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What 2023-2024 Vehicles Can Be Flat Towed?

WHAT IS FLAT TOWING?

Flat towing (also known as “dinghy towing” or “four-down towing”) is when you tow a vehicle behind your RV via a tow bar as opposed to a dolly of some kind. It’s a popular way to travel these days, and it’s easy to see why: Having a towed vehicle with you when you get to your destination makes it easy to get around and explore. Plus, it's much easier to disconnect from a tow bar than from a traditional dolly.

However, sometimes it’s difficult to tell if your vehicle can be flat towed. There used to be many cars that were flat towable, but today that list has shrunk to just a handful. In this post, we’ll look at things to consider when flat towing, as well as which 2023-2024 model year vehicles can be flat towed.

CAN MY EXISTING VEHICLE BE FLAT TOWED?

There are many vehicles from previous years that are flat-towable. One of the easiest ways to determine if your vehicle can be flat towed is to check the Owner’s Manual. Go to the Index and look under ‘R’ for the Recreational Towing section (if you don’t see a Recreational Towing section, then your vehicle cannot be flat towed). Once you’ve located that section, read through the instructions and warnings outlined by the manufacturer. Somewhere in those instructions, they’ll very clearly say whether or not you should tow your vehicle with four wheels down.

DOES MY VEHICLE NEED TO BE MODIFIED TO FLAT TOW IT?

Just because your vehicle can be flat towed doesn’t mean that you can simply hook it up and go. There are many vehicles that require additional accessories in order to be flat-towable (we have a great resource called the Specific Vehicle Products sheet that you can reference to see what you’ll need for your vehicle).

As a general rule of thumb, most vehicles made in the last 10 years will typically need either a battery charger (like Towed Battery Charger +) or a battery disconnect. To find out if you need either one of those products, double check the Recreational Towing section of your Owner’s Manual again. If the manufacturer says to disconnect your battery, then you don’t need a battery charger. If the manufacturer doesn’t specify or if they specifically state not to disconnect the battery, then you’ll likely need some kind of battery charger.

However, this is not a one-size-fits-all approach - some vehicles don’t need either of those products, while others require things like third-party 12v outlets to power a braking system.

It’s best to utilize a resource like the Specific Vehicle Products page if you’re unsure. You can also reach out to our Customer Service Champions at (800) 815-2159 if you have questions on what you need for your vehicle specifically. 

WHAT 2023-2024 VEHICLES CAN BE FLAT TOWED?

Family RVing Magazine publishes a yearly list of vehicles that can be flat towed. For 2023-2024, they list the following vehicles as being flat towable:

  • Blazer (Chevy)
  • Bronco (Ford)
  • Canyon (GMC)
  • Colorado (Chevy)
  • Corsair Grand Touring Hybrid (Lincoln)
  • Edge (Ford)
  • Encore (Buick)
  • Equinox (Chevy)
  • Escalade (Cadillac)
  • Escape Hybrid (Ford)
  • Expedition (Ford)
  • F-150, 250, 350, & 450 (Ford)
  • Gladiator (Jeep)
  • Grand Cherokee (Jeep)
  • Maverick (Ford)
  • Nautilus Hybrid (Lincoln)
  • Navigator (Lincoln)
  • RAM 1500, 2500, & 3500 (Dodge/RAM)
  • Sierra 1500, 2500 & 3500 (GMC)
  • Silverado 1500, 2500, & 3500 (Chevy)
  • Suburban (Chevy)
  • Tahoe (Chevy)
  • Trailblazer (Chevy)
  • Trax (Chevy)
  • Versa S (Nissan)
  • Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer (Jeep)
  • Wrangler (Jeep)
  • Yukon (GMC)
  • Z (Nissan)

While that may still feel like a decent number of choices, many popular vehicles from years past (such as the Honda CR-V and Jeep Cherokee) no longer come in flat-towable models. (It’s worth noting, however, that older models of these cars can still be flat-towed.) As many auto manufacturers continue to simplify their product offerings, it’s likely that this list will continue to shrink in coming years.

WHAT’S THE BEST FLAT TOWABLE VEHICLE FOR ME?

We’ve covered this topic extensively here on our blog, as well as on our YouTube channel, but the answer to this question all comes down to your unique RV lifestyle. If you’re planning on simply running errands or maybe doing some leisurely sightseeing, then a sedan is probably the best choice for you. If you’re bringing the family along and need a bit more space, you’ll probably want an SUV of some kind. And if you’re planning on doing some off-roading or heading to a lot of national parks, then a Jeep is probably the perfect fit for your needs.

BEST ALL-AROUND FLAT TOW VEHICLE

At the end of the day, we’re big believers in Jeep products. Our president Dan has towed with them for many years, and they continue to set the standard for comfort, ease, and reliability when it comes to flat towing.

Our current favorite is the Gladiator, due to the versatility of its built-in bed. However, the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee are also great ways to go, depending on your unique needs and preferences.

ADDITIONAL FLAT TOWING TIPS

Whenever you flat tow, there are three other systems that you’ll need to consider:

1. Your tow bar. When it comes to tow bars, you need to make sure that you find one that has non-binding latches and can withstand a very high number of extensions. Our favorite is the Roadmaster Nighthawk. (They don’t pay us anything for mentioning them - we just really love their stuff!) It’s the best tow bar you’ll find on the market.

2. Your braking system. Braking systems are required by law in 49 of 50 states and all of Canada. More than that, though, braking systems are a critical piece of safety equipment that takes the weight of your towed vehicle off the RV during harder/more aggressive stops. Regardless of whether you go with an installed or a portable unit, you’ll want to make sure you get a truly proportional system that is easy to install and can get on your brake pedal within half a second during a panic stop. The RVibrake3 and RVibrake Shadow are the only two brakes on the market that meet those standards.

3. Your lighting kit. Lighting kits control your brake lights, turn signals, and running lights while you’re towing, and they come in all shapes and sizes - from the “mickey mouse ear” magnetic style that you’ve probably seen to fully integrated diode-based systems. Fortunately, most lighting kits are consistent in their quality, so it’s hard to go wrong no matter what style you choose.

CONCLUSION

At the end of the day, flat towing is a great way to travel! There are simply some additional considerations to take into account before you begin your journey. The good news is that we’re here to help. If you have any questions on flat towing or anything covered in this article, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone, chat, or email. As always, happy RVing!


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