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Old 03-23-2015, 07:05 AM   #15
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We found a very good condition tow dolly system on Craigslist for $1200, included magnetic lights, brake system and had new tires. Would like a four down, but didn't want to jump off the deep end in cost buying another vehicle and a more expensive tow unit. This works for now. When we retire and travel more, then we may invest just for the ease of use. And since we just purchased our RV, we didn't know what expenses we were going to run into...and we have had quite a few, so glad we did tow dolly first.
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Old 03-23-2015, 07:11 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by sstehman View Post
We found a very good condition tow dolly system on Craigslist for $1200, included magnetic lights, brake system and had new tires. Would like a four down, but didn't want to jump off the deep end in cost buying another vehicle and a more expensive tow unit. This works for now. When we retire and travel more, then we may invest just for the ease of use. And since we just purchased our RV, we didn't know what expenses we were going to run into...and we have had quite a few, so glad we did tow dolly first.
A word of caution. When you start towing even though you think you have the straps tight, stop after about 20 miles and retighten. You will be surprised how much more they will tighten up. After that initial check you should be good to go. Never hurts to be safe. Of Course always check whenever you stop.
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Old 03-23-2015, 07:15 AM   #17
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The higher priced dolly's have features that make them easier to use.
We used one for over 6 years. Stopped 3 years ago. Got to old for wife and I to move dolly around at sites that did not have pull-thru sites.
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Old 03-23-2015, 07:39 AM   #18
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Towing costs and restrictions on backing apply to both about equally

To tow 4 down you need
Tow Bars See note below
Braking system on towed
Tow light system

To dolly you need the dolly..Some discussion on lights (I would suggest a tow light system)

3 types of tow light systems]
1: Diode kit...Uses towed's original lamps...the diodes allow them to work normally or as tow lights
2:Add-a-Lamp (I think this is a Blue-Ox Trademark but it is descriptive) Drill a hole in the reflector on the tail lights and snap in an additional lamp,completly independent of factory lamps
3: Additional light fixtures

Tow bars
3.2 types again
1: "A" Frame This is a basic "Trailer hitch" type affair,,,You need to postion precisely in order for the hitch to fit over the ball to hook up

2.1: Telescoping arms that stow on the motor home (MY FIRST CHOICE)
2.2 Telescoping arms that stow on the Towed

These you can be off by several inches or pull up at an angle,, Hook up and when you start to pull forward the arms lock and off you go

3: Ready Brute with Ready Brake,,,Or Blue-OX Auto-Stop

Takes care of brakes as well...Good if you tow often but if you live in the great frozen north (11 degrees this AM in the Copper Harbor area of MI, 25 on New York's Long Island) Does your parking brake work normally? These systems use the same type of cable..Same issues.

FInally we have the braking systems.. Again I will cover 3 classes

1: Surge brakes... (The two I named above) That will by my next system

2: Box in the driver seat..Though they advertise "NO INSTALLATION" what they mean is that YOU install it every time you tow.. EVERY time you install there is a chance of a mistake...and of course for a short trip an "Oh,Forget it, Too much troule"(Have confirmed with users in both cases) (Of course the dealer messed up installing my first system...but only once). Plus you have to store it securly when NOT towing,,least it grow legs and walk off.

Finally the 3rd Class.. INSTALLED...Too many to list 'em all...Most all of them are good.

I will go with the surge brakes because I DO tow often enough to keep the cable from rusting in place and I do NOT spend time driving salted roads in the winter..Sand yes,, Salt no.
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Old 03-23-2015, 08:24 AM   #19
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I am reasonably sure that you cannot tow your Subaru Outback on a 2 wheel dolly as it is an AWD (All Wheel Drive) vehicle. If it is a manual transmission you can tow it with all 4 wheels down. A Subaru automatic transmission cannot be towed 4 wheels down. Needless to say all Sub'ys can towed on a 4 wheel trailer. I suggest you do some goggle searching for some Subaru Outback forums for more information. You might try Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums and Ultimate Subaru Message Board.
Good luck, good health and safe travels!
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Old 03-23-2015, 09:05 AM   #20
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As others have commented, the Subaru must be a manual transmission to flat tow. So assuming it is, it would be my choice and set it up for flat towing. I personally do not want to have to handle a tow dolly - unhook from the MH, connect to the toad, move it to where you are going to stow it, etc. Yes, I know sometimes you will be able to leave it connected to the MH and sometimes stow it at your camp site - but the times you cannot it's a hassle IMHO. Connecting and disconnecting flat tow set is quick and easy, can be done mist anywhere, and makes for no extra handling. As to costs, $1-2000.00 with used equipment either dolly or flat tow can get you setup.
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Old 03-23-2015, 09:09 AM   #21
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If you ever tow flat
You will never go back
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Old 03-23-2015, 09:12 AM   #22
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Thank you all for the advice. I think I will go with the EZE-tow dolly for now. Lower initial cost. Use with multiple toad cars at no additional costs. Recovery of at least some of the cost of the dolly if I later sell it.
Report back on how it goes
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Old 03-27-2015, 03:20 PM   #23
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I read on one forum that the castor and camber of the AWD Outback when towed 4-down might not track properly. Anyone want to comment?
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Old 03-27-2015, 03:52 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by CampDaven View Post
If you ever tow flat
You will never go back
x2...
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Old 03-27-2015, 04:07 PM   #25
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All the above is true. I have done both 4 down and now dolly as our car cannot be towed 4 down. Granted 4 down is a bit easier but can be more costly. You have your tow bar, tow plate which involves labor to install either yours or your wallet and you also need a tow brake and they run upwards of a $1000. If someone thinks they don't need a tow brake they need to read some of the stories of run away cars. Plus it is a law.
Not necessarily! Some states like OR and WA a vehicle towing another vehicle is considered a "combination vehicle" and the braking requirements change to a stopping distance requirement. Stop from XX mpg in XX ft and no add'l braking is required. But then there are add'l requirements too, like there must be a means of stopping and holding the vehicle for 15 min on any normal highway grade (that's WA's).
The main thing is that you must comply with each and every states brake requirements that you travel through and safety!
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Old 03-27-2015, 06:03 PM   #26
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If you ever tow flat
You will never go back
Sounds good unless you decide to change vehicles or have other things you want to tow do to circumstances and have to pay to another 5-800 to set up another vehicle. I want to tow a car for normal trips but when I want to go boondocking and 4 wheeling in Moab I want to take my truck or maybe I buy another vehicle or borrow a vehicle or take a friends vehicle to go mtb someplace what do I do. Tow dolly and light bar I can take anything.
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Old 03-27-2015, 06:15 PM   #27
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Not necessarily! Some states like OR and WA a vehicle towing another vehicle is considered a "combination vehicle" and the braking requirements change to a stopping distance requirement. Stop from XX mpg in XX ft and no add'l braking is required. But then there are add'l requirements too, like there must be a means of stopping and holding the vehicle for 15 min on any normal highway grade (that's WA's).
The main thing is that you must comply with each and every states brake requirements that you travel through and safety!
I feel safe in saying that if there are only a few states that don't require it you should consider it law. Even if it is not a law in a state common sense says for safety you should have auxiliary brakes. Chances are it's not YOU that will be killed by your runaway vehicle.
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Old 03-27-2015, 06:27 PM   #28
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The laws of physics apply in every state and province. You need a tow brake.
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