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Can You Flat Tow A Cadillac Escalade (And How To)

The Cadillac Escalade is a luxury SUV that can become a great extra vehicle for RV campers. Now you're wondering if it's possible to flat-tow a Cadillac Escalade. If so, how can you do it? We researched for you and asked different experts to give you the following answer.

Cadillac Escalade owners can have their vehicles towed by compatible motorhomes, provided that their SUVs don’t have AWD transmissions and 2-speed transfers. Dinghy towing is still available for Escalades that aren’t flat towable.

For those that are flat towable, follow these steps to connect an RV to the SUV:

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  1. Slowly move the RV to the Escalade with the motorhome’s back facing the SUV.
  2. Connect the Escalade to the RV using safety cables.
  3. Start the engine on the Escalade and set its transfer case to Neutral (N). Then, change it to Park (P).
  4. Turn off the engine and press the start button to put the vehicle in ACC/ACCESSORY mode.
  5. Remove the connection from the negative terminal on the SUV’s battery. Cover the battery with a non-conductive material afterward.
  6. Attempt to move the steering wheel around to check if it’s unlocked.

Some Cadillac Escalade models, like the SUV’s 2019 version, also needs additional equipment for them to become flat towable. Keep reading as we talk about the parts needed to complete the flat towing setup for certain Cadillac Escalades. We’ll also discuss the steps to flat tow an Escalade in greater detail.

Cadillac Escalade IV ESV DEPP Limousine front three quarters urban landscape view orange tone, Can You Flat Tow A Cadillac Escalade (And How To)

Can A Cadillac Escalade Be Flat Towed?

Cadillac Automobile Dealership. Cadillac is the Luxury Division of General Motors II

Cadillac Escalades that feature all-wheel drive (AWD) transmissions with a 2-speed transfer are not flat-towable. Motorhomes can flat tow other Escalade models, provided they use optional equipment like extra wiring, safety cables, and tow bars.

Escalade owners can check their owner’s manuals to verify if their vehicle models are flat towable. For instance, the 2007 to 2011 Escalades are flat-towable, as long as they don’t have the AWD transmission. On the other hand, certain RVs can still tow these SUVs with the help of dollies.

How To Flat Tow A Cadillac Escalade?

A photo of a black parked Cadillac Escalade, the Escalade from Cadillac is their most popular SUV.

Assuming that your Cadillac Escalade has the necessary flat towing equipment, the first step for this process is to attach your RV to the SUV. Additionally, make sure that you’re doing this process on fairly flat ground. Doing it on an incline may present you with additional challenges.

Also, ensure that the Cadillac Escalade’s gear shift is set to Park (P). Avoid setting the vehicle to Neutral (N), or else it might roll during the docking phase.

After finishing the preparations, you can continue to the next step of this operation:

  1. Reverse the RV near the front of the Cadillac Escalade slowly.
  2. Attach the SUV to the tow vehicle.
  3. Apply the Escalade’s parking brake and ignite its engine.
  4. Shift the Escalade’s transfer case to Neutral (N). Ensure that the automobile isn’t moving or rolling while changing the shift.
  5. Once the vehicle is secure, shift its transmission to Park (P) and disengage the engine.
  6. Press the Escalade’s 'Sart' button on the dashboard but don’t step on the brakes. Doing so will set the automobile to ACC/ACCESSORY mode.
  7. Disconnect the car’s battery from its negative terminal. Then, secure the battery with a non-conductive cover.
  8. Test the steering wheel by moving it around to ensure it’s unlocked.
  9. Move around the Escalade’s cabin for signs of rocking. If so, ensure that the transfer case isn’t on Neutral (N).

Take note that failure to revert the Cadillac Escalade’s transmission to Park (P) will cause serious damage to its transfer case. Also, leaving the negative charge on the battery can cause harm to the Escalade during towing.

If your Cadillac Escalade has a lane keep assist feature, it can help ensure that the automobile stays straight while being flat-towed. Find out more about which other SUVs have lane keep assist by reading our post on that topic. 

What Are The Parts Needed To Flat Tow A 2019 Cadillac Escalade?

A 2019 Cadillac Escalade isn’t flat-towable unless you install parts like:

  • Base plate kit: Permanent or removable options are available, depending on needs or preferences.
  • Safety cables: Opt for choices made with high-quality materials to prevent breaking during towing.
  • Wiring kit: Connects the towing vehicle’s electronics and lights to the towed car.
  • Supplemental brakes: Parts that help stop the vehicle in emergencies.
  • Tow bar: Attaches to the towing vehicle to connect cables and wires to the towed SUV.

Aside from the parts mentioned above, you can also install a quick battery disconnect to the setup. This tool helps improve the speed to disconnect the battery during the flat-towing preparations.

Check out this battery quick connect and disconnect on Amazon.

How To Tow An AWD Car On A Dolly?

Despite AWD cars like some Cadillac Escalades being unideal for flat towing, it might be possible to attach dollies to these vehicles to tow them safely. But take note that using these pieces of equipment needs the appropriate understanding to operate them properly to prevent expensive mishaps.

Once you understand that warning, and if you still want to proceed with this operation, you can continue with following the rest of the instructions:

What You’ll Need

  • Carjack
  • Roller dollies

Check out this roller dolly on Amazon.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Use your car’s jack to lift the front wheels off the ground slightly.
  2. Extend the stinger of the dolly far enough to give you room for fine adjustments.
  3. Slide the dolly bar into the correct slots.
  4. Pull the car forward to rest the front tire on the dolly and achieve proper balance.
  5. Secure the rear dolly bar into the corresponding slot.
  6. Push the car back with the stinger attached. You’ll know if you did the steps correctly so far if both dolly bars are secure.
  7. Raise the dolly to check for clearance.
  8. Repeat this process for the other tires that need dollies.

Take note that the clearance should be at least 3 to 4 inches above the ground. A high risk of the tire dragging across the road or pavement might exist if the clearance is below that distance.

You can also watch the video below to help you with the dolly setup process. But keep in mind that the process mentioned in the clip is for setting up dollies for cars with flat tires. Nonetheless, the procedure should still be quite similar to using these pieces of equipment on AWD vehicles.

What Are The Problems With Towing With An Escalade?

Off road car winch. Electric winch with hook in SUV bumper.

Cadillac Escalades may run into some problems when towing other vehicles. One issue that may occur is the engine overheating if the Escalade tries to tow more weight than it should. Users should know the towing capacities of their specific Escalade model to estimate the amount of allowable weight for towing.

Here’s a short list of some Cadillac Escalades and their maximum towing limits:

  • 2002 model: 8,800 pounds
  • 2003 model: 7,800 pounds
  • 2006 model: 8,100 pounds
  • 2012 model: 8,100 pounds
  • 2021 model: 8,200 pounds

So, most Cadillac Escalades can tow an average toy hauler at most. Take note that the typical toy hauler weighs about 7,600 pounds. Towing more weight than a toy hauler, such as a 12,700-pound 5th wheel camper, pushes an Escalade’s towing weight limit.

Read our post on what SUVs can tow at least 5,000 pounds if you're curious to know about other vehicles in this class with fairly high towing capacities. 

Final Words

Cadillac Escalade IV ESV DEPP Limousine front three quarters urban landscape view orange tone, Can You Flat Tow A Cadillac Escalade (And How To)

It's possible to flat-tow a Cadillac Escalade with the right conditions. Keep in mind that some Escalade models are only flat-towable if they possess appropriate equipment. Also, a proper connection with the towing vehicle is necessary to avoid running into issues during the flat-towing process.