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Old 07-16-2012, 11:26 PM   #15
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However. if you trade toweds often and have a Diesel, IT is really easy to park the new towed on the trailer instead of instaling the aux brakes, tow bar base plate and lights on the new car every year.
Even with a DP you are still going to need the aux brakes as you must comply with the laws of EVERY state you go through. No reciprocity on safety equipment unlike drivers licensing.
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:29 PM   #16
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Good to know... thanks for all the info.

I currently tow my trailer with my buggy & the kids quads with my gasser motorhome. The trailer has a PTI sticker so $10 every 10 years or something like that... oh & its a personalized plate! But when DH & I are older (and hoping to fulltime) we'd like to get a jeep or street legal buggy to see the sights with.
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Old 07-21-2012, 11:02 AM   #17
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Let's see: many people are close to the towing limit with their car - add anywhere from about 700 lbs to 1500 lbs for a trailer and it'll put them over their towing limit. All that weight puts added stress on the motorhome's drive train, possibly increasing operating costs. Not to mention the added hit to fuel mileage.

Then there's the issue of purchasing the trailer, registering it, and maintaining it. On top of that is the need to store it somewhere, both at home and when stopped in a campground. Many campgrounds don't allow room to leave the trailer connected on the site, or provide room to store the disconnected trailer on-site so it must be left in a common parking area somewhere.

Tow dollies are another option, but again you need to add 500-700 lbs to the towing weight to account for the dolly. Again, you've got the registration and maintenance costs to think about. And tow dollies are difficult, if not impossible, to back up. Again, storage at home and in campgrounds can be an issue.

Towing 4-down is the choice of many, assuming the vehicle is capable of the feat. Although you add physical miles to the tires, bearings, and axle shafts many do not rack up odometer miles while towing. Backing up is discouraged, but other than the tow bar, which usually stays connected to the RV there's no issue with storing anything at home or on the road. Purchase cost rivals the cost of trailers, but there's no registration issues, and maintenance is minimal.
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Old 07-21-2012, 01:15 PM   #18
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I will say one thing about brakes on the towed.

If you tow 4 down (DO NOT do this if you use any kind of trailer or dolly) then brakes are a MUST no matter the state law..

You rear end someone who has a basic knowledge of the laws of physics and the fact that aux braking systems are sold to RVers, and you don't have such a system on your 4 down towed.. Personaly I'd ask for a million in punitive damages and odds are I'd get it too. There is precident. Though this involved a semi and did NOT involve contact.
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Old 07-23-2012, 10:29 AM   #19
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I tow with a trailer and 4-down depending on what vehicle I am taking. The cost of the complete 4-down setup including a portable braking system was more than my trailer. I haven't done that much 4-down towing compared to the trailer but I am convinced that the trailer pulls easier on flat ground and the trailer brakes seem to work better. However the issues of what to do with the trailer when not in use are is major factor for many people. In my opinion it's a toss-up, but the having the ability to backup with the trailer make it my preferred method.
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Old 07-23-2012, 10:34 AM   #20
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I was wondering about the, not being able to back up, when 4 down. How is that legal / safe? Does that mean that the length of your 4 down adds to the length of the motorhome and can't exceed the maximum legal length?
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Old 07-25-2012, 01:44 PM   #21
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I was wondering about the, not being able to back up, when 4 down. How is that legal / safe? Does that mean that the length of your 4 down adds to the length of the motorhome and can't exceed the maximum legal length?
Most vehicles have a front end geometry set up so that the front wheels always want to return to the straight-ahead position. This is called "caster" and is similar to how the front wheels on a typical shopping cart work. On a shopping cart, when you push it backwards the front wheels simply spin 180 degrees so they are still rolling forward. ON a car, when you push it backwards the front wheels will also try to spin around 180 degrees, but once they hit the steering stops they can't go any further. The result is that a car cannon be pushed backward in a straight line without input from the steering wheel.

To back up when you're towing 4 down you need to disconnect the toad, back up as needed, then reconnect the toad.
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:17 PM   #22
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Thank you Alan, I can definately picture it the way you described it.
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:45 PM   #23
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I was wondering about the, not being able to back up, when 4 down. How is that legal / safe?
In six years of towing four down, there has been one instance where I had to unhook in order to back up, and that was due to my bullheadedness in not following directions. Why would you need to back up?
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:54 PM   #24
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I was wondering about the, not being able to back up, when 4 down. How is that legal / safe? Does that mean that the length of your 4 down adds to the length of the motorhome and can't exceed the maximum legal length?
Believe me; based on experience you don't really want to back a trailer with a MH either. Cost me a couple of grand when the boat on the trailer hit the rear cap of the MH while backing up.
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Old 07-25-2012, 04:40 PM   #25
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Very true... I don't want to back up my 35' motorhome with my 20' trailer.... BUT we have a gasser and so we don't have the luxury of using the truck lanes for diesel, so sometimes backing up is a must.
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