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Old 02-04-2016, 10:05 AM   #1
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Flat Towing

I am a single woman and have a Small Motorhome (25 foot View). I am looking for a vehicle to Flat tow behind. I am considering a small pickup (Ford Ranger, S10 Chevy, etc ) mainly for the storage in the back of the truck. I have been told it really needs to be a manual transmission however any suggestions on which vehicle is best?
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Old 02-04-2016, 10:45 AM   #2
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I just went through the whole flat towing exercise. Researching, picking a vehicle etc.
First things first, be sure of the weight your motorhome can tow. That will limit the type of vehicle you can tow. The easiest way to find out what you can tow is to GOOGLE "20XX dinghy towing" (XX being year of vehicle you are looking for). You'll see PDFs from motorhome.com and others that list the vehicles, restrictions, type of transmission etc.

Also, its not cheap to get the equipment needed to tow installed. I did it myself but there are a bunch of things to consider. E.g. Tow bars, electrical connections, emergency braking devices required in vehicles, mounting the tow connections to frame of vehicle.

Good luck!
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Old 02-04-2016, 10:45 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAWMC56 View Post
I am a single woman and have a Small Motorhome (25 foot View). I am looking for a vehicle to Flat tow behind. I am considering a small pickup (Ford Ranger, S10 Chevy, etc ) mainly for the storage in the back of the truck. I have been told it really needs to be a manual transmission however any suggestions on which vehicle is best?

You may want to start here, this is for a 2012.
http://webcontent.goodsam.com/DinghyGuide2012.pdf
Need to check your coach to see what you can tow for wt.
2 stroker
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Old 02-04-2016, 10:55 AM   #4
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4x4 Rangers can be towed from 2005 to 2011 when they quit making them. We towed a 2008 Ranger 4x4, and it was a great lightweight toad.
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Old 02-04-2016, 11:03 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by LAWMC56 View Post
I am a single woman and have a Small Motorhome (25 foot View). I am looking for a vehicle to Flat tow behind. I am considering a small pickup (Ford Ranger, S10 Chevy, etc ) mainly for the storage in the back of the truck. I have been told it really needs to be a manual transmission however any suggestions on which vehicle is best?
LAWMC56,
Your 25' View most likely will not have any issues towing something that small. Although, it would be advised for you to actually see what your coach weighs, TOTALLY, as in full fuel and water, any equipment and supplies you intend on carrying etc AND YOU inside it, when it's being weighed.

That way, you can compare that total weight, to what your particular coach is labeled as "GCWR" or Gross Combined Weight Rating. That is, what your coach and toad will weigh together. With this data, you'll know if you're within your limits.

Now, as far as a small truck is concerned, if I were you, the first thing is, stay away from the Ford Ranger. I say that not because I don't like Fords, not at all. The reason I state that is, Fords Ranger, in two wheel drive, be it a stick or automatic, is, in many years, not flat towable. Some of it's stick transmissions do not lubricate all the gears/shafts/bearings etc. if the engine is not running and turning the input shaft to the transmission. And, in the automatic version, it's not flat towable at all, unless major and costly adaptations are done.

And, in about 99.999% of Fords 4x4 Rangers, stick or automatic, they are NOT FLAT TOWABLE without adding what's called the NTK kit. That is a Neutral Tow Kit. It's a bit costly and, you more than likely will have to have a dealer do it and, it may or may not be still available. It went out of production a few years back and, had come back once in a while but, not sure if it's still available now.

So, with all that being said, If it were me, I'd head straight for the GMC Canyon 4x4 and, the Chevy Colorado 4x4. Both are authorized to be flat towed, right out of the box, so to speak. All you need to do is, get them setup, as in a base plate, and tow bar, and wiring for lights etc. (oh, add braking system too) and, you're all set to go.

I don't know all that much about them but, they are flat towable. Why mess with something you have to alter when you can just buy one that's been OK'd to tow in the first place? Good luck.
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Old 02-04-2016, 11:26 AM   #6
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Off the top of my head...
Jeep Wrangler 4x4
Dodge Dakota 4x4
Chevrolet Colorado 4x4
GMC Canyon 4x4
You need a 4x4 to be able to put the transfer case in neutral with the transmission in park (a manual tranny in gear)

Note: Not all 4x4 transfer cases are approved for flat towing as some have pumps like an old toyota 4Runner.
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Old 02-04-2016, 11:47 AM   #7
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LAWMC56-

Hmm... I'm not sure you can tow some vehicles, including a small pickup truck, especially as you say ".. mainly for the storage in the back of the truck."

Here are the numbers for a 2013 Winnebago View:

GCWR 15,250 pounds
GVWR 11,030 pounds
Difference 4,220 pounds
Hitch rating 5,000 pounds

Here's the rub: I found a 2015 Colorado curb weight on the Web of 4,329 pounds. That exceeds the difference between the GCWR and GVWR (although it is less than the hitch rating). And, you can't add any cargo, cap or tonneau cover, or towing system(s) to the truck without pushing you further over the limit.

I suggest something smaller. A Honda Fit, such as we tow, weighs about 3,000 pounds and is larger inside than it appears from the outside. There are other small cars of like design- see the Motorhome Magazine guides cited above. If you pick a Honda with an automatic, you'll need to buy one used; I've read that model years 2015 and later are not flat towable.
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Old 02-04-2016, 12:08 PM   #8
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As has been pointed out, the problem with using a pickup as a toad with a small RV is people tend to put things in the bed cause there is no room in the RV. Do what you want, just be cognizant of the weights.
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Old 02-04-2016, 12:17 PM   #9
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Not all Views are created equal. Some of the early year Views have a 3,500 lb hitch and also a 3,500 lb difference between GVWR and GCWR. I wouldn't recommend towing any pickup behind a View, especially if you're planning on using it for storage.
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Old 02-04-2016, 12:36 PM   #10
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I tow a 1997 Ford Ranger 5 speed 2 Wheel Rear Drive behind Motor Home. Towed in Mexico and US. Truck has over 220,000 Miles on speedo. It does not record mileage so I don't know how many miles towed but a bunch and truck uses no oil and runs excellent.
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Old 02-04-2016, 01:46 PM   #11
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I tow a 2015 GMC Canyon and love it. But if you are close to exceeding your GCWR, maybe a Saturn would work better for you. I towed a 2003 LW300 wagon for about 25,000 miles then sold it to my BIL who is towing it now. About 3000 lbs and easy to tow.
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Old 02-04-2016, 05:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAWMC56 View Post
I am a single woman and have a Small Motorhome (25 foot View). I am looking for a vehicle to Flat tow behind. I am considering a small pickup (Ford Ranger, S10 Chevy, etc ) mainly for the storage in the back of the truck. I have been told it really needs to be a manual transmission however any suggestions on which vehicle is best?

We love our 2013 Honda CRV AWD, and it has automatic transmission! Just be aware that starting with the 2015 models they can no longer be towed 4-down!
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Old 02-04-2016, 07:16 PM   #13
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A small truck like 2004-2012 chevy Colorado is a good truck to flat tow. You can tow the 4x4 by just putting the transfer case in neutral. The problem with all 4x4s is that when towing you are turning all of the drive shafts and axles and this creates drag on the MH and will give bad gas mileage and will make the MH shift more going up hills. I had a 05 chevy Colorado 4x4 and switched to a 08 chevy Colorado 2wd both automatics. On the 2wd I installed a remco drive shaft disconnect. I could tell a big difference on the hills. A 2wd is lighter and cheaper to maintain. Good luck
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Old 02-05-2016, 10:00 AM   #14
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Well a stick shift is the easiest to make toable (manual Transmission) but
I used to tow a 1992 Chevy Lumina APV,, This is a "mini van" and it's fully automatic (of course) right down to electric windows and door locks.. Of course it is "not towable" .. So I added a Remco Axle Lock, this device hides behind the right front tire, it's a axle shaft with a collar. Twist the collar one way it's "locked" and you can drive the ride, Twist it the other way and you have a trailer. Put transmission in PARK and the wheels turn free. No power to wheels should you try to drive (Anti-theft feature).

I now tow a 2001 Dodge Neon, Auto trans with LUBE PUMP. I tow in neutral but the electric powered pump circulates transmission fluid to keep things cool and lubricated.

Another device Remco used to make but I hear they have solid the patent is the drive shaft disconnect.. This is for REAR wheel vehicles.. It is a spline clutch... Some folks havew had issues but all in all the design is sound and if properly installed it should work as well as my axle lock did. Again you tow in PARK with the shaft disconnected.


Very pleased with the Axle lock and lube pump, Never used a Drive Shaft Disconnect myself. But others have, As I said, SOME have had problems, mostly due to inexpert installation I suspect.
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