What cars can be flat towed behind an RV?

Rv Towing

An RV is a recreational vehicle that comes with living quarters.

It allows you to enjoy yourself when you are at a campsite or on excursions. Once you have set up your temporary home, you may need to drive into town in your car to buy groceries. It is difficult to drive through city traffic with your RV.

You may also need to find a parking space for your motorhome. Towing your car offers you the best option. However, your RV cannot tow all car models. The first place to check if your car can be towed is in the manual.

Some ideas for great cars that can be towed behind an RV

Tow Car Behind Rv

The RV is a great way to have a home away from home. However, you may need an extra car that you can use for shopping trips or off-road excavations. In this case you will need to flat tow your car.

Not all car models can be flat towed. First of all there are problems with the transmission. The transmission needs the engine always to be on so that the pump can lubricate all moving parts. For this reason the best cars that can be flat towed are manual cars. If you have an automatic car, call your dealer and ask if you can tow it with the automatic transmission before you try.

Alternatively, you can make certain adjustments to the pump. However, this is usually expensive and can cause further damage to the car. Most cars manufactured before 2016 are best suited for towing. However, we have come up with some great cars for towing behind an RV.

1. 2015 Fiat 500, Toyota Corolla 2016 and Chevrolet Spark

These are quite small cars that can easily be towed. The cars are light and are ideal for finding a parking space. These cars are often equipped with a manual gearbox, which is excellent for towing.

2. JK Jeep Wrangler and 2017 Jeep Rubicon

The Jeep is a favorite for many car owners who like to drive off-road. The jeep can be pulled with all its wheels on four wheels. For the best results, try out models from before 2018.

3. Landcruiser or FJ cruiser

The most popular Toyota models for towing are the Landcruiser and the FJ Cruiser with manual transmission. Most newer automatic Toyota and Lexus models are not suitable for towing.

The problem with these models is that the transmission is designed in such a way that the transmission pump must be in operation to lubricate the moving parts. This means that you have to drive the car. If the engine of the car is not running, you will have serious problems when towing the car.

4. 2015 Chevrolet Malibu or 2016 Ford Fusion Hybrid

Although both cars are equipped with automatic transmission, they are still easy to tow. The cars are also rear-wheel drive vehicles. Avoid the models from 2016 onwards, unless the car’s manual explicitly states that you can tow them.

Tips for flat towing

The RV is a great second home when you are camping. However, you may have to make some trips while leaving the RV behind. With a small car that you can use often, you save fuel and parking space. Flat towing involves moving the car on its four wheels.

The car rolls while you move around. Before the age of modern cars with automatic transmission and modern electronics, it was quite easy to flat tow any car with manual transmission.


If you have a car with an automatic transmission, you can add several add-ons to make the car easier to tow. This may include adding transmission lubrication pumps and driveshaft decouplers. However, these add-ons vary depending on the car model. It is also expensive to purchase and install these add-ons. Finally, you may end up destroying your car, which could cause problems with your warranty.

Method of towing

Towing your car with your RV is also known as “dingy towing”. If it is impossible to tow your car on its four wheels, you can use a flatbed or closed trailer. In some cases, you can let the car drive on its two wheels while the other wheels are suspended. The weight of the car compared to the weight of the motorhome also determines your method of towing.

The law specifies the permitted combined weight of the vehicles. This is the total weight of the motorhome and the car. This figure is important because it protects you from destroying your transmission. When towing flat, be sure to install a radiator to prevent damage to your transmission.

Car uses

The type of car you want to tow away is also determined by the purpose of your trip. If you plan to use the car for shopping and small trips into town, a small car is ideal. However, if you are planning to do serious off-road driving, a jeep is the best choice.

Running the engine during stops

As already mentioned, some vehicle models can only pump the transmission oil when the engine is running. In this case you may need to stop and start the engine regularly on the way. This will lubricate most parts of the transmission. In some cases you may need to remove some fuses before continuing your journey. When towing the car, you must put it in neutral.

However, there some 4X4 cars that are flat towed at park position. You then use the neutral mode for transfer cases. You will need to check the manufacturer’s manual again for confirmation. Destroying your transmission is not worth the burden of carrying along with your beloved car during RV trips.

However, there are some 4×4 vehicles that are towed in park. You then use neutral mode for transfer cases. You must check the manufacturer’s manual again for confirmation. Destroying your transmission is not worth the benefits you’ll get from having access to a small car during RV trips.

Ignition switch

Most modern cars nowadays lock the steering if the car is not turned on. These types of cars lock the front wheels and make driving impossible. In this case you are obliged to leave the key in the ignition.

Auxiliary brakes

The RV is a large vehicle and with a car towed behind it a recipe for traffic accidents. In such cases, the driver behind cannot see when you signal or brake. To prevent accidents, several U.S. states have prescribed emergency brakes that work together with the towed car. To avoid fines, even in states that do not make this mandatory, these emergency brakes should be switched on.

Written by: Magnus Sellén

Founder, owner & main author of Mechanic Base. I have been repairing cars for more than 10 years, specialized in advanced diagnostics & troubleshooting. I have also been a drifting driver and mechanic for over 7 years.