As numerous of our continual readers know, we’re huge fans the flat-towing (4 wheels down). That’s since it’s operated so very well for us over our almost 2 years of full-time RVing. We’ve to be flat-towing ours 2003 Honda CR-V for that entire time with an excellent success, however the newer CR-Vs can’t be flat-towed. In addition, the CR-V isn’t the lightest car to tow behind a motorhome, and many world are interested in pulling as light a dinghy as possible.
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We opted for a toad that would enable us come maximize our capability to discover in some pretty remote locations (decent floor clearance and all-wheel-drive), but we understand that’s no the primary goal for everyone, specifically those through more minimal towing capacities. So, today we’re putting the emphasis on dinghy weight and also taking an thorough look in ~ the inquiry of whether or no the Chevy Spark is the lightest automobile to tow behind a motorhome.
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2) Why is the Chevy Spark a great Vehicle to level Tow?
Is the Chevy Spark the Lightest auto to Tow Behind A Motorhome?
First, let’s store in mind the we’re mostly talking about flat towing. When focusing on load considerations, that makes more sense than ever before to avoid including a dolly or trailer to the mix. Any car that calls for one also requires adding that load to the car’s weight. And also the materials for flat towing (base plate, tow bar, and wiring kit) add virtually nothing in comparison to a dolly or trailer.
We’re also looking mostly at new vehicles right here — those which room flat-towable and accessible to to buy brand new as of this writing.
With the said, the no-longer-available-in-North-America-since-2015 clever ForTwo it s okay a special honorable cite as the lightest flat-towable car in recent memory. If you’re looking for a used toad, and also the lightest possible weight is your single biggest consideration, a used Smart auto is a viable option. The course, you need to keep in mind that the smart is very small, through room for only 2 people, and also very tiny luggage space.
There are various other lightweight cars obtainable today that have the right to h0ld more people and also gear, and also those are the ones fine be concentrating on today, v the Chevy Spark as our featured auto of interest. Let’s take a look at why the is.
First, to answer the big question us posed at the start… YES, the manual-transmission version of the Chevy Spark is the lightest car currently easily accessible in north America that’s manufacturer-approved because that flat-towing behind a motorhome.
Why is the Chevy Spark a good Vehicle to flat Tow?
It’s a Lightweight!
The Chevy Spark is a small four-door hatchback the seats four people and is light and also compact. It sit squarely in the category of “subcompact” cars and also is Chevrolet’s smallest vehicle.
The reality that the Chevy Spark is therefore lightweight is among the most far-ranging reasons for its popularity together a “toad” or dinghy auto for motorhome owners.The 2022 Chevy Spark LS with hand-operated transmission has a curb load of 2,226 lbs. (Photo courtesy the Chevrolet.)
Many owner of huge RVs room interested in delivering the lightest vehicle to tow behind a motorhome since the influence on RV fuel usage is minimized. Additionally, less weight method less wear and tear ~ above RV braking systems because there’s much less mass to slow-moving down. Lighter toads mean less impact on RV transmission systems also because there’s less weight to traction up hills.
With the Chevy Spark being the existing winner in the lightweight-toad competition, we’ll include information on how to flat-tow one later in the post.
The Spark’s compact dimension adds to its appeal together an RV dinghy.
At under 11.9′, the 2022 Chevy Spark adds less size to an already-long motorhome than nearly any other vehicle (some enlarge Sparks are even shorter).
At a broad of just over 5 feet and also a elevation of simply under 5 feet, the Chevy Spark is often described as “petite” with good reason.
As a toad, the Spark is among those vehicles v a weight and also size the make that barely noticeable to the vehicle drivers of many motorhomes, and it’s easy and also compact to park once at a campground location.
The 2022 Chevy Spark has actually a retail price of only $13,600 brand new. Larger models room obviously also less expensive and also can it is in purchased on the used market, periodically with very low miles.
With a 1.4 liter 4-cylinder engine, the Spark is affordable in ~ the pump as well.
J.D. Power gave the 2021 Chevy Spark the “Best” rating (91-100) because that reliability, which method that the an affordable car to own and also maintain together well.
How much Does the Chevy Spark Weigh?
The curb load of the 2022 Chevy Spark is in between 2,246 and 2,312 pounds, depending on the model.
By comparison, the Spark’s closest challenger in the size and price range, the 2021 Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback, does weigh less at approximately 2,095 to 2,140 lbs. However it generates just 78 hp contrasted with the Spark’s 98 hp. That’s a lot less muscle… because that $1,500 come $2,000 more money. And also the Mirage no flat-towable, so once the load of a dolly (or trailer!) is added, the Spark tho wins for lowest weight.
In fairness, the Mirage walk offer roughly 20 cubic feet of additional cargo space, one added seat, and far better fuel mileage as contrasted with the Chevy Spark. But at 78 hp native a 1.2 liter 3-cylinder engine, it’s a hell of a trade-off if she trying to happen on the freeway, scoot about big-city streets, or climb also a center grade.
The low load and an extremely low profile of the Chevy Spark an unified with the 98 hp produced by the 1.4 liter 4-cylinder engine provides this small toad a light and also nimble dinghy because that RVers running errands or trying out the neighborhood sights.
Is the Chevy Spark a reliable Vehicle?
As noted in the info related come affordability above, J.D. Strength ranks the 2021 Chevy Spark at its greatest level because that reliability. Yet a 2021 car hasn’t had a entirety lot the time to prove its dependability in the genuine world.
The Chevy Spark an initial came ~ above the market in the U.S. In 2012. Historically, earlier models show up to be reputable to 100,00-150,000 miles. Not negative for a $14,000 car.
Users in online forums are greatly happy with this popular, affordable little car, saying the the engine requires couple of repairs end time.
Chevrolet’s noteworthy 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty suggests that also the manufacturer has confidence in this vehicle’s reliability.
But as with any type of vehicle, longevity has a entirety lot to carry out with just how it’s driven and maintained, and also in the case of an RV dinghy vehicle, just how it’s towed as well.
Speaking of just how it’s towed…
How do You flat Tow her Chevy Spark?
Before towing any type of vehicle, you’ll want to come to be familiar with recreational auto towing legislations which may vary depending on the an ar in which you live.
Here are the details on flat towing the Chevy Spark:
Only the 5-speed manual can be flat-towed, which is the LS model. It’s rather basic, however includes an dreadful lot because that the money.
Also, for anyone who isn’t currently aware, as soon as you desire to flat-tow any kind of car, you very first need to have actually a basic plate installed. This offers the sturdy attachments points come which your tow bar connects, and is bolted (or in some cases welded) to the car’s chassis.
And of course, you’ll desire a high-quality tow bar for level towing.
Additionally, a wiring kit ensures that the brake lights, taillights, and also turn signals from the RV space replicated in the car’s behind lighting. There are also considerations for braking and breakaway protection.
Once those have actually been installed, you’re ready to flat tow your Chevy Spark.
Pull her Chevy Spark right into position behind her RV in ready to tow. For sure the Spark to your RV follow to the directions offered with her tow bar (we likewise have a great video about it)!
Here room the steps forced to attach your Spark for level towing. Store in mind the these steps are taken straight from the 2022 Chevrolet Spark owner’s manual. Different years, makes, and models all have their own instructions. Check your owner’s manual to be sure!Shift the transmission right into neutral.Disconnect the negative battery cable.Cover the an adverse battery short article with a non-conductive material.Release the parking brake.
Note: The owner’s manual additionally states that you should never exceed 70 mph when towing a Spark.
Based top top the steps detailed above, we’d suggest that rather of actions 2 & 3 above, we indicate installing a remote battery disconnect switch, quite than actually removing the battery cable.
One added comment about the instructions in the owner’s hands-on — Chevy says nothing about making certain the steering wheel is unlocked during towing. We suspect that the Spark is the same as just about every other vehicle on the market today, v a steering wheel the locks when the ignition key is removed.
If without doubt that is the case, it’s critically essential that the steering be unlocked while flat towing! among the steps required on ours Honda is one we’re presume should additionally be complied with here — we placed the an essential in the ignition, turn it come the “accessory” position to unlock the steering wheel, turn it back to the “off” position, and then leave the key in the ignition the whole time we’re towing. We also confirm the the wheel is certainly unlocked by turning it from next to side.
We keep our valet crucial handy because that this purpose since we of course want to lock the auto (especially v a vital visible in the ignition). When we arrive at our destination and also want come disconnect, we simply use our continual CR-V owner’s key to unlock the car and remove the valet an essential from the ignition.
UPDATE (Sept 10, 2021): thanks to man H. Who commented below to let us recognize the 2021 Spark doesn’t have actually a locking steering wheel… so there’s no worry about that when setting it approximately flat-tow. Simply be mindful that if that transforms in a future version year, you may need to take extr steps to ensure the steering wheel stays unlocked while being towed.
All in all, this are very few, and also simple, requirements to hook-up a Spark for flat-towing. There are cars v FAR much more steps to complete, i beg your pardon just rises the potential to do a mistake.
Should friend Buy a Chevy Spark come Tow Behind her Motorhome?
As always, this is a inquiry that deserve to only it is in answered through you!
The Chevy Spark is a lightweight, compact auto with a an excellent reliability rating. It provides decent fuel economy, is one inexpensive vehicle to purchase, and also comes through a 10-year/100,000-mile warranty.
Despite the truth that the Chevy Spark is amongst the lightest cars come tow behind a motorhome and one of the least expensive cars on the market, there space a couple of drawbacks to this auto as a potential dinghy for RV travelers.
The an initial is size. The a pro and also it’s a con, relying on what you have to do with it.
The Chevy Spark supplies only 4 seats, and the behind seats are pretty tight. If you’ve obtained a family of five to carry, this one’s the end of bounds for you. If you’ve obtained a couple of kids and a great Dane – or frankly, if you’ve obtained ONLY a great Dane, the Chevy Spark most likely isn’t the toad for you.
The exact same goes for cargo capacity. If you’ve acquired a whole lot of ingredient to lug when you driving her toad, or if you have tendency to need a auto that will certainly haul large items, you’ll desire to look at elsewhere. It’s a great option, however it has distinct limitations based on its size.
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Finally, if she adventurous choose we are and you desire to be able to climb mountains and explore areas where the terrain is rough, the Chevy Spark is most likely not the tow auto for you, due to the fact that it only has actually 2-wheel drive. Our Honda CR-V may only it is in “all-wheel drive” vs the many truly off-road capable 4-wheel drive vehicles on the market, but it’s taken us some amazingly remote places, and also never obtained stuck once!
With all of that said, if you’re like plenty of RVers and your dinghy requirements to take it you to discover National Parks or cool tiny towns, or take you to see a movie, dine in a restaurant, or shop for groceries, then this lightweight, inexpensive auto that’s capable of being level towed may be simply the toad for you, particularly if you appreciate the linked feeling that stick transition driving offers (like we do)!
Depending on how you intended to use your dinghy, the Chevy Spark (currently the lightest car to level tow behind a motorhome) might be a an excellent vehicle the ticks all the boxes her RV way of life needs.
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