Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Tenting World’s Full Information to Dinghy Towing

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Dinghy towing is good for seasonal and full-time motorhome homeowners as a result of it lets you run errands and discover your vacation spot with out packing up and shifting your complete RV.

Should you really feel “caught” and unable to discover as a result of it’s a problem to pack up and transfer your RV every day, it’s best to contemplate towing a car. Right here’s all the things it’s essential learn about dinghy towing with a motorhome. 

What’s Dinghy Towing?

Also called ‘flat towing’ or ‘four-down’ towing, dinghy towing lets you pull a secondary car behind your RV with out utilizing a trailer or tow dolly. It requires an RV with ample towing capability, a suitable car, and the proper dinghy towing hitch tools. 

Not all car transmissions are suitable with flat towing, so some RVers purchase a brand new car particularly for towing behind their motorhome. Earlier than you are worried about which automobiles you’ll be able to tow behind your RV, seek the advice of your proprietor’s handbook or test together with your RV’s producer to find out how a lot weight you’ll be able to tow safely.

What Vehicles Can Be Flat Towed Behind an RV?

Suburban being towed by a Class A Motorhome
Picture by Tenting World

Your first step needs to be to test together with your car’s producer to see in case your present car will be flat towed behind an RV. 

Should you don’t at the moment have a car, a few of the hottest small automobiles for flat towing behind an RV embody the Honda Match, Chevy Malibu, Nissan Versa, and Chevy Spark. 

Standard SUVs or bigger automobiles for flat towing embody the Jeep Wrangler, Chevy Tahoe, Ford F-150, Ford Escape, and Ford Edge. 

When selecting a dinghy or toad, your principal standards will likely be car weight and drivetrain. Your RV have to be rated to tow greater than the car’s weight, and the car’s drivetrain have to be suitable with flat towing. 

Obtain Good Sam’s Dinghy Towing Information for a whole record of automobiles appropriate for dinghy towing.

What Tools Do You Want for Dinghy Towing?

Let’s cowl the essential hitch & tow tools you’ll must tow a automobile behind your RV:

Technician Tip: Do not forget that producers design these merchandise to work with others in the identical household. For instance, a Blue Ox baseplate usually received’t be suitable with Roadmaster tow bars and a Demco auxiliary braking system. Mixing and matching shouldn’t be beneficial.

Baseplates

Baseplate kit for dinghy towing
Picture by Tenting World

A baseplate is a construction that mounts to your car’s body to supply a safe location for the tow bars to attach. Baseplate choice is vehicle-specific; some require extra intensive set up procedures than others. 

Roadmaster, Blue Ox, and Demco are three of the preferred manufacturers for dinghy towing tools. Every firm has a car match record on its web site that can assist you discover a baseplate package that matches your car.

Tow Bars

Tow bars connected to vehicle for dinghy towing
Picture by Tenting World

Tow bars join your RV’s hitch receiver and your towed car. They have to be rated for the burden of your car plus any gas or cargo saved inside. Select tow bars with a weight capability to spare, as you don’t wish to max them out. 

Typically, there are two sorts: conventional tow bars and non-binding tow bars. Conventional tow bars are extra reasonably priced however much less user-friendly and will be troublesome to disconnect when you’re not parked on degree floor. 

Non-binding tow bars are designed to maneuver independently, making them simpler to attach or disconnect on uneven floor or when your towed car isn’t completely aligned together with your motorhome. 

The shank on non-binding tow bars inserts into your motorhome’s hitch receiver for simple set up. Many manufacturers design them to fold up and safe out of the way in which as soon as your car is disconnected, which means you don’t must take away and retailer them between makes use of.

Lastly, examine tow bar weights earlier than making your choice. The design, supplies, and development will dictate how a lot tow bars weigh, however you’ll wish to make sure you’re snug dealing with that a lot weight when putting in or eradicating them.

Store tow bars from Tenting World.

Auxiliary Braking Techniques

Man carrying auxiliary braking system for dinghy towing
Picture by Tenting World

A braking system for towing a dinghy is legally obligatory in most US states and Canadian provinces. They’re additionally a sensible concept to scale back the stress in your RV’s brakes when towing a secondary car. 

There are dinghy braking methods obtainable in moveable and everlasting installations. Transportable braking methods are extra widespread as a result of they can be utilized for dinghy towing a number of automobiles. In addition they permit you to change your towed car sooner or later. 

These methods are briefly positioned within the footwell in entrance of the driving force’s seat in your towed car. They’ve an arm and pedal clamp that connects to the car’s brake pedal and depresses it whenever you apply the brakes in your motorhome. 

Everlasting auxiliary braking methods are higher for individuals who plan to tow the identical car for a very long time. They provide the benefit of one-time set up, sometimes requiring a number of hours of labor. As soon as put in, the system is mainly “plug-and-play” everytime you’re able to tow. 

Everlasting designs naturally supply proportional braking as a result of they tie into your motorhome’s air or hydraulic braking system. Nonetheless, proportional braking is a crucial characteristic to search for when you select a conveyable braking system.

Proportional Braking = The auxiliary braking system mirrors the appliance of brakes in your motorhome, matching the timing and the drive of software. 

With a proportional braking system, it brakes more durable as you do, limiting the jerking and stress on the tow bars and baseplate. This creates a smoother towing expertise and reduces put on in your towed car’s brakes.

See Tenting World’s stock of auxiliary braking methods.

Wiring Kits and Security Cables

Wiring kit for dinghy towing
Picture by Tenting World

Most auxiliary braking methods have a wiring package that plugs into your car, making certain its working lights, brake lights, and switch indicators operate in unison together with your motorhome. If the system you select requires modifying your car’s electrical system, we strongly advocate contacting a Tenting World Service Middle to assist with the set up.

At their most elementary, wiring kits join a receptacle inside your towed car to a different on the rear of your motorhome. Good designs incorporate {an electrical} backflow prevention characteristic to stop harm to every car’s electrical system. 

Alternatively, some RVers set up an auxiliary mild bar on their towed car. They often set up utilizing suction cups or magnets and may prevent a while versus putting in a common wiring package. 

Your dinghy towing system must also incorporate security chains and a breakaway cable. In the event that they don’t come together with your tow bars, baseplate package, or braking system, it’s essential to acquire the suitable equipment and set up them correctly. 

Discover Tenting World’s stock of wiring kits and security cables.

Rock Guards

Rock guard on the back of a motorhome
Picture by Tenting World

Putting in a rock guard is a good concept to guard your towed car from rocks or different particles that your motorhome can kick up. There are usually two sorts: these mounted to the rear of your motorhome (i.e., mud flaps) and people mounted to the entrance of your towed car. 

A rock guard or mud flaps on the rear of your motorhome needs to be the naked minimal to guard your towed car. It’s also possible to contemplate mounting a further rock guard to the entrance of your towed car. 

Nonetheless, you’ll must seek the advice of your car’s producer to see in the event that they warn towards such an set up. Some automobiles can’t have equipment completely mounted to the grill to allow them to keep correct airflow for cooling the transmission.

Store our full assortment of rock guards.

Tow a Automobile Behind an RV

There are three principal methods to tow a automobile behind your RV: flat towing, dolly towing, and trailer towing. Let’s cowl every: 

Flat Tow a Automobile Behind an RV

Man attaching tow bars to dinghy vehicle
Picture by Tenting World

Flat towing is a good possibility with the precise car as a result of it doesn’t require a secondary piece of kit past the hitch (i.e., no dolly or automobile trailer required). Automobile compatibility is the principle difficulty with this methodology of towing, but it surely additionally places extra put on on all 4 tires than the opposite strategies.

The precise course of for hooking up and towing for flat towing will rely upon the tow bars you select. The producer is your greatest useful resource for the procedures to put in and use car towing tools safely. 

That mentioned, right here’s a generic overview of protected set up and use procedures:

  1. Equip your car with a suitable baseplate package.
  2. Safe suitable tow bars to your RV’s hitch receiver. 
  3. Line your car up behind your RV on the producer’s beneficial distance.
  4. Connect the tow bars to the baseplate in your car.
  5. Connect security chains in a crisscrossed style.
  6. Plug within the wiring connection.
  7. Join the braking system and breakaway cable.
  8. Unlock the car’s transmission.
  9. Make sure the parking brake is disengaged.
  10. Test brake lights, working lights, and switch indicators.

Relying on the mannequin, some automobiles have time limitations on how lengthy they are often flat towed. They could additionally require that you simply begin the automobile each couple hundred miles to lubricate the transmission. Seek the advice of your proprietor’s handbook or contact your car’s producer for protected flat towing procedures. 

Technician Tip: All tow bar methods are made for ahead use solely. Backing up, even one foot, can severely harm the tow bar, RV, or towed car.

Dolly Tow a Automobile Behind an RV

Dolly trailer for towing
Picture by Tenting World

Dolly towing includes putting your car’s entrance two wheels on the dolly, leaving the rear wheels on the street. It minimizes the damage in your entrance tires, however you’ll must rotate tires frequently to keep away from overuse of the tires not on the dolly. 

Dolly towing is a cheerful medium in case your car can’t be pulled with tow bars, however you don’t wish to spend money on a automobile trailer. Simply be certain that your RV can safely tow the burden of your car mixed with the burden of a suitable tow dolly.

Try Tenting World’s stock of tow dollies and equipment.

Tow a Automobile Behind an RV on a Trailer

Towing a flat or enclosed trailer is typically the one possibility if you wish to deliver a four-wheel drive car in your RV adventures. Your trailer will need to have a ramp to load and unload your car, and it’s essential to have heavy-duty ratchet straps to safe your car earlier than towing.

That is the heaviest possibility for dinghy towing, so that you’ll desire a trailer with electrical brakes, which means your RV will want a brake controller. Like all these strategies, you’ll must test your RV’s towing capability to make sure you can tow the mixed weight of your trailer, car, and hitch tools. You’ll additionally want a spot to retailer the trailer between makes use of.

Ideas for Protected Dinghy Towing

Motorhome towing dinghy over a bridge
Picture by Tenting World

Security is crucial for any kind of auto towing. Listed below are a couple of security suggestions that can assist you get to your subsequent vacation spot with ease: 

  • Double-check all the things. This contains straps, locking pins, security chains, wiring connections, braking controls, and all lights in your RV and towed car.
  • Plan in your added size. You’ll want longer to proceed by means of intersections. Test your aspect mirrors steadily to make sure you’re clearing potential obstacles when turning. 
  • Observe much less intently. You’ll want extra time time to decelerate and cease when towing. 
  • Unhook earlier than organising camp. This makes it simpler to make remaining maneuvers to place your RV the place you need it. It additionally eliminates the opportunity of hitch and car harm when you attempt to degree your RV whereas your car continues to be linked.  

FAQs About Flat Towing Behind an RV

Man guiding dinghy up to tow bars on a motorhome
Picture by Tenting World

Listed below are a couple of extra frequent questions on dinghy towing behind an RV:

Tow an AWD Automobile Behind an RV

Many all-wheel drive automobiles require a automobile trailer to be towed behind an RV to keep away from harm to the transmission. In truth, that is the one protected solution to transport an all-wheel drive car behind your RV.

Can You Tow an Electrical Automobile Behind an RV?

You can not at the moment flat tow an electrical car behind an RV as a result of they can’t be shifted into impartial. Nonetheless, they are often towed on a automobile trailer with the suitable loading ramps and ratchet straps. 

Does Towing a Automobile Behind an RV Injury It?

One of many principal risks of towing a automobile behind an RV is harm from rocks or particles kicked up by your RV tires. That’s why most motorhomes used for towing are geared up with rock guards to attenuate the prospect of that kind of harm. 

Apart from that, towing a car behind an RV isn’t inherently harmful for the car, as long as it’s accomplished accurately. Selecting the inaccurate dinghy towing methodology in your car can definitely end in severe harm. 


Towing a car behind your RV opens up a world of prospects and lets you arrange an RV base camp for prolonged stays. The one query is, the place will your subsequent RV journey take you?

Listed below are a couple of articles for journey inspiration: 

What questions do you might have about towing a automobile behind your RV? Share your feedback beneath.


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