Can A Subaru Crosstrek Tow A Camper?

Imagine you’re on a picturesque road, the sun setting on the horizon, and your heart filled with the thrill of an upcoming adventure. You’re behind the wheel of your trusty Subaru Crosstrek, and trailing behind is… a camper? It’s a scene many Subaru owners dream of, but is it a reality? Can the Subaru Crosstrek, known for its rugged charm and city-friendly size, really tow a camper?

Yes, a Subaru Crosstrek can tow a camper, but there are nuances and details you should be aware of to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey. Dive in with us as we explore the ins and outs of towing with this beloved vehicle.

Subaru Crosstrek Towing Capacity: Ideal For Towing a Camper?

The Subaru Crosstrek, with its sleek design and impressive off-road capabilities, has won the hearts of many. But when it comes to towing, numbers matter.

So, what’s the magic number for the Crosstrek? The Subaru Crosstrek boasts a towing capacity of 1,500 pounds for its recent models.

Now, let’s put that into perspective. A typical small teardrop camper weighs anywhere from 1,000 to 1,200 pounds, which means the Crosstrek can comfortably tow it.

However, larger campers, such as travel trailers, often weigh well beyond the Crosstrek’s towing capacity, starting from 2,500 pounds and going up.

But it’s not just about raw numbers. Towing capacity also encompasses the weight of passengers, cargo inside the vehicle, and any additional gear.

So, if you’re planning a trip with a fully loaded car and a camper in tow, you’ll need to do some math to ensure you’re within safe limits.

Furthermore, while the towing capacity is a crucial factor, it’s also essential to consider the vehicle’s braking system, transmission, and overall stability when towing.

Subaru, known for its commitment to safety, has equipped the Crosstrek with features like Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) and Traction Control System (TCS), ensuring a safer towing experience.

In conclusion, while the Subaru Crosstrek is capable of towing smaller campers like teardrop trailers, it might not be the best choice for larger, heavier trailers.

Always ensure you’re within the recommended weight limits and consider all factors before hitting the road. After all, adventures are best enjoyed when safety is a top priority!

So, Can A Subaru Crosstrek Tow a Camper: Detail Breakdown With Technical Aspects

The question of whether a Subaru Crosstrek can tow a camper isn’t just a simple yes or no. It’s a blend of understanding the vehicle’s technical specifications and matching them with the demands of towing.

Let’s delve deeper into the Crosstrek’s technicalities to paint a clearer picture.

  • Engine Power and Torque: The heart of any vehicle’s towing capability. Subaru Crosstrek comes equipped with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine in most models, producing around 152 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque. This power is sufficient for towing lighter loads, such as small campers, without straining the engine.
  • Transmission: Subaru offers both manual and CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) options for the Crosstrek. While manual transmissions give drivers more control, the CVT is designed to optimize power delivery, making it more efficient for towing purposes.
  • Chassis and Suspension: The Crosstrek’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive provides an even distribution of power, ensuring better stability when towing. The vehicle’s suspension is also built to handle additional weight without compromising on comfort or safety.
  • Braking System: Towing adds significant weight, which means you’ll need a reliable braking system. The Crosstrek features 4-wheel anti-lock brakes and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), ensuring that the vehicle can come to a stop safely, even with a camper in tow.
  • Towing Features: Subaru has integrated specific features to aid in towing. The Trailer Stability Assist (TSA) detects trailer sway and can apply brake force to individual wheels to stabilize both the vehicle and the trailer.
  • Weight Considerations: Beyond the camper’s weight, one must account for the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR). These ratings consider the weight of the vehicle, passengers, cargo, and the trailer. For the Crosstrek, staying within these limits is crucial to ensure safety and vehicle longevity.
  • Aerodynamics and Fuel Efficiency: While not a direct towing specification, it’s essential to note that towing a camper will affect the vehicle’s aerodynamics and, consequently, its fuel efficiency. The Crosstrek, with its compact design, may experience a noticeable drop in miles per gallon (MPG) when towing.

In essence, the Subaru Crosstrek, with its myriad of technical features, is designed to handle towing within its specified limits.

Best Camper Types for the Subaru Crosstrek

When considering towing a camper with your Subaru Crosstrek, it’s essential to choose one that aligns with the vehicle’s towing capacity. Here’s a table of some popular lightweight campers suitable for the Crosstrek:

Camper TypeAverage WeightComments
Teardrop Camper900 – 1,200 lbsCompact and lightweight, ideal for solo travelers or couples. Leaves room for additional loading without exceeding the towing limit.
Pop-Up Camper1,000 – 2,500 lbsVersatile and expandable. While some lighter models can be towed, be cautious of heavier ones, especially after loading.
A-Frame Camper1,200 – 2,800 lbsFoldable and space-efficient. Lighter models are suitable, but heavier ones might exceed the Crosstrek’s limit after loading.
Small Travel Trailer1,500 – 3,000 lbsOffers more amenities and space. Base weight is at or beyond the Crosstrek’s capacity, so it’s crucial to consider the added weight of belongings. Not recommended for the Crosstrek.
Truck Camper Shell700 – 1,000 lbsA lightweight option offering sheltered space. Suitable for minimalist travelers and leaves ample room for additional weight.

Always ensure that the total weight, including the camper, personal belongings, water, and other essentials, stays within the Subaru Crosstrek’s towing capacity.

It’s better to err on the side of caution and choose a camper that leaves a comfortable margin for added weight. Safe travels!

Things to Consider When Towing A Camper With Your Subaru Crosstrek

Dreaming of a road trip with your Subaru Crosstrek towing a cozy camper behind? Ah, the allure of the open road, the promise of a starry night at a secluded campsite! But before you set off on your grand adventure, let’s sprinkle in a dash of practicality.

  • Know Your Limits: Your Crosstrek whispers, “I can tow up to 1,500 pounds.” Listen to it. That’s camper weight plus your collection of quirky camping gear.
  • Balance, Balance, Balance: Imagine wearing a backpack. If all the weight’s on one side, you’d wobble, right? Same with your camper. Distribute the weight evenly to avoid the wobbly dance.
  • Braking Isn’t Instant Magic: With a camper tagging along, stopping takes a tad longer. Keep a generous distance from Mr. Car in front. And if your camper’s a bit weighty, think about adding trailer brakes.
  • Tires Aren’t Just Round: They need the right puff of air. Check the pressure for both your Crosstrek and your camper. It’s like ensuring both your sneakers are tied before a jog.
  • Hitching Up: A good-quality hitch is like a firm handshake – reliable and trustworthy. And don’t forget the wiring; you want everyone to know when you’re turning or stopping.
  • Peek-a-Boo!: Your camper might play a little hide-and-seek with the road behind. Extended side mirrors can be your “I see you!” tool.
  • Nature’s Whims: Rain might sound romantic on your camper’s roof, but wet roads? Not so much. Be extra gentle on tricky terrains and during moody weather.
  • Thirsty Crosstrek: Towing makes your car gulp down more fuel. So, keep an eye on that fuel gauge and plan those pit stops.
  • Camper TLC: Give your camper a once-over. Check its shoes (wheels), its heartbeat (lights), and its strength (brakes).
  • Rules Aren’t Meant to be Broken: Different places have their own towing dos and don’ts. A quick check can save you from playing the guessing game.
  • Practice the Waltz: If towing’s new to you, practice the dance in an open space. Twirl with turns, glide with stops, and master the reverse waltz.
  • Be the Scout: Remember the scout motto? Be prepared. An emergency kit is your road trip’s best friend.


Is it safe to tow a camper close to the Crosstrek’s maximum towing capacity?

It’s advisable to stay below the maximum limit to account for additional weight from passengers and cargo.

Which type of camper is best suited for the Subaru Crosstrek?

Lightweight campers like teardrop and pop-up campers are ideal for the Subaru Crosstrek due to their weight.

Do I need special equipment to tow a camper with my Crosstrek?

Yes, a high-quality hitch, proper wiring for lights, and possibly extended side mirrors are recommended.

How does towing affect the fuel efficiency of the Subaru Crosstrek?

Towing will reduce the Crosstrek’s miles per gallon (MPG), so expect increased fuel consumption.

Should I check local regulations before towing a camper?

Absolutely! Different regions have specific towing regulations, so it’s essential to be informed.

Final Thoughts

Ah, the thrill of the open road with your trusty Subaru Crosstrek! But, like any grand tale, there’s a fine line between adventure and caution. Your Crosstrek isn’t just a vehicle; it’s a partner, whispering its limits and asking for respect.

Before hitching that camper, take a moment. Equip, prepare, and listen to your car’s gentle cues. It’s not about curbing the adventure, but enhancing it, ensuring every mile is a joyous chapter in your ongoing story.

Ricardo Vaughn
Ricardo Vaughn

Vaughn is a seasoned off-roading expert and professional winch specialist. When he's not out on the trails, he shares his knowledge and experiences through his writing as a blog author in the off-roading and outdoor lifestyle space.

Articles: 98