RV “Toads”: What vehicles can be flat towed behind my RV?

You survived your journey of purchasing your RV and likely spent time on your RV inspection, negotiating with the seller, and test driving your soon-to-be trusty RV. Now is the time for a liberating and adventurous pursuit.  Yet, one critical consideration often emerges for avid RV enthusiasts – the choice of a towed vehicle, commonly known as a “toad.” 

The prospect of flat towing, where the toad rolls along behind the RV with all four wheels on the ground, adds a layer of convenience to your travels. To guide you on this journey, let’s explore some top contenders in the realm of cars that can be flat towed, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable RV experience.

What Vehicles Can Be Flat Towed behind my RV?

Is your vehicle up for the flat towing challenge? In the past, identifying cars suitable for flat towing was a relatively straightforward task. Most vehicles with manual transmissions, including cars, trucks, and four-wheel-drive SUVs with manual transfer cases, could be effortlessly pulled four-down. However, the landscape has shifted in recent years, leading to a decline in the number of vehicles deemed suitable for flat towing.

 The scarcity of manual transmission options, coupled with the prevalence of continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) and front-wheel-drive, as well as full- and part-time four-wheel-drive systems, has significantly reduced the available choices.

One notable restriction is imposed on vehicles equipped with CVTs, rendering them unsuitable for flat towing due to the risk of damaging the transmission when towed with all four wheels on the ground. To ascertain a vehicle’s compatibility with flat towing, consulting the owner’s manual is the most reliable approach.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of RVers’ top choices for vehicles to flat tow.

  1. Jeep Wrangler: Off-Road Excellence

    For enthusiasts of off-road escapades, the Jeep Wrangler remains an unrivaled marvel. Its nimble design, four-wheel-drive prowess, and uncomplicated flat-towing setup consistently position it as a top choice among RV aficionados. Whether conquering rugged terrain or cruising highways, the Wrangler proves its versatility and dependability as a trusty toad. (Other possible toads in the Jeep family: Jeep Cherokee 4×4, Jeep Grand Cherokee 4×4).

  2. Ford Fusion Hybrid: Green Elegance

    Catering to environmentally conscious nomads, the Ford Fusion Hybrid seamlessly merges fuel efficiency with a stylish design, making it a perfect companion for flat towing. Its automatic transmission simplifies the setup process, and the hybrid technology ensures eco-friendly travel without sacrificing performance. (Other possible toads in the Ford family: Ford Fiesta, Ford Expedition 4×4, Ford Explorer, Ford F-150 4×4).

  3. Chevrolet Equinox: Cozy Compact

    Stealing the spotlight in the realm of compact SUVs tailored for easy towing, the Chevrolet Equinox shines. Its lightweight construction and user-friendly towing capabilities effortlessly align with the RV lifestyle. Beyond towing convenience, the Equinox offers a roomy interior for passengers and ample cargo space, enhancing comfort during your journeys.

  4. Honda CR-V: Practical Harmony

    Renowned for reliability and practicality, the Honda CR-V is a favored choice among RVers seeking a well-rounded toad. With its straightforward flat-towing setup and a suite of safety features, the CR-V ensures a secure and smooth journey, whether navigating city streets or exploring scenic rural routes. 

  5. Chevrolet Spark: Compact Convenience

    Effortlessly navigating urban spaces or fitting snugly into RV campsites, the Chevrolet Spark is a compact and convenient choice. Not only is it easy to flat tow, but it also provides a nimble and fuel-efficient option for city exploration. Despite its petite size, the Spark exudes style, making it an ideal selection for those seeking a blend of convenience and flair. (Other possible toads in the Chevy family: Colorado 4×4, Silverado 4×4, Sonic, Tahoe 4×4).

  6. Ram 1500 4×4: Pickup Dominance

    For those drawn to the versatility of a pickup truck, the Ram 1500 emerges as a towing powerhouse. Its robust towing capacity and four-wheel-drive capability make it an excellent choice for trailing behind your motorhome. Whether transporting bikes, kayaks, or other recreational gear, the Ram 1500 accommodates your adventurous spirit with strength and capability.

  7. Mini Cooper: Fun and fuel efficient

    This small and lightweight vehicle makes it hard to believe you are even towing anything! One motorhome owner stated, “We noticed no significant drop in fuel economy when we added it on”. As a reminder, you must have the manual transmission version to flat tow this affordable, fuel efficient and fun toad.

5 Key Benefits of Flat Towing: Simplifying Your RV Adventures

You might be wondering, “Why not just buy a trailer and tow the vehicle behind my RV?” Well, flat towing presents a streamlined and efficient method for RV enthusiasts to tow their vehicles, offering several advantages over alternative methods like tow dollies or four-wheeled trailers. 

Below are 5  key benefits to flat towing to consider:

  1. Cost Efficiency:
    Unlike the expenses associated with purchasing and maintaining a trailer or tow dolly, flat towing requires minimal equipment. This translates to cost savings for RV owners, allowing them to invest in other aspects of their travel experience.

  2. Space-Saving Convenience:
    The compact nature of the equipment needed for flat towing makes it a space-efficient choice. Owners can sidestep the need for significant storage space at home or the campsite, as the equipment is small and easily stowed away when not in use.

  3. Ease of Handling:
    Maneuvering a tow dolly or trailer can be a cumbersome task, requiring additional effort and time. Flat towing simplifies the process by utilizing minimal equipment, reducing the hassle of getting the towed vehicle on and off the towing apparatus.

  4. Time and Energy Savings:
    Once you arrive at your destination, the simplicity of flat towing becomes even more apparent. With fewer steps involved in setting up or disassembling towing equipment, you’ll save valuable time and energy. This means you can swiftly transition from RV mode to exploring your surroundings or making a quick supply run.

  5. Flexibility for Sightseeing:
    Flat towing enhances the overall travel experience by providing the flexibility to explore your destination effortlessly. You can quickly detach your towed vehicle and embark on sightseeing adventures without the need for elaborate preparations or time-consuming setup.

RV Toads For Sale

Where can I find affordable used vehicles to use as my RV toad?

Obviously, anyone can go to a Ford, GMC or Jeep dealership and look for a used vehicle to purchase for their RV toad; however, these places do not focus on RV toads. In fact, many times the salesperson knows very little (if anything) about what qualifies to fit your RV for flat towing. There is even less of a chance they will be able to install the necessary flat tow package.

One website growing in popularity is rvtoadsforsale.com due to their expertise in both selling RV toads and installing the necessary tow package. They are located in the Houston, Texas, area, but have customers from all over the country utilize their services.

Final Things To Consider Before Flat Towing

Before you embark on the journey of flat towing, ensure you’ve covered all the bases. Here are some essential aspects to consider:

Steering Mechanism:

  • Verify that your vehicle’s steering isn’t locked, as most vehicles employ steering locks activated by the ignition switch. To enable safe towing, insert the key into the ignition and turn it to the accessory position, allowing the front wheels to turn freely.

Auxiliary Braking Systems:

  • Familiarize yourself with state regulations, as most states mandate flat-towed vehicles to have auxiliary braking systems that work in conjunction with the motorhome’s brakes. Even in locations where not required, savvy RV owners recognize the vital role of auxiliary brake systems in enhancing overall towing safety.

Transmission and Transfer Case Configuration:

  • In the case of four-wheel-drive trucks equipped with automatic transmissions, ensure they are pulled four-down with their transmissions in park and transfer cases in neutral. This configuration is essential for a seamless towing experience.

Fuse Management:

  • For certain cars and SUVs eligible for flat towing, check if specific fuses need removal. This step is crucial to preventing any complications during the towing process. Refer to your vehicle’s manual for guidance on which fuses to address.

Stay Updated on Vehicle Specifications:

  • Don’t assume that the flat-towing suitability of a vehicle remains constant across different models and years. Vehicle technology evolves, so it’s imperative to check the specifications of the specific year and model you intend to flat tow.

The Importance of Proper Setup

  • While these cars are excellent choices for flat towing, it’s crucial to emphasize the significance of proper setup. Ensuring that your toad is equipped with the right towing equipment, such as a tow bar and braking system, is essential for a safe and enjoyable journey. Consult your vehicle’s manual and adhere to manufacturer guidelines for flat towing procedures to prevent unnecessary wear and tear on your toad and motorhome. 

Final Thoughts

Armed with this knowledge, you’re now equipped to embark on your journey with the confidence that your RV and toad will harmoniously navigate the roads ahead, turning your travel dreams into a rolling reality. May your RV adventures be nothing short of extraordinary. Safe travels!

🚐 Exploring the RV Lifestyle | 💼 Sales & Marketing Strategist | 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Family Man

Passionate about RVs and equipped with the expertise of a Certified RV Inspector and Technician, Brian Gaugler is your go-to source for current RV trends.  With a Master’s Degree in Entrepreneurship and a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing, Brian brings a unique blend of technical know-how and business acumen to the table through his engaging blog.
As a dedicated family man, Brian is happily married with four children, and his firsthand experience of living full time in an RV adds a personal touch to his insights. Brian’s blogging skills are available for hire to elevate your brand’s presence in your niche industry.
Explore the world of RVs with Brian Gaugler at www.briangaugler.com and discover a wealth of information and inspiration for your RV journey.

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