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Old 10-10-2015, 10:02 PM   #1
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Is 4-Down really easier than a tow dolly?

I've had an EZ Tow dolly for a few months now to tow my Murano. I admit, it's a bit of a pain to hook up. Especially since the Murano has big tires and its wheel track is so wide the tire straps required some extra widgets to be able to properly attach to the dolly frame. (Check my previous posts on the EZ tow dolly to see what I mean).

Anyway, I just traded my Murano with 90k miles in for a 2014 CRV with plans to go 4-down. No more lining the wheels up with the strap ratchets. No more crawling under the wheels to attach the safety chains around the frame. No more dealing with an extra set of wheels and wrangling the trailer around.

But as I start looking at videos of the different tow bars and setting them up, and the necessity (in most cases) of installing and setting the supplemental brake system up, I have to wonder if I'm really getting any convenience advantage here?

I've yet to put the CRV on my EZ Tow yet, but I'm betting the narrower wheel track, smaller tires and the built in tow hooks under the frame I can clip the safety chains to will greatly improve the time it takes to hookup. And if that is true, I'm not sure I want to invest in the hardware involved in going 4-down. The EZ Tow is still a nice light dolly that I can move around by myself, plus it stands straight up in my garage or at a campsite. And it already has brakes built in.

Althogh I bought the CRV for the 4-down capability I won't regret it is I end up staying with the dolly. It's a neat car and the Murano was getting a bit long in the tooth.
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Old 10-10-2015, 10:08 PM   #2
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We tow our 2012 CRV four down. Takes 1 minute to set the brakes.
Love the CRV for flat towing.
Would not go to a dolly
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Old 10-10-2015, 10:09 PM   #3
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Can a CRV be towed on a dolly - is it FWD or AWD? I'm pretty sure an AWD can't be towed on a dolly.
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Old 10-10-2015, 10:15 PM   #4
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I just recently made the change from a tow dolly to 4 down. I much prefer the 4 down method. There are still issues with 4 down but they are minor compared to a dolly IMHO. Moving the dolly however light it is is still much harder than lifting the tow bar. No need to worry about where to place the dolly at the campsite. No crawling on hands and knees strapping the wheels down. There are also braking solutions that do not add to the burden (Air Force1, M&G, Readybrake). Good luck.


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Old 10-10-2015, 10:16 PM   #5
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Towing 4-down is a snap after getting the tow-bar and face plate installed. I have the M&G Engineering break on my CRV plus Roadmaster Sterling tow bar. It takes 2 minutes to hook both up and be ready to go. The thing that takes longest is to attach the break-away line. That's all of 30 seconds. since the M&G set-up does not use electricity there is no need to pull the fuse for accessories.
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Old 10-10-2015, 10:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomad Mike View Post
Can a CRV be towed on a dolly - is it FWD or AWD? I'm pretty sure an AWD can't be towed on a dolly.
No, an AWD cannot be dolly towed.
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Old 10-10-2015, 10:28 PM   #7
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I use a Ready Brute tow bar with the supplemental brakes built in. I have one clip to connect the brake cable. Nice part, I can do it all standing up.
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Old 10-10-2015, 10:38 PM   #8
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I am not a full timer and wont be for awhile. For me renting a car for any trip even a two week one is cheaper than towing a vehicle all over. My question is tho, I looked at the list of 4 wheel down towing(FMCA has a 4 wheel down list, and I have an Elentra so I was curious if I could tow it) and almost everything requires it be a manual transmission vehicle. So do all you full timers give up your automatics just to be able to tow 4 wheels down?
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Old 10-10-2015, 10:40 PM   #9
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I use a Ready Brute tow bar with the supplemental brakes built in. I have one clip to connect the brake cable. Nice part, I can do it all standing up.
I like the looks of that. No air or electric.
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Old 10-10-2015, 11:38 PM   #10
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We recently moved from towing a PT Cruiser on a Kar Kaddy SS to the CRV. Yes it is definately easier. I'm still learning, so it takes a little longer for me than the 2 minures, but it is easier. We have the Roadmaster bar and Invisabrake. So, position the car, attach the bars, hook up the lights, safety cables and emergency brake cable, then run through the Honda towing procedure and I'm ready to go.

With the dolly, I had to get it attached first with safety cables m lights, etc, then load the car and tie it down. That's two processes replaced by one.

We will be taking our first long trip in two weeks.
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Old 10-10-2015, 11:53 PM   #11
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Having towed the same '05 Ody behind the same MH both four down and on a dolly I can honestly say, either way is fine.
I like the less were and tear on the towed when on a dolly.
I like not having to horse a dolly around and find space to store it.
If I had a vehicle that could be towed four down I'd do it.
If I had a vehicle that required it to be towed on a dolly I'd do that.
I do like being able to tow almost any front wheel drive vehicle on a dolly without modification nor having to buy new brackets and add a braking system.
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Old 10-11-2015, 12:23 AM   #12
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Yes, it is much easier. I had a dolly for 25+ years and it was great, as the family was growing, and we changed cars often. Perfect for our needs at the time.
Towing 4 down is super easy IF you are willing to spend a little extra up front. A good higher end towbar (from and of the majors, Blue Ox, Roadmaster, Demco) will hook up easily and won't bind when disconnecting (a problem with cheaper older bars). You can wire the towd for lights or you can now get wireless lights, both are easy. You can get a removable brake (cumbersome...I had one for awhile) or you can get one of many mounted brakes that only requires being plugged in to be ready to go. I have the ReadyBrake, others like SMI etc have wonderful peer rating also.
If your toad is prepared correctly it takes moments to hook up and roll, and even less time to unhook. We often stop in a small town, unhook, and tour, where with the dolly rolling off the car was a procedure.
JMHO Happy Trails
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Old 10-11-2015, 12:25 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Dean View Post
I am not a full timer and wont be for awhile. For me renting a car for any trip even a two week one is cheaper than towing a vehicle all over. My question is tho, I looked at the list of 4 wheel down towing(FMCA has a 4 wheel down list, and I have an Elentra so I was curious if I could tow it) and almost everything requires it be a manual transmission vehicle. So do all you full timers give up your automatics just to be able to tow 4 wheels down?
I'm not a full timer, and probably never will be.
I flat tow my wifes automatic transmision Chevy Sonic. Never towed with a dolly, but once you have things installed, nothing could be quicker and easier than flat towing !
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Old 10-11-2015, 12:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Dean View Post
I am not a full timer and wont be for awhile. For me renting a car for any trip even a two week one is cheaper than towing a vehicle all over. My question is tho, I looked at the list of 4 wheel down towing(FMCA has a 4 wheel down list, and I have an Elentra so I was curious if I could tow it) and almost everything requires it be a manual transmission vehicle. So do all you full timers give up your automatics just to be able to tow 4 wheels down?
There are plenty of vehicles with automatic transmissions that can be flat towed. We pull a Cadillac SRX 2 wheel drive with no issues. No mods to car except the Blueox tow plate.
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