Can a Class B motorhome tow a car?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Can a Class B motorhome tow a car? We will discuss the towing capacity of Class B motorhomes and give you advice on how to tow any car with a Class B RV.

Can a Class B motorhome tow a car?

Yes, a Class B motorhome can tow a car, as long as the GVWR of the car is anywhere between 3500 and 5000 lbs. This is the average towing capacity of a Class B motorhome, and we do not recommend you to exceed it as it can be dangerous and can also damage your vehicle. 

Here are the most popular Class B motorhomes in 2021 and their towing capacity: 

Class B modelTowing Capacity
Airstream Interstate 5,000 lbs
Coachmen Galleria 5000lbs
Roadtrek RS Adventurous7000 lbs
Storyteller Overland 5,000 lbs
Thor Tellaro 20AT 3,500 lbs
​​Winnebago Revel 44E 5,000 lbs
Winnebago Solis 59PX 3,500 lbs
Winnebago Travato3,500 lbs

Do I need a special licence to tow a car with a Class B motorhome?

It is not necessary to have a special license to tow a car with a motorhome. Nonetheless, everything will depend on the weight of the vehicle and the weight of the trailer.

To drive a motorhome with a conventional license, the vehicle weight, the GVW, must be less than or equal to 3.5 tonnes. For the trailer, its weight must be less than 1650 lbs. The trailer must be equipped with a number plate. If the weight of the trailer is less than 1100 lbs then it will bear the same number plate as the motorhome. If its weight exceeds 1100 lbs then it must have its own plate and its own registration card.

To tow a car with a Class B motorhome, it is better to opt for a small car. When choosing, opt for a light motorhome car. City cars are ideal: Renaut’s Twingo, Peugeot 107, Citroën C1, Smart, Fiat 500, KIA Picanto, Fiat Panda.

What hitch to install to tow a car with a class B motorhome?

The first thing to do before towing a car with a motorhome is to check that the motorhome has a hitch. If the motorhome does not have a hitch, check whether it is possible to install one. It is therefore necessary to check that the vehicle frame is strong enough to withstand traction.

There are several types of couplings:

  • fixed hitches.
  • removable hitches.
  • swivel hitches. 

We have previously written an article explaining all the hitches classes and how to choose the best one according to your vehicle. Make sure you check it out!

How do I know if my Class B can tow a car?

The first thing to do is consult the owner’s manual for the vehicle you want to tow. This is to make sure it is legal and safe to do so for that car in the first place. Most states require and have certain limitations on which vehicles are suitable for motorhome capacities.

Another great step to consider, even after you know if your car can be towed, make sure your motorhome can tow the weight of your car. Not all cars are created equal and you should be aware of the weight that the RV is already carrying with you and things in your RV.

To begin, subtract the fully loaded weight (passenger and cargo) of the RV from its GCWR (gross combined weight rating).

Then weigh the car (with full fuel) and verify that it is less than the amount you have to tow based on the above calculations.

Another weight concern to consider is how much the motorhome hitch receiver weighs. The good news is, if it’s too heavy, you can switch or upgrade to one that suits your needs rather than buying a brand new car.

But keep in mind that these updates won’t always solve all your problems, as your chassis can only handle so much weight on its own (much less upgradeable). The most important thing about this post is to simply consult your owner’s manual or ask the seller/dealer for more details about the vehicle.

What happens if you tow too much weight?

If you tow too much weight, the rear of the car will be pushed up and the front is pushed in. The result is that the grip deteriorates, the trailer becomes more unstable and the range of the low beam is shortened.

A car with a trailer is more difficult to drive and control than a car without a trailer. This is because the weight and length of a car with a trailer will increase, which affects both steering and braking.

We must thus remind you of the safety rules, and that exceeding towing capacity is never recommended, as it can represent a great risk especially on a long road.  The weight makes your car less agile and less balanced, especially if you carry a lot of weight in the trunk, in the rear, if you have a roof rack, a trailer or any other accessory to carry more cargo.

If the weight is poorly distributed on the trailer and it suffers a blow, the vehicle loses control.  This, on a busy road and at a high speed, could cause a fatal accident, so we emphasize the importance of dedicating the necessary time to properly place the load on the trailer and stop considering it an unimportant process. 

Tips and warnings for towing a car with a Class B

  • You can do serious damage to a car’s transmission or engine if you don’t have it in the proper equipment when towing. Don’t skip the step of downloading or purchasing the owner’s manual for your specific model, or you may end up paying for a new engine or transmission.
  • The tires and gears are moved to keep the vehicle with less resistance to the jerks of the car, causing the transmission to work differently. This means that while travelling, you will need to circulate the transmission fluid to assist your vehicle while pulling it.
  • Without proper transmission lubrication, you could face a few more headaches on your journey than you anticipate. 
  • Nothing too flashy, well maybe a little. You will need to configure your brake light system for the rear of those cars and RVs. First of all, it is quite simple to turn the lights on and on. You can do it in different ways. The most obvious is to have a professional install it for you.
  • If you will be towing your car quite frequently, then a permanent lighting system would be beneficial, as you wouldn’t have to install and disable the lighting system every few weeks, depending on how much you travel. If you like looks, a permanent option actually provides a nice, smooth finish to your car and doesn’t seem like a strange accessory.
  • In addition to lights, there are two more safety features to be aware of and one of them is required by many states. These safety features are the braking system (required by most states) and the tire pressure monitors.
  • Also, note that 43 of the 50 United States require you to have auxiliary brake systems that work in conjunction with motorhomes. 

Conclusions

A motorhome can tow a caravan, trailer, boat, car or truck, as long as the tow doesn’t exceed the maximum towing capacity of the motorhome. 

  • A Class A motorhome can tow up to 4500 kgs (10000 lbs);
  • A Class B motorhome can tow up to 2250 kgs (5000 lbs);
  • A Class C motorhome can tow up to4500 kgs (10000 lbs).

Thus, a motorhome can tow any type of trailer, caravan, car, scooter, luggage rack, boat, etc. Yet it is still necessary that it be equipped with a coupling, and that its characteristics correspond to the weight of the vehicle.

Please let us know if you have any questions or comments on the content!

FAQ on Can a Class B motorhome tow a car?

How do I know how much I can tow?

If you can’t find a scale, calculate the weight of the vehicle by adding the total of the empty car, the weight of the passengers, and the cargo. Subtract the loaded weight of your vehicle from the total gross weight. The resulting figure is your towing capacity.

What is the towing capacity?

Towing capacity is the maximum amount of weight your vehicle can safely tow. Many types of vehicles can tow as long as you meet their specific guidelines. … A good way to find out your towing limit is to find out what the gross combined weight ratio (GCWR) of your vehicle is.

Can a motorhome tow a caravan?

A motorhome can tow a caravan, trailer, boat, car or truck, as long as the tow doesn’t exceed the maximum towing capacity of the motorhome. 

What happens when you exceed your vehicle’s towing capacity?

When you exceed your vehicle’s towing capacity you bring a series of consequences for your card, such as engine overheating; tire failure, overloading the drivetrain, CO2 emissions increase among others. 

What percentage of max towing capacity is safe?

A percentage of 80% or 75% of max towing capacity would be safe and recommendable. 

How do you know if you tow too much weight?

You know you are towing too much weight when the rear of the truck will appear hunkered down and the front end will feel light.

References