The 5 Best Towable Vehicles For RV Owners
Whenever you go out camping with your RV, you’ve probably brought enough supplies to last you through the trip. However, if you find the need to run to the store, you don’t want to go through the hassle of bringing your whole rig to your local supermarket! This is why you need to know the best towable vehicle for RV owners. Having a separate vehicle towed behind your RV makes it easier to run small errands and explore without worrying about your huge rig.
While most vehicles can be towed behind an RV, the safest and most efficient way to do so is called "flat towing." This means that all four of the vehicle wheels are flat against the road and moving with the RV.
If you’re looking for the best towable vehicle for your RV, we’ve listed the 5 best models on the market!
The 5 Best Towable Vehicles for RVs
1. Jeep Wrangler
The Jeep Wrangler is the most popular model when it comes to RV owners for several reasons. The Wrangler can be easily set up for flat towing, and it comes in a wide range of models to suit any budget. What's more, the rugged appearance of the Wrangler can add a sense of adventure and fun to your travel.
One of the main reasons why Jeep Wranglers are popular with RV owners is that there are no speed or distance limitations to the vehicle while it is flat towed regardless of the model. What's more, you can tow both manual and automatic transmission models, which is not a feature that you can find in every towable vehicle. Finally, despite its rugged appearance, Jeep Wranglers are modest in size and weight, so it can easily be towed behind most motor homes without adding too much weight.
The great thing about Jeep Wranglers is that they are specifically built for off-roading conditions. Whether you choose the latest model or buy an older one, you will be guaranteed a vehicle with superior durability and off-roading capabilities.
Jeep Wranglers are not known for their space, particularly when it comes to the backseats. If you’re going on a road trip with a large group, you might not be able to fit in the Jeep Wrangler for quick rides.
2. Ford F-150
The Ford F-150 is our top pick for an all-around towable vehicle. Whether you’re going to use it for a quick off-road trip around the camping site or you need to go to a grocery run, the F-150 will offer you a smooth and enjoyable ride.
The Ford F-150 is a powerful truck in a compact package! It has a powerful engine and heavy carrying capacity that can handle all your gear and passengers, but it will still be compact enough to tow behind a motor home without adding excess weight or dragging your RV’s mileage. For F-150s, there are no speed or distance limitations for towing behind your RV.
The best thing about the Ford F-150 is its huge and roomy truck bed! Whether you want to pile on your camping gear and go up the mountains or you want to load up all your grilling gear and prepare for a picnic with your whole family, the F-150 can easily accommodate all your needs.
Not all F-150 models can be towed behind your RV. Only models with 4WD can be safely towed. If you have an older model (2011 or older), the vehicle must have a manual-shift transfer case.
3. Honda CR-V
While the Honda CR-V is somewhat older compared to other vehicles in this list, you won’t find a better alternative if you’re looking for a compact and reliable SUV to tow behind your RV. The size of the CR-V makes it a great towable option even for smaller motor homes such as those in class B, but if you have a class A or class C motor home, you won't have any trouble towing a CR-V at all.
Roomy and fuel-efficient, the CR-V is a fantastic option if you're looking for a vehicle that will take you and your passengers for quick errands or short trips while on an RV road trip. The cargo space is particularly large, making it perfect for any outdoor gear you want to bring along. Even with the additional gear, the CR-V's engine can handle the excess weight and still give you great mileage.
The compact size of the CR-V makes it a great option for towing behind your RV even if you're handling sharp turns or narrow spaces. What's more, the CR-V offers an easy flat towing attachment process so you can easily hitch it up to your RV in less than 10 minutes, and you're good to go!
The CR-V has some speed and distance limitations when being towed behind an RV. The vehicle has a speed limit of 65 mph and a maximum towing time of 8 hours. If you plan to tow your CR-V for longer than 8 hours, you must detach it from your RV, take it out of tow mode, and run it for a few minutes before putting it back on tow mode and reattaching it to your RV.
4. GMC Terrain
The GMC Terrain is a powerful and rugged vehicle that’s designed for off-roading without compromising the comfort of the passengers. In fact, the Terrain was GM’s answer to the brand’s need for a roomy SUV that can be flat towed behind an RV.
The GMC Terrain has enough seating space to comfortably seat four adults, along with a spacious cargo hold that can easily accommodate outdoor gear. If you want to enjoy a luxurious ride even while you’re camping or hiking, the Terrain’s first-class interior includes leather and wood trim, as well as seats that offer great lumbar support for long and bumpy rides. Even the baseline model boasts a 170-horsepower engine, giving it great off-roading capabilities to handle any type of terrain.
The GMC Terrain is one of the few models that can be flat towed even though it has an automatic transmission. The steering is responsive, light, and handles easily, and the vehicle offers 9 speeds to fit any kind of road condition. Even with its powerful engine, the vehicle is also surprisingly quiet, giving you a smooth and peaceful ride to relax and recharge.
The GMC Terrain has a speed limit of 65 mph when being towed behind your RV, and it has to be primed beforehand. According to the user's manual, the Terrain must be driven at normal mode for 5 minutes at the start of each day, and every time you make a rest stop to allow for safe flat towing.
5. Smart Fortwo
If you’re driving alone or with a single passenger, you won’t need a huge towable vehicle behind your RV, and this is where the Smart Fortwo comes in! This light and compact vehicle is perfect for both huge and small motorhomes, and its size makes it ideal for tight turns and spaces.
For RV owners with small motor homes, the Smart Fortwo is the ideal towable vehicle! It can easily be attached and detached to your rig, giving you a quick and easy ride for small errands and for getting around. The Smart Fortwo is affordable, highly fuel efficient, and quiet.
For standard models, there are no speed or distance restrictions for towing them behind your RV.
Using the Smart Fortwo does not add excess weight or mileage to your RV, and we cannot stress enough how handy it is when you’re using it for running errands or driving around. You won’t run into any trouble looking for a parking space and it can comfortably carry you and a passenger!
Obviously, the Smart Fortwo is not an option if you’re traveling with a large group or you have a lot of gear that you need to carry around. What’s more, the electric models cannot be used for flat towing. The Smart Fortwo is also not recommended for off-road driving.
How Do I Know if I can Flat Tow My Vehicle?
The easiest way to check whether a vehicle can be flat towed is by checking the owner’s manual. Not only do the manuals state whether a vehicle can safely be flat towed, but it will also tell you if the vehicle is legally allowed to be attached behind your RV. What's more, the owner's manual will also give you an idea of the vehicle can any restrictions on the speed and distance during flat towing.
In general, most vehicles that have 4-wheel drive and manual transmission can be used for flat towing. However, there are some models that can be flat towed when though it has an automatic transmission, as in the case of the GMC Terrain. While there are aftermarket modifications that will allow you to drive automatic vehicles as a flat tow behind your RV, such as transmission lubrication pumps and driveshaft decouplers, these add-ons are expensive and require a professional mechanic to be installed. What’s more, they can damage your vehicle if the vehicle is not designed for being towed behind an RV and can affect the warranty of the vehicle.
What do I need to Flat Tow my Vehicle Behind my RV?
Once you have a vehicle that you can confidently and safely tow behind your RV, you will need a dinghy tow bar to attach your vehicle to your RV. If the vehicle is designed for flat towing, the dinghy tow bar can be attached to the bumper of the vehicle. Otherwise, you may need to purchase a separate breastplate. You can buy complete flat tow kits so that you don't need to worry about purchasing separate parts.
Aside from having the tools, you also need to check the RV’s weight restrictions when it comes to flat towing. Each RV can only handle a certain weight for towed vehicles, and exceeding this weight can damage your RV. Make sure to check the owner’s manual for your RV to know the exact weight and dimension restrictions for flat towing vehicles.
Now that you know our picks for the best towable vehicle for RV owners, the question is, “do you really need a separate vehicle when you are going out with your RV”? The answer will depend on your needs and what activities you have planned while you’re out on the road. If you have multiple off-road trips or errands planned while out with your RV, having a separate vehicle attached to your rig can give you a convenient and easy option to get around. However, if you plan to spend most or all of your time in your RV, bringing along a separate vehicle will just add to the hassle and expense of your trip.