8 Things to Ask Yourself When Trying to Decide on a Tow Vehicle

You have a wonderful motorhome.  Now you need a way to get around when you are at your destination to see and do all the fun things there are.  That’s the fun of travel!  Do you want to Dinghy Tow, buy a tow dolly or tow on a trailer?  Now what…

8 Things to Ask Yourself When Trying to Decide on a Tow Vehicle:

  1. Look at your motorhome. This is what you are using to pull the vehicle.  What can it tow?  What is the weight capacity?
  2. Do you want to flat/dinghy tow? This is 4 wheels down towing.  Only certain vehicles can be set up to do this.  Check the vehicle’s owner’s manual to see.  Also check Remcotowing.com – a good resource.  Another great resource, motorhome.com has downloadable Dinghy guides.
  3. If 4 wheels down is not an option, you can use a tow dolly. In this case you also need to check the owner’s manual.  The downside of these is the space they take up to store when not using.
  4. Then there is also the option of trailering your vehicle. Downside, something even bigger to store when not using.
  5. What kind of vehicle best fits your needs? What will you be using the vehicle for?  Group of people or just yourself?  How many seats do you need?
  6. Then, do you have a vehicle already that will work, or will you need to buy something? Remember, you pay insurance on it whether you are using it or not.
  7. How comfortable are you towing something? If it makes you nervous, then towing a big truck is probably not your best bet.  Pulling a small jeep is a lot easier.
  8. Don’t forget to look at your overall cost. Not only are you looking at tow bars, safety chains, hitches, but also auxiliary brake systems which are required in most states.

Just in case this is a new term to you – A Dinghy is a vehicle that is towed behind a motorhome. It is also referred to as flat towing, four-down towing, and recreational towing.

8 Things to Ask Yourself When Trying to Decide on a Tow Vehicle
Our First Motorhome

John & Vickie’s Tow Vehicle Story

We’ve had a motorhome (2 different ones now) for 4 years now.  When we purchased the first one, we decided to tow a jeep, as both of our vehicles – 2009 Rav4 and Ford F250 – we were told they couldn’t be Dinghy towed.  This was before I found the above resources.  We knew we didn’t want to trailer or dolly a vehicle.  Putting those out of the way when camping can be a pain, and we are often squeezing into campsites as it is.  Plus, we’d need room to store then at home.  We also considered buying a hitch lift for our Honda Goldwing motorcycle, but the price talked us out of that.

So, after some searching, we found an awesome jeep to Dinghy tow.  It had every bell and whistle on it to run the Rubicon – something John has always wanted to do.  It was older, but had hardly any mileage and was in mint condition.  SOLD!   It was easy to set up for Dinghy towing.  We

Our Second Motorhome

found a used (and turned out old) Roadmaster BrakeMaster, tow bar and all equipment needed on Craigslist and we were set.  It’s been all over California, Oregon, and a trip to Yellowstone behind us.  I started calling it the Shadow as that is all I could see in the rear view mirror when we were towing.

Our jeep for exploring everywhere we stay

John has his short run on the Rubicon last year and had fun.  So he got to use the jeep for it’s original intended purpose.   Now we are camping with friends, and running around, and it’s really hard for anyone to get into the back seat of the jeep.  Yes, we are all getting old!  But the back seat of a jeep is SO SMALL!  And John is having a harder time driving it – it’s small and has a clutch of course.  He’s a big guy with a bad back.

This story continues in the next blog entry… what can we dinghy tow next?

8 Things to Ask Yourself When Trying to Decide on a Tow Vehicle

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4