Everybody agrees that RVing is fun. You can enjoy a home-like comfort while exploring the wilderness through those scenic routes and have a hardcore adventure.
It’s all bells and whistles until things go south and you get stranded in the middle of nowhere. A mechanical failure or irreparable damage while vacationing in your motorhome can be a real thorn in the foot and make the whole experience sour.
No matter how well-maintained or perfectly running your motorhome is, you should always be prepared for a rainy day and have your contingencies in place.
If you’re concerned about how to tow a broken motorhome or how to rescue your RV while Overlanding, we have the most comprehensive guide to help you with your off-roading adventures.
Types of Motorhomes
Before we jump into the details of towing a broken-down motorhome, it is crucial to know the different types to handle the situation much more wisely. Motorhomes come in 3 classes, namely Class A, Class B, and Class C.
Class A is the full-size home on wheels and the flagship of RVs. Class C motorhomes sit in the middle and are the most widely used off-roading machines. All the mid-size trailers, caravans, and RVs fall in class C. Lastly, Class B is the smallest of the 3 and comprises small-sized campers and pop-up trailers.
We shall be keeping our focus on Class A, the full-size motorhomes available in the market.
Things to Consider While Towing a Motorhome
When planning to buy an RV for your off-roading trips, you should consider a few important aspects that could help you better in an unforeseen situation. Towing a motorhome is not a walk in the park because it requires meticulous planning and the right machinery. Let’s shed some light on the most important of these aspects;
The Right Vehicle
Towing a monstrous Class A motorhome would require a powerful vehicle, one that is built for the very purpose. You must get a truck that has a sturdy chassis, purpose-built suspension, and generous towing capability. Getting automatic transmission and a 2-wheel drive vehicle makes an ideal combination for towing, especially when the payload is around 20,000 lbs or more.
The max towing capacity is that of the Ford F-350 at 24,000 lbs, and the majority of Class A motorhomes weigh around 22,000 lbs, up to 35,000 lbs.
You should remember that the weight of the payload should not exceed that of the truck by a huge margin. Towing too much weight can endanger your safety as stability and traction can be easily lost with a heavy payload on the tail.
It is better to use a tow trailer for loading and towing a motorhome rather than pulling it on the road with a truck. A tow trailer makes it easier to maneuver and it also reduces the chances of the truck swaying right or left.
Securing the RV
If the motorhome is not securely parked and tied to the tow trailer, it can slip or drive off while driving and become a serious safety hazard on the road. Engage the parking brakes and use tie chains to securely tow a motorhome.
Condition of the Motorhome
It is also important to consider the condition of the motorhome. If there is too much structural damage, it is better to call emergency and recovery services rather than try to tow it yourself and avoid any hassle.
How to Tow a Broken Motorhome Using Tow Trailer?
The best way to rescue a broken-down motorhome is by using a tow trailer. Let’s understand the step by step of towing a broken motorhome;
- Put your tow trailer in the loading position by raising the front end using the lever, make sure that the axle touches the ground.
- Park your motorhome by driving it slowly over the loading deck, ensuring that it is near the front portion and centered in the middle.
- Engage the winch cable and put the trailer in the transport position by raising the deck.
- When the trailer deck is completely occupied. Slide the undercarriage to the back, draw the winch rope, and tension it against the load once again.
- Put your vehicle in towing mode, engage the traction control and drive in lower gears for stability and safe transport.
- Also make sure that all the electrical and hydraulic connections between the trailer and the towing vehicle are secured. This allows the driver to engage the brakes and lights on the trailer and enhance their on-road safety.
How to Tow a Broken Motorhome Using Tow Bar?
If you have a mid-size or smaller RV, you could also use a tow bar for rescuing and reducing the hassle of carrying extra inventory or equipment. Here’s how you can tow an RV using a tow bar;
- Start by parking your vehicle on level ground and engaging the brakes.
- Then check the height between the tow hitch of the RV and the base plate.
- Then install the tow bar on your motorhome.
- Park your vehicle in front of the motorhome and align it with the tow hitch while reversing.
- Install the arms of the tow bar and engage the latches of the tow bar.
- The last step should be installing the safety cables and engaging the towing mode in your vehicle.
Getting into trouble while off-roading can be very daunting, especially when your huge motorhome breaks down. Towing a broken motorhome can be a very challenging project and if everything is not done rightly, you could get into more trouble. There are different means of towing a malfunctioned motorhome and the safest of those is using a flatbed tow trailer. It is crucial to follow the protocols for towing a heavy payload, and if you find it difficult, it is best to call for rescue, rather than worsen the situation.
Ever since I was a kid, I've been fascinated by travel. I inherited this passion from my parents. Since my college years and to this day, I have had a passion for traveling in a motorhome. I am here to share my experiences with you.