Volkswagen is one of the most recognizable and popular car brands in the world. They are probably most known for their smaller beetles, but they make more than that.

In fact, they make some much larger vehicles including camper vans.

However, today I want to focus on the VW Atlas. This vehicle is growing in popularity, and for a variety of reasons. That being said, today I want to look into the VW Atlas towing capacity.

What you need to know about the VW Atlas

The first thing you need to know about the VW Atlas is that when you go to buy one, you’ll be given two engine options. You can either choose the 2.0 L 4 cylinder turbo or the 3.6 L 6 cylinder.

The larger of the two engines obviously provides more power as it has 276 horsepower and 266 pounds per foot of torque. Both engines can be paired with front wheel drive or all wheel drive systems.

The cabin of the vehicle is a little more empty than other high end luxury vehicles, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t get all the information that you need.

It comes with an IQ Drive system that provides driver assistance and park assist. There are also a variety of safety features in place to help you avoid collisions. That being said, if you are in a crash, there are features to aid with post collision actions.

The VW Atlas offers models with 2 or 3 row seating. It offers panoramic skylights, plush leather seats, and plenty of legroom. There are even automatic climate controls to make your trips more comfortable.

What is the VW Atlas towing capacity?

If you are interested in going out on a trip with a travel trailer, you’re going to need a tow vehicle. If that is the case, you are best off using a vehicle you own, and as a result, you should consider that when you are going to purchase your car.

In the case of the VW Atlas, the two engine models have two different towing capacities. The smaller 2.0 L 4 cylinder engine has a towing capacity of just 2000 lbs. As a result, it is not a great option for towing a travel trailer.

However, the larger 3.6 L 6 cylinder model is much stronger and can tow up to 5000 lbs. Having a towing capacity that high opens up your options for travel trailers that you can rent or buy.

How reliable is the VW Atlas?

The listed towing capacity is great, but that does not mean anything if it has not been stress tested. Fortunately, it has been tested repeatedly by the Volkswagen team to the point where there is no doubt in regard to its towing capacity with either engine model.

You can make use of the towing capacity in a variety of ways thanks to the fold down seats. You can easily store large items in the vehicle with the seats down, and as a result, it is easier to pack for longer trips.

Additionally, you should be happy to hear that Volkswagen offers a 4 year, 50,000 mile warranty on the VW Atlas.

Can you tow a travel trailer with a VW Atlas?

The first thing I want to get out of the way is saying that both engine models are capable of towing camper trailers.

The smaller model is obviously more restricted, but it can still tow some smaller trailers.

With towing capacities of 2000 and 5000 lbs respectively, you should be able to plan a camping trip with either model.

What type of travel trailers and campers can be towed by a VW Atlas?

If you opt for the smaller, 4 cylinder engine VW Atlas, you will mostly be restricted to towing teardrop trailers and other small campers.

There may be some exceptions, but most trailers outside of teardrop trailers will exceed the 2000 lb towing capacity. That being said, you can compare the weights of some smaller fiberglass travel trailers to the towing capacity of your vehicle to see if you can make it work.

Fortunately, you have far more options if you are driving the 6 cylinder engine VW Atlas. With this vehicle, you have a towing capacity of 5000 lbs, and as a result, you can tow much larger trailers.

Is it safe to tow a trailer that is equal to the towing capacity?

A common question asked by people new to the world of travel trailers is, can you get right up to the towing capacity? This essentially means that if you have the VW Atlas model with a towing capacity of 5000 lbs, can you safely tow a 5000 lb trailer? Simply put, you should not get too close to the towing capacity because it can cause a variety of issues.

At this point, you might be confused because if the towing capacity is 5000 lbs, shouldn’t you be able to tow a 5000 lb vehicle? Well, the thing you need to keep in mind is that the trailer is not the only thing you are towing.

When towing capacities are measured, they are only factoring in the weight of the average driver and a full tank of gas. As a result, you need to factor in the weight of all other people in your vehicle.

Additionally, you need to factor in the weight of your belongings, as well as the weight of the water in the tanks of your trailer. Even if you only have a 20 gallon freshwater tank as part of your RV water system, that still adds over 160 lbs of weight when it is fully loaded. As a result, it is a good idea to only tow trailers that are at least 10% under the weight of the towing capacity. You might even consider going a little slower to be absolutely safe.

Final thoughts

When you are going to rent a travel trailer for the first time, you will probably be filled with excitement. You will probably want nothing more than to get on the road and start your trip.

However, if you are using a VW Atlas as your tow vehicle, it is important to keep in mind that you have certain limitations.

If you own the model with the smaller engine, you can only really tow teardrop trailers.

Even if you own the model with the larger engine, you still cannot tow large trailers.

As a result, you need to make sure that you purchase or rent a trailer that can be towed by your VW Atlas. You do not want to start your trip by damaging your vehicle or by being unable to get out of your driveway.

Take the time to find a trailer that can be safely towed by your VW Atlas and you will have a much better trip!