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Old 09-02-2012, 11:00 PM   #1
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Tow auto PT Cruiser with tow bar or tow dolly?

Hello,

I am changing to a diesel pusher and already own a PT Cruiser. With the diesel pusher is included a tow bar, but of course, I would have to get a trany lube kit installed, buy base plates, have the wiring hooked up to tail lights. We plan on keeping the cruiser for a while, but might may change our minds, too. In its favor is easy on-off the MH.

I am also considering using a Demco Kar Kaddy SS on sale now for around $2400. This would require more work to hook and unhook, but has advantages that we can tow other vehicles without modifications.

I am interested in opinions on which is the best way to go and why you feel that way.

Thanks,
Nathan
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:05 PM   #2
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My opinion....tow four down.
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:18 PM   #3
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My opinion....tow four down.
Thanks. I would love to know your reasoning. Ease of unhooking/hook-up?
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Old 09-03-2012, 11:15 AM   #4
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When we travel across the country we seldom stay more than a couple days at any spot so on a two month trip you are looking at maybe 30 connects/disconnects.

Loading and unloading a car on a trailer and having to strap it down and then stopping to retighten it would be a real pain. We almost always disconnect and explore wherever we are staying.

I'd bet in six years I haven't left the car connected more than four times. The car sticks out in the back blocking the way of other RV's. and that ticks me off when people block the campground lanes.

Also if it was on a trailer I would tend to not disconnect as often due to the hassle.

If you have to disconnect the trailer and stow it somewhere it is also a pain. Rolling a two hundred pound trailer around the campground is not my idea of a way to save money.


When it's raining and muddy at a campground things are even worse.

I have a U.S. Gear brake module in mine so all I have to do is connect the towbar and the power cord for lights and turn signal.

I have two cars I pull, a Miata and a Lexus RX300. Both are setup for towing. Not a cheap date, but well worth it.

I bought a used 2000 Lexus RX300 specifically because it can be towed four down.
I have a letter from the Lexus dealer here stating it can be towed four down so I don't need a lube pump.
The Miata is a 5 speed so no problem towing four down with it.

We originally had a Suzuki XL 7 we towed and I had to move the brake system from it to the Lexus and get a new baseplate, etc. Expensive,but, again, it was worth it to me.
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Old 09-03-2012, 05:33 PM   #5
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Thanks for the opinions. Still a little divided, but leaning toward 4 down. I have a bad back so don't like the idea of having to get under the car to attach the safety chains. Nor do I like the idea of having to do much more on a dolly if it is raining. Still, it is nice not to have to modify the car with a dolly and also be able to use it on more than one vehicle (again w/o mod assuming FWD).

Other opinions and reasoning still welcome!

Nathan
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Old 09-03-2012, 05:57 PM   #6
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I've just started towing my 04 Sebring on a Tow Master tow dolly. Easy Peazy. Don't even know it's back there. I figure with a dolly you only have to buy it once and you can tow anything. You've already highlighted the additional expenses involved with 4 down. if you want real time information go sit alongside a busy highway and just watch what's being used. My observation has been that more people use a dolly than 4 down, but thats just my observations.
If you have a hitch on your PT Cruiser you can use that to shlep your dolly around should so require.
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:04 PM   #7
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We currently tow 4down and swear by this system. Easy to hook-up & un-hook, tracks great..can't even tell its behind us....no fuss with a tow dolly.. However......I would never consider towing a new or reasonably new car 4down. Why?

1) As soon as you install the couple of thousand dollars worth of equipment to the vehicle you have "accelerated" the depreciation in much the same way as an accident. Choice between a car (all things being equal) that has been in an accident (professionally repaired) and one that is clean...which would you choose. The same pretty much applies to a tow car....all things being equal, I wouldn't buy a car that had been hauled around behind a MH...would you? You don't even know how many miles have been put-on the vehicle while being towed (miles are miles...your suspension can't tell the difference between a pothole hit while you are driving or while it is being towed)

2) Probably not that much difference between 4down & a dolly, (mud guards, tow defenders, whatever), the front of the car takes a beating. I wouldn't do that to a new car.

Having said the above, we found a great used car (manual & light) which we maintain religiously....we can tow 4 down....we cannot be hurt by depreciation .....and we aren't concerned about winning any show prizes for the best looking front end.
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:20 PM   #8
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We ave towed the same vehicle ('05 Odyssey) both four down and on a dolly behind the same MH. Went back to the dolly after the last trip to Fresno and Phoenix.
Lots more rock chips, new battery went dead every other day even though started and run per Honda's instructions and van had to be re-aligned when we got back.
Not worth the extra damage to me plus a dolly really isn't much more trouble or time consuming than four down.
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:11 PM   #9
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My decision

Well, after a lot of soul searching and reading of people's opinions (for which I am grateful) and considering I'm not sure how long we will be keeping the car (might be having some A/C issues, and we really need that here in central TX), we decided to tow with a Demco Kar Kaddy SS. Just picked it up today in New Braunfels, TX. Got a great deal (IMHO). Now, just need to get the motor home (I know, we put the cart before the horse, but it just worked out that way).

Thanks again,
Nathan
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Old 04-07-2016, 02:21 PM   #10
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What is missing from all of this discussion is the Jeep factor. I have a 2016 Jeep Wrangler and the owners manual specifically points out that there is only two ways to tow it....4 down or trailer. NOT a dolly in any circumstances. I would think that is the approach for any 4WD.
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Old 04-07-2016, 06:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnt View Post
Well, after a lot of soul searching and reading of people's opinions (for which I am grateful) and considering I'm not sure how long we will be keeping the car (might be having some A/C issues, and we really need that here in central TX), we decided to tow with a Demco Kar Kaddy SS. Just picked it up today in New Braunfels, TX. Got a great deal (IMHO). Now, just need to get the motor home (I know, we put the cart before the horse, but it just worked out that way).

Thanks again,
Nathan
I think you will be satisfied with your decision. We did the same when we got our MH. We did not want to trade cars at the same time and the older PT Cruiser was not worth investing in a transmission pump as well as the tow gear. We also found a used Demco. It worked pretty well but when we were ready to trade off the Cruiser, we purchased a CRV and went four down. The best part is that we sold the Demco for about $200 less than we paid, so it was a pretty cheap alternative for the use we got out of it.
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