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Most class C RV’s can tow a car behind them. But, you need to keep some numbers in mind before going ahead with it. Numbers to calculate and have a look at include, maximum tow capacity, weight and weight related ratings of your motorhome.
Another most important factor that decides whether you can tow the car or not is the weight of your car. A smaller motorhome having less capacity will not be able to tow a big SUV or truck and will have troubles in pulling on hills or slopes.
How much weight can Class C Motorhome Tow
Most class c motorhomes are rated to tow between 3000 lbs to 8000 lbs. Having said this, some high end Class C models (generally referred to as super Class C Motorhomes) can tow up to 30,000 lbs.
Here are some Class C Motorhomes and their car towing capacity.
|Class C RV||Towing Capacity|
|Forest River Forester||4200 lbs|
|Winnebago view||4220 lbs|
|Holiday Rambler Augusta||7500 lbs|
|Forest River Sunseeker||7500 lbs|
|Renegade Verona||20,000 lbs|
|Jayco Greyhawk Prestige||7575 lbs|
|Winnebago vita||5000 lbs|
|Dynamax Force||21,000 lbs|
|Thor Four Winds||8000 lbs|
|Newmar Super Star||20,000 lbs|
|Winnebago minnie winnie||7500 lbs|
Hopefully these numbers have shed some light on what are the towing limits with class C Motorhomes.
There are class C Motorhomes that can tow 8,000 lbs or 10,000 lbs and way beyond that as well. These are generally high end models, high in cost.
Class c motorhome manufacturer provides the maximum towing capacity for the RV in chassis specifications and you have to stick to that limit. Also, if you don’t have the weight limit with you then you can do calculation based on other weight ratings on the RV. There are in-fact many considerations before you start towing a car behind motorhome.
To know how much weight a class c motorhome can tow, check the maximum towing capacity mentioned in specifications for the chassis. Maximum towing capacity can also be determined by substracting the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) from Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR).
For example, if the GVWR for a motorhome is 16,000 lbs and GCWR is 2000 lbs then the your motorhome is rated to a car of up to 4000 lbs weight. Below are some more example to clarify it further.
|GCWR||GVWR||Car Weight That Can be Towed|
|22,000 lbs||17,000||5000 lbs|
|15,000 lbs||12,000 lbs||3000 lbs|
|12,000 lbs||10,000 lbs||2000 lbs|
Lets now understand what exactly is GVWR, GCWR and other weight ratings.
Understanding weights and ratings
Lets take an example and see how you can yourself try to find out how much weight you can tow behind the RV. For this, you need to know and have some ratings of your motorhome with you.
GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating)
This is weight of everything that goes inside and outside of your motorhome. Overall weight of motorhome including the passenger and driver, plus the tow dolly and towing car weight. Your entire motorhome including the car weight should not go beyond this limit, that’s what it is.
GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating)
This is the weight of the motorhome including the tongue weight exerted on motorhome but does not include the towed car weight.
OCCC (occupant and cargo carrying capacity)
This is the weight of the passenger, driver and added cargo on the RV and does not include the empty RV weight. That means, this is the limit of the additional weight you can put on RV.
Where to Find these ratings?
You will find these rating numbers inside the motorhome, on sticker provided by motorhome manufacturer. You can make below calculations in case the RV manufacturer hasn’t given the towing capacity.
Your calculation will be sum of all the weight on RV plus the car weight and overall the sum should not exceed the GCWR. If it is going beyond this limit then you are overweight. Remember, cargo weight also includes things like water, tank and others.
So, you need to be careful when packing the RV, as this can easily hit the weight limit for your class C RV. Also, whether you are towing the car or not make sure you drive the motorhome with utmost care. Do check out these super useful tips for driving class c rv.
Methods of towing a car behind motorhome
Okay, your motorhome can tow a car. You have verified the weight limits, but how do you actually tow it behind your Class C RV?
There are multiple methods, and each of them have pros and cons.
It will also depend on what car you have, whether its automatic or manual transmission.
You also need to check with the car manufacturer on various restrictions for towing. Lets go through different method of towing a car.
1. Flat towing or four wheel down towing
In this method of towing the car, all the four wheels of your car o SUV will be on the ground. The car will be directly connected to the hitch.Your car will most likely have to follow certain steps and procedure to follow for such towing. It will be mostly with the transmission procedure to follow.
Automatic cars may be hard to flat tow as compared to manual transmission. You are needed to check with the car manufacturer before trying this method as it may result in car transmission issues due to lubrication lacking. There will be special transmission procedure to follow while flat towing.
With automatic cars you need to be sure there isn’t any problem with transmission lubrication. Also, towing such cars continuously can result in issues. So, need to take care of that as well.
Best thing to do is to double check with manufacturer before flat towing. You will find many cars that can be flat towed though. For example, automatic vehicles like 2015 Dodge Dart, Ford C-MAX Hybrid can be four wheel towed.
Advantages that you get with flat towing :
1. Easy to hitch and unhitch the car.
2. You are less bothered about car falling down (in case tow dolly you are worried about this).
3. In case anything happens, you can quickly unhook the car. Like for example on hills if RV is not able to pull the car, you can unhitch the car and drive separately.
4. You can travel easily through city roads or narrow roads. Even the turning with whole setup is easier as compared to other methods.
2. Tow dolly method of towing
This is one of the less costly ways of towing your car behind a motorhome or RV. In this method your car wont be rolling on all four wheels, instead you keep the front two wheels on a tow dolly and rear two wheel continue rolling on road.
This type of method can be used if you don’t want to take risk related to transmission issue due to less lubrication. If you own a automatic car then using this method can really help as you wont have to face the consequences of transmission mechanism getting damaged.
Even when the car manufacturer specifies that a car can be towed four wheel down, you still have that 1 percent doubt and getting those two front wheels on tow dolly can really help.
Tow dollies come in different designs and some may even have electric brakes or light systems. Having this additional things can be helpful when turning or making u turns.
One disadvantages with tow dolly method is that backing up the RV can be very tough and most people avoid doing it. With tow dolly you get one most important advantage, your car odometer wont be running.
Having a tow dolly can also need you to take closer look at state laws. Some states need you to have separate license number plate.
Tow dollies also add extra weight and with overall weight limitations, this can put pressure on your RV’s towing capacity. With tow dollies being heavier you need to work on placing them properly at your campsites. Also getting your car down will be a work to do, which is not the case in case of four wheel down method.
Imagine you have issues during travel, like on slope or hill getting the car disconnected will need extra efforts. It wont be as easy as four wheel down method of towing. Overall getting you car on tow dolly and getting it down can be a tougher job to do.
3. Flatbed towing
In this method the car will be completely placed on a enclosed trailer. The car carrying trailer will have its own braking system and lights. With this kind of method you pull any kind of car or SUV and it secures the car properly.
Disadvantage with this method is putting the car on top of trailer can be tough and its going to be a job that will need significant amount of time. Also getting it down will need efforts.
The trailer weight again will add pressure to your motorhome mileage. Your car will be completely off road and there wont be any mileage added to your car. The trailer weight will again add to your full weight of your RV system.
The enclosed trailer that you will use for your car can also be used to carry other items. So, this can be additional storage space for you. But, overall you need to be careful about the weight as a general rule anyways.
Know this before towing a Car
Towing a car behind a motorhome or RV can be easy but also needs lot of attention. Specially if you are new to this, you should be more careful and not rush into starting with your RV.
1. Make sure you take enough time to check the connection between your RV and car.
2. Do not rush into towing it if you don’t feel the confidence. Check the car and motorhome connectivity twice.
3. Using right equipment for towing 3000 -5000 lbs or even more lbs of car is very important. Buy products that are of high quality and have been in market for at-least some time. Getting them installed in right way is also necessary, get the right person to do this job if you are not sure.
4. Turning , backing or making u turns with a towed car is going to be difficult. Backing can be hard and avoid as far as possible. U turn again will be difficult and will need larger radius for completing the turn. So, its better to avoid u turns when towing a car behind your already big RV or motorhome.
5. Use correct method of towing. Understand the weight of your car, the capacity of your motorhome and then decide on the method that you will employ. Getting advice from your friend or family relatives who already do this kind of towing can also help. But, remember all RV’s and cars are different. Check with your car manufacturer if the towing is allowed and if yes, check all the recommendations.
6. Check car weight, RV weight related parameters before deciding on towing the car. Check RV manufacturers recommendations on how much weight it can tow and then cross verify with your car weight. If you are not sure, take your RV to a RV professional to verify the limits.
Cars that can be towed behind RV
Well, there may not be any specific car that can be said as best for towing behind a rv or motorhome. This is because circumstances change for people. Some people will have motohromes that will allow only certain wight and others will allow more weight.
Our needs vary. But, you will find many different cars that can be towed behind motorhomes. The only thing that you need to keep in mind is that you are not exceeding the weight limits.
Some cars that can be flat towed include : Chevrolet Malibu , Fiat 500 abarth, Chevrolet colorado to name a few. Jeep Wrangler, Honda CRV are also among cars that people normally tow behind motorhomes.
Class C’s have varying tow capacity between 3000 lbs to almost 30,000 lbs and that means your car can be towed behind as long as its weight lies within the towing capacity.
Here are some popular car’s and their weights.
|Jeep Wrangler||3948 to 4449 lbs|
|Honda CRV||3,337 to 3,569 lbs|
|Ford Escape||3,870 lbs|
|Jeep Grand Cherokee||4,513 to 5,356 lbs|
|Nissan Versa||2,599 to 2,729 lbs|
|Honda Fit||2,522 to 2,648 lbs|
|Toyota Tacoma||3,980 to 4,480 lbs|
|Hyundai Santa fe||3,649 to 4,076 lbs|
|Honda odyssey||4,398 to 4,603 lbs|
|Nissan leaf||3,538 to 3,946 lbs|
Bigger vehicles like land cruiser or jeep can be good for tough roads but they add significant weight behind the RV. Boondocking will suit a four by four car thus if you expect to go through such roads than have such a plan ready. An SUV or luxury car are most suited for towing on city roads.
Looking at the numbers of both Class C Motorhome tow capacity and car’s weight, you should have a fair idea whether you can tow it or not.
One can tow a SUV like jeep wrangler with class C RV if it has towing capacity greater than 4449 lbs.
Do you really need that car while RVing?
Rving in a big motorhome can be stressful specially if you are new to it. When you have to go to places in a 30 feet long vehicle you are left with limited options to see nearby places. You can’t really go to all the places that you would usually cover had you been there in a car.
So, getting that car towed behind can really be justified? Well, its upto you whether you can put those extra efforts and get it along. Lets see all the pros of towing a car behind rv or motohrome.
- If you have car you can explore nearby paces easily. Taking your big and wide motohrome everywhere may not be a reliable thing to do.
- In case of urgent needs you can take help of your car. At times you are parked at a campsite and you need stuff from nearby local store, you can use your car for doing that but cant really take the rv all the way to that store. Moving rv inside a city or town can be tough too.
- Even if you are able to take your RV to all those places inside city, parking them can be a tough job. You will have hard time finding just the right parking slot. With car you wont have issues with parking.
Lets check out the cons of getting the car along.
- Its an extra added stress to you as a driver of the rv. Moving with such a big vehicle plus the car can be a tough job and can really make you worried. New Rvers find it more difficult.
- Turning or backing up can be really hard thing to do. With increased length of overall vehicle the turning radius is increased very much.
- It puts extra weight and thus the overall mileage of the motorhome reduces.
- Hooking a car behind motorhome will need time. Starting the journey or leaving the campsite can thus take time. Also, you need to thoroughly check the hookup and thus you are spending more time before starting.
- If you had car you can go to places like grocery store or other places in city. But, with such big length vehicle you will be limited where you can go with your motorhome plus car.