Traveling in an RV is a great way to see the country. But when you’re traveling in a larger rig, it can sometimes be challenging to see the sights unless you bring a second vehicle with you. One such vehicle common among RVers is a Jeep. However, many people want to know, can you flat tow a Jeep?
That’s what we’re here for. Read on, and we’ll explain what flat-towing is, which Jeep models can be flat-towed, and how to do it safely. We’ll even give you a couple of alternatives to flat-towing. Let’s get started!
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What Is Flat-Towing?
Flat-towing is also sometimes called 4 down or all 4 wheels of the car on the ground; towing a vehicle behind your RV without the use of a trailer. You would attach the tow vehicle directly to the RV, usually using a tow bar.
There’s no need to worry about finding a place to store a cumbersome trailer, and you don’t have to mess around with connecting and disconnecting trailers every time you want to use them.
Can All Vehicles Be Flat-Towed Behind An RV?
No, not all vehicles can be flat-towed behind an RV. In fact most these days cannot be flat towed. Some vehicles have a four-wheel-drive system that you must disengage before flat-towing, and others have a transmission that cannot handle being pulled for long periods. If you’re unsure whether your vehicle can be flat-towed, consult your owner’s manual or a qualified mechanic.
Which Jeep Models Can You Flat Tow Behind Your RV?
If you want to tow a Jeep behind your RV, one of the models we list below may be a good fit for you. But before you go out and buy one, let us explain a few of the reasons each is suitable for towing and some of their limitations.
Always consult your owner’s manual or dealer so you understand how to flat tow any vehicle properly. If you do not follow the proper procedures, it can be unsafe, or damage can occur.
Pro Tip: While towing your Jeep, make sure to never break any of these 10 Camper Towing Rules.
Jeep Wrangler – The Jeep Wrangler is one of the most popular tow vehicles, primarily because of its ruggedness and ability to handle most off-road terrain.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind if you choose to flat tow a Wrangler. If you plan to use your tow vehicle as extra storage, you may have a limit with the Wrangler. Also, if you intend to put a lot of highway miles on it, the Wrangler may not be a very smooth ride. It is best to use it as an excellent off-road vehicle.
Some Jeep Wranglers can be surprisingly heavy, so be sure that your RV has the towing capacity to handle it. This rule holds for any vehicle you intend to tow.
Jeep Cherokee – The Jeep Cherokee is available in many different packages, also called trim levels. There are several versions of the Cherokee that you cannot tow. These include any Cherokee with a single-speed power transfer unit and all two-wheel-drive models.
If the Cherokee has a two-speed power transfer unit, it may be able to be flat-towed behind an RV. You should check the owner’s manual or with a Jeep dealership to ensure the specific model you are considering can be flat towed.
Jeep Grand Cherokee – The Jeep Grand Cherokee is another popular option for folks that want to flat tow a vehicle. It has a spacious interior, as well as solid off-roading capabilities.
Like the Cherokee, the Grand Cherokee has some trim packages that are flat-towable, while others are not. Any Grand Cherokee that has 4-LO is flat-towable, although it may require a special tow kit not to void the warranty or damage the vehicle.
The Grand Cherokee is also on the heavier side of Jeep models, so ensure that your rig has the proper towing capacity to flat tow it safely. Many smaller RVs will not be able to flat tow a Grand Cherokee safely.
Jeep Patriot – A few features make the Jeep Patriot a popular option. It has good fuel efficiency, is one of the less expensive Jeep models, and is relatively lightweight. It is light enough that you can tow it with most RVs.
However, you must be sure you’re purchasing the correct trim level if you want to flat tow a Patriot. You can flat tow all Patriots with a manual transmission. If the Patriot has an automatic transmission, you cannot flat tow it.
Jeep Liberty – The Jeep Liberty is a smaller SUV similar in design to the Wrangler, with a strong frame and suspension and four-wheel drive options. It is also larger than the Wrangler, making it a good choice if you have a lot of gear to take on your travels with kids or pets traveling with you. The Liberty is a good option if you want light off-roading while still maintaining a comfortable ride on the highway.
You can flat tow the four-wheel-drive Jeep Liberty by putting the transfer case in neutral and the transmission in park. You can only flat tow the two-wheel-drive Liberty, however, if you remove or disengage the drive shaft, which is no small feat.
Jeep Gladiator – The Jeep Gladiator is the company’s version of a pick-up truck. It looks like a Wrangler but has a five-foot bed in the back. It has good off-road capabilities and a smoother ride than the Wrangler on the highway.
All Jeep Gladiators are flat-towable. Jeep is pretty particular about how to flat tow your Gladiator, so you need to follow the specific instructions in the manual not to void your warranty. It’s also a good idea because not following the instructions could damage the Gladiator’s drivetrain.
Which Models Can’t You Flat Tow?
There are a couple of Jeep models that you cannot flat tow at all. They are the Jeep Renegade and Jeep Compass. The reason you cannot flat tow these models is that they have a transaxle design instead of a more traditional transmission design. This means that flat-towing them could put too much stress on the transaxle and cause damage. If you own one of these models and want to haul it behind your RV, you’ll need to look into getting a trailer or dolly instead.
Does Flat Towing Cause Wear and Tear On the Jeep Or RV?
There is some normal wear and tear on the Jeep when you pull it behind an RV. Most experts say that the wear and tear are about the same as if you were driving the Jeep. This is dependent upon how well-maintained the Jeep is.
Most experts also say that the RV doesn’t suffer from any added wear and tear when properly flat-towing a Jeep or other vehicle. If you maintain the RV and follow the proper procedures when flat-towing, there is little added stress to the RV.
Safety Tips for Flat Towing
If you’re looking for a great way to road trip with your Jeep, flat-towing it behind your RV is a great option. However, it’s essential to take safety precautions to ensure the trip goes smoothly. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe while flat-towing your Jeep:
Check Your RV’s Towing Capacity: Your RV’s towing capacity will determine how much weight it can safely tow. Confirm your RV’s manufacturer specifications before flat-towing your Jeep.
Check Your Jeep’s Owner’s Manual: Jeeps have different flat-towing requirements depending on the year, model, and trim. Ensure you consult your owner’s manual to learn about the specific flat-towing procedures and requirements.
Ensure the RV and Jeep Are Up-to-Date on All Maintenance: It’s essential to keep both your RV and Jeep up-to-date on all maintenance, especially if you’re flat-towing. Routine maintenance can help ensure the safety of your trip.
Choose a Reliable Tow Bar: When flat-towing a Jeep, it’s crucial to use a tow bar that is reliable and sturdy. Do your research and choose a tow bar made for flat-towing Jeeps. You may even need a tow bar specific to a particular model or trim package.
Understand Supplemental Braking: If you’re flat-towing a Jeep behind an RV, you need to use a supplemental braking system. Jeeps don’t have their brakes when flat-towed. There are various types of additional braking systems available, so be sure to do your research and choose the right one for your needs.
Use a Break-Away Device: A break-away device is another necessary safety precaution when flat-towing a Jeep behind an RV. This device engages the brakes on the RV if it disconnects from the Jeep while flat-towing.
Always Connect Lights and Verify They Work: Lights are essential for flat-towing a Jeep behind an RV. Make sure you have connected all lights before starting your trip.
Are There Alternatives?
Flat-towing a Jeep behind an RV is a popular way to travel, but is there an alternative that might be better for your situation? Two alternative ways to tow a Jeep behind an RV are using a tow dolly or flatbed trailer.
A tow dolly is a small trailer that supports the front wheels of the Jeep, with the rear wheels on the ground. This is the most common way to tow a Jeep behind an RV, and it’s easy to set up. All you need is a hitch on your RV and the tow dolly. The downside to using a tow dolly is that it can be challenging to maneuver, especially in tight spaces.
A flatbed trailer sits flat on the ground and supports the entire Jeep, meaning you can choose any model you like. This option is a bit more expensive than using a tow dolly, but it’s easier to maneuver and you can use it for other purposes when you’re not traveling. The downside is that you need a bigger RV to accommodate the trailer.
Pro Tip: Use these tips on How To Choose The Best RV Tow Dolly Option before you buy your own and hit the road.
Is It Worth It?
Flat-towing a Jeep behind an RV can be a great way to explore without needing to park your car. However, it is vital to ensure that your Jeep is appropriately equipped for flat-towing before going on your trip. Otherwise, you could damage your jeep or even cause an accident.
Flat-towing a Jeep is not for everyone, but if you prepare to do it safely, it can be a great way to see the country.
Have you flat-towed a Jeep before? Tell us in the comments below!
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