Can a CR-V be Flat Towed


Flat towing is great for when you’re on the go in your RV and you need to bring another vehicle with you for some reason or other. But not all vehicles are really compatible with flat towing, and it’s critically important to know whether your vehicle will be compatible or not.

The Honda CR-V can be flat towed as long as you use the right equipment. The CR-V cannot be flat towed using a tow chord or strip so it must be towed with a tow bar. The CR-V is a great vehicle to flat tow because it is lightweight and because it gets pretty solid mileage.

But what exactly do you need to do to prepare your CR-V for towing, and why not just use a tow chord? Your CR-V can definitely be flat towed, the only question is how do you prepare the CR-V for flat towing and what equipment do you need? We’ll cover all of that below!

Flat Towing a CR-V

Honda has rated the CR-V for flat towing. Not all cars can be flat towed, so this is really important to know about your vehicle. The thing that determines whether or not a car can be flat towed is the question of whether the engine is self-lubricating even when it isn’t running.

Flat towing causes the vehicle’s wheels to spin, which in turn essentially dry runs the engine if it’s an automatic transmission. If the engine isn’t properly lubricated, this can cause serious damage to it and cost you a ton of money in repairs, not to mention it will make your car undrivable for a while.

Fortunately, the CR-V’s engine is capable of self-lubrication even when turned off, which means that you can flat-tow it. However, there are still a few little modifications that you’ll need to make to your vehicle before it can be safely flat towed (even with the right kind of engine).

Hooking Up the CR-V for Towing

As mentioned earlier, you should never flat tow a Honda CR-V using a chord or a strip. For several reasons, it’s necessary that you use a tow bar instead since they offer a bit more control over what’s behind you.

The first step to flat towing any vehicle is making sure that whatever you’re towing is well prepared for the tow bar. The dinghy vehicle (the car that you’re towing) needs to have either brackets or a base plate.

Now you can move on to setting the tow bar up on the back of your motor home. You’ll want to secure it onto your vehicle using the pin that came with it and a clip. Now you’ll want to move its tow arms up and out of the way so they won’t make the next step more difficult.

Now, you can park your car or truck behind the motorhome and lower the tow arms to attach them. Park the car at about the length you’ll be towing them at, then make sure the emergency brake is on so it doesn’t break free. Next, you’ll want to insert the attachment tabs into their receivers, release the latch handles on the extending arms (if you have any) and secure everything in place with lynchpins.

Now you can properly set the vehicle up for towing by setting the transmission for towing and unlocking the steering wheel. After this is finished, you can engage the safety latches on the tow bar. This can be easily done by slowly pulling your motor home forward once you’ve finished all the preceding steps.

Be certain the latches on both arms are fully engaged before you tow the car. Finally, you can attach the safety cable and plug it into the wiring harness. When these are both done you’re ready to tow! This process works with pretty much any vehicle that can be flat towed, not just the CR-V.

Other Towable Honda Vehicles

The CR-V is not the only Honda vehicle that can be flat towed. If you’re set on Honda but iffy on the CR-V in particular, here are some other options that you might want to take a look at before making your decision.

Honda Fit/Honda Element

It shouldn’t be especially surprising that the Honda Fit can be flat towed. It’s not a very big vehicle, and it’s quite lightweight. It’s also pretty reliable, which is great for a vehicle that you’ll be taking out into the wilderness.

The problem with the Honda Fit is its size. The Honda Fit is a subcompact vehicle, so if you have need of a lot of space then the Honda Fit might not be for you.

The Honda Element is an older model of compact vehicle from Honda, but it isn’t nearly as good as its more recent counterpart. You’re better off just getting a used Honda Fit in most situations.

Honda Pilot

The Honda Pilot is a solid SUV that can be flat towed. Obviously, it’s significantly larger than the compact Honda Fit, and as an SUV it can be used for all sorts of fun activities wherever you go.

The Pilot is a vehicle with a lot of space and a vehicle that you can enjoy driving on its own. This makes it a great choice to bring with you on your next camping trip.

On the other hand, the Honda Pilot is an expensive vehicle, as many SUVs are. If you don’t have the money for an SUV, you may want to look elsewhere for your vehicle to flat tow.

Some Objections

A lot of people feel very strongly that automatic vehicles cannot be towed. This is actually true of the vast majority of automatic vehicles. Luckily for flat towing enthusiasts, in recent years some automatic vehicles have been outfitted with particular tools that allow them to be towed in the right circumstances without damaging the transmission.

If you’re wondering about whether your vehicle can be flat towed, look at your manual. If your manual doesn’t specifically say that you can, you probably can’t. Ultimately, your vehicle’s manual is the best resource for this particular information.

Will Turner

Will has an absolute passion for 4x4s and loves discovering all of the small details about each model. Will joined the Four Wheel Trends team in early 2021 and has been a valuable contributor ever since!

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