The 9 Best Toad Vehicles To Tow Behind Your RV

If you’re an RV enthusiast, you’ve likely seen cars being towed behind motorhomes. 

These towed vehicles, affectionately known as “toads,” can significantly enhance your RVing experience. 

However, not all cars are suitable for flat towing. In this guide, we’ll explore the essentials of flat towing, what makes a good toad vehicle, and reveal the best vehicles to tow behind your RV

Whether you’re planning day trips away from your campsite or seeking a reliable second vehicle on the road, choosing the right toad vehicle is crucial. Let’s dive in.

What Is Flat Towing?

What Is Flat Towing

Flat towing, also known as 4-down towing or dinghy towing, involves pulling a vehicle with all four wheels on the ground. 

This method is popular among RVers because it allows for easy detachment and use of the towed vehicle. 

Unlike trailer towing, flat towing requires specific vehicle traits to prevent damage, particularly to the transmission. 

This towing method is ideal for RVers who want the convenience of a smaller, more maneuverable vehicle for day trips, errands, and exploring areas where driving a large RV would be cumbersome.

Read More Article: The 10 Best 3 Bedroom RVs & Campers (Updated List)

Traits Of A Good Vehicle To Tow Behind Your RV

Traits Of A Good Vehicle To Tow Behind Your RV

Choosing the right toad vehicle is essential for a seamless flat towing experience. Key traits to look for include:

  • Transmission Disconnect Option: This feature disengages the transmission, preventing damage during towing.
  • Steering Wheel Lockout Override: Ensures the vehicle’s wheels move freely in sync with the RV.
  • Manual Rear-Wheel Drive or 4WD: Most manual rear-wheel drive vehicles are suitable for flat towing. Additionally, 4WD vehicles with a manual transfer case that can be placed in neutral are usually safe to tow.

It’s important to verify these traits in the vehicle’s owner’s manual, as not all models within a category are suitable for flat towing

Always consult the “towing” or “recreational towing” sections to ensure compatibility.

Things You Need In Order To Tow Your Vehicle

To safely flat tow a vehicle behind your RV, you’ll need several components:

  1. Connector Baseplate and Tow Bar: The baseplate is fitted to the toad vehicle and connects it to the RV via the tow bar. Brands like BlueOx and Roadmaster are recommended.
  2. Auxiliary Braking System: This system activates the toad’s brakes when the RV brakes, enhancing safety and often required by law.
  3. Wiring for Light Integration: Integrates the toad’s brake and turn signal lights with the RV’s lights for safety.
  4. Emergency Breakaway: Ensures the toad’s brakes activate if it detaches from the RV.

These components are crucial for a safe and legal towing setup.

The Best Toad Vehicles

When selecting a toad vehicle, consider factors like reliability, ease of towing, and the specific needs of your travels. Here are nine of the best vehicles for flat towing:

1. Jeep Wranglers

Jeep Wranglers are the most popular toad vehicles due to their rugged design and off-road capabilities. 

Models from 1997 onwards can be flat towed. Their high ground clearance and low total weight make them ideal for adventurous RVers who enjoy off-grid camping

However, keep in mind that Wranglers are not the most fuel-efficient option.

2. Ford F-150

The Ford F-150 is a versatile and powerful option for those needing extra storage and towing capacity. 

Only 4WD trims can be flat towed, making it suitable for off-road paths and recreational activities

If you’re an active RVer, the F-150’s truck bed provides additional space for gear and equipment.

3. Honda CRV

Honda CRVs made before 2015 are reliable and safe for flat towing. They are known for their longevity and fuel efficiency, though they should not be towed faster than 65 mph according to the owner’s manual. 

This makes the CRV a practical choice for families and long trips.

4. Jeep Cherokee

The Jeep Cherokee, specifically the 4×4 models with 2-speed power transfer units, is another excellent option. 

It offers versatility, decent storage space, and the capability to handle off-road conditions. Ensure the specific model and year you choose are compatible with flat towing.

5. Fiat 500

For those who prefer a compact and fuel-efficient vehicle, the 2019 or earlier Fiat 500 with a manual transmission is a great choice. 

Its light weight makes it easy to tow, and it gets about 30 miles per gallon. The Fiat 500 can only be towed up to 65 mph and must be placed in neutral.

6. Ford Bronco

All Ford Broncos from 2021 and newer can be flat towed, regardless of the transmission type. 

The Bronco is a robust vehicle with detailed owner’s manuals on recreational towing, making it ideal for first-time flat towers. 

Its off-road prowess makes it a versatile choice for various terrains.

7. Jeep Gladiator

The Jeep Gladiator’s 4WD trims allow flat towing, providing high ground clearance and extra storage space in the truck bed. 

This model is perfect for RVers who need extra capacity without sacrificing maneuverability. 

The Gladiator also boasts better fuel efficiency compared to the Wrangler.

8. Chevrolet Equinox

The Chevrolet Equinox is a popular midsize SUV that is lightweight and easy to tow. It’s particularly suitable for families due to its spacious interior and comfortable ride. 

The Equinox strikes a balance between practicality and affordability.

9. Ford Maverick

While gasoline Mavericks cannot be flat towed, the hybrid version can. 

As Ford’s smallest truck, the Maverick offers great gas mileage and minimal impact on your RV’s fuel consumption. 

It’s a smart choice for those needing a small, economical vehicle with the benefits of a truck bed.

How To Select The Right Toad For You

Selecting the right toad vehicle depends on your specific needs and your RV’s towing capacity. Consider the following:

  • Usage: Determine how you will use the toad vehicle. Will it be for quick errands, long drives, or off-road adventures?
  • Capacity: Know the towing capacity of your RV and the hitch. Do not exceed these limits to ensure safety.
  • Family Needs: Consider the number of passengers and the amount of cargo space required.

Answer these questions to narrow down your choices and find a vehicle that meets both your travel lifestyle and practical needs.

Advantages Of Towing A Car Behind Your RV

Advantages Of Towing A Car Behind Your RV

Towing a car behind your RV offers numerous benefits:

  • Convenience: Easily explore local areas without maneuvering a large RV.
  • Fuel Efficiency: Smaller vehicles are more fuel-efficient than RVs.
  • Emergency Use: Provides a secondary mode of transportation if the RV breaks down.
  • Storage: Use the toad for additional storage capacity during trips.

Flat towing simplifies the process, making it quick to attach and detach your toad vehicle.

Disadvantages of Towing A Car Behind Your RV

Despite its advantages, flat towing has some drawbacks:

  • Initial Cost: Setting up a flat towing system can cost between $2,000 and $4,000.
  • Wear and Tear: Towing adds wear and tear to the toad vehicle, and some vehicles may count towed miles on the odometer.
  • Limited Options: Not all vehicles can be flat towed, and the number of compatible new models is decreasing.

Consider these factors when deciding if flat towing is right for you.

What To Do If Your Car Can’t Be Flat Towed?

If your vehicle cannot be flat towed, you have other options:

Trailer Or Car Hauler

Using a trailer or car hauler keeps your vehicle off the ground, avoiding wear and tear. 

This method widens the range of vehicles that can be towed but demands additional equipment and storage space.

Front Wheel Dolly

A front wheel dolly lifts the front wheels of your vehicle off the ground. For front-wheel-drive vehicles, this option offers greater affordability and a lighter weight compared to a trailer.

FAQs

Can any vehicle be flat towed? 

No, only specific vehicles with certain transmission and drive configurations can be flat towed.

Is flat towing safe for long distances? 

Yes, as long as the vehicle is suitable for flat towing and all safety equipment is used correctly.

How much does it cost to set up a flat towing system? 

Typically, between $2,000 and $4,000.

Do all towed miles count on the vehicle’s odometer? 

Some vehicles will count towed miles, while others do not. Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual.

What if my vehicle can’t be flat towed? 

Consider using a trailer or a front wheel dolly as alternative towing methods.

Wrapping Up

Choosing the best toad vehicle for your RV involves careful consideration of your travel needs and the technical requirements for flat towing

The nine vehicles listed here offer a variety of options to suit different preferences and budgets, ensuring you can find the perfect match for your adventures. 

Always prioritize safety and compatibility to make your RVing experience as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

Choosing the right toad vehicle is essential for a smooth and enjoyable RVing experience. 

With the information provided, you can make an informed decision on the best vehicles for flat towing, ensuring your travels are convenient and hassle-free. 

Always verify the specific model and year of any vehicle you consider to ensure it meets all towing requirements. Happy travels!

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