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Old 08-04-2014, 02:09 AM   #1
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Towing

I've owned my RV about 6 years and all I've done is lived in it. We've never towed a vehicle and it's currently not set up to do it. My wife drives a Honda Civic and I drive a Honda Accord. I'd like to set the RV up to tow so my wife and I can periodically take small trips and tow one of the cars. I've heard this is fairly costly at about $3,000 or more. Can anyone give me more information on this?
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Old 08-04-2014, 05:03 AM   #2
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We've towed 6 different cars with 4 different motorhomes and I'll list the things you'll need.
1) Car will need a tow plate installed, Blue Ox for us----$400-$600
2) I prefer to have the car lights wired to operate off the MH lights (instead of the magnetic lights stuck on the car when traveling). $200-$300
3) A good tow bar, we have always used Blue Ox, however, there are several good ones. $600-$800
4) A braking system for the towed vehicle, we also use a Blue Ox Patriot system $500-$800
5) A car that can be towed 4 wheels down--check owners manual

Option……..
Buy a Dolly. Depending on what you find, you can pay anywhere from $1000 to $2500 for a decent dolly. Some folks like towing with a dolly, I hated it. Bought a $2500 dolly and towed with it ONCE, sold it and set the car up for towing 4 wheels down as described above.
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Old 08-04-2014, 05:16 AM   #3
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George we will see you in Hemet at the SAMRT National I will talk with you about this. Hope you are going?
We are in Nova Scotia and finishing our 3 month (10,000 mile) journey. Heading back to AZ in a few weeks.
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Old 08-04-2014, 12:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSchleder View Post
We've towed 6 different cars with 4 different motorhomes and I'll list the things you'll need.
1) Car will need a tow plate installed, Blue Ox for us----$400-$600
2) I prefer to have the car lights wired to operate off the MH lights (instead of the magnetic lights stuck on the car when traveling). $200-$300
3) A good tow bar, we have always used Blue Ox, however, there are several good ones. $600-$800
4) A braking system for the towed vehicle, we also use a Blue Ox Patriot system $500-$800
5) A car that can be towed 4 wheels down--check owners manual

Option……..
Buy a Dolly. Depending on what you find, you can pay anywhere from $1000 to $2500 for a decent dolly. Some folks like towing with a dolly, I hated it. Bought a $2500 dolly and towed with it ONCE, sold it and set the car up for towing 4 wheels down as described above.
Here are some options to the above list. and a couple of things to consider.
Is your MH ready to tow?
Will you need a charge wire form your HM to your car to keep the car battery charged?

1. I self installed our baseplate, check etrailer for very good install video's.
https://www.etrailer.com/tv.aspx?productgroup=Base Plates
2. I did all the car wiring.
Here's a wiring harness for a civic.
Roadmaster Tow Bar Wiring for Honda Civic 2010 - RM-155
Our tails lights (Ford CMax) have enough room for extra bulbs, easy and cheep DIY.
3. We bought a Roadmaster towbar off of craigslist.
4. We went with a Blue Ox Patriot brake system, WISH we had taken the time to self install one of the permanent brake systems!
5. Check here to see if your Honda's are 4 down towable, they should be.
Towing Guide | Seattle Everett Washington
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Old 08-04-2014, 02:58 PM   #5
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It's great having a small tow vehicle to get around in. We have been at a couple campgrounds where our neighbor did not have a car, and they would have to drive the motorhome every time they wanted to go someplace.

One way to save money and keep things simple is to use an NSA Readybrake towbar. Instead of requiring a separate braking system, the surge brake is built into the towbar. It uses a mechanical cable linkage to activate the brake pedal in the vehicle being towed. It only takes a few seconds to hook-up the brake cable linkage, as compared to installing and removing a Brake Buddy or Blue Ox Patriot type of device every time you tow.

The Readybrake tow bar with brake is frequently discounted for about $1000. It will work with Blue Ox, Demco, or Road Master vehicle baseplates. I use one towing my Jeep behind the Georgetown with a Blue Ox baseplate purchased from Amazon and made my own tail light wiring. I installed everything myself for about $1400.

Readybrake RV Tow Bars and RV Surge Braking Systems for Car Towing - NSA RV Products
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Old 08-05-2014, 01:09 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abjb View Post
Here are some options to the above list. and a couple of things to consider.
Is your MH ready to tow?
Will you need a charge wire form your HM to your car to keep the car battery charged?

1. I self installed our baseplate, check etrailer for very good install video's.
https://www.etrailer.com/tv.aspx?productgroup=Base Plates
2. I did all the car wiring.
Here's a wiring harness for a civic.
Roadmaster Tow Bar Wiring for Honda Civic 2010 - RM-155
Our tails lights (Ford CMax) have enough room for extra bulbs, easy and cheep DIY.
3. We bought a Roadmaster towbar off of craigslist.
4. We went with a Blue Ox Patriot brake system, WISH we had taken the time to self install one of the permanent brake systems!
5. Check here to see if your Honda's are 4 down towable, they should be.
Towing Guide | Seattle Everett Washington
So if my car doesn't show up on the list of towable cars, then it can't be towed in any fashion? What about with a dolly?
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Old 08-05-2014, 02:30 PM   #7
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The various published towing guides are probably accurate, but they always have a disclaimer. The only way to be completely certain is to read the towing section of your vehicle owner's manual. It will describe the specific requirements for towing the vehicle: All wheels down using a tow bar and brake, two wheels down (front or rear on a dolly or tow truck), or all wheels up on a trailer.

The owner's manual will also specify the transmission gear setting for towing. It is probably neutral, but not always. For example, towing my Jeep requires the transfer case in neutral and the transmission in park.

Do not rely on verbal assurances from your car dealer or others. You need to see the correct towing procedure in writing in the owner's manual.
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Old 08-05-2014, 03:40 PM   #8
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Anybody know why a CRV automatic is towable 4 wheel down and not a civic?

There are a few products for certain car/trucks that will allow 4 down towing.
Remco Drive Shaft Coupling SKU-1 - By Superflow / Remco DSC
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Old 08-05-2014, 04:04 PM   #9
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abjb................

The Honda CRV is towable (four wheels down) because of specific design features of that model's automatic transmission by Honda. The Civic or Accord have a different style........I'm not going to get into the specifics, they just are. BTW.......the CRV is probably one of the most popular vehicles for flat towing.

I flat tow a Pontiac G6 automatic transmission (no longer made) but for the years that it was available, it was essentially the same mechanically as a Chevrolet Malibu or Saturn Aura. Underneath the plastic and sheet metal, these three models were all the same. That being said, they offered a 4 cylinder model, a 3.5 liter V6 and a slightly larger V6 offering. Only the first two were flat towable, but NOT the large V6, ONLY because of the transmission difference. You have to actually read the section in an owner's manual to find what descriptions there may be related to "recreational towing" from the manufacturer.......not what the salesman says.

Manual transmission vehicles are typically not a big issue, but once again, read the owners manual.

If money is absolutely no concern, I'm guessing any vehicle can be made to flat tow.

See this link for more info

Towing Guide | Seattle Everett Washington
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Old 08-05-2014, 04:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abjb View Post
Anybody know why a CRV automatic is towable 4 wheel down and not a civic?
There can be many reasons why one vehicle with an automatic transmission can be towed wheels down, and another can not. The most common is the location of the transmission fluid pump.

If the pump is on the drive shaft end of the transmission, the pump will usually turn with the wheels while the transmission is in neutral, providing lubrication to the transmission. This type of design might be approved by the manufacturer for flat towing.

If the pump is on the engine side of the transmission, then there would not be any lubrication when the engine is off. Many 4 wheel drive vehicles, such as my Jeep, get around this problem because they have a transfer case that can be put in neutral, thus isolating the transmission.

There can be other reasons (all-wheel drive, hybrid, etc.), but the transmission design is the major factor in most vehicles. In 2011 the Chevrolet Cruze was approved for flat towing, only to later be determined not to be. Owners were understandably upset when GM issued new instructions for their owner's manual warning of transmission damage if flat towed.
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