If you are looking for a vehicle that can tow a boat or trailer, you’re probably wondering if the Rav4 Hybrid is the right vehicle for you? As an outdoor enthusiast, you want a vehicle that can handle all of your gear, and go places you want to go. Let’s take a closer look at the towing capacity of the Rav4 Hybrid, to see if it’s the right vehicle for you.
The towing capacity of the Toyota Rav4 hybrid will vary depending on the configuration you choose. The Entry level LE trips can tow a maximum of 1500 pounds. while the Off-Road Rav4 Adventure model features an impressive towing capacity of 3,500 pounds. So, while the RAV4 doesn’t have the same towing capacity as a heavy duty truck, it won’t have a problem towing a small boat, kayak trailer, or jet skis.
The Hybrid Rav4 is becoming so popular not only because of the high cost of gas. It’s a small SUV that is not as cumbersome as a full-size SUV. It seats up to five passengers and still has plenty of space to move around. Plus, some configurations are fully equipped with off-roading features like all-wheel drive.
So, if you are looking for a vehicle that is versatile and can handle towing a small trailer, the Rav hybrid might be the perfect fit for you. Let’s take a closer look at everything you need to know about this small SUV.
Toyota Rav4 Configurations
2021’s Toyota offers three different Rav4 options and over 13 different trim options. The configurations vary in towing capacity, gas mileage, and off-roading capabilities.
The table below features the towing capacity of the 2021 Toyota Rav4, as well as the gas mileage and price so that you can find the perfect match for your needs:
|Rav4 Trim||Front-Wheel Drive||All-Wheel Drive||Gas Mileage||Price|
|Rav4 LE||1500 lbs||1500 pounds||27 mpg city / 35 mpg highway||$26,250 MSRP|
|Rav4 XLE||1500 pounds||1500 pounds||41 mpg city / 38 mpg highway||$27,545 MSRP|
|Rav4 XLE Premium||1500 pounds||1500 pounds||27 mpg city / 35 mpg highway||$30,250 MSRP|
|Rav4 Adventure||N/A||3500 pounds||25 mpg city / 33 mpg highway||$33,355 MSRP|
|Rav4 TRD Off-Road||N/A||3500 lbs||25 mpg city / 32 mpg highway||$35,980 MSRP|
|Limited||1500 lbs||1500 pounds||27 mpg city / 35 mpg highway||$34,780 MSRP|
The gas milage will vary depending on whether you own a standard or hybrid model, as well as the amount of weight you’re towing.
How Do You Determine What The Rav4 Towing Capacity Is?
If you have a newer model, you can consult your local Toyota dealership to ask them what the towing capacities are. Be sure to check the table above, as I’ve listed the towing capacity for the newest hybrid models.
For those of you with an older model, you’ll want to enter the vehicle’s VIN number into this Toyota VIN decoder website. Based on the VIN, you’ll know everything there is to know about your specific model from, fuel tank capacity, recalls, towing capacity, vehicle history, etc.
Knowing the exact numbers will help you understand the type of trailer, camper, or boat you’ll be able to tow with your Rav.
This is vital, as towing a trailer that’s too heavy for your vehicle can lead to damaging your car. It could also cause an accident if you’re unable to control the weight of what you’re pulling.
Can You Tow A Trailer With A Hybrid Rav4?
The short answer is yes, but don’t expect to pull a large travel trailer with a hybrid. All of the newer hybrid models have a standard 2.5 liter 4 cylinder engine, which offer a maximum towing capacity of up to 1500 pounds.
While the Rav4 Adventurer features an upgraded engine and all-wheel drive capabilities, allowing it to tow a maximum of 3,500 lbs.
If you have your heart set on towing a large travel trailer, I suggest opting for one of Toyota’s other vehicles like the Tacoma or Tundra. Both trucks have a much higher towing capacity, and can handle the weight of a large trailer.
What Size Trailer Can A Rav4 Hybrid Tow?
Towable trailers come in all shapes and sizes, which can make it confusing to know what to get. While this article won’t cover what type of trailer to purchase, we will take a look at the sizes and types of trailers an Rav4 can tow.
That said, before towing any type of trailer, ensure your vehicle is equipped with the proper trailer hitch, wiring, and lighting adapters. Below is the type of trailer that a Rav4 SUV can pull without issues, of course it’s dependent on what you load in the trailer.
Always check the actual rating and weight of any trailer you purchase to make sure it is within the towing capacity of your vehicle. That said, here are some towable examples along with weight limits you can tow with a Rav4.
Towables Weighing 1500 or less
- Small Rowboat
- An ATV or motorcycle
- Single Axle Trailers: These vary in size and will vary in weight from the smallest 5×8 weighing an average of 700 pounds empty. When fully loaded a single axle trailer is rated for a maximum of 3,500 GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating).
- Canoe, kayak, SUP
- Teardrop camper
Towables Weighing 3500 pounds
- Small travel trailer
- Teardrop trailer
- Utility trailers
- Two Motorcyles
- Fiberglass fishing boat
- Tow dolly with a small vehicle
- 16 or 16x Airstream Basecamp
How Do You Increase The Towing Capacity of Your Rav4 Hybrid?
Unfortunately, the Rav4 does not have an optional towing package that would increase the towing capacity. So, if you’re in the market for a vehicle with a higher towing capacity, consider upgrading to the Adventure trim, or getting a different vehicle altogether.
The Adventure trim is the only model that offers all wheel drive system that makes it easy to drive in all types of terrains such as; mud, snow, dirt, and rock. In addition, this is the only configuration that allows you to add additional packages such as; heated steering wheel and seats.
Is It Safe to Tow With A Rav4?
The Rav4 undergoes vigorous J2807 testing to ensure the the towing capacity is accurate. The J2807 testing is designed by the Socieity of Automative Engineers (SAE), which tests the vehicle’s towing capacity based on the following:
- Braking and stopping distance
- Cooling capability
- Acceleration performance
- Structural performance for both the vehicle’s hitch receiver and hitch
- Trailer sway and understeer performance
Based on these tests, the true GCWR of the vehicle’s towing capabilities, so you know the exact weight you can safely tow.
Does Anyone Use A Rav4 To Tow?
While most people invest in a hybrid vehicle because of the perks and environmental reasons, they are also used for towing cargo.
Here’s a video of a Rav4 towing a box trailer with a dry weight of 1555 pounds, with a loaded weight of 1550 pounds.
Does The Rav4 Come With A Tow Hitch?
The only Rav4 Adventurer is the only model and trim that comes standard with a pre-installed tow hitch. That said, it’s possible to add a tow hitch to any model Rav4 you own. All models are setup to add towing accessory features.
To add the features, contact your local Toyota dealership. They will schedule an appointment for you to bring in your vehicle. The entire process shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours.
Keep in mind, there is a fee for the towing accessory features and installation. You can also shop around for better prices such as eTrailer, etc. That said, you’ll want to check to make sure it doesn’t void your warranty.
What Do You Need to Tow With A Rav4?
Once you know the towing capacity of your Rav4, it’s important. to ensure you have the right equipment installed. The five main components you need to tow on any vehicle are:
- Trailer hitch
- Pin and Clip
- Hitch Ball
- Wiring Harness
If your Toyota Rav4 doesn’t have these installed, then you can install them yourself or pay someone to do it for you. The components can be purchased at your local dealership or from a third party manufacturer.
The quality of the parts will vary depending on the manufacturer. That said, it’s important to make sure you get a high-quality ball mount and hitch ball. These two parts are responsible for securing your trailer to your vehicle.
You’ll also want to make sure the wiring harness is properly installed. This component ensures your brake lights and turn signals work correctly. Improper installation of the wiring harness can result in your lights not working, which can lead to an accident.
Finally, it’s important to have a pin and clip or locking hitch pin. This component is what secures the ball mount to the hitch receiver. Without it, your trailer could come loose while you’re driving.
The Hybrid Rav4 is a popular choice among outdoor enthusiasts, because it boasts a powerful 176 hp 2.5 liter 4 cylinder engine with a towing capacity of 1,500 pounds. The Adventurer is rated to tow up to 3,500 pounds. It’s perfect for towing a single axle trailer, but anything larger and you’ll need to upgrade to a different vehicle.
When shopping for a trailer, be sure to take into account the weight of the trailer when loaded, as well as any additional gear you plan on bringing along. This will help ensure you stay within the towing capacity of your vehicle.