How to Tow a Car Behind an RV: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Tow a Car Behind an RV A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Tow a Car Behind an RV A Step-by-Step Guide

Are you planning a road trip with your RV and wondering how to tow a car behind it? Towing a car behind an RV can be a convenient and efficient way to explore different destinations without having to pack up and unpack every time you stop. In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of towing a car behind an RV, ensuring a safe and hassle-free journey.

First and foremost, it’s essential to choose the right equipment for towing. You will need a reliable tow bar or a tow dolly that can securely attach your car to the RV. A tow bar is a popular choice as it allows for all four wheels of the car to be on the ground, providing better control and stability. On the other hand, a tow dolly lifts the front wheels of the car off the ground, which can be a suitable option for vehicles with front-wheel drive.

Before you start towing, make sure to check the manufacturer’s guidelines for your RV and car. These guidelines will provide specific instructions and weight limits for safe towing. It’s crucial to ensure that your RV is capable of towing the weight of your car and that your car is suitable for towing. Additionally, you should also check your state’s laws and regulations regarding towing a car behind an RV.

Once you have the right equipment and have familiarized yourself with the guidelines, it’s time to begin the towing process. Start by attaching the tow bar or tow dolly to your RV and securely fastening it. Make sure all connections are tight and double-check for any signs of wear or damage. Next, carefully position your car in front of the RV, aligning it with the tow bar or dolly. Use the necessary straps or chains to secure the car to the towing equipment, ensuring a tight and stable connection.

Choosing the Right Equipment:

Choosing the Right Equipment:

When it comes to towing a car behind an RV, it is crucial to choose the right equipment. The first step is to determine the type of tow that you will be using. There are two main options: flat towing and dolly towing. Flat towing involves attaching the car directly to the RV using a tow bar, while dolly towing requires placing the front wheels of the car on a tow dolly.

Once you have decided on the type of tow, you will need to find the appropriate equipment. For flat towing, you will need a tow bar that is compatible with both your RV and car. It is important to ensure that the tow bar has the appropriate weight capacity to safely tow your car. Additionally, you will need to purchase base plates for your car, which will be installed on the frame and provide attachment points for the tow bar.

If you choose to dolly tow, you will need to find a tow dolly that is suitable for your car. The tow dolly should have adjustable ramps and straps to secure the car’s front wheels. It is important to choose a dolly that can support the weight of your car and has a braking system to ensure safe towing.

In addition to the tow bar or tow dolly, you will also need safety cables or chains to connect the RV and car, as well as trailer lights and a wiring harness to ensure that the car’s lights are visible to other drivers. It is essential to properly connect and secure all equipment to ensure safe and reliable towing.

Before purchasing any equipment, it is recommended to consult the owner’s manual of both your RV and car to ensure compatibility and to determine any specific requirements or recommendations for towing.

Determine Your Towing Capacity

Before you tow a car behind your RV, it’s crucial to determine your RV’s towing capacity. This capacity is a measure of how much weight your RV is capable of safely towing. If you exceed your RV’s towing capacity, it can put unnecessary strain on your RV’s engine, suspension, and braking system, leading to potential damage or safety hazards.

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To determine your RV’s towing capacity, you can consult your RV owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer. The towing capacity will be listed in pounds or kilograms, and it’s important to know this number before attempting to tow a car.

Once you know your RV’s towing capacity, you need to consider the weight of the car you want to tow. The weight of the car includes not only the curb weight, but also any cargo or passengers inside it. You can usually find the weight information in the car’s owner’s manual or by researching the make and model online.

It’s essential to compare the weight of the car you want to tow with your RV’s towing capacity. Make sure the car’s weight does not exceed the towing capacity of your RV. Additionally, consider any other factors that may affect towing, such as the terrain, weather conditions, and additional equipment you may be carrying in your RV.

By determining your RV’s towing capacity and comparing it to the weight of the car you want to tow, you can ensure a safe and successful towing experience. Remember, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and choose a car that is well within your RV’s towing capacity to avoid any potential issues on the road.

Select a Tow Bar

When it comes to towing a car behind your RV, selecting the right tow bar is crucial. A tow bar is the device that connects your car to the RV, allowing it to be towed safely and securely. There are several factors to consider when choosing a tow bar.

Type: There are two main types of tow bars: a rigid tow bar and a collapsible tow bar. A rigid tow bar is a solid and fixed device that provides a strong connection between the car and the RV. It is typically more expensive but offers better stability and control. On the other hand, a collapsible tow bar is a more flexible option that can be folded up and stored when not in use. It is generally more affordable and easier to install.

Weight capacity: Each tow bar has a specific weight capacity, which indicates the maximum weight it can safely tow. It’s important to choose a tow bar that can handle the weight of your car. Check the owner’s manual or consult with the manufacturer to determine the appropriate weight capacity for your vehicle.

Compatibility: Not all tow bars are compatible with every car and RV. Make sure to check the compatibility of the tow bar with your specific make and model of car as well as your RV. Additionally, consider any special features or requirements of your car or RV, such as the presence of a front grille guard or a specialized hitch receiver.

Installation: Consider the ease of installation when selecting a tow bar. Some tow bars require professional installation, while others can be easily installed by the RV owner. Look for a tow bar that comes with clear instructions and all the necessary hardware for installation.

In conclusion, selecting the right tow bar is an important step in towing a car behind your RV. Consider the type, weight capacity, compatibility, and ease of installation when making your decision. By choosing a suitable tow bar, you can ensure a safe and hassle-free towing experience.

Install Base Plates on Your Vehicle

Install Base Plates on Your Vehicle

If you’re wondering how to tow a car behind an RV, one of the first steps is to install base plates on your vehicle. Base plates are the connection points that attach your car to the RV, allowing it to be towed safely.

Before you begin, make sure you have the necessary tools and materials. You’ll likely need a wrench, socket set, and possibly a drill. The base plates themselves will need to be purchased specific to your vehicle make and model, so be sure to do your research and find the right ones.

Start by locating the appropriate attachment points on your car’s frame. These are typically found near the front bumper or under the vehicle. Once you’ve located them, remove any trim or panels that may be covering them.

Next, you’ll need to attach the base plates to your vehicle. This will involve bolting them onto the frame using the provided hardware. Make sure to tighten the bolts securely to ensure a safe and secure connection.

After the base plates are securely attached, you’ll need to install the tow bar onto the base plates. The tow bar is what connects your car to the RV, allowing it to be towed. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to properly attach the tow bar.

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Finally, double-check all your connections to ensure they are secure. Make sure the base plates are tightly attached to your vehicle’s frame, and that the tow bar is properly connected to the base plates. This will help ensure a safe and successful towing experience.

Once you have successfully installed the base plates on your vehicle, you will be one step closer to being able to tow your car behind your RV. Remember to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and consult with a professional if you have any doubts or concerns.

Preparing Your Car for Towing:

Before you begin towing your car behind an RV, it is important to properly prepare your vehicle. Here are the steps on how to do it:

  1. Check your car’s manual: Start by reading the owner’s manual of your car to determine if it can be towed and what the manufacturer recommends for towing behind an RV.
  2. Install a towing system: If your car is compatible with being towed, you will need to install a towing system. This will include a base plate, tow bar, safety cables, and wiring for lights.
  3. Disconnect the battery: To prevent the battery from draining while being towed, it is important to disconnect the negative cable. This will also help prevent any electrical issues during the towing process.
  4. Secure loose items: Before towing, remove any loose items from your car’s interior. This will prevent damage to both your car and the items themselves while on the road.
  5. Check tire pressure: Ensure that your car’s tires are properly inflated before towing. This will help maintain stability and prevent any unnecessary wear or damage.
  6. Secure the steering wheel: Use a steering wheel lock or a bungee cord to keep the steering wheel in place. This will help prevent the wheels from turning while being towed.
  7. Check the brakes and lights: Test the brakes and lights of your car to ensure they are in working order. This is important for both safety and legal purposes.
  8. Inspect the towing equipment: Before hitting the road, thoroughly inspect the towing equipment to make sure everything is securely attached and functioning properly.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your car is properly prepared for towing behind your RV. This will help make the towing process smoother and safer for everyone involved.

Disconnect the Battery

Disconnect the Battery

One of the important steps when towing a car behind an RV is to disconnect the car’s battery. This is necessary to avoid draining the car’s battery while it’s being towed.

To disconnect the battery, start by locating the car’s battery. It is usually located under the hood, but the exact location may vary depending on the car model. Once you have located the battery, use a wrench to loosen and remove the negative (-) terminal cable. Make sure to securely wrap the disconnected cable with electrical tape to prevent any accidental contact.

By disconnecting the car’s battery, you prevent the car’s electrical system from drawing power and potentially draining the battery. This is especially important for long-distance towing, as the car will not be running and generating power to recharge the battery.

It is also a good idea to disconnect the battery to avoid any potential electrical issues that may occur during towing. Some cars have complex electrical systems that can be affected by the towing process. By disconnecting the battery, you minimize the risk of any electrical problems.

Remember to reattach the battery cable and tighten it securely once you have finished towing the car. This will ensure that the car’s electrical system is restored and ready to be used when needed.

Ensure Proper Tire Inflation

Proper tire inflation is crucial when it comes to towing a car behind an RV. Before embarking on your trip, it is important to check and adjust the tire pressure of both the car being towed and the RV itself. Insufficient tire pressure can result in reduced stability and handling, while overinflated tires may lead to a rougher ride and increased risk of a blowout.

To ensure proper tire inflation, use a reliable tire pressure gauge to measure the pressure in each tire. Refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for the recommended tire pressure for both the car and the RV. It is also important to consider the weight distribution of the car and RV when determining the appropriate tire pressure.

Regularly inspect the tires for any signs of wear or damage, such as bulges, cracks, or uneven tread wear. If any issues are found, it is recommended to replace the tires before towing. Additionally, make sure to properly secure the lug nuts to prevent them from loosening during the towing process.

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When towing a car behind an RV, it is important to drive at a safe speed and avoid sudden maneuvers that can put excessive strain on the tires. Regularly monitoring the tire pressure and inspecting the tires throughout the trip will help ensure a smooth and safe towing experience.

Secure Loose Items Inside the Vehicle

When preparing to tow a car behind an RV, it is important to make sure that all loose items inside the vehicle are properly secured. This will help prevent any damage or accidents during the towing process.

To secure loose items inside the car, start by removing any valuables or fragile items and storing them in a safe place. This includes items such as electronics, glassware, and other breakable objects. It is recommended to pack these items separately to ensure their safety.

Once the valuables are removed, secure the remaining items in the car by using bungee cords, straps, or nets. These can be attached to the car’s interior hooks or handles, keeping the items in place and preventing them from shifting during the towing process.

It is also important to consider the weight distribution inside the car. Make sure to evenly distribute the weight of the items to avoid putting excessive strain on the towing vehicle. This can be done by placing heavier items closer to the center of the car and spreading lighter items throughout the remaining space.

In addition, it is advisable to double-check the doors, windows, and sunroof to ensure they are properly closed and locked. This will prevent any items from falling out or getting damaged while on the road. Taking these precautions will help ensure a safe and smooth towing experience for both the RV and the car being towed.

FAQ about topic How to Tow a Car Behind an RV: A Step-by-Step Guide

Why would I want to tow a car behind my RV?

Towing a car behind your RV allows you to have a secondary mode of transportation once you arrive at your destination. It gives you the flexibility to explore the surrounding areas without having to drive your RV everywhere.

What are the different methods of towing a car behind an RV?

There are several methods of towing a car behind an RV, including flat towing, tow dolly towing, and trailer towing. Each method has its own advantages and considerations, so it’s important to choose the one that best suits your needs.

What is flat towing?

Flat towing, also known as dinghy towing, is when you tow a car with all four wheels on the ground. This method requires a tow bar and base plate to securely connect the car to the RV. It’s a popular choice for RV owners because it allows for easy setup and doesn’t require an additional trailer or dolly.

What is tow dolly towing?

Tow dolly towing is when you tow a car by lifting the front wheels off the ground and securing them onto a tow dolly. The back wheels of the car remain on the road while being towed. This method requires a tow dolly and straps or chains to secure the car. It’s a suitable option for those who don’t want to modify their car with a base plate for flat towing.

Can any car be towed behind an RV?

Not all cars can be towed behind an RV. Some cars have restrictions due to their transmission type or drivetrain configuration. It’s important to consult the car’s owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer to determine if the car is towable and what method is recommended.

What safety precautions should I take when towing a car behind my RV?

When towing a car behind your RV, it’s important to follow certain safety precautions. These include ensuring the car is properly secured, checking the tow bar or dolly for any damage or wear, obeying speed limits, using turn signals and brake lights on the towed vehicle, and regularly inspecting the towing setup during stops.

Do I need any special equipment to tow a car behind my RV?

Yes, you will need some special equipment to tow a car behind your RV. The specific equipment will depend on the towing method you choose. For flat towing, you will need a tow bar and base plate. For tow dolly towing, you will need a tow dolly and straps or chains. And for trailer towing, you will need a trailer hitch and trailer.

About the author


I am Walter Nelson.

i am a travel enthusiast who shares his experiences and insights through his website,

On the website, I provide a variety of content related to travel, including hotel reviews, travel tips, and other useful information for travelers.

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