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Can The VW Atlas Tow a Camper Trailer?

Can The VW Atlas Tow a Camper Trailer? 

Volkswagen Group (VW) has a colorful history in the automotive world, first with its well-loved VW Beetle, then an innovative camper van, the Westfalia, that came well before its time. 

Both of those original vehicles have become collectors items today. And, the German automotive manufacturer may have hit another home run with the 2021 VW Atlas. 

This midsize SUV offers both comfort and power that will strike a chord with road enthusiasts and campers, as well.

About the VW Atlas

The 2021 Atlas gives drivers two engine versions from which to select:  a 2.0L 4 cylinder turbo or a 3.6L 6 cylinder. 

The larger engine can be a workhorse for pulling some travel trailers. It has 276 horsepower and 266 pound feet of torque.

Both engines can be paired with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive systems.

The cabin is a bit more sparse than high end luxury vehicles. But the top-of-the-line technology VW places in the Atlas will give drivers all of the information they need to navigate and stay safe on the road. 

Its IQ Drive system provides driver assistance and park assist. The numerous safety built-ins help avoid collisions, as well as aid with post collision actions.

Models offer 2 or 3 rows of seating, with panoramic skylights, plush leather upholstery and plenty of legroom.  Automatic climate controls make travel in the new Atlas comfortable for every member of the traveling party.

How Much Can the VW Atlas Tow? 

If you are considering purchasing an Atlas to pull a travel trailer, you will need to keep in mind the weight of the trailer you are interested in.  This is because there is a great deal of difference in the towing ability of the two available engines in the Atlas. 

For instance, the smaller 2.0L turbo 4 cylinder Atlas can pull up to 2,000 pounds when properly equipped.  The larger 3.6L 6 cylinder model is much hardier, with the ability to tow up to 5,000 pounds. 

That opens up the field of trailers available for your camping adventures immeasurably.

How Reliable is the VW Atlas?

Road testers have found the VW Atlas has a huge footprint, with plenty of room for people and cargo.  Seats fold down easily to allow large items to be stored. And, the row seating is spacious and easy to maneuver.  

This sport utility vehicle really shines in its towing capacity, especially with the larger engine.  For a mid-sized auto, it has plenty of torque and power to pull trailers up to 5,000lbs. 

In fact, in the SUV market the Atlas hits most of the marks for adaptability as a comfortable riding automobile and as a tow vehicle.

To make sure customers are covered if the need arises, Volkswagen offers a 4 year, 50,000 mile warranty.

Can the VW Atlas Tow a Camper Trailer?

Both engine sizes can tow trailers, but they vary greatly in the amount of weight they can pull.  The smaller 2.0L turbo can haul up to 2,000 pounds. The larger 3.6L engine will tow up to 5,000 pounds.

If MPG is more important to you than a larger travel trailer, the 4 cylinder vehicle may be the perfect car for your daily driving. 

But if you are looking for more power (and fewer miles per gallon), stick with the large 6 cylinder Atlas.  This will give you many more camper models to consider adding to your list of possibilities.

What Kind of RVs Can be Towed with the VW Atlas?

With a combined weight of 2,000 pounds, the 4 cylinder Atlas can tow many teardrop trailers. Also some smaller fiberglass travel trailers like ProLite and Scamps. It can also tow Forest River’s new Geo Pro line of trailers and many R-pods.  Additionally, this smaller engine can tow pop-up campers.

With a combined weight of 5,000 pounds, the 6 cylinder Atlas can tow many smaller Airstreams. It can also tow several trailers made by Rockwood, Oliver and the Winnebago Micro Minnie.

There’s one caveat to remember before you purchase the Atlas or a travel trailer.  Be sure to figure in the weight of your belongings and water in the tanks when you decide upon a model. 

Even a 20 gallon freshwater tank, when full, can add 160+ pounds to your load.  Tongue weight of the trailer you select will also add weight that might otherwise be overlooked, so don’t overload.

Pro Tip: Don’t settle for less, these are the 5 best crossover SUVs for towing.

A Comfortable Ride and Great Towing SUV

If you are looking for a vehicle that offers the combination of a comfortable ride and a great towing SUV, the VW Atlas should be a top contender.  Know what’s most important to you, then seek out your nearest Volkswagen dealership to take a test drive. 

Who knows?  It might be the first step toward a summer full of camping trips, so don’t forget to add a “tow package” to your purchase!

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