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Old 01-27-2015, 09:31 AM   #29
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I flat tow. It's easy to connect / disconnect. Would not want to have to handle and shuffle around a tow dolly.
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Old 01-27-2015, 09:51 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gma-n-Gpa View Post
Mel S --- agree with you on the simplicity of flat towing but not so sure about flat towing being less expensive. i am in the process of switching to flat from dolly. Dolly cost right at $1800 (including spare) and the quote i have for flat tow (including tow bar, wiring, base plate and aux brake puts me a little north of $3K.
Still going with flat tow for convenience and it is (i hope) cleaner (dirt, mud, grease)

You should be able to get by for a LOT less than that! I went with the ReadyBrute Elite towbars with built in ReadyBrake, and a Roadmaster baseplate. I believe the total cost, including installation, was in the neighborhood of $1800.
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Old 01-27-2015, 02:38 PM   #31
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3 ways (well 4) to tow
1: Flat: Tow gear is perhaps 100 pounds
2: Dolly: closer to 1,000 pounds
3: Trailer,, Open around 1500 enclosed over a ton.

NOTE this is added to the weight of the car for towing purposes, every pound costs fuel, and most gassers do not have a lot of towing capacity.

DISADVANTAGE dolly and trailer both: You got to stow that sucker when you park the RV. Some parks will let you stow on site, some only if it remains hooked to the RV (Some RV's you can stow it under), and some require you to by parking for it in the trailer storage lot.

Advantage ENCLOSED trailer.. AKA portable garage (And that explains it)

Advantage 4 down

Very easy hook up, no added weight worth mentioning,
Disadvantage: You need to modify the car by adding base plate, tow lights and brake system. You may also need other mods EVEN WITH MODS not all cars can be towed 4 down.

For more iformation google Remco Towing and go to the store link. Enter your cars vitals on the left and see the answer on the main frame.
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Old 01-27-2015, 06:08 PM   #32
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3 ways (well 4) to tow
1: Flat...2: Dolly: closer to 1,000 pounds...3: Trailer....add the weight of the car for towing purposes, every pound costs fuel, and most gassers do not have a lot of towing capacity...
Fact check...the actual weights from least to most (that I have read about) are:
Acme EZE-Tow = 380lb (rated to tow 4,985lb vehicle)
Demco Kar Kaddy SS = 615lb (rated to tow 4,700lb vehicle).

Each method of towing has it's advantages. The method selected would be based on the individual situation.

Safe travels
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Old 01-28-2015, 06:52 AM   #33
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The Acme EZE-TOW Tow Dolly

From what I can tell this topic is split almost 50/50 across the internet. It is really your circumstances and equipment that determine your need, not preference so much.
I can tell you that every week we have people show up to pick up a tow dolly to replace the Tow Bar with. Usually after changing cars the second or third time. I am also aware of people changing from Tow Dollies to Tow Bars.
The truth is, taking a car with you is a necessary chore. There is no easy way to do it, it is simply a matter of preference. A tow dolly allows you to tow nearly any car. A friends car, one of your children car when you are home etc. Dollies have remarkable resell value, Tow Bars have virtually none.
FYI, our dolly will easily store 85% under the back of your RV and our dolly can be easily stored in the vertical position. Weights are 330 to 380 pounds.
Car Tow Dolly -The Lightest and Toughest Tow Dolly For All Car Towing Needs - Acme Car Tow Dolly Company
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Old 01-28-2015, 12:57 PM   #34
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Dolly - Advantage - One time investment that is transferable to almost any vehicle, i.e. you can tow just about anything (if sized correctly) > Zero wear on front wheel drive front end components (tires, bearings, CV joints). Rear wheel drive vehicles will raise questions (is it a manual tranny, is it 4 wheel drive, do you have a shaft disconnetc)

Dolly - Disadvantage - storage when not in use (Not a big problem) > Hook up time, strapping wheels, chains, very difficult to back up. (You can back up a little with some practice, i.e. a couple feet at the gas pump

4 down - Advantage - easy hookup, even with the simple tow bar systems. Can be backed up, even great distances if you have a helper at the steering wheel of the towed to keep the front tires pointing in the right direction, as they will attempt to caster to a full turn.

4 down - Disadvantage - Initial cost to outfit the toad is not transferable (tow bar frame backing plates and brackets cannot be moved to different vehicle, Braking system can be transferred, if utilized) Wear of toad front tires, bearings, CV joints, etc. Most Automatics cannot be towed without special pumps or procedures.

We just finished a 6,000 mile trip towing a 2001 Honda Civic Automatic Tranny. No problems, Our older civic is one of those rare automatic tranny exceptions that can be towed. It can be towed for up to 8 hours after performing a special engine/tranny start sequence.
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Old 01-28-2015, 01:26 PM   #35
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Best luck to the OP

Which ever method is picked - please consider getting supplimental brakes on the toad.
Not required in many places but smart and safe.
Those braking laws are a pain!! For instance, here in WA you don't need them if you can stop in XX feet from XX MPH and most can. BUT the law also states that the vehicle must have a breakaway setup the will hold the vehicle on normal highway slope (6% grade) for 15 min when activated. Now, how does that work if you don't have brakes and a breakaway setup?
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Old 01-28-2015, 02:10 PM   #36
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So what's better, dolly or flat towing????

The Breakaway Setup is nothing more than a pair of Cables that join the Motorhome to the tow Car! Nothing magical about that.

As far as a Parking Brake goes ,both Vehicles already have those from the factory!
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Old 01-28-2015, 02:38 PM   #37
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The Breakaway Setup is nothing more than a pair of Cables that join the Motorhome to the tow Car! Nothing magical about that.

As far as a Parking Brake goes ,both Vehicles already have those from the factory!
Now that is interesting...

I always read that cables or chains from the RV to the toad are called Safety Chains -BUT- a break-away set-up is an emergency brake engagement device to ensure the towable's brakes engage if there is a "break-away" from the towing vehicle.
Like this one: Engager Trailer BreakAway Kit with Charger and Tester Hopkins Trailer Breakaway Kit 20099

An owner could use the parking brake of a toad to create a break-away...anything is possible.

Looks like this RV'er in this article did not have a break-away set-up:
Lost the car

Safe travels
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Old 01-28-2015, 03:08 PM   #38
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I started out with a dolly, but changed to towing 4 down, due to the extra work of loading/unloading the car, tieing it down, etc., and in handling the dolly when at the RV park. Mine couldn't be stored under the rear of the RV, because of the big, heavy rock guard underneath. Also, some camps require that it be stored in their extra vehicle storage lot (a real pain). The main reason though, is when it was stored at my home, it had to be stored in the open, subject to the elements and, it was considered an "eyesore", by the DW. Yep, I switched to 4 down, for about $2200 and have been well satisfied since.
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Old 01-28-2015, 03:14 PM   #39
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4 down - Advantage - easy hookup, even with the simple tow bar systems. Can be backed up, even great distances if you have a helper at the steering wheel of the towed to keep the front tires pointing in the right direction, as they will attempt to caster to a full turn.

4 down - Disadvantage - Wear of toad front tires, bearings, CV joints, etc.

3. Backing up safely and without damage to the tow bar is debatable and voids warranty.
4. I have toaded a Saturn manual and a Wrangler automatic a combined total of over 100K miles. Tire wear is normal, no other issues at all.

Both methods work well, but should not be done half-way: ie without break-away system.
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Old 01-28-2015, 05:10 PM   #40
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Do tow dollys need a registration and license plate?
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Old 01-28-2015, 05:59 PM   #41
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Do tow dollys need a registration and license plate?
Not in most places.

IF one has multiple vehicles to tow depending on the destination that also figures into the cost.
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Old 01-28-2015, 08:19 PM   #42
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So what's better, dolly or flat towing????

I will chime in on this. We have a kar caddy. Love it. Rides solid and true. I do however worry about getting stuck in a situation where I need to disengage to get out of it. My toad is a Mini Cooper, and I need to crawl around underneath to deal with the safety chains. Bottom line for me: the dolly is great for a single purchase with no mods to the car and long hauls with not-often unhooking. The tow dolly has worked very we'll for us, BUT this spring we ARE converting to flat tow due to the easier hooking/unhooking it affords. FWIW.
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