What Can I Tow with 3,500 lbs. Capacity? (With 6 Examples)


A towing capacity of 3,500 lbs. gives you the power to tow just about anything you need behind your vehicle. A 3,500-pound towing capacity is standard on many SUVs and trucks.

It cannot haul some of the most significant items, but it will give you the capacity to tow plenty of gear, boats, trailers, and campers. 

When the rubber hits the road, what can you really pull with 3,500 pounds?

With a 3,500 lbs. capacity, you can usually tow:

  • Two Motorcycles
  • A Teardrop Trailer
  • A Pop-up trailer
  • A Utility Trailer
  • A Fiberglass Fishing Boat
  • A 20 Foot Aluminum Fishing Boat
  • Two ATVs
  • A Small Camper Trailer
  • 2 Goats
  • Jet Skis
  • Snowmobiles
  • A Tow Dolly with a Small Vehicle

What Can I Tow with a 3,500 lbs. Capacity?

With a 3,500-pound capacity, you can carry many different items. It is still important to remember that taking the weight on paper of your gear may not be an accurate representation of what you are truly towing. You will also likely need gas, food, water, and other gear.

When you consider the vehicles or gear you are towing, make sure the entire load is well under 3,500 pounds. That will protect your vehicle and your gear.

Here is a quick table of characteristic trailers and their payloads that fit in the 3,500 lbs. towing capacity:

TypesAverage Weight
2 Goats and a Small Horse Trailer3,300 pounds
Forest River Flagstaff Pop-Up Camper2,120 pounds
2 Kawasaki Concours Motorcycles1,980 pounds
Tow Dolly and a Honda Fit3,200 pounds
2 Arctic Cat 1000XTs2,300 pounds
Jayco Hummingbird Camper2,800 pounds

Read also: Trailer Hitch Installation How-To-Guide // 9 Easy Steps (Explained)

2 Goats and a Small Horse Trailer

Towing livestock is difficult with a small towing capacity. Most livestock trailers are fairly heavy. That is before you even add horses, goats, or cows. However, with a 3,500-pound capacity, you can tow a trailer with some animals.

Sometimes, you will only need to bring a few animals. If you are involved in 4H or other activities that teach children about animals, you will only need to get a couple of animals on the road with you at a time.

If you are a rancher taking your horses and cows on the road, you will need a larger towing capacity and a larger trailer.

A small horse trailer will weigh around 2,900 pounds. That already uses over 2/3 of your towing capacity, so you will need to bring smaller animals to stay safely under your towing capacity.

If we assume the largest goats, so you are prepared for the maximum weight, an adult male goat weighs around 200 pounds.

Two adult male goats would be closer to 400 pounds. This creates a total of 3,300 pounds with both goats and the trailer.

Forest River Flagstaff Pop-Up Camper

Pop-up campers are fantastic options for anyone looking to bring a camper while saving space and weight. Pop-up campers have walls and ceilings that fold down while you drive. Then, you can unfold them to their full size when you camp.

“Pop-up campers are more aerodynamic than many other campers. Because they fold down, they do not take up as much space, and thus they create less air drag.”

As a trailer, you can also park them and leave them at the campsite while you explore nearby sites.

The Forest River Flagstaff is a great pop-up camper for those working with a small towing capacity. The Forest River Flagstaff pop-up camper comes in several different styles. The hard sides design weighs around 2,120 pounds.

The Forest River Flagstaff pop-up hard-side design has a 3-way refrigerator, a Wi-Fi booster, a heated mattress, and much more! This makes it a great, comfortable option for taking the comforts of home on the road, even if you have a small towing capacity.

The extra 1,380 pounds you are not using is important to save for food, bedding, toiletries, cooking supplies, and any other camping gear you need.

Read also: How Much Do Pop-up Campers Weigh? (3 Small Pop Up Campers)

2 Kawasaki Concours Motorcycles

While motorcycles are vehicles on their own, sometimes you want to bring them on the journey without driving them the entire way. This gives you more options during weather and for fun day trips.

Touring motorcycles are great for traveling long distances. They often can fit two people, and they offer storage space. That extra space also does take some of your total weight capacity.

Each Kawasaki Concours weighs around 690 pounds. That means two Kawasaki Concours motorcycles will give you a weight of 1,380 pounds. If you add the weight of a trailer, you are looking at approximately 1,980 pounds.

Do not forget to save room for helmets, riding gear, food, gasoline, and more.

The Kawasaki Concours is a classic touring motorcycle. It offers standard saddlebags, an electrically adjusted windshield, and a 6-speed transmission. It is a great option to take on vacation.

Tow Dolly and a Honda Fit

It is fairly unusual to need to tow a car with a compact SUV. With that being said, accidents and emergencies do happen. If your family member runs out of gas or runs into an engine failure on the road, you may need to sweep in and save the day.

Most cars do not fit into the 3,500-pound towing capacity. However, with a tow dolly and a particularly light car, like a Honda Fit, you can make it work.

A Honda Fit is an especially light car. It weighs around 2,600 pounds. Then, with a tow dolly that weighs around 600 pounds, you are looking at a total load of around 3,200 pounds. That leaves a little extra room for any fuel in the car and extras.

“It is important to note that you cannot tow every small vehicle with a 3,500-pound capacity. For example, a Toyota Prius weighs around 3,200 pounds.”

That does not leave you weight for the tow dolly as well, even though the Toyota Prius is relatively compact.

2 Arctic Cat 1000XTs

All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) are great fun! You can ride them in a wide variety of weather, and they are great for exploring new places. They are also helpful for getting work done, as many are equipped with winches and small towing capacities.

Towing an ATV gives you the opportunity to get work done in remote areas. It means you can bring adventure on the road with you.

The Arctic Cat 1000XT is a standard ATV equipped for both work and recreation. It weighs around 775 pounds. With two Arctic Cat 1000XTs and a utility trailer to carry them, you are looking at a weight of approximately 2,300 pounds.

The Arctic Cat 1000XT is a strong ATV designed for the toughest of terrains. It is practical, as it has a 2-inch hitch receiver and front and rear steel racks.

This makes it great for getting work done or for getting a great, safe ride in any weather.

Jayco Hummingbird Camper

3,500 pounds opens up the door for you to tow a lot of really great campers without sacrificing quality or comfort. Campers weighing under 3,500 pounds are often still equipped with kitchens and bathrooms for your added comfort while you travel.

The Jayco Hummingbird Camper is an excellent standard camper with plenty of the luxuries you would expect from a larger camper. It weighs only 2,800 pounds.

That leaves you plenty of extra weight for bedding, food, water, fuel, gear, and more.

The Jayco Hummingbird Camper offers a bathroom and a kitchen. It has a retractable awning for you to enjoy while sitting outside.

The sofa folds out into a bed to help you maximize space. The front has bike racks, so you can bring everything you love. It is the perfect camper to take if you want to efficiently use your space and weight capacity.

Car or Vehicles and Trucks With 3,500 lb. Towing Capacity

Plenty of cars or vehicles have a 3,500-pound towing capacity. If you’re buying a smaller vehicle and you hope to tow 3,500 pounds, you will have to pay for upgrades.

However, 3,500 pounds is a common towing capacity amongst SUVs and trucks.

The table below shows some common cars, trucks or vehicles which have a towing capacity of 3,500 lbs:

Vehicle / TrucksTowing Capacity (lb.)
2021 Volvo XC403,500 pounds
2021 Toyota RAV43,500 pounds
2021 Ford Escape3,500 pounds
Subaru Outback3,500 pounds
Chrysler Pacifica3,600 Pounds

2021 Volvo XC40

Unless you get the Recharge model, the 2021 Volvo XC40 is equipped to tow 3,500 pounds. It is a compact SUV, so unless you need to be towing large loads, this is a great option to help you save gas.

If you use the Volvo Hitch package with a class 2 receiver, you get extra features. Those features include trailer stability assist technology, which will help you drive safer.

2021 Toyota RAV4

Previously Toyota RAV4s had much more limited towing capacities. Most could only tow around 1,500 pounds.

In 2019, though, Toyota re-designed the engine and increased the towing capacity. Now, the Toyota RAV4 Adventure and TRD Off-Road are equipped to tow up to 3,500 pounds.

The Toyota RAV4 has an all-wheel drive. It is also frequently rated as one of the safest vehicles in winter weather. It is a great option for anyone who likes to drive in all kinds of weather.

Read also: RAV4 Trailer Hitch Installation Cost (Real Facts & Numbers)

2021 Ford Escape

Before we dive in, you should know that not all Ford Escapes can tow 3,500 pounds. Most have a 2,000-pound towing capacity. However, the 250-horsepower 2.0-liter Ecoboost 4-cylinder can tow 3,500 pounds.

The model that can tow 3,500 pounds can be upgraded with a trailer tow package. The tow package includes a wiring harness, trailer sway control, a receiver hitch, and more.

If you do not need to tow a full 3,500 pounds often, you can go for a more standard model of the Ford Escape.

Subaru Outback

The Subaru Outback is exceptionally popular for outdoor enthusiasts. It is common to see the Subaru Outback parked at national parks and hiking trails.

If you want to tow a light camper or boat, this is a great option.

The Subaru Outback can tow up to 3,500 pounds. It offers Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Assist. It has all-wheel drive and handles well in poor weather conditions.

Read also: How Much Does It Cost To Install A Trailer Hitch On A Subaru Outback?

Chrysler Pacifica

The Chrysler Pacifica is a great family-friendly vehicle for people looking to tow. It is a minivan, but it can tow up to 3,600 pounds if you equip it with the tow package.

The tow package for the Chrysler Pacifica has a 2-inch hitch receiver, brake-actuated trailer sway control, and trailer wiring harnesses.

It also is a fairly inexpensive tow package when compared to many other vehicles.

 What Cars Can Tow 3500 lbs

The list below shows some common cars which can tow 3,500 lbs:

  • Subaru Outback XT – 3,500 lbs.
  • Volvo V90 Cross Country – 3,500 lbs.
  • Chrysler Pacifica – 3,600 lbs.
  • Mercedes-Benz Metris – 5,000 lbs.
  • BMW X7 – 7,500 lbs.
  • Mercedes-Benz GLE – 7,700 lbs.
  • Porsche Cayenne – 7,700 lbs.
  • Toyota Land Cruiser – 8,100 lbs.

Trailer Weight vs Towing Capacity

If you want to know more about the Trailer Weight vs Towing Capacity, just click the link to How to Measure Towing Capacity, GVWR, GCWR, Truck, Trailer





Mike Gilmour

Hi, I'm Mike, co-founder, and editor of RV and Playa. My passion is traveling (with my RV) and enjoying the day at the beach (Playa)! Well, I originally created this blog as a way to share what I've learned by experimenting with the RV lifestyle, and I want to help others develop in life through new skills and opportunities.

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