Vehicles with adequate towing capacity.
Hi! I'm thinking of buying a Mini Max but my Honda CRV is not able to tow it, even dry, let alone packed. I can't find a list of smaller SUV's that have at least a 3000lb towing capacity (assuming that is adequate). Does anyone in this group know of such a list? I know I can calculate the towing capacity of any vehicle I am interested in but a premade list (especially tailored to the Mini Max) would be so much easier. Thanks for your help!
I don't have a list. A MiniMax weighs over 2300 pounds. If it were me, I'd want more than 3,000 towing capacity; I'd want at least 5,000. Others may say less.
I have a (no longer made) Little Guy Five Wide Rough Rider which weighs nearly 1500 pounds dry. I pull it with a Nissan Xterra six speed rated for 5,000 pounds and 500 pounds hitch weight. I noticed a difference immediately from the previous 900 pound trailer while towing. I am in mountainous areas, so going uphill, I really notice the difference and am shifting down sooner. If I added another 800 pounds, I do not think I would trust it to do the job. But that's me. I am probably a dinosaur, driving a six speed. There are many opinions out there.
@lisamoo It doesnt take long for weight to add up, although you probably wouldn't have need to pack so much. I have added a spare tire, awning, roof basket, cooler full of ice and water, action packer with tools, etc. Water weighs about 8 pounds per gallon, a couple cast iron pots in the galley among other things, stuff in the back of the Xterra, and a 50 pound dog in the back seat, and a Clam shelter. I once weighed everything, but have not since a few changes. I have added weight, but also subtracted some, so I'm safe for putting on the brakes and getting stopped.
There are a lot of mid and smaller sized SUV's out there that are rated at 3500lbs. I know Toyota Rav4 makes a model that will tow 3500 lbs when properly equipped. I've been towing off and on for over 40yrs and I would not hesitate to tow a Mini Max with that vehicle. There will always be somebody out there who will tell you to be safe and buy a bigger vehicle. I would trust the engineers who design and certify the vehicles over someone's opinion. I would say you were being ill-advised to purchase a vehicle with a towing capacity of over 5000lbs just to tow that unit.
I pull my 2018 LGM with a Subaru Ascent it pulls the 4000lb trailer no problem has 500lb max on on the hitch. Equalizer anti sway hitch. The unit Pulls easy with the 4 cylinder Turbo, even in the mountains, On very steep grades its single digits MPG. But it is never screaming at a red line to do it. Plenty of revs left over if needed. On flat open it creeps up on 20 mpg
One other thing on stretches in the mountains were it is 130 miles to the next gas station and MPG is in the single digits. I am going to carry a spare fuel can or bag just in case. The tank is only 19 + gal. This was only a problem in Utah.
We recently bought a 2021 Mini Max. I pull it with my 2011 Honda Ridgeline. It has a 5,000 pound rating. It pulls the trailer fairly well but you can tell it's working harder up hills. Also my gas mileage dropped 30-40%. So here is another data point.
I see someone says not to listen to opinions, in so many words. Most posts are people's opinions. My opinion is based on experience with my vehicle. I feel better about having more power than needed, and I don't lose any gas mileage even on hills. That's important to me because I go places where gas stations are long distances apart, and I do take extra gas. My useless opinion is to do whatever you are comfortable with. You can usually find tow ratings for vehicles online. Every time I think about trading trailers or vehicles, I remember I have a pretty good combination--for me. My trailer is no higher than my tow vehicle, which probably helps with mileage. I look at how far it takes me to stop along with the other considerations.
Ahhhh, the "Everyone has an opinion" dichotomy! Well, this entire forum is opinions, but, its opinions are based on experience about a topic. That's what we're all looking for right? Just another forum for the expansion and solution to a problem or question. Many times I have been led astray by the experts because they didn't understand the situation I was in. Our ability to take in forum information and decide on a path forward is what makes these conversations worth while! Everyone has the right to discount information from anyone and decide for themselves. Einstein once said, "The only source of knowledge is experience", and I tend to believe that. (Soap box now dismantled) 🙂
That's kind of what I said, it's about opinions and personal experience. Most times, one can find towing capacity online or in the owner's manual, and I sure wouldn't go over that and expect a warranty to be any good. I've weighed my loaded trailer at the weigh station. Many people seem to be happy with less power and some are not in mountainous areas. Any direction I go, there are mountains, and I don't have to wonder if I'm going to make it. Even though my tongue weight is well under what the owner manual maximum says, it still brings the backend down enough to put my headlights a bit into oncoming faces. I don't pull the trailer much after dark, as I like to consider others also. So, I figure in trailer weight, tongue weight, weight in back of tow vehicle, warranty info if needed, mountains, stopping distance, everything that could go wrong.