If you have a Lexus, you may be wondering if your Lexus can handle a camper. It’s true that the brand isn’t selling trucks, which might lead you to think its vehicles aren’t strong enough to tow. However, quite the opposite is true.
The goal should be to know your Lexus capability and match it to the right camper. You don’t want to put undue stress on your SUV, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t handle an appropriate challenge. Frankly, the typical Lexus is very well made, and towing with a Lexus can be as easy as towing with a light-duty truck. If the brand says a model can tow, it can do it.
The Importance of Knowing Your Lexus Towing Capacity
Having the right vehicle to tow is a safety issue as much as anything. If a tow exceeds the vehicle’s capability, then it will be unsafe every moment of the drive. It may not even make it to its destination before the tow’s weight overwhelms the SUV or truck. That’s dangerous.
Furthermore, it’s also an issue in terms of protecting your luxury SUV investment. No one wants to destroy their luxury SUV trying to prove it can tow more than the manual says it can. Even if you succeed, this type of treatment can drastically reduce the vehicle’s durability.
So, it’s imperative to know the exact year and model of your Lexus or any SUV you drive. It’s also important to know which type of drivetrain it has. Rear-wheel-drive models generally cannot tow as much as four-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive models. If you haven’t bought your SUV yet, we’ve got the information here you need to pick the right Lexus for your towing needs.
Lexus Towing Capacity
As a rule, the newest Lexus GX can tow up to 6,500 pounds. It handles big loads thanks to its V8, four-wheel drive, and body-on-frame construction. This model is also an off-roader. That seems like a natural pair with towing a camper. However, it’s important to remember that the SUV’s off-road capability will be stunted if towing a camper.
Large and strong, the Lexus LX can tow 5,800, 6,000 or 7,000 pounds. It too features a powerful V8 engine and four-wheel drive. The adaptive variable suspension gives it extra capability. If you own an LX, it’s vital to know which of the three tow ratings is correct for your specific model.
The Lexus RX can tow up to 3,500 pounds, whether it’s the V6 or V6 hybrid model. Popular with families, the RX traditionally has been a five-seat SUV, but there is a new version that adds a third row. However, this new seating does not seem to alter its towing capability.
Although smaller, the Lexus NX can tow up to 1,500 or 2,000 pounds, depending on whether it has all-wheel drive. The UX is not right for towing nor are Lexus cars.
Calculate Your Camper Size
With these towing capacities in mind, it’s easy to start the match up the right campers to each Lexus. The NX can probably tow a pop-up trailer since they weigh about 1,500 pounds. A small travel trailer, which weighs about 3,500 pounds, could be towed by the RX. However, in both of these cases, the weight of a person’s belongings must be calculated to be sure that the camper hasn’t become too heavy for the vehicle.
The LX and GX can safely tow any of those campers. The GX can tow a large travel trailer with an average weight of 6,300 pounds. Some LX models could also tow a camper that large. Anything larger than that, your Lexus should defer to a truck.
Make Sure Your Lexus is Properly Equipped
Keep in mind that the higher towing capacities are earned by a Lexus with all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. Furthermore, the SUV must be equipped properly. If not equipped with a hitch, talk to your Lexus dealer. If your Lexus is under warranty, you could void the warranty if you have the hitch installed anywhere else. Furthermore, a non-brand hitch could hurt resale values.
The RX towing package, for instance, includes much more than a factory-installed trailer hitch. The model has extras such as a heavy-duty radiator with a cooling fan. Likewise, there are coolers for the engine and transmission oil. These extras ensure that the engine can handle the extra stress of pulling a big load.
How to Tow Properly with a Lexus?
Towing properly starts with an understanding of how weight plays into safe travels. First, you don’t want to overload the Lexus or the camper without being aware of how much weight you have added. This could cause you to exceed either the gross weight limitation for the SUV or to make the camper too heavy for the Lexus.
A second consideration is the distribution of weight in the camper. If there is too little weight in the back, the rear wheels may lift up. On the other hand, if there is too much weight in the back, it could cause excessive trailer sway. While trailer sway control is at work in a Lexus, it can’t protect you if the odds are literally stacked against it.
When hooking up, make sure to have someone watching and guiding the process. It is very difficult for a driver to do alone, even with the ample assistance of the Lexus rearview camera. A spotter is still needed to ensure that the process goes smoothly.
1. Before Traveling
As with any vehicle, a Lexus should not pull a camper unless it is in good shape. That means making sure maintenance is up to date. You don’t want to miss critical things like oil changes that protect your engine or brake pad replacement that could save your life. Likewise, you want to make sure your tires are in good shape.
2. After Traveling
Whether you drive a Lexus or any other vehicle, it’s a good idea to have it checked out after a big tow. Wheel alignments are often needed for a vehicle that does a lot of towing. Likewise, using an SUV to tow may increase the frequency of oil changes and other key fluid replacements.
Now that you know what your Lexus can do, you can put it to the test with the right-sized camper.