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Can a Toyota Camry Tow a Boat

Can a Toyota Camry Tow a Boat

If you are an owner of a Toyota Camry, you know that this is a car that you can rely on. Toyota vehicles have a reputation for being reliable and durable, and this model is definitely no exception. 

However, you might feel that the Camry is a bit too small for certain jobs that larger vehicles are made for. Although this might be the case for a few select tasks, there are many things that this car can handle. 

Towing items that are larger, like a boat, can be one situation where you might need some more information before you try it out yourself. After all, you wouldn’t want to do anything to damage your vehicle and affect your driving experience with it.

So, can a Toyota Camry tow a boat? With its 1,000-pound maximum towing capacity a Toyota Camry is capable of towing a very small boat or jet ski. This requires that the Camry have a hitch installed and that the combined weight of the boat or jet ski and trailer does not exceed the 1,000-pound limit.

So, if you have a boat and want to find out if it is possible to safely tow it behind your Toyota Camry, then read ahead as we answer this question. We will also go over what you can do to increase the safety of towing while driving your Camry if you choose to do so. 

Towing Capacity 

When you are figuring out whether your vehicle has the capacity to tow a certain trailer or boat, you need to look at the towing capacity of the car.

This is the total amount of weight that your vehicle will be able to tow without causing damage to your vehicle. 

Towing something behind your car adds weight and length, which makes it more difficult to drive on the road. But, the major issue with towing is that you can’t just tow whatever you want with any vehicle. 

Cars are made with a capacity that should not be exceeded, and if it is, there could be damage to the brakes and your tires can suffer too. You don’t want to damage your vehicle in any way so it is best to stay within that towing capacity. 

Toyota Camry Towing Capacity

The towing capacity of a Toyota Camry has a maximum of 1,000 pounds.

This includes the weight of the item that you want to tow, and the hitch and equipment used to attach it to your car. 

This means that you can have a 1000 pounds of weight in total, but if your hitch weighs 100 pounds, then the towed item cannot exceed 900 pounds. 

Keeping this weight restriction in mind, you will only be able to tow a very small boat or jet ski in order to stay under this limit. Knowing that the average jet ski weighs approximately 850 pounds, so you’re going to be cutting things close!

You need to take this into consideration when buying your boat, or deciding which vehicle to use to tow it. Again, you don’t want to damage your vehicle, and towing too much weight by not accounting for the attached equipment could put you over the capacity. 

You also want to make sure that the load you are towing is balanced before it is attached and towed. Having an unbalanced load can cause problems for your vehicle because the weight is not distributed properly. 

An unbalanced load can make driving a lot tougher because the uneven weight will cause your car to move or pull more and can mess up your suspension. It could also cause an issue with your chassis frame, wheel bearings, axle housings, and tires. 

You don’t want to take that risk, especially with a car that will likely be used for many years to come, and cause damage that will cost money and time to repair. So, stay within the 1,000-pound limit to ensure the safety of your vehicle and yourself.

What Do You Need To Tow A Boat 

Whether the decision was out of preference or necessity, once you know that you will be towing your boat with your Toyota Camry, you need to get the proper equipment to be able to do so. 

When towing a boat or item behind your car, you will need to use a hitch. For this scenario, you will need to use a class 2 or higher for towing anything near the maximum capacity. 

If you don’t have a hitch like this already, you will need to purchase one before you begin the hitching process to attach your boat to your Camry. These can be found at a number of automotive retailers and online stores. 

You will also need to make sure that the ball size of the hitch is the right one for the boat trailer you will be towing. If you don’t know the size of the ball needed, you can look at the owner’s manual of the boat which will tell you what size is needed. 

If you have a hitch and want to test it to ensure that the ball size is right for your boat, you can check by lowering the tongue jack over the ball and locking the tongue in place. If the size is correct, then the tongue will lock on and stay in place. 

If it doesn’t fit, then the tongue will slip off of the ball. In this case, you will need to find a new hitch with a larger size ball on it. 

You will also need to get a lock that you can use to secure it so that it can not be detached without your permission. You will also need a connector kit that allows you to use the boat’s lights as you drive. 

This will allow drivers around you to see what you are doing on the road by connecting your car’s signals with the boat’s. 

How To Attach the Boat 

When you are ready to attach the hitch to your vehicle and the boat to the hitch, you will begin by attaching the hitch to the back of your Camry. The hitch should lift and be lowered over the ball so that the tongue can be locked over it tightly. 

After you have your boat trailer attached to your car, you will need to secure the hitch in place with a lock. Keep the key in a place that you can easily find it so you won’t forget where it is. 

Next, you will take the chains and attach each one to the hook on the side of the hitch or car frame. You want the chains to have some slack in them, but they should not be so loose that they touch the road. 

This is especially important because the metal chains dragging on the ground and getting caught on something. Double-check your chains before you head out!

Then, once you have your chains hooked on, you will connect your trailer lights. This will involve you using your wire connector kit. 

You will connect your Camry’s tail lights to the hitch by this connector kit and enable your boat lights to work as your tail lights while you are towing. Depending on the kit that you have, you might have a slightly different set up each time. 

So, follow the directions laid out in the instructions that come with the kit that you purchase to ensure that you are installing and connecting the lights properly. 

Driving Your Camry While Towing 

Towing a boat behind your Camry will feel very different from normal driving conditions, you will want to remember that you have more weight and length than before. Extra weight can be hard on your brakes, so make sure that you are not riding them. 

Brake gently and begin stopping farther back than usual to give yourself enough time for a complete stop.

Not only is this for avoiding getting ticketed, but it also safer to drive at a slower pace because you need more time to slow down, speed up, and more space to change lanes and make a turn. It can also put more pressure on the hitch when you drive above that limit. 

You also want to get used to the weight and length that you will be driving with before you go on your trip. Take the time to see how it feels when you drive while towing and practice driving with the boat attached to get used to the feeling of it as your turn, park and change lanes.

This might not come naturally to some drivers, and the more practice that you get, the more confident and safer you will be on the road.

Also, if you need help, ask for it. Parking can be one of the most difficult things to accomplish while towing a boat, so have someone hop out of the Camry and help guide you into a space if you don’t feel confident enough to handle it on your own. 

Final Words 

A Toyota Camry can do a lot for you, and if you were unsure that your car could handle towing your boat, you now know that it could be able to do the job.

As long as you ensure that the total weight being towed is under 1,000 pounds with the weight of the hitch included, then you could be ready to take your Camry to the lake on your next trip. 

With a 1,000-pound towing capacity and the power to tow you what you need for your next vacation trip, you can have your boat and Toyota Camry with you. 

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Zach Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! Having owned a wide variety of vehicles in my life, I was astounded at how hard it can be to find answers to common automotive questions. Rather than sit idly, I decided to create this website to help others!