Here’s the reason a Ford Transit can pull a camper:
A Ford Transit van can pull a camper as long as its weight is within the van’s towing capacity. Generally, popular campers have a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of around 3500 pounds. Since the towing capacity of a Ford Transit ranges from 3700 to 6900 pounds, it can easily pull most campers.
Whether you’re going camping or glamping, pulling a camper behind your Ford Transit is a great ticket to an unmatched adventure. I’m quite an outdoorsy guy myself, and I’ve towed with the crew, passenger, and cargo versions of the Ford Transit.
But then I conducted more research to determine the towing limits you can get with the latest Ford Transit models. I took my time going through brochures, trailer towing selector charts, and whatnots to give you the full answer.
In this guide, I’ll help you understand the following:
- Ford Transit tow ratings
- Popular campers you can pull with a Transit
- Additional features that allow the Ford Transit to pull a camper
- Key safety tips for pulling your camper with a Transit van.
Let’s get into it right away.
Ford Transits Have Decent Tow Ratings
Here’s a highlight of the towing capacities of various Ford Transit vans:
|Van Type||Towing Capacity|
|Passenger Van||3700 to 4600 lbs|
|Crew Van||4300 to 6500 lbs|
|Cargo Van||4700 to 6900 lbs|
It’s important we discuss the towing capacities of these vans because then you’ll figure out the campers you can tow, based on their Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR).
Based on the trailer towing selector charts I analyzed from Ford, the passenger van can tow up to 4500 pounds. The standard 3.5 L PFDi V6 engine offers 275 hp at 6250 RPM, and 260 pound-feet of torque at 4000 RPM.
It can easily haul an average camper with such impressive power and torque.
If you go for the 3.5 L V6 EcoBoost engine option, you get considerably more power – 310 hp at 5000 RPM.
Passenger vans with this engine can also deliver 400 pound-feet of torque at 2500 RPM. That’s an incredible amount of low-speed torque, meaning you won’t have trouble pulling your camper up a steep incline.
For both engine options, the powertrain includes a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Interestingly, the crew and cargo versions have the same engine options as the passenger van. The optional 3.5 L V6 EcoBoost engine still delivers more power and torque in their case, as you’d find in Transit levels like the T-250 and T-350.
The crew van can tow up to 6500 pounds, while the cargo van can haul up to 6900 pounds. These ratings are more than enough to pull an average camper.
A Full-size Ford Transit Can Pull Various Campers
Here’s a highlight of popular campers a Ford Transit can pull:
|Camper||Gross Vehicle Weight Rating ( lbs)|
|TAXA Outdoors Cricket||2700|
|Forest River RP-171||3000|
|Happier Camper HC1||3500|
|Airstream Basecamp 20||4300|
The full-size Ford Transit can pull various campers, including the following:
1. TAXA Outdoors Cricket
The TAXA Cricket is a lightweight but rugged travel camper you can easily pull with a Transit van. Its GVWR is 2700 pounds, and it can carry 900 lbs of cargo.
It’s quite small but can comfortably sleep two adults and two children. The Cricket also comes with a 5,000 BTU air conditioner. What’s more, the pop-up roof design gives it good protection and better aerodynamic efficiency.
2. Forest River R-Pod 171
The Forest River RP-171 is ideal for your outdoor adventures, including weekend getaways. With a GVWR of 3000 lbs and a cargo-carrying capacity of 1,126 lbs, a full-size Transit will handle it without straining.
At 18 feet long, it has a queen bed, a dinette set, and ample storage space, meaning it can sleep 3-4 people
3. Happier Camper HC1
I’ve seen folks towing the HC1 with standard sedans, and it definitely falls under the maximum towing capacity of a Ford Transit. This camper is made from fiberglass, which is strong but ultralight.
The HC1 has a dry weight of just 1100 lbs, and its GVWR comes to 3500 lbs. A full-size van like the Transit T-250 can still handle that. Another perk of this camper is that it’s off-grid and solar-ready, and it can sleep a family of up to five.
4. Airstream Basecamp
The Airstream Basecamp is 20 is a flexible, 20-foot long camper you can pull hassle-free with a Transit. Its GVWR is 4300 lbs, and it can carry 900 lbs of cargo. The smaller version of the Basecamp is 16 feet long, with a GVWR of 3500 pounds and a cargo-carrying capacity of 850 lbs.
Each floor plan has a kitchen, a dining area, and a bathroom. You can convert the main living space into a bedroom to accommodate up to four people.
A Ford Transit Connect Can Pull a Pop-up Camper
The Ford Transit Connect has a maximum tow rating of 2,000 pounds, meaning it can easily pull some lightweight pop-up campers.
Since the Transit Connect also has a lower payload capacity of 1,550 lbs, I recommend you strictly use it to pull a small camper for weekend adventures. That’s more practical and reasonable since you won’t need to carry a lot of cargo.
The Transit Connect can pull various pop-up campers, including the following:
- Forest River Rockwood 1640LTD
- TAXA Outdoors TigerMoth
- Coachmen Viking 9.0 RTD
The Forest River Rockwood 1640LTD has a dry weight (unloaded vehicle weight) of 1465 lbs and a cargo-carrying capacity of 793 lbs. If you load the pop-up camper up to 200 pounds less, your Transit Connect will easily pull it.
The Coachmen Viking Express 9.0 TD has a dry weight of 1418 pounds, and it can carry up to 776 pounds of cargo. Again, if you stay under that by a few hundred pounds, you can pull it with your TC.
You can also pull the TAXA TigerMoth because its unloaded weight with standard features is just 1310 lbs, and its cargo carrying capacity is 990 pounds.
The Ford Transit is Fit for Pulling Campers
The Ford Transit can pull your camper not just because of its good towing capacity. It’s suitable for the task because it has:
1. A Stiff suspension
The Ford Transit has the independent MacPherson strut suspension at the front and leaf spring suspensions at the rear. This system is stiff enough to handle the extra weight of the camper and is cargo. It gives you better traction and lets you enjoy the ride.
2. High torque
Pulling your camper involves moving at low speeds while maintaining control. A Ford Transit equipped with the 3.5 L EcoBoost V6 engine can give you a decent torque of 400 pound-feet at 2500 RPM.
In my experience, that offers better performance without straining the engine, especially on a hill climb.
3. Efficient Brakes
With 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, a Transit allows you to make efficient maneuvers and stops while towing a camper.
4. Extra cooling capabilities
Ford Transit vans have large transmissions and unique oil cooling capabilities. That’s desirable if you’ll be going for a long haul, say interstate.
5. Large radiator
Towing is far different from everyday driving, and it puts additional strain on the engine. Fortunately, the Ford Transit has a sizeable radiator to cool the engine faster and prevent overheating.
6. Heavy Duty Shock Absorbers for Smooth Rides
A Transit comes with heavy-duty gas shock absorbers to guarantee you a smooth ride if you’re driving on bad roads.
7. You Can Include a Transmission gauge
The extra work your Transit does pulling a loaded camper could heat up stuff, and before you know it, your van may experience automatic transmission failure.
A transmission gauge comes in handy then. And while your Transit may not come standard with it, you might want to add one as an extra safety precaution.
How to Pull a Camper with a Ford Transit
While camping is one of the most memorable adventures, some mistakes can easily ruin your fun once you hit the road.
For example, your trailer could detach and tip when you tow inappropriately, imposing danger on both you and other road users.
At times you may have to deal with a strained engine, a severely damaged suspension, or spoilt braking systems.
Observe the following important safety measures when pulling your camper with a Ford Transit:
1. Remember you’re towing
Always remember you’re towing, so you be careful while making tight turns, backing up, accelerating, and braking.
2. Maintain a safe speed
As a rule of thumb, do not exceed 55 MPH while hauling a camper because you’ll always need additional braking time and may not handle abrupt maneuvers.
3. Install safety chains under the hitch
For additional safety, be sure to install safety chains under the hitch.
4. Distribute cargo appropriately
Place most of your cargo (about 60%) forward of the van’s rear axle to avoid swaying.
5. Maintain Proper tongue weight
For greater stability, ensure the tongue weight is set within 10 to 15 percent of the overall trailer weight.
6. Carry spare tires
Ensure you have spare tires for both the van and the trailer, they should be well-treaded and adequately inflated.
7. Use an appropriate trailer hitch
Use a proper trailer hitch that keeps your camper level while allowing room for adjustment.
8. Brake carefully
When driving downhill, tap the brakes in gentle presses and release them, rather than using them for the entire descent. Otherwise, they’ll overheat and malfunction.
9. Fit brake lights on the trailer
Ensure you have at least one functioning red brake light on the camper, or you’ll be committing an expensive mistake. Double-check for loose wires that are dragging on the ground.
10. Maintain a stopping distance
Maintain a reasonable stopping distance of about four full seconds between you and the vehicle ahead of you.
A Ford Transit can pull any camper whose GVWR falls below the van’s towing capacity.
I, therefore, recommend finding out your van’s tow rating and other weight specifications from the owner’s manual to be double sure. It’ll help you settle on a camper you can safely tow, or else you’ll need a truck.
Additionally, you need to read the manual that accompanies your traveling camper because you don’t want to make terrible mistakes. And once you set out for that camping adventure, kindly observe the towing safety tips we’ve just discussed. Good luck!