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Can You Tow a Car Behind an RV?

Can You Tow a Car Behind an RV?

If you’re considering purchasing a Class A or Class C motorhome, you might have wondered if you can tow a car behind it. Unlike a towed RV, like a travel trailer or fifth wheel, motorhomes can tow. They can either flat tow or use a dolly or trailer.

The most significant decision you’ll need to make is what vehicle you’ll tow and how you’ll pull it. Let’s dive in!

Can You Tow a Car Behind an RV?

Class A and Class C motorhomes have a high towing capacity. They’re fully capable of towing a standard vehicle while remaining within the Gross Combined Weight Rating limit of the RV. They also have a strong enough hitch and engine to tow another few thousand pounds.

Does Towing a Car Behind an RV Damage It? 

Neither the car nor the RV should take damage if you tow a vehicle behind a motorhome. Motorhomes have a high towing capacity and can handle the additional weight in the rear of the unit.

If you’re flat flowing, you must make sure the car’s design allows for such towing. Many vehicles require a dolly or trailer because all four wheels can’t be on the ground during transit without damaging the transmission. However, if you follow manufacturer guidelines, towing a car behind a motorhome won’t be problematic.

Pro Tip: Towing or not, things are bound to break. Here’s what an RV Mechanic says will break first in your RV.

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How Do You Tow a Car Behind an RV? 

There are three ways to tow a car behind an RV. Flat towing requires very little equipment and some modifications. This method puts all four wheels on the ground and uses a tow bar to connect the vehicle to the bumper of the motorhome. You cannot flat tow all cars.

The other two options require heavier and bulkier equipment. You can buy a tow dolly or trailer when you can’t or don’t want to flat tow. A tow dolly raises the front two wheels of the vehicle onto a dolly and leaves the two rear wheels on the ground.

A trailer raises all four wheels on a platform. Both are safe ways to tow a vehicle behind an RV.

Is It Better to Flat Tow or Use a Tow Dolly?

There is more flexibility when using a tow dolly or trailer because you can tow any vehicle this way, whereas you can only flat tow certain vehicles. You could haul a Jeep one weekend and a sedan the next without much hassle. On the other hand, flat towing uses less equipment, which is easier to disassemble and put away once at the campground.

You won’t have to find a place to store a tow dolly or trailer.

So is one way better than the other? Not really; it’s more of personal preference and your vehicle’s capability. You have no choice if you want to tow a Toyota Camry. You can’t flat tow this particular vehicle due to its design. If you have a Jeep Wrangler, you can choose which way you prefer and what suits your travel lifestyle better.

What Vehicles Can Be Flat Towed Behind an RV?

Vehicles you can flat tow have unique features from the manufacturer allowing all four wheels to move on the ground without harming the transmission. Your car needs to have a manual transfer case or transmission lubrication. Even if you can flat tow your vehicle, there may be further restrictions like a speed limit or a number of hours.

There are many makes and models that you can flat tow, but they vary by year. It’s crucial to read your owner’s manual or talk to the manufacturer if you have any questions. 

From the Chevrolet Tahoe and the Ford Focus to the Mini Cooper, there are all sizes of vehicles that you can flat tow, which is great for travelers with varying needs. For example, a family of four traveling in a Class C motorhome may need to tow an SUV, while a retired couple traveling in a Class A motorhome may want a small sedan.

According to Curt Manufacturing, a manufacturer of tow bars, the most popular flat tow vehicles include the Jeep Wrangler, the Ford F-150, the Chevrolet Equinox, and the Jeep Cherokee. Because of its small size, the Jeep Wrangler is a top choice for RVers who want to tow a vehicle behind their motorhome. The older model Honda CR-V vehicles from 2007-2014 are also trendy.

Can You Reverse When Flat Towing? 

One downside to flat towing is the inability to drive in reverse. If you have to turn around, you must disconnect your vehicle from the motorhome before you can attempt to back up. You’ll damage the tow bar and the vehicle if you don’t disconnect the car.

This is why you’ll see motorhomes pulling off into a parking lot at the entrance to a campground and disconnecting the towed vehicle.

The drivers can’t back into a campsite while the car is still attached to the motorhome. Plus, it would be challenging to disconnect after parking.

How Fast Can You Flat Tow? 

Manufacturers have different guidelines about speed when flat towing. Many experts and RVers recommend never driving over 55-60 MPH when flat towing or trailering another vehicle. There are a few reasons for this.

First, the longer and heavier the vehicle, the more challenging it is to stop. Driving slower will allow you to stop suddenly should an incident arise. Second, turning a motorhome with a vehicle in tow is tricky and requires a wide turning radius and slower speeds. Finally, the faster you drive while towing a car, the higher your chance of sway.

This is dangerous for you and other drivers.

What Equipment Is Needed to Flat Tow? 

Although you don’t need a dolly or trailer, there are some pieces of equipment you’ll need to flat tow a vehicle safely. The main three accessories are a tow bar, baseplate, and tow brake. The tow bar connects the car to the RV. Get a tow bar rated to tow more than the vehicle’s weight. The baseplate is a connection point between the tow bar and the car.

Finally, the tow brake engages the brakes on the towed vehicle even though no one is inside. People call it a trailer brake controller. You would install this in the motorhome. Some states even require a tow brake, so ensure you know the local laws as you travel across state borders.

Is Towing a Car Behind an RV Worth It?

If you want to have a vehicle to go to the grocery store, visit local parks and attractions, or venture into an urban downtown, then you either have to tow your vehicle, rent a car, or use services like Uber or Lyft. For many RVers with motorhomes, towing their vehicle is the most accessible and convenient choice. It’s safe if you use the right equipment and tow properly.

So the next time you’re looking at motorhomes, consider the towing capacity if you plan on towing your vehicle.

Many Class As will have towing capacities of up to 10,000 pounds, enough to pull almost any standard car or truck. Class Cs will have a towing capacity closer to 8,000 pounds, which is still plenty.

If you’re a motorhome owner, do you tow a personal vehicle? How have you chosen to tow it?

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