Lube pumps are needed to tow many automatics, with some exceptions. If you are planning on taking the old RV on a summer road trip, you can breathe a sigh of relief if you own a Honda, Acura or Saturn. A few newer Chevrolets are good to go, along with a handful of some of the newer Pontiacs and Oldsmobiles.
For the rest of you, a lube pump looms in your future if you plan on towing with all four of the towed vehicle's wheels on the ground. (Don't forget -- instead of a tow bar and lube pump, you can usually opt for a tow dolly or a trailer if you want to bypass the issue).
The type of vehicle you want to tow will determine which lube pump system you'll need to buy because different engines are set up, well, differently. But a pretty standard lube pump model, like Remco's LP-1, works on a variety of vehicles like many of those manufactured by General Motors, Chrysler, Ford and Mitsubishi.
The purpose of lube pumps for towing is to keep the towed vehicle's automatic transmission lubricated and cool. During operation, the radiator takes care of that job when the engine is running. However, when some vehicles are being towed, the engine is off but the transmission is still trying to keep up -- which can cause it to overheat. To fix this dilemma, the Remco LP-1 system works by drawing transmission fluid from the pan, shooting it through the radiator cooler and then back through the lubrication system. It gets its power from a cable running to the motor home's battery -- handy so you don't arrive at the campground to find the towed vehicle's battery completely drained.
Another cool feature of this lube pump is that it comes with an electronic monitor that's mounted near the driver. From here, the driver can keep an eye on the activity of the lube pump and make sure everything's operating properly.
Let's learn a little about how to safely install and use a lube pump on the next page.