Triple Towing

Question: Can I tow a 3500 lb. Cherokee with a 12′ UTV trailer and UTV (1800 lbs. total) with my 37′ diesel Motorhome? The motorhome weighs 22,000 lbs. loaded. GVW is 29,000 lbs. I have a 7000 – 8000 lb. hitch on the motorhome. Tow bar is Blue Ox, 10,000 lbs. Overall length is 66′.

Answer: On the surface,it sounds like you should be okay from a weight perspective, but please double check the complete set of RV Weight Definitions: .

In particular, see the distinction between GVW, GVWR and GCWR.

Aside from whether your weight and capacities are in line, you should consider the regulations associated with overall length of the combination and triple towing restrictions.

Below is a link for the ever-popular question about triple towing. The gist is that it depends on the state. You have to look at each state that you plan to travel through and determine what the law says about triple towing. Some states allow it some do not. There are maximum length limits per state so you have to be cognizant of that limitation. We suggest you check the current state-specific regulations.

By the way there is also a lot of other good information included in this link, including requirements for auxiliary braking systems.

5th wheel tow vehicles

by Mike Koons

(Colfax, CA)

Question: Can a Chevy 1500 5-spd 6-cylinder tow a 7400lb RV?

Answer: There are a lot of variables involved in towing – see the following pages on our web site:

Ten Towing Tips

RV & Vehicle Weight Definitions

Ten Weighty Matters

Also be sure to contact the truck manufacturer directly and get any specs about towing capacity in writing.

Don’t forget about tongue weight as you research the subject.

Another good resource is to check the Trailer Life Towing Guides for year-specific towing information.

Towing Smart Car

by Joyce (Illinois)

Question: Can a SmartCar be towed behind a Class A motorhome?

Answer: According to the 2014 Towing Guide, the 2014 Smart Car manual transmission can be towed, with the caveat reading as follows: “Manufacturer recommends
cabriolet installing a matching on/ off switch on battery terminal and has very detailed procedures
for towing. See owner’s manual for more information.

We suggest that you check the owners manual for the specific auto you are considering for towing. And it is worth a call the manufacturer as well.

Generally, the Motorhome magazine and FMCA towing guides are a good place to start when considering towable vehicles. Note that even though a particular car model is towable for one model year, other model years may not be towable – especially if you want to tow four wheels down.

So check and double check as you narrow down your choice of cars to purchase.

We always suggest that in addition to using information published in RV-related guides, that you also look at the owner’s manual for the complete specifications, and contact the manufacturer directly if something is unclear. Dinghy Guides.

You also have access to the set of current and prior years’ FMCA towing guides if you are a member or join FMCA.

Also make sure you understand RV weight considerations and take them into account when making decisions.

Locking your SmartCar under Towby: Rob V.

I was always concerned about parking my RV with the car behind and not being able to lock it and it’s contents, but follow this procedure and your car and contents will remain safe and locked.

If you were told you cannot lock your SmartCar while towing, this is incorrect.

Although the manual says you cannot do so, YOU CAN, here’s how and it doesn’t affect the towability of the car..!

  1. Enter car on driver side.
  2. Put gear shifter into neutral (Ignition key has to be in the ‘on’ position in order to do so)
  3. Push LOCK BUTTON ON DASH (lock light will blink rapidly) AND WHILE IT IS BLINKING TURN KEY COUNTER CLOCKWISE until it won’t go further. You should hear an audible click indicating that the door locks are in the lock position.
  4. Confirm that gear shifter is in ‘neutral’ and turn power shut-off switch under dash to ‘off’.
  5. Exit car and close driver door – ALL DOORS SHOULD NOW BE LOCKED with key in ignition and power shut-off turned off.
  6. To re-enter car YOU MUST HAVE A spare key to manually unlock the driver side door…DONE!

PS: Obviously you will need to install the separate power disconnect switch referred to as it does not come with the vehicle (I installed mine under the passenger dash).