2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD Long-Term Road Test

2014 Mazda CX-5: Can You Tow It Behind a Motor Home?

March 18, 2013

2014 Mazda CX-5

Oh, sure. You can tow anything behind a motor home if you load it onto a trailer. But serious RV aficionados consider that a huge hassle, and a two-wheel tow dolly isn't much better.

The ideal scenario is pictured above. A so-called "dinghy" vehicle rolls behind on its own four wheels, ready to be unhooked and driven on side trips while the motor home sits moored with its awnings unfurled and its sliders popped out in full relaxation mode. The extra towed weight, loading time and storage problem that a trailer or dolly represents puts an unwelcome damper on such proceedings.

So, can you flat tow a 2014 (or 2013) Mazda CX-5 behind a motor home?

The short answer is, "No."

A slightly longer answer appears on page 3-53 of the 2014 Mazda CX-5 owner's manual under the heading Recreational Towing.

"An example of "recreational towing" is towing your vehicle behind a motor home. The transaxle is not designed for towing this vehicle on all 4 wheels. When doing recreational towing refer to "Towing Description" (page 7-20) and "Tiedown Hooks" (page 7-21) and carefully follow the instructions."

That's it. I've left nothing out. No distinction is made between the six-speed automatic and the six-speed manual transaxles. Likewise it doesn't appear to matter if the CX-5 in question has front-drive or all-wheel drive.

The pages on chapter 7 refer mostly to the sort of recovery towing done by tow trucks, but the text here does make it clear that the front-drive CX-5 is good to go with its front tires on a tow dolly. As for the AWD version, well, bring a trailer.

But tow dollies are just malformed trailers. The front-drive version gains little here.

Let's face it. The Mazda CX-5 is simply not for you if you want a car to flat tow behind your motor home. Pity. It's an otherwise nice machine that ticks many other boxes on an RVers wish list.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 2,343 miles


  • greenpony greenpony Posts:

    I was under the impression that NO vehicle should have its drive wheels on the ground while being towed except (a) in emergencies or (b) if its wheels can be disconnected from the torque converter.

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    I'm always disappointed when I read a car's owner's manual and the towing section refers to towing the vehicle itself rather than the towing capacity of the vehicle. Because clearly in America you can't tow so much as a go-kart trailer unless you have an F850 super heavy duty duallie XL extended super cab towing edition getting 1.2 MPG and can't fit in any parking space not intended for semi trucks. People with reasonable vehicles are out of luck, at least as far as the manufacturer has any say.

  • actualsize actualsize Posts:

    Not quite, greenpony. A good number of cars can do this with the automaker's blessing, and those that can are bought by full-time RVers in numbers. Some manufacturers shy away from it, particularly imports that don't understand the whole motorhome towing thing.

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