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Old 08-28-2009, 07:35 PM   #1
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4 Down versus Trailer

I have read a lot about the pros and cons of dolloy's vs tow bars.

What about towing a car on a 2 axle trailer? No added cost when you change toads. Seems as though it would be easier to back up a trailer than a toad 4 down.

Obviouly there is another big piece of metal to store at a campground.

What are your experiences or opinions on towing a car on a trailer?


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Old 08-28-2009, 07:42 PM   #2
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I have done it both ways and have quit trailering.........it's just too much of a hassle vs. flat towing.
We used a 2 axle trailer when we used to trailer a toad.

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Old 08-29-2009, 06:52 AM   #3
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Read my post on my latest purchase. New Toad

I have been towing 4 down for years now, but when I bought the Smart Car I decided against towing it 4 down as mentioned in the other post. Not sure yet of the pro's & con's as far as comparing but I've had some problems towing 4-down that I don't see happening with a trailer.
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Old 08-29-2009, 11:41 AM   #4
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Hi Tom,
It could come down to more than what and how you want to tow. If you can tow an enclosed trailer, what benefits does that provide your RV life style? For me, if I were to jump to a trailer, I'd go for an enclosed trailer. A trailer that could carry more stuff than the car.
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Old 08-29-2009, 11:52 AM   #5
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Advantage 4 down: Easiest hook up (if you have the right tow bars) and lowest added weight (next to nothing) and nothing to store when not towing. These are major concerns, epically if you have a gasser with a 4000 or 5000 pound towing limit (i do) and a 4000 pound towed (I do) so for me that is the ONLY choice that works.

Trailer: Advantage, you already have down, You can park most any towed upon it (within your weight limits) no need to modify the towed save on some Ford Products you have to flip a switch (Which ford installed at the factory) to disable the air-bag suspension system.

If you have an enclosed trailer.. You can use it as a garage when bad weather threatens your towed.

But you have over a thousand pounds of additional hardware

And you have to find a place to park the blasted trailer.
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Old 08-29-2009, 12:09 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by GaryKD View Post
Hi Tom,
It could come down to more than what and how you want to tow. If you can tow an enclosed trailer, what benefits does that provide your RV life style? For me, if I were to jump to a trailer, I'd go for an enclosed trailer. A trailer that could carry more stuff than the car.
I have been thinking about getting a trailer for my car. This summer we towed our small enclosed trailer with a motorcycle and other stuff. One thing I like is the ability to backup compared to towing our CRV four-down. I have seen open trailers and don't see any advantage to an enclosed trailer, might as well get an enclosed trailer if one gets a trailer. Problem with a trailer is that it might have to be parked somewhere else if the site is not big enough and usually can not be moved around by itself.
I think of the money I spent on the small 6x10' trailer, wiring, brake system for the CRV and I would have been ahead getting a larger trailer for motorcycles and car (any car). Still I did buy the trailer when I had a smaller class C and the Honda CRV at different times. If I could just see into the future I would make less mistakes (or different ones).
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Old 08-29-2009, 06:39 PM   #7
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Towing a car on a 2 axle trailer you have registration fees, packing wheel bearings, extra weight to pull, and they may be storage problems at times.

You can always put a hitch on the car hauled to move trailer to storage if needed.

A enclosed trailer can also haul tool boxes, spare tires for MH & trailer, step ladders, cleaning supply's etc. That a open trailer is not good for those items.

I have pulled a enclosed 14' trailer with bike inside for over 10 + years. I had maybe 3-4 times that it had to be unhitched at a campground.

This year I have been pulling a toad 4 down since the 1st of May. So far I have never needed to back up for any reason yet.

Between the two ways. 4 down gets my vote.
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Old 08-29-2009, 07:05 PM   #8
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4 down 4 us!!!! Just don't put yourself in a backup situation.
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Old 08-31-2009, 06:04 PM   #9
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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.
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Old 01-05-2010, 11:10 AM   #10
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Looks like "4 down" has it!

I have been contemplating the purchase of a trailer for many of the reasons pointed out in this post, but now after reviewing this I have second thoughts.

Anybody have additional comments?
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Old 01-05-2010, 11:14 AM   #11
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My real concern is brakes for towing my old (1974) CJ5 w/o power brake system to utilize brake add on.
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Old 01-05-2010, 01:04 PM   #12
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Down vs Trailer

I have been towing a Roadmaster Tow Dolly for almost 10 years now with no problems. I am towing a Honda Civic and there are electric brakes on the dolly.
When going to a campground I usually get a pull thru site and can leave the dolly connected to the RV. If no pull thru then I unload the car and disconnect the dolly and push it around (it has a 3rd wheel) behind the motor home and reconnect it or place the dolly alongside the RV with no problems.
You are right with either 4 down, or dolly you can not back up and even though with a trailer you can back up like previuosly stated you have to find a place for it and there is extra weight.
At least with a tow dolly there is no brake controller needed for the toad,$$$$
Either way you go enjoy !
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Old 01-05-2010, 02:47 PM   #13
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When I purchased my MH, I wanted to tow my F-150, but CW's $5,000 estimate for the modifications made me go for a dolly. However, even with a dolly, the F-150 would have to be towed "backwards". So I bought a small Toyota and used the dolly. The hassel of loading and unloading the dolly, plus where to park it when we camped, drove me to selling the dolly and trading the Toyota for a Saturn Vue that could be towed, 4-down. I couldn't be happier! Roland
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Old 01-05-2010, 04:30 PM   #14
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I do both and 4 down is much easier. Backing up hasn't been an issue for me.

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