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Old 07-17-2014, 01:13 PM   #1
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4 wheel vs 2 wheels

Looking for pros / cons of 4 wheels down vs 2 wheels up on towed vehicle. Reference to past discussions more than welcome.
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Old 07-17-2014, 01:53 PM   #2
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I went with a tow dolly because I it was cheaper to go that way than to invest in a transmission pump for our Kia. Depending on the toad you plan on buying towing 4 down is OK, and the tow bar and brake setup will be cheaper than a tow dolly, straps, and tow lights.
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Old 07-17-2014, 02:26 PM   #3
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If you have a vehicle that can be towed 4 down or are going to buy a toad look for 4 wheel down. It is so much easier to hook up, is cheaper to buy/set up, and you don't have to worry about storing it at some campgrounds where space is limited. If you go to the search tab at the top of this page and look, you will find many threads on this subject. Good luck.

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Old 07-17-2014, 08:21 PM   #4
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I beg to differ on the towbar, base plates, brake setup, lights, being cheaper than a dolly. You haven't seen the price of the EZ Tow have you? I dolly, it takes me 5 min to drive up on strap down and go. The prices I have seen to 4 down are around $2500 to over $3000 and a new EZ tow dolly is $1299. I'm not buying 4 down is better, safer, faster than a dolly. These poor newbees reading all this 4 down is the best since sliced bread isn't right for and information forum.
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:44 PM   #5
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Like most questions on these forums you are going to get answers from two groups of people each convinced his/her way is the best. We tow 4-down and wouldn't do it any other way. For us, a key issue is not having to deal with where do you keep the tow dolly when your site isn't very big along with not having to deal with it when we have to back into a site. Tow dollies aren't all that light and having to shove one out of the way so I can back into a site isn't how I look forward to ending a day of driving. I'm sure someone else will say that this is the easiest thing in the world to do. One thing I do know is that having the baseplate on our Chevy didn't in any way detract from the trade-in deal we made on it. The dealer had the baseplate off and the car out on the lot for sale in less than a day.
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Old 07-17-2014, 09:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jergeod View Post
I beg to differ on the towbar, base plates, brake setup, lights, being cheaper than a dolly. You haven't seen the price of the EZ Tow have you? I dolly, it takes me 5 min to drive up on strap down and go. The prices I have seen to 4 down are around $2500 to over $3000 and a new EZ tow dolly is $1299. I'm not buying 4 down is better, safer, faster than a dolly. These poor newbees reading all this 4 down is the best since sliced bread isn't right for and information forum.
It's just as "right" as saying a dolly is better. They're both opinions. As far as I can tell, the ONLY advantages dollies have over 4-down is initial cost and multiple-toad use. They're not more convenient, they're not faster to hook up (especially if you had to remove the dolly to get into your parking space), and I don't think they're safer (not with all the reports I've seen about the straps loosening). YMMV.
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Old 07-17-2014, 09:12 PM   #7
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There are many differences between flat and dolly towing...has been discussed here to excess.
http://www.google.com/search?q=flat+...earch=irv2.com

There are also similarities - like backing is rather difficult and marker lights might be needed on the car to drive at night...run remote lights or wires for flat towing and illuminate the marker lights for a dolly.

But which ever you pick, please get brakes. Brakes on the set-up might not be required by law -but- are smart and safe.

Best luck
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Old 07-17-2014, 11:24 PM   #8
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It's just as "right" as saying a dolly is better. They're both opinions. As far as I can tell, the ONLY advantages dollies have over 4-down is initial cost and multiple-toad use. They're not more convenient, they're not faster to hook up (especially if you had to remove the dolly to get into your parking space), and I don't think they're safer (not with all the reports I've seen about the straps loosening). YMMV.
Well my friend the thing I was trying to get across is giving information to someone on here should come across as pro and con. Not everyone out there can afford the cost of 4 down and vs dolly. Yes there are draw backs to both, not everyone can push a dolly to the back of a site. Never said they were safer, faster or anything else. I'm just saying they are two modes of towing and should come across that way to someone looking for info to make a decision on how he or she wants to tackle the towing delema. I myself have nothing against towing 4 down except cost. Another draw back to a dolly is weight, most dollies are in the neighborhood of 500 lbs which needs to be figured in for towing capacity.
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Old 07-18-2014, 03:33 AM   #9
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Four down here. Don't want to have to handle a tow dolly - find a place for it, move it to/from there, etc.

As for the cost of a four down setup it does not have to be in the $2-3k range. Ready Brute is an excellent system of tow bar with integrated brake for about $1000. I bought used Blue Ox tow bar and a used Brake Buddy - plus brackets, lights, installed myself, etc. and have way less than $1000 invested.
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Old 07-18-2014, 04:19 AM   #10
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It's very rare to find someone who has towed 4 down switch to a dolly, but you will find many dolly users switching to 4 down.
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Old 07-18-2014, 05:28 AM   #11
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A lot depends on what car you want to tow. For example, AWD and most 4WD vehicles can not be towed on a dolly. Either all 4 wheels have to turn (4 down) or none can turn (trailer).

If you have or if want to buy a FWD or RWD car that can't be towed 4 down, then a dolly is the way to go - unless you want to go to the trouble and expense of adding a transmission lube pump or drive line disconnect to your toad. Some vehicles don't even have a lube pump or disconnect available for them.

The big disadvantage to a dolly is where to store it, both when you're home and especially when you're camping. Some campsites just don't have room to store a dolly. If you want to avoid that problem, then look for a vehicle that can be towed 4 down.
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Old 07-18-2014, 05:37 AM   #12
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4 wheel vs 2 wheels

I started with a tow dolly because the first car I towed was a Honda Accord which could not be flat towed. I upgraded to a vehicle that could be flat towed (Ford Escape, then Honda CR-V) and also upgraded to a tow bar and base plate. I will never consider going back to a tow dolly. There are several reasons for this decision.

Tow dolly issues;
1) The tow dolly was far more difficult to hook up. It took significantly more time and effort.
2) The tow dolly was far more dangerous in that the tie down straps came loose.
3) I have a bad back and it requires a lot of strength to mussel around the tow dolly and to tie down the car when setting it up.
4) The tow dolly was like having a third vehicle at the camp site. It was always difficult to find a place to stow it. It was always difficult to unhook and move it off to the side somewhere.
5) The tow dolly was like having another vehicle to maintain and repair. You have an additional set of tires to blow out, additional set of axels to service and get greased regularly. You may have another set of brakes to service.

Flat tow issues after upgrading from tow dolly;
1) You must have a car that allows you to tow it with four down.
2) You will need to find someone to take away the tow dolly, or hopefully even buy it.

JMHO
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Old 07-18-2014, 05:46 AM   #13
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The cost of towing using either system, tow bar or dolly, is dependent on your research and needs. If you have a vehicle that can only be towed on a dolly you will need a dolly. When we needed to get another vehicle we knew we were going to want to tow it so we looked for a vehicle that could be towed 4 down and there are many kinds from many manufacturers that can be flat towed. We also bought a new ReadyBrute Elite tow bar and Blue Ox base plate for under $1200 and installed it ourselves.
Just as the cost of motorhomes varies greatly depending on what you get, the cost of towing a vehicle behind it varies greatly depending on what you get.
I've watched people loading and securing a vehicle on a dolly and it looks like more work than using a tow bar, but that might not necessarily be a bad thing for those who choose to do that.
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Old 07-18-2014, 05:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
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It's very rare to find someone who has towed 4 down switch to a dolly, but you will find many dolly users switching to 4 down.
I definitely agree! I have used car trailer, went to dolly and have been towing 4 down now for twelve years or more.
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