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Can Any Subaru Tow a Camper Trailer?

Can Any Subaru Tow a Camper Trailer?

People who drive a Subaru seem like a loyal bunch. They love how their vehicles perform and how they hold up after years of faithful service.

But there’s one category in which a Subaru may not measure up to some of its competitors.

Let’s look at how the different types of Subarus rate in terms of towing RVs.

Can Any Subaru Tow a Camper Trailer? 

Subaru makes eight different models of cars and SUVs. All have some great qualities, but some of them, sadly, just aren’t cut out for the RV lifestyle. The Legacy is a small sedan, for instance, and the BRZ is a sporty compact car. 

That does leave some heftier options, however. The Subaru Crosstrek appears more rugged, but it’s really a subcompact crossover with a little higher clearance. These all have a fairly paltry towing capacity that’s better for a small fishing boat on a trailer.

For years, the Subaru Forester maxed out at 1,500 lbs of towing capacity but can now handle up to 3,000. This is a good limit for teardrops, some pop-ups, and smaller travel trailers. We’ll need to move up higher on Subaru’s food chain for a more capable camping partner.

Subaru parked in forest.
With eight different models of cars and SUVs, Subaru has a towing vehicle for everyone.

Which Subaru Has the Highest Towing Capacity?

With a towing capacity of up to 5,000 lbs, the Subaru Ascent is the king of the hill. In fact, it’s the most powerful Subaru ever in terms of towing and stands tall among other makers’ midsize SUVs. The standard towing capacity for an Ascent is 2,000 lbs.

With upgrades, however, the amount increases to a maximum of 5,000 lbs.

The three-row SUV can carry up to eight passengers or a whole lot of cargo. The peppy 2.4L engine offers 277 lb-ft of torque.

You can also get a class III trailer hitch and a roof rack to carry more cargo. This towing capacity puts the Subaru Ascent in line with some other popular midsize SUVs. Toyota’s 4Runner, Honda’s Pilot, and Nissan’s Pathfinder have similar tow ratings.

Can the Subaru Outback Tow a Camper? 

The smaller and more classic Subaru Outback is a longtime favorite, too, and it’s also capable of towing many campers. Depending on the model and options, the Outback has a towing capacity that ranges from 2,700 lbs up to 3,500.

We often see them pulling small, lightweight campers. The larger capacity makes bigger pop-up campers a possibility, as well as some medium-sized travel trailers.

Pro Tip: Want to know more of the ins and outs of towing with an Outback. Read more about Can the Subaru Outback Tow a Camper Trailer?

Girl driving Subaru happily.
The Subaru Ascent has the highest towing capacity out of all the Subaru options.

5 Campers You Can Likely Tow with the Subaru Ascent

With such a large towing capacity, the Subaru Ascent means a lot of options beyond tiny teardrop trailers.

Let’s get more specific. Here are five terrific travel trailers that fall safely within the Ascent’s range. Unloaded, they weigh a lot less than the recommended maximum amount. You should always be careful not to get too close to the maximum, however.

Towing an RV camper that’s too heavy can be dangerous and cause serious damage to the tow vehicle.

Airstream Basecamp 16

Imagine pulling an Airstream with your Subaru. It’s certainly possible when you pair your Ascent with the 16’3” Basecamp. This compact model has a single axle and a full kitchen and bathroom. It can sleep two people.

The curb weight is about 2,650 lbs.

Pro Tip: Interested in an Airstream Basecamp? Read more to find out What Is An Airstream Basecamp?

Keystone Hideout 179LHS

Pack wisely, and you can take this 21’ Keystone along for the ride. It’s 8’ wide, with a single slide-out that expands the booth dinette area.

A queen-size bedroom sits up front, with a kitchen and bath toward the rear. This one comes in at 3,720 lbs.

Jayco Hummingbird 17RB

The Hummingbird is the tiniest of all birds, and the Hummingbird is Jayco’s smallest line of travel trailers. This particular model is 19’9” long, just over 8’1” wide, and 6’6” tall. It’s big on amenities, though, including a full bath and kitchen with a two-burner stove plus a microwave.

Choose from five different floor plans for your Subaru to tow. The curb weight is 2,840 lbs.

Little Guy Mini Max

This small unit has a kitchen, wet bath, and bedroom with either a queen bed or two twins. Little Guy’s campers feature solid construction and out-of-the-box design details.

This trailer is 17’2” with an interior height of 6’ and a curb weight of 2,320 lbs.

Aliner Family Scout

This innovative take on the classic pop-up camper sleeps up to four because of its smart use of space. Aliner says it takes 30 seconds to set up this 18’ A-frame-style camper.

Unlike most pop-ups, it has rigid sides rather than soft, canvas ones. With a curb weight under 2,000 pounds, you can definitely tow it with a Subaru.

The Winner Is In: Ascent Is the Best Subaru for Towing 

For the most towing power, step up to Subaru’s biggest model.

The aptly named Subaru Ascent easily climbs to the top of the heap among Subaru’s dependable lineup. What kind of travel trailer would you tow with an Ascent?

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