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How To and How Not To Tow a Car Behind an RV

We honestly can’t imagine RVing without a tow car, it allows us to park the RV and explore with better fuel economy and much easier parking opportunities. But it can be a little overwhelming to select the perfect tow car, purchase a towing kit, and have the towing equipment installed…but that’s where we come to the rescue, sort of.

How Not to Tow a Car behind the RV

Over the years of full time travel we’ve made a ton of towing mistakes and because I’m a cheap and lazy it took me forever to repair these mistakes. The good news is I procrastinated just long enough to have a host of issues to share with you on my video which I’ve titled Learn From My Mistakes: Tow Cars.


No matter how seasoned of  RVers we’ve become there’s always an opportunity for mistakes. The best piece of advice I can offer in regards to towing a car: Make sure you install the correct parts, the correct way, the first time around and most importantly take your time when connecting the tow car.  Rushing leads to mistakes (and if someone walks up to me in the middle of connecting our car and asks questions, I kindly tell them to wait, it’s not rude I’m connecting a very expensive piece of machinery and need to focus all my energy on the task at hand).

How To Tow a Car Behind an RV

how to tow a car

After nearly 2 years of towing our Smart Car while continually damaging wires, the original sloppy install job, and a compromised BrakeAway system I finally decided to fix everything and get back to “safer” towing. Now don’t go thinkin’ we’ve been putting ourselves in danger all these years, the damage to our cables were only to the plastic covering, the BrakeAway is an extra security device (not required by law), and the “jerry rigged” install was just a pain to use but it was functional.  In this video I share some of the tricks I’ve learned over the years of how to properly connect a tow car.

Needless to say our towing system has taken a beating over the years and I’m happy we purchased the Roadmaster system. The Sterling All Terrain Tow bar is the top of the line towing system, it may cost more but what’s a couple hundred bucks when we’re talking about towing a $20,000 car? If you want to purchase our exact towbar and brake here’s the links (of course you can find all our tow car items in our awesome Travel Store too:
Roadmaster 576 All Terrain Tow Bar
Roadmaster 9160 Brakemaster Towed Car Braking System
Roadmaster 765 Automatic Battery Disconnect

Share your towbar setup and your towbar mistakes in the comments below…I know I’m not the only one that’s done some damage over the years! (If it’s really bad feel free to use a pseudonym! HAHA)

Famous for my "how-not-to" videos, and typically the man behind the camera, sometimes I’m forced to be here in the “spotlight”. When you see my face you’re probably reading something more technical than adventurous, but either way I do my best to tell it like it is and infuse my opinions into the commentary…after all this is a blog and not MSN.

Comments (130)

  • Sue Mc

    Hi All, can anyone help with this newbie questions? Towing get a Jeep Wrangler behind do our 36 foot coach – do we need to show the coach license plate on the Jeep or not? Also, is the Jeep above the weight limit for assist brakes? Are these legal requirement?

    Thanks!
    Sue

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    • Curious Minion

      Hi Sue. You should NOT put the RV license plate on the Jeep – I think that’s illegal. As for the Jeep and the assist brake, if it was installed correctly it should be adjusted so that it is braking the Jeep adequately. If you’re in doubt you should take the system to someone who installs braking assist systems and have it checked. While you’re checking on things, pull up the towing capacity for your RV, find the weight of your Wrangler, and make sure the Wrangler doesn’t exceed the towing capacity of the RV. Happy trails!

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  • Dave

    One thing I didn’t find in the instructions. When towing flat down, I have a stick shift and so of course it is in neutral. One more step when ready to pull out is to turn the auto ignition switch just enough to unlock the steering. That or wear out your tires on corners. Periodicly, stop as needed, but start the vehicle to ensure the battery keeps a charge. I’ve forgotten to do that and found I had a dead battery when I reached my destination. That really sucks… stomp foot, and cuss at myself for forgetting that step. dah!

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  • Sandy Emert

    I have been trying to find a video to should how to pull the dingy. I read everything I can but it all seems to just talk about hooking the dingy to the motorhome. Do you know of a video I can watch or do you have one?

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  • Deb Pearl

    My husband and I really love to travel in our RV but sometimes the RV is just too big to explore the places we want to. We have been wondering how to best tow a car along with us when we go on trips in the future. I think it is very important to make sure you install the correct parts as well! Installing them correctly the first time around would save a lot of trouble! Thank you so much for the video on how we can best tow our car!

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  • Great post! Have nice day ! 🙂 nbbtk

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  • Dave B.

    I am considering getting into the RV world. The unit I am looking at (gas) has a GCWR of 26000 lb and a GVWR of 22000 lb. This would lead me to believe that I am allowed only 4000 lb for a full tank of fuel, propane, water, occupants, food clothing and then a tow car. If this is correct, why do I see so many units going down the highway pulling large cars or even trucks?

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    • Geoff

      Not sure if you have received an answer but the pulling capacity of your motorhome is seperate from the GCWR/GVWR. You likely have a 5000 lb pulling capacity. It will be in your owners manual.

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  • Jason,
    Is a bungee required? We have a 2009 Smart and just got everything hooked up for towing and when we tested it today taking a turn with a bungee on the wheel seemed to keep the wheels from staying in line with us on the turn. I stopped mid turn and it looked like it was going to pull the tire off the rim?

    We removed the bungee and it looked much better while turning.

    Any tips or ideas?
    Thanks

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  • Sammy Burke

    That’s great to know about the tips of how to tow and not to tow behind an RV. Tips like these are what my brother and I would need to learn more about. Mainly because we have plans to take our RV’s with our family.

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  • John

    I know y’all are off boating, but just wanted to thank y’all for these videos.

    For anyone else who might find their way here, we towed our 2010 Prius on a tow dolly for three total trips – somewhere around 4,000 miles. We got pretty good at hookup – 15 minutes. The Prius/tow dolly combo worked well for us, and we’d still be using it if it hadn’t got hit by lightning.

    We’re replacing the Prius with something we can tow four down, but I’m gonna miss that car!

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  • Glendale Matias

    I enjoy your adventures,and subscribe to your channel on Y tube. In your video on towing the smart car you able to remove the key from your smart while it is in the N position I recently bought a 2008 passion just to tow but I can’t get the key out unless in P position am I doing something wrong? thanks I just saw you video drinking hwy 1

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  • Steve Tippey

    Hi guys!
    We hope you are enjoying your break from the sticking part of sailboat shopping!
    We have a 2009 Brabus Cabriolet Smart and it usually rides on our HDT truck. We’re buying a 5th wheel and will soon want the option to flat tow. The article below speaks to the steering system/tow issues for the smart and the company says they don’t approve of flat towing. How did you overcome the steer/turning problem? This article suggests bungee cords attached to the steering wheel. We’d love to here your comment when you can break away from your wonderful quiet space in Key West!
    Sincerely,
    Steve & Robin T.
    http://www.motorhome.com/rv-how-to/rv-tech-questions/towing-a-smart-car/

    reply
    • We have loved our smart as a tow car and have not had any issues other than the self inflicted kind. 🙂 We do use the bungee and it works like a champ. Not sure if you have seen our towing videos yet but they are here: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/tow-car

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  • jerry

    is your smart car auto or manual

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  • Joe Allen

    I wonder why Trailer Life and others don’t list this car for a good tow vehicle? However, thanks for the video, as it seems to be working for you!

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  • Mike Jackson

    You Wynns are a wonderful, let alone fun, resource. Big question. Battery disconnect switch for a 2013 smart. Where do you get one (make, etc.) and where on the smart do you install it?
    Many thanks.

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  • Dennis Stiff

    I enjoy your videos on towing. I am currently having a Road-master system installed on my 08 Smart car.
    Why do you recommend the battery disconnect switch? I see nothing in the owners manual regarding it.
    I have a 2016 Winnebago Sightseer 36Z that I am still working out the factory bugs.

    Thanks

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  • Mike Jackson

    Obviously you have a smart toad. We’re looking to buy a smart 2010 – 2015 year range. From your experience is there any year and/or model we should avoid as a four down toad (electric no)?

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  • Bob

    Jason,
    I read somewhere that the Smart Car in a flat tow behind a motor home has some issues with turning. They said that placing a bungee cord between the steering wheel and the bottom of the drivers seat has corrected it. Have you had any trouble with towing the smart? If so, how have you fixed it? I’m wanting to purchase a smart to tow, but was hesitant when I read this. Thanks

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      • Mike Murphy

        Jason – I watched the video, and saw the bungee cord, but I’m unclear why this is a good idea. Don’t you want the front wheels to turn freely – tracking the turn of the RV? I would think that restricting the ability to turn the Smart Car’s front tires would be an issue (tire wear on the Smart Car or difficulty turning).

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  • Bj Richardson

    Hey guys love your videos! Not sure if you can answer my question but here it is… I work for a large online quilt company and we are launching our trade show team and we’re thinking an RV may be the way to go. I’ve ran into some questions… like where do we park the crazy thing if we have a show in downtown Houston? Since we need to haul a trailer for our show booth, products, etc. I know this sounds silly but any suggestions for getting around town? Thanks for any help you can lend.

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  • Denise

    Is your Smart Car gas or electric? I always thought they were electric. If electric how are you charging it and about how far on a charge can you go. Thank you for your videos and posts. We are looking at Rv snow to think of retirement.

    reply
    • Our smart is gas and most are gas. Only in recent years has there been an electric model. You should check out the smart website.

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  • Otto

    Hello Jason,
    Do you have a special reason not to use a dolly for towing the Smart? Thanks and bless.

    reply
  • Ian Fraser

    Re. the term Jerry or Gerry Rigged, as a WW2 swot, the phrase came about due to German soldiers shortage of spares towards the end of the war and used anything to hand. Jury Rigged is a sailing term for when you lose your mast and have to improvise, from the French, “”Jour” meaning “Day” ie a mast for the day.

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  • Lawrence Keesler

    Love your posts. What transmission do you have in your dinghy? Do you need to do anything special to the drive train before towing?

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  • butch

    How much is a tow hitch for a 2015 Honda fit with manual shift to be towed behind my motorhome?

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    • That isn’t a question we can answer. I would suggest contacting roadmaster.

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  • I use a Ready-Brute combined braking system and towbar to pull a Ranger pickup behind my class A. Things work pretty well, but when I made a “loose” crimp in the actuation cable, it pulled through and left me without supplemental braking. Fixed that one dang quick I’ll tell ya. Biggest problem I had was my long overhang and short wheelbase made for “tail wagging the dog” towing with some obnoxious oversteer. I did some fairly serious re-engineering on the towbar and hitch installation, and this issue is now put to rest (two years and 15,000 happy miles, and counting).

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    • Jenn Lenik

      I am considering purchasing a 2008 ford ranger XL with a 7 foot bed to tow behind my class B motorhome. This is the first time I will attempt to tow anything and am wondering what is the long overhang and short wheelbase problem you speak of? Was this an issue of the truck itself or was it the towbar and hitch installation?
      If a Ford ranger is not a good choice, can you recommend a different compact truck? I am interested in towing a truck so I can put my kayaks and bicycles in the bed without having to worry about roof top racks.
      Thanks for any advice

      reply
  • Michel Le Rouzes

    Towing a 2013 Smart covertible passion same color (coincidence) 1750 pounds,with a blue ox base plate(much nicer job,only two little removable bars protruding) and blue ox alumminium two bar…no problems ecxept the 311$ each little led running lights…I dont change them anymore!
    Keep up good work

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  • Ruth

    Hey Jason, you are not just a pretty face are you? 🙂 lol I have enjoyed your journey so far! Thanks for taking the time to share it with those of us who are stay at homes! (May I suggest you blur out your license plate? Working at a P.D. has made me cautious.:)

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  • David & Debbie Ruggles

    We tow a new Jeep Wrangler behind our Class A using a Blue Ox set-up. The hitch is an Alpha. We use a Blue Ox Patriot braking system. The braking system is an in-car unit with a wireless network remote monitor inside the RV. I installed the unit onto the Jeep and had it operational in about two hours with no difficulties. Another important component was the addition of a dedicated video monitor for my back-up camera. That was for my piece of mind as the toad is rock solid. The ground clearance and short wheel base of the two door Wrangler makes it an idea toad. I highly recommend this set-up.

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  • Redds

    Love your videos no matter what they are about. Even when you mess up it gives others a chance to learn from your Boo-Boo. Thanks

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  • Hi Jason
    I am about to start flat towing a Suzuki Alto with a “Ready Brute” a frame system which has a override brake System.
    My concern is that without the engine running in the Suzuki i/e no vacuum the brakes seem almost useless. I have a 28ft jayco c class MH with a tow capacity of 1500 kg. The Suzuki weighs about 800 kg. I know I can get a electric vacuum pump for the car but I believe this would flatten the small car battery very quickly.Any comments?
    Love your site,keep up the very helpful work
    Cheers
    Dean

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  • Marlin Stevens

    Answered my own question about the battery disconnect switch on the smart car. A 10 minute task with a $14 disconnect switch from Amazon and a couple of inexpensive battery cables. The battery is under the passengers floor not the luggage area as I was told. A simple rerouting of the negative battery cable and mounting the switch against the right side of the console solves the problem. The forums are full of people on on both sides of the issue, do we need to disconnect the battery to tow, or not. The manual says you do. I would rather be safe than sorry.

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  • Marlin Stevens

    Love your video on towing the smart car. You list a battery disconnect switch from Roadmaster as part of your equipment, but do not show / explain it. We just picked up a 2009 Smart Car to use as a Toad. The Camping World folks say the battery disconnect cannot be installed because the solenoid would extend into the luggage compartment. The Smart Car dealer has a disconnect that resides right on top of the battery. I hate the idea of opening the luggage compartment / engine hood every time we set up to tow. What do you have, and how do you use it?

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  • Your blog will help me a lot. You’ve taught me a lot with your guide. Thanks for the useful links.

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  • Wayne

    Good morning i am from South Africa and am struggling with the towing of my small jeep almost like a Suzuki with an a frame everything is installed correctly but when I turn the jeep does not turn and just carries on straight Any suggestions on sorting this out

    Regards wayne

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    • Marlin Stevens

      Wayne – Are you towing with the key turned to “Accessory”? Most newer cars lock the steering column when the key is off and/or removed.

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  • Norma

    I’m currently planning retirement, in about 18 mo’s, and I’m looking for a motorhome… really exciting!! I was thinking of towing my 2010 Honda Pilot, but the more I read the more towing anything makes me a bit uncomfortable. I’m a single woman but have towed boats and popup campers over the years with no problem, but the toad hookup seems more complex. Any advice to a novice at the motorhome/toad world who very much wants to make it work.

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      • Norma

        Thanks so much for your prompt and encouraging reply. I’m pretty independent and determined to make this adventure happen and this helps. I’m heading to the DFW mega RV dealer this afternoon to get the touchy feely hands on of the big rigs. I’m sorta leaning toward the Thor 30ish footer and it’s so exciting planning for retirement this way. Thanks again for your response and creating this site… it’s very helpful!!

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    • Robert

      The 2010 Honda Pilot can’t be towed behind a motor home (with all four wheels down)

      reply
  • Marty

    New to your site and enjoying it very much. I’m am doing my research. Catching up on most of your older post so am a little late on this one. I have pulled many car trailers with a truck and was wondering if this is really not a good option to consider behind an RV? I don’t see anyone mentioning using one. Backing, at least a little is possible and no wear or tear on the toad.

    Thanks for all the great information.

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  • Judy Sauer

    What made you decide on a Smart car for a toad? We are currently looking for a toad. Husband understands that if you’re towing a vehicle with automatic transmission, you have to disconnect the drive shaft, so we’ve been looking for a small Suzuki 4×4. I don’t know of any Smarts that are standard transmission, so I’m wondering if you have to make any adjustments to your car in order to tow.

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    • Marlin Stevens

      The Smart Car is actually a manual transmission that drives as an automatic. If you are interested in one as a tow vehicle, there are several videos that explain the Smart Car features.

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  • Todd

    New to RVing – havent towed anything yet, but working on it!! 🙂

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  • Ginny

    We tow a Jeep Wrangler behind our motorhome. Our setup is similar to yours. We haven’t had any problems, but last summer we came close. After a long stretch of towing I needed something out of the Jeep. Very glad I did since I discovered that one of the wires of the InvisiBrake was wrapped tightly around the steering column! We now have straps to secure it away from the steering wheel.

    On another note, I’d love to hear how you take your bikes. We have a bike rack on the back spare tire of the Jeep. It makes me nervous how much it bounces.

    Love all your adventures…thanks for sharing! 🙂

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    • Tim

      We put our Saturn’s front wheels on a 2-wheel dolly That plugs into the bottom hole, and 2 bikes on a rack inserted into the top hole, of an over/under duplex hitch which inserts directly into the coach’s receiver. Works great!

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  • Alan

    Thank you for posting this. I have had so many suggestions and you have cleared up a lot;nice job.

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  • Hubby and I are looking forward to full timing in the next 18 months (or whenever we get our house sold! 🙂 ). I am sending your videos to hubby who is currently working on the tow dolly we have for our tow cars BEFORE we get our new vehicle that can be flat towed! We have 3 high-mileage vehicles we will sell to get a new(er) vehicle when we get out on the road.

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  • Stephen Weppler

    Nice tips!

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  • Fred

    My neighbors are snowbirds and told me one of the hazards of an improper tow set up. They adjusted the sensitivity to the point they burned up their Suzuki’s brakes, rotors and all.

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  • Lynn

    We decided we’re not Motorcycle Riders — too scary in traffic & out of the question in inclement weather — so we sold that hog (after lots of pretty rides to trailheads in the Western US & Canada), & we’re thinking of towing a little Fiat instead. Last trip, the big debate was Bicycle rack on RV vs. Bicycle rack on Tow Vehicle? What we did decide was never again Bicycles on the Dinette!!! Your video showed where your bike rack goes, but we didn’t get to see the actual rack? Would love to see the whole set-up with your car.

    Thanks for another great how-to!

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  • Rodney M

    We currently tow using a tow dolley and are buying a tow we can tow with all wheels down. There are a lot of campgrounds we stay in that won’t let us keep our dolley at the site (even though it completely fits under the back of our Bounder!) Your videos are fantastic explaining how to (and how not to) complete an install of a tow system. Keep the videos comming.

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  • Mark McVittie

    Saw a toad go up in flames a couple days ago. Being able to monitor tire pressure and brakes from the motorhome is very important.

    Thanks for the info Jason and Nikki!

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  • Corinne

    Awesome videos! Hope to see you in Indiana next week. We’ll be there!

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  • Rebecca

    Thanks for the video, we are getting our Smart Car ready to tow behind our Fleetwood soon! Very helpful information.

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    • Barry

      I have a smart car and going to tow it behind my George Town, thinking of getting a dolly for this ? What are your thoughts on this?

      Barry

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        • Barry Dunlop

          Hi Jason ,

          Thanks for your reply . We ended up getting a new towing system for the Smart car and RV . We got camping world to order it and install everything in our Smart car and RV .
          Thanks
          Barry & Brit

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        • Tim

          A dolly IS a pain, but we didn’t want to put $1500+ into a 4-down system until we’re sure we’ll keep the toad for a long time. THEN we’ll make the switch, sell the dolly for half the 4-down set-up costs.

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  • Cheryl Zinsmeyer

    This is great information. My husband and I are planning to do what you guys did: sell everything and hit the road! We haven’t done it yet, but I’m saving information for planning and later use. Right now we are RV shopping, but not in a big hurry to find something “exactly right” for us and our three kitties. We really are enjoying your blog. Thanks so much!

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  • Sherry

    Hi Jason,
    We found you video extremely informative, as we alas, (drum roll please!) put down pymnt. On Georgetown 377 Diamond Pkg. and will be receiving it with a few tweaks to better suit me (extra bars to hold to) hot off the presses end of next month as far as we know! Watching your video closely, was wondering if in your opinion, the right people can attach a “small” sorta deck like support on the back of the RV to carry my power chair on, slide a ramp up underneath the “deck” drive it right off when we stop and I need it! Can you attach such things on the rear, with the tow bar underneath? Watch your videos faithfully and we have learned so much from them to get us started! (And then some!) Ya’ll rock and keep up the fantastic work……we highly respect you both. 🙂

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      • Sherry

        You betcha we will and he has checked the car weight and that other ummmm….whatever you said, yeppp! See ya out there soon!!!

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  • We don’t tow a vehicle as yet because we don’t yet have a motorhome, but this will be the kind of thing we will need to know when the time comes. Thanks for sharing!

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  • Peg

    Loved the video Jason. Thanks for sharing. We didn’t think we needed a brake buddy system on the Honda Fit behind the Vesta as the Fit is so light until one day we saw our car trying to pass the Vesta on the right! YIKES!! This was due to a hard stop at a traffic light and the momentum of the Fit bending the tow bar. Needless to say we now have a brake buddy system in the car. Also, we always use the master locks on the straight top tow bar instead of the pins. That way the entire system is secured to the car by those top locks and we can worry free park when exploring via car on our short, less than a week, stays.

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  • ARTHUR CASTLE

    JW,
    Here are two saving money ideas that I’ve used in the past.
    A. Weld a free heavy duty wheel underneath the hitch.
    i. The hitch will not scrap. ii. Will act as a leverage for your towable.
    B. Place a bycicle plastic flag pole on your towable bumper in a horizontally manner. If you can see the orange flag from your rear view mirror the vehicle is still there and if a flat tire should come up it will also flag you.

    Take care,

    Arthur
    p.s. My regards to your lovely wife..

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  • We measured to order our drop hitch, but didn’t account for all the weight in the RV when loaded, so it’s about an inch too long now. We shredded a set of cables (at least ours have a few connecting threads left!) on a hill or something. We bought the the coiled cables as a replacement, so there wouldn’t be as much excess around the bottom and would recommend them.

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  • Randy

    No obvious mistakes so far. I knew I wanted to tow before I got the RV, so when I got it I had a tow kit added to my 1600 lb car, the Honda Insight. My RV is only 23 feet so I am much more likely to leave the car at home. Don’t even feel it back there when I tow, same MPG. The car is so light there are only a couple of states and Canada that require a brake system, so for those I will have the wife follow me. I assume that your brake system is what causes the car to stop if it breaks away, that red coiled wire. I don’t have that, but the chains should keep it following me if there is an issue. I got Blue Ox.

    I also had them put a motorcycle lift (rvmotorcyclelift.net) on the back so I can bring my bike w/o adding an axel and complicate backing. Probably more than the frame was meant to carry so I had the local welder reinforce it. Hopefully that didn’t just move the area where the frame will buckle. When I got a flat on the motorcycle I ran and got the RV and picked up the bike and took it to a shop to put on new tires. Sweet. The lift actually has 3 receivers to carry the bike, and it lifts it with a motor from the ground, instead of trying to drive it up a ramp and ending up on America’s Funniest Videos. Not as heavy duty as you can get on a Class-A Diesel, but I am not carrying a full dress cruiser.

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  • Thanks Jason, learning how to tow a vehicle is one of the scariest things for new RVers. Who wants to see their car pass them on a down hill.

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  • Dave Lammel

    Great and fun videos. One point caught my eye that I was curious about – tying down the steering wheel. I have never done this, and I think that at least for my car, doing so would not allow the front wheels to turn on their own when cornering. In my rear view on a very sharp turn, as when moving around an RV park, I can see the front wheel turning in. If I were to tie down the steering, the front tires would be dragging and scuffing, making the high wear rate on the front wheels even higher. Due to the front wheel camber, the wheels will straighten themselves out once the RV is out of the turn. However, one has to be careful when making sharp turns on gravel or dirt because there may not be enough friction on the front wheels for the camber to pull the wheels out of the turn. I always check the rear view on very tight turns, and have had to get out of the RV a few times to straighten the car steering if I see a wheel has crimped and is not straightening out. Guess I would need to do a video to make this clearer.

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      • Dave Lammel

        That makes sense. I should try it. Thank you for the clarification.

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  • Tim

    We have the exact same setup that you have with exception of the toad. Ours is a 2012 Honda Civic. Only towed a few times so far, but learned quickly to turn the parking lights on in the RV to keep a trickle charge to the Civic. Curious if any other folks are towing a Civic and if there have been any issues. We were told to ensure we start the engine every 250 miles to have the transmission fluid circulate.

    I appreciate your videos. It basically comes down to not taking shortcuts and install the components as intended. No Gerry rigging!!

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      • Bobmctx

        It started as jury rigging… You know with a bunch of people all putting their ideas into it!

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      • Tim

        Jerry. I stand corrected.

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  • Kent

    Thanks for the towing/safety videos. They’re great as usual! I’ll be dolly towing soon and will let you know how that goes. Maybe we can do a little “compare & contrast”! Thanks again!

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  • Whitney

    This is great information! Thanks, Jason!

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  • #lovethewynns

    Thanks for more great content Jason and Niki. We have to have a new baseplate and breaking system installed. My Saturn Vue was totaled last month. 🙁

    Replaced it with a Chevy Captiva which was made by Chevy after GM killed off Saturn with Vue parts. We have a Ready Brute bar with the surge braking system.

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  • mary

    I love it that you share the mistakes you have made. It helps us to laugh at ourselves as we make our own. I find myself laughing a lot these days!

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  • Alan

    I’m new to towing, so let me share a lesson I learned today: When you get to where you’re going and you’re ready to disconnect, go into the towed vehicle first, put the transmission in park and set the emergency brake. Because if you’re on a slight downward angle, your towed vehicle, which is in neutral, is going to roll away when you disconnect (my safety cables stopped it before it went too far). Which is why I will put a prominent warning on the tow bar to do that — and add that step to my towing checklist.

    Two great videos. Thanks for sharing.

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  • I so enjoy your guys ability to not take yourself too seriously. That trait seems to be getting so rare these days 😉 For those people thinking about this we were lucky enough to find someone selling a motorhome with the brake buddy, tow bar, cabling, etc included. The only thing we had to do was install the right baseplate on our toad. Certainly makes the whole ordeal cheaper but man that is a bear to install – get it done by someone experienced unless you have a garage and lots of mechanical skill. Took me a whole weekend but it hasn’t fallen off yet 😛

    Also the Lexus GX470 is “not flat towable” but tell that to ours which has been towed almost 10,000 miles now with the transfer case in neutral without incident 😉

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  • John Lupomech

    Have only towed 1 time so far in our previous motorhome. But we now have the right car, just to new of a model to have the normally available wiring kit. Hopefully soon.

    Jason, you crack me up, we all make those kind of mistakes, we just aren’t brave enough to put them in a video.

    Thanks

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  • dewhit

    If Americans were not so eager to file lawsuits over every small thing that goes wrong in their life, the RV companies would have developed AND introduced much simpler and safer systems as standard or optional for towing and/or carrying vehicles.

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  • Debbie

    Jason, kudos to you for your braveness to share your mistakes. Great job to show others what to do and NOT do! Your videos are great!

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  • Dianne Worthington

    I thought about not towing a car just because the idea seemed overwhelming to me. But not having one just didn’t seem like an option. Thanks guys – I feel much more confident now!
    Do you subscribe to any RV publications? There are so many. Anything you would recommend?

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  • Jerry High

    Another great video showing us the potential pitfalls.

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  • Great article and video guys. We opted to go with a tow dolly ourselves due to he cost.

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      • Mark

        Hey Jason – since I saw several mentions in the comments of people using a tow dolly and you mentioned nightmare stories I was wondering if you could expand on the decision process you guys went through in deciding on the flat towing method. I’ve found little on the web in the way of compare/contrasting each type of tow system so if you could address the topic, that would be fantastic. My feeling is I’d rather use a dolly to minimize the wear/tear on my fwd toad and to simplify the tow hook-up process in general. Or is my thinking wrong or maybe just confused? I’m just doing the research right now so I can be ready to hit the road when retirement comes calling.

        Thanks again for all you guys do to inform and entertain us road warrior types…

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  • Steve Hall

    Jason,
    I just had an Invisabrake installed on our Ford Explorer. What a great mechanism, no extra pieces to take in and out for the brake pedal. You need to talk to them about sponsorship.
    Nice videos and very helpful to the uninitiated. Keep up the good work.

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  • Bryan

    It is always great how you get to topics that many take for granted or never discussed.

    While I am sure it was not your intention to state that a braking system is not required by law and that would be for anybody towing an auxiliary use vehicle (A.K.A. ~ Toad). That statement might be because your specific vehicle (Smart Car) does not exceed the weight requirement where brakes are required for a towed vehicle, exceeding 5k. Many towed vehicles are in fact in excess of this requirement and inspection by a peace officer in a cursory Vehicle Equipment inspection.

    The best advice would be, when in doubt, verify what your state (where your vehicle is registered), and these towing requirements for lighting and braking and weight of the towed vehicle. Stating a braking system is not legally required, would not be an accurate statement for everyone desiring to tow a vehicle behind their RV.

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  • My grandparents basically gave us their 1994 dutchstar in exchange that we enjoy it. We are in the remodel stage 🙂

    We have a lifted/4×4 FJ Cruiser that we plan to tow.

    I stumbled upon your blog a few days ago.

    Take care from New Mexico!
    Mandy Jean

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  • Nice job on the way “not” to do it and the way “to” do it.
    Just a couple of extra comments. We made the mistake once of not preparing the towed vehicle properly and left the emergency brake “on”. Cost us the price of new brake shoes, fluid, tow bill, etc.
    Also, make sure to check the towed vehicle’s lights before pulling away.

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  • Rob

    Hey guys

    Years ago my sister had a little Suzuki four wheel drive jeep. It was about the same size as a smart car but had four seats and off road capabilities. I was thinking something along those lines would be perfect for your kind of boon docking.
    Just a thought , anyway keep up the great work!

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