Embarking on an RV trip combines the freedom of the open road with the comforts of home. However, the question arises: once your Class C motorhome is cozily situated in an RV park, how will you zip over to nearby attractions or run errands? The flexibility of being able to tow a car behind your RV turns tedious camp teardowns into a thing of the past. Towing is not just an afterthought but an integral part of smart RV travel planning; it’s like having a personal mechanic ensuring your getaway never loses pace.
Choosing the right towing method is similar to selecting the perfect camping spot; it requires forethought and an understanding of your RV’s capabilities. Whether it’s a quick trip to the local store or a family outing to a scenic park, having your car handy can transform your travel experience without racking up extra miles on your odometer. Before you hit the road, consider the various ways to bring your car along for the ride. Just like finding that ideal RV site requires a bit of research, so does determining your tow strategy—an investment in a smooth journey and peace of mind.
Essential Gear Needed to Tow a Car Behind Your RV
Securing Your Tow: The Hitch Setup
Ever wondered about the backbone of your towing setup? It’s your hitch system! Here’s the lowdown:
- Tow Hitch Receiver and Ball: Securing your tow starts with the right hitch. Think of it as a steadfast friend that’s always attached to your RV’s rear end. Commonly, it’ll involve a sturdy receiver and a shiny ball hitch.
- Towing Capacity: Capacity’s a big deal – literally! Ensure the hitch can handle your cargo by checking the weight limits.
- Weight Considerations:
- RV Limit: Your RV’s not a superhero – it’s got limits. Peek at the owner’s manual for its towing capacity.
- Vehicle & Equipment Weight: Don’t play guessing games with the weight of what you’re towing – know the numbers.
Wired Up: Making the Connection
Bringing your car along for the adventure safely means lighting up that connection:
- Non-Negotiables: Brake lights, turn signals, and that all-important license plate light.
- Advance with Electrics: Sometimes, your trailer’s got electric brakes, and that means additional wiring.
- Street Legals: A proper wiring kit ensures your tail follows the rules of the road – essential for safety.
- Connectors in Place: Most coaches flaunt a chic 6- or 7-pin connector, right by the hitch, waiting for action.
Remember, safe towing is happy towing! Ensure your setup is up to par to keep the good times rolling, and always double-check those connections before heading out.
Towing Options for Your Car Behind an RV
The “Four on the Floor” Method
When it comes to lugging your beloved auto behind your RV without fancy gear, “Four on the Floor” might be just what you’re looking for. You’ll see your vehicle in tow with all four wheels gallivanting on the road. Before you get hitched, double-check your car’s compliance for this method, or you might find yourself shelling out big bucks for transmission mishaps.
Take a look at these essentials for your “Four on the Floor” setup:
- Tow bar for linkage
- Base plate kit on the car
- Conductor’s kit for electrical connections
- Sturdy safety cables
- An auxiliary braking mechanism
The pinch on your purse? Roughly $1,500 to $3,000 depending on your DIY skills or preference for professional installation.
Remember, going in reverse isn’t in the books with your car hooked. It’s not a deal-breaker, as you can swiftly unhitch to backtrack.
On a Tow Dolly
Imagine a mini-stage where your car’s front act wheels perform while the back wheels follow the beat. Ideal for front-wheel drive fanatics, and if you’ve got a rear-wheel drive setup, just make sure the transmission is disengaged. Lean towards tow dollies if your RV can handle the car weight minus a full trailer setup.
Tooling up for the tow dolly dance? You’ll need:
- Ratchet straps to hold the car snug
- Safety chains for peace of mind
Most dollies come with built-in ramps for an easy load-up. Just make sure your RV is grounded and gridlocked onto the dolly. A heads up though, backing up might just tie you in knots.
Transporting via Car Hauler
Thinking of pulling a muscle car or your weather-ready all-wheel-drive? A car hauler or trailer might be your ticket. These bad boys offer a stable two-axle build, and options run the gamut from open-air rides to enclosed voyages.
Don’t forget to match trailer length to your car and double-check axle ratings – hint: 3,500 lbs should do it. Here’s a list of what you’ll require for a smooth trailer expedition:
- Ramps, unless your trailer is already ramped up
- Tie-down straps that clinch like a hawk’s grip
- A brake controller, especially if you’re about electric brakes
The controller might ding your wallet an extra $300. Trailers need tags too! And if driving in reverse gives you the heebie-jeebies, relax, it’s doable with a trailer. Just keep in mind, you might need to tuck your trailer away at campsites.
Trailer trekking spares your car from the rigors of the road, keeping it pristine while you explore.
Choosing Your Companion
Nothing quite spices up your RV lifestyle like having your trusty car in tow. Who enjoys the hassle of detaching their home-away-from-home just for a quick grocery run or a jaunt to the local sights? Towing your car along promises both pennies saved and a pinch of sanity preserved.
Ponder on the towing path that suits you to a T. Looking for some trail-blazing inspiration? Outdoorsy’s road trip ideas might just spark your wanderlust.
Frequently Asked Questions
Tow Dolly Benefits Compared to Flat Towing
Have you ever wondered why some RVers prefer a tow dolly over the simplicity of flat towing? Well, let’s take a peek at the perks:
- Wear and Tear: Using a tow dolly can reduce wear on the towed vehicle’s tires and drivetrain.
- Compatibility: Not all vehicles are built for flat towing, but nearly any car can be hauled with a dolly.
Addressing Mechanical Risks in Flat Towing
Could your vehicle endure some aches and pains from flat towing? Here’s the lowdown:
- Transmission Trouble: For vehicles not specifically designed for it, flat towing can risk transmission damage.
- Manufacturer’s Stance: Always check your car’s manual first – going against it might put you in a sticky situation.
Ideal Vehicles for Flat Towing
On the hunt for the perfect towable companion? Some vehicles are just right for the flat towing lifestyle:
- Manufacturer’s List: They often know best – check your RV or car manufacturer’s guidance for a tailored list.
- Manual Transmissions: Often a safe bet, vehicles with manual transmissions are typically flat-tow-friendly.
Must-Have Features for RV Tow Bars
When picking the perfect tow bar, keep your eyes peeled for:
- Weight Capacity: It should handle your car’s weight with ease.
- Swivel Function: This allows for smoother turns and less stress on the vehicles.
- Non-Binding Design: For hassle-free detachment, no matter the terrain.
Towing a Car Behind a Travel Trailer – Can It Be Done?
Towing double? While not as common, it’s possibly feasible with the right setup and within legal limits:
- Check Regulations: It’s a legal maze out there for double towing – navigate wisely.
- Sturdy Setup: You’ll need a robust trailer and a solid attachment point for safety’s sake.
Solutions for Cars Lacking a Tow Hook
Looking at your tow-less car and feeling stuck? Fear not:
- Tow Dolly: No hooks? No problem! A tow dolly might be your savior.
- Aftermarket Kits: These can equip your car with the necessary hardware – just ensure professional installation.
Remember, always confirm your setup complies with regulations and manufacturer guidelines. Safety first – because let’s face it, dealing with a runaway car is no one’s idea of a holiday. Keep it secure, and enjoy the adventure ahead!