When it comes to flat towing, finding the cheapest vehicle that can handle the task efficiently is a top priority for many RV owners. Flat towing, also known as dinghy towing, involves towing a vehicle behind an RV without the need for a trailer.
This method offers convenience and flexibility, but it’s essential to choose a vehicle that is not only suitable for flat towing but also affordable.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Flat Tow Vehicle
Before diving into the list of the cheapest flat tow vehicles, it’s important to understand the key factors to consider when making your selection.
These factors will help you make an informed decision and ensure that the vehicle you choose meets your specific needs:
- Weight: The weight of the vehicle is crucial as it affects the towing capacity of your RV. It’s important to choose a vehicle that is within the towing capacity limits of your RV.
- Transmission: Vehicles with manual transmissions are generally more suitable for flat towing as they can be easily put into neutral without causing damage to the transmission.
- Drivetrain: Four-wheel drive (4WD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) vehicles are typically better for flat towing as they distribute power to all four wheels, reducing the risk of damage to the transmission.
- Base Plate: Ensure that the vehicle you choose has a base plate available for easy and secure attachment to the tow bar.
- Braking System: Some states require a supplemental braking system for towed vehicles. Consider whether the vehicle you choose has a built-in or aftermarket braking system available.
- Cost: While affordability is a key consideration, it’s important to strike a balance between upfront cost and long-term value. Consider factors such as fuel efficiency, maintenance costs, and resale value.
The Cheapest Flat Tow Vehicles
Now that we understand the factors to consider, let’s explore some of the cheapest flat tow vehicles available:
1. Jeep Wrangler
The Jeep Wrangler is a popular choice among RV owners due to its off-road capabilities and suitability for flat towing. It comes with a manual transmission, making it easy to put into neutral for towing.
Additionally, Jeep offers a range of base plates and supplemental braking systems, ensuring a seamless towing experience.
The Wrangler’s affordability, combined with its durability and versatility, makes it an excellent choice for those on a budget.
2. Ford Fiesta
The Ford Fiesta is a compact and fuel-efficient vehicle that is not only affordable but also suitable for flat towing. It comes with a manual transmission and has a relatively low weight, making it an ideal choice for RV owners.
The Fiesta’s compact size also makes it easy to maneuver, both on the road and when setting up for towing.
3. Chevrolet Spark
The Chevrolet Spark is another compact and budget-friendly option for flat towing. It offers a manual transmission and has a lightweight design, making it easy to tow behind an RV.
The Spark’s fuel efficiency and low maintenance costs further contribute to its affordability.
4. Honda Fit
The Honda Fit is a versatile and reliable vehicle that is suitable for flat towing. It comes with a manual transmission and has a spacious interior, making it a practical choice for RV owners.
The Fit’s fuel efficiency and reputation for reliability make it an attractive option for those looking for a cost-effective flat tow vehicle.
5. Toyota Corolla
The Toyota Corolla is known for its reliability and fuel efficiency. While it may not be the most budget-friendly option on the market, its long-term value and low maintenance costs make it a worthwhile investment.
The Corolla’s automatic transmission can be put into neutral for flat towing, making it a suitable choice for RV owners.
While the vehicles listed above are among the cheapest options for flat towing, it’s important to consider other factors that may impact your decision:
- Towing Equipment: In addition to the vehicle, you will also need to invest in towing equipment such as a tow bar, base plate, and supplemental braking system. Consider the cost and compatibility of these items when choosing a flat tow vehicle.
- Insurance: Before towing a vehicle, it’s important to check with your insurance provider to ensure that you have the necessary coverage. Some insurance companies may require additional coverage for towed vehicles.
- State Regulations: Different states have varying regulations regarding flat towing. Familiarize yourself with the regulations in your state to ensure compliance and avoid any potential fines or penalties.
- Resale Value: While affordability is important, it’s also worth considering the resale value of the vehicle. Vehicles with higher resale values can provide a better return on investment in the long run.
Choosing the cheapest flat tow vehicle requires careful consideration of various factors such as weight, transmission, drivetrain, base plate availability, and braking system.
The Jeep Wrangler, Ford Fiesta, Chevrolet Spark, Honda Fit, and Toyota Corolla are among the most affordable options for flat towing, offering a balance between upfront cost and long-term value.
However, it’s important to remember that the overall cost of flat towing includes not only the vehicle but also towing equipment, insurance, and compliance with state regulations.
By considering these factors and conducting thorough research, you can find the perfect flat tow vehicle that meets your budget and towing needs.