The Basics of Towing a Car with a Class B Camper Van

How to pull a camper or RV behind a car, boat, or other motorized vehicle?

Your class B motorhome may make towing look like a challenging task. Fortunately, it’s not necessary.

An RV or class B can be difficult to park in crowded cities and towns. The ability to move around when traveling is one of the many wonderful aspects of traveling in this fashion, though. The already adaptable RV can become even more tempting if it can accommodate a smaller car or boat.

But first, you need to be aware of how much weight your travel vehicle can haul.

A Motorhome & RV Towing Introduction

A Motorhome & RV Towing IntroductionIt takes some investigation and simple math to figure out how much weight your car can tow. A few important terminologies and definitions should be understood before you consider towing a car or boat:

  • GCWR – Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) is the combined weight of an RV and any additional cargo, people, food, water, propane, cars, or equipment being towed.
  • GVWR – Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is the weight of the complete vehicle, not including passengers, cargo, gasoline, food, and other items. Towing a second car or boat is not included.
  • Hitch Weight Rating Plate – The heaviest object (boat/vehicle) that can be hauled.
  • OCCC – Occupant and cargo carrying capacity is the maximum weight that can be carried safely within an RV while it is in operation, including the driver, passengers, gasoline, tools, cargo, food, and dogs.

The information manual for an RV or motorhome usually contains these numbers, and you can search for them online by entering the make and model of the car. Near the tow hitch, vehicles also have placards or stickers that show the maximum weight that can be pulled. For safety, you should be aware of this information.

How to Determine Your RV’s Towing Capabilities

  • How to Determine Your RV's Towing CapabilitiesNext, determine the weight of the vehicle you want to tow after learning the OCCC weight, GCWR, GVWR, and your own vehicle’s weight.
  • Taking the OCCC out of your GVWR will enable you to. You must still bear the weight of your car.
  • Next, estimate and add up how much your cargo, fuel, tanks, occupants and everything else weighs. Take that figure and add it to the weight of your vehicle.
  • Add that amount to the weight of the car or boat being pulled by taking into account its occupants, cargo, and tanks (ex: 4,000-lb SUV).

Is the calculated result less than the GCWR? If so, you may proceed. If not, hauling a motorhome or RV while driving will be dangerous.

Motorhome Towing Techniques and Advice

Your RV or motorhome can pull a car or boat safely now that you’ve done the math. But how exactly do you go about doing that?

There are three primary ways to tow automobiles behind your RV or motorhome:

Four-down Towing (Tow Bar)

The most common way to tow a small vehicle is through “toading,” “flat towing,” or “dinghy towing,” which has little to no impact on gas mileage. Purchasing a flatbed or tow dolly is more expensive than using a tow bar, but it is the simplest method of towing a car.

If you decide to follow this path, keep in mind this advice:

  • Confirm that the car you intend to tow can be pulled using the four-down approach, and consult the manufacturer of the car before trying to tow it with a bar. Transmission damage can be expensive.
  • Without modifying them, the majority of Jeeps can be towed. Check first, but many other SUVs and trucks, including those made by Dodge, Ford, and Honda, may be able to tow without any modifications.
  • Using chains and cables can boost stability between your tow vehicle and your motorhome or recreational vehicle.
  • Aftermarket equipment such as drive shafts, disconnecting devices, free-wheeling hubs, and cable-operated drive shaft disconnecting devices can help get a car ready for towing. However, these gadgets are not inexpensive and should be purchased with caution.
  • To alert the vehicles behind you when you need to rapidly brake, it’s a good idea to install extra brake lighting on the vehicle you’re towing.

One drawback of four-down towing is that when your RV or motorhome is hooked, it can be extremely challenging—and occasionally impossible—to go in reverse.

Utilizing a tow dolly

As long as your motorhome or RV’s towing capacity hasn’t been reached or surpassed, you may haul almost anything you want with a dolly. The name “tow dollies” pretty much says it all; your tow car’s front wheels will be carried on a dolly while its rear wheels follow.

Tow dollies are great for smaller vehicles like golf carts, go-karts, and smart cars, but can be too heavy for larger vehicles. They can add 500-1500 pounds to the weight of a car, exceeding the weight restriction for a motorhome’s towing capacity.

Here are some extra pointers:

  • Brake light systems are often integrated into dollies, which is convenient for informing other drivers that you are about to stop or make a turn.
  • You might need to take into account how much space tow dollies take up when parking your vehicle at home or at campgrounds.
  • Because tow dollies are heavy, you need to have two strong people to help you move one.
  • In some places, a tow dolly needs a separate license plate.
  • The tires, wheels, and frame of tow dollies need maintenance much like those of your RV and other vehicles.
  • You safely transfer your vehicle, so make sure to utilize two sets of safety chains. One is required to secure the dolly to the RV, and another is required to secure the vehicle to the dolly.

Considerations for Motorhome Towing

  • Towing manual transmission vehicles is easier and simpler than towing newer models with electronic technology.
  • Consider your main purpose for towing a vehicle. If it’s for off-roading, you’ll likely need a vehicle with four-wheel drive. Seating, vehicle weight and transmission will all factor into your decision.
  • Does your vehicle (the one you wish to tow) have a base plate? This is the factory-engineered method that allows you to tow your vehicle. Many newer models will not have a base plate.
  • Certain vehicles will need fuses disconnected before towing.
  • Refer to your vehicle’s manufacturer manual — both your motorhome and tow car.
  • Don’t forget an auxiliary brake that’s in sync with your motorhome.
  • If in doubt, ask an expert. Towing another vehicle is a big task and you don’t want to get caught in an unsafe or dangerous situation.

 

What is the maximum weight that a Class B RV can tow?

Being the smallest of the RV classes, you may assume that a Class B RV can’t tow anything, but surprisingly, most Class B RVs have a towing capacity of between 3,500 and 5,000 pounds. However, before using your Class B RV to tow anything, make sure to review the manufacturer’s specifications about the towing capacity of your specific vehicle.

What is a Class B RV?

Class B RVs are the smallest class of RVs currently on the market and are popular among social media influencers, travel bloggers, singles, and small families due to their low operating costs, availability of low-cost petrol, and lack of particular driving license requirements. They are commonly referred to as camper vans and have seen a rise in popularity in recent years.

 

Can a Class B motorhome tow a car?

Class B RVs have a 3,500-5,000 pound towing capacity, which implies that anything falling within this category of weight must adhere to this weight restriction. Before attaching an object to a Class B RV, determine its dry weight, which is the object’s weight when it is empty. For example, if a Jeep Wrangler’s dry weight is 4,200 pounds, it should not include anything that would push it over the 5,000-pound threshold.


What to Know Before Trying to Tow a Trailer with a Class B RV

It’s possible to enjoy the outdoors by towing a trailer behind a Class B RV, but you must first ensure that you are prepared with the necessary tools and information. The weight capacity of your RV and trailer is one of the most crucial things to know because overloading can harm your car and make it dangerous to drive. To maintain stability and control when driving, you should also become familiar with the right towing tactics, such as employing a weight distribution hitch. Make sure to check the tires and brakes on both your RV and trailer before each trip, and consider installing a backup camera or sensors for added safety.

Overall, being prepared and knowledgeable about towing can ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.


Do Class B vans count as RVs?

Which sort of RV you should buy will be one of your first decisions while getting ready to buy one. RVs are typically divided into classes. The Class A, Class B, Class C, and Super C classes of RVs are the most prevalent. Travel trailers, toy haulers, fifth wheels, and buses converted into recreational vehicles are also included.

Due to their size, amenities, and manoeuvrability, Class B RVs are a preferred option for travelers. The information in this guide will assist you in understanding what a Class B RV is, what facilities it offers, and whether or not it is the best option for your particular needs if you are thinking about purchasing one.


Conclusion

It takes planning and knowledge of the camper van’s towing capacities to tow a car or boat behind one. You should adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations and have all required equipment and accessories installed if you want to have a safe and effective experience. Four-down towing, towing with a tow dolly, and towing with a trailer are the three primary methods for towing a car behind an RV. Before selecting the most advantageous technique, take into account the weight of the automobile and the RV’s towing capacity.

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