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Old 11-17-2014, 12:18 PM   #1
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So what's better, dolly or flat towing????

Well, I've got the motorhome and now I'm going to buy a small car to tow behind it. I've got the tow guides on what can be flat towed. But I was wondering what are the pluses and minuses or each kind of towing.

Since I'm starting from scratch, I can go either way as I have to either buy a tow dolly and aux. brake lights to put on the trunk lid, or a tow bar and wiring to go along with the brake buddy that came with the RV for flat towing.

Just wondering if either way is really any "better" than the other. I've been towing stuff all my life, so I'm not concerning with any technical aspect of the towing/backing itself, just wondering if there is any big advantage to one way over the other. Thanks.
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Old 11-17-2014, 12:43 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by 70gsconvt View Post
Well, I've got the motorhome and now I'm going to buy a small car to tow behind it. I've got the tow guides on what can be flat towed. But I was wondering what are the pluses and minuses or each kind of towing.
70gsconvt
I prefer flat towing for the ease of it, (it's a 3-4 min job to connect or disconnect).
I can't say that 4 down towing is "better" than a dolly, (but it definitely is simpler, less expensive, cleaner, and IMO smarter).
Mel
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Old 11-17-2014, 12:50 PM   #3
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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)
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Old 11-17-2014, 12:53 PM   #4
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We have just finished 11,000 mile trip toad was Prius on a tow dolly hassle? 2 on a 10 point scale. When we got home took 4 granddaughters camping prius too small no problem take the mini van on same tow dolly, nothing to change. soon we will go to the mountains fishing pond off road put 4wd ranger on dolly no problem bring back plenty of rocks. Done camping for the winter stow Tow Dolly standing upright next to shed. That versatility would cost a fortune to to three types 4 down and is not possible with prius. mho hope this helps.
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Old 11-17-2014, 01:10 PM   #5
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I was all set too buy an older Toyota 4Runner, like a 3rd generation, and a friend informed me that they can't be towed. Don't really want too buy a dolly. Not sure what too do now. Guess I'll buy an older Jeep. Anyone know if they can be towed?
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Old 11-17-2014, 01:21 PM   #6
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I think one method vs the other is up to each individual. We all have reasons for our choice. I started with dolly and with all the work keeping straps tight, chaining vehicle down, etc. I then went to 4 down and have zero regrets. Sold my dolly and after purchase of ReadyBrute Elite, Blue Ox baseplate and wiring I then put remaining money in my pocket. Hookup 4 down is 2-4 min. simple process vs. 15+ min. and dirty hands with dolly. In the summer or raining/snow, it's no contest 4 down for me.
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Old 11-17-2014, 02:47 PM   #7
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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)
Gma-n-Gpa
WOW!
North of $3K for the equipment necessary to flat tow?
Either somebody saw you coming, or prices have gone up...(a LOT)!
In 2010 I spent less than $1200 to set up my new to me '07 Saturn ION for 4 down towing.
I'm sure you will like it.
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Old 11-17-2014, 02:58 PM   #8
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I have done both also. Currently we are towing with a dolly and it is not that bad. 4 down is simpler and less messing around with tow straps etc. as mention previously. We are thinking of a new vehicle, and if I have my way it will be 4 down tow-able, but if not we will still use the dolly. And if it is we will keep the dolly anyway for the current vehicle in case we want to take it instead.
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Old 11-17-2014, 03:06 PM   #9
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I use a dolly only because our Mini Cooper convertible is an automatic. However, one nice thing about this dolly is its surge brake system. I went to the trouble to remove 10 inches from the dolly width to get the dolly wheels the same width as the RV. It wasn't pleasant to drive for the dolly wheels instead of the RV wheels. If the Mini wasn't an automatic I would tow 4 down for the reasons others have already stated.
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Old 11-17-2014, 03:12 PM   #10
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Since you're buying a vehicle any way, its a no brainer to buy one that's towable 4 down. There must be 100 vehicles, of all types, sizes, that are capable of flat towing. Why anyone would put up with the inconvenience of dolly towing is beyond me. but to each his own.

PS: the $3k comment is way off in my experience setting up 2 diff toads, $2k will do it easily unless you insist on the most expensive model of each item. If you buy an appropriately sized vehicle for your size rig, the supplemental braking is more window dressing, you don't need a fancy braking sys unless you're towing something oversize.
much of the installation is simple enough for an avg DIY'er to self install and save a bit more
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Old 11-17-2014, 03:14 PM   #11
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70gsconvt
I prefer flat towing for the ease of it, (it's a 3-4 min job to connect or disconnect).
I can't say that 4 down towing is "better" than a dolly, (but it definitely is simpler, less expensive, cleaner, and IMO smarter).
Mel
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What He Said...
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Old 11-17-2014, 03:44 PM   #12
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Well, I kind of thought that a flat-towed vehicle would be a simpler hookup. Two bars and a wiring plug.

RV has a the V10 with Banks Power Pack so I think I should be OK there. Also has a 5K hitch on it and I was looking at a Chevy Malibu that weighs just around 3200 lbs. Nothing additional if flat towed. I guess my search for a 2008-2010 Malibu is on.
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Old 11-17-2014, 03:45 PM   #13
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Well i am sure that there are less expensive ways to accomplish 4 down, just as there are many choices in dollys. While installation may be a "piece of cake" to others, some of us are not so inclined. Back to the question; dolly or flat - it is a personal choice.

Have a great day
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Old 11-17-2014, 03:55 PM   #14
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For me the dolly was best. I can take either vehicle that I want with no changes to either vehicle. Also the wife's vehicle is a leased vehicle and this way I do not have to replace the front bumper cover and the paint work at the end of the lease.
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