Why We Don’t Tow a Vehicle Behind Our RV

When it comes down to how to tow a vehicle there are a ton of options. Sometimes it can be hard to decipher which way is best.

We get asked all the time how we tow a vehicle as we travel. To be honest with you, we don’t, we actually chase.

Are you new to RVing and still unsure on how to tow a vehicle when traveling? We've decided on a different option, but there were a ton of things to consider before making a decision. Mountainmodernlife.com

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Why We Don’t Tow a Vehicle Behind Our RV

Katie has always followed behind me in our Jeep, but until one of our Youtube viewers reached out and called it “Chasing” I didn’t know what to call it.

We love chasing even though it does have its disadvantages. What’s important is figuring out the way that’s best for you to get your car around. Hopefully the information below will help get you started in the right direction.

Check out the video below where I discuss some of the options we looked into before deciding to chase, as well as some of the advantages and disadvantages of chasing:

Different Options to Tow a Vehicle with Your RV

Here are a few towing options we considered before we hit the road.

Option #1 – 4-Down Towing:

The first option we looked into was 4-down towing. Which is when you tow a vehicle with all four of its tires on the ground. This was our preferred method due to how safe it is.

When you tow 4-down the brakes on your tow vehicle actually compress when you press the brakes on the rig. This in turn gives you better stopping power. You also won’t have to worry about storing a dolly or trailer when you get to your campsite.

Option #2 – Tow Dolly:

With a tow dolly you’ll pull your front two tires up onto the dolly, in turn leaving your rear wheels as the only ones on the ground. From our research we’ve found this option to be pretty decent, though it’s important to note all dolly’s aren’t created equal.

We found a couple of brands that manufacturer dolly’s with advanced braking. If we end up getting a dolly we would probably go with one of these company’s Acme Tow Dolly, and Demco Tow Dolly. Both of which have dolly’s with the braking systems we’d feel more comfortable with.

Option #3 – Trailer:

With the trailer option you’d actually have zero tires on the ground because you’d be pulling your tow vehicle up onto the trailer. When going with this option you could use either a closed in trailer or an open one.

With a closed trailer you could actually use some of the extra room to store various different items. Towing with a closed trailer can be a lot heavier though, so keep that in mind.

During our travels we’ve met a few people who’ve created a garage so to speak within their tow trailer. Something to consider I’d say.

Option #4 – Chasing:

Chasing is the option we currently use as we travel. So Katie is actually chasing behind me in the vehicle as I drive the RV. This wasn’t our first option but we’ve become big fans of the way it’s worked out.

How We Ended Up Chasing

Are you new to RVing and still unsure on how to tow a vehicle when traveling? We've decided on a different option, but there were a ton of things to consider before making a decision. Mountainmodernlife.comWhen we first purchased the RV we had every intention of 4-down towing our vehicle. As we came closer to our departure date we began looking into it, and quickly found our 2014 Jeep Cherokee couldn’t be towed this way.

It was upsetting considering we’d learned 4-down towing was one of the safest options when it came to taking your vehicle with you on your journeys.

We quickly began looking into towing with a dolly, but were put off by many of the horror stories we’d heard. Once we started digging a little deeper we realized not all tow dollies are created equal.

There are some that fold up so you don’t have to worry about storing them when you get to your campsite, and there are ones that have disk brakes which make them a lot safer.

The problem was we were getting very close to our departure date and were still not comfortable enough to pull the trigger on one. So we decided for the beginning of our journey Katie would chase behind the RV in our Jeep.

After we’d been on the road for a while we realized it wasn’t too bad considering we weren’t driving long distances at a time. We also quickly realized some of the benefits of chasing.

Are you new to RVing and still unsure on how to tow a vehicle when traveling? We've decided on a different option, but there were a ton of things to consider before making a decision. Mountainmodernlife.comBenefits of Chasing vs Towing

While there are benefits to all the various options below you’ll see a couple of our favorites from our time chasing.

Driving Ahead:

One of our favorites is Katie being able to drive ahead of me and grab food or coffee. After she gets what we need we meet up at a rest stop and have lunch or coffee. In turn we don’t need to leave the road with the RV and cut down a lot of time we may have otherwise spent.

Listening to Audiobooks/Podcasts/Sports Radio:

We’re both able to listen to our audiobooks, podcasts, or sports radio. We normally listen to similar audiobooks and podcasts but driving separate gives me a little time to listen to my Atlanta Falcons radio station :).

Less Wear and Tear:

We’ve driven quite a bit in the mountains and I can tell you it sometimes puts a lot of strain on the RV engine. By not having our car attached to the RV it helps to eliminate the extra stress that could’ve been place on the RV engine.

Disadvantages of Chasing vs Towing

As with anything disadvantages can always be found. The main key is finding the option that works best for you with the least number of disadvantages. Anyway here are a few we’ve found from our time chasing.

Not Together:

The biggest disadvantage to chasing for us is that we’re not together as we’re moving locations. It is nice to be able to listen to what we each want as we travel, though we both agree being together would be better.

More Wear and Tear:

While you’ll probably save some wear and tear on your RV you’re most certainly going to add some to your other vehicle. You’re going to be putting all of the extra miles on your car that you’ll be putting on your RV.

More Gas:

You’ll also use more gas. While I’m not sure the exact amount more it is more. But considering the weight your not pulling on the RV, and the gas mileage cars are getting today it may be a closer than we’d think. Still it is a factor you should consider when making your decision.

Are you new to RVing and still unsure on how to tow a vehicle when traveling? We've decided on a different option, but there were a ton of things to consider before making a decision. Mountainmodernlife.com

Overall we’re happy with chasing for now, but it would be nice if we were both able to be in the RV at the same time. It would help us to appreciate the beauty of the country a bit more if we were together.

We hope this information on how to tow a vehicle has been helpful but we’d love to hear about how you get your vehicle around with you and what you think of the system you use.


Looking for RV or travel inspiration? You can find all of our RV-related posts here and don’t forget to check out our RV tours, Decor Resources, and YouTube Channel! Curious about how we make money on the road? Click here.


2 Comments
  • Colleen k Hansen
    Reply

    we tow 4 down because I need to be in the motor home to help control the lab and help navigate. But finding the right tow vehicle is a pia . We ended up with a 1989 jeep lol , it’s pretty small so is cramped for my hubby also it is expensive to set up..also a 89 has some character defects .. The plan now is to sell the jeep and motor home cause my hubby s dream is a toy hauler , to pull behind our beloved truck. .

    March 23, 2018 at 10:56 am
  • Jowanna Tillman
    Reply

    This article is right on time for my family. We are choosing to chase this summer. While our car is 4 wheel towable we are not sure we want to commit to the expense of the towing package. Thank you for sharing.

    April 2, 2018 at 8:00 pm

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