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Old 04-14-2008, 02:38 PM   #1
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I just got finished reading about 20 pages of posts in this forum. It seems towing "4 down" is the highly prefered choice. I am not sure I understand that. First, I will not be towing all that much probably less than 3000 miles a year. Second I already own a nice 1994 Honda Accord that would make an excellent tow vehicle and can't be towed 4 down. Lastly, there is no expensive installations, tapping into brake systems, no modification of the tow vehicle. The only real advantage I see of the 4 down method is that is much easier to hook up and de-hook, there is no dolly to store at the campground and there is no additional weight. All real advantages, but they don't add up enough to make me buy a new car to tow and then go through all of the expense and installation of the systems needed to go 4 down. Am I missing something or is this just one of these to each his own type deals. Any input is appreciated.
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Old 04-14-2008, 02:38 PM   #2
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I just got finished reading about 20 pages of posts in this forum. It seems towing "4 down" is the highly prefered choice. I am not sure I understand that. First, I will not be towing all that much probably less than 3000 miles a year. Second I already own a nice 1994 Honda Accord that would make an excellent tow vehicle and can't be towed 4 down. Lastly, there is no expensive installations, tapping into brake systems, no modification of the tow vehicle. The only real advantage I see of the 4 down method is that is much easier to hook up and de-hook, there is no dolly to store at the campground and there is no additional weight. All real advantages, but they don't add up enough to make me buy a new car to tow and then go through all of the expense and installation of the systems needed to go 4 down. Am I missing something or is this just one of these to each his own type deals. Any input is appreciated.
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Old 04-14-2008, 03:11 PM   #3
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Higgins:
I just got finished reading about 20 pages of posts in this forum. It seems towing "4 down" is the highly prefered choice. I am not sure I understand that. First, I will not be towing all that much probably less than 3000 miles a year. Second I already own a nice 1994 Honda Accord that would make an excellent tow vehicle and can't be towed 4 down. Lastly, there is no expensive installations, tapping into brake systems, no modification of the tow vehicle. The only real advantage I see of the 4 down method is that is much easier to hook up and de-hook, there is no dolly to store at the campground and there is no additional weight. All real advantages, but they don't add up enough to make me buy a new car to tow and then go through all of the expense and installation of the systems needed to go 4 down. Am I missing something or is this just one of these to each his own type deals. Any input is appreciated. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You've got it right. To each, his own. I think the net wisdom is, if you're starting from scratch and deciding what vehicle to get for a toad, one that can be towed 4 down is preferable. If you already have something, and don't mind the hassles involved with the dolly (or full trailer), then use that.

joe
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Old 04-14-2008, 03:13 PM   #4
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I started with a $1500 jeep wrangler, an ebay roadmaster tow bar $125 and evenbrake $450, base plates $100.Wired lights for about $20 myself. We had more fun with that jeep than any other car we have towed.
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Old 04-14-2008, 03:24 PM   #5
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A negative in regard to using a tow dolly is total width of what you are towing. Flat tow a toad and the toad will be much less in width then the RV. This is a real plus. With a dolly, you have the width of the toad PLUS an additional say 2-3 feet in width because that is the nature of the beast/tow dolly. Often you hear of people hitting Jersey barriers (concrete barriers) other vehicles, etc. with the dolly wheel. Often the dolly wheel is destroyed. Sure there are those that go the dolly route but you asked for negatives. You posted the other negatives. My guess is after a few thousand miles with/under your belt using a dolly you will answer your own questions and be negative yourself about the tow dolly route. 8-)



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Old 04-14-2008, 03:31 PM   #6
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I am absolutely seeking feedback, negative or positive, either way I go it is a pretty good investment. I don't want to go wrong. I saw a lot of posts about folks not liking dollys because of the extra work involved, at least for me now, that would not be an issue. I had not considered the width issue and that is why I want all the input I can get.
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Old 04-14-2008, 05:02 PM   #7
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I was in the same position you are now in. I decided to forego the dolly when I read all of the negatives about storing it when you are camping. The majority of RV parks we use have no place to store the dolly after you park the Coach. I decided to buy a vehicle that is towable 4 down. Just another consideration.
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Old 04-14-2008, 05:36 PM   #8
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Higgins,
I guess I have to put my two cents in. I use a Roadmaster Tow Dolly w/ electric brakes and tow a 1998 Honda Civic. One advantage to having a tow dolly is you can tow any front wheel drive car. As to the width of the tow doly it tacks in the same wheels as the rear wheels of the RV. If you tow it with a small car, yes it is wider but behind a motorhome it stays in the same track.
It is no problem in campground. Most of the time ask for a pull through site and leave dolly connected just unload car. If you can only get a back in I usually put pin in and back it behind me. If I can't do that then I unload car, unhook dolly and after setting up Rv I push it right up to front bumper and car alongside it. I so far haven't had any trouble finding place to park it since 2000. If you have to bring to site I put a hitch on rear of Honda and wife can follow me with dolly in tow. One other thing I put a 3rd wheel on the dolly so after I unhook it I can push it around with no problem.
Lastly as far as how fast you can load or unload compared to 4 down vehicle it is faster.
To load vehicle after dolly is hitched to RV, you drop ramps in load position and drive car onto dolly. Once on the ramps lock in the travel position. You then put onstraps around tires and ratchet them tight, then put on the safety chain. Then you connect the extra tailights and your done. Car in park and doors locked. To unload you unhook safety chains and then undo straps for tires and pull a pin and back off dolly.
On my roadmaster before you load the car you have to remove steering pin and after I unload car I put it back in so I can move dolly around like trailer.
Don't buy another car get the tow dolly. If you don't want to put an electric controller on your Rv you can buy tow dollies with surge brakes instead of electric. CAmping World sells Roadmaster Tow Dolly
Enjoy.
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Old 04-14-2008, 07:11 PM   #9
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Flat towing is for convenience, as you correctly concluded. If you've thought it over and think a dolly is the right solution for your needs, go for it. Not everybody has to do things the same way.
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Old 04-14-2008, 07:43 PM   #10
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I tow 4 down, mostly because I like my rear wheel drive pickup, which I could technically put on a dolly, but why would I want to. I am alos planning to put a motorcycle in the bed, which I guess could be done on a dolly but would rather not. I also like the way the tow bar folds compactly on the back of the coach and the ease of connecting and disconnecting. The other thing to consider with the dolly, is licensing in most states and maintenance of another towed device, including the tiedown straps. I suppose you could argue the ease of hooking up on both sides til the cows come home, so I guess it does pretty much boil down to each their own.
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Old 04-15-2008, 03:13 AM   #11
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One question: are you sure your 1994 Honda can not be towed 4-down? A lot of earlier Hondas could be towed, if the transmission warm-up procedure was followed--you could check with Remco. You really don't have "warranty issues" at this point... If it could be, that does introduce the variables of whether to spend the money on brackets, towbar, brake system ...depends on whether you intend to keep the car much longer.
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Old 04-15-2008, 04:18 AM   #12
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Hi Higgins,
As my signature indicates, I use both 4 down and dolly methods of towing. The extra width of the dolly has never been a problem. I have a Demco dolly. The one where the tongue folds back to the dolly, for storing. This means I have no storage problem. My choice of towed vehicles is always based on the vehicle's meeting my deeds as a stand alone vehicle. Because our choices, to tow, include:
1. 4 down
2. dolly
3. drive shaft disconnect
4. tranmission lube pump
just about any vehicle can be towed. All these choices have been around for years and the technology, for each choice, is solid. The suggestion to call Remco is a good one.

The bottom line is determine which tasks irritate you the least and go with that method. How you interact with the method chosen will go a long way to happy towing.
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Old 04-15-2008, 01:32 PM   #13
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Well, I want to thank everyone for their input, it was all very appreciated. I decided to purchase the Demco Kar Kaddy SS and ordered it today. In the future if I purchase a 4 down compatible vehicle I will consider going that route. I can always sell this dolly to a repo guy.......Thanks again.
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