What Toyotas Can Be Flat Towed?

Jane Seymour A few hours ago · 5 min. read
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Some people who travel in RVs often want to save money by flat towing their Toyota behind the RV. But before you do that, it's important to know which models of Toyota can be flat towed.

This varies based on the year and the transmission type of your car. 

Toyota usually makes new vehicles that can be towed on their own. But most of them can't be towed with a flatbed truck. If you want your car to be towed, get a used car or wait until Toyota makes one that can be towed on its own without needing a flatbed truck. It is also important to know what toyota vehicles can be flat towed.

What Is Flat Towing?

Flat towing is also called the "four-down towing" or "dinghy towing." It involves the process of attaching a tow bar to a suitable car, SUV, or pickup and letting an RV pull it along and provide power for it to move.

Flat towing was fairly common a decade or two ago as it wasn't difficult to find cars with a manual transmission or four-wheel drive SUVs that could be pulled four-down.

However, over the past few years, the number of cars which can be flat towed have reduced.

Why Can’t Toyotas Be Flat Towed?

Most of the cars that Toyota is releasing now are automatic transmission. None of the automatic transmission cars can be towed with a dinghy. If you try to, you might damage the car's transmission.

Many of the Toyotas that have been released recently have CVTs. The Toyota Corolla, Camry, Prius, and Rav4 are some examples of models with CVTs that cannot be flat towed. These are also some of the most popular models that Toyota has released recently.

If you try to tow a car with a CVT transmission, you will destroy the transmission. This is because the car needs a pump to continuously lubricate the moving parts.

Some Toyota cars need this pump to work in order for the car to be towed four-down. If you try to tow one of these cars with the driven wheels on the highway, it can severely damage the car.

What Can You Flat Tow?

If your car has four-wheel drive and a manual transfer, you can flat-tow it with relative ease. The best way to see if you can tow your car is to check what the owner's manual says.

All automakers will list in the owner's manual how it can be towed, if you can flat-tow it, and if you can use a twodown approach. You don't even need to have a physical copy of the owner's manual - you can search for a computer copy on the internet and read what they say so that when you do what they tell you, things go well.

Devices For Flat Towing Vehicles

You can buy devices to make your car flat tow-able. Remember, these are not what people usually use. But you can get them if you want to.

Another option is that some companies will install them in the car for you if it's not what they call "flat tow-able." You might damage your car though and then insurance won't pay for the damage.

So only do this when it is an emergency because there are no guarantees with these things.

If you want a vehicle to pull your other vehicle with, make sure that it's designed well for pulling otherwise what's the point?

Final Thoughts

Most new Toyotas can't be flat towed. You may not find what you want at a Toyota dealership. Toyota mostly makes cars with an automatic transmission or CVT, which is hard to tow with a flatbed truck.

To tow your car, it needs to have fluids that help move the parts in the engine that are inside of it running. So you need an engine that is still working when you tow your car on a flatbed truck.

Flat towing means that you attach the car to a truck or van and tow it using all four wheels on the ground. This is different from regular towing, which uses a dolly or lift to raise the front or rear end of the car off of the ground. Most Toyotas can be flat towed if they have a rear-wheel drive and are not too new.

However, if you need to tow your car in an emergency, you can use special devices to do so, but this is not recommended because it can cause damage.

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