#REHAB/RANCH: What’s the Best Way to Tow an RV that is Close to the Ground?

BY Jim Bounds: Many people ask me, “What is the best way to tow a GMC Motorhome?”.  Thats a very good question in that the coach is so low to the ground. But this question is also relevant for any front-wheel drive campervan or rear-wheel drive RV that is also close to the ground.

The wrong way to tow any kind of motorhome or campervan

Don’t do this,  while it’s the right idea of not dragging the tail, the Department Of Transportation frowns on the height and the front wheels of the flat bed will leave the ground when you hit a dip!— not very safe.

You CANNOT use a “strap or frame lift” truck either, the problem is by the time the coach is lifted by the front enough for the front suspension to bottom out even with your rear suspension pumped up as high as it will go, the holding tank and rear bumper ends up being a target for every cigar butt left on the road.

A “wheel lift” tow truck will do OK, these have a cradle that picks up the front wheels and drags the coach that way.  At least the coach is not towed at such an angle that the back end is not in harms way.

OK, the coach is off the ground but there is something more about this rig.  Getting the coach up onto the platform without damage is the trick and this thing is awesome. 

BUT, the best way is with a “Landoll” tractor trailer rig like the one shown in the Landoll Industries sales video.

 Stepps Towing out of Tampa maintains a superb stable of these babies and they have the expertise to use them. 

The best way to do this is to back the beast into the drop zone, the driver needs that skill, then the fun begins. The wheels of the trailer move forward on the trailer reducing the drop angle.  The tongue and tilts and the trailer deck softly angles back. The wench gently allows the coach to roll off the back of the trailer.  The the trailer pulls forward and the front wheels touch terra firma and the eagle lands.  

YES, this is the more expensive tow and many do not have this equipment but the damage created by a sloppy or improper tow would easily pay for the extra time and expense of finding the proper hook. 

The owner of this coach rationalized perfectly that the amount of the tow would be a drop in the bucket when compared to the final expense of the renovation we will be doing and having the least amount of damage to repair will actually help the bottom line of the renovation. 

Recently, we had a coach come in on a frame lift truck and as soon as we get the windshield replaced along with restoring everything that fell out of the overheads, I hope to have a good coach to start work on.

Insist on a “Landoll” trailer to tow your RV or campervan if it’s front-wheel drive. It’s the best and safest.  If they don’t have one or gave you any grief, a heavy duty “wheel lift” will also tow a GMC Motorhome safely .

Guest blogger, Jim Bounds writes technical articles about GMC Motorhomes, explores the history of this very unique RV, and takes the reader through some of the more challenging restoration projects he and his team have worked on over the years.

A version of this article originally appeared on the Daily Pose blog at Cooperative Motor Works.

© Jim Bounds, 2021. Reposted with permission.