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Old 09-23-2007, 03:39 PM   #1
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Default Towing a car with class B rv

Hi all,

The wife wants to tow a car with our Leisure van. I would like to know if any one has done so with a class B rv. Also what kind of pro and cons of doing so. Do you have any stories about towing something and what it was.

Thanks for your feedback.
Jim
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Old 09-23-2007, 05:13 PM   #2
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Roadtrek Yahoo Group member kipper10000 tows a Toyota Corolla with his 2004 Roadtrek 190P (Chevrolet van).



Towbar:



I don't know much about towing. His Corolla is manual transmission.
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Old 09-23-2007, 05:17 PM   #3
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I remember it because I had a 2004 Roadtrek 190P and a Toyota Corolla! I thought it was a good idea
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Old 09-24-2007, 05:36 PM   #4
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Jim, towing a small vehicle behind a class B is possible as long as you don't exceed the weight limit imposed by the MH manufacturer, and you utilize one of the various braking systems on the market. I have had good experience with a "Brake Buddy".
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Old 09-25-2007, 01:01 AM   #5
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Not sure what type of Class B you have but as stated check the tow rating of your van. I called Pleasure Way and enquired about tow ratings and they were very helpful. I told them the year and model and they knew the weight of the model and what the van could tow. They explained the gearing for my van and gave me a safe rating. I can tow a small car with my Pleasure Way.

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Old 04-05-2013, 12:46 AM   #6
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Default Re: Towing a car with class B rv

What comes around goes around ...

This thread is rather topical for me now. I bought my Class B originally because I didn't want to tow a car around and I want to be more stealthy than a larger RV since I boondock all the time.

BUT ... recently my daughter purchased a condo in Florida which now gives me an opportunity to go to Florida periodically and stay for a month or two during the winter. While there I want to be able to take the RV out once in awhile and explore other areas and be gone possible for several days at a time ... or longer?? Problem is the the condo doesn't allow RV's to park in their lot. I am trying to see if they would consider the Class B Sprinter van acceptable. Hopefully I'll know by June.

In the meantime I do have a place nearby where I could park the RV but that would leave me without an everyday car. I have a 2005 Toyota Echo hatchback with 5-speed manual transmission that I could tow. It weighs 1000 KG or 2200 pounds. My Winnebago ERA has a factory installed tow hitch with a towing capacity of 5000 pounds. I have looked at a BLUE OX towing system with a tow bar and baseplate for the Echo and the assorted cables etc. PLUS the Patriot supplemental braking system. NOT CHEAP to say the least.

QUESTION:

Is there anyone else that has started to tow a vehicle with their Class B RV other than the one listed here and if so what kind of setup/system do you use.

Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated.

The ideal solution for me would be if the condo cooperation allowed me to park the Sprinter in the lot. I would have to use a VISITOR spot because the spots for tenants are covered and wouldn't be high enough. But I wouldn't have to tow the car down. I suppose I could rent as well but that would start getting a little pricy after awhile.

Thanks
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Old 04-06-2013, 03:10 AM   #7
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Default Re: Towing a car with class B rv

I've towed my car with a Class C not a Class B and still have all the necessary parts. I kept them after selling the Class C because I thought I might tow the car occasionally with my campervan but it looks more and more unlikely that I would ever need to.

My stuff:
1. Roadmaster Base Plate for my car (Ford Escape)
2. RoadMaster Falcon All Terrain Tow Bar http://www.etrailer.com/Tow-Bars/Roadmaster/RM-522.html
3. Roadmaster Falcon All Terrain Towing Combo Kit with Straight Wiring http://www.etrailer.com/Accessories-and ... 241-2.html
4. Roadmaster Even Brake portable, proportional towed vehicle braking system http://roadmasterinc.com/products/braki ... brake.html
5. Protect-a-Tow to protect the tow vehicle from flying debris, stones, mud, etc. http://protectatow.tripod.com/

Etrailer had the best pricing when I looked into it. http://www.etrailer.com/
RVUpgrades came in a close second http://www.rvupgradestore.com/

I actually ordered the parts 1, 2 & 3 from Etrailer but picked up the parts from a Roadmaster warehouse.
The Roadmaster Even Brake came from Camping World.
The Protect-a-Tow was ordered direct from the website

It all worked as advertised. The portable vehicle braking system is a minor inconvenience because you have to remove it when you want to drive the car. It wasn't hard to setup though.

I did the entire installation myself. Even with that and shopping around for the best parts prices it was still very costly. I'd guess it was around $3,000 all in.
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Old 04-06-2013, 01:32 PM   #8
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Default Re: Towing a car with class B rv

There was a very interesting discussion, I think on RV.net a few years ago, about towing with Bs and in particular about transmissions in the cars. I had always heard that towing manual transmissions was OK without a driveshaft disconnect or wheels up, but there seems to be a lot of info that says otherwise, based on the design of the transmission. Same with the automatics, but most need to disconnected. I found it all very interesting. I will try to find a link.

Found the thread

http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fusea ... page/1.cfm

It switches from interiors to towing near the end of the first page.
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Old 04-06-2013, 01:59 PM   #9
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Default Re: Towing a car with class B rv

That's a good point to make. Usually there will be a section in the car owner manual about towing the car. Some cars can't be flat towed and instead need to be on a dolly or even a trailer. The 2009 Ford Escape we have is an automatic but can be towed with all four wheels on the ground. We towed it approx 4,000 miles in total so far with no problems.

I did exactly as the Ford Escape Owner Manual instructed:

Quote:
2009 Ford Escape
Note: If you tow your vehicle with all four wheels on the ground, follow these instructions:
• Tow only in the forward direction.
• Release the parking brake.
• Place the transmission shift lever in (N) Neutral.
• Place the ignition to the accessory position (refer to Starting in the Driving chapter).
• Do not exceed 70 mph (113 km/h) with manual transmission vehicles and 65 mph (105 km/h) for automatic transmission vehicles.
• Start the engine and allow it to run for five minutes at the beginning of each day and at each fuel stop.
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:51 PM   #10
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Default Re: Towing a car with class B rv

How heavy and expensive would a short flat bed trailer be? Might be easier to pull a small trailer with an electric braking system, than add all the stuff required to flat tow the same vehicle, if the GCVWR isn't exceeded. You might need to add a trailer brake controller to your TV for a few hundred bucks. Maybe another few hundred for a weight distribution hitch with sway control. Of course, the trailer itself will cost a few bucks too, so maybe it's cheaper to go the other route. Maybe a rental place like U-Haul has used utility/car haulers?
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Old 04-08-2013, 02:13 PM   #11
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Default Re: Towing a car with class B rv

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
How heavy and expensive would a short flat bed trailer be? Might be easier to pull a small trailer with an electric braking system, than add all the stuff required to flat tow the same vehicle, if the GCVWR isn't exceeded. You might need to add a trailer brake controller to your TV for a few hundred bucks. Maybe another few hundred for a weight distribution hitch with sway control. Of course, the trailer itself will cost a few bucks too, so maybe it's cheaper to go the other route. Maybe a rental place like U-Haul has used utility/car haulers?
For reasonably sized cars and such, a front wheel dolly works very well, is much smaller to deal with when you get to where you are going, and is much cheaper. I don't know if you can get brakes on them or use the rear brakes of the two vehicle.
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:42 PM   #12
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Default Re: Towing a car with class B rv

Quote:
Originally Posted by booster
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
How heavy and expensive would a short flat bed trailer be? Might be easier to pull a small trailer with an electric braking system, than add all the stuff required to flat tow the same vehicle, if the GCVWR isn't exceeded. You might need to add a trailer brake controller to your TV for a few hundred bucks. Maybe another few hundred for a weight distribution hitch with sway control. Of course, the trailer itself will cost a few bucks too, so maybe it's cheaper to go the other route. Maybe a rental place like U-Haul has used utility/car haulers?
For reasonably sized cars and such, a front wheel dolly works very well, is much smaller to deal with when you get to where you are going, and is much cheaper. I don't know if you can get brakes on them or use the rear brakes of the two vehicle.
I'm not sure what the legalities of the wheel dollies might be. In some jurisdictions the minimum braking requirement for trailers is 1500 lbs and over. Not sure if dollies are considered trailers, or what the brake requirements are for using one. With a load, I'd guess they area. I would think you'd have to add the braking and safety equipment markopolo used for his towed, which adds to the cost. Breakaway brake systems may (usually are) also be required on anything over a minimum weight. That was my thinking for suggesting a small trailer, as some of those features may already exist on the trailer. The cheapest route is probably to use a vehicle that can be towed flat without any other mods, using a simple tow bar and breakaway system add ons.
I guess it comes down to adding the equipment to comply with the minimum safety requirements for towing what ever you've got, along the route you plan to take. I was thinking for simplicity, it would be easier to back your towed off a flat bed and do your touring, than to disconnect it, and remove the add ons that are required for safety. Your point about where to leave the tow vehicle and the trailer are valid, though. What works for someone who stays in a campground and can park/leave the tow vehicle and trailer attached, might not work for someone that needs a "stealth" solution in a subdivision or parking lot at a condo or high rise.

The rules for trailer towing (as I have recently found) are interesting. There are some universal constants in most jurisdictions but there are some head scratchers, too, like the maximum towing speeds allowed by State or Province. I haven't vetted these websites for accuracy, but here are a few trailer towing rules and regs. I'm not sure what their scope is either, but they may apply to RV type trailers only, or may cover any towed vehicle.
http://www.camping-canada.com/towing_regulations_e.htm
http://www.rvda.ca/default.asp?action=RVDA_regulations
http://towingworld.com/towinglaws.cfm
http://www.readybrake.com/state_laws.html
http://www.hitchemup.com/statetowinglaws.htm
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:40 AM   #13
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Default Re: Towing a car with class B rv

Here's a couple of photos of how I had the car connected to the Class C. It would be the same with a B.



and keeping an eye on it with the rear view camera

Attached Images
File Type: jpg towing the car 2.JPG (189.7 KB, 554 views)
File Type: jpg towing the car.JPG (42.0 KB, 554 views)
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Old 04-19-2013, 01:53 AM   #14
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Default Re: Towing a car with class B rv

A flat tow is probably the easiest. No trailer involved for simplicity, but the equipment sounds costly.
It does look simple enough, including the debris deflector. Nice touch!
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Old 04-19-2013, 04:44 AM   #15
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Default Re: Towing a car with class B rv

Markopolo,

I looked up the Protect A Tow. Did you use the universal model to attach to the Class C? It looks too wide for a B. Any thoughts.

Barry
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Old 04-19-2013, 01:52 PM   #16
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Default Re: Towing a car with class B rv

Barry - you're right about that. I didn't think of it. The Class C was probably 8 feet wide. My Protect-a-tow would have to be modified to work with my van. I don't know if the folks at Protect-a-tow would make a custom one or not.

Thanks for catching that.
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Old 04-19-2013, 06:21 PM   #17
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Default Re: Towing a car with class B rv

Markopolo,

I contacted Protect-a-Tow and found out that they do custom work and will make one for the Sprinter which would add around $40 to the cost. If one has a Roadmaster tow bar setup, they have a Tow Defender product but it sits on top of the tow bar and thus only protects the toad. The Protect-a-Tow fits underneath the tow bar setup and protects everything.

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Old 04-19-2013, 07:45 PM   #18
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Default Re: Towing a car with class B rv

That's good info re: custom sizes.
All my gear shown in the photo (except for the protect-a-tow) is Roadmaster and the protect-a-tow goes under as shown. I think they must have been referring to a tow dolly re: the protect-a-tow having to sit on top.

The protect-a-tow is fairly strong. Mine was full of ice and road sand and salt as I passed through Calgary in an unexpected October snow storm. It held up well with all that extra frozen weight on it - no damage that I could see to the protect-a-tow.

It would be nice if it was wider at the car end. You can see it in the rear view camera photo above. I had few nicks from rocks around the unprotected area where you see the fog lamps in the Ford bumper. I think the conditions where a bit worse than normal with all the little rocks mixed in with salt and sand because of the snow storm. No damage to the hood or windshield in about 4000 miles of towing.
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Old 04-20-2013, 01:15 AM   #19
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Default Re: Towing a car with class B rv

Markopolo,

I was referring to Roadmaster having a Tow Defender product that sits on top (not Protect-a Tow).

I expect that when I order a custom width for the Sprinter that I will also be able to specify the exact width I need for the toad. My toad will either be a Honda CRV or the 2014 mini CRV if it has a AWD like the regular CRV. I am not sure the mini CRV will be as wide as the normal CRV which would change the measurements. All I know at this time is that it is about 9" shorter than the CRV.

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Old 04-20-2013, 05:54 PM   #20
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Default Re: Towing a car with class B rv

Thanks again. After re-reading your post it's clear to me what you were referring to now

Customs widths for front and rear on the protect-a-tow would be ideal. If I keep all my equipment I'll have to figure out how to modify it for best protection. Two "pleats" should take care of the van end for me but I wonder if I could reverse the ends but still keep the van end at least as wide as the van tire track.

Right now, without looking or measuring or anything, I think that attaching a 72" long piece of 1" square aluminum tube (or 72" long aluminum angle) across the rear hitch on the van would give me a nice straight piece to attach the protect-a-tow to without having to drill any holes in the van or van rear bumper. The aluminum angle or aluminum tube could be attached to the main hitch cross piece with square U-bolts or hose clamps etc.

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File Type: jpg hitch install 016.jpg (168.4 KB, 639 views)
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