How to Dinghy Tow Your Vehicle
Difficulty Level: Intermediate | Time Required: 20 min | Tools Required: None | Related Parts, Products, Services or Technology: RV tow bar and Vehicle must be modified by a certified upfitter
Tow Your Vehicle Behind a Recreational Vehicle
Some vehicles are capable of being towed behind a recreational vehicle (RV) with all four of the vehicle’s wheels on the ground. This is called dinghy towing. Only select vehicles equipped with available all-wheel drive have the capability of being dinghy towed.
Be sure to check your Owner’s Manual to confirm whether your vehicle can be dinghy towed.
How to Dinghy Tow Your Vehicle
Before getting started with dinghy towing, your vehicle must first be modified by a certified upfitter (a technician who can install the necessary modifications). These modifications may include installation of a custom tow bar plate designed to fit behind your vehicle’s front grille where the RV’s tow bar will insert. The potential modifications will depend on the tow bar you select for your vehicle. Visit an RV retailer for guidance on finding a certified upfitter.
Your vehicle’s parking sensors and cameras should not be affected by these modifications, but it is important for your upfitter to confirm this. GM is not responsible for the safety or quality of independent upfitter alterations.
Once the necessary modifications have been made to dinghy tow your vehicle, follow the process below. It’s very important to follow this process exactly. Failing to do so can damage your vehicle’s transmission.
- Turn your vehicle ON.
- Position your vehicle so the tow eye in your front bumper aligns with the RV’s tow bar, and drive up to the RV.
- Leave the vehicle running. Shift the transmission to NEUTRAL.
- Apply the parking brake to prevent vehicle rolling.
- Connect the vehicle to the tow bar hardware.
- Release the parking brake.
- Leave the transmission in NEUTRAL and turn the vehicle OFF. You may hear a continuous chime, which is normal.
- Open the hood and disconnect the negative terminal on the vehicle’s battery.
- Check your Owner’s Manual for the location of the negative terminal if you have trouble finding it.
- Certain safety features that take over vehicle functions, such as automatic braking, require battery power. These features can activate even when your vehicle is OFF. To prevent these features from activating while towing and damaging your vehicle, you must disconnect the negative terminal of the battery before towing.
- Cover the negative battery terminal with a nonconductive material to prevent any contact with it.
Other Important Things to Know When Dinghy Towing
- Start your vehicle at the beginning of each day you are dinghy towing and at every RV rest stop for about five minutes. This will help ensure your transmission is properly lubricated
- Do not exceed 65 km/hr while dinghy towing a vehicle. This can damage your vehicle’s transmission
- Dinghy towing does not add miles to your vehicle’s odometer
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