What Vehicles Can be Flat-Towed Behind an RV?
Trailering a vehicle behind an RV is not terribly popular due to several factors. To start, you can't exceed the RV's towing capacity, and the trailer weight must be taken into account along with the vehicle weight. Secondly, keeping a trailer means having space for it at your storage facility as well as wherever you park your RV on your travels. This is why flat-towing is a more popular option when it comes to taking a vehicle along with your RV. However, not just any vehicle can be flat-towed.
What Is Flat-Towing?
Flat-towing is pulling a vehicle behind an RV attached only to a tow bar. The vehicle is then pulled along on its own tires. It's sometimes referred to as four-down towing or dinghy towing. In the past, it wasn't difficult to find vehicles to flat-tow because of the prevalence of manual transmissions and transfer cases. In the present day, finding a vehicle to flat-tow is a bit more difficult due to all the automatic transmissions, front-wheel drives, full-time four-wheel drives and other electronically controlled elements. The main issue is with lubrication. Automatic transmissions and other parts need to stay lubricated when moving. Towing with the engine off means no lubrication of these parts, which can translate to serious damage to the transmission.
What Vehicles Are Suitable?
The keys to which vehicles are suitable for flat-towing lies in the transmission and drive style. Vehicles with manual transmissions and rear-wheel drive can typically be pulled. Vehicles with four-wheel drive and manual transfer cases can also usually be pulled. A couple of examples are Jeep Wranglers and Ram pickups. However, the best way to make absolutely sure a vehicle can be flat-towed is by checking the vehicle's user manual. Every car maker lists acceptable towing methods in the user manual. The options are flat-towing, two-down, which means the drive wheels are off the ground, or if it has to be completely off the ground on a flatbed or trailer.
Five popular vehicles that can be flat-towed include:
- Jeep Wranglers with a manual transmission and mechanical transfer case
- Jeep Grand Cherokee with Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive II
- Toyota Corollas with six-speed manual transmissions
- Fiat 500
- Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Acadia with V6 engines and manufacturer-dictated special configurations
Of these, the Fiat is the lightest and most economical while the Grand Cherokee is the heaviest at over 4,000 pounds.
Call or stop by our dealership today to find out more about vehicles that can be flat-towed behind an RV.