Can An Acura RDX Be Towed Behind A Motorhome?
Towing your car along with you on a motorhome trip gives you the best of both traveling worlds.
You can enjoy comfortable cruising in your motorhome from destination to destination.
And then, when you park your big RV someplace, you can enjoy easy access to an agile road car like the Acura RDX for quick trips away from the campsite or a ride downtown for dinner.
This sort of setup is ideal for long-haul adventures.
But can an Acura RDX be towed behind a motorhome? Our upcoming trip isn’t our first motorhome rodeo, so let’s talk about what we learned about the Acura RDX and flat towing.
Can an Acura RDX be Towed Behind a Motorhome
You should not flat tow an Acura RDX behind a motorhome. Towing an Acura RDX behind your motorhome will void your warranty and could damage your transmission. Acura specifically states that you should not flat tow your RDX behind a motorhome in the owner’s manual.
Dinghy towing, also known as four-wheel down or flat towing, means towing a vehicle behind another with all of its wheels on the ground.
That’s the simplest way to pull a companion vehicle behind an RV or motorhome.
It doesn’t require a dolly or for the towed vehicle to ride lifted off the ground.
For RV or motorhome drivers, this is a popular way of bringing an extra vehicle along on trips.
All you need is a tow bar and some chains to attach the vehicle to the rear of your motorhome, and you can be on your way.
But this manner of towing doesn’t work with every car.
There are a couple of reasons why, but consider that without the engine running, the lubrication and cooling systems aren’t running, so sensitive components could overheat.
And, some vehicles just aren’t configured to have their wheels spinning while they’re being towed around.
They need to be towed via flatbed or trailer.
Unfortunately, towing behind a motorhome is not something you should do with an Acura RDX.
That’s because Acura doesn’t approve of doing so, and if you try it and something goes wrong with your car, your warranty may not cover the damage.
Why Can’t an Acura RDX be Dinghy Towed?
Acura’s customer service department and their partners at Honda used to tacitly approve the idea of towing many of their cars on all four wheels, even if it didn’t always appear in their owner’s manuals.
Sometimes, the owner’s manual even demonstrated a series of gear changes and a sequence of turning the car off and on that would prepare the car for doing so safely and set the transmission to neutral.
The process for towing preparation isn’t very complicated, but it seems many owners either intentionally or accidentally failed to complete it.
That may have led to some expensive warranty claims for transmission repairs that Acura had to payout for people who towed their vehicle with all the wheels on the ground.
So, as of 2006, Honda and Acura’s official policy changed, and four-wheel towing is no longer approved by their dealers or even mentioned in the owner’s manual.
What About Other Cars?
Honda apparently still approves of towing at least one particular model, the CR-V.
There is a process owners have to follow to prepare it for towing behind a motorhome.
You have to turn the car on, change through all the gears, set it to drive, then neutral, and then leave the key in the ‘accessory’ setting where the power is on, but the engine is off.
The RDX certainly seems like an Acura version of Honda’s CR-V.
So, it may be quite tempting to try and tow an RDX in the same fashion after following the guidelines for preparing a CR-V.
But, you have to ask yourself if the risk is worth the reward.
What’s the Harm in Towing My Acura RDX?
Honda is the parent company of Acura. Most Acura vehicles derive from a similar vehicle under the Honda name.
For instance, the Acura MDX, RDX, TLX, and ILX all share DNA with Honda models, like the Pilot, CR-V, Accord, and Civic.
So, if the CR-V is officially towable according to Honda, might the RDX be towable in the same fashion? The answer is a definite maybe.
For you as the car owner, it comes down to whether it’s worth the risk.
If you follow the same towing procedure as outlined for the CR-V, then you dinghy tow your RDX and the transmission overheats or another component breaks, Acura might tell you that you violated the terms of the warranty by towing the vehicle.
They might not honor the warranty, and you could get stuck with the full cost of the repairs.
For some, unless the owner’s manual explicitly prohibits four-wheel towing, they might be happy to run the risk and beg for forgiveness from the manufacturer if something goes wrong down the road.
But if Acura doesn’t honor the warranty claim for a significant repair, you could end up with broken-down RDX or holding a big repair bill.
It’s quite possible that there could be tell-tale evidence that you towed the car in the case of certain failures, like an overheated transmission.
And, it seems like Acura has even made statements that dolly towing the RDX is inadvisable and that it should only be flatbed or trailer towed.
So, it’s quite possible that there is something in the RDX’s design that makes it incompatible with the easiest ways to tow it.
What are the Alternatives?
There are a couple of alternatives to dinghy towing that RDX owners could consider.
If you have the ability to do so, you could set up a way to tow your car on a trailer.
That will add to the weight your RV is towing down the road, but it might make it easier to tow your car.
As a bonus, you’ll have some extra room for more gear on your trailer. That could be to your advantage when it comes to packing and unpacking your motorhome.
And you’d still have your RDX right there when you need it.
Or, if you don’t always need your car with you on the road, you could ship your car to a destination and meet it with your motorhome or even rent a car.
It all depends on the style of traveling you’re doing and how often you’ll need something to drive instead of the large RV.
Another option you might consider is to try and purchase a different vehicle to tow behind your RDX.
While we still think that the RDX is one of the best luxury SUV options, there are quite a few SUVs that can be towed behind a motorhome, unlike the RDX.
Towing an RDX Bottom Line
It should be pretty clear by now that towing an RDX with all four wheels on the ground isn’t advisable.
You could try it, but even if you adopt the procedure from the CR-V for your Acura, you could end up facing an uphill battle if you damage the car and try to get it repaired under warranty. That’s not a risk we would take.