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Old 11-26-2013, 09:25 AM   #1
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Dolly Toads

Is there any listing of FWD, lightweight Toads. My wife wants an automatic transmission and I want a tow dolly rather than towing 4 down. Most discussions are about how to tow a car that someone already owns. I want to buy an older, light weight and would just appreciate a list of options.
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Old 11-26-2013, 09:32 AM   #2
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I used to tow my Ford Explorer. Most Explorers can be towed if you go to a dealer and have a switch installed, (about $100), that lets the transfer case go neutral. I'll bet the Ford Escape can be modified as well.

We just purchased a new Demco Tow Dolly. We sold the last one when we sold our old MH. There are several good deals on Tow Dollys if you search around.

The Kar Kaddy 3

Hope this helps.
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Old 11-26-2013, 10:47 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VAGABOND JIM View Post
Is there any listing of FWD, lightweight Toads. My wife wants an automatic transmission and I want a tow dolly rather than towing 4 down. Most discussions are about how to tow a car that someone already owns. I want to buy an older, light weight and would just appreciate a list of options.
Thanks
VAGABOND JIM
Since almost ALL front wheel drive autos can be towed on a tow dolly, I doubt if anyone has created a list of all of them. Check Edmunds or Cars.com to see specifications for models you find interesting. Be careful of hybrids that use regenerative braking, they might not be towable on a dolly.
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Old 11-26-2013, 04:38 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Cooperhawk View Post
I used to tow my Ford Explorer. Most Explorers can be towed if you go to a dealer and have a switch installed, (about $100), that lets the transfer case go neutral. I'll bet the Ford Escape can be modified as well.

We just purchased a new Demco Tow Dolly. We sold the last one when we sold our old MH. There are several good deals on Tow Dollys if you search around.

The Kar Kaddy 3

Hope this helps.

The neutral tow kit is for the pre 2011 Explorers. 2011 and later they redesigned the Explorer to a base FWD platform with a AWD version of 4x4. It must be either 4 down now or tow dolly on the FWD version only. The Escape cannot be flat towed (2012 and later) and FWD can be used with a dolly only.
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Old 11-26-2013, 05:10 PM   #5
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Is there any listing of FWD, lightweight Toads.
VAGABOND JIM
A Ford Explorer ('08-'14) is over 4,500# empty. Not what I'd call lightweight.
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Old 11-26-2013, 05:13 PM   #6
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Suggest you determine how much weight you can legally tow. You need to understand the GCVW and hitch ratings then determine how much of a toad you can handle, the lightest dolly (as advertised) is the ACME @405#'s.
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Old 11-26-2013, 06:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VAGABOND JIM View Post
Is there any listing of FWD, lightweight Toads. My wife wants an automatic transmission and I want a tow dolly rather than towing 4 down. Most discussions are about how to tow a car that someone already owns. I want to buy an older, light weight and would just appreciate a list of options.
Thanks
VAGABOND JIM
Jim, You can go to Store : Remco and plug in make/mode/year and it will tell you if it can be towed four down or how it is to be modified. Also, MotorHome Magazine -- Motorhome Reviews - RV Camping magazine has a listing of towable autos and RV.NET (RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Dinghy Towing) has a section on towable autos.

As mentioned, just about any FWD vehicle can be towed on a dolly....not so with RWD as they require either trailering or a driveshaft disconnect (if they can't be towed 4-down). AWD and 4WD....some are...some aren't.

Why would you rather use a dolly than 4-down....expense? Do a search on dollies and I think you may change your mind.

What is your definition of "lightweight"?


Hope this helps

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Old 11-26-2013, 06:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VAGABOND JIM View Post
Is there any listing of FWD, lightweight Toads. My wife wants an automatic transmission and I want a tow dolly rather than towing 4 down. Most discussions are about how to tow a car that someone already owns. I want to buy an older, light weight and would just appreciate a list of options.
Thanks
VAGABOND JIM
A list of lightweight FWD Automatic cars that CAN'T be towed would be a shorter list than those that can be dolly towed.

Any small FWD import will work. Hyundai, Kia, Honda, Toyota, or Nissan...plus FWD "econoboxes" from US makers will work too, like the Ford Escort and Fiesta - pretty small cars too.

I have personally dolly towed a Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Accent, and Dodge Aries. All were automatics, all worked great on my dolly.

I also regularly tow a Ford Escape SUV (not really small at 3500lb) and a E150 full sized van (dropped the driveshaft)...no problem.

The OP is very smart to pick a dolly to tow - so easy to use, so easy to pick a car to tow, so easy to swap cars to tow, and most usually much easier on the wallet There are lots more reasons to dolly tow vs. flat tow too...but I will just save them.

Best luck to the OP.
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Old 11-27-2013, 10:47 AM   #9
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Thanks for all your feedback guys. I knew about most of your references but was hoping there might be a list just for dollying. Let's say you find a 2005 Blah Blah 4wd automatic which is only 2600lbs. It is just $5000 and has 25,K miles. I want it. When you shift it out of 4WD does that disconnect the front or rear wheels? Even the owner may not know.

I carry a Suzuki MC on an Ultimate MX Hauler on the front of the Tiffin Alegro. Wife and I ride it into towns most cause you can park anywhere and I just plain and simple like to ride. That means the Toad ain't gonna get used much so the prime interest is cheap and light: ie: under 3000lbs and $5000. Oh yea, I carry 2 kyaks as well so a nice flat roof with a bit of a luggage rack would be nice as well. Suzuki Sidekick has most if not all the things I am looking for but they are getting more scarce.

Every car manufacturer thinks every car buyer needs bigger next year. Any vehicle which looks good to my needs this year will have gained 500lbs next year and be 18% larger over all. Motorhome Mag's annual doesn't list all models of any Mfg.

Acme Dolly is light enough to move around by myself but if you want help get a fold down 2 wheel hand truck and mount a tow ball on it. Fold it down and throw it in the Toad along with the ramps.

Thanks again guys
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Old 11-27-2013, 11:49 AM   #10
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If you are looking at a 4X4 auto to tow 4 down it must have a transfer case that shifts into neutral. Then look in the manual or Free Automotive User Manuals | ManualsOnline.com or other web sources to verify it it towable. Not sure very many 4X4 will be towable with the front wheels on a dolly, neutral position on transfer case or not.
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Old 11-27-2013, 12:07 PM   #11
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I suggest you think long and hard before you get a tow dolly! My neighbor thought that's what he wanted and took it on a trip to Michigan. By the time he got there he was so disgusted with it that he traded it AND his Nissan pickup for a new Jeep Cherokee and towbars!
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Old 11-27-2013, 12:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VAGABOND JIM View Post
Thanks for all your feedback guys. I knew about most of your references but was hoping there might be a list just for dollying. Let's say you find a 2005 Blah Blah 4wd automatic which is only 2600lbs. It is just $5000 and has 25,K miles. I want it. When you shift it out of 4WD does that disconnect the front or rear wheels? Even the owner may not know...

...Acme Dolly is light enough to move around by myself but if you want help get a fold down 2 wheel hand truck and mount a tow ball on it. Fold it down and throw it in the Toad along with the ramps.

Thanks again guys
VAGABOND JIM
The OP changed the question...
...FWD (front wheel drive) vs. 4WD or 4X4 is very different.

Most small 4x4's (like the Toyota highlander, Kia Sportage, Nissan Xterra, and Ford Escape) can not be dolly towed. This is because the rear wheel drive cannot be fully unlocked without an aftermarket driveshaft disconnect.

Except for Jeep's - "real transfer cases" with a neutral position are rare and locking hubs are a thing of the past.

All the small SUV's I mentioned above are made in FWD, and they will tow on a dolly - no problem.


About the dolly...I have an Acme Eze-tow, it is SO EZE to use, and move around by myself...love it. I do not understand why the flat-tow crowd always wants to ensure everyone knows how difficult dolly's are - it's just not true, U-Haul rents them everyday. And dolly's are actually much better for your car than flat-towing (no miles accrued on the lower driveline, no baseplate install in the crumple zone, etc.). But in the situation of wanting to tow a small 4x4, a dolly will probably not be best.

Best luck
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Old 11-27-2013, 01:16 PM   #13
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A Question: 4WD and dollies

I have an '01 Nissan that is 4WD and auto trans. Owner's manual says trailer only. What if I back it onto dolly, put transfer case in neutral (manual not electric) and leave steering locked. Seems to me this should work.
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Old 11-27-2013, 02:09 PM   #14
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I suggest you think long and hard before you get a tow dolly! My neighbor thought that's what he wanted and took it on a trip to Michigan. By the time he got there he was so disgusted with it that he traded it AND his Nissan pickup for a new Jeep Cherokee and towbars!

I absolutely love my dolly. I have had 4 cars in the past year since I purchased my tow dolly and can take pretty much any vehicle I want. I have used it a lot more than I even expected when I purchased it. About 3K miles this year.
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