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RVing message boards => Towing and towables => Topic started by: DonTom on August 06, 2017, 02:47:35 AM

Title: What to tow and how and with what?
Post by: DonTom on August 06, 2017, 02:47:35 AM
With my RV that is listed below, if I were to tow a vehicle  behind it, which would be the best setup to do such? I have NO experience towing anything behind a RV of any type. But I have several  vehicles to chose from, some are front wheel drive (such as my old 1996 Saturn-standard tranny) and I also have a couple of old (1997 & 1999) 4WD Jeep Grand Cherokees.

I assume the several other rear wheel drive vehicles I own, with automatic transmissions,  are out of the question, but I also assume the three I listed above  are possibilities.

-Don-  Auburn, CA

Title: Re: What to tow and how and with what?
Post by: captsteve on August 06, 2017, 06:48:57 AM
The jeeps will tow as long as they have manual transfer cases.

As far as the best set up, thats kind of a ford or chevy question. everyone has their fav's.

My suggestion would be to shop around and find a set up at the price you like. I would look for one that has self centering arms as they are much easier to hook up and disconnect. If you have a RV hop you like, go with what they sell and will install.

You can also watch Craigslist and usually find a used towbar and possibly brake, then order your base plate to match it.

It's not really a complicated thing, if you don't want to do it yourself the shop that installs it will show you the ropes.
Title: Re: What to tow and how and with what?
Post by: Gary RV_Wizard on August 06, 2017, 08:10:11 AM
I would not totally rule the other vehicles out, since a few RWD cars are towable without mods (depends on the transmission design), and any of them can be modded for towing with a drive line disconnect. You can look them up on the Motorhome Magazine towing guides at http://www.motorhome.com/download-dinghy-guides/

Your Tioga probably has a limited towing capacity, perhaps 3500 or 4000 lbs, so check that before deciding what car.
Title: Re: What to tow and how and with what?
Post by: DonTom on August 06, 2017, 11:42:29 AM
The jeeps will tow as long as they have manual transfer cases.
They both have the transfer case which can be switched into a neutral.

-Don-  Auburn, CA
Title: Re: What to tow and how and with what?
Post by: DonTom on August 06, 2017, 11:50:42 AM
I would not totally rule the other vehicles out, since a few RWD cars are towable without mods (depends on the transmission design), and any of them can be modded for towing with a drive line disconnect. You can look them up on the Motorhome Magazine towing guides at http://www.motorhome.com/download-dinghy-guides/ (http://www.motorhome.com/download-dinghy-guides/)

Your Tioga probably has a limited towing capacity, perhaps 3500 or 4000 lbs, so check that before deciding what car.
Do you have a guess on how much my Jeep Grand Cherokees weigh?

I have seen RVs like mine towing such with all four wheels on the road, so I know it's possible, but I do not know if  that was really within the  safe limits.

-Don-  Auburn, CA
Title: Re: What to tow and how and with what?
Post by: scottydl on August 06, 2017, 12:06:05 PM
Those older Saturns were quite popular as toads for a long time, and I believe can be towed 4-down with minimal modifications.  The Remco website (http://www.remcoindustries.com/Towing/Store.php) has a search utility that will allow you to see what equipment (if any) would be needed to tow just about any year/make/model of vehicle.

The data sticker in your motorhome (usually posted somewhere around the driver's cockpit area) will tell you what the towing weight limitations are for your motorhome.  GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Ratio) is the most your motorhome should weigh by itself, and GCVWR (Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Ratio) is the most that your entire setup can weigh, including whatever you're towing.  Your hitch is also a factor, depending on what class your motorhome has and how it's connected to the frame.

There are new terms and other things to learn when you start towing, but it'll get pretty familiar once you start doing it more often.
Title: Re: What to tow and how and with what?
Post by: grashley on August 06, 2017, 06:15:01 PM
The Remco website is the best resource to see what is needed to tow my specific car.

http://www.remcoindustries.com/Towing/

All of the cars should have a white placard with tire info and GVWR for the vehicle.  While this is higher than the empty weight, it will get you in the ball park.
Title: Re: What to tow and how and with what?
Post by: scottydl on August 06, 2017, 09:13:15 PM
The Remco website is the best resource to see what is needed to tow my specific car.

http://www.remcoindustries.com/Towing/

Is there an echo in here??  Hehe ;)
Title: Re: What to tow and how and with what?
Post by: grashley on August 07, 2017, 08:07:52 PM
ECHO    ECHO    ECHO

Yes, but I gave the web address!  ;D  ;)
Title: Re: What to tow and how and with what?
Post by: DonTom on August 07, 2017, 08:38:43 PM
The data sticker in your motorhome (usually posted somewhere around the driver's cockpit area) will tell you what the towing weight limitations are for your motorhome. 
My sticker is in the closet. It says:

GVWR         :12,300
GCWR         :15,800
front GAWR :4,300
rear  GVWR :8,600 
hitch rating :3,500
tongue       :350 lbs
GTW:         :3,500
DVW (dry weight):10,250
Net Carrying        : 2,050

-Don-  Auburn, CA

Title: Re: What to tow and how and with what?
Post by: scottydl on August 07, 2017, 08:52:34 PM
Your Saturn probably comes in under 3500# (your towing limit) but not the Grand Cherokees.
Title: Re: What to tow and how and with what?
Post by: DonTom on August 07, 2017, 11:07:27 PM
Your Saturn probably comes in under 3500# (your towing limit) but not the Grand Cherokees.
That's what I figured. However, I have seen RVs like mine towing a Cherokee, but it might not have been the Grand, which I assume is a bit heavier.

But I will accept it has to be  the Saturn, with the front wheels off the ground.

-Don-  Auburn, CA
Title: Re: What to tow and how and with what?
Post by: captsteve on August 07, 2017, 11:21:44 PM
Double check the towing requirements for your Saturn, most can be flat towed. that is one reason that they were so popular with the RV community.
Title: Re: What to tow and how and with what?
Post by: DonTom on August 08, 2017, 12:35:48 AM
Double check the towing requirements for your Saturn, most can be flat towed. that is one reason that they were so popular with the RV community.
Thanks, will do. I take it that "flat towed" means all four wheels on the road?

-Don-  Auburn, CA
Title: Re: What to tow and how and with what?
Post by: captsteve on August 08, 2017, 12:44:55 AM
Thanks, will do. I take it that "flat towed" means all four wheels on the road?

-Don-  Auburn, CA
yes
Title: Re: What to tow and how and with what?
Post by: scottydl on August 08, 2017, 09:59:31 AM
Thanks, will do. I take it that "flat towed" means all four wheels on the road?

Yep, which is also where the slang term "toad" comes from that we use here, to refer to the vehicle being towed behind the RV.

That's what I figured. However, I have seen RVs like mine towing a Cherokee, but it might not have been the Grand, which I assume is a bit heavier.

Those RV's were probably towing above their rated capacity (Jeep Cherokee weight Googled is around 4500#)... pretty common unfortunately, for a lot of RV owners that don't do the kind of research & checking that you are doing.  Short trips or every-so-often may not be a big deal for towing slightly over a given weight limit, but over time you will cause damage in some way or another.  Plus it reduces your ability to maneuver and brake effectively, especially in emergency situations.

Your rig likely has a Class IV hitch, which by itself is rated for up to 5000# towing... but the limitations come in how the hitch is attached to the frame, and also your available CCC (Cargo Carrying Capacity) and available tow capacity with a loaded RV (GCVWR minus GVWR).  If you had your hitch connections upgraded by a machine/trailer shop (which I did on our previous motorhome for the same reasons) and carefully monitored your cargo weight, you could increase that 3500# limit most likely.  It all depends on how badly you need/want that ability.