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Old 01-20-2014, 12:27 PM   #1
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Dolly or towbar?

Just got my 1st MH last week. A 2001 georgie boy with the ford v-10. Need help with a tow behind vehicle. What is th advantage of using a front wheel dolly trailer? or using the tow bar attachment? I've seen both in use. Do you unhook when you first get into the campground? Or wait till your by the campsite? I would think you want to unhook prior so as not to block the road & piss some other folks off. Thanks for any replies.


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Old 01-20-2014, 12:28 PM   #2
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Tow bar will only tow vehicles that the manufacturer allows to be towed or have been modified to allow towing.
Tow dolly allows most front wheel drive vehicles to be towed.
I've towed our '05 Honda Odyssey both ways behind the same MH.
Both have their minus and pluses
Tow bar tends to damage/wear the towed vehicle more as the the transmission and driveline is turning.
Vehicle seems to sustain more rock chips.
Dolly is a separate item and needs to be stored.
Extra tires and braking system to maintain.
Less wear and tear on the towed.

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Old 01-20-2014, 12:35 PM   #3
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With the "dolly" you can take most any vehicle with you. With tow bar, your vehicle must be able to be towed 4-down. Quite a few vehicles can be towed 4-down if you add a driveshaft disconnect and/or a lube pump for the tranny. I started out with a dolly and REAL quick switched over to 4-down. I would never go back to a tow dolly.

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Old 01-20-2014, 03:05 PM   #4
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I have never towed with a dolly but from watching others at camp grounds who do, I am SO glad I chose to tow four down. There are many many cars and SUVs that can be towed four down with out modification. Any worry about chipping the paint can be taken care of with something like a protect-a-tow or similar.
Although you have seen both at camp grounds you will notice that the vast majority of people tow four down. There is a reason for that, it is much simpler to hook and unhook and you don't have to worry about where to store the dolly.
As for where to unhook when arriving at a campground; it all depends on how the campground is laid out. Ask at regerstration they will direct you. Some have separate area to unhook, some have RV lanes righ at the entrance, and some will have you drive to the site before unhooking. You won't be upsetting anyone of you simply follow the standard procedure for the campground.
If you have a car that you want to keep and can only be towed on a dolly, by all means use a dolly. But if your car can be towed four down or you don't mind getting one that can, that is the way to go.
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Old 01-20-2014, 03:11 PM   #5
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If you have a vehicle that can be towed 4 wheels down then by all means use a tow bar it is easier to set up and less to worry about. Regarding rock damage. There are several products out there that can prevent rocks from flying up into the towed car. I try to keep it as simple as possible when towing and four wheel down is that..
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Old 01-20-2014, 03:29 PM   #6
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I also have a Georgie Boy with a Ford V10. Congratulations on your new rig! I flat tow a 1998 Chevrolet (Geo) Tracker 5 speed 4wd. The vehicle will go anywhere we care to go once camp is set up and it only weighs 2300 lbs. so you can tow it with ease. Unfortunately they are no longer made :( I recommend towing four down with a tow bar and finding as light of toad as you can find. Keep it simple and small and you will not be sorry. Don't forget that you add the weight of the tow dolly to the weight of the toad vehicle to come up with your GCW. The V10 is a good reliable engine but is not overly powerful when installed in a large motorhome and towing a vehicle so lighter weight equals better performance/fuel mileage. You also don't have to find a place to store the tow dolly once your at your destination.
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Old 01-20-2014, 03:37 PM   #7
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I've towed both ways and have to say 4 down is easier and cleaner. It all depends if the vehicle you intend to tow is capable of being towed 4 down as well. Not all can. One thing I do like about towing with a dolly is you can tow different front wheel drive vehicles without any modifications to the car. (towbar, cutting the fatia, etc.) When at your site you have to be concerned on whether the campground you are at will allow you leave it at you site or do you have to take and store it somewhere. Here in our park there not allowed on your site soooo, you have to find a place to store it which in our case was a park accross the street who had a facility. (then again extra cost) As far as where we unhook the toad, I always do it outside the park, for as you mentioned not wanting to tie up any traffic. Hope this helps and good luck with your decision.
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:39 PM   #8
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After one trip I sold the dolly and toad and got a Jeep Wrangler for 4 down towing. Easier hookup and disconnect. Dolly did a good job towing, but I just didn't like the work to get vehicle tied down properly.
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Old 01-21-2014, 02:39 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by osok View Post
After one trip I sold the dolly and toad and got a Jeep Wrangler for 4 down towing. Easier hookup and disconnect. Dolly did a good job towing, but I just didn't like the work to get vehicle tied down properly.
Agreed....exact same experience for us. 4-down is just so much easier.
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:58 PM   #10
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Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but for me after spending thousands of dollars on preparing my car for flat towing (braking system - that never worked properly and cost me aditional money and a headache - tow bar, base plate etc.) I would never go back to 4-down towing.
Four down limits you to take only one car that must be setup for it, and creates more wear and tear on front end and front tires versus tow dolly.
I use Demco KK 460 SS and so far I had no problems driving and parking it at camp grounds, where is plenty of room for hooking up the car and driving off.
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Old 01-22-2014, 05:02 AM   #11
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I'm on my forth car with my Demco Kar Kaddie 460SS. I had one flat tire on the dolly and will continue to tow this way.
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:31 AM   #12
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Thanks for the replies. Some good information given here
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:36 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Herman Snerd View Post
Agreed....exact same experience for us. 4-down is just so much easier.
Same here. Bought a brand new Acme dolly, used it for exactly 100 miles, put in on Craigs List and traded the Toyota for a Honda that would tow 4 down.
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Old 01-22-2014, 09:54 AM   #14
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We've used both and to me it's a wash. We started towing our Buick Le Sabre on a dolly. It couldn't be towed 4 down and we didn't want to either add another car to the fleet or replace it. We towed it over 4 years and 25,000 miles without a problem.

When we got into off roading it seemed pointless to haul the Le Sabre half way across the country just to park it at the campsite and rent a Jeep. We bought a 2004 Jeep Wrangler and originally intended to tow it on the dolly. After reading the owners manual and finding out it had to either be trailered or towed 4 down we purchased the necessary towing hardware.

The only advantage I see for towing 4 down is there's 1 less piece of equipment to store and maintain. Both systems cost about the same and both take about the same time to hook up and unhook.

If you already have a vehicle that you want to take along, and it can't be towed 4 down buy a used dolly. If it can be towed 4 down and you intend to keep it for some time buy a tow bar and related hardware. Keep in mind some of the hardware needed to tow 4 down is vehicle specific. In most cases you can't transfer it to a newer, or different model or brand vehicle.

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