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Old 11-13-2019, 11:22 AM   #1
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Dolly VS no dolly but good gas mileage MH

Trying to gauge the dislike for using a dolly vs the hassle of unhooking from a campsite.

This is for a single person only.

If you only had these two choices only

1. using a dolly with a 30ft gas guzzler with 7 MPG. and a 40 mpg car.
2. not towing at all but the MH is a 25 ft MB diesel with 18 MPG.

Your goal is to not stay in any state more than a month and you will be doing a lot of sight seeing. say 50 miles a day.

I understand the following;
There are other options like a tow bar.
Driving a 18 MPG MH can uses more fuel than using a 7 MPG MH and a car.
There is more maintenance putting a lot of mile on a MH vs a car

So, whats worse, messing with a dolly or leaving camp each time you go somewhere? And by camp, It could be boondocking or a park.
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Old 11-13-2019, 11:53 AM   #2
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RV'ing single or with the equivalent of The Brady Brunch i would never be without a toad. having to break camp to sightsee is far more time intensive than disconnecting the toad.

the dolly opens up the universe of available vehicles to use as a toad but will unnecessarily complicate things. takes longer to attach, detach, remove from RV and then put it someplace. pull thru spaces make dealing with a dolly much, much, much easier but you may not have the luxury of a pull thru space every night.

we have a towbar and a jeep which takes me maybe 5-7 minutes to hook up and disconnect. imo that's the only way to go but either way get a toad.
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Old 11-13-2019, 12:09 PM   #3
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Use a Sprinter Class C and tow a car 4 wheels down. We did it that way and towing the car made very little difference in mileage and certainly easier than breaking camp every time you want to go somewhere. We also had a 25 ft C and still had a hard time parking in town many times.
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Old 11-13-2019, 12:12 PM   #4
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40' tag axle MH here.
7 to 8.5 mpg.


Having a "toad" is a must!... sure beats having to "Break Camp" every time you need to make a toilet paper/grocery/laundry/beer/fishing tackle/sight seeing run


We have a "4 down " toad..gets 30/32 mpg..('06 Scion xB, manual trans)
5 minutes to hook up or unhook..

NOT a Fan of having to deal with a dolly..
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Old 11-13-2019, 12:12 PM   #5
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I have a wheel kit on the front of my dolly. It is just a wheel on the bottom of the jack assembly. It makes moving the dolly alone much easier. I got the idea from watching The Motorhome Experiment on YouTube. Here is the video I saw so you can see how the wheel works. The video is showing how long it takes to hook up a dolly by yourself. Mine has a slightly bigger wheel than his. This makes it easier to pull if you need to park it on the grass at your campsite. I certain prefer having a tow car along. We put 2500 miles on the tow car both previous trips. Cheers.
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Old 11-13-2019, 12:17 PM   #6
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It still comes down to what you see yourself doing. What it came down for me was an age issue- I did not want to wrestle with straps and hand moving the dolly all the time. I bought a used Jeep Liberty, used tow hitch, used Brake Buddy and new mount for the Jeep all under $1700. Wiring harness was $50. Flat towing is easy and quick to disconnect.
If you do not have a flat tow vehicle well the next best thing is a car hauler or dolly.Just my 2 cents.
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Old 11-13-2019, 12:40 PM   #7
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Another thought, we used a 11.5' 4wd diesel TC for many years that got 13-14 mpg while towing a Suzuki Samurai and later a Geo tracker that 25-30 mpg. I've also towed a Geo Metro that gets 40-46 mpg.

We have a dolly, but I prefer a tow bar and use it for our trips. In my opinion, it is much less complicated than a dolly.

Given your choice I would go with the "gas hog" and toad, but use a tow bar instead of a dolly. That's pretty much what we have done for the last 6 years, but I'm planning to go back to a TC for the versatility and economy.

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Old 11-13-2019, 01:06 PM   #8
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Wow, great answers everyone! I had no idea how this would go. I thought I would have seen some hell no's on the dolly.
leaving camp must be a lot harder than I understand; I thought all you needed to do was unplug the RV and go.

Appreciate all your advice!!!
I am trying to make the least amount of mistakes getting into the world of RV'ing and don't plan on buying my 1st RV only to sell it because I didn't ask enough questions for the Pros!!!
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Old 11-13-2019, 01:24 PM   #9
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Get the best MH you can find and are happy with. They will all tow a car. You can figure out that later.
Given your parameters you will eventually need a TOAD.

If your travels changed to sight-seeing while on the way to your next stop than you could do it without a TOAD for a while.

We used our 29' Class C without a TOAD and I enjoyed having it with us at the salt plains, Walmart, etc. We were not FT'ing in it though.
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Old 11-13-2019, 01:40 PM   #10
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The choice is easy. As an experiment I took DW and I for a three day weekend with only the class A and of course I wasn't moving it once parked. She made it through OK but said never again. The urge to run the WalMart (or whatever) can't be beaten out of her I guess. Dragging a car or motorcycle with me everywhere doesn't exactly meet my criteria of camping out but it's how it is going to be. Apparently.
I've used tow dollies many times and one is going to be my choice. Mostly because I don't want to fit one our drivers for flat towing right now. They can be kind of a pain but when you get used to one it's not so bad and they do what you need without having to have a full trailer.
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Old 11-13-2019, 02:04 PM   #11
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We're still new to a dolly and it still takes me close to an hour to get it loaded. Most of the time is burned up trying to get the car dead center on the dolly. Even when I hit it straight on the first time It's still close to a half-hour to get both sets of wheel straps installed, go underneath on each side to install the safety chains, tighten the straps, double-check everything and store the tools.

Then you have to stop after the first few miles to double-check the straps to assure they are still tight (because they do stretch) and that they have not slipped to one side a tad and are now chafing.

Taking the car off is a lot quicker, maybe twenty minutes to get the car off and the dolly put away.

I'd much rather be flat towing but neither of our cars will flat tow and neither of us are willing to give up their car.

If you'll be loading the car on the dolly by yourself as it sounds, maybe these videos will help you change your mind to go to a flat tow instead. or

FWIW,

Ray
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Old 11-13-2019, 02:25 PM   #12
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Gotta have my toad, but gotta have my 40 footer too, so I'm a bit different. You seem more capable of minimalizing.
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Old 11-13-2019, 02:42 PM   #13
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First, the car doesn't need to be centered perfectly on the dolly. If I can fit my fist between the tire and tray, that's good. The other side will be 2 fists. The car don't care.

Second, throw away the safety chains and get some vinyl coated safety cables. Run then from the inside of the tires to the outside and clip them with spring hooks attached to the dolly frame.

My straps hook on a bar behind the tires and placed over the top and threaded into the winches. They don't need to be perfect either, just over the top and tightened well. A 1 minute per side job.

The whole loading operation may take me 10 minutes, doing it alone. That's taking my time.

The only tool I need is the big wrench to tighten the straps.

I have a 26 ft MH and wouldn't want to run around town or visit sites with it. Its much safer in the campground. Plus if I had to pack up and stow all of the loose stuff just to go see a site, I may skip it.

If I wreck the toad, I'll pick up another, much faster then a replacement MH.
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Old 11-13-2019, 02:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NXR View Post
We're still new to a dolly and it still takes me close to an hour to get it loaded. Most of the time is burned up trying to get the car dead center on the dolly. Even when I hit it straight on the first time It's still close to a half-hour to get both sets of wheel straps installed, go underneath on each side to install the safety chains, tighten the straps, double-check everything and store the tools.

Then you have to stop after the first few miles to double-check the straps to assure they are still tight (because they do stretch) and that they have not slipped to one side a tad and are now chafing.

Taking the car off is a lot quicker, maybe twenty minutes to get the car off and the dolly put away.

I'd much rather be flat towing but neither of our cars will flat tow and neither of us are willing to give up their car.

If you'll be loading the car on the dolly by yourself as it sounds, maybe these videos will help you change your mind to go to a flat tow instead. or

FWIW,

Ray
Why would the woman be in the car, while loading it on the dolly ?
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