For a quarter-century this company has assisted motorhomers in equipping their cars, vans, SUVs, and trucks for four-wheel-down towing.
By Jim Brightly
Remco Manufacturing, C1590, has provided motorhome owners with towing solutions for 25 years. Since 1978, when the company introduced its first product, the Drive Shaft Coupling, it has continually developed new products, making it possible for RVers to tow nearly any type of vehicle four wheels down.
Remco offers six basic products: the Drive Shaft Coupling, the Lube Pump, the Axle-Lock, the Taillight Wiring Kit, the Remco Braking System, and the Remco Towbar. The company’s staff has become the acknowledged towing experts who motorhomers turn to for answers on how to modify vehicles that are not approved for recreational towing by their manufacturers. Through these modifications, the vehicles may be towed by motorhomes without fear of damage to their drivetrains.
If you have a car, SUV, or pickup that you enjoy driving, but it is not approved for recreational towing, the staff at Remco can tell you whether the car is towable and what modifications are required to do so. The company likely has a product that can help resolve your towing dilemma.
For rear-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission, the Drive Shaft Coupling modification was designed to make disconnecting the driveshaft from the transmission a quick and easy process that can be done from the driver’s seat of the towed vehicle. The coupling is a mechanical clutch installed in the rear portion of the vehicle’s driveshaft, near the rear axle, that allows the operator to manually engage or disengage the driveline. A heavy-duty cable attached to the Drive Shaft Coupling modification runs under the driver’s seat and is connected to a push-pull knob that controls the device.
In 1984 Remco introduced its second product, the Lube Pump, to prevent transmission damage from occurring on front-wheel-drive vehicles equipped with automatic transmissions that are towed four wheels down. When a vehicle with an automatic transmission is driven, the transmission is lubricated by an engine-driven transmission fluid pump. However, when the vehicle is towed, this engine-driven pump does not operate, so another means of lubrication is needed. The Lube Pump provides a reliable lubrication system for the transmission while the vehicle is being towed.
The Lube Pump is installed under the engine hood of the towed vehicle but is powered by the motorhome’s electrical system, so it will not drain the battery of the towed vehicle. The device draws transmission fluid from the pan and pumps it to a selector valve. The valve in turn sends the fluid through the radiator cooler and into the lubrication system. When preparing to tow, one simply connects the wiring cable between the coach and the towed vehicle and turns on the monitor switch in the cockpit of the motorhome.
Remco’s Axle-Lock, unveiled in 1989, disconnects one axle on an automatic transaxle for towing a front-wheel-drive vehicle. To begin towing, the operator twists the Axle-Lock housing “” located on the axle behind the passenger side front tire “” to the unlock position.
Remco literature notes that when using either the Drive Shaft Coupling or Axle-Lock products, there is no wear and tear on the driveline, and both products eliminate mileage accumulation on the odometer, since no movement occurs in the transmission. Most vehicles manufactured in recent years are equipped with electronic odometers, which eliminate mileage accumulation altogether, even when using the Lube Pump. The only exceptions, Remco notes, are vehicles that have mileage sensors on the front or rear wheels, and 1996 or newer minivans built by DaimlerChrysler companies.
Remco’s Taillight Wiring Kits are designed to use the existing brake lights and turn signal lights on the towed vehicle. The kit isolates a towable’s rear lights for towing via the use of diodes, ensuring that power does not feed back to the vehicle’s on-board computer systems (if so equipped) and thus avoiding computer failure or burnout. A taillight kit is included with each Lube Pump kit at no additional charge but is not included with the Drive Shaft Coupling or Axle-Lock products.
Remco’s Braking System (RBS) enables RVers to utilize the towed vehicle’s front brakes to assist with stopping. The RBS will work on vehicles with or without antilock braking systems (ABS).
The company also offers the self-aligning Class IV Remco Towbar, which is rated to tow vehicles up to 10,000 pounds. The foldable tow bar fits all Blue Ox base plates, and all Roadmaster and Demco base plates with an adapter. Remco also sells base plates to fit a broad range of vehicles that can be towed.
Remco Manufacturing, 4138 S. 89th St., Omaha, NE 68127; (800) 228-2481, www.remcotowing.com.