Table of Contents:

  • Introduction
  • Understanding Towing Capacity
  • Types of Tow Vehicles
  • Engine Power and Torque
  • Transmission Type
  • Stability and Safety Features
  • Suspension and Ground Clearance
  • Fuel Efficiency
  • Comfort and Space
  • Test Drive and Professional Advice
  • Conclusion

Travel trailers offer a flexible and cost-effective way to explore the diverse landscapes of India, from the beaches of Goa to the mountains of Himachal Pradesh. However, selecting the right tow vehicle for your travel trailer is crucial for a safe and enjoyable journey. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you make the best choice tailored to the unique conditions of the Indian subcontinent.

1. Understanding Towing Capacity

The first step in choosing the right tow vehicle is understanding its towing capacity. This is the maximum weight your vehicle can safely tow. Check the manufacturer’s specifications for your vehicle and ensure it can handle the weight of your travel trailer, including the trailer’s gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) and any additional cargo.

Club Campers offers a range of travel trailers that are designed to be light and durable, with most models weighing less than 2 tons. This makes them suitable for a variety of tow vehicles available in India. It’s important to note that only a percentage of the trailer’s weight—typically around 10-15%—actually comes onto the towing vehicle’s hitch, making the load more manageable.

2. Types of Tow Vehicles

In India, the most common types of tow vehicles include SUVs, pickup trucks, and larger sedans. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most popular and capable options available today:

  • SUVs: Modern SUVs are well-suited for towing due to their powerful engines and robust build. Popular models include the Mahindra Thar, which combines rugged off-road capabilities with impressive towing power, and the Toyota Fortuner, known for its reliability and comfort. The Ford Endeavour is also an excellent choice, offering advanced towing features and a comfortable ride.
  • Pickup Trucks: The Isuzu D-Max V-Cross and the newly introduced Mahindra Scorpio-N Pik-Up are great for those needing substantial towing capabilities and ample cargo space. These vehicles are designed to handle heavy loads and rough terrain, making them ideal for long trips with heavier trailers.
  • Larger Sedans: While less common, some larger sedans with strong engines can tow smaller travel trailers. Ensure the sedan has the appropriate towing capacity and stability features.

These vehicles provide a good balance of power, comfort, and safety, making them suitable for towing Club Campers’ lightweight and durable trailers across various terrains in India.

3. Engine Power and Torque

For towing in the varied terrains of India, engine power and torque are crucial. A vehicle with higher torque can better handle the inclines of hill stations and the rough patches of rural roads. Diesel engines are often preferred for their superior torque and fuel efficiency. Here are some considerations:

  • Diesel vs. Petrol: Diesel engines generally offer better torque at lower RPMs, which is ideal for towing. They also tend to be more fuel-efficient under load. Petrol engines, while often providing higher horsepower, may not deliver the same level of torque as diesel engines, which is critical for towing heavy loads.
  • Example Models: The Ford Endeavour’s powerful diesel engine excels in towing performance, while the Mahindra Thar’s torque-rich engine is perfect for off-road adventures and heavy loads. The Toyota Fortuner also offers a robust diesel engine that provides ample power for towing in challenging conditions.

By choosing a vehicle with the right engine specifications, you ensure that it can handle the additional load of a trailer, especially on steep inclines and rough terrains common in India.

4. Transmission Type

Automatic transmissions are generally easier for towing, especially in stop-and-go traffic common in Indian cities. However, manual transmissions can provide more control, which is beneficial on hilly or uneven terrain. Modern vehicles often come with advanced automatic transmissions that include features like tow/haul modes, which optimize the transmission for towing heavy loads. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Automatic Transmissions: These are user-friendly and reduce the strain on the driver, particularly in urban traffic and during long drives. Many automatic transmissions are now equipped with towing-specific modes that adjust shift points to better handle the extra weight.
  • Manual Transmissions: These offer more direct control over the vehicle’s power and can be advantageous on steep, winding roads often found in hilly regions of India. They can also be more fuel-efficient in certain driving conditions.

Choosing the right transmission type depends on your personal driving preferences and the specific terrains you plan to navigate.

5. Stability and Safety Features

Ensure your tow vehicle has essential stability and safety features to make your journey safe and stress-free. Modern vehicles come equipped with various advanced features that are particularly beneficial for towing. Here are some key features to look for:

  • Trailer Sway Control: This system helps maintain stability by applying the brakes and adjusting engine power to counteract trailer sway, especially in high winds or on uneven roads. The Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour, for instance, come with this essential feature.
  • Electronic Brake Controller: This device integrates the trailer’s braking system with the tow vehicle, ensuring smoother and safer stops. An electronic brake controller is especially useful for heavier trailers and can significantly enhance safety.
  • Rear-view Camera: A rear-view camera aids in hitching the trailer and provides better visibility while reversing. Some advanced systems, like those found in the Jeep Compass, offer a 360-degree camera view, making manoeuvring much easier.
  • Tow/Haul Mode: This feature adjusts the transmission’s shift points, making it easier to tow heavy loads by providing more power when needed and reducing wear on the transmission.
  • Hill Start Assist and Descent Control: These features are beneficial in hilly areas, preventing rollback on steep inclines and controlling speed during descents. Vehicles like the Mahindra Thar and Ford Endeavour are equipped with these functionalities.

Having these safety features not only makes towing easier but also enhances overall driving safety, particularly in challenging conditions.

6. Suspension and Ground Clearance

A strong suspension system is vital for towing heavy loads, and adequate ground clearance is necessary for navigating India’s diverse road conditions. Vehicles with robust suspension and sufficient ground clearance can handle the additional weight of a trailer and provide a smoother ride on rough terrain. Here are some considerations:

  • Suspension System: Look for vehicles with reinforced suspension systems designed to handle heavy loads. Many SUVs and pickup trucks, such as the Toyota Fortuner and Mahindra Scorpio-N Pik-Up, come equipped with advanced suspension systems that provide stability and comfort when towing.
  • Adjustable Suspension: Some vehicles offer adjustable suspension systems that allow you to raise or lower the vehicle’s height based on the load and terrain. This feature is particularly useful when navigating off-road trails or uneven surfaces.
  • Ground Clearance: Adequate ground clearance is essential for towing in India, where road conditions can vary significantly. Higher ground clearance helps prevent the vehicle and trailer from bottoming out on rough roads, speed bumps, or during off-road excursions. The Mahindra Thar and Ford Endeavour, for instance, offer excellent ground clearance, making them well-suited for towing in diverse terrains.

By choosing a tow vehicle with a robust suspension system and adequate ground clearance, you ensure a safer and more comfortable towing experience, regardless of the road conditions you encounter.

7. Fuel Efficiency

While towing generally reduces fuel efficiency, choosing a vehicle known for better mileage can save costs on long journeys. Diesel vehicles often provide better fuel economy under load compared to petrol vehicles. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Diesel vs. Petrol: Diesel engines are typically more fuel-efficient when towing due to their higher torque output at lower RPMs. This makes them a better choice for long-distance travel and frequent towing. Vehicles like the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross and the Toyota Fortuner, which are equipped with efficient diesel engines, can offer significant fuel savings.
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: A larger fuel tank allows for longer trips between refuelling stops, which is especially convenient in remote areas where fuel stations may be scarce. Vehicles with higher fuel tank capacities, such as the Ford Endeavour, ensure that you can travel longer distances without worrying about frequent refuelling.
  • Fuel Economy Ratings: Check the fuel economy ratings of the vehicle when towing. Some manufacturers provide specific fuel economy figures for towing scenarios, which can help you better understand the expected mileage under load.

By considering the fuel efficiency of your tow vehicle, you can optimize your travel expenses and reduce the environmental impact of your journeys.

8. Comfort and Space

Consider the comfort and space of the tow vehicle, especially for long trips. Ample seating, climate control, and storage space for luggage and essentials will make your travels more enjoyable. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Seating Comfort: Long drives require comfortable seating with ample legroom and ergonomic design to prevent fatigue. Vehicles like the Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour are known for their spacious and well-cushioned seats, ensuring a comfortable journey for all passengers.
  • Climate Control: Advanced climate control systems with multi-zone settings allow passengers to adjust the temperature to their preference, enhancing comfort during long trips through various climates. Look for vehicles with efficient air conditioning systems, particularly if you plan to travel through hot or humid regions.
  • Storage Space: Adequate storage space is crucial for carrying all your travel essentials. Consider vehicles with ample boot space, under-seat storage, and multiple compartments to keep your belongings organized. The Mahindra Thar, for instance, offers practical storage solutions for both passengers and gear.
  • Infotainment System: A good infotainment system with navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, and entertainment options can make long journeys more enjoyable. Modern vehicles often come equipped with touchscreens, high-quality sound systems, and smartphone integration features.
  • Passenger Space: Ensure there is enough space for all passengers, especially if you are traveling with family or a group. SUVs like the Ford Endeavour offer three-row seating, providing ample room for everyone.

By choosing a tow vehicle that prioritizes comfort and space, you ensure that your road trips are pleasant and enjoyable, no matter how long the journey.

9. Test Drive and Professional Advice

Before making a final decision, it’s crucial to test drive potential tow vehicles while towing a trailer. This real-world experience will give you a better understanding of how the vehicle handles under load and ensure it meets your towing needs. Here’s what to consider during the test drive:

  • Towing Performance: Pay attention to the vehicle’s acceleration, braking, and overall handling while towing. Ensure that the engine provides adequate power and torque for smooth and safe driving.
  • Manoeuvrability: Test the vehicle’s ability to navigate tight spaces, make turns, and reverse with the trailer attached. Vehicles with good manoeuvrability and visibility will make towing easier and safer.
  • Comfort and Ride Quality: Evaluate the ride comfort and stability of the vehicle while towing. Check for any excessive vibrations or noise that could affect your comfort on long trips.
  • Safety Features: Test the effectiveness of safety features like trailer sway control, electronic brake controllers, and rear-view cameras. Ensure these systems function properly and enhance your towing experience.
  • Professional Advice: Seek advice from professionals or experienced RVers in the form of the team at Club Campers, who can offer insights specific to towing in India. They can provide valuable tips on choosing the right vehicle, hitching techniques, and maintaining your tow setup.

Taking the time to test drive and seek professional advice ensures that you choose a tow vehicle that meets all your requirements and provides a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable towing experience.


Choosing the right tow vehicle is essential for a safe and enjoyable travel trailer experience in India. By considering factors like towing capacity, engine power, safety features, and comfort, you can find a vehicle that meets your needs and enhances your adventures. Explore the diverse landscapes of India with confidence, knowing your tow vehicle is up to the task.

To learn more about selecting the perfect tow vehicle and travel trailer combination, contact the RV experts at Club Campers. Our team is ready to help you explore your options and make the best choice for your travel needs. We invite you to bring your own car to our showroom for a hands-on test drive experience with our travel trailers. Schedule a visit or contact us today for a personalized consultation and to test the compatibility of your vehicle with our trailers.

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