Can a Suburban be towed by an RV?

Can a Suburban be towed by an RV? (2022)

Yes, you bet! The 2022 Suburban can be towed by an RV.

However there are a couple of different towing methods and different models of Suburban to consider before you can fully answer the question – can the 2022 Suburban be towed by an RV?

So read on for more details!

How can a Suburban be towed by an RV?

If you want to tow a car behind an RV you have three options;

  • Flat-towing, also called four-wheels down towing, or dinghy towing
  • Towing on a dolly. A dolly is like half of a trailer. The front wheels of the car would sit on the dolly and the rear wheels make contact with the road
  • Towing on a flat bed. In this case all four-wheels are off the ground and we won’t be looking any further at this option here. 

Can a Suburban be towed on a dolly?

Chevrolet does not recommend towing the Suburban on a dolly. This applies whether your Suburban is two-wheel drive, four-wheel drive and irrespective of the transfer case. (See our glossary for an explanation of some of these terms). It might be possible to disconnect the driveshaft, but it sounds from Chevy’s advice that the transmission could still be at risk, so proceed with caution, and honestly don’t do it. 

What is flat towing?

Before we get into the specifics of the Suburban let’s quickly review what flat towing is.

Flat towing is sometimes called four-wheel-down towing. It’s just what it sounds! The vehicle is put into a mode where the wheels can spin freely and the car is towed behind the towing vehicle with all four wheels making contact with the road. 

It is perhaps most common with RVs where campers want to have a run-about vehicle available at the campsite. If you’ve ever wanted to pop out to the shops in a huge RV then you’ll know what we mean!

flat towing

What are the different Suburban models?

Before we look at flat towing let’s review the different models of the 2022 Suburban. It is critical you know what model you have before deciding whether, and how, you can flat tow. 

There are basically three different engines. 

  • 5.3L V8
  • 6.2L V8
  • 3.0L Duramax turbo diesel 

The Suburban is available as a 2WD and 4WD model, although not every configuration of drive and engine is available for all trim levels. 
Chevy Suburban

Can the Suburban be flat towed?

Chevrolet’s advice is that the 4WD Suburban model with a two-speed transfer case can be flat towed, but the 2WD model cannot be flat towed. Flat towing a 2WD Suburban can result in damage to the drivetrain components. 

What models have the two-speed transfer case?

As described above, flat towing a Suburban requires a 4WD model with a two-speed transfer case. 

Chevy provides two types of transfer case on the 2022 model and the single speed transfer case has no neutral mode and is therefore unsuitable for flat towing. 

The active two-speed transfer case has a neutral position that you need to engage before flat towing. This is available as follows;

  • LS, LT, RST models – you require AWD and the Max Trailering Package
  • Z71 model – is available as standard
  • Premier and High Country models – require AWD 

How to flat tow the Suburban

If you have a AWD model with the two-speed transfer case then you can flat tow. However, some steps need to be taken before flat towing the 2022 Suburban. This is not the same as simply putting the car in neutral. You must follow the steps laid out as follows, and it gets pretty involved!

How to put the Suburban transfer case in neutral

  • Secure the Suburban to your towing vehicle (e.g. RV)
  • Apply the parking brake and start the engine
  • Shift the transfer case to (N) Neutral. This is achieved with the following steps;
  • Shift the transmission to (N) Neutral
  • Shift the transfer case to 2↑
  • Press 2↑ five times within 10 seconds until you see (N) Neutral flashing in the instrument panel
  • When the shift is complete the light will stop flashing
  • If the parking brake or brake is not applied within 20 seconds the transfer case will stay in its original state

Your transfer case is now in neutral and you can complete the following steps

Flat towing instructions

  • Check that it is in neutral by shifting the transmission to R (Reverse) and then to (D) Drive. There should be no movement of the vehicle while shifting
  • Shift transmission to park
  • Turn off the engine
  • Place the vehicle in ACC/ACCESSORY mode by pressing the start button without stepping on the brake pedal
  • Release the parking brake when you are certain it will not roll
  • Make sure you have a mechanical key with you to re-enter the car after the power is disconnected
  • Disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery and secure the nut and bolt. Cover the negative battery post with a non-conductive material to prevent any contact
  • Move the steering column to make sure the steering is unlocked
  • Rock the vehicle to make sure the parking brake is not set and the transfer case is in (N) Neutral

You should now be good to flat tow!

What to do after flat towing the Suburban

After flat towing you want to then take your transfer case out of N (Neutral) mode. 

First you want to park the car on level ground, re-connect the battery and apply the brake pedal. Then follow these steps to take the transfer case out of N (Neutral);

  • Turn the ignition position to on with the engine off
  • Set the parking brake
  • Shift the transmission to N (Neutral)
  • Shift the transfer case to 2↑
  • When the shift to 2↑ is complete the graphic in the instrument cluster will stop flashing. If the transfer case cannot complete a shift, the graphic will return to the previously selected setting


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Warnings when flat towing the Suburban

There are a few key things to remember when flat towing your Suburban. 

  • Vehicle must be facing forward and being towed forward
  • Make sure the parking brake is released
  • Do not exceed 70 mph
  • Put climate control on recirculated air to ensure that the car is not filling up with exhaust fumes from your towing vehicle

You must ensure that the weight of the Suburban does not exceed the weight rating of your tow bar and base plates. Many tow bars and base plates have a weight rating that would be insufficient for a Suburban. The Suburban’s curb weight is around 6,000 lbs depending on model and package. So you will need a fairly heavy-duty towing rig to accommodate the Suburban.   In addition you will need tow bar wiring to ensure the vehicle lights are synced with the RV’s lights (required in most states), and a supplemental braking system (required in most states) to reduce stopping distance and reduce wear and tear on the RV’s brakes.  Finally ensure your towing vehicle (usually an RV) has the additional towing capacity to tow the weight of the tow bar, base plates and Suburban. You can use our towing calculator to help figure that out. 

Frequently asked questions

Can you flat tow a Suburban? Yes, if it is the 4WD model with a two-speed transfer case that can be put in neutral.

Can you tow a Suburban with a tow dolly? No, there is no model of the 2022 Suburban that can be towed on a dolly. 


There is a lot of jargon out there, so let’s break it down!

  • Differential. When your car goes around a corner the wheels on the outside of the curve travel further than those on the inside of the curve. It’s just geometry! This is why it’s not generally desirable to have wheels that are connected by a rigid axle (like in a Hot Wheels model car). A differential allows the wheels on the same axle to turn at different rates. This also helps distribute power from the engine to the wheels. 
  • Transfer Case. The transfer case is required on 4×4 or AWD vehicles. It distributes engine power to both the rear and front axles. The differentials  then distribute power from the axle to the wheels. The transfer case can be thought of as a differential between the front and rear axles. It helps ensure both front and rear wheels are turning at the same speeds and synchronized. This is not necessarily a given, since different gearing ratios, or different tire sizes can cause unequal speeds to develop. Many transfer cases allow the driver to switch between 4WD and 2WD modes. 
  • Transmission. The transmission connects the engine to the axle(s) and ultimately the wheels. It’s the connection that provides power to the wheels. It contains the gearbox and helps regulate the power that is being delivered to the wheels. When you are standing idle in your car at the traffic lights the transmission disconnects the engine from the wheels so the engine can continue without delivering power to the wheels. Transmissions are generally either manual or automatic, depending on whether the driver is operating the clutch to change gears.

If you have the AWD Suburban with a two-speed transfer case then you can flat tow the vehicle. However there are a number of steps to complete and we provide instructions on how this can be done. Note that we don’t discuss whether your towing vehicle is capable of towing the Suburban and you can use our towing calculator to help you determine that.

More Questions? Important Notes

If you have remaining questions please contact us.
Please refer to the disclaimer for important notes and limitations on this article

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