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No matter your reason for needing to tow a vehicle behind an RV, you’ll be happy to know that this is completely possible! There are a few different ways to do this, and there are different factors you need to consider when deciding which method is right for you. 

First, let’s settle the question:  Does Towing a Car Behind an RV put miles on it? 

Most modern cars use electric systems that only track mileage when the engine is switched on, so, generally, mileage will not increase while towing a vehicle. For older cars with mechanical odometers, the mileage will increase especially with flat towing or with a tow dolly.

To read other posts about towing, check these out:

We’ll break down everything you need to know in this article when it comes to towing. From the different towing options that are available to how these methods may impact your vehicle’s mileage, we’ll cover it all. Let’s get started! 

Is It Safe to Tow a Car Behind an RV?

A close shot of a hand with gloves holding yellow car towing strap rope
choochart choochaikupt via

There are so many reasons why you might need to tow a car behind an RV. Perhaps you have seen a car being towed by a motorhome speeding down the highway. It could be maybe because your car has broken down and you need to tow it to a repair shop or you simply want to tow your car with you to get around your travel destination. And there are nearly just as many ways to do this.

But do you think it is a good idea or is it safe to tow a car behind an RV?

In general, it is safe to tow a car behind an RV as long as the RV is in good condition, the correct towing equipment is used, all weight limits are obeyed.  With the proper trailer hitch and wiring, a vehicle can be safely towed with a trailer, flat towed, or with a tow dolly.

While it is possible to tow a car behind an RV, some cars are easier to tow than others. This also largely depends on how you tow your vehicle.

When it comes to towing a vehicle behind your RV, one of the easiest ways to do this is known as flat towing. 

Flat towing involves towing cars with manual transmissions by letting them roll behind your RV on their own four wheels. However, this isn’t the only method of towing a vehicle behind your car. Other options may be better suited to the vehicle you wish to tow.

Let’s take a look at the different ways you can tow a vehicle with an RV!

Different Ways to Tow a Vehicle Behind an RV

When it comes down to the different ways you can tow a car with an RV, these are the most popular methods used!

Flat Towing 

A class b motor home towing a red jeep
A class B motorhome towing a red Jeep

As mentioned above, flat towing is one of the most popular ways to tow a car. This method – also often referred to as the four down or toading method due to the wheels making contact with the road – utilizes a small tow bar. However, you’ll need a few other things, such as safety cables, a wiring kit, and even a supplementary braking system. 

This method is suitable for most lightweight vehicles, but you’ll want to ensure the compatibility of your vehicle. If your vehicle is not compatible with flat towing, it could damage your car’s transmission. There are plenty of great resources online to ensure that your car is compatible with this method and you don’t inadvertently damage it.

Tow Dolly 

A photo a car getting towed by a motor home from the front seat
A car towed by a motorhome

Another popular way of towing a vehicle behind an RV is done with something known as a tow dolly. This type of method is best suited to cars with front-wheel-drive transmissions.

A tow dolly is a small trailer that has two wheels and can be attached to a hitch on your RV. It supports the front wheels of the car while you tow it. 

The back two wheels of your vehicle remain on the road. 

Most modern cars are front-wheel drive so it will work for many vehicle owners.  This method is very safe because tow dollies have their own braking system, and you won’t struggle to load or unload it!

Car Hauler 

A class C with a car hauler
Towing a car with a tow dolly

Like the above tow dolly method, this method also uses a type of trailer that is attached to your vehicle. However, a car hauler is a full trailer where none of your car’s wheels make contact with the road. This completely eliminates the threat of transmission damage, which is a concern in rear-wheel and all-wheel drive vehicles. 

Like tow dollies, car hauler trailers come with a braking system installed. This eliminates the need to buy a supplementary braking system if you use the flat towing method. Furthermore, you can buy a car hauler trailer with a ramp that can be used to easily load and unload your towed vehicle. 

However, when it comes down to the three above-discussed methods, how do they impact the mileage on your vehicle? Keep reading to find out!

Can You Tow a Car Behind a Class C RV?

An RV pulling a red black jeep in a highway

Larger motorhomes with powerful engines are frequently equipped for towing.  But what about the humble Class C.

Can you tow a car behind a Class C RV?

In general, a Class C RV only tows about 3,000- 6,000 pounds so you can flat tow a small lightweight car with a Class C RV.  Depending on the towing capacity and GVWR of the RV, you could tow a Ford Focus or Honda Civic. 

Since each RV is different you must check the GVWR and ensure that you will be below the limit after the RV is packed up and full of people.  

Flat towing is likely the best option since the tow dolly or trailer would add weight to the setup.  However, as long as the car plus tow dolly is under the towing capacity of the RV, you could tow with that setup.

Does Towing a Car Behind an RV Put Miles on It? 

In general, towing a modern car behind an RV does not put miles on it.  However, with an older vehicle equipped with a mechanical odometer, towing with a full trailer will be necessary to avoid adding mileage. 

That is to say, generally speaking, towing a vehicle behind your RV does not add miles to it. However, this is due to a change in how pedometers function in recent years.   

For cars that are older than thirty years, the odometers likely still function mechanically. This means that towing your vehicle, especially when it’s being flat towed or towed using a tow dolly, may increase the mileage overall. 

Most modern vehicles, on the other hand, have electric systems. The odometer will only track the car’s mileage while it is turned on. So as long as the vehicle is off the mileage should not change. 

When you’re using the flat towing method, however, your car and especially your tires may still experience some general wear and tear due to their exposure to the road’s surface. With a tow dolly, your back wheels which are exposed to the road’s surface may experience wear and tear, even if the mileage remains unaffected. 

However, if you’re using a car haul trailer to tow a vehicle behind your RV, none of your wheels will make contact with the road. This means that your wheels remain protected from wear and tear and ensures that no unnecessary miles are added to your vehicle’s odometer.

Final Thoughtson Towing a Car with an RV

If you’re worried about your car’s mileage increasing while towing it behind an RV, you can use the above information to make an informed decision about which method is best suited to you and your needs. This will depend on the age of your car, the type of transmission, and more, as we outlined above. 

If the need to tow a car behind an RV ever arises, you’ll know which method you should use depending on your specific needs. In this article, we looked at everything from the different ways you can tow a vehicle behind an RV to how these different methods could impact the mileage of your car.

To read about other RV resources, start here:

A class A motorhome towing a car on an open highway

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    Shauna Kocman founder Family Travel Fever
    Shauna Kocman founder of Family Travel Fever

    Hi, I’m Shauna – Welcome to Family Travel Fever.  We are a large family, that was bitten by the travel bug!  I take the kids by myself because I don’t mind flying or driving solo with my crew to discover the coolest places.

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