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Can A Ram 1500 Be Flat Towed? Everything You Need To Know!

Do you own an RV and a classic Ram 1500 with the heart of a traveling enthusiast? Well, it’s normal that you’ll want to take along your Ram 1500 on a long road trip with your family. However, your truck’s safety, especially safe towing, is more important than anything.

Although the flat towing method seems effortless and the easiest, can a Ram 1500 be flat towed? There are both 2WD and 4WD Ram 1500 vehicles. Now, when it’s about flat towing, you cannot tow a 2WD RAM at all. However, you may flat tow the 4WD, although not the most recommended towing solution. So, what is the right way?

If your Ram 1500 needs a flat-towing immediately, this article might be the best start to learning the proper instructions. Binge on till the end and thank us later!

Key Takeaways:

  • You cannot flat tow a two-wheel-drive Ram 1500 as per instructed by the owner’s manual, and even if you do so, your vehicle warranty may be voided.
  • For towing a Ram 1500 2WD, you’ll need to use a flatbed or a towing dolly and follow certain rules regarding it. In the case, of a 4WD flat towing, you need to make certain modifications like using a neutral kit, lubrication pump, etc.
  • Mandatory checking of the owners’ manual for flat towing before doing it, taking an interval every 15 minutes and checking for overheating issues, etc.

What Is Flat Towing? Definition and Limitations

Undoubtedly, everyone knows about the luxurious, classy truck in recent years, but before we jump into its flat towing abilities, let’s clear out what flat towing actually is.

Flat towing, dinghy, four-wheel, or neutral towing is a towing method where a vehicle is towed behind another vehicle, typically an RV or camper. In flat towing, a tow bar is used; a device that joins the two vehicles and allows them to move together is used to connect the vehicle being towed to the towing vehicle.

Flat towing has grown in popularity as more people have started traveling with RVs or motorhomes. However, before attempting to pull a car with flat towing, it’s crucial that you know its limitations as well.

  • The first and most concerning limitation in this era of technology is that not all vehicles can be flat towed. Specific automobiles can even get damaged if flat towed since they’re not appropriately manufactured to be towed with all four wheels on the ground.

So, if you want to know whether your vehicle is suitable for flat towing, don’t forget to check the owner’s manual and take some safety measures.

  • Another issue is that flat towing can put extra strain on the movement of the vehicle being towed. You ask why? That’s because the towed vehicle’s wheels continue to move even while the engine is off, causing the transmission to overheat and wear out.
  • Besides, moving the towed vehicle while linking it to the towing vehicle can be challenging. Especially when backing up or making sudden movements.
  • Also, in case of harsh weather or steep slopes, the weight of the towed vehicle might make it more difficult to manage the towing one.

Dodge Ram 1500: Can You Flat Tow it?

Nonetheless, the Ram 1500 is a popular choice for truck lovers who need a powerful and reliable for heavy towing. Now, firstly, it’s important to remember that not all vehicles are designed to be flat towed as you already know.

In fact, many vehicles explicitly prohibit flat towing in their owner’s manuals. Well, it’s because flat towing can strain the drivetrain, suspension, and other parts of the vehicle. So, what about the Ram 1500?

Well, if you have a two-wheel drive Ram 1500, step away from flat towing it because you will severely damage it if you try to do so. As per the owner’s manual of the 2021 Ram 1500, it is not designed to be flat towed, and if it is towed in violation of the manual, the warranty may be voided.

However, don’t be disappointed; you can still flat tow a four-wheel-drive Ram 1500. But even if you do so, remember to follow the step-by-step instructions in the manufacturer’s manual to prevent damage to your precious truck! For instance, the 2021 Ram 1500 classic is approved for flat towing with instructed equipment and procedures.

One common question that people ask is that can a Dodge Ram 1500 be flat towed?’ Well, it depends on the model, to be honest. Once again, if you have the two-wheel drive, you cannot think about flat towing it, but if you have the 4-wheel drive, you may do it with precautions.

Now, when it comes to towing your two-wheel drive Ram 1500, there are other options. We’ll get there in a minute or two.

What are Some Alternative Towing Methods for Ram 1500?

Okay, let’s get this straight, if you own a two-wheel-drive Ram 1500, you can’t flat tow it. Instead, these are some steps you should follow-

Trust me, if you have to tow your Ram 1500, your best option is to use a flatbed and get all four wheels off the ground. This method almost ensures the least no harm to your vehicle at all.

If flatbed towing isn’t possible for lack of equipment or other reasons, don’t worry. You can still tow your truck with its back wheels on the ground. But you must follow the guidelines below-

  • Make sure you’ve set the transmission in neutral
  • Whatever happens, remember not to drive faster than 48 km/h while towing
  • And most importantly, don’t drive more than 30 miles as you tow

In other cases where you cannot fulfill these conditions, and your vehicle transmission isn’t running, there’s no other option than pulling all the wheels off the ground when towing.

To ease the towing situation, even if flatbed and flat towing are out of the options, you can try using a trailer or dolly, or best if you take assistance from a professional towing service. 

What Modifications are Needed for Flat Towing A Ram 1500 4×4?

Honestly, manufacturers do not recommend flat towing a Ram 1500 4×4 as it can cause damage to the transmission and drivetrain, which later won’t be covered by a warranty. However, if you still want to do it, there are some safety steps or modifications you should consider to avoid damage risk.

Also, be sure this is nothing more than recreational towing where your vehicle has no mechanical issues or damages.

1. Disconnection of the Driveshaft

The basic modification for flat towing is disconnecting the driveshaft. As you do this, the gearbox is shielded from the wheel rotations, which could cause transmission damage.

2. Using a Neutral Tow Kit

Next, use a neutral tow kit some manufacturers offer to tow a Ram 1500 4×4 behind an RV. A transfer case in this kit has a neutral position that allows the drivetrain to be disengaged.

3. Installation of a Transmission Lubrication Pump

To avoid damage from overheating issues, you can use a transmission lubrication pump that circulates the transmission fluid. This is more applicable if you intend to tow the car over lengthy distances.

4. Release the Electric Parking Brake

Don’t forget to release the electric parking brake while flat towing.

5. Tow Bar and Base Plate Installation

As you already know, we use a tow bar to connect the towed vehicle to the towing vehicle. And for the baseplate, it is attached to the vehicle’s frame and serves as a towbar attachment point.

6. Forward Facing

Most importantly, remember you should only engage in flat towing your truck when it’s faced forward and never flat tow it when it’s backward facing.

How To Flat Tow a Ram 1500?

Since the owner does not recommend it, you’ll need to put in some effort and a few pieces of equipment to flat-tow your Ram 1500.

PartsPurchasing considerationsCost
Tow barWeight handling capacity$60 to $1,000
Tow bar base plateRight fit for your truck$350 to $600
Receiver hitch-Weight handling ability -Towing setup -Height compatibility with tow bar base plate$70 to $300
Harness for dinghy towingStrength$50 to $100
Auxiliary braking systemStrain reduction ability$300 to $1,400

Preparation and Process:

If you haven’t flat towed your vehicle before, it might sound scary or too much work at first, but it’s not even that difficult. Just remember to follow the steps!

Step 1: Gather your equipment

As mentioned, you’ll need the above equipment before you start flat-towing your Ram 1500 4×4. Also, don’t forget a lighting kit and safety cables, of course, for safety!

Step 2: Preparation before action

Before you can really step on the towing action, you will need to prepare it by the following steps-

  • Get inside and turn on the engine
  • Change the mode to neutral gear
  • Step on your parking brake
  • Look for 4-wheel drive and 2-wheel-drive switches
  • You’ll find an ‘N’ marking with an arrow over directing to a hole
  • Take a pin and push it into this hole
  • Keep it this way til the light beside it starts illuminating in red.
  • Change into park mode
  • Shut off the vehicle and take out the key

Voila! Your truck is ready for some flat towing action!

Step 3: Equipment installation

The next step is to install all the equipment you have ready, the tow bar, base plates, receiver hitch, harness, and braking system. While the tow bar will attach to the towing vehicle and the base plate, the base plate needs to be attached to the frontal part of the truck.

Step 4: Attach the safety cables and lighting kit

Don’t forget to attach the safety cables and the lighting kit. For the safety cables, attach them to both the truck and the tow bar. Again, connect the lighting kit to the truck’s electrical system to ensure you have perfectly working brake lights, running lights, and turn signals.

Step 5: Get, set, and tow!

As all is done, you can finally begin towing your Ram 1500 4×4. However, keep in mind that the truck is level, and the towing vehicle is ideal for safely towing your cherished Ram 1500.

Tips and Precautions For Flat Towing A Ram 1500 4×4

Although you’re probably clear about the flat towing instructions by now, you still need to follow a few extra precautions for a smooth towing experience.

  • Before getting on with any flat towing action, take a look at the owner’s manual and, if necessary, contact the manufacturer’s technical services for specific instructions and guidelines.
  • Don’t forget to check the weight limitations for your tow bar, towing equipment, and, most importantly, the tow vehicle.
  • Don’t neglect the traffic laws and speed restrictions, and never exceed the max recommended speed.
  • It is suggested that you take breaks every 15 minutes or so, let the engine run for a couple of minutes, and check the condition of the towed vehicle.
  • Remember to keep an eye on the temperature gauges for both the towed and the towing vehicles to ensure they’re not overheating.
  • Periodically, check if the connections are secure and working properly.

You May Like to Know: Will F150 Wheels Fit Ram 1500?

How Can Flat Tow RAM 1500 2WD-The Alternative Process:

As I mentioned before, It is not good practice that flat towing with the RAM 1500 two-wheel drive. Because RAM 1500 two-wheel drive is not compatible for flat-towing.

But if you want to flat tow with your RAM 1500 2WD & other models in which flat tow is not supported, you can do it another way. The process is the same for non-supported flat tow cars.

You must buy/rent a dolly or flatbed trailer. By using the dolly or flatbed trailer you can flat towing with your two-wheel drive RAM 1500.

Before doing it, you should remember that the tow dolly price is approximately $1,500-$3,500(based on model & weight capacity) and the flatbed trailer is $5,000-$10,000(based on model & weight capacity).

FAQs

Can a 2WD Ram 1500 be flat-towed behind an RV?

No, you cannot flat tow a 2WD Ram 1500 at all. You’ll have to consider other ways for towing, such as a flatbed trailer or a towing dolly. The flatbed trailer will cost you around $500-$10,000, while the latter will cost around $1500-$3,500.

Can you flat tow a 2012 Dodge Ram 1500 4×4?

Yes, if you have a 4WD 2012 Dodge Ram 1500, you can flat tow it behind a motorhome. For this, you must equip your vehicle with a tow bar, base plates, auxiliary braking, etc.

What do you need to flat tow a 2015 Ram 1500?

The exact number and part names for towing a Ram 1500 will vary depending on the model. However, for flat-towing a 2015 Ram 1500, a base plate, tow bars, tow bar wiring, high-low adapter, safety cables, and supplemental brakes should suffice.

Parting Words

To conclude, when you’re asking, ‘can a ram 1500 be flat towed?’, the answer isn’t as simple. For a two-wheel drive, don’t even try because you may mess up the vehicle’s health beyond imagination, but there’s still a chance for it with a four-wheel drive. However, be very mindful of the steps and precautions.

Here’s safety advice for you, flat-towing isn’t as simple as mere driving. So, remember not to make sudden movements or sharp turns that can put extra strain on your vehicles and towing tools. And that’s a wrap; have a safe trip!

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