There isn’t a better feeling of freedom than taking a getaway with an RV.
You pack your stuff, get behind the wheel, and your home is anywhere you park your RV.
Your RV is both your home and your ride. But what happens when you set up the RV and want to explore the area?
The motorhome is locked, and there’s only so much you can do on foot or with a bike.
Let’s not forget having to tow bags full of groceries on a hot summer day.
Many campers love to tow a car behind the RV since it gives an extra layer of freedom.
How to Tow a Car Behind Your RV – 3 Options
If you already own an RV and you’re not planning to invest in a car hauling RV, you have three options:
- a tow bar
- RV car tow dolly, and
- a flatbed trailer.
Each comes with pros and cons, so it’s essential to learn about each one before you buy.
RV Car Tow Bar
Most people use a tow bar for towing vehicles with an RV since it’s the most affordable.
Besides a tow bar costing far less than a tow dolly or a flatbed, you also need to consider your RV’s motor power.
With an RV car tow bar, you don’t add additional weight that your RV needs to pull besides your car.
Meaning, you’re ensuring the RV can handle it, and you spend much less gas.
However, before you decide to tow your car four wheels down (also known as dinghy towing and toading), you need to ensure that you can pull your car in the first place.
Two vehicle aspects determine if you can tow a car behind an RV:
- The vehicle’s manufacturer’s policy
- Mechanical capabilities
If the car manufacturer doesn’t recommend towing your vehicle four wheels down, there’s extra equipment you can buy, such as driveshaft-disconnect devices.
But that means an extra investment on the top of the tow bar.
On the flip side, if you decide to go against the recommendations, you might cause damage to your car.
Fixing the damage can cost you more than the pricier tow car alternatives.
Although the RV car tow bar is the cheapest option on the paper, always make sure you can use one.
You don’t want to spend most of your getaway looking for a mechanic.
RV Car Tow Dolly
Using a tow dolly for towing a car behind a motorhome is a great way to bypass the limitations of a tow bar.
You can tow pretty much any car with a tow dolly, and you don’t have to worry about the mechanical capabilities or the manufacturer’s policy.
Nevertheless, there are things you need to know.
First is if your RV has the horsepower to tow a car on top of a tow dolly.
If you own a newer RV, you’re pretty much sure that the motorhome can handle the extra weight.
Nevertheless, it’s always a good idea to check first.
Next, bear in mind that a tow dolly takes more space than a tow bar.
Meaning, you’ll need to do a bit of extra planning when you reach your location.
Although it shouldn’t take you more than fifteen minutes to store a tow dolly in a safe place, it is something to consider.
Newer tow dollies are simple to assemble and disassemble, especially if you have a friend or a family member helping you out.
The basic equipment you’ll need to install a tow dolly is:
- A couple of screwdrivers
- A mallet
Many new RVers usually go for tie-down straps to attach the car to the dolly.
This isn’t a good idea since many straps aren’t strong enough.
It’s always a better idea to get safety cables instead.
Finally, if it’s your first time owning an RV car tow dolly, have a friend spotting for you when loading your vehicle on a tow dolly—ensuring that the wheels land correctly is 101 of any proper tow dolly usage.
A flatbed trailer is the most significant investment out of the three options.
With an average size of 48 feet, you can easily take more than a car with you.
The obvious downside is the weight your RV needs to handle and the gas fees that come with towing the load.
The other one is that a flatbed trailer requires far more space than a tow bar or a tow dolly.
Also, don’t forget that some states require a separate license plate for a flatbed trailer.
You can check by visiting the DMV website for your state.
Picking the Best Way to Tow a Car Behind an RV
These are the three options for how to tow a car behind your RV.
When deciding on the best option, consider the following points.
- Your towing load – You don’t need a flatbed trailer if you’re only taking a small car with you.
- RV’s towing capacity – Find out what’s your RV’s towing capacity, so you don’t overload your motorhome.
- Check the car’s owner’s manual – If you buy a tow bar, check if your vehicle is eligible for four wheels down.
- Calculate the costs – Extra costs don’t end with buying a towing option. Take into account the extra gas fees and maintenance fees.
- Traveling locations – If traveling to secluded areas, a tow bar or a tow dolly is probably the better option.
A tow bar might be cheaper, while a tow dolly might look cooler.
But you’re buying a towing option that will make the trip better.
Keeping a cool head is crucial when considering the aspects.
The Bottom Line
It all comes down to what you need.
Either way, bringing the extra four wheels on your trip is a great way to explore without uninstalling the entire RV.
Additionally, the necessary errands such as grocery shopping are super easy to do.
While taking an additional vehicle will make the trip better (and probably even cheaper), you need to do it the right way.
Otherwise, you might end up losing your nerves, and that’s the exact opposite of what a great trip is all about.
Fortunately, figuring out the best option for you is easy.
Once you do that, you’ll be ready to go wherever you want and have the time of your life.