What Cars Can Be Flat-Towed Behind an RV? | Edmunds

So What Can You Tow?

Typically, a vehicle can be pulled dinghy-style if it has rear-wheel drive and a manual transmission or four-wheel drive and a manual transfer case that can be placed in neutral, according to Fiat Chrysler. The automaker’s Jeeps and Ram pickups are popular dinghy vehicles.

The best way to make sure a vehicle is suited to flat towing is to check the owner’s manual. Virtually every automaker states clearly in every model’s manual (check the towing or recreational towing section) whether it can be towed on all four wheels or whether it must be hauled on a flatbed truck or trailer or pulled “two-down” with the driven wheels off the ground.

For a more thorough list, MotorHome magazine publishes detailed lists of dinghy-towable vehicles on an annual basis. They are available for download at no cost, dating back to the 1990 model year.

Aftermarket Add-Ons

If your vehicle isn’t suitable for flat towing, there are devices, including driveshaft decouplers and transmission lubrication pumps, that can be added to some automatic transmission vehicles to handle the job. But the devices can be expensive and complicated to install and maintain. And if they’re not used correctly, the engine or drivetrain components can be damaged while a vehicle is being towed. That can leave owners with warranty problems.

If you already have a vehicle you’d like to flat-tow and it isn’t factory-rated as suitable for flat towing, most RV dealerships and repair centers carry and can install decouplers, lubrication pumps and other such devices.

If you are looking for a towable vehicle, it’s best to concentrate on those that are factory-ready.

How to Winnow the Field

To keep from looking through hundreds of owner’s manuals for details on tow readiness, thin the list of candidates by deciding what kind of towed vehicle will best suit your needs: a 4×4 if you like to go off-roading, for instance. Then decide what you can afford to spend.

If you aren’t sure what’s out there, take a look at Edmunds’ car reviews page to see a list of the best vehicles in every category and price range. It can help you create a list of candidates that meet your requirements and fit your budget.