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Old 07-18-2014, 06:03 PM   #1
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4 Down or Trailer Tow

I pick up my new to me 2001 Itasca 37' gas tomorrow. Which do you prefer pull a car hauler trailer or 4 down? I can buy a trailer for about $2500.
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Old 07-18-2014, 06:11 PM   #2
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4-down

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Old 07-18-2014, 06:12 PM   #3
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You'll get a ton of opinions, both ways. I tow 4 down. I installed the baseplate and use a portable "brake in box". It's quick to connect and disconnect. Downside, to change vehicles I'll have to go through the installation of baseplate and wiring lights again.
A trailer means ramps, tie downs, etc. Moving the trailer around the campground probably means a receiver on the toad. You do have the flexibility of loading anything that fits on the trailer.
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Old 07-18-2014, 06:43 PM   #4
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I use a car hauler but for most people I think 4 down is much easier. I haul a Jeep that sees some decent 4 wheeling and if I break something I need a way to get it back home. I also use the extra space to haul a spare tire for the motorhome, firewood, etc.

I'm still unloading the trailer when my '4 down' friends are unhitched and having a cold one!...

But as BFlinn stated, storage for a trailer (at home our at a campsite) can be an issue also.
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Old 07-18-2014, 09:01 PM   #5
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Four down here. Don't want to have to handle a trailer or dolly. Find a place to park it, etc.
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Old 07-18-2014, 09:05 PM   #6
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4 down is the only way to go in my opinion.
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Old 07-18-2014, 09:55 PM   #7
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I use to tow 4 down until my Saturn cought fire during towing to AL. Was barely able to disconnect my towbar from the Motorhome, since there is only 6 foot of space between the flaming tow and the Motorhome. From now on only tow dolly for me.
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Old 07-18-2014, 10:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evesely View Post
I use to tow 4 down until my Saturn cought fire during towing to AL. Was barely able to disconnect my towbar from the Motorhome, since there is only 6 foot of space between the flaming tow and the Motorhome. From now on only tow dolly for me.
Sorry to hear about your Saturn, but how did the tow bar contribute to the fire? Was it an issue with the car? A dolly still has 4 wheels on the ground, I don't see how you are that much safer.
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Old 07-18-2014, 10:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evesely View Post

I use to tow 4 down until my Saturn cought fire during towing to AL. Was barely able to disconnect my towbar from the Motorhome, since there is only 6 foot of space between the flaming tow and the Motorhome. From now on only tow dolly for me.
I think to be fair, you should expand upon the cause of your fire to your Saturn while you were towing it 4-down.

Of the thousands of RV's towing a cars 4-down on the road today I would dare guess that you were the exception and NOT the norm.

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Old 07-20-2014, 07:43 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Dr4Film View Post
I think to be fair, you should expand upon the cause of your fire to your Saturn while you were towing it 4-down.

Of the thousands of RV's towing a cars 4-down on the road today I would dare guess that you were the exception and NOT the norm.

Dr$Film ----- Richard
I also had a toad (2004 GMC Denali XL) catch fire while towing 4 down, ended up burning up my coach as well as I was unable to get it unhooked in time to pull away.

I have witnessed 2 others in the past 2 years, one was a Tahoe and the other was a sedan of some type, too badly burned to determine the type. Both of these had damage to the coach as well, but I don't know if they attempted to unhook the toad or not.

I would not be afraid to tow 4 down again, at the time I also owned a trailer so I could take my Harley and toad when I wanted, but I also would tow 4 down when I didn't take the Harley.

The cause of the fire was never determined, but it definitely started in the Denali and spread, I almost had the fire extinguished enough to unhook but I was on an incline on I-70 and couldn't get door unlocked to put the car into park before I pulled the last pin.
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Old 07-20-2014, 07:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texbeachbum View Post
I pick up my new to me 2001 Itasca 37' gas tomorrow. Which do you prefer pull a car hauler trailer or 4 down? I can buy a trailer for about $2500.
I think it really depends on your needs and desires, if you want flexibility of taking any vehicle and you have the towing capacity, a trailer is a good option with some drawbacks.

If you have towing capacity issues and you already own a vehicle to tow 4 down, then you will spend about the same you have budgeted for the tow bar, brakes, wiring etc.

I would research this forum as there is a lot of information on this subject and I have posted many times on my experiences of tow dolly, 4 down and trailering. Good luck on whatever works best for you.
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Old 07-21-2014, 01:17 PM   #12
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Wow, that fire is scary? Never thought about that.


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Old 07-21-2014, 04:22 PM   #13
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You do not have a choice 4-Down is the only viable option for most towed cars.

here is why... Gassers typically come with a 5,000 pound hitch, and it is unusual for that to be their towing capacity, it is usually lower than that (Max tow = Max Combined Gross Vehicle Weight - Tow Vehicle Gross Weight, in my case just shy of 4,000 pounds)

Now my towed (2001 Dodge Neon) is 2500 pounds empty
Add a hundred pounds of "Stuff" in the trunk and a dolly and I've blown my tow lmit, add a trailer and I've really blown it. So 4 down it is.

And then there are all the advantages of 4 down, way easier hookup, no need to re-check the tire tie downs from time to time and so on. No trailer to stow when you are on site. I would not tow any other way unless I had a very very nice shiny vintage car and an enclosed trailer (And a Diesel Pusher to pull it with)
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Old 07-21-2014, 04:27 PM   #14
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NJ Turnpike

If I read the road regulations correctly, tow dollies are not allowed on the NJ Turnpike. Maybe you will not need to use that turnpike, but are there such restrictions in other states? We tow 4 down.
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