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Old 08-23-2016, 11:24 AM   #1
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Smile 4 down vs. "car trailer/hauler"???

As my wife and I have finally decided on what we will buy as our first Class "A" motorhome, I am now focused on "how" I will tow my car/jeep (undecided which one) on our travels.

I'm fully aware that most Class "A"ers pull their toads in a 4 down configuration and that a good percentage of those tow some version of a Jeep product. I also know that many also utilize a "dolly" to carry their toads...for my question I'm not concerned about dollies here just comparing the 4 down to towing on a car trailer/hauler.

I am really drawn towards bringing my daily driver along via a "car trailer/trailer" instead of the aforementioned 4 down approach. Personally, I like the idea of having my car "totally off the road" where it will not be subjected to very potential mechanical/electrical damage/issues as I've seen brought up by numerous folks.

I would respectfully like to hear from those that are "using a car trailer/hauler" for their daily driver as to whether they like this approach and whether they would do it again if they were starting over. I've heard all the reasons why trailering can be an issue from; pain to put vehicle on/off the trailer and secure, find a place to park the trailer if your site is not large enough to accommodate, sometimes having to pay separately for storage of the trailer, etc...

Bottom line for me is knowing that when the vehicle is on the trailer that it is being subjected to absolutely -0- wear and tear...that for me is great peace of mind. The last thing I want is to have a long day on the road, get set up at our site and have to worry about replacing fuses, possible dead battery in the car/jeep or worse a burned up transmission or any other issues when my wife sends me to the store for bread and peanut butter.
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Old 08-23-2016, 11:34 AM   #2
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You mention you'll be selecting a Class "A" motorhome, but you didn't mention whether it will be a gas or diesel. The towing capacities of the two are significantly different.

Four down versus dolly versus towing inside a trailer might also be decided by whether your daily driver is standard or automatic transmission, 2 wheel versus 4 wheel drive.

We need more details in order to really help you here.
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Old 08-23-2016, 11:40 AM   #3
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my plan is to use a car trailer, garage for tools, extra storage etc. I plan on winching the car into the hauler backwards. A front access door would allow a small scooter or segway for transportation without taking the car out. Solar panels and battery bank for power. I'll be able to back up.

I've used a dolly before and it was a royal pain, I pulled into a parking lot to turn around to get some gas, well the parking lot was not a loop, single entrance. 2 hrs later I was able to get back on the road. Not to mention the time I pulled a dolly that was empty, wow never again.
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Old 08-23-2016, 12:15 PM   #4
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Smile More info...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenandterry View Post
You mention you'll be selecting a Class "A" motorhome, but you didn't mention whether it will be a gas or diesel. The towing capacities of the two are significantly different.

Four down versus dolly versus towing inside a trailer might also be decided by whether your daily driver is standard or automatic transmission, 2 wheel versus 4 wheel drive.

We need more details in order to really help you here.
Ken and Terry...
Good points....more clarification...

Class "A" will be either Newmar Canyon Star 34 foot gasser OR Newmar Ventana 36 foot DP...not just sure yet. Also, I failed to mention that I will not be using and enclosed trailer, just an open flatbed. Automatic for sure and most probably 4 wheel drive OR All wheel drive.
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Old 08-23-2016, 12:20 PM   #5
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No "Dolly" me thinks..

Quote:
Originally Posted by kerryvan View Post
my plan is to use a car trailer, garage for tools, extra storage etc. I plan on winching the car into the hauler backwards. A front access door would allow a small scooter or segway for transportation without taking the car out. Solar panels and battery bank for power. I'll be able to back up.

I've used a dolly before and it was a royal pain, I pulled into a parking lot to turn around to get some gas, well the parking lot was not a loop, single entrance. 2 hrs later I was able to get back on the road. Not to mention the time I pulled a dolly that was empty, wow never again.
Kerryvan...Thanx for reply... I agree, have spoken to many folks who have "dollied for years" and many admit that it's gotten the job done but not perfect by any means. That's the only thing I know is that I won't be using a dolly.
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Old 08-23-2016, 12:23 PM   #6
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even with an open trailer I would put some barrier in the front to keep the road debris from hitting the towed vehicle. the back flap sometimes acts like a scoop, lifting the debris into the air. read the stories of people going to Alaska they often remove the flaps to save the 4 down from getting the road debris shower.
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Old 08-23-2016, 12:25 PM   #7
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Four down for me. A dolly is just a pain.
Also think of a trailer, where are you going to put it once you reach your destination?
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Old 08-23-2016, 12:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wundertaker View Post
Ken and Terry...
Good points....more clarification...

Class "A" will be either Newmar Canyon Star 34 foot gasser OR Newmar Ventana 36 foot DP...not just sure yet. Also, I failed to mention that I will not be using and enclosed trailer, just an open flatbed. Automatic for sure and most probably 4 wheel drive OR All wheel drive.
I think you just answered your own question (IMO). The CS will have a 5k/500lbs tow capacity. Jeep plus flat bed trailer, while your tongue weight may be fine i bet you will be at or over your tow weight of 5K. Even at 5K you just lost 1k of NCC or cargo capacity on your coach. 30K GCVW minus your 5K tow package gives you 25K GVWR

The Ventana seems like the better option especially if your budget allows for the extra cost of the Diesel. I am pretty sure the cost difference between the CS 3513 and the ventana is 50-75K

Again just my opinion, i know what i would get if that was my only debate and the coaches i decided on.
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Old 08-23-2016, 12:44 PM   #9
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With the gasser you will surely exceed towing specs and safety margins with the trailer and load as described. Go with the diesel.
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Old 08-23-2016, 12:56 PM   #10
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With the gasser you will surely exceed towing specs and safety margins with the trailer and load as described. Go with the diesel.
Good point... Unless I go with a SMART CAR!!! Nooooooooooooo Jus' kiddin'...
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Old 08-23-2016, 12:59 PM   #11
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Sounds to me that in spite of know all the negatives about towing on a trailer, you have already made up your mind that this is what you really want to do. So do it.

As others have mentioned, by towing a trailer with car, your selection of motor homes will almost certainly be a DP with at least a 10k towing capacity. If you get the gasser, you will pretty much be required to tow 4-down to stay under their 5K towing capacity.

Good luck in whatever you decide.

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Old 08-23-2016, 03:12 PM   #12
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Sounds to me that in spite of know all the negatives about towing on a trailer, you have already made up your mind that this is what you really want to do. So do it.

As others have mentioned, by towing a trailer with car, your selection of motor homes will almost certainly be a DP with at least a 10k towing capacity. If you get the gasser, you will pretty much be required to tow 4-down to stay under their 5K towing capacity.

Good luck in whatever you decide.

Ron
Ron...
You are partially right in that I'm strongly leaning toward the "open car trailer/hauler" concept for a number of reasons. As we know, there are pros and cons to whatever decision we go with...as for me, the peace of mind is huge as mentioned in my original post.

The main purpose of my post was to hear from those who are "doing it" already and can give me feedback. I'm getting some good info here and appreciate all who contribute whatever...Thanx again...
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Old 08-23-2016, 05:56 PM   #13
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Wundertaker,
I have towed 4 down, dolly, trailer and currently 4 down (currently towing a Honda).
I would never tow with a dolly again. I towed a steel 20 Ft. open car hauler, with our Chevrolet Suburban onboard. My trailer has 5000 pound Axles, it is currently for sale. The only space issue I had was in a Southern Ca. RV Resort. They did not have parking for additional trailers.

We have stayed in many RV parks where the Trailer and RV length were not an issue.
In several we never unhooked the trailer during our stay.

If I were buying a trailer again I would buy an open aluminum Car Hauler with 5000 pound axles.
I prefer 4 down due to ease of hookup/unhook and do not have to store a trailer while traveling some RV parks.
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Old 08-23-2016, 06:12 PM   #14
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IMHO an open trailer will not protect your 'towed' any better than 4 down...

and honestly, once set up properly it's a no brainer to hook up and tow...

and with anything short of a horse of a diesel you will not get more than a 5000 lb towing capacity and your toad will be at or more than that - add in a trailer of say 2000 and your have lost your rv warranty for exceeding the ratings... if you get in a wreck with an overloaded rv, tush, tush

good luck on your decision...
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