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Dinghy TowingUnless you plan on staying at the campground for your entire trip, taking a car with you when RV-ing has become essential. When you arrive at your destination, you'll want to have a smaller vehicle handy for sightseeing and shopping, rather than your motorhome. There are different ways to tow a vehicle behind your RV, one of the most common being flat towing, also known as four wheels down or dinghy towing.
If you've never done any towing before, or if you're in the market to for a new vehicle, there are a couple different sources to check to make sure your vehicle is towable. One is the annual Dinghy Towing Guide put out by Motorhome magazine. This year the 2015 Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon midsize pick-ups, and full-size Tahoe, Suburban, GMC Yukon, and Yukon XL 4WD models are all examples of vehicles that are compatible for dinghy towing. Another is of course the owner's manual, which can confirm if your particular vehicle is towable in this way. It can also let you know how to properly tow the vehicle without damaging it.
There are several accessories and parts you'll need to get the job done correctly, such as base plates and tow bars. Your vehicle will have to be fitted with a special base plate. This base plate makes it possible for your towed vehicle to be connected to your motor home. Base plates from Blue Ox are made for exact makes and models, to provide a customized fit when installed on the frame. Base plates can be professionally installed, although the hardware is included if you wish to mount it on your own. When choosing a tow bar, make sure it is rated for the correct weight, which can vary between 5000 and 10000 lbs. Keep in mind anything you may have stored in the towed vehicle, which can add to the overall towing weight. Many tow bars can be folded and stored on the back of the RV when they are not in use. Some models have retractable & expandable legs for an easier hook up, while others have a rigid frame, perfect for those who don't tow often or are looking for a less expensive option.
Wiring kits hook up to the electrical system in your car to allow your tow vehicle's brake and turn signals to work when driving your RV. There are many different types of kits available, some of which are designed for specific vehicles. Others, like the Tow Daddy Plug-N-Tow can be used for numerous makes and models to help make this task easier. The Plug-N-Tow can also be implemented in about 15 minutes.
One last thing you must have is a towed vehicle braking system. It makes sure that your towed vehicle's brakes are applied at the same time as your motorhome. The details of braking systems have been discussed here before; however there are a few essential points to keep in mind. Braking systems are usually required when towing as they make stopping both vehicles much safer. Your vehicle can slow down in proportion to your RV, after a time delay, or it can immediately stop, depending on the unit or mode of operation.
This is the minimum equipment you will need to properly dinghy tow a smaller vehicle. Other pieces of equipment to consider are shields and rock guards. They protect the front surface of your tow vehicle from rocks, pebbles, and other debris which can get kicked up while driving.
For more information on dinghy towing equipment, please feel free to contact us.