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Hi I have a 2015 Rav4 FWD. I'm looking at upgrading my camper I currently have a pop-up and it pulls great with just a little lose on fuel. I would love to upgrade to a small self contained the weight is the issue. The camper I am looking at has a tongue weight of only 400lbs but the total weight is 3,000lbs. The hitch says it is rated at 3,500 lbs. My question is I saw on here that the Rav is rated at only 1,500 lbs. So does it not matter what the hitch is rated at?
 

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Hi,

short answer is your rav4 is rated at 150 tongue and 1500 pulling, so the hitch rating is limited to that. No, it's not made to pull more than a pop up...

I pull a 3000# trailer with my V6, and I'm at the limit of the tongue weight and towing rating, 400# of tongue is a lot for a small trailer, once loaded it can be even more.
 

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The 3500# hitch (standard for a 2" receiver) doesn't know it's attached to a vehicle whose engine and transmission are rated for 1500#, as explained in your owner's manual.

Not only is your pop-up much lighter than a 3000# upright camper, it also pushes very little wind, especially by comparison. That's reflected in your low loss of fuel mileage.

Towing an upright camper, even an aerodynamic fiberglass one, a 16' Castia, with a V6 RAV4 dropped our mileage to 15mpg, and that's at 55-60mph. Even a well designed camper adds a big aero load 100% of the time.

For any towing other than very local trips either stick with the pop-up or buy more towing capacity along with the bigger camper.
 
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