In this article, we will answer the following question: Can you tow a Smart car behind an RV? We will discuss the basics of towing a Smart Car and give you a few essential tips to stay safe on the road while towing a vehicle behind your RV.
How to tow a Smart car behind an RV
A Smart car can be easily towed behind an RV, as it weighs as little as 1,800 pounds. Still, Smart cars require special consideration when trying to tow them. Due to their small size and low weight, smart cars have to be towed flat – that is, on all four wheels.
Another option for towing a Smart car is a flatbed trailer. A flatbed trailer will reduce wear and tear on your smart car and reduce the miles accumulated on the odometer. A smart car cannot be towed with its front axle in the air. This can damage the braking system and will not be covered under warranty.
Campers planning to set up their main camping van or RVs at a central campsite and explore the area from a base camp may choose to use a car for day trips. Once campers have established their RV, plugged in the power and water supply, and fixed their space they may not want to set up camp every day to take short walks around the area.
RV owners can tow their small or compact car with a manual transmission. Flat towing is when towing the car, keeping all four wheels of the car on the ground in front of a trailer.
- Take your car and go to an auto repair shop or RV dealer to have a trailer hitch and bar attached.
- The tow hitch will be attached to the frame of your car and the matching tow bar to the rear of your truck.
- Raise the volume on the truck’s tow bar with a jack.
- Manoeuvre your car so that the ball on the hitch is located just below the tow bar of the truck.
- Crank down the jack until it rests on the vehicle’s tow hitch ball.
- Allow the jack to lower the bar so that it unfolds over the ball, safely enclosing it.
- Hook the electrical cables that extend from the car into the van’s electrical outlet, so you can control the car’s tail lights and turn signals through your truck’s dash.
- Check that the lights are working properly.
- Pull back on the locking mechanism so that the hitch locks securely on the tow ball and then pin the locking mechanism.
- Attach the van car safety chains by crossing them, hooking the left car chain to the right side of the van, and vice versa.
The basics of towing a Smart car
Here’s how to tow a Smart car
- Make sure the ignition is on.
- Release the parking brake and step on the brake pedal.
- Shift your Smart car into neutral and release the brake pedal.
- Turn the ignition off, leaving the key in the ignition switch.
- Turn off the battery switch.
- Attach the tow bar to the tow hooks on your smart car.
- Make sure the tow bar is securely connected by driving the tow vehicle a few feet ahead.
- Tow the stylish car to your desired destination.
- Release the smart car from the tow bar and turn on the battery.
If you will be travelling long distances when towing your smart car, it is best to use a flatbed trailer. Failing to put the car in neutral can cause substantial transmission damage. Towing the car with the front axle raised can damage the braking system and void the warranty.
Some tips for a safer road
- Our first tip is simply common sense: check your vehicle’s loading and mounting systems before setting off. Use undamaged belts, tensioners and other types of fasteners, and change them as soon as you see signs of wear or shear marks.
- Observe the manufacturers’ instructions and the rules on loading weight. A vehicle that is too heavy may be dragged more easily in the event of a gust of wind or emergency braking. Ensure your safety and that of other road users by taking into account the maximum load weight of your vehicle.
- Drive safely! The behaviour of your loaded car may be slightly different from usual, especially with regard to braking times and acceleration.
- The total authorized laden weight and the unladen weight of your vehicle are indicated – in the user manual which was given to you upon purchase. You can also contact your vendor for this information.
You are on an adventure, so enjoy it! Still, there are a few more things to keep in mind:
- Take turns wider than usual, to leave the trailer its own space to “round off the trajectory”;
- Brake and accelerate more smoothly than usual. In fact, you will increase the safety distance with other vehicles because the excess weight will increase your braking distances by approximately 20 to 30%.
- Avoid speeding: the small trailer tires get hot; Likewise, on trailers that are not very rigid, swaying can occur and it can become tense … Some modern cars have ESPs that incorporate the presence of a trailer, but they are still rare on the market.
- If you are overpassing a vehicle slower than you, consider your hitch’s length and not fall back too quickly.
- You also have to “read the road”, scan it, anticipate bumps, potholes, tight bends, anything that could panic a gyroscopic sensor.
- Before you have to back up into a tight spot at the end of your journey, it’s best to practice in a larger parking lot!
Practice driving your truck with your car hitched to it. You will have to learn to drive while accounting for the extra length of your towed car, as well as learn how to manoeuvre the two vehicles, park them, and back up.
When backing up, your car starts in the opposite direction of the van. If you put your hand on the bottom of the steering wheel and turn in the direction you want the car to go, the car will back up when planning.
Always drive with the towed car in neutral. Do not allow anyone to ride in the car while the truck is towing it. This is illegal and extremely dangerous.
Finally, don’t hesitate to contact your insurance if you have any questions. They can direct you to a contract that suits your vacation habits and offer you suitable cover.
Please let us know if we can be of any help!
FAQ on Can you tow a Smart car behind an RV?
Can you flat tow a 2016 Smart Car?
Although not recommended, you can flat tow a 2016 Smart Car. Another option for towing a Smart car is a flatbed trailer. A flatbed trailer will reduce wear and tear on your smart car and reduce the miles accumulated on the odometer. A smart car cannot be towed with its front axle in the air.
Can you tow an electric Smart car?
Yes, you can tow an electric Smart car. Still, electric Smart cars require special consideration when trying to tow them. Due to their small size and low weight, Smart cars have to be towed onto a car trailer.
What cars can be flat towed behind RV?
Some of the cars that can be flat towed behind an RV are the Jeep Wrangler or the Jeep Grand Cherokee; Chevrolet Colorado or Chevrolet Equinox; the Ford F-150 or the Honda CR-V.