How to Tow a Car
Purchasers of New & Used Motorhomes often require a means of transportation once they have arrived at their RV Campground. Smaller cars and SUVs are often the choice of RVers as they are lighter in weight and shorter in length, thus making them easy to tow. There a two common ways for towing a car or SUV: Using a car dolly (where the front wheels rest on a small trailer that you tow behind the motorhome - pictured below) or a Dinghy.
How to Tow with a Dinghy
Dinghy towing involves a set of "bars" which attache to the tow vehicle at the trailer hitch and to the car or SUV at the front of the frame. Here's some information I hope you find helpful.
There are several things to consider when Towing a Trailer and, to the uninitiated, the volume of information available can make the simplicity of towing seem to be a daunting task. My intent here is to reassure you that even though you may be new to trailer towing, there are resources available that will put your mind at ease & make the world of trailer towing easy to understand & enjoy.
When buying an RV here are some Common Terms You'll encounter:
#1 Towing Capacity: "How much weight can your vehicle tow?" You'll find this is THE most important thing to know BEFORE you begin looking at New or Used RVs for sale. Each model year, tow vehicle manufacturers publish the towing capacity of the cars & trucks they have for sale. Using the following links, you should be able to quickly find out what the towing capacity of your tow vehicle is.
In my years of helping folks own Boats, RV and Cargo Trailers, I have encountered many 1st time buyers who have little or no experience with trailer towing. Although it may seem kind of intimidating, towing a trailer need not be a huge pressure for newcomers. Here is some info to teach you how to tow, which hopefully helps put your mind at ease with respect to trailer towing.
#2 Tow Package: In general terms a factory or aftermarket tow package consists of a tow hitch receiver (located under the rear bumper of the vehicle), a Transmission Cooler (especially on smaller SUVs & Minivans), RV plug wiring and a brake controller.
Most RV dealers can accomodate the installation of these as an after market add-on or you can simply have your auto dealer install these for you. On a minivan or small SUV you can expect to invest between $800-$1200 equipping your vehicle.
Shop Here for Trailer Hitches, Equalizer Hitches & 5th Wheel Hitches!
Common Tow Package Components
#3 Equalizer Tow Hitch: An Equalizer or "Weight Distribution Hitch"
is used with ball hitch travel trailers and is designed to distribute or "equalize" the trailer hitch weight across your tow vehicle axels and trailer axels, thus providing you a level, more secure load (see diagram). This is a very important component to include in your trailer purchase.
Diagram: Difference between towing with & without an Equalizer Hitch
Equalizer Hitch Set Up
#4 Fifth Wheel Hitch: Towing a 5th Wheel trailer requires a tow hitch that is installed in the box of your pickup truck. Unlike a ball hitch trailer that attaches to the bumper of your vehicle, a 5th wheel trailer attaches to a hitch that is positioned over the rear axel of your truck.
Many RVers prefer the "towability" of a 5th wheel trailer, as the hitch or "pin" weight is distributed inside the truck box as opposed to at the rear of the truck, making backing up and parking a little easier of a task.
A Large part of enjoying an active outdoor lifestyle involves towing a trailer. Whether you enjoy camping, boating, fishing, camping, ATV riding, dirt bike or car racing, you will find yourself towing along a trailer of sorts. While at first towing a trailer may seem daunting, most of my clients find that with a little education, a pinch of common sense - and a lot of patience - towing a trailer is not as scary as it seems!
I have put together here some of the Basic as it pertains to towing capacities, trailer hitches, vehicle tow ratings and so forth in an effort to help you familiarize yourself with the world of towing. You'll also find some downloadable E Books that cover towing in a detailed "How To" format. Hope you find it helpful!