Talk about a question that could be analyzed for hours on end, let’s just say that the Ford Bronco has quite the rich history. When trying to figure out if the legendary SUV can tow a camping trailer, you have to first figure out what generation is being talked about.
For the purposes of this post, we’re talking about the newest models of Ford Bronco. Due to such, we also want to address the Ford Bronco Sport as that is a compact crossover SUV that was just recently introduced from the vehicle manufacturing juggernaut known as Ford.
We’re going to break down whether or not those two vehicle models will be able to safely tow a camping trailer. Yet, in order to figure that out, the Ford Bronco towing capacity needs to be analyzed and discussed first.
What is the towing capacity for the Bronco and the Bronco Sport, respectively?
Speaking for the 2022 model, when you get it properly equipped with the Class II Trailer Tow Package (more on that in a hot second) you can expect to tow up to 3.500 pounds. This is regardless of the powertrain option that you go with, for the record. A respectable amount for sure, but those with a keen insight on camper trailers will already be seeing that capacity as some bad news.
Now, as for the tow package that was just alluded to, it’s going to be roughly a $600 addition for most trims available for the Bronco. Here’s what you can expect to be added with this equipped:
- A 4-pin/7-pin wiring harness prewire
- A trailer hitch assembly
- A 2-inch receiver
The tow package, however, isn’t going to come with a trailer brake controller. Just something to keep in the back of your mind.
What about the Bronco Sport? Well, let’s just say that if you were mildly disappointed with the Ford Bronco towing capacity, it’s not going to get any better with the Bronco Sport. The various trim levels of the compact SUV (with the 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine) will be able to tow up to 2.000 pounds.
With the base model properly equipped and packaged, though, this can be increased to 2.200 pounds. It’s the Badlands trim that should be purchased if you want this additional bit of towing capacity. This can also be combined with the Class II Trailer Tow Package which will include:
- Trailer brake wiring
- Trailer sway control
- A smart trailer tow connector
- Haul modes
- A 7-wire harness
Can either of these two Ford models safely tow a camping trailer?
Ford Bronco towing capacity. Check. Ford Bronco Sport towing capacity. Check. Now, with those two obstacles out of the way, it’s finally time to address the reason why you came here today. Here’s what’s very important about the question that was just asked. It’s the word “safely.” You can attempt to tow a camper with any vehicle you wish.
However, if the vehicle can’t safely handle the amount of weight it’s towing, drastic results will more than likely occur. With the obvious out of the way, it needs to be mentioned that camper trailers will vary in weight. From smaller camper trailers to much larger ones, they can vary literally thousands of pounds from one another.
Even campers that are classified as small (and large) can vary quite a bit from one another. Basically, what we’re getting at is whether or not the Ford Bronco (or the Sport) can safely tow a camper is up to the size of the camper that you have or wish to purchase.
The typical size of a smaller travel trailer
Okay, so let’s get into the specifics now, shall we? In general, the average weight of a smaller travel trailer is going to be around 2.800 pounds. This already takes the Bronco Sport out of the game. However, unloaded, the smallest of campers can get down to 1.200 pounds. Yet, a trailer that small is going to be really, really tiny.
Unloaded weight is just one part of the equation, as you also have to factor in the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), which is also going to include weight such as passengers and cargo.
The typical size of a larger travel trailer
Talking about averages again, it’s fair game for a larger travel trailer to be around 6.700 pounds in weight (and this is just the dry weight). Some will only weigh maybe 4.500 pounds. Yet, regardless, it really is irrelevant as neither the Bronco nor the Bronco Sport is going to be able to handle a larger camper.
And we haven’t even talked about the fact that even though the Ford Bronco towing capacity can be up to 3.500 pounds, it doesn’t mean that you should be towing campers (or any other trailers) that reach 3.500 pounds in GVW.
After all, most experts and manufacturers will advise vehicle owners to remain a safe distance away from a vehicle’s maximum towing capacity. Staying within 80 percent of the maximum towing capacity is a practice that you’ll see and hear many people preach and live by.
Keeping everything in mind including the Ford Bronco towing capacity, the GVWR of the camper you’re attempting to tow, and also the practice of remaining a safe distance away from your vehicle’s maximum towing capacity, it’s going to be slim pickings for both the Bronco and the Bronco Sport when it comes to towing a camper trailer.
For the most part, you might as well just forget it for the Bronco Sport as it’s just not built to handle a lot in the towing world. The Bronco, though, with its maximum 3.500 pounds of towing capacity is going to be able to handle a select number of smaller campers.
However, if you’re in the market for an SUV that can handle your camping needs, let’s just say that the legendary Bronco is just not the best choice out there. Something along the lines of the 2022 Ford Explorer would be a much better choice.