How to Pull a Dodge Pickup Behind a Motorhomeby Tanya Brody
Towing any vehicle behind a motorhome requires calculating the towing capacity of your motorhome. Then you'll need to determine the weight of your tow vehicle and towing equipment. Dodge pickup trucks are great to have along on your trip, especially if you bring other outdoor equipment like canoes, kayaks or motorcycles. MotorHome Magazine and Family Motor Coaching magazine both list the Dodge Dakota, and the Dodge Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 as towable vehicles in their 2009 and 2010 dinghy guides.
Determine Your Towing Capacity
Load your motorhome. Put everything you take with you into it as though you were packing for a trip. Fill up the tank. During a trip or as you are preparing for or getting home from a trip are great times to take this measurement.
Go to a truck stop and get your motorhome weighed. Most truck stops have weigh stations. Go inside and ask what the procedure is and how much it will cost. Follow the instructions. You will be given a weight receipt that will have your gross vehicle weight (GVW). This is how much your motorhome weighs, fully loaded.
Subtract your GVW from the gross combined weight rating (GCWR). This is how much towing capacity you have.
Select and Weigh Your Dodge Pickup
Take your towing capacity calculation with you to the dealership if you haven't yet chosen a vehicle to tow. Let your salesperson know what your weight limitations are. Choose and purchase your Dodge pickup.
Weigh your Dodge pickup, fully loaded, just as you did for your motorhome. Fill up the tank, put any recreational or other equipment you intend to bring into the pickup bed. Follow the same procedure you did for weighing the motorhome.
Determine what kind of towing equipment you wish to use, and calculate the additional weight. Tow-bar, mounting plate, and braking equipment are all necessary when towing. The company you have to install all of this equipment should know the approximate weight of each piece. Most RV dealers and repair places install towing equipment. Add this additional weight to the number on your weight receipt.
Once you have the overall weight of your Dodge pickup, determine if you have enough towing capacity to carry everything you intend to. If not, off-load some less necessary things.
Preparing to Tow
Have all of the towing equipment installed on your Dodge pickup by a reputable installer.
Re-load any equipment you wish to take with you.
Hook your Dodge pickup to your motorhome, following the manufacturer instructions for your towing equipment.
Test all lights, turn signals and braking equipment.
Take a test drive to determine that everything is working properly. Have someone follow the motorhome and truck in an additional vehicle to see that all the lights come on and to watch for problems.
- Towing any vehicle that is overweight is dangerous because it introduces the possibility of fishtailing while driving. Essentially it becomes a case of "the tail wagging the dog" because there is too much weight in back. This can result in serious, even fatal, accidents.
Items you will need
- Fully loaded motorhome
- Fully loaded Dodge pickup
- Towing equipment
- "MotorHome" magazine; 2010 Guide to Dinghy Towing; March 2010
- "MotorHome" magazine; 2009 Dinghy Towing Guide; February 2009
- "Family Motor Coaching" magazine; Towables for 2009; January 2009
- vacationing in an rv 1 image by Jim Parkin from Fotolia.com