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Old 10-05-2013, 07:02 PM   #1
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Need some info on towing

I have a 2003 Winnie Brave and want to tow my 2012 Volkswagen Beetle. I am looking at about $3K to get rigged up for 4 down towing. Is there a "Towing 101" I can get info from. Trying to understand pros and cons of 4 down vs a dolly. Seems like a dolly is a lot cheaper. Thanks.
Bill
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Old 10-05-2013, 07:16 PM   #2
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Yes, I guess a tow dolly could be a lot cheaper, and would allow you to tow a lot of different vehicles.

The reason that I decided not to use a tow dolly was the fact that after I had unloaded the car, in some places I would still have to unhook the dolly and find a place to put it before I could park the coach. I like towing 4 down. Connecting and disconnecting the toad is fast and easy and clean.
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Old 10-05-2013, 07:16 PM   #3
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Well Bill, it is cheaper with a dolly. Where many have a problem is you have to deal with the dolly as an extra piece of equipment and manually handling it. So it's a trade off between money and convienience.
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Old 10-05-2013, 08:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pjoe View Post
I have a 2003 Winnie Brave and want to tow my 2012 Volkswagen Beetle. I am looking at about $3K to get rigged up for 4 down towing. Is there a "Towing 101" I can get info from. Trying to understand pros and cons of 4 down vs a dolly. Seems like a dolly is a lot cheaper. Thanks.
Bill

Bill,
First off, I'm assuming you're taking it upon yourself to "Defy" Volkswagen of America in terms of, towing your 2012 VW Beetle. That is of course if you plan on flat towing it. At last notice, VW authorizes NONE OF ITS FLEET to be flat towed. Now, I'm certainly not chastising you here, in fact, the opposite. I'd love to tow a VW TDI Beetle. And, if it weren't the fact that we carry our Honda Goldwing in our present toad, a 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 4x4, we too just might have a VW Beetle or, a Jetta Sport Wagon TDI.

Now, as for a dolly or flat tow. Well Sir, We've never used a dolly and never, ever will. We've been in quite a few campgrounds/RV parks all over and many, many of them do not have extra space for a dolly. Some folks stuff it under the coach in the space. Well, that's fine if, there's room for it and, your coach is high enough when leveled to allow it to fit under there.

But, for the life of me I can't see how it would cost more to utilize a tow bar than it would to use a dolly. I've purchased two different brand tow bars from ebay for way less than 1/2 price and both were superb units. One was the Stowmaster 5000 that folded up and stayed on the Jeep, and the other one is the one we have now, a 7500 lb. rated Blue Alladin with all the extras, cables, pig tail, cover, pins, and more, for $400.00, shipped to my doorstep. I did all the wiring and base plate work on all our toads. At the very most, I've got right at $800.00 for the total setup.

I get the base plates from etrailer.com and they too are usually at my doorstep in about 3 days.

Now, whether you flat tow or, tow on a dolly, you CANNOT BACK UP when and if needed. So, in your "Schooling for towing" that's something to keep in mind. You can back up if you trailer your toad but, that's a whole 'nother book.

Once your base plate is installed on your Beetle, and the wiring is done, it takes around 3-4 minutes, start to finish, hooking up a tow bar and attaching the safety cables and pig tail. Done! And, when arriving at your campsite/RV park, there's no, "trying to find where to put the dolly". Your tow bar, if you purchase the right model, will stay right on your coach.

And, if done correctly, very little will show on the front of your Beetle that shows you tow it. Your choice.
Scott
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Old 10-05-2013, 09:03 PM   #5
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Bill, I tow a 2012 VW Passat with an Acme EZ tow dolly. It's easy to handle and hook up, tows wonderfully, has surge disc brakes, no maintenance bearing buddies, is light yet extremely well built, requires no vehicle modification, and fairly inexpensive @$1800.
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Old 10-05-2013, 09:25 PM   #6
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FIRE UP.... Your pricing does not include auxilary braking for the toad which does push the cost up at least $1000 and more if you don't do the install yourself. Since you didn't mention an auxilary brake in your pricing can I assume that you are towing a 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 4x4 Toad WITHOUT an auxilary brake. I don't need opinions on it not being necessary as your toad is heavy enough that most of the states you might travel to require a auxilary brake by law.
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But, for the life of me I can't see how it would cost more to utilize a tow bar than it would to use a dolly. I've purchased two different brand tow bars from ebay for way less than 1/2 price and both were superb units. One was the Stowmaster 5000 that folded up and stayed on the Jeep, and the other one is the one we have now, a 7500 lb. rated Blue Alladin with all the extras, cables, pig tail, cover, pins, and more, for $400.00, shipped to my doorstep. I did all the wiring and base plate work on all our toads. At the very most, I've got right at $800.00 for the total setup.

I get the base plates from etrailer.com and they too are usually at my doorstep in about 3 days.
Scott
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Old 10-06-2013, 07:17 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the replies everyone. The price I got from one of our local RV shops was over $2K for the base plate, top of the line tow bar, wiring, diodes if needed, all installed and ready to go. Labor was $650-$900 of this since the VW requires some modification to install the base plate.
And then from research online, it looks like a good auxiliary brake will be over $1K. If I were an experienced RVer, I might consider purchasing parts and pieces and putting it all together myself, but we have owned our Coach for 2 months, thus my request for " Toads 101".
Another factor is that the VW has 2 years of factory warranty left so I'm quite sure the tow plate would void that. I guess an option is to buy a dolly, use it for while and see how it works for us. I could always sell it and get some of money back if it doesn't work out. So this raises a more specific question - those of you that have or had a tow dolly, how heavy are they when you unhook them from the RV to move them? I remember a U-Haul dolly one time that was quite heavy and hard to move and I was a much younger man then! Again, i really appreciate all of the input. Please keep it coming.
Bill
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Old 10-06-2013, 07:34 AM   #8
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Depending on the mfr. I think most dolly's will be in the range of anywhere from 500 to 700 lbs. If you have a tongue wheel they're not that bad to move around as long as your on a solid surface. If your on grass, well that's a different story. Good Luck on your decision.
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Old 10-06-2013, 11:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pjoe View Post
I have a 2003 Winnie Brave and want to tow my 2012 Volkswagen Beetle. I am looking at about $3K to get rigged up for 4 down towing. Is there a "Towing 101" I can get info from. Trying to understand pros and cons of 4 down vs a dolly. Seems like a dolly is a lot cheaper. Thanks.
Bill
I have less than $2500 brand new in a READYBRUTE ELITE with all accessories, COOLTECH wiring harness and a DEMCO base plate. Installed it all myself without incident and wouldn't recommend another system.
I'd definitely forget it with the dolly if I were you and like previously stated elsewhere, there's a bunch of them for sale that are like new and for discounted prices. You can also find used towing equipment for sale, as well.
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Old 10-06-2013, 01:34 PM   #10
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FIRE UP.... Your pricing does not include auxilary braking for the toad which does push the cost up at least $1000 and more if you don't do the install yourself. Since you didn't mention an auxilary brake in your pricing can I assume that you are towing a 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 4x4 Toad WITHOUT an auxilary brake. I don't need opinions on it not being necessary as your toad is heavy enough that most of the states you might travel to require a auxilary brake by law.
Well texnet,
You're right about the fact that I didn't mention the auxiliary simply because I forgot to mention it. I NEVER said that it was not necessary. There's only a handful of states that don't require it. We do use one. It's the Ready Brake and, it was no where near $1000.00. I paid exactly, $300.00 for it, brand new, at the Quartzsite Show in January, about 4 years ago. It's still quite close to that price today.

I did all the install of that entire system, which consists of not too much. A cable housing, and some custom cable work which I did that seriously improved not only the looks but, functionality of their system and, longevity of it since my cable is NOT connected to the brake arm 24/7/365 like R/B would have you do. And, I modified the link cable adjustment system which, R/B supplies hideous cable clamps for, to use a nice, strong marine grade stainless steel turn buckle for that periodic adjustment. I hid the cable exit port as well as the pig tail electrical port too on the truck.,

So, yes, we do have a brake system on the truck and it works flawlessly. Just forgot to mention it. Now, if a person has no desire, no capability, no tools, no place to do the work, no experience, and what ever else it takes to "ready a Motor home and toad for towing, than yes, the price will jump. Not too many shops would do all that for free.

To the OP, yep, you can do a dolly if you prefer but, I'd check with VW first, not Remco or, any other supposed source about the effect on any portion of the car if and when the use of dolly is used. Some manufacturers prohibit the use of dollies either with two wheel drive/four wheel drives or, front wheel drive autos. Just some info here.
Scott

Plus, even if you do choose to use a dolly, you've STILL got to find a place for it each and every time you stop for a camp spot.
Scott
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Old 10-07-2013, 01:43 AM   #11
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Thanks for all the replies everyone. The price I got from one of our local RV shops was over $2K for the base plate, top of the line tow bar, wiring, diodes if needed, all installed and ready to go.
Bill
Pjoe,
Not sure of your Beetle, on my 2013 Passat diodes can not be installed in the wiring, VW says if the wiring is cut it will screw up the lighting system. I use a Demco KarKaddy SS, the tongue and ramps fold up, it take less then 5ft to stow it. Bought it used for $2000.

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Old 10-07-2013, 12:26 PM   #12
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Ah...the flat tow vs. dolly tow forces are at it again.

But, this time it seems like a simple situation with the Dingy (VW) being under warrantee and not recommended for flat towing by the mgft.

Facts:
~Dolly's all usually weight between the 405lb (Acme EZE-tow) to well over 600lb for the top of the line Demco SS with folding tongue (a very nice dolly!). There are also "tandem dolly's" that allow a motorcycle to be placed on the dolly - ahead of the car.
Landgrebe Manufacturing: Products

~Often, the dolly does not have to be removed from the back of the RV at the destination. But if it does, many owners just push it under the rear overhang of the RV. Some have added a wheel to the tongue and a hitch to the Dingy to ease in moving the dolly around.

~And, backing up a loaded dolly is very doable (for short distances). My longest back-up was over 50 yards after a delivery truck blocked my egress from a gas station.

I prefer my dolly over flat towing because the dingy is up high, away from any possible rock strikes, there is NO MODIFICATION to my nice car, there is no MPG penalty from spinning all the metal in the bottom end of the dingy's driveline, there are no miles added to the dingy, and there will be no questions about hidden miles on the dingy at resale

Yes, I recommend dolly towing and the Acme Eze-Tow for ease of use, simplicity and cost...Car Tow Dolly -The Lightest and Toughest Tow Dolly For All Car Towing Needs - Acme Car Tow Dolly Company
Since it has no pivot pan or steering axle, you do have to unlock the dingy's steering (just like a flat towed car) and you should always recheck the wheel straps for tightness on any dolly tow.

Best luck
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Old 10-07-2013, 07:29 PM   #13
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Ah...the flat tow vs. dolly tow forces are at it again. But, this time it seems like a simple situation with the Dingy (VW) being under warrantee and not recommended for flat towing by the mgft. Facts: ~Dolly's all usually weight between the 405lb (Acme EZE-tow) to well over 600lb for the top of the line Demco SS with folding tongue (a very nice dolly!). There are also "tandem dolly's" that allow a motorcycle to be placed on the dolly - ahead of the car. Landgrebe Manufacturing: Products ~Often, the dolly does not have to be removed from the back of the RV at the destination. But if it does, many owners just push it under the rear overhang of the RV. Some have added a wheel to the tongue and a hitch to the Dingy to ease in moving the dolly around. ~And, backing up a loaded dolly is very doable (for short distances). My longest back-up was over 50 yards after a delivery truck blocked my egress from a gas station. I prefer my dolly over flat towing because the dingy is up high, away from any possible rock strikes, there is NO MODIFICATION to my nice car, there is no MPG penalty from spinning all the metal in the bottom end of the dingy's driveline, there are no miles added to the dingy, and there will be no questions about hidden miles on the dingy at resale Yes, I recommend dolly towing and the Acme Eze-Tow for ease of use, simplicity and cost...Car Tow Dolly -The Lightest and Toughest Tow Dolly For All Car Towing Needs - Acme Car Tow Dolly Company Since it has no pivot pan or steering axle, you do have to unlock the dingy's steering (just like a flat towed car) and you should always recheck the wheel straps for tightness on any dolly tow. Best luck
Thanks. What you say makes a lot of sense. I think I will go the tow dolly route.
Bill
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