how to tow a golf cart

How To Tow a Golf Cart [Guide by Experts]

Owning a golf cart can be incredibly convenient for getting around your community, the golf course or your own property. But sometimes you need to take your trusty golf cart somewhere where driving isn’t practical. Whether you’re traveling to a distant course, taking the cart in for service, or experiencing a breakdown on the links, knowing how to properly tow your golf cart is an important skill for any owner. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the proper steps and safety precautions for towing both gas and electric golf carts.

Essential Preparations for Your Trailer and Golf Cart Before Hitting the Road

Attaching the Trailer The first step is to attach your trailer to the towing vehicle. For most trailers, this involves placing the trailer’s ball mount over your vehicle’s hitch ball. Once in position, lift the latch on the receiver and lower it over the ball. Then insert a pin or lock through the latch to prevent it from coming loose during transport. You’ll also want to attach safety chains crosswise from the trailer to your vehicle’s hitch. This will provide an emergency backup if the ball receiver connection fails. Finally, connect the wiring harness from the trailer lights to your tow vehicle so that the signals and brakes will work.

Preparing the Trailer and Golf Cart Before loading your golf cart, make sure the trailer is properly configured. Lower the ramp gate and secure it for loading. For enclosed trailers without a gate, you can use ramps placed at the rear edge. Apply the parking brake and make sure the trailer is not in a powered “drive” mode that could tip it forward.

Techniques for Safe and Secure Transport

For electric golf carts, an important safety step is to lift the seat and turn the “tow/run” switch to “tow” mode. This cuts off power to the sensitive drive components so that any voltage generated during towing will not fry the electronics. Gas-powered vehicles do not have a tow mode, but should be placed in neutral.

You will also want to secure any loose components on your golf cart, such as the windshield, seats, canopy tops, or accessories, before towing the cart. Remove or secure these items for transport. Drape protective blankets over the seats, if desired.

Loading and Securing the Golf Cart When the trailer is ready, carefully drive the golf cart up the ramp or slope into position. Once fully loaded, apply the parking brake. Use ratchet straps or tie-down lashings to secure the cart firmly in the trailer to prevent movement during transport. These should be tightened on both axles and on the chassis frame. Again, remove or secure the windshield if necessary.

Close the trailer ramp and secure the side latches when the cart is loaded and securely strapped. Give the cart a visual inspection to make sure everything looks good before you hit the road.

When towing your golf cart, it’s important to obey all posted speed limits and drive cautiously. Avoid aggressive acceleration, sharp turns and sudden lane changes. The extra weight will affect your vehicle’s handling and stopping distances. Use your mirrors and turn signals, and be aware of trailer sway caused by wind gusts or passing trucks.

Most states require you to have proper registration, insurance, and a valid driver’s license to tow a trailer on public roads. Be sure to comply with all laws in your local jurisdiction. Only experienced drivers should operate the towing vehicle.

Follow the manufacturer’s towing speed recommendations, typically 25 mph or less. At highway speeds, wind resistance increases rapidly, potentially overloading the electric motor. This can cause extreme heat buildup, so keep speeds moderate. On long trips, take regular breaks to allow components to cool. And keep towing distances as short as possible.

If you encounter problems along the way, such as a flat tire, pull over safely out of traffic. For extended stops, use the trailer’s extra wheel chocks. Do not resume towing until the problem is corrected.

When you arrive at your destination, carefully park the towing vehicle and trailer in a suitable area. When disconnecting the trailer, be sure to secure the wheels with chocks. Release all straps and tie-downs before unloading the golf cart. Keep the trailer brake on and remove any ramps or slowly open the gate. You can then reverse the cart down the ramp under its own power.

Unloading and Reactivating the Golf Cart

After unloading from the trailer, reattach any components, such as the windshield, that were removed for transport. For electric carts, return the tow/run setting to run mode to re-engage the drivetrain. Reconnect the battery if it has been disconnected. Perform a basic function test in a safe area before driving on roads or courses.

Towing your prized golf cart to a new adventure or winter storage can be a smooth ride with some preparation and safety precautions. Just take your time, follow proper procedures and enjoy the sights along the way. Wherever the road takes you, your golf cart can follow with a proper towing setup.

What kind of trailer should I use to tow my golf cart?

You’ll want a trailer designed specifically for towing golf carts, ATVs or other small vehicles. Closed trailers or open trailers with ramp doors provide the easiest loading and the safest transport.

Can I tow my golf cart behind a motorcycle or recreational vehicle?

In most cases, motorcycles and recreational vehicles do not provide a suitable towing device for a golf cart. The exception would be an RV with a receiver hitch and wiring specifically designed to tow a loaded golf cart trailer.

Can I tow an electric golf cart long distances?

While it’s possible, towing long distances can cause the electric motor to spin and components to overheat. It’s recommended to keep the towing distance reasonable and take frequent breaks to allow the motor to cool down.

What is the proper way to load the cart into the trailer?

Slowly drive the golf cart up the ramps or trailer door and apply the parking brake when fully inside. Tie-down straps should secure both axles and the frame to prevent movement during transport.

Can I tow a golf cart without a trailer behind my vehicle?

Only for short distances under 5 mph using a tow bar or strap. The lack of brakes and lights makes this method unsafe for highway or long distance towing. Always use a proper trailer.

How tight should the lug nuts on my trailer wheels be?

Tighten the lug nuts to the torque specified in your trailer owner’s manual, usually around 90 ft-lbs. Always use a calibrated torque wrench to avoid loose wheels or overtightening.