TowABLES FOR 2002

TOWING 5/7/02 11:16 AM Page 66
TowABLES FOR 2002
A guide to 2002model vehicles that
manufacturers have
indicated can be
towed four wheels
down without
significant
modifications.
HONDA CR-V
SUZUKI GRAND VITARA
66
MARCH 2001 • FMC
HYUNDAI SONATA
TOWING 5/7/02 11:16 AM Page 67
S
urveys indicate that nearly 90 percent of FMCA members
tow vehicles behind their motorhomes when traveling.
While some members use a trailer or a tow dolly, the
majority — 90 percent of those towing — choose to flat tow;
that is, the towed vehicle is connected to the motorhome with
a tow bar and travels with all four wheels on the ground.
The following information is meant to be a guide to
selecting a vehicle that is approved by its manufacturer for
flat towing. The information was obtained from automobile
manufacturers and owners manuals and pertains only to
model-year 2002 vehicles (two 2003 Toyota models were
included, because they will be in dealer showrooms early in
2002). The information may or may not be applicable to earlier or later models. While every attempt has been made to
present accurate information, keep in mind that ongoing
vehicle improvements and production-line changes could
alter the information and render it out of date.
The 2002 model year is shaping up to be one of firsts and
lasts. Starting with the lasts, General Motors has announced
that this will be the last year for Oldsmobile. Ford Motor
Company released its reorganization plan, which involves
the elimination of more than 12,000 jobs and the closing of
several manufacturing plants. Vehicles that will be discontinued due to the downsizing include the Lincoln Continental,
the Ford Escort, and Mercury’s Villager and Cougar models.
For those interested in flat towing, only the cancellations of
the Oldsmobile Alero and the Ford Escort are pertinent.
New on this year’s towing list are two vehicles that have
been featured in FMC magazine’s “Towed Vehicle Driving
Impressions” series: the Chevrolet TrailBlazer (December
2001, page 88) and the Jeep Liberty (January 2002, page 74).
Other vehicles to appear on the list for the first time are the
Chevrolet Avalanche; the Ford Escape; Mitsubishi’s Lancer
ES and Rally models; Nissan’s Frontier King Cab 4x2 and
4x4 models; Subaru’s Impreza 2.5 RS Sedan, Impreza 2.5 TS
Sport Wagon, and Impreza WRX Sedan models; and the
2003 Toyota Matrix.
Readers may note that Lexus cars and SUVs have been
removed from this year’s list. There are many Toyota models, however, that can be flat towed.
Always remember to consult your towed vehicle’s owners manual for specific guidelines regarding towing procedures, modifications, and safety issues. Before purchasing
or towing any vehicle, find out from the dealer, manufacturer, and/or the owners manual how towing will affect the
vehicle’s warranty. And keep in mind that while a manufacturer may say a certain vehicle can be towed without significant modifications, what’s insignificant to one person may
be burdensome to another.
Before purchasing a towed vehicle, check the specific
towing procedures for that vehicle, such as ignition lock
position, accessories, spare tires, possible towing restrictions or limitations, and other items of concern. This information often is listed in the owners manual under a heading
such as “Recreational Towing.” You also might ask whether
any service bulletins have been released that relate to towing the vehicle behind a motorhome. Make sure the person
with whom you are speaking realizes you are talking about
towing the vehicle and not using it to tow a trailer. Also, in
the owners manual, do not confuse recreational towing with
emergency towing. Some vehicles can be towed four
wheels down for emergency purposes only.
Before finalizing your towed vehicle purchase, weigh the
vehicle if possible. The following list includes approximate
curb weights that were supplied by the manufacturers;
however, optional equipment and accessories can change
the weight of the vehicle. It’s also a good idea to weigh your
motorhome (see “Understanding RV Weights,” page 78,
April 2000). Because of overloading issues, some
motorhomes should not tow anything. In fact, certain
motorhomes may need to have their loads lightened before
being driven solo.
Before towing, consult your motorhome’s owners manual
for requirements and information regarding the use of an auxiliary braking system on the towed vehicle. Some chassis,
motorhome, and automobile manufacturers recommend that
supplemental brakes be used on any towed vehicle. Not all
jurisdictions mandate supplemental brakes on towed vehicles, but the laws of physics always apply. Few drivers would
consider towing a load of bricks on a trailer not equipped with
brakes, but some people will tow a 3,000-pound vehicle without supplemental brakes. Of course, motorhome brakes can’t
tell the difference between 3,000 pounds of bricks and 3,000
pounds of vehicle. Drivers seldom complain that the brakes on
a vehicle stop it too quickly. But most of us have witnessed the
results of brakes that don’t work quickly enough.
Safety is the most important issue motorhome owners
face. That’s why the initial installation of towing equipment
should be done by knowledgeable, qualified, experienced
personnel. After installation, it’s imperative that all equipment be checked frequently and used only in the manner for
which it was designed.
As with other mechanical gear, proper maintenance can
increase the lifetime of towing equipment. Even so, equipment must be replaced over time to prevent a dangerous
situation. Frequent inspections should alert you to when
changes are required.
When hooking up your towed vehicle, don’t let yourself
be distracted. We’ve all heard stories of someone who had
a weld break or who forgot to connect safety chains but
was fortunate that nothing bad happened. Others were not
so lucky, and they know the enormous personal and financial costs associated with a towing mishap. See “Hooking
Up The Towed Vehicle,” page 74, for more details.
Finally, remember that there is no single best way or best
vehicle to tow. Each vehicle and each method has advantages and disadvantages. If a vehicle you already own or
wish to purchase cannot be flat towed, it may be possible to
tow it on a dolly or have adaptations made to the vehicle to
render it towable.
continued
REVISED MAY 2002
TOWING 5/7/02 11:16 AM Page 68
ACURA
Transmission
Auto Manual
✔
*MDX
N/A
Drive Configuration
Speed/Distance
Limits (mph/mi.)
Approx.
Curb Weight (lb.)
Four-wheel drive
65/None
4,354
Drive Configuration
Speed/Distance
Limits (mph/mi.)
Approx.
Curb Weight (lb.)
Four-wheel drive
Four-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
Four-wheel drive
Four-wheel drive
Four-wheel drive
Four-wheel drive
Four-wheel drive
None
None
65/None
65/None
65/None
None
None
None
50/200
None
5,678
4,049
2,617
2,632
3,051
4,413
5,123
5,050
2,811
4,628
*Follow the prescribed towing procedure outlined in the owners manual.
CHEVROLET/GMC
*Avalanche
**Blazer/Jimmy 4x4
***Cavalier
***Cavalier (4-speed automatic only)
****Malibu Sedan
*Silverado/Sierra 4x4
*Suburban/Yukon XL 4x4
*Tahoe/Yukon 4x4
*****Tracker 4x4
*TrailBlazer/Envoy 4x4
Transmission
Auto Manual
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
N/A
✔
✔
N/A
✔
N/A
N/A
✔
*Avalanche 4x4, Silverado/Sierra 4x4, Suburban/Yukon XL 4x4, Tahoe/Yukon 4x4, and TrailBlazer 4x4: The transfer case must be in
“neutral,” the ignition in the “off” position, and the ignition fuse removed when towing.
**Blazer/Jimmy 4x4: Transfer case must be in “neutral.”
***Cavalier: See the owners manual for restrictions and more information.
****Malibu: To prevent battery drain while towing, certain fuses must be removed from the instrument panel fuse block. See the
owners manual for restrictions and more information.
*****Tracker: After towing 200 miles, start the engine with the transmission in gear — the transfer case oil must be circulated for one
minute before continuing.
CHRYSLER/DODGE
Dakota 4x4
Durango 4x4
Neon
PT Cruiser
*Sebring Coupe LXi
**Sebring Convertible GTC
Stratus Sedan R/T
Stratus Coupe SE, R/T
Ram 4x4 (1500 series)
Transmission
Auto Manual
✔
✔
✔
✔
N/A
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
Drive Configuration
Speed/Distance
Limits (mph/mi.)
Approx.
Curb Weight (lb.)
Four-wheel drive
Four-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
Four-wheel drive
None
None
65/None
65/None
65/None
65/None
65/None
65/None
None
3,852
4,648
2,590
3,108
3,191
3,390
3,294
3,051
4,718
*A V-6 engine and manual transmission are standard on the Sebring Coupe LXi. The base-model Sebring Coupe, a 4-cylinder,
comes with automatic transmission only and is not towable.
**The GTC is the only Sebring convertible available with a manual transmission.
CHEVY AVALANCHE
REVISED MAY 2002
FORD FOCUS
TOWING 5/7/02 11:16 AM Page 69
FORD/MERCURY
Escape 4x2
Escape 4x4
Explorer 4-door 4x2
*Explorer 4-door 4x4
Explorer Sport 4x2
Explorer Sport 4x4
Explorer Sport Trac 4x2
Explorer Sport Trac 4x4
**F-150 4x4
Focus
Ranger 4x2
Ranger 4x4
***Super Duty F-250/350 4x4
ZX2
Transmission
Auto Manual
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
Drive Configuration
Speed/Distance
Limits (mph/mi.)
Approx.
Curb Weight (lb.)
Rear-wheel drive
Four-wheel drive
Rear-wheel drive
Four-wheel drive
Rear-wheel drive
Four-wheel drive
Rear-wheel drive
Four-wheel drive
Four-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
Rear-wheel drive
Four-wheel drive
Four-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
75/None
75/None
None stated
None stated
None stated
None stated
None stated
None stated
None stated
None stated
55/None
55/None
None stated
None stated
4,120
4,260
4,159
4,381
3,828
4,027
4,095
4,309
4,345
2,564
2,995
3,500
5,851
2,478
*Explorer 4-door 4x4 with automatic transmissions: Control-Trac models with V-6 must be equipped with dealer-installed
Neutral Tow Kit.
**F-150 4x4: Lever-operated manual transfer case only (not electronic shift-on-the-fly 4x4). The center disconnect must be locked
out by capping off one of the front-axle vacuum motor lines. See dealer for assistance.
***Super Duty F-250/350 4x4: Lever-operated manual transfer case only (not electronic shift-on-the-fly 4x4).
HONDA
*CR-V 2WD LX
*CR-V 4WD LX, EX
Transmission
Auto Manual
✔
✔
N/A
✔
Drive Configuration
Speed/Distance
Limits (mph/mi.)
Approx.
Curb Weight (lb.)
Front-wheel drive
Real Time 4WD
65/None
65/None
3,201
3,347
Drive Configuration
Speed/Distance
Limits (mph/mi.)
Approx.
Curb Weight (lb.)
Front-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
None stated
None stated
None stated
None stated
None stated
2,280
2,650
3,500
3,100
2,600
Drive Configuration
Speed/Distance
Limits (mph/mi.)
Approx.
Curb Weight (lb.)
Front-wheel drive
*60/500
3,000
Drive Configuration
Speed/Distance
Limits (mph/mi.)
Approx.
Curb Weight (lb.)
Full-time 4WD
*Part-time 4WD
*Part-time 4WD
Part-time 4WD
None
None
None
None
3,975
3,857
4,070
3,294
*Follow prescribed towing procedure outlined in owners manual.
HYUNDAI
Transmission
Auto Manual
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
Accent
Elantra
*Santa Fe
Sonata
Tiburon
*Santa Fe two-wheel drive only; the Santa Fe four-wheel-drive model cannot be flat towed.
INFINITI
Transmission
Auto Manual
✔
G20
*After towing 500 miles, idle the engine in “neutral” for several minutes to circulate fluids.
JEEP
Grand Cherokee Laredo, Limited, Overland
Liberty Sport
Liberty Limited
Wrangler X, SE, Sport, Sahara
Transmission
Auto Manual
✔
✔
✔
✔
N/A
✔
N/A
✔
*Liberty Sport and Limited full-time 4WD (optional) models also towable.
continued
REVISED MAY 2002
TOWING 5/7/02 11:16 AM Page 70
KIA
Transmission
Auto Manual
✔
✔
Sportage 4x2
**Sportage 4x4
Drive Configuration
Speed/Distance
Limits (mph/mi.)
Approx.
Curb Weight (lb.)
Rear-wheel drive
Part-time 4WD
*55/400
55/None
3,186
3,352
*Sportage 4x2: After 400 miles, start the engine and allow it to idle for several minutes to ensure proper lubrication of internal
transmission parts.
**Sportage 4x4: The transfer case and transmission must be shifted into the “neutral” position before towing.
LAND ROVER
*Discovery Series II
**Range Rover
Transmission
Auto Manual
✔
✔
N/A
N/A
Drive Configuration
Speed/Distance
Limits (mph/mi.)
Approx.
Curb Weight (lb.)
Permanent 4WD
Permanent 4WD
None stated
None stated
4,576
4,787
*Discovery Series II: Set the transmission in “park” and the transfer case in “neutral.” Turn the starter switch to position “I” to
unlock the steering, and then to position “II” for brake light/turn signal operation.
**Range Rover: Insert a fuse (5 amps or greater) in fuse position “11.” See owners manual for procedure.
MAZDA
B-Series Pickup 4x2
B-Series Pickup 4x4
Tribute 4x2
Tribute 4x4
MITSUBISHI
Eclipse Coupe GS
Eclipse Coupe GT
Eclipse Coupe RS
Eclipse Spyder GS
Eclipse Spyder GT
Lancer ES
Lancer Rally
Mirage Coupe DE
Mirage Coupe LS
NISSAN
Altima 2.5
Altima 3.5
Frontier Crew Cab 4x2
**Frontier Crew Cab 4x4
Frontier King Cab 4x2
**Frontier King Cab 4x4
Maxima
Pathfinder 4x2
**Pathfinder 4x4
Sentra
Sentra SE-R
Sentra SE-R spec V
Xterra 4x2
**Xterra 4x4
Transmission
Auto Manual
✔
✔
✔
✔
Transmission
Auto Manual
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
Transmission
Auto Manual
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
Drive Configuration
Speed/Distance
Limits (mph/mi.)
Approx.
Curb Weight (lb.)
Rear-wheel drive
Four-wheel drive
Rear-wheel drive
Four-wheel drive
55/None
55/None
75/None
75/None
2,995
3,500
4,120
4,260
Drive Configuration
Speed/Distance
Limits (mph/mi.)
Approx.
Curb Weight (lb.)
Front-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
2,944
3,120
2,855
3,042
3,241
2,646
2,701
2,183
2,293
Drive Configuration
Speed/Distance
Limits (mph/mi.)
Approx.
Curb Weight (lb.)
Front-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
Rear-wheel drive
Part-time 4WD
Rear-wheel drive
Part-time 4WD
Front-wheel drive
Rear-wheel drive
Part-time 4WD
Front-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
Rear-wheel drive
Part-time 4WD
*60/500
*60/500
*60/500
*60/500
*60/500
*60/500
*60/500
*60/500
*60/500
*60/500
*60/500
*60/500
*60/500
*60/500
3,000
3,200
3,800
4,300
3,300
4,000
3,200
4,000
4,250
2,600
2,750
2,800
3,600
4,200
*All Nissan vehicles: After towing 500 miles, idle the engine in “neutral” for several minutes to circulate fluids.
**Four-wheel-drive Frontier Crew Cab, Frontier King Cab, Pathfinder, and Xterra models: The transfer lever must be placed in “2HI.”
REVISED MAY 2002
TOWING 5/7/02 11:16 AM Page 71
MITSUBISHI ECLIPSE COUPE
LAND
ROVER RANGE ROVER
OLDSMOBILE ALERO
NISSAN XTERRA
OLDSMOBILE
*Alero
Transmission
Auto Manual
✔
✔
Drive Configuration
Speed/Distance
Limits (mph/mi.)
Approx.
Curb Weight (lb.)
Front-wheel drive
65/None
3,010
*Certain fuses must be removed to prevent battery drain while towing. See owners manual for instructions.
PONTIAC
Grand Am SE
Sunfire
Sunfire (four-speed automatic only)
* SATURN
L Series Sedan
LW Series Wagon
SC Series Coupe
SL Series Sedan
VUE
Transmission
Auto Manual
✔
✔
✔
✔
Transmission
Auto Manual
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
Drive Configuration
Speed/Distance
Limits (mph/mi.)
Approx.
Curb Weight (lb.)
Front-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
65/None
65/None
65/None
3,066
2,606
2,606
Drive Configuration
Speed/Distance
Limits (mph/mi.)
Approx.
Curb Weight (lb.)
Front-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
65/None
65/None
65/None
65/None
65/None
2,948
3,070
2,367
2,341
3,179
*On all Saturns, certain fuses must be removed before towing. See owners manuals for details.
REVISED MAY 2002
TOWING 5/7/02 11:16 AM Page 72
* SUBARU
SUBARU
Forester L, S
Impreza 2.5 RS Sedan
Impreza 2.5 TS Sport Wagon
Impreza WRX Sedan
Impreza WRX Sport Wagon
Legacy GT Sedan & Wagon
Legacy L Sedan & Wagon
Outback Sport
Outback Limited Wagon
Outback Wagon
Transmission
Auto Manual
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
Drive Configuration
All-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
Speed/Distance
Limits (mph/mi.)
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
Approx.
Curb Weight (lb.)
3,140
2,965
3,045
3,085
3,165
3,450
3,345
3,050
3,510
3,425
*All Subaru vehicles: When towing, the steering wheel must NOT be locked. Move the ignition key to the first position away from “lock”
and confirm that the steering wheel can be turned from one side to the other.
* SUZUKI
Grand Vitara
Vitara 2-door
Vitara 4-door
Transmission
Auto Manual
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
Drive Configuration
Four-wheel drive
Four-wheel drive
Four-wheel drive
Speed/Distance
Limits (mph/mi.)
*Legal/200
*Legal/200
*Legal/200
Approx.
Curb Weight (lb.)
3,163
2,800
2,976
*Automatic transmission models: Stop towing the vehicle after 200 miles and leave transfer case in “neutral.” Start the engine, shift
transmission into “drive,” and rev the engine for one minute to circulate oil in the transfer case. Shift transmission back into “park”
before next towing.
*Manual transmission models: Stop towing after 200 miles and leave the transmission in second gear. With the transfer case lever
still in “neutral,” start the engine and rev it for one minute with the clutch engaged to circulate oil in the transfer case.
* TOYOTA
Camry
Camry Solara (including convertible)
Celica
Corolla (2002)
Corolla (2003)
Echo
Matrix (2003)
MR2
RAV4 2WD
RAV4 4WD
Transmission
Auto Manual
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
✔
N/A
✔
✔
✔
Drive Configuration
Front-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
Rear-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
Four-wheel drive
Speed/Distance
Limits (mph/mi.)
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
None
**55/200
Approx.
Curb Weight (lb.)
3,296
3,291
2,580
2,590
2,600
2,055
2,679
2,215
2,711
2,877
*Toyota notes that these vehicles will not sustain internal damage to the transmission or transfer case components when towed, but
towing these vehicles does not eliminate the possibility of damage to other vehicle systems (body, chassis, electrical systems, etc.).
The transmission must be placed in “neutral” when flat towing.
**After towing the vehicle for the recommended distance limit, allow the engine to idle for more than three minutes before driving the
vehicle or resuming towing.
REVISED MAY 2002
TOWING 5/7/02 11:16 AM Page 73
TOYOTA ECHO
DODGE RAM
Honda/Acura Towing
Currently, the only vehicles officially recommended by Honda/Acura for towing four wheels down are the
Honda CR-V and the Acura MDX. For information about towing those vehicles, see their respective owners
manuals. The following letter, provided by American Honda Motor Co. Inc., pertains to all other models except
the Insight, S2000, Passport, and NSX.
Honda owners manuals advise against towing at more than 35 mph or for more than 50 miles. However, this recommendation exists primarily because Honda has not conducted formal towing tests of their cars at higher speeds
and for greater distances.
Honda is not aware of any particular problems being caused by motorhome towing Honda automobiles, with
either manual or automatic transmission, as long as pre-towing preparations are made and the vehicle is towed at
legal highway speeds.
When preparing to tow your vehicle, make sure the transmission is full of fluid; do not overfill.
Manual transmission models:
• Release the parking brake.
• Shift the transmission to “neutral.”
• Turn the ignition key to the “Accessory (I)” position to release the steering wheel lock. Make sure the radio and
all accessories are turned off.
Automatic transmission models:
Do the following every day immediately before you begin towing. Follow the procedure exactly. Otherwise, severe
automatic transmission damage will occur.
• Start the engine.
• Press on the brake pedal. Shift the lever through all positions (P, R, N, D, 2, 1).
• Shift to D, then to N. Let the engine run for at least three minutes, then turn off the engine.
• Release the parking brake.
• Leave the ignition switch in the “Accessory (I)” position so that the steering wheel does not lock. Make sure the
radio and any items plugged into the accessory power sockets are turned off so you do not run down the
battery.
If you tow the vehicle more than eight hours in a day (including stopping time), you must stop and repeat the above
procedures.
NOTICE: The steering system can be damaged if the steering wheel is locked. Always leave the key in the
Accessory (I) position to prevent damage to the steering system when towing behind another vehicle.
CAUTION: SEVERE AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION DAMAGE WILL OCCUR IF THE CAR IS SHIFTED FROM
REVERSE TO NEUTRAL AND THEN TOWED WITH THE DRIVE WHEELS ON THE GROUND.
NOTICE: Improper towing preparation will damage the transmission. If you cannot shift the transmission or start
the engine, your vehicle must be transported on a flat-bed truck or trailer.
If you tow a Honda vehicle with an automatic transmission, the transmission fluid must be changed every two
years or 30,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Although experience has shown that the Honda/Acura transmission and power train are capable of being “motorhome towed,” American Honda does not assume responsibility for any vehicle damage or liabilities incurred due to
the towing device, towing vehicle, lighting hookup, or other towing equipment or towing procedures; any responsibility for these items is assumed by the owner/operator.
For more information, contact Honda at (800) 999-1009.
REVISED MAY 2002