When taking a family camping trip or cross-country journey, recreational vehicles can provide many of the creature comforts of home. Beds, bathrooms, televisions and even kitchen appliances often come installed in these large, versatile vehicles.
But there's one thing that campers and other RVs may not provide in ready supply: maneuverability. Therefore, many families find it useful to tow a car or sport utility vehicle from the back of their RV in order to ensure greater transportation flexibility.
"Dinghy" towing, the act of towing a vehicle with all four of its wheels on the ground, is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to do the job.
The 2007 Isuzu i-370 4X4 Crew Cab, like all Isuzu four-wheel-drive vehicles, can be towed safely with all four wheels on the ground.
However, though some auto manufacturers such as Isuzu (www.isuzu.com) make four-wheel towing possible for all of their four-wheel-drive vehicles, with no speed or mileage restrictions, dinghy towing may actually damage the drivetrain of other manufacturers' models. For instance, no 2007 Toyota pickup truck or SUV can be dinghy towed and the same goes for all 2007 SUVs by Land Rover, Lexus and Acura.
Moreover, hitching and hauling an extra vehicle can be a potentially risky endeavor if it's not done properly and with adequate precautions. Officials at Isuzu suggest the following tips to keep in mind when dinghy towing a vehicle so that you can keep your family vacation on the road to safety and fun:
* Be sure to check that your dinghy vehicle - the one that's being towed - is approved by its manufacturer for four-wheel towing. This information can often be found online or in your car's instruction manual.
* Before setting out on the road, check your RV and dinghy for proper functioning brake lights, turn signals and taillights. Check the lights again when you stop or take a break from driving.
* Observe the speed limits and towing laws of each state that you traverse. For instance, California requires that when towing another vehicle you drive in the right-hand lane or one specially marked for slower vehicles. Certain states may also require a shorter two-vehicle length than others.
* Maintain a safe stopping distance from the vehicle in front of you. Because you're hauling more weight, it may be more difficult to stop quickly. MotorHome Towing Guide suggests a stopping distance of at least five seconds.
* Avoid tight turns, as they place high levels of pressure on the tow bars and may damage your hitch.