Can You Flat Tow a Cadillac Escalade?


Cadillacs have one of the coolest-looking digital cockpit interfaces. The Escalade has a roomy cabin that makes it ideal when you bring your family on your next camping trip. Its huge cargo space at the back and its in-cabin storage spaces further make the SUV a good choice for an adventure. 

While the Escalade has all these features, is it an SUV you can tow behind a motorhome? How easy is it to pull the SUV behind your RV?

Can You Flat Tow a Cadillac Escalade? 

Yes, you can flat tow a Cadillac Escalade behind your motorhome. Only the 4WD model with a two-speed transfer case is flat towable, and you need some planning to ensure you do not damage the transmission system of the vehicle. The 2WD model of the vehicle is not flat towable. 

Cadillac offers detailed instructions on how to flat tow your vehicle to ensure you are safe on the road and the vehicle does not damage any system.

Because a Cadillac Escalade is a heavy SUV, at 5,856 for the 2020 model, you need to check the specifications of your motorhome to ensure that it is up to the task. 

Further, you need heavy-duty tow bar and base plate as weak equipment may not pull the vehicle efficiently. When you have the right equipment and both the vehicles are set, you can go on and flat tow your vehicle.

What To Check Before Flat Towing A Cadillac Escalade

Dinghy towing refers to towing your vehicle with all four wheels on the ground behind another vehicle.

Before you start towing your vehicle behind another, you need to read and understand the local laws on dinghy towing. The laws on flat towing a vehicle vary from one region to the next.

If you will move from one state to the next or even cross more than few states with your dinghy vehicle behind your RV, you need to learn the laws of all these states so that you do not find yourself on the wrong side of the law. 

Second, you need to check the towing capacity of your motorhome. If you have a class A motorhome, you will have enough power to tow a close to 6,000 pounds vehicle.

If your motorhome is smaller, you need to check its towing capacity and see whether it will accommodate the Escalade. 

You also need to know the towing distance because there are restrictions on distance and speed when you are flat towing most vehicles. From there, you need to get the right flat towing equipment to get the process started. 

From there, you can now get your Cadillac Escalade ready for towing. 

How to Ready a Cadillac Escalade for Towing

Cadillac begins their instructions with a warning. If you use a shield in front of the Escalade and the shield restricts airflow, there is a risk of damaging the transmission system. If that happens, the vehicle warranty will not cover these damages. 

We still advise that you use a shield as it protects the front part of your Escalade. However, get a shield that attaches behind the towing vehicle. Once you have all the needed equipment, set up your car for flat towing by following the steps below:

  1. Position your vehicle behind the motorhome. Ensure that the two vehicles are on a flat surface so that it is easy for you to connect the vehicles. Secure the Cadillac Escalade behind your motorhome using the tow bar and the base plate. 
  2. Apply the parking brake of your Escalade and then start the engine. Shift your transfer case to Neutral (N). You can tell that your vehicle is in Neutral mode by first shifting to Reverse (R) and then shifting back to Drive (D) – if there is no movement, your vehicle is already on Neutral. 
  3. Note that shifting the transfer case to Neutral mode may cause your vehicle to roll, and this is dangerous for you and those around you and other motorists on the road. As such, you need to engage the parking brakes before you shift the transfer case to Neutral. 
  4. Shift the Escalade’s transmission to Park (P) position. If you fail to set the transmission system to Park mode, you risk damaging the transmission system. After that, turn the engine off. 
  5. Shift the Escalade to ACCESSORY mode by pressing the start button without pressing the brake pedal. If you are sure that the vehicle is ready, and you have followed all the steps above, you can release the parking brakes. If you have skipped any of the steps and the vehicle is not ready to tow behind your motorhome, there is a risk that the vehicle might roll. 
  6. Before you disconnect the battery, you need to ensure that you have the mechanical key with you. Once you disconnect the battery, the vehicle will not have power and the digital key will not be useful. The mechanical key will give you access to the vehicle. 
  7. The next step is to disconnect the battery’s negative post. Secure the nut and the bolt to ensure and cover the disconnected terminal so that there is no reconnection once you start moving. Your vehicle should not have battery power during the tow as this can cause damage to some internal components. 
  8. Ensure the steering column is not locked by moving the steering wheel to see if it is free. If the steering column locks, you will lose control of the Escalade, and this can lead to severe accidents on the road. You need to ensure that the parking brake is not set as this can lead to vehicle damage. 

Your Cadillac Escalade is now ready to tow. The Escalade doesn’t have any distance and speed limits, so you can drive it for as many miles or as fast as the roads and laws allow. 

How Do You Disconnect Your Cadillac Escalade After Flat Towing? 

Disconnecting the towed vehicle is a simple process. You need to park the two vehicles on a flat surface and then reconnect the negative terminal of the battery. Apply the dinghy vehicle’s brake pedal and then start the engine. 

Shift the vehicle’s transfer case out of Neutral (N) position. You can ensure that the vehicle is out of the Neutral position by first shifting it to Reverse and then Drive positions. If there is movement, your vehicle is now out of the Neutral position. 

Shift your vehicle’s transmission to Park (P) and then turn off the engine. Engage the parking brake and then release it. After that, your vehicle should be ready to disconnect and ready to drive away. 

If there are some lost presets from the dinghy towing exercise, you should reset them to ensure your vehicle is back to its initial state. 

How Do Your Tow a 2WD Cadillac Escalade? 

If you have a 2WD Cadillac Escalade, you cannot flat tow it, and you can also not dolly tow it. Cadillac advises against towing the vehicle with only two wheels on the ground, whether the rear or the front wheels, regardless of the transfer case. 

Because you can also not flat tow the SUV, the only option you have is to tow the vehicle with all four wheels off the ground on a car hauler. 

The main challenge with a car hauler is that it is a more expensive towing method. If you are always on the road, you need to get your own flatbed trailer. However, you do not need one if you only travel occasionally – rent one and enjoy the trip. 

You could explore mods that can make the vehicle flat towable, but these are not recommended as you lose your vehicle warranty when you do that. Again, the mods are expensive, and you are not guaranteed that your vehicle’s drivetrain is safe. 

Towing A Cadillac Escalade

There are many reasons why a Cadillac Escalade makes a good dinghy vehicle. If you are traveling with your family, the SUV offers enough cabin space. The second and third-row passengers will have enough legroom and headroom for comfort. 

There is also enough cargo space, so you can bring most of the items you need to explore a new area. If you go for the newest Escalade models, you will have access to Cadillac’s Super Cruise, which is a semi-automated driving system for enhanced drivability. 

Cadillac has improved the Escalade a lot from the dated model from a few years ago. The new model offers the luxury you expect from a Cadillac and the power you need to drive on and off the road and tow cargo. 

You have two engine options. All models are available in a standard 6.2L V8 engine that makes 420 horses and 460 pound feet of torque. The optional engine is a 3.0L turbocharged six-cylinder engine that makes 277 horses and 460 pound feet of torque. The engines are available with a rear-wheel drive option and ten-speed automatic transmission.

The wheel drive, which you need to flat tow an Escalade behind a motorhome, is optional. Even the base model still offers full leather seating, a large dash at 16.9 inches, and a 14.2-inch instrument cluster. Enjoy your towing. 

John Nelson

You can find John stringing a hammock from the back of his SUV to a tree camping in the outdoors most weekends during warmer weather. John loves the outdoors and the freedom four-wheel-drive vehicles offer.

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