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Old 01-05-2010, 07:35 PM   #15
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While we've only been there twice in 5 years, there can be a situation where you need to unhook PDQ. We made a wrong turn and ended up on a narrow road - in the dark after driving 600 miles that day. We had the toad off in two minutes and were out of there. It was NOT a good section to stick around in. I thought to myself at the time about how I would have had to handle that with a dolly. I barely could turn the RV in several backups so staying connected to anything wasn't an option. It was bad enough with each of us in a separate vehicle, trying to get around and get out of there.

My guess is that about 50% of the time, having a dolly would be no big deal. We've often had sites long enough that we could even leave the toad connected. Another 25-30% of the time, a dolly would be a minor inconvenience. The remaining percentage would be somewhere between a pain and a royal pain. Many of the KOAs give you so little real estate to deal with on the site and tight quarters to get there that I'm really glad we could disconnect at the office and not make it worse. And then there are the added charges for the dolly....but we won't go there.

Four down all the way for us.
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Old 01-06-2010, 09:42 AM   #16
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Two points.. First to to O/P... you menioned a car on trailer is easier to back up.. If the car is on a full trailer. Yes, thos can be backed up. It is not recommended you back up if towing 4-down or if towing on a dolly... So that's a neutral as far as dolly is concerned.

Now:

Quote:
Originally Posted by namwob View Post
My real concern is brakes for towing my old (1974) CJ5 w/o power brake system to utilize brake add on.

There are many towed brake systems... The M$G air over hydraulic does not employ the vacuum boster so if your towed does not have vacuum assist, who cares.

Several systems that fit in the drive's seat or blot under it and push, hard, on the pedal, some electric some pneumatic, Same thing This includes one the "Brake in a box" systems I don't like like Evenbrake, and one that uses a pneumatic (air driven) piston bolted to a bracket under the drive's seat.. I'm think ing brake master (and I just verified by typing "Brake master rv" without the qutoes into Google search bar)

Now on your non-vacuum assist car, these should work well.. I like the M&G or Brake Master. I don't like the boxes you wrestle in and out and store (other than beneith the seat) when driving.


If your car DOES have vacuum assist.... As does mine

Then again the M&G is a good system... (It wont' fit my car though) I have the US-Gear, Unified Brake Decelerator, which.. In my not very humble opinion, is the best system.. Proportional, and progressive and can be used on any towed with vacuum assist brakes and on any towed vehicle, gas, diesel or.. yet to be invented.
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Old 01-18-2010, 10:04 PM   #17
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this thread may be going stale but I'll throw in my 2 cents...

First, a confession: I'm a 4-down wannabe who is using a tow dolly. I've read just about every post on the subject and I think there are some advantages and conveniences to the 4-down approach. Mostly though it just seems cooler / more elegant - the tow dolly seems to have a bit of a stigma attached to it or perhaps I'm just being oversensitive now that I have one...

In our case, we are going to be on the road for 6 months straight and then go back to life in a home without wheels. So, when I started adding up all the costs to modify our tow vehicle and the time it was going to need to be in the shop or in my garage, I punted and went with the dolly.

The only things I needed to do to get on the road with the toad was to but a hitch that was the correct drop height (mine needed 5") and then install a brake controller in the MH (Prodigy; MH was already wired).

First time of loading the van onto the dolly went just fine. Drove up ramps, inserted pin into ramp tilt lock, attached and ratcheted straps, drove away. I'm expecting that after doing it a few dozen times that I'll be pretty quick at it.

My ultimate reason for buying the tow dolly is that I can sell it when done without any trouble. Trying to sell a tow plate or brake system on Ebay I think will not get a good value since most people will be concerned about the safety/completeness of the assembly. The dolly is self-contained and easily inspected for proper function, etc.

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Old 01-24-2010, 09:30 AM   #18
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Any option scares the bajeezus out of me

I've only been driving RVs for a couple of months, but I always find myself in a situation I need to back up, and I've yet to find when on trips there are many gas stations with a lot of room to refuel.... Even the big rig truck stops usually steer RV's to a different set of pumps with a lot less room to maneuver. Is there a class on towing somewhere? I really see a need to have a small car with us as we travel, but for the life of me there doesn't seem to be a simple option for doing so. You guys all sound like it's a piece of cake. What am I missing?
Thanks for your help. Love this place
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Old 01-24-2010, 12:01 PM   #19
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The big disadvantage of a full trailer is they weigh, 1500-2500 pounds. This comes right off the top of your towing capacity.

So let's look at my RV, Max GVCW, 26000 pounds, GVW of MOtor home 22000 pounds Thus the tow rating is the lesser of 5,000 pounds (Hitch capacity) or 4,000 pounds... My towed is 4,000 pounds that leaves me 0,000 pounds for the trailer..

Made the choice easy

Though a trailer is easy if you have the capacity and have multiple tows to choose from... And some vehicles, it's the only way... 4-down is still the easiest way to tow.
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Old 01-24-2010, 03:16 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
The big disadvantage of a full trailer is they weigh, 1500-2500 pounds. This comes right off the top of your towing capacity.

So let's look at my RV, Max GVCW, 26000 pounds, GVW of MOtor home 22000 pounds Thus the tow rating is the lesser of 5,000 pounds (Hitch capacity) or 4,000 pounds... My towed is 4,000 pounds that leaves me 0,000 pounds for the trailer..

Made the choice easy

Though a trailer is easy if you have the capacity and have multiple tows to choose from... And some vehicles, it's the only way... 4-down is still the easiest way to tow.
i agree with coaches of a lower two rating. our GCVWR is 42k, gvwr is 32k
we choose the auto hauler (empty weight 1500 lbs) gvwr of 8k
our tow rating is 10k so i am left with a payload of 8500 lbs but a trailer payload of 6500 lbs
and can place any ol car we have at the time.
we very often dont take anything but bicycles.
i will admit it might be an issue in some places, but we will wrangle those as they pop up.
no brackets on the towed, no OTHER braking system, ease of vehicles that can go with us,
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Old 01-31-2010, 03:19 PM   #21
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Trailer towing

A fellow RVer, who does go on line, wants to get an enclosed trailer to carry his motorcycle and a Ford Explorer SUV. I have told him I agree that a trailer is the only way to go unless he trades the Explorer for a pickup. He is leaning toward an enclosed trailer.
Any thoughts on how much carrying capacity he needs?
Any thoughts on how much his fuel mileage will suffer given that he will continue to drive at 55 MPH towing a trailer, 3000lbs. empty plus a 600lb. bike and the Explorer?
How does one, other than weighing a vehicle, find the empty weight of say the Explorer? The empty weight/curb weight are not given in the manual, nor is it stated on the vehicle sticker. I am sure there is a way to determine this.
I will relay any advice I receive from you all.
Thanks,
Lee
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Old 01-31-2010, 04:37 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by leeines View Post
A fellow RVer, who does go on line, wants to get an enclosed trailer to carry his motorcycle and a Ford Explorer SUV. I have told him I agree that a trailer is the only way to go unless he trades the Explorer for a pickup. He is leaning toward an enclosed trailer.
Any thoughts on how much carrying capacity he needs?
Any thoughts on how much his fuel mileage will suffer given that he will continue to drive at 55 MPH towing a trailer, 3000lbs. empty plus a 600lb. bike and the Explorer?
How does one, other than weighing a vehicle, find the empty weight of say the Explorer? The empty weight/curb weight are not given in the manual, nor is it stated on the vehicle sticker. I am sure there is a way to determine this.
I will relay any advice I receive from you all.
Thanks,
Lee
how much carrying capacity? you need the weight of the explorer plus the gear you expect to carry with it. only way to get real world numbers is a trip to the scales.
then go shop around for an enclosed CAR hauler that has the cargo carrying capacity that you need
you will be surprised ....most start at 8k gvwr and are 1500-2000 empty so it leaves you 6k of capacity.
he will need a car hauler so there is side to side room to get the explorer in.
also you need the explorers ride height and width, dont forget mirrors and wider tires or running boards, to make sure it will clear the door at the ramp break over

$$ 5k or higher to get the right trailer for the job. 16" wheels etc
how much will a cargo enclose trailer effect mpg? anyones guess.
i would expect not as much loss due to being enclosed and will carry some of the air off the top of the rv.
I havent seen any real difference towing or empty at 65-67 mph
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Old 01-31-2010, 06:09 PM   #23
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My 2006 26 Ft. Box Pace enclosed cargo hauler is 4,783 lb's curb weight. It came with two 6,000 lb. axles. That's a total of 12,000 lb's total weight with cargo. My 2006 Saturn Vue is 3,544 lb's curb weight, my 2004 Victory Arlen Ness motorcycle is 670 lb's with fluids. Since my hitch is only rated at 10,000 lb's I plan to keep the total weight of the trailer and cargo under 10,000 lb's. With that said, adding the curb weight of the trailer, car, motorcycle together, I have 8,997 lb's. That leaves me about 1,000 lb's of other "stuff" which I will not have any problem using up that extra 1,000 lb's.

The point is that you need to find out what each item weighs when trying to calculate what you can load into the cargo trailer. Before I leave next May for Alaska, I will have the trailer weighed on a set of scales at the local truck stop just down the road from me. I plan to weigh my coach before that to make sure my axles and not overweight. Otherwise it will allow me to distribute stuff accordingly.

I found my weight's on the Internet using Google searches. I had to look at a variety of sites until I came up with the true weights. You have to go through a bunch of information and siphon out what is inaccurate and misquoted. I found that especially true with my car. I finally found the true weight listed on a brochure published by Saturn.

Regarding fuel efficiency when towing, I cannot speak to that as I haven't done any length of towing with it as yet, but from what I read from others, it usually cuts maybe .5 to 1 gallon per mile while towing. That really depends on your driving habits. I plan to stay between 50-55 mph. I think anything faster would make driving the total rig unsafe.

Good Luck!

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Old 02-01-2010, 07:59 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leeines View Post
A fellow RVer, who does go on line, wants to get an enclosed trailer to carry his motorcycle and a Ford Explorer SUV. I have told him I agree that a trailer is the only way to go unless he trades the Explorer for a pickup. He is leaning toward an enclosed trailer.
Any thoughts on how much carrying capacity he needs?
Any thoughts on how much his fuel mileage will suffer given that he will continue to drive at 55 MPH towing a trailer, 3000lbs. empty plus a 600lb. bike and the Explorer?
How does one, other than weighing a vehicle, find the empty weight of say the Explorer? The empty weight/curb weight are not given in the manual, nor is it stated on the vehicle sticker. I am sure there is a way to determine this.
I will relay any advice I receive from you all.
Thanks,
Lee
A 4WD Explorer will weigh around 4,600 to 4,700 lbs.
So he is looking at around a total of 8,300 lb. or more to pull.
A enclosed trailer long enough to haul everything may come in over that 3,000 lb.

Since nothing was given about what was going to pull the trailer with. Or even if it is made to pull over 5,000 lb. like a lot of MH are limited to.

As far as MPG loss. No mention if the MH is a gas or diesel unit. A gas will probably lose more MPG then a diesel will with that weight.

If he wants to take both in a enclosed trailer. Why worry about MPG, loss will be far less then what he will pay for that trailer.
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Old 02-01-2010, 08:51 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedward1555 View Post
I've only been driving RVs for a couple of months, but I always find myself in a situation I need to back up, and I've yet to find when on trips there are many gas stations with a lot of room to refuel.... Even the big rig truck stops usually steer RV's to a different set of pumps with a lot less room to maneuver. Is there a class on towing somewhere? I really see a need to have a small car with us as we travel, but for the life of me there doesn't seem to be a simple option for doing so. You guys all sound like it's a piece of cake. What am I missing?
Thanks for your help. Love this place
I guess I'm one of the ones that consider it to be a piece of cake to tow 4 down. We bought the RV in January and by March of that year (2004) we had a 4 down toad. In the time since, we've put about 40K miles on and there have been only a couple of occasions where we were in a pickle and had to unhook to get out of it.

Before you got your RV, were you away for overhead obstacles? Have you learned to look ahead and determine if you have a height problem? I'm not talking about bridges and tunnels but about tree limbs, overhead signs, roof canopies, etc. Over time, you develop a sense for what is going to work and what isn't. To me, it is the same for putting us into places with the toad that we cannot get out of without backing my. DW would tell you about a very tight RV center lot where we stopped to get propane. I took the best possible route in and, with the help of an employee there spotting for me, got out without having to unhook the toad. Yes, there are places at the fuel pumps that could be a problem but we just don't try. We look at the small vehicle island and bypass to the truck island if we don't like what we see. Flying Js were always tight. Most Pilot car islands were impossible with Loves being a mix of the two. Outside of the fuel stops, we've had little problem just by looking ahead. Spending time in an empty mall parking lot, seeing how tight you can turn is a great learning experience.
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Old 03-03-2010, 03:22 PM   #26
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We haven't done a trailer, but used a dolly for 1 1/2 year because we wanted to keep the Prius we loved. It proved to be too much of a hassle. We had problems finding a place to put the dolly and was more weight to haul.
Once we started towing 4 down we realized just how much easier it is. As far as backing up, basically you can't do it when towing 4 down other than backing straight for a few feet. One thing you do need to consider is an auxialliary braking system, whether on a trailer or 4 down.

I note that you tow a Prius with 4 down. I have a 2010 Prius and wonder if you've had issues towing it in this configuration. Toyota says you can't do it so I was wondering what you may have done to make it happen. I'd really rather do the 4 down.
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Old 03-03-2010, 04:23 PM   #27
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How about the tongue weight? Have you checked that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr4Film View Post
My 2006 26 Ft. Box Pace enclosed cargo hauler is 4,783 lb's curb weight. It came with two 6,000 lb. axles. That's a total of 12,000 lb's total weight with cargo. My 2006 Saturn Vue is 3,544 lb's curb weight, my 2004 Victory Arlen Ness motorcycle is 670 lb's with fluids. Since my hitch is only rated at 10,000 lb's I plan to keep the total weight of the trailer and cargo under 10,000 lb's. With that said, adding the curb weight of the trailer, car, motorcycle together, I have 8,997 lb's. That leaves me about 1,000 lb's of other "stuff" which I will not have any problem using up that extra 1,000 lb's.

The point is that you need to find out what each item weighs when trying to calculate what you can load into the cargo trailer. Before I leave next May for Alaska, I will have the trailer weighed on a set of scales at the local truck stop just down the road from me. I plan to weigh my coach before that to make sure my axles and not overweight. Otherwise it will allow me to distribute stuff accordingly.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
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Old 03-04-2010, 06:45 AM   #28
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How about the tongue weight? Have you checked that?
The tongue weight of the trailer unloaded is 478 lbs. 10% of the curb weight of my Pace trailer. My plan is to weigh both the trailer and the tongue by itself to see where I am with weights before taking off on my trip to Alaska in May. My coach will be weighed using the 4 corner method. We have scales located close by that the truckers use at the Pilot Fuel station. There are four scales in series. When weighing the coach, I put one side off the scale and get a weight, change and put the other side off the scale and get another weight. For the trailer, I place the trailer so that the axles are on one scale, and the tongue is on an adjacent scale. Each time I take a weight reading, it's $9, so I can have everything done for $27, a bargain considering what can happen if you take off and don't have any idea what weight you're dealing with.

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