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RV Driver Annihilates Fiat 500 By Flat Towing It in First Gear on the Highway. It turns out no part of a Fiat 500’s drivetrain likes doing 15,000 rpm down the highway.

John E Davies

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“Customer states car won’t start after towing behind RV… Clutch is hard to operate.”



John Davies

Spokane WA



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SOLD 07/23 "Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 32” LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel, Maggiolina Grand Tour 360 Carbon RTT.

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I always checked and double checked the gear shift on our Honda Fit before locking the doors.  Usually I would push the car the last couple of inches up to the motorhome before hooking it up - partly as an additional check of the transmission status.

I guess I need to work on my sense of humor.  If it happened to me, I would not be amused.  But since it happened to someone else, I guess it's OK to chuckle a bit.

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Flat towing a toad requires the same diligence, and adherence to checklists, as towing a trailer. Small mistakes can have big consequences. When our last fifth wheel was brand-new a motorhome with a toad pulled into a site diagonal from ours. They unhitched the car while it was still in neutral. It then rolled downhill and hit our fifth wheel.

We were lucky on several counts. We weren't inside our trailer, or we probably would have been injured. The car struck diagonally on the steel rear bumper of the trailer, instead of the fiberglass body. Our landing gear and stabilizer jacks were on "Lego" blocks, so the trailer pivoted on impact, with the jacks sliding off the blocks. There was virtually no damage to our trailer. The rear hatch of the car was a different story. 

Not that I haven't made mistakes while hooking up or disconnecting a trailer. I've done a few really stupid things, usually by getting distracted in the process. Now I try to be super diligent about following my checklists.

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Stephanie and Dudley from CT.  2022 LE2, Hull #1150: Eggcelsior.

Tow vehicle: 2016 GMC Sierra 6.0 gas dually 4x4.

Our Oliver journey: Steph and Dud B's RV Screed

Where we've been RVing since 1999:


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