Your camper is packed and ready to take you on your next adventure. Thanks to your RV, you’re not restricted to hotels and Airbnbs but are free lakesides, forests, deserts, beaches, and more. The only downside to a large motorhome is that it’s inconvenient for visiting local attractions or running errands. That’s why many RVers flat-tow a car behind their camper.
So, are you thinking of taking your car on your next adventure? Know that you can’t flat-tow every vehicle.
What is flat-towing?
Flat-towing is the practice of hooking a car behind an RV in a way that keeps the cars’ four wheels on the road. Other words to describe this type of towing include dinghy towing, four-wheel towing, and neutral towing.
Many RVers favor flat-towing because they don’t need as much equipment as they would when using a dolly to lift the front tires off the road. The lack of equipment keeps the overall cost of RVing lower. Flat-towing is also faster and easier to connect to the tow vehicle. And it requires less storage space once you reach the campsite.
Which car models can you flat-tow behind an RV?
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The days when you could flat-tow nearly any vehicle are gone, Edmunds reports. These days, only a limited number of cars can be safely flat-towed. The reason is simple: Many newer cars have automatic or continuously variable transmissions.
Still dead set on flat-towing a car behind your camper? Stick with models with a manual transmission, rear-wheel drive, or a manual transfer case that allows you to place the vehicle in neutral. Edmunds recommends Jeep and Ram models for flat-towing.
In some situations, you can install aftermarket equipment on your car that will enable safe flat-towing. Modification equipment includes:
- A drive-shaft disconnect device for rear-wheel drive vehicles
- Free-wheeling hubs that attach to front-wheel drive vehicles
RVshare points out that flat-towing modification equipment can be expensive and require a great deal of maintenance once installed. It could also void a manufacturer’s or dealer’s warranty.
Advantages of flat-towing a car
The main advantage to flat-towing a car behind your camper is that it barely affects your RV’s gas mileage. Flat-towing is also one of the best ways to tote a vehicle without having to worry about it placing a great deal of wear-and-tear on your RV.
Tips for safely towing your car behind your motorhome
Whether you’re flat-towing your car or using a dolly to keep the front tires off the road, you need to do a few things to ensure the process goes safely.
Before you leave home or your campsite, check every piece of equipment to ensure it’s in good repair and properly attached. If there’s any question about a piece of towing equipment not working properly, delay your departure plans until you’ve repaired or replaced it, CarTowDolly explains.
Even though the car looks small compared to your RV, it will still affect how your camper handles, especially if you have to stop quickly. To compensate for the increased braking distance, make sure you put additional space between yourself and other vehicles.
Driving a little slower than you’d normally go is the best way to ensure the car you’re towing remains in line with the rear of your RV and isn’t swaying. If you’re driving in windy conditions, you might have to drive even slower.