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Old 08-17-2012, 10:30 AM   #1
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Can my MH tow a dinghy vehicle

We own a 1997 Itasca Suncruiser 34' with a Chevy P30 chassis and the 454 engine. The MH has dueleys but no tag along’s. We have only been RV'ing for about a year now and we are finding that with each trip we go farther and love it more.

Until now, we have been renting vehicles at our destination locations and we are thinking about purchasing a dinghy vehicle to tow behind our MH.
I am thinking about purchasing an older small and lightweight vehicle such as a Honda Accord, a Dodge Neon or similar, and using a 2 wheel tow dolly.

However, based on the relatively small power plant of my MH I am unsure if I can safely tow (and brake) with such a load.
I am hoping that someone with more experience than me can give me an idea if this would be ok.
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Old 08-17-2012, 10:37 AM   #2
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What I would do which would be a waste of money but you would be able to test it yourself.

Rent a car from a rental place for a day and rent the trailer from uhaul. Then you can see if you can really so it.
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Old 08-17-2012, 10:52 AM   #3
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Hundreds, if not thousands of folks hitch a toad to similar sized/powered rigs. Just pay attention to the sticker listing capacities and don't exceed them.
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Old 08-17-2012, 10:55 AM   #4
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I think you will find the greater majority of people on this site tow with a vehicle similar to yours. I personally towed a Toyota Forerunner without problems although it pulled a little harder than the previous Hondas. Rather than using a dolly you might consider towing four down which I feel is a lot easier(personal choice) and there are several cars that can be towed this way without modification. Go to Remcotowing.com to get descriptions. For safety reasons do get aux braking.

Come back to this site with all your questions, we are a good group.

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Old 08-17-2012, 10:56 AM   #5
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We drove a 36ft Holiday Rambler Imperial with a 454 for about 12 years. I believe the rig is heavier than yours, and we always towed a car, usually a mid sized car, on a tow dolly all over the West, Southwest, Midwest and Northwest. Lots of mountain roads. Never had a problem. Our usual tow car was an Olds Vista Cruiser, rather heavy, but we have a large family. Sometimes, on the mountain climbs, when I would loose momentum we would chug along at 35mph or so behind the big rigs, but we always made it up and over the hills.
Definately get suplemental brakes for the toad or surge brakes for the dolly. Our first dolly was brakeless, going down a long grade I felt the peddle get soft, so we pulled over and "hand lunch" while everything cooled. Didn't want to worry the crew. Before the next trip I sold the dolly and purchased one with surge brakes. Never another problem.
Happy Trails.
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Old 08-17-2012, 10:59 AM   #6
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If you have the proper hitch that can withstand the weight of the tow vehicle and the proper set up and your running gear is in good shape (engine and trans springs shocks etc) then I would not know why you cannot tow anything within the weight requirements.

The 454 is not actually a wimpy engine and with proper gearing you can tow a freight train just not very fast (that is an exaggeration however true it may be).

As for towing the old saying is "it is not the go it's the whoa' so stopping is more of a consideration than moving forward. There are many different braking systems in all price ranges that can solve this issue for you. Readybrake puts out a really good looking surge system that combines the hitch and the brake as one unit. From what I have seen it is probably the most economical really good product. If I were changing now I would look at it quite seriously. I will disclose I have not seen one but have read the material and have read comments from users on this site all favorable.

Obviously when you tow pulling hills will go slower and add stress to your engine and transmission(you in a hurry?) and going down hill can be a lot faster (don't get in a hurry!) but out on the flat most of us do not know the vehicle is there.

You are right to look for a really light vehicle. Saturn made some basic sedans that you could probably find on the cheap. We sold ours to a guy who was glad to have it and I'll would hazard a guess it is still running strong.
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Old 08-17-2012, 11:14 AM   #7
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Here's a link to your owner's manual
Towing information is on page 4-2.
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Old 08-17-2012, 11:22 AM   #8
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A lot depends on the towed.

A Smart car.. Very likely you can tow one of those, Or a Mini-Cooper.

A full size 70's Lincoln Mark whatever.. Not so likely. (That is a car that is dang near bigger than your motor home)

All depends on the towed.
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Old 08-17-2012, 11:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
A lot depends on the towed.

A Smart car.. Very likely you can tow one of those, Or a Mini-Cooper.

A full size 70's Lincoln Mark whatever.. Not so likely. (That is a car that is dang near bigger than your motor home)

All depends on the towed.
My father in law had a '77 Winnebago brave with a dodge 440 engine. He towed a Chrysler New Yorker on a dolly! Made numerous trips from Alabama to Michigan, California, etc. and never had an issue. You aren't limited to a Smart car! patpro23 asked about an Accord or Neon he has a good idea as to the size and type of vehicle appropriate for a toad. Now if he had mentioned a Hummer...
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:35 PM   #10
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bringing a transportation vehicle along will vastly increase your potential camping enjoyment. Last june, we drove our wrangler through many jeep trails outside of moab, utah, great fun, and places no motorhome could ever go (no family sedan either...lol)
It's a lot more convenient if you needa go into town for a gallon of milk, too.

Most of us tow 4 down. It's easier on the motorhome, and often cheaper. Downside is you can't back up. I never ever leave home without my wrangler hitched up. You just never know when u will need it, and I just can't tell it's back there.
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Old 08-17-2012, 01:39 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by JimM68 View Post
bringing a transportation vehicle along will vastly increase your potential camping enjoyment. Last june, we drove our wrangler through many jeep trails outside of moab, utah, great fun, and places no motorhome could ever go (no family sedan either...lol)
It's a lot more convenient if you needa go into town for a gallon of milk, too.

Most of us tow 4 down. It's easier on the motorhome, and often cheaper. Downside is you can't back up. I never ever leave home without my wrangler hitched up. You just never know when u will need it, and I just can't tell it's back there.
I agree that a P30 w/ BIG OL' 454 could tow well...might have to slow a bit on uphills and be sure to watch the temps

DITTO on the increased potential for enjoyment...that's the reason to rent. And, Jeeps are VERY WELL SUITED to flat tow with the "N" on the transfer case.

But, towing 4 down is ONLY cheaper and easier on the rig if your alternative to flat towing is to use a car carrier (full trailer)

A tow dolly is very safe, affordable, and will pick-up the drive-line of most Toads (front wheel drive cars). That means less rolling resistance and the Toad will be higher-up and therefore less prone to debris hits.

Like Adehaan86 said, a test by renting first is a GREAT idea!! Thats what I did - twice. I already had the Toad and had to decide between installing a towbar/brake system on the Toad vs. just getting a dolly.

I got the dolly.
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Old 08-17-2012, 01:51 PM   #12
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My south wind has the 454 I tow a Chevy 4 door truck was on a dolly now 4 down I'm lighter at 18000 lbs brakes are a must I still have the dolly I do use it I gave $ 1000 with electric brakes
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:29 PM   #13
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I personally would look for a car that you could tow with four wheels on the ground. The added weight of the tow dolly plus the toad would be, well extra weight.

Also with a tow dolly you will need a place to store it both at home and at the campground. It is also more maintenance (wheel bearings & tires) then the four down option.

We started towing our Subaru Forester (man transmission) four down this year and it has been great. It take 3-5 min to hook up or unhook.

Take the time and do research. There is a great amount of information from all the knowledgeable people here on this message board.
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Old 08-17-2012, 10:20 PM   #14
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Ah, thanks for that reminder...using a dolly will also save the wear and tear on the Toad, and the simple sealed bearings of most dolly's will not need as much service as the shafts, CV joints, steering parts, etc of the toad. There is also no brake wear on the toad with a brake equipped dolly.

When the dolly is not in use, it can be stowed under the back overhang of the coach.

Weight is not a problem with most dollys, because like I wrote, they reduce the rolling resistance, making the whole set-up roll down the road better.
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