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Hello,

My wife and I want to build and tow a teardrop camper for our 2007 Rav4 (2.4L, 4cyl, no towing package). Towing capacity is listed as 1,500lbs. Is the Rav4 cargo (2 people and gear) to be included in our total towing weight calculation? E.g. if we and our Rav4 cargo weigh 600lbs and our teardrop trailer weighs 1,300lbs, are we exceeding the limit or not? No one online seems to say definitively whether people and vehicle cargo should be included in the towing calc or not.

thanks in advance for the help!!

Have a good one.
 

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Welcome! There should be a sticker by the driver's door which lists the GVW (maximum Gross Vehicle Weight) for your RAV, which includes the weight of the vehicle and anyone and anything loaded into or onto it. The trailer and contents weight itself aren't included in the GVW but the weight of the trailer tongue on the trailer hitch and the hitch weight are part of the GVW.
 

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Well said, Blogson. Clear and concise!

If I recall correctly, the maximum weight of passengers and cargo and hitch and tongue weight (e.g. beyond the weight of the vehicle itself and fuel) is typically around 1,000 pounds for the RAV4. Best to confirm your specific case, though.

Most people put a bunch of stuff in their trailer and forget that the weight of the "stuff" counts against the towing capacity. So if you have a 1400 lb trailer but 300 lbs worth of stuff in it, you're over the official rating by 200 lbs with an I4 engine.

.
 

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That info can also be found in the owner's manual which you can download if you don't have one. The manual will direct you to the labels on the driver's door frame Blogson pointed out. Here's the US Toyota Owner's page. There's also a build plate on the driver's door frame that shows when you Rav4 was built, you'll need that since there are two owner's manuals to choose from depending on build date.

2007 Toyota RAV4 Owners Manual and Warranty - Toyota Owners
 

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In the end the weights will probably be near or over the ratings all loaded & ready to roll.
I'd be more concerned with where, what distances and on what terrain you plan to tow.
 

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With the 4 cylinder I would highly recommend against exceeding the towing capacity. Especially if you plan on towing on roads that are anything other than completely level. The 4 cylinder model can tow things, but it is more for the small trailer to go pick up a couch or something like that. Your brakes are only designed to stop so much weight, so if you over load it then you'll find it difficult to slow it all down. Everything from your brakes to your suspension to your transmission and your motor are all going to feel it if you are pulling that much weight around. I really wouldn't recommend towing a camper of any kind with a 4 cylinder engine. By the time you consider the weight of passengers and gear, you are way over the 1500 lbs that car is rated for towing with . Now you are in the dangerous area where you may not be able to stop the car going down a steep grade or even being able to get up the hill to begin with.

There are really small pop up campers that are a lot lighter than solid side campers are. Those can get down into the 800 lb dry weight. You are still going to be getting really close to that 1500 lb limit by the time you put your gear in it, but that may be something a 4 cylinder could handle. 1500 is really not much weight. The Corolla is rated with a 1500 lb towing capacity as well, so that is the type of power you need to remember you have.
 
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