Q & A: Tail Swing When Towing

Q: I have a 2003 Four Winds Chateau Sport 28-foot Class C motorhome.
Because of the coach’s long rear overhang behind the rear wheels, am I going to have a
problem towing a dinghy? I’d like to tow a 2005 Honda Element with five-speed manual that weighs about 4,000 pounds. My mechanic said that there might be a problem with breaking the tire beads on the front tires on the towed vehicle.

A: Long rear overhang can cause the dinghy to be dragged sideways in sharp turns. You can reduce the chance of this by not turning sharply or disconnecting before you do, but of course this isn’t always possible. You might borrow a dinghy vehicle from a friend to check how your motorhome corners with it. Drive slowly with an observer in a large parking lot to see what happens before taking a trip. For peace of mind you might also run maximum-rated pressure in the tires when towing. The more pressure there is in tires, the less chance of popping a bead.

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