The towing capacity for a vehicle is the maximum weight it can safely pull. You must always exercise caution when towing because adding too much weight can cause your trailer to swing and pull your vehicle out of control.

Normally, the most popular vehicles for towing are heavy-duty pick-up trucks and SUVs, but believe it or not, the Toyota RAV4 might be enough for your towing needs. If you’re wondering how much your Toyota RAV4 can tow, I’ll discuss the RAV4 towing capacity and other need-to-know information below.

Overall, the Toyota RAV4 has a maximum towing capacity of 1,500-5,487 pounds. The exact capacity depends on your model year and trim level. Below, we go into great detail about towing capacities on every year and trim of the RAV4.

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Toyota RAV4 Gas Towing Capacity

The towing capacity of your RAV4 depends on the vehicle’s model and year. The Toyota RAV4 can tow up to 3,500 pounds depending on the engine.

Below, we’ve listed the towing capacity according to the model year and engine size.



  • 4-cylinder engine: 1,500 pounds
  • V6 engine, w/o towing package: 2,000 pounds
  • V6 engine, w/ towing package: 3,500 pounds


  • 1,500 pounds


  • Two-wheel drive models: 5,441 pounds
  • Four-wheel drive models: 5,487 pounds


  • 2-door, two-wheel drive models: 5,049 pounds
  • 2-door, four-wheel drive models: 5,148 pounds
  • 4-door, two-wheel drive models: 5,412 pounds
  • 4-door, four-wheel drive models: 5,445 pounds


  • 2-door, two-wheel drive models: 4,971 pounds
  • 2-door, four-wheel drive models: 5,004 pounds
  • 4-door, two-wheel drive models: 5,357 pounds
  • 4-door, four-wheel drive models: 5,390 pounds


  • 2-door models: 4,960 pounds
  • 4-door, two-wheel drive models: 5,136 pounds
  • 4-door, four-wheel drive models: 5,313 pounds

Toyota RAV4 AdventurE/TRD Off-road Towing Capacity

Both these models are specifically designed for those who want to go off-road on terrains like rock, dirt, mud, sand, and snow.

The towing capacity of the Toyota RAV4 Adventure and TRD Off-Road is 3,500 pounds. These trim levels have the highest capacity available on the RAV4 due to their upgraded equipment.

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Towing Capacity

Not all hybrid cars are able to tow, primarily for mass reasons. Electric cars tend to weigh more than gas-powered vehicles due to the battery packs they have in them. So, the towing capacities of electric cars can vary greatly, and they may not be approved at all for this purpose.

The towing capacity of the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is 1,750 pounds. This is slightly higher than its gasoline counterpart because it is assisted by two electric motors for increase torque.

Toyota RAV4 Prime Towing Capacity

The RAV4 Prime is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. It has a 4-cylinder engine as well as an electric motor that combines to produce 302 horsepower.

The towing capacity of the Toyota RAV4 Prime is 2,500 pounds. Although the standard RAV4 and the RAV4 Prime are around the same size, the Prime produces significant power which gives it better towing capability.

Does the Toyota RAV4 Offer a Towing Package?

Some vehicle manufacturers offer towing packages to increase the towing capacity of the vehicle.

Unfortunately, Toyota does not offer a towing package for the RAV4 anymore. Toyota used to offer a towing package for models made from 2006 to 2012. These packages have since been discontinued.

If you’re interested in a vehicle that’s ideal for towing, you should look at either the Highlander or Tacoma.

Getting a Tow Hitch for Your Toyota RAV4

tow hitch

Toyota doesn’t offer a towing package for more recent RAV4 models (2013 or newer), so you’ll need to purchase a hitch kit for yourself. A hitch kit helps you to attach a trailer to a tow vehicle using a coupling point (typically a ball mount). You can shop for a hitch kit on Amazon.

If you own a 2006 to 2012 Toyota RAV4, you can purchase a hitch kit directly from Toyota.

How to Install a Tow Hitch on a RAV4

If you’re installing your RAV4’s hitch, here are the steps you should follow.  

  1. Gather your tools and equipment
    1. Safety glasses
    2. Support strap
    3. Spray bottle
    4. Flathead screwdriver
    5. Exhaust removal tool
    6. Torque wrench
    7. 19mm socket and crows foot adapter
  2. Lower the exhaust that’s held in by three metal rubber hangers
    1. Look for one on the driver’s side, passenger’s side, and down the middle
  3. Before you detach it, secure the exhaust using a support strap to help safely lower it  
  4. Utilize soapy water to help loosen the grommet
  5. Use a flathead screwdriver to remove the stickers that are covering the weld nuts you’ll use to attach your hitch
  6. Line up the two holes on the hitch with the two holes you just exposed by scrapping off the stickers
  7. Use a hitch jack to do this or have an extra set of hands to help with this
  8. Install your hardware (a bolt and conical tooth washer)
    1. The teeth should face toward the hitch
    2. Do the driver’s side first as the passenger’s side is normally tight and doing the driver’s side first can make for a more successful installation
  9. Tighten and torque all the bolts to the manufacturer’s specification using a 19mm socket and crows foot adapter
  10. Re-attach your exhaust with the original three hangers

Frequently Asked Questions About RAV4 Towing

Below are the most commonly asked questions about the RAV4, its towing capacity, and other must-know information to tow safely.

Yes, a RAV4 can tow a camper. There are numerous campers available under the RAV4’s towing limits. However, these will be small campers.

If you’re interested in larger campers, you’re better off investing in a different Toyota vehicle with a higher towing capacity.

Yes, a RAV4 can tow a boat, however it would have to weigh less than the towing capacity. Please refer to our guide above to determine your towing capacity.

If you need to tow a heavier boat, consider purchasing a different Toyota model.

Only the RAV4 Adventure and TRD Off-Road RAV4 trim levels can tow 3,500 pounds. They are generally considered the best RAV4s for towing because they have the highest capacity of all RAV4 trim levels.

Certain Toyota RAV4 trims can tow more because of a larger radiator, more rugged suspension, and transmission/engine oil cooler.

Yes, you can increase the towing capacity of your Toyota RAV4, but it won’t be easy. You’ll need to consider upgrading the radiator, suspension, transmission/engine cooler, and more.

The extent of the upgrades depend on how much you are interested in towing. In most cases, it’s better to simply upgrade to a different type of vehicle that is better equipped for towing.

A variety of factors impact the Toyota RAV4 towing capacity including:

  • The vehicle’s configuration
  • Its chassis (the foundation or structure of the car)
  • Its engine and transmission
  • Its rear axle ratio
  • Its weight

The best way to find your RAV4 towing capacity is to look in your owner’s manual.

The Toyota RAV4’s tongue weight is 9-11 percent of the gross trailer weight. Check your owner’s manual for more information about how to measure this.

Tongue weight is the static force that the trailer tongue exerts on the hitch ball. Tongue weight is important because it can make the difference between a safe trailer towing experience and a dangerous one.


If you’re purchasing a Toyota RAV4 for towing purposes, all of its models have some towing ability. You can learn the RAV4 towing capacity in your owner’s manual. If you know you want to tow larger items, I encourage you to check out the Adventure and TRD models off the bat. These models have the best RAV4 towing capacities up to 3,500 pounds.

If this doesn’t quite serve your purpose, consider the Toyota Highlander, Tacoma, 4Runner, or Tundra will all have higher towing capacities.

For more questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’m happy to help with any additional questions.

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  • Jonathan Buckley

    Jonathan runs and owns a 2021 Toyota RAV4 LE. He started RAV4 Resource, as well as other automotive websites, to help people understand their vehicles by answering frequently asked questions, addressing common problems, and providing general information to help people get the most out of their vehicle.

  • Brian Jones

    Brian Jones had worked as an ASE Certified Master Technician for several decades before opening his own used car dealership outside of Dallas, Texas. Toyota models, such as the RAV4, Corolla, Camry, Tundra, Highlander and Sienna, continue to be some of the top-selling vehicles at his car dealership. Aside from running the dealership, he also writes for some of the top auto publications, such as Motor1. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling the country with his family and can also be found tinkering around with older pickup trucks.

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