All about RV towing

July 4, 2019

RV towing

A recreational vehicle (RV) offers total comfort and convenience when traveling. A dilemma of how you will move around comes once you have arrived at your destination. You will want to move around town, rush to the grocery shop or just sightseeing. Unfortunately, you can’t do all these in an RV. The solution is to tow a car since it will make things easier. Many people will tow a small car behind the RV to achieve convenience.

Awhile back we spoke with a towing service when we were traveling through San Francisco California. We were stuck due to towing our car. They walked us through some of the techniques we talk about below. The rest of our trip we were able to pull the car without anymore problems.

1500 truck towing a fifth wheel rv

Four-down method

The first and common way of RV towing is toading also called Four-down. This is towing the car behind the RV with all the 4 wheels down. The major benefit of this method is its minimal impact on mileage and gas. Additionally, it has minimal effect on the handling of the vehicle as well as wear and tear. Toading is easier with manual transmission cars. A tow bar is usually attached behind the car and then allowed to roll on its own wheels behind the RV.

Not all vehicles can be towed using the 4 wheels down method. It depends on the mechanical capabilities of the car and the manufacturer’s policy. Some vehicles may encounter transmission problems if towed using the method and thus not recommended. The solution is to use mechanical changes to enable it. This utilizes accessories that will prevent damage from occurring to the car. They include driveshaft disconnect devices and free-wheeling hubs. An important point to note is that these devices are very costly to install and maintain. It can also cause damage to the engine components when poorly installed.

Vehicles that can be towed safely using the four-down method without complications include most Jeep models as well as Dodge, Ford, Chevy, SUVs, and some Hondas. You need however to check with the specific dealers to confirm if you can tow them. It is best to tow lightweight cars behind an RV. These can be towed with all the wheels down.

What are the alternatives for RV towing?

If your car does not permit the four-down method, or you prefer towing your car with two wheels up, you can use a tow dolly or trailer instead. The accessories enable the RV to tow any vehicle type. It is important to ensure that the total weight being towed is within the recommended range. The accessories have a disadvantage and inconveniences too. They take considerably big storage at the campsite after you have arrived. It also takes extra effort to load and offload the vehicle from the conveyance. Besides, different states may have specific regulations for tow dollies. It is also going to affect your mileage and gas consumption since the dolly will add extra weight to your RV.

If you want to read about towing a kayak, here’s a great article to expand your knowledge on towing.