The Chevy Equinox is an incredibly popular crossover SUV that is used by millions as a family vehicle and commuter car.
For RV travelers the powerful engine and optional towing package also make it an attractive vehicle for pulling trailers, campers, and other camping equipment.
If you own or are thinking about buying a Chevy Equinox you might be wondering does it have enough towing capabilities to handle the job of towing an RV trailer?
The 2021 Chevy Equinox L and LS with a 1.5-liter engine is capable of towing up to 1,500-pounds. If you want to step up to the LT or the Premier with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine you get a maximum towing ability of up to 3,500-pounds.
Though it’s important to keep in mind that towing was not Chevrolet’s top priority when they engineered the Equinox.
To make sure that you are safely getting the most out of your Chevy Equinox’s towing capabilities we are going to have to take a closer look at this popular crossover SUV’s strengths and weaknesses as well as some important safe towing practices.
The Chevy Equinox Engine
There are a few different aspects of the Chevy Equinox that can play in its favor as a family commuter vehicle that can tow a camper or trailer. There are also a few things that play against it when it comes time to connect tongue to hitch.
It’s important to note that the Chevy Equinox is available with two different engines.
The LT and the Premier trim levels of the Chevy Equinox engine havea 2.0-liter gasoline engine that produces 252-horsepower production and 260 lb.-ft. of torque.
Though the L and LS trim level only offer a 1.5-liter engine, which reduces the maximum towing capacity to 1,500-pounds instead of 3,500-pounds.
Does The Chevy Equinox Come With A Towing Package?
With the 2021 Chevy Equinox, the towing package does not come as “Standard” though it is an option that can be selected from the manufacturer or the dealership.
This is more common with the LT and Premier trim levels, where you might be able to negotiate adding the tow package when purchasing directly from an affiliated dealership.
The Chevy Towing Capacity
In simple terms, the 2021 Chevy Equinox tow capacity comes with two different engine options. Standard EcoTec 1.5L turbocharged engine can handle up to 1,500 pounds, and 2.0L turbocharged engine can pull up to 3,500 pounds.
In the standard L and LS trim levels you get a 1.5-Liter engine. Though in the LT and the Premier you get a 2.0-Liter turbocharged engine that can tow up to 3,500 pounds.
The Standard EcoTec 1.5 engine with a GCWR rating of 5,247 in thefront wheel drivetrain of the L or the all-wheel drive train of the LS has a 5,467-pound rating that translates into a maximum towing capacity of up to 1,500-pounds.
The 2.0-Liter Turbocharged Engine in the 2021 Chevy Equinox LT and Premier offers a GCWR rating of 7,694-pounds and an impressive maximum towing capacity of up to 3,500 pounds.
The 2022 Chevy Equinox Transmission
Every trim level of the Chevy Equinox comes with a smooth9-speed transmission that helps efficiently put down the power produced by the engine.
The gear changes are generally smooth. Though some people who tow with the Chevy Equinox do complain that it doesn’t transfer a lot of low-end torque, which can be an issue if you are trying to pull a camper or trailer up a steep incline or out of a muddy campsite.
Other Towing Features Of The 2022 Chevy Equinox
Beyond the engine and the transmission, there area few other features that affect the towing capabilities of the 2021 Chevy Equinox.
The All-Wheel-Drive System
It’s worth noting that the L trim level of the 2021 Chevy Equinox is front-wheel drive.
All the other trim levels have an all-wheel drive, which can be handy if you want to pull a trailer on loose surfaces and gravel roads.
Ride Quality& Handling
The 2021 Chevy Equinox has a reputation for being smooth as it moves through all 9 gears of the automatic transmission.
It also has a soft suspension system for smooth ride quality and soundproofing to reduce ambient road noise. This can be a major benefit for towing on rough gravel roads.
Overcorrecting when backing up is a common foible of many novice trailer towers.
The responsive steering of the 2021 Chevy Equinox helps reduce this, which is handy if you need to back a camper or lightweight travel trailer into a tight campsite.
The 2021 Chevy Equinox is a little over 65-inches high. This gives you a superior rearview out the back window, which is critical for backing up.
It also makes it easy to pull forward if there are low-hanging tree branches in your campsite.
Infotainment & Connectivity
While it might not seem like a big deal on paper the 2021 Chevy Equinox comes equipped with MyLink technology that’s integrated with the onboard infotainment system.
This includes a touchscreen and user-friendly interface with voice command functionality.
It’s a great way to keep the kids entertained on long drives to and from your chosen campsite.
It also grants you hands-free access to apps like GPS and map apps if you get lost along the way.
Payload Capacity & Storage
The payload capacity of the 2021 Chevy Equinox means you can bring up to 1,119-pounds of camping gear with you on your RV adventures.
This is distributed through innovative storage solutions built into the interior compartments, which translates into 29.9 cubic feet of cargo space with all the seats in the upright position.
If you fold down the back row of seats you can get an impressive63.9 cubic feet of storage in the back.
The standard 2.0-liter engine has a reputation for not being zippy and lacking the pep to pass with confidence.
This can be an issue if you are towing a trailer behind you. Though most people who tow with a crossover SUV learn to live with life in the slow lane anyway.
Tow Package Isn’t Always Standard
Not every trim level of the Chevy Equinox comes with a towing package standard.
If you are investing in a new model, you will want to inquire about the tow package if it isn’t already installed, you will be looking at an additional cost.
Can A Chevy Equinox Tow A Camper Or Trailer?
Yes, The 2021 Chevy Equinox can definitely tow an RV trailer. However, the types of campers you’re able to tow are limited. Both the 1.5 and 2.0 engine trim levels of the Chevy Equinox will have modest towing capabilities (1,500 to 3,500) pounds with a towing package installed, so you’ll need to look at camper trailers whose dry weight is slightly less.
What Kind Of Campers Can A Chevy Equinox Tow?
The versions of the Chevy Equinox that have a 1.5-liter engine are limited to a maximum towing capacity of up to 1,500-pounds. This puts it more in the realm of popup campers and lightweight teardrop campers.
The Chevy Equinox models with a 2.0-liter gasoline engine boast a towing capacity of up to 3,500-pounds. This gives them the ability to pull larger options like lightweight fiberglass travel trailers and Airstream Caravel.
What Is The Best Chevy Equinox Model For Towing A Camper?
The LT and the Premier trim levels of the Chevy Equinox have the all-wheel-drive and the more powerful 2.0-Liter turbocharged engine which gives you a maximum towing capacity of up to 3,500-pounds.
These top two trim levels are also more likely to have a towing package installed or as an easy-to-install optional extra.
The Premier comes with more creature comforts and special features than the LT, though that doesn’t affect the towing capacity in any way.
How Much Does A Chevy Equinox Cost?
Depending on the trim level, the Chevrolet Equinox starts around $24,000. Though the higher LS and LT trim levels carry price tags over $27,500.
The Premier level Chevy Equinox with the most power and towing package will run you around $32,000 and is arguably the best for pulling a lightweight travel trailer or teardrop camper.
Does The Chevy Equinox Come With All-Wheel-Drive Standard?
The all-wheeldrive is not available in the base L trim level of the Chevy Equinox. For all-wheel-drive you will need to upgrade to the LS, LT, or Premier trim level.
The LT and Premier also come with the turbocharged 2.0-liter turbocharged engine.
How Much Can The Chevy Equinox Safely Tow?
The prevailing wisdom is to never tow more than 80% of your vehicle’s maximum towing capacity.
That way you still have power in reserve to help hold the trailer steady at highway speeds as well as the available torque to handle pulling a trailer up an incline.
This means that the LT and the Premier trim levels of the Chevy Equinox with a towing package installed and a maximum towing capacity of 3,500-pounds can safely tow a trailer with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 2,800-pounds.
The L and the LS trim levels of the Chevy Equinox with the 1.5-Liter engine, and a tow package installed have a maximum towing capacity of 1,500-pounds, which translates into a safe towing capacity of 1,200-pounds.
Towing with Chevy Equinox
The Chevy Equinox might not be the most powerful tow vehicle on the market.
Though the higher trim levels do boast a convenient blend of commuter vehicle comfort, family car functionality, and modest towing capabilities.
If you are looking for a fuel-efficient commuter vehicle that has just enough power to tow a lightweight popup camper, then the Chevy Equinox LS might be a good trim level to consider.
It has the all-wheeldrive needed to handle rough roads, as well as a modest 1,500-pound maximum towing capacity.
If you want to tow something a little larger and heavier, then you might want to turn your attention to the LT or the Premier trim levels of the Chevy Equinox.
This gives you the same all-wheel-drive capability as well as a 3,500-pound maximum towing capacity.