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Old 02-25-2013, 11:14 AM   #1
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car-hauler question ?

I have a couple questions? since I have never towed a vehicle 4 down but have pulled a trailer for several thousand miles over the years. why pull 4 down instead of using a car-hauler?

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Old 02-25-2013, 11:18 AM   #2
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One reason is parking the hauler & the car & the MH can be a problem in a lot of campgrounds. Also, if you have a 5000Lb hitch or tow limit, car + hauler can top that pretty easily. Art.

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Old 02-25-2013, 11:36 AM   #3
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Towing 4 down is just easier, and no trailer to deal with at campgrounds.
Adios, Dirk - '84 Real Lite Truck Camper, '86 Wilderness Cimarron TT, previously 4 years as a fulltimer in a '07 DSDP

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Old 02-25-2013, 12:38 PM   #4
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It takes less than5 minutes to hook-up (with Blue Ox systeme) Very secure, great when get into a dead end and you have to turn around it happen to me mant times with my old winnebago. less weight ......... and the list goes on ...
Mike, Martina and Maya our yellow Lab
2013 CrossRoads, Cruiser 29,5 ft 5thWeel, 2010 Ram HEMI 1500
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:46 PM   #5
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As stated, most gas mh are only rated for 5000lbs. I have a landscape type trailer I use for a car hauler if required and it weighs about 2000 lbs. Add to that a 3500 lb car and you are over the amount you can pull. With a tow bar and 4 down you are well under your capacity.
2000 winne 37g
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:28 PM   #6
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Not to mention that a car hauler (tow dolly, trailer, etc.) would just be another piece of equipment to maintain, insure, register, etc. In other words just an added expense. Having a toad that is designed to tow 4 down is just a lot less to have to deal with over all.
Craig & Donna
2005 Beaver Monterey Laguna IV (aka The Hotel Monterey)
2011 Jeep Liberty Limited
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Old 02-25-2013, 02:27 PM   #7
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Towing trailer Pros and Cons


Back up without unhooking.
More Space To carry More Stuff
Less wear on Toad
Toad not exposed to elements
Haul any vehicle without special rigging
Use at CG for extra Sleeping Quarters/Workshop etc.


Extra weight (Usually Need Class IV Hitch and lots of power)
Extra cost of Trailer
Maybe Extra Length (may be illegal)
Extra fuel cost
Extra vehicle to store in CG and home
Extra Insurance (cost)
Extra Maintenance (cost)
Load & hookup speed slower than 4 down

General Comments

I seriously thought about getting a stacker when I had my A's and if cost is not a factor, they make sense to some.

I now have a Class 3 hitch and I want my Tow to be as light as possible. Tow a Smart Car 4 down and can disconnect in <60 sec and hookup in <90 sec after car lined up.

So whatever works best for each circumstance. I had a very bad experience with a dolly and I avoid those, but everything has pros and cons and I may have missed some in my list above.
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:47 PM   #8
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I have done both. If I knew there was always room at campgrounds I would use the trailer all the time. I feel more comfortable using it. It takes a little more time to tie the car down to the trailer than hooking up the tow bar.
As for overall cost...depending on the equipment and any labor you pay to install a tow bar, the trailer is usually less money to purchase but more upkeep.
2012 Monaco Knight 36 PFT
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland
2005 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited on 2007 16' Car Hauler trailer
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:09 AM   #9
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Let me add my nickle
we use a flat bed 18 foot deck hauler for our toad (presently a 2010F150).

We use coe parks, state parks and any combination of thousand trails and private parks
I fill up at murphys (if i Google in advance and check out the driveway entrances).
I have a real consistent fuel burn rate and my OCD causes me to plan ahead for fuel stops and look at them from above before i leave for the trip, at least 5 choices.

ability to negotiate parking or fuel stops without unhooking the toad

I seem to have less tailgaters when i have the trailer in tow, for some reason the steel trailer actually causes others to pay attention when passing me

No need to add a aux brake device to the truck

trailer has brakes on all four wheels

allows use of different vehicles easily

truck or other vehicle isn't getting beat up by the wonderful highways and roadways.

I use e-track deck tie-downs that go over the wheels.

no base plates to install

I can hook up and load my truck in 20-30 minutes. I have seen many tow bar users take longer and some take less time

I have a set of custom alum ramps that weigh less than 18 lbs each, so they are easily set up.

It doubles as dance floor at rallies.

Had a very serious blowout last year on the rear tire, it ate a rim and dented a fender. but truck was unharmed.

It has taken a beating.

I have a great wife and she guides me expertly to hitch up, and during the positioning of the truck on the trailer deck

I cant move the trailer if its unhooked (its weight simply forbids this)

Some parks sites are small and i have to park my trailer in a lot on premises, or in the grass if permitted. Which means locks and coupler locks. But this does not happen very often, maybe 4 times over the last 3 years.

takes 20-30 minutes to load and tie-down, some tow bar users are faster....its a roll of the dice

with my current truck(toad), the trailer is very near its gvwr.

truck(toad) still gets dirty from being behind the bus

if its raining it sucks loading up and securing the truck(toad)

the hitch ball is greasy, and I have ruined a few pairs of shorts during the unhooking

I should have acquired an enclosed trailer with maybe 2k more of payload once the truck was in.
My thoughts are to seriously look at both options and possible vehicles you may have or bring
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USN Retired, Life time member of the DAV.
Enjoying the 2008 Damon Tuscany 4056, no your eyes are fine, there are 6 slides
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:08 AM   #10
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Trailers for me. I like all the additional "necessary equipment" you can take and the car is 100% protected.
I have never had a campground, with limited space, not help me find a place to put the trailer. My trailer was extra large, 17,000 lbs and 13' tall with a lift in it, due to a drag car being in it. The one I am using next winter will be a easier to manage 28' enclosed car trailer, normal height with gross weight of about 10,000-lbs: with our Ford Focus, golf cart, two bikes and a Yamaha scooter, lawn chairs, awning, extra tools, two spare tires, fishing and golfing gear, to large folding recliners, ladder, ice maker, large cooler, 110V freezer, etc, etc.
We are using a 1994 Hawkins, 36' diesel with a 250 Cummins that has a modified fuel pump plate and boost controller. Probably 350 HP now, gets 7-8 mpg towing and NEVER struggles on hills. 28' dual axle enclosed Bravo car trailer and the 5000SD Trailer Toad.

I guess I just want my "stuff" to come with me when I am gone for 5 or 6 months.

Be safe out there.
Jok Nicholson
1995 34' Hawkins Motor Coach.
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Old 03-01-2013, 05:18 PM   #11
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I do both. I have two vehicles set up for flat towing (see signature) and I have two trailers I use, depending on what we are doing. One is a flat bed car hauler and the other is a 22 foot enclosed trailer (avatar). I use the enclosed trailer frequently when we travel with some of our four wheeling friends; it makes a great man-cave when the weather says you won't enjoy the outdoors. Oh, we do let the ladies in. Options are nice to have.
2001 34' Alpine Coach
2008 Jeep Rubicon or 2012 Ford F150 4x4 Lariat towds
or a couple of different trailers
Retired in Apple Valley, California
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:08 AM   #12
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I use a Featherlite trailer which weighs about 1300 pounds. It is all aluminum and I have the load distribution bars so you do not even feel the trailer when driving. I also use a tongue weight scale to ensure the trailer is loaded properly. I like the flexibility of towing anything I choose with the trailer. I did not go covered since I needed to keep the weight down but did put a rock guard on to reduce any debris issues hitting the car.

I know there are some advantages to the 4 down approach, but, I did not want to limit the choice of a car to what was compatible. I have a couple of Cadillacs I tow, either a CTS-V or SRX, and neither qualified for 4 down. I will note that on each trip we have taken, I get comments on the trailer at the gas station, campground or anywhere else we happen to stop. Not the car, not the RV, but the trailer.

Dave and Alice in Minnesota
2014 Thor Palazzo 33.3
Towing a 2009 CTS-V on a Featherlite 3110
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:21 PM   #13
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I have used tow dolly (Roadmaster steering axle), 4 down with Roadmaster tow bar, and enclosed trailer. I prefer the enclosed trailer for all the reasons listed previously, but I also like the tow bar option, especially when I need to take the Motorhome to a service center so I can do it by myself without having to hook and unhook trailer and store it at service center.

Trailer allows me the flexibility to take my Harley Road Glide and a vehicle in my trailer as I do many times. I just returned from Austin area taking both with a couple of great days of riding weather, but nights were very cool and it was nice to have the car to go to dinner or run errands. I also like the fact that my vehicle is clean when I arrive versus filthy as the trailer and Motorhome were as a result of several hours of driving through rain and snow.

Life is full of compromises, so if you can afford and justify both options of 4 wheels down and enclosed trailer, that is what I recommend. If not, you must weigh the pros and cons and decide which fits your lifestyle the best. Good Luck!
Johnny Rotten
2009 American Eagle 42'
Trailering HD Road Glide and Saab 9.3 or Cadillac Escalade ESV
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Old 03-03-2013, 03:25 PM   #14
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Nice trailer, heavyh2o. Featherlite would be one of the finalists if I were looking for a trailer.

Rich NKK19266
2010 Dutch Aire 4317
2014 Grand Cherokee Summit Ecodiesel
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