An ideal RV lifestyle involves both a motorhome and a car. The motorhome is where you live in when on the road or at a campsite. You will need the car for grocery shopping and other trips to the nearby town where an RV is unsuitable for the city traffic. When you are driving the RV, the car has to be towed behind it. But, how to pick up the best cars to tow behind RV?
Car towing behind an RV or motorhome is known as dinghy towing. There is no single best car to pull behind a motorhome as the circumstances and personal needs vary. You can take the decision by yourself by knowing some common towing methods.
- How to Choose Cars to Tow Behind RV
- Flat Towing
- The 10 Best Cars to Tow behind RV
- Towing a Car Behind RV: FAQs
How to Choose Cars to Tow Behind RV
What’s the correct way to find out the best towable car for RV? Again, it’s an individual choice based on the type of RV you have and the type of car you need. RVs also have a towing weight limitation (to be discussed later in the article) that you have to take into consideration.
Let’s have a look at various common towing methods to have a better idea.
Common Methods to Tow a Car Behind Your RV
How to tow a car behind your RV? RV towing involves three common methods: using a flatbed or enclosed trailer, a tow dolly, and a tow bar.
- Flatbed Trailer or Enclosed Trailer
One of the easiest techniques to tow behind a fifth wheel or a large motorhome. It supports different vehicle models, some of which cannot be towed with a tow dolly or tow bar. It also takes care of the car’s lights and brake system.
The biggest perk of this method is having some extra space. You can haul more than just a car. Do you like to travel with more stuff than you need? Are there some bigger items that don’t fit anywhere else? Does a friend need help with moving? No problem! The flatbed trailer has you covered.
However, this method is not suitable for people with a tight budget as a flatbed trailer is more expensive than a tow dolly or bar.
- Tow Dolly
This option offers a middle ground for those who cannot afford a flatbed trailer and don’t have a car compatible with a tow bar.
A tow dolly hauls a vehicle by placing the front wheels on the dolly and rear wheels on the road. Some models come with electric brakes and even with lights, saving your costs for an auxiliary system. The towing system is self-sufficient to let other drivers on the road know when you are turning or braking.
The towing option is cheap and ideal for smaller vehicles. However, it won’t be ideal for larger cars. Another downside is that it does not house the chassis weight of the towed vehicle.
- Tow Bar
Unlike a tow dolly, a tow bar hauls a vehicle by keeping all four wheels on the road. The method is cheaper than an enclosed trailer and safer than a tow dolly as it has safety chains and cables for more stability. You may have to spend extra money for an additional light and brake system.
A tow bar is also suitable for smaller vehicles. However, the biggest disadvantage is its inability to back up. You will need to disconnect the car from the motorhome and drive it off to the side, while the motorhome has to be steered toward the correct place after arriving at the destination.
When you are selecting cars to tow behind RV, the weight of the car and the weight capacity of the motorhome are two important things to consider. Every RV has a limit to how much weight it can haul around. Carrying more than the limit is illegal and can cause safety hazards.
Checking the owner’s manual of the motorhome is the right way to be confirmed about the weight limitation. The parameters you need to check are:
- Gross vehicle weight rating
- Maximum tow rating
- Gross combination weight rating
- Gross axle weight rating
What is flat towing?
The alternative way for cars to tow behind RV is flat towing, also known as dinghy towing or four-down towing. The process involves attaching a tow bar to the towable vehicle and it will roll on its own four tires (hence the name ‘four-down towing’). On the other hand, the name ‘dinghy towing’ comes from its resemblance to a small dinghy being tugged behind a yacht.
What are the cars that can be flat towed behind RV? It was not hard to find towable cars for RV even a few years ago. Any manual and four-wheel-drive vehicles are up for this job. But, it becomes tough these days with the rapidly growing number of electric cars with a front-wheel drive system.
List of Cars That can be Towed Flat behind Motorhome
The most suitable cars for flat towing are the ones with a manual transmission and rear-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive vehicles are fine too as long as the manual transmission they have can be shifted to the Neutral gear.
The best way to be sure is to check the owner’s manual. It is supposed to mention whether you can tow it on four wheels, rear wheels, or on a flatbed trailer.
Some of the best cars to flat tow behind RV are:
- Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
- Jeep Wrangler(JK)
- Toyota Corolla
- Chevy Colorado
- Fiat 500
- Chevrolet Spark
- Ford F-150, and more
The 10 Best Cars to Tow behind RV
In the past, most vehicles with manual transmission and four-wheel drive were suitable for dinghy towing, which is not the case these days. So, it’s a bit tough to make a list of cars that can be towed behind motorhome. Please consider the towing method you use and your personal taste when it comes to choosing the best cars to tow behind RV.
However, you can still put your faith in the following names. Here are the most popular cars to tow behind an RV or motorhome:
- Jeep Wrangler
- Chevrolet Spark
- Toyota Corolla
- FIAT 500 Abarth
- Lincoln Continental Reserve
- Jeep Grand Cherokee
- Ford Fusion Hybrid
- Chevrolet Sonic
- Buick Regal GS
- Nissan 370Z
The good news is you can also rely on these vehicles if you are looking for some of the best used cars to tow behind motorhome. The secondhand versions of these cars are equally reliable to accompany you during an RV adventure.
1. Jeep Wrangler
This Jeep has a long-established reputation of being one of the best cars to tow behind RV. Just looking at the vehicle will give you the idea about its soaring and long-lasting popularity. The off-road icon can cruise through any trail and shows equal efficiency on the city streets. Also, the vehicle has a large interior volume, adequate for accommodating a family or a group of friends.
>> Check out the best 5th wheel hitch to use for towing job <<
2. Chevrolet Spark
Chevrolet produces some of the best cars to tow behind RV. Several models have the potential to make it to this list including the 2016 Chevrolet Spark.
At less than 2,400 lbs, the Spark is one of the lightest among the flat-towable vehicles, helping with smooth cruising during long road trips. With an excellent fuel economy, the Spark is a reliable car for day tripping.
3. Toyota Corolla
The Toyota Corolla is not only one of the best cars to tow behind RV but also has enjoyed more than 50 years of popularity as a family sedan. The highly reliable and fuel-efficient car makes family hanging much more enjoyable. The great thing about the model is that not only the entry versions are towable but also the upscale, sporty Corolla S.
4. FIAT 500 Abarth
The Fiat 500 make it to the list of best car to pull behind a motorhome due to its compact silhouette and beautiful appearance. The small, lightweight car is a breeze to tow. It is fuel-efficient and the surprisingly sturdy build is great for scooting around the countryside.
The turbocharged engine will power up your ride through the trails. The Abarth does not have enough interior space to be a family car, but consider it when you are riding solo or with your partner as it is extremely fun to drive.
5. Lincoln Continental Reserve
When the last time a Lincoln Continental was flat-towable? The 2017 Lincoln Continental Reserve lands as a sweet surprise. The luxurious car allows you to roll onto the RV campsite in style and makes your sightseeing trips pretty enjoyable.
The AWD model that as a twin-turbocharged 3.0L V-6 engine with 400-hp is towable. Its deluxe features include trizone electronic climate control, 10-speaker audio system, heated leather seats, navigation with SiriusXM traffic, and more.
6. Jeep Grand Cherokee
It’s surprising to see the Grand Cherokee on the list of best RV tow vehicle because the car weighs nearly 4,000 pounds when everyone looks for a lightweight model for this purpose. Well, despite being heavy, the Grand Cherokee has an ardent fan-following because of its powerful engine, spacious interior, and plenty of luxurious features.
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7. Ford Fusion Hybrid
A family sedan sounds just right for a family vacation like a long RV trip. And, when it comes to family sedans, there is no way to ignore the Fords.
The Ford Fusion Hybrid is one of the best cars to tow behind RV. The mid-size sedan will reward you with a hybrid powertrain, fantastic fuel economy, and standard family-friendly safety features. Wanna hear something better? You can even flat-tow it behind a camper too!
8. Chevrolet Sonic
Another Chevy that can be the best towable vehicle for RV is the 2014 Chevrolet Sonic. It even has a good value as a used vehicle for towing with motorhomes.
The Sonic model with the turbocharged engine is suitable for dinghy-towing. It is not heavy (weighing only 2,700 lbs) and costs less than many other similar models. The Sonic is fun to drive and you will be happy to have such a cost-effective commuter car.
9. Buick Regal GS
The Regal GS is a handsome, sporty looking vehicle that offers comfortable driving with smooth handling. If you want to look good while exploring unknown neighborhoods and trails, the Regal GS is a good choice.
10. Nissan 370Z
Apart from the Corolla S and Buick Regal GS, the Nissan 370Z is another sports car on this list. You may want to buy it for its handsome look, upgraded braking package, less drag, and nifty 19-inch RAYS wheels. But, it takes a place in the list of best cars to tow behind RV because of the 3.7L V6 engine (generates 332 HP) and 6-speed manual transmission.
Towing a Car Behind RV: FAQs
- Does towing a car behind an RV put miles on it?
Yes, if it is a rear-wheel-drive car because the tires and axle move at the time of towing. In case of a front-wheel drive car, it will if you tow it from the rear and won’t when done it from the front. The all-wheel-drive models won’t add any mileage.
- Can you tow a car with a Class C RV?
The towing capacity of Class C motorhomes is low. You can still tow some small-sized cars.
- Can you tow a front wheel drive car behind an RV?
Yes, but you have to secure the front wheel off the ground. A tow dolly is the best option for this task.
- How to make sure a vehicle is towable?
All the cars as trucks that are rear-wheel drive and runs on a manual transmission are flat towable. The four-wheel drive with a manual transfer case is also suitable. However, the sure-fire way is to check the owner’s manual that has clear instructions about the towing. There will be direct guidelines regarding how you should tow the vehicle – on four wheels, pulling two-wheel down, or hauling on a flatbed trailer.
Last Updated on September 12, 2019
Best to check the owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer directly to determine if a car is flat towable. Do not rely on a salesperson.
A front or rear drive vehicle is only flat towable if it is designed to be. The output shaft of the transmission, transfer case, or transfer case must still be lubricated when the engine is not running in order to not wear out the output shaft bearing. This is done by splash lubrication or by a pump.
Also, for your safety, always have tow vehicle brakes installed that operate when you put on your motorhome brakes.
I’ve been looking at B&W hitch products but will take note and check the tow products mentioned here