner Expedition has a GVWR of 3,500 lbs. So, I am towing well under my truck’s tow rating. But I love it! My truck handles great. I never worry about my stopping ability, and I never have any trailer sway. Definitely consider if you really need, or want a larger pop up camper, just because your truck can tow it. It might be more hassle than it’s worth.
Toyota has additional towing requirements for Tacomas that you need to be aware of. If your pop up camper doesn’t have trailer brakes, then your Toyota Tacoma pop up camper tow capacity is reduced to 1,000 lbs.
What pop up campers can Toyota Tacomas tow?
There’s a pop up camper suitable for every make of Toyota Tacoma. Of the current models of pop up campers, 60% are suitable for the lower Tacoma tow rating (3,500 lbs) based on the trailer’s GVWR, and 93% based on the trailer’s dry weight. For Tacomas with a V6 engine and tow package, all models of pop up camper listed below can be towed.
Below I provide a table of the current Toyota Tacoma pop up camper models and whether they need to be towed by Tacomas with a V6 engine and tow package or not. I also list whether a sway control device, or weight distributing hitch might be required.
|Brand||Model||Dry Weight||GVWR||Trailer Brakes||V6 Tow Req.||Sway Bar Req.||Weight Distributed Hitch Req.|
|Tentrax||Overlook||500 lbs||1800 lbs||No||No||No||No|
|Tentrax||Ascend||600 lbs||1800 lbs||No||No||No||No|
|Sylvansport||GO||840 lbs||1650 lbs||No||No||No||No|
|Chalet||LTW||900 lbs||2000 lbs||Yes||No||No||No|
|Kamparoo||Cargo Utility||1140 lbs||1840 lbs||Optional||No||No||No|
|ALiner||Scout-Lite||1180 lbs||3000 lbs||Yes||No||Maybe||No|
|Taxa Outdoors||WoolyBear||1270 lbs||2100 lbs||Yes||No||Maybe||No|
|ALiner||Ranger 10||1300 lbs||3000 lbs||Yes||No||Maybe||No|
|Off Grid Trailers||Switchback||1300 lbs||3500 lbs||Yes||No||Maybe||No|
|Taxa Outdoors||TigerMoth||1310 lbs||2200 lbs||Yes||No||Maybe||No|
|ALiner||Scout||1395 lbs||3000 lbs||Yes||No||Maybe||No|
|Taxa Outdoors||WoolyBear Overland||1400 lbs||2200 lbs||Yes||No||Maybe||No|
|Coachmen||9.0TD : Clipper Express||1418 lbs||2194 lbs||Yes||No||Maybe||No|
|Viking||9.0TD : Viking Express||1418 lbs||2194 lbs||Yes||No||Maybe||No|
|ALiner||Ranger 12||1450 lbs||3000 lbs||Yes||No||Maybe||No|
|Taxa Outdoors||TigerMoth Overland||1458 lbs||2400 lbs||Yes||No||Maybe||No|
|Chalet||Alpine||1505 lbs||3000 lbs||Yes||No||Maybe||No|
|Chalet||Arrowhead||1585 lbs||3000 lbs||Yes||No||Maybe||No|
|Rockwood||1940LTD||1608 lbs||2291 lbs||Yes||No||Maybe||No|
|Coachmen||806XLS : Clipper LS||1642 lbs||2897 lbs||Yes||No||Maybe||No|
|Viking||1706XLS : Viking LS||1642 lbs||2897 lbs||Yes||No||Maybe||No|
|Tribe Trailers||Basecamp||1654 lbs||3307 lbs||Yes||No||Maybe||No|
|Off Grid Trailers||Expedition 2.0||1700 lbs||3500 lbs||Yes||No||Maybe||No|
|ALiner||Classic||1725 lbs||3000 lbs||Yes||No||Maybe||No|
|ALiner||LXE||1795 lbs||3000 lbs||Yes||No||Maybe||No|
|Taxa Outdoors||Cricket||1800 lbs||2700 lbs||Yes||No||Maybe||No|
|Coachmen||107LS : Clipper LS||1801 lbs||2938 lbs||Yes||No||Maybe||No|
|Viking||2107LS : Viking LS||1801 lbs||2938 lbs||Yes||No||Maybe||No|
|Safari Condo||R1713||1825 lbs||2700 lbs||Yes||No||Maybe||No|
|ALiner||Expedition||1850 lbs||3500 lbs||Yes||No||Maybe||No|
|Coachmen||108ST : Clipper Sport||1863 lbs||2687 lbs||Yes||No||Maybe||No|
|Viking||2108ST : Viking Epic||1863 lbs||2687 lbs||Yes||No||Maybe||No|
|Safari Condo||R1723||1867 lbs||2700 lbs||Yes||No||Maybe||No|
|Taxa Outdoors||Cricket Overland||1978 lbs||3000 lbs||Yes||No||Maybe||No|
|Chalet||XL-1920||1995 lbs||3500 lbs||Yes||No||Maybe||No|
|Chalet||XL-1930||1995 lbs||3500 lbs||Yes||No||Maybe||No|
|ALiner||Family||2000 lbs||3500 lbs||Yes||No||Maybe||No|
|Rockwood||1970ESP||2095 lbs||2884 lbs||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Rockwood||A122S||2120 lbs||3284 lbs||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Coachmen||12.0TD XL : Clipper Express||2147 lbs||3720 lbs||Yes||Maybe||Yes||No|
|Viking||12.0TD XL : Viking Express||2147 lbs||3720 lbs||Yes||Maybe||Yes||No|
|Chalet||XL-1935||2165 lbs||3500 lbs||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Rockwood||1910ESP||2199 lbs||2904 lbs||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Coachmen||128LS : Clipper LS||2204 lbs||3223 lbs||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Viking||2308LS : Viking LS||2221 lbs||3223 lbs||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Rockwood||1940F||2223 lbs||3240 lbs||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Coachmen||12.0 TD MAX : Clipper Express||2225 lbs||3259 lbs||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Viking||12.0TD MAX : Viking Express||2225 lbs||3259 lbs||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|ALiner||Evolution||2300 lbs||3500 lbs||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Opus||OP Lite Air Tent||2380 lbs||3527 lbs||Yes||Maybe||Yes||No|
|Rockwood||2318G||2458 lbs||3263 lbs||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Rockwood||2280BHESP||2578 lbs||3838 lbs||Yes||Maybe||Yes||No|
|TrailManor||2518 KB||2580 lbs||3300 lbs||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|V-Trec||V2||2581 lbs||3790 lbs||Yes||Maybe||Yes||No|
|TrailManor||2518 KS||2600 lbs||3220 lbs||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|TrailManor||2518 KD||2600 lbs||3220 lbs||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Rockwood||A213HW||2670 lbs||3372 lbs||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Rockwood||2514F||2673 lbs||3295 lbs||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Rockwood||A214HW||2700 lbs||3353 lbs||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|V-Trec||V4||2790 lbs||3897 lbs||Yes||Maybe||Yes||No|
|Coachmen||1285SST : Clipper Classic||2840 lbs||3296 lbs||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Viking||2485SST : Viking Legend||2840 lbs||3296 lbs||Yes||Maybe||Yes||No|
|Rockwood||2318ESP||2868 lbs||3875 lbs||Yes||Maybe||Yes||No|
|Rockwood||232ESP||2952 lbs||3794 lbs||Yes||Maybe||Yes||No|
|TrailManor||2720 QB||2960 lbs||4293 lbs||Yes||Maybe||Yes||No|
|Taxa Outdoors||Mantis 4.1||2972 lbs||4201 lbs||Yes||Maybe||Yes||No|
|MDC USA||Explorer FF||3028 lbs||4409 lbs||Yes||Maybe||Yes||No|
|TrailManor||2720 QS||3040 lbs||4250 lbs||Yes||Maybe||Yes||No|
|TrailManor||2720 QD||3040 lbs||4250 lbs||Yes||Maybe||Yes||No|
|TrailManor||2922 KB||3040 lbs||4390 lbs||Yes||Maybe||Yes||No|
|Opus||OP4 Air Tent||3100 lbs||4200 lbs||Yes||Maybe||Yes||No|
|Taxa Outdoors||Mantis 5.2||3115 lbs||4200 lbs||Yes||Maybe||Yes||No|
|TrailManor||2922 KB||3130 lbs||4480 lbs||Yes||Maybe||Yes||No|
|TrailManor||2922 KD||3130 lbs||4480 lbs||Yes||Maybe||Yes||No|
|TrailManor||3124 KB||3140 lbs||4735 lbs||Yes||Maybe||Yes||No|
|Lifestyle Campers||ICONN EVO||3197 lbs||4409 lbs||Yes||Maybe||Yes||No|
|Lifestyle Campers||ICONN E2||3197 lbs||4409 lbs||Yes||Maybe||Yes||No|
|TrailManor||3124 KS||3200 lbs||4427 lbs||Yes||Maybe||Yes||No|
|TrailManor||3124 KD||3200 lbs||4427 lbs||Yes||Maybe||Yes||No|
|V-Trec||V3||3217 lbs||4427 lbs||Yes||Maybe||Yes||No|
|Opus||OP2 Air Tent||3244 lbs||4400 lbs||Yes||Maybe||Yes||No|
|Rockwood||HW277||3334 lbs||3880 lbs||Yes||Maybe||Yes||No|
|Lifestyle Campers||RECONN R2||3417 lbs||4850 lbs||Yes||Maybe||Yes||No|
|MDC USA||Jackson FF||3455 lbs||4409 lbs||Yes||Maybe||Yes||No|
|Taxa Outdoors||Mantis Overland||3486 lbs||5000 lbs||Yes||Maybe||Yes||Maybe|
|Tribe Trailers||Expedition 500||3600 lbs||4100 lbs||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Rockwood||HW296||3721 lbs||4999 lbs||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Conqueror||UEV-490||3800 lbs||4800 lbs||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|MDC USA||AusRV GT||3854 lbs||5512 lbs||Yes||Yes||Yes||Maybe|
|MDC USA||Robson XTT||3940 lbs||5291 lbs||Yes||Yes||Yes||Maybe|
|Lifestyle Campers||RECONN R4||4520 lbs||6173 lbs||Yes||Yes||Yes||Maybe|
|MDC USA||AusRV LX||4734 lbs||5732 lbs||Yes||Yes||Yes||Maybe|
|Lifestyle Campers||RECONN R4T||5400 lbs||7716 lbs||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Test Drive a Pop Up Camper With Your Toyota Tacoma
Buying a pop up camper is a significant investment, so you don’t want to end up buying a camper that doesn’t meet your needs. For me, I didn’t want a camper that super heavy, or that didn’t handle well when driving down the highway. I also wanted a camper that was easy to setup and take down.
Unfortunately, camper dealers and private sellers won’t let you take a camper for a weekend test drive to see if it will work for you.
When we first were testing out campers, I rented an R-Pod from Outdoorsy thinking that might be a good option for our Tacoma. After taking it on a week-long road trip, I realized it didn’t handle as well as I would have liked, and I didn’t like the low visibility I had.
Renting a camper from Outdoorsy or RVshare ended up being great, because it made me realize I wanted a pop up camper for my Toyota Tacoma. And that’s I how I decided an ALiner was the right fit for my truck and family.
For those like me, that prioritize ease of towing over a trailer with a ton of features, a pop up camper is an excellent choice for a Toyota Tacoma. But with the range of features available across pop up campers like ALiners, you won’t need to sacrifice much.
I have no regrets in my choice pop up camper and how it handles well while being towed by my Tacoma. In the future when my family outgrows our ALiner, we will likely choose another pop up camper to replace it. So, it’s nice to know that there are a lot options we’ll be able to choose from.