Can You Tow a Car Behind a Class C RV?

Can You Tow a Car Behind a Class C RV?
Pensacola Beach Florida USA – October 2016 – Overview of a Class C RV towing a car over a road junction controlled by a traffic light

Class C RVs range from 21 to 41 feet in length, which is a lot when you compare it to a sedan car or an SUV. Although you can drive around with your RV, you cannot go everywhere because of the humongous size. So, getting a car towed behind your motorhome while you go RVing can help you a lot in this regard.

You can tow a car behind most of the class C RVs. But you need to consider some important weight-related factors like gross combined weight rating, gross vehicle weight rating, occupant and cargo carrying capacity of your RV, and the weight of your car before you go with it.

Through this article, I am going to answer the question “Can you tow a car behind a class C RV?”, and discuss the important limiting factors and different methods of towing that you should know before you go with it. So, let’s begin!

Things to Know About Towing a Car Behind A Class C RV

There is a limit of how much weight you can tow behind your RV. Before you learn how to calculate the limit, you need to know some common terminologies related to your RV.

1. Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR)

This is the maximum weight that your RV can carry. This includes the weight of your motorhome, the weight of people on board, and all the items inside the RV plus the towed car and tow dolly weight. Remember, the weight of your motorhome including your car’s weight should never cross this limit.

2. Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)

This is the total weight of your RV including the empty weight of the RV and the weight of all the stuff and people onboard. This weight does not include the weight of the towed car.

3. Occupant and Cargo Carrying Capacity (OCCC)

This weight only includes the eight of the people on board and all the stuff they bring along with them. OCCC doesn’t include the empty weight of your motorhome. It indicates how much additional weight you can put on your motorhome.

You can find these ratings on a sticker inside the cabinet door or the driver door of your motorhome, on the manufacturer instruction manual. Based on these terminologies you can calculate your RV’s towing capacity.

Your calculation will be the sum of the weight of the towed car and all the weight on the RV. The result should never exceed the Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) that is specified by your motorhome’s manufacturer. As long as you are not hitting the GCWR limit, you can tow any car behind your class C RV.

But while selecting a towing method, take the weight and the size of the towed car into consideration and make sure that they are within safe limits.

Three Ways to Tow A Car Behind Your Class C RV

Now that you have learned about the weight limit, how can you actually tow a car behind your class C RV? Well, there are mainly three methods for towing a car behind a class C RV, each with its advantages and disadvantages. These methods are discussed down below:

1. Tow Bar or Flat Towing

This method of towing is the most common and affordable way to tow a vehicle. In this method, a tow bar attached to your RV will allow you to tow your car while keeping all four wheels on the ground. Safety cables and chains are used to provide more stability and safety while towing your car.

The main advantage of flat towing is that you don’t have to worry about your car falling down as in the case of the tow dolly method. On top of that, it is very easy to hitch and unhitch your car. So, if anything happens, you can easily unhook your car and drive the unhitched car separately.

One important thing, not all cars can be towed on all four wheels. Automatic transmission cars are very hard to tow on four wheels compared to manual ones. You might want to check the manufacturer’s instruction manual before you decide to use this method to tow your car behind your RV. Sometimes you will most likely need to follow some procedures specified by the manufacturer for such towing.

The tow bar method is suitable for small vehicles. This is the main disadvantage of this method. Towing cars regularly can result in issues damaging the transmission system of the car. So, always check your car manufacturer’s instruction manual before you decide to tow your car on all four wheels. Also, you might want to consider buying alert lights and an extra brake system to alert those on the road when you are turning or breaking.

2. Tow Dolly

This method of towing is perfect for those cars that can’t be towed on all four wheels. In this method, your car’s front wheels are kept on a tow dolly while the rear wheels are kept on the ground.

Flat towing automatic cars can damage their transmission mechanism. So, if you don’t want to take any risk even when your car manufacturer specifies that you can flat tow your car, this method is the best way to go.

There are different tow dolly models available in the market. Some of them even come with an alert light system and electrical breaks. So, you don’t have to spend extra on buying alert lights and an extra brake system to alert those on the road when you are turning or breaking. Tow dolly doesn’t cost much and is the most beneficial method to tow your vehicle behind your class C RV.

Aside from the convenience tow dolly offers, it also has some disadvantages. Tow dolly adds extra weight to your RV. And weight is a huge limiting factor when it comes to towing your car behind your RV. Not only that, getting your car on the tow dolly and getting it down requires a lot of work.

On top of that, when you face a situation where you need to disconnect your car, unhitching it won’t be as easy as in the case of a tow bar. Also, different states in the USA require tow dolly to have a separate license number plate. So, you will need to take a look at state laws before you go RVing.

3. Flatbed or Enclosed Trailer

In this towing method, the car is placed inside a flatbed trailer. This enclosed trailer often has its own alert light and brake system. You can tow any type of car or vehicle with this method. This enclosed trailer also adds some extra storage space to your RV.

The main disadvantage of this method is that it requires a lot of time and effort to put the car inside the flatbed trailer, and securing it. Getting the car out of the trailer is also a tough job. Not to mention the weight of the trailer, which will again add to the full weight of your RV. On top of that, you will need to spend a significant amount of money to buy a flatbed or enclosed trailer, which is very expensive compared to the tow dolly or tow bar.

Conclusion

In this article, I have talked about the important limiting factors about towing, and briefly discussed several towing methods that you can use to tow your car behind a class C motorhome. After going through the entire article, I hope that you have found your answer to the question “Can you tow a car behind a class C RV?“. Thank you for stopping by. Have a great day!

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Stephanie Lynne