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Old 03-19-2016, 04:15 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by harleyjt View Post
Interesting thread. I've been trying to decide which way to go myself, and am leaning towards a dolly. Have never towed either way, but want to start taking the Jeep along (its not flat towable). Interesting how many here are in favor of the dolly. I like the idea of not having to modify my Jeep at all.

One question for those of you with dollies, is how hard is the dolly to move around after unloading the toad and unhooking from the coach? I would think you would probably want to roll the dolly to the rear of the campsite and back the coach in front of it to keep the dolly more secure. Not sure how hard it is to move that 400 lb dolly. I guess one could store it in front of the coach and use a cable to lock it to the front axle or to some fixed object.

Curious too, when do you unload the toad? Do you pull up at the site and unload and unhook there? Or do you unload somewhere else on the way in and have the DW drive the toad in behind you? I'm sure no one is backing the dolly into the site hooked up to the coach. I know I wouldn't attempt it.
jt
My 400 lb rolls easily by hand with good leverage off the tongue (obviously without car) . Its like my light boat trailer which I can roll by hand too. I can easily lift the tongue and always roll it by hand about 100 feet to its storage space. At many campgrounds I disconnect (sometimes at the campsite if its not busy but many times in the arrival area). I prefer pull though sites which often makes the whole situation easy peasy. If we have no plans to use the car we never disconnect.

I have never had a problem with straps (I check them whenever I stop for a break)or tight turns as the car width is properly matched for our dolly and the turn table swing is limited.

I too can back it even with car on (short distances). With 4 down I couldn't move an inch backwards. Its so easy to roll the empty dolly by hand and I always drop it off the hitch and push the dolly into the site- much easier and faster than trying to back in.

As I recall though our entire trip to and from Alaska we never disconnected and managed to get pull through sites wherever we went. We do disconnect at places where we stay for a long term and want to save $$$ on a back in site. Even in short sites most of the dolly rolls up under the rear of the rig out of the way.
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Old 03-19-2016, 04:49 PM   #16
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I chose to use a dolly since I didn't want to modify my car and I wanted the flexibility of towing other vehicles. The dolly I ended up getting had brakes and pivoting wheels which at the time I thought was great. It didn't even occur to me at the time that I would not be able to back up the dolly AT ALL. I mean, I can reverse with the toad on the dolly maybe 6 inches before the wheels turn and drag. Next time I tow I am thinking of leaving the axle pin in to prevent the wheels from yawing and seeing if it is possible to back up slowly even with the trailer brakes. Not too sure it will work out.

All that being said, I'm still happy I went with a dolly due to the reasons I initially decided to go that direction. However I may have made different decisions with the dolly in particular if I had to do it over again.
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Old 03-19-2016, 04:59 PM   #17
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We have one vehicle that can be flat towed and one that needs a car dolly...when we looked at pricing, finding the specific 4 down for that vehicle was damned near impossible. New was way out of our budget. Plus it's designed to that type vehicle. The car dolly is cheaper and will be able to tow the older vehicle that also gets the best gas mileage for running around where we land. Plus when we trade vehicles, we can still use the tow dolly.
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Old 03-19-2016, 05:33 PM   #18
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Most of my tricks and comments already given.

I wonder if there has been a drop in dolly sales. I doubt it. It seems there is a cadre of folks who let towability dictate their vehicle. The rest of us buy a front drive we like and dolly tow on occasion as needed.

If you use a dolly with surge brakes then there will be a way to lock them off for backing the dolly.

We can move it by hand plus I carry a light duty come along and a tow strap that will handle the MH. Heavy duty for the dolly but will work if needed.

I put a hitch on the back of the towed that lets us move the dolly any distance. The last helped when the MH was in the shop as I towed the dolly down, hooked up and towed the car back with the MH. It also lets us unhook in a parking area before moving to the camp site when we are in some parks. Other places we request a pull through.
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Old 03-20-2016, 06:38 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by harleyjt View Post
Interesting thread. I've been trying to decide which way to go myself, and am leaning towards a dolly. Have never towed either way, but want to start taking the Jeep along (its not flat towable). Interesting how many here are in favor of the dolly. I like the idea of not having to modify my Jeep at all.

One question for those of you with dollies, is how hard is the dolly to move around after unloading the toad and unhooking from the coach? I would think you would probably want to roll the dolly to the rear of the campsite and back the coach in front of it to keep the dolly more secure. Not sure how hard it is to move that 400 lb dolly. I guess one could store it in front of the coach and use a cable to lock it to the front axle or to some fixed object.

Curious too, when do you unload the toad? Do you pull up at the site and unload and unhook there? Or do you unload somewhere else on the way in and have the DW drive the toad in behind you? I'm sure no one is backing the dolly into the site hooked up to the coach. I know I wouldn't attempt it.
jt
Can a Jeep be towed on a dolly? I suppose if you put the transfer case in neutral it would be OK, but not something I am familiar with.

I unload the car at the site if allowed by the campground. Some of the higher end campgrounds (resorts) want you to remove the car and dolly prior to entering the campground and then the dolly is stored in a separate area. If I can have it at the camp site I can get all hooked up the night before and just pull out in the morning. As for moving it, I have a hitch on the car to move it long distances (of course long is relative as you get older). I also use the car to retrieve the dolly from those campgrounds that require storage away from the camp site as we usually try for an early start. They will get it for you, but it is typically later than we want to depart so I will run to the storage lot with my car and grab it myself for early departures.
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Old 03-20-2016, 08:11 AM   #20
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Car dollies

Can a Jeep be towed on a dolly? I suppose if you put the transfer case in neutral it would be OK, but not something I am familiar with.

Yes. Our Jeep is a front wheel drive Patriot model. There is no transfer case. You are correct in your thinking for a 4x4 with a transfer case that has a neutral position.
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Old 03-20-2016, 08:16 AM   #21
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As far as towing a Jeep on a dolly, read the owners manual. They are very informative and the source of correct information.
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Old 03-20-2016, 08:21 AM   #22
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We purchased an American Car Dolly last summer and used it for our trip to Florida in December. I feel the hitch is a bit heavy on the American Car Dolly, so I purchased a hitch jack ($30 at Harbor Freight) with wheel to help roll it around where needed. I know it doesn't roll well in gravel or sand, however, it still helps me.
I agree with the need for a hitch on the toad. We unhook close to home and use the toad to get the dolly in the drive and behind the motorhome, before we back it in. When at a campground or resort, we look for the best out of the way spot to unhook the dolly from the MH and then to the toad. I also use the toad to back the dolly into the campsite, before the motorhome.
I like the versatility of towing just about any vehicle. We are considering a pickup truck so we can put our golf cart in the back. It would have to be two wheel drive and backed onto the dolly. As I said, we are considering that, so there is still investigation to do before purchase...but then what else do I have to do? Time for more investigation.
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Old 03-20-2016, 10:56 AM   #23
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I just bought a used dolly this week. This will be my 3rd year with my motorhome and I am looking forward to the extra mobility with my Corolla. I got a 2008 Forest River Car Tow with surge brakes.
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Old 03-22-2016, 11:54 AM   #24
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We weighed the pros and cons and went with a dolly. It's the simplest, cheapest way to go if you want to bring a vehicle with you. Our FWD car wasn't capable of being towed 4 down and we didn't want to replace it with the AWD version. Our coach had a brake controller installed so we bought a dolly with electric brakes.

It takes about fifteen minutes to hook up the dolly, load the car, and strap it down. I wear gloves because the straps have already gotten dirty. Disconnecting takes slightly less because you're not fussing to get the straps in the right place.
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Old 03-24-2016, 06:38 PM   #25
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Hi All,
Just to tell a little story about the last trip with my Mastertow tow dolly.Half way to Gulf Shores we stop at a rest area for a dog walk and checked the hubs on the dolly and the drivers side hub was warmer than usual so I disconnected the brake controller and after 20 or 30 miles I checked it again it had cooled down. The next day at the rv park I took the wheel and hub off and the brake pad had come loose from the shoe and was rubbing against the drum so I checked around and ordered the brake shoes from Napa which I checked with Mastertow and they said were 10inchx2inch which was not the case,they are actually 2 1/4 inches so I had Napa to reorder.I put the one side on so I could get home which I did.The Napa shoes did not fit right so I ordered the left and right side back plate with the shoes already attached.The BAD thing is when I received the parts today per UPS wouldn't you know Mastertow sent 2 right side plates so I will be calling them in the morning and see what they say about them paying the shipping to return the wrong one back to them and sending me the correct one.Sorry for the long rant and by the way it is a 2010 80THDEB Mastertow dolly.Safe Travels to all.
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Old 03-24-2016, 06:56 PM   #26
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Dolly here, have towed flat but new car couldn't be towed. I don't find the dolly to be any hassle. Mine I just put in the space first and back the MH over the tongue so it only takes up a few feet. I also can put a ball on hitch on car and back in if necessary. Now that I have to use a dolly I really like the idea I can tow different cars. Tires of buying brackets for cars.
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Old 04-02-2016, 09:37 AM   #27
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American Rascal,

Do you have brakes on tow dolly and auxillary braking system on toad rear wheels?
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Old 04-02-2016, 10:12 AM   #28
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4-down and tow dolly all have disadvantages of one kind or another. After a year of using my EZ Tow, I've gotten fairly proficient at hooks get it up, especially with a helper to get it pulled up on the ramps. As I've mentioned before. I bought a used CRV with the intention of going 4-down, but have just lost the motivation to buy the additiona hardware and modify the car. Lots of people have said most start with a dolly then go to 4-down and never look back. Maybe I'll go that way eventually, but for now the dolly is fine. It even stores in my garage standing on end which is very nice.

If you can't make up your mind, flip a coin. Just make sure whatever car you intend to tow is compatible with the method you choose to tow it with. I guess the universal solution is a full trailer.
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