How to pull a car behind an RV

How to pull a car behind an RV

The ability to travel anywhere. The ability to be completely self-sufficient. The allure of boundless adventure.

These are just a few of the reasons why you might want to take your car on your next RV trip.

But how do you tow a vehicle safely and without breaking your state’s rules and laws regarding RV triple towing? Many states allow it, but only under certain conditions.

Take a closer look to learn how to properly tow a car behind an RV so you can have more freedom to explore or run errands once your RV is parked.

How to pull a car behind an RV

If you’re new to this, you should know that a vehicle towed behind a motorhome is known as a toad or dinghy (never mind that the RV community has its way of crafting new vocabulary).

Let’s get into the tips and steps for towing your Chevy HHR, Jeep Wrangler, Ford Ranger, or any other vehicle behind your 5er now that that’s out of the way.

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There are three options now, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages;

All four wheels of a trailer (or flatbed) are kept off the ground.

Two wheels are kept off the ground with a small tow dolly.

Dinghy/flat towing (the vehicle follows behind the RV on its own four wheels, which are flat on the ground)

Let’s take a closer look at each approach so you can see what we’re talking about.

Naturally, you want to select the most effective and practical method for you.

How to tow a car behind a trailered RV (trailering)

Our first option entails transporting the vehicle on a flatbed or enclosed trailer.

The biggest benefit of this method is that you can tow almost any vehicle you want; all you need is a properly sized flatbed or enclosed trailer and you’re good to go.

To put it in perspective, some vehicles cannot be towed on a tow dolly because it is designed to haul specific chassis weights.

Towing larger cars on all fours is also unrealistic due to safety concerns; stability and safe braking are just a few of the things you won’t get if you go this route.

The most concerning disadvantage of trailer towing is the additional investment required to purchase a flatbed trailer.

On the other hand, with this method, you won’t have to worry about transmission damage—just load up your truck or car and go.

If you want to tow your car with a trailer, you’ll need essentials like a set of good loading ramps and ratchet straps (to secure the car).

How to use a tow dolly to tow a car behind an RV

If you’re not comfortable with trailering, consider using a standard car tow dolly to transport your vehicle.

The two back wheels are on the road, while the front wheels are on the dolly.

Naturally, you’ll need to spend money on a suitable tow dolly (along with ratchet straps and possibly safety chains), so your budget will play a big role in your final decision.

Aside from that, there are a few other things to consider.

Most car tow dollies, for example, are designed for front-wheel drive vehicles weighing less than 5000 pounds.

Furthermore, when driving over unexpected road hazards, your dinghy vehicle can easily be damaged or scraped – on the body, bumper, and so on.

When towing a car behind it with a two-wheeled dolly, even your class A/B/C RV is vulnerable to being scratched or suffering other damage.

Another significant disadvantage, which you will also encounter with a trailer, is that getting your car on and off the ‘hauler’ takes significantly more effort.

Finally, the dolly’s backwards steering geometry is unlikely to work properly, so towing backwards is not recommended.

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The most common method of towing is flat towing

Allowing your car to roll on all fours behind your RV turns out to be the simplest solution.

The main draw for most people is that you won’t have to spend a lot of money—the only significant outlay is for a tow bar, which is a fraction of the price of a flatbed/enclosed trailer.

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Furthermore, connecting and disconnecting the toad from the RV is not difficult.

However, there are two major concerns about flat towing that I’d like to bring to your attention.

To begin with, not all cars can be towed on all fours for a long distance without the transmission system being damaged…

The damage begins on the tires and gradually progresses to the sensitive links between the wheels, eventually causing the transmission to fail.

Second, you won’t be able to tow your car this way if its weight exceeds the manufacturer’s weight limit for items you might want to tow behind it; each model has a weight limit for items you might want to tow behind it.

The actual ceiling height of your unit can be found in the owner’s manual.

Check if your vehicle is among the flat-towing models this year from this towing guide to see if this is a viable option.

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How to tow a camper behind an RV

You have reason to smile if you own a Subaru Outback and are part of the growing toad population.

In general, any of the options I listed above will allow you to tow your outback without any problems.

In a nutshell, you can load it on a flatbed trailer and drive away with it behind you, or you can tow it with the front wheels on a tow dolly to your destination.

You can also flat-tow it, but as previously stated, you must be aware of your RV’s towing capacity.

Of course, all of the previously stated benefits and drawbacks apply, and I expect you to weigh them carefully before deciding on the best course of action.

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The RV towing regulations in the state(s) you’ll be driving through, as well as the towing precautions and instructions provided by your RV’s and vehicle’s manufacturers, will ultimately determine the approach you’ll take.

Go over them first, then consider the benefits and drawbacks of each method, as well as the cost of the necessary RV car towing equipment, before deciding which is best for you.


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