When you’re traveling with a motorhome, you aren’t required to tow anything, which is nice if you don’t feel the need to. However, some campers will want to tow their passenger vehicles behind them to use during their trips.
There are many reasons for this, from wanting easy transportation to use for running errands or visiting places in the city, to needing a smaller form of transport to get up steep mountain roads for some exploration. If you choose to bring your car with you on your trip, your options open up significantly since it can go places where your motorcoach may not fit!
You’ll need to follow some basic towing safety practices in order to do this without risk, and this guide by Ryan’s RV Town of Everett, WA, should help you out. Come talk to us with any questions you might have when you’re done reading!
As noted above, there are a number of reasons why you may wish to tow your car behind your motorhome when traveling. For one thing, it can just be more convenient for day-to-day usage. If you have a car with you, you can easily leave your motorhome behind at the campsite and head into town to run errands, check out a local museum or visit the park without having to worry about parking a big motorhome on narrow roads or in small parking lots.
Sometimes you want to go places on your trip that your motorhome simply cannot go, so it becomes a matter of necessity. Mountainous twisty roads that curve through the forest are extremely difficult to handle in a motorhome, but easy to traverse with your car. You’re also just more accustomed to driving your car, so you will feel more peace of mind when driving in difficult areas if you don’t have to drive your motorhome.
Before You Go
Remember, not every single motorhome can tow every single type of passenger vehicle. You don’t want to hitch up your car to your motorcoach only to find the hitch buckling or your engine straining to pull it along. You’ll need to know several weights before you can tow your car. These include:
- Curb Weight: the full weight of your car, generally listed in the driver’s side door jamb
- Maximum Gross Trailer Weight: the maximum weight your hitch can handle, usually on a sticker on the hitch itself
- Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: the weight that your motorcoach can handle before you load it up with passengers and supplies and towed vehicles
- Gross Combined Weight Rating: the maximum weight that your loaded motorhome and vehicle can be
It is illegal to be over the GCWR and if you’re caught trying to tow an overloaded motorhome and vehicle, you’ll have to pay a steep fine. But besides that, it’s also deeply unsafe and puts you, your passengers and others on the road in danger. Make sure that everything is well under weight and check your weight at a weigh station if you aren’t sure.
How To Tow Your Car
You’ve got several choices available to you when looking for the ideal means to tow your car. They’ll vary in complexity and expense, and they’re all generally good, so your decision will depend on your personal preference and your budget.
Tow dollies are small, two-wheeled trailers that lift two of your car’s wheels off the ground. Turning and braking may be more difficult, but your load will be more stable. Some states may require you to have a special license for this method, but it does work with all vehicles.
Tow bars require you to modify your car with a towing plate, which you’ll likely need a professional’s help with installing. Cars with manual transmissions and four-wheel drive are the only ones that will work with this option.
Enclosed or flatbed trailers are the most versatile choice, but also the most expensive choice and the heaviest choice, so if you’re on a budget or worried about weight, they’re not the way to go. You won’t need to alter your vehicle in any way to use them and they keep all four wheels off the ground. They’re also useful for other cargo if you don’t tow your vehicle with them!
We hope this guide has provided you with the information you need to safely tow your car. Still need the perfect motorhome? Visit our dealership in Everett to check out our selection of new and used motorcoaches by top brands. Ryan’s RV Town proudly serves the greater Seattle metropolitan region, including the cities of Tacoma and Bellingham, WA.