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If you are someone who has an RV and loves to travel the country then no doubt you want to bring a comfortable vehicle along with you. Many people do this by hooking up a trailer or “dolly” behind their RV to tow their favorite vehicle while other people choose to go the “flat tow” route.
Flat towing simply means towing a vehicle with all 4 wheels on the ground rather than at an incline or up on a trailer. So, if you want to flat tow a vehicle are there any minivans that you can do that with?
There are currently no minivans on the market that can be flat towed without making modifications to the vehicle. To be able to flat tow a minivan you will have to use a drivetrain decoupler or a transmission lubrication pump.
Although you can typically get either of these devices installed at any RV dealership for many people the cost and hassle simply isn’t worth it. It’s often better to tow something that will work from the factory to flat tow or get a trailer or two wheeled dolly for your vehicle instead.
What vehicles can be flat towed?
For a vehicle to be able to be flat towed behind an RV or other vehicle straight from the factory it must have one of two things true about it.
To be flat towed a vehicle needs to betray wheel drive and also a stick shift (manual transmission) or be four wheel drive and have a manual transfer case that you can place into neutral.
Any other vehicle that doesn’t have either of these two things true about it will have to have something added to either automatically lube the transmission while you are driving or will have to decouple the drive shaft.
For most people having those special things installed and going through a long process every time that you need to tow a vehicle isn’t worth it so they will opt for a two wheel trailer or full trailer for their vehicle instead.
Can a Dodge Caravan be flat towed?
The Dodge Grand Caravan is an incredibly popular minivan that many people have because of its versatility and cheap price when compared to the competition. However, just because it’s a popular car doesn’t mean that you can flat tow it behind your RV.
The Dodge Caravan CANNOT be flat towed as is. You will have to either get a transmission lubrication pump or a drive shaft decoupler from your local RV dealership to be able to flat tow this minivan.
Most any RV dealership or mechanic will be able to point you in the right direction of how to get these items installed or use them as it’s a pretty popular thing to flat tow vehicles however, only you can decide if it’s worth the hassle so you can flat tow your Dodge Caravan or if you would rather just put it on a trailer.
Can a Honda CRV be flat towed?
If you have a Honda CRV and are wanting to flat tow it or if you are simply considering purchasing one, it’s important to know whether you can or cannot safely flat tow it without damaging the vehicle.
The Honda CRV cannot be flat towed unless it is a rear wheel drive manual model or a four wheel drive with a manual transmission box.
There is a lot of misinformation about flat towing a CRV on the internet but if you flat tow your brand new CRV you will likely destroy the transmission without realizing it. Older CRVs could be flat towed (prior to 2015 models) however any newer Honda CRV should not be flat towed because of the updated transmission that they have.
If you have an older CRV (2014 or prior) then you can flat tow it but must follow the procedure to do so in the manual. Even if you follow the procedure correctly some people have still reported burning up the transmission however whether they messed something up in the process or simply had a faulty transmission to begin with is anyone’s guess.
What Kia cars can be flat towed?
If you are looking to buy a new Kia to flat tow then you will of course want to know which models that you can tow that way.
Any Kia model that is a manual can be flat towed without any issue. However, any automatic transmission Kia vehicle should not be flat towed.
There are currently two Kia vehicles that have a manual transmission as an option and that is the Kia Forte and the Kia Soul. However, in recent years Kia has multiple times changed their stance on flat towing these manual vehicles so be sure and read the manual of the model year that you are considering to see if it has changed since this article was written.
What small cars can be flat towed behind an RV?
If you are looking to flat tow a vehicle behind your RV or other large vehicle, a small car makes a great choice. With their good gas mileage and small size these compact vehicles are great for towing.
However, flat towing a vehicle is totally different than just towing it behind your RV so it’s important to know which small cars can be flat towed if that is how you want to drag your vehicle around.
The following small cars can be flat towed:
- Chevy Sonic
- Ford Fiesta
- Ford Focus
- Ford Fusion
- Mini Cooper
- Dodge Dart (manual transmission only)
You should always be sure to check your owner’s manual or ask at the dealership or contact the manufacturer directly if the manual doesn’t give any information about flat towing.
Whether a specific small car can be flat towed or not can easily change when the transmission changes so while the above vehicles can currently be flat towed, the next model year that is released might not allow it.
What is meant by the term flat towing?
Flat towing also referred to as “Dinghy towing” or “Four-Down towing” is to have all of the four wheels of your vehicle on the ground while it is being towed behind another vehicle. This is typically done by attaching a tow bar to the front bumper area of the vehicle.
As I mentioned earlier, flat towing can only be done on vehicles that are rear wheel drive and have a manual transmission or four wheel drive with a manual transfer case.
What additional components are required for flat towing?
Safe and legal towing has been emphasized time and time again. This necessitates the need for several additional components when you are flat towing a vehicle such as.
- Base plates
- Lighting and Wiring
- Safety Cables
- Supplementary Braking System
These specific preparations are important and demand a great deal of time, effort, and money. For most people it is simply easier to get a trailer or two wheeled dolly to pull their vehicle around rather than trying to flat tow it.