Does RVing Always Require a Tow Vehicle?

The Crazy Cooks have gone on many RV trips with a tow vehicle, and many without one. In fact, we traveled in “The Beast” for several months before we made the move to purchase our Jeep. Our very first trip in the RV was to Yellowstone  National Park. With no tow vehicle we closed down our campsite every morning, drove our large Class A RV all around the park to see the sights, and returned every night to set our campsite back up again…ugh. A tow vehicle would have really come in handy. Simply put, towing a vehicle gives you flexibility and options when you travel.

So how do you decide if you really need one? It really just depends on your destination and what you plan on doing once you arrive. For instance, when we traveled to Cajun Palms RV Resort in Henderson, Louisiana, we used our tow vehicle to drive ourselves and others to the Crawfish Festival in nearby Breaux Bridge. If we hadn’t towed our Jeep we would have missed the festival. And you just can’t visit Louisiana without throwing down some spicy crawfish while you tap your feet to some killer Cajun tunes.

But not all trips require a tow vehicle. We have found that many parks and resorts offer local transportation, giving you the flexibility to leave your tow vehicle at home. For example, southern hospitality was in full swing at the French Quarter RV Resort in New Orleans, Louisiana, when shuttles lined up to take everyone to the Saints/Steelers football game at the Superdome. Cabs were also available to transport RVers to the French Quarter for local shopping and dining. Nicely done y’all!

And then there are the mechanics of it all. Do you know how to tow a car behind an RV?  Chances are if you are comfortable driving a “rolling house-on-wheels” you will be just fine pulling a few extra feet of tow vehicle. Which RV towing vehicle is right for you? RVers choose a wide variety of vehicles based on how many people travel, how the vehicle will be used (basic transport or blazing trails), and most important of all…budget constraints. Then there is the choice of RV towing equipment. Which RV tow bar setup do you prefer? Once you purchase your vehicle and connect the tow bar, always remember to test connections i.e. brake lights and turning signals prior to hitting the road.

On our most recent RV adventure – the 2011 Father/Son Summer RV Tour – Bob and the boys had a crazy drive through Yosemite National  Park in California. The decline on highway 120 out of Groveland was so severe and the turns so tight, they had to disconnect the Jeep. Which brings up another item to consider: how long is your RV? Ours is 43’ long without the Jeep. If your RV is facing tight turns (where overall length needs to be considered) or steep inclines/declines (where additional weight may cause problems), you may occasionally need to detach and drive your tow vehicle behind the RV until conditions stabilize. In our case, Ray was able to drive the Jeep behind the RV for a little over 2 hours as they slowly made their descent down the highway. When road conditions improved the Jeep was reconnected. Even when towing a vehicle is the right choice for your trip, occasional adjustments may come into play. But hey, traveling on the road is always an adventure!

So to paraphrase Shakespeare (as I’m sure he would have loved RVing)… To Tow or Not To Tow, that is the question. So… do you?

Stay tuned… the adventure continues!

Karen Cook / RVAdventures/

Karen Cook is a guest blogger from RVAdventures Travel Blog. In  exchange for sharing this content, the Allstate Community has compensated her via cash payment.