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Old 06-16-2016, 08:07 AM   #1
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Flatbed car hauler vs 4 Down vs Dolly

Greetings, all. Just made the move up from a 5th wheel and still considering all the toad scenarios. For now, our options are:
2015 Honda Accord - Either dolly or car hauler. We own neither at the moment.
2004 Dodge Ram 4WD Ext. Cab Diesel - 4 down or car hauler.

We're in a 38.5 foot DP with Cummins 380 HP. Freightliner chasis rated at 10,000 lbs. We mostly travel in the western states, staying at Mom & Pop campgrounds. Occasional short trips to TX or OK state parks.

Majority of rigs we see on the road are 4 down. I can see advantages to all setups. Would like opinions and your experiences.
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Old 06-16-2016, 08:12 AM   #2
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The only concern I have about a dolly/car hauler is.... where do you store it once you are at your destination? That is the main reason we went with the 4 down and our Jeep Liberty. Otherwise, we would have gone with the car trailer and the wife's new Renegade.

Just my thoughts.
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Old 06-16-2016, 10:18 AM   #3
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I've done all of them, I find 4 down to be the most convenient.

I've had one of the straps on my dolly come lose twice and after the second time I dumped it. Hauled a smart car on a trailer and that worked OK, but storage at campgrounds was always an issue.
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Old 06-16-2016, 01:18 PM   #4
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I use a master tow dolly with a Honda accord wagon, have towed all over the country and never had a problem. Easy on easy off and storage it under the rear of the rv at the rv site, I have only been charged storage one time at Bluewater key in florida. I dolly because I can change cars without additional cost, I don't put tow miles on the car when in tow, it's just easy to live with, just purchase a dolly with brakes for safety.
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Old 06-16-2016, 04:58 PM   #5
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I encourage you to search for other posts as there is a lot of information and opinions on this topic.

I have done all 3 except with enclosed trailer not a flatbed trailer.

It depends on if you want the flexibility of taking any vehicle or only taking certain vehicles? I like taking any of the 5 vehicles I own and/or my Harley Davidson. This is why I prefer the enclosed trailer option.

If you are going to tow without a trailer, the dolly is the least desirable in my opinion mainly because I was never able to get safety chains on without laying on the ground and it always seemed to rain when I needed to leave. IF your vehicle can be towed 4 down that is a more convenient and easier option in my opinion compared to dolly, but 4 down is quite a bit more expensive up front compared to the dolly and may not be able to take multiple vehicles unless you buy multiple base plates and maybe auxiliary braking. There are many variables to consider but you have to decide what is best for the scenario you most likely will want to do.

Good luck on whatever you decide.
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Old 06-16-2016, 05:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kgarner View Post
Greetings, all. Just made the move up from a 5th wheel and still considering all the toad scenarios. For now, our options are:
2015 Honda Accord - Either dolly or car hauler. We own neither at the moment.
2004 Dodge Ram 4WD Ext. Cab Diesel - 4 down or car hauler.

We're in a 38.5 foot DP with Cummins 380 HP. Freightliner chasis rated at 10,000 lbs. We mostly travel in the western states, staying at Mom & Pop campgrounds. Occasional short trips to TX or OK state parks.

Majority of rigs we see on the road are 4 down. I can see advantages to all setups. Would like opinions and your experiences.
I use a car hauler to tow my jeep. The main reason was that if I break something I would have a way to get it back home without having to take it to a repair shop I am unfamiliar with. There are club members that tow their Jeeps 4 down and and they are usually disconnected and ready to go while I'm still fiddling with ratchet straps! I also like being able to back up and I use the extras space for my DP spare tire, firewood, etc. The downside can be storage at home and while on the road. This is not a problem for me since I have a storage area and I just select a pull thru spot that I can either park the Jeep next to or on the trailer.

If you are going to tow two different vehicles, you are going to have a considerable amount of money in the base plates, wiring and braking. A car hauler may be a better option but it is another vehicle to maintain, store and register. As others have said, the 4 down option is probably the most convenient. I don't have any experience with the dollys.
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Old 06-16-2016, 06:04 PM   #7
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We tow a jeep four down. So easy. No trailer or dolly to park, maneuver, maintain, etc.

On the off chance the Jeep would get broken off-roading and wanted to bring it home or elsewhere to fix, would just rent or borrow a car hauler trailer.
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Old 06-17-2016, 07:13 AM   #8
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Excellent information and very much appreciated. I've been lurking here for several months and we're slowly easing into the whole motorhome culture. Having to re-think a lot of what I learned while pulling a 5th wheel.

Four down does seem the most convenient.
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