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Old 09-12-2009, 08:37 PM   #1
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tow bar/flat bed/dolly

Yes i have been procrastinating for months
i tried the dollies but didnt want the issues of manually moving it around when we unhooked
and the lack of backing up

the tow bar i was set and almost ordered the base plate on friday
BUT i again i hate the no backing deal, drilling holes in my frame, auxiliary brake thing and more weird wiring

So late last night we got an emergency call to hit the road and head to new mexico

so i called uhaul to get a dolly since we would be there awhile and needed the car

but i ended up getting a brand new transport trailer, for the price of a dolly WOW WOW WOW
i am almost sold to go buy a transport but add a rolling tongue jack
this baby allowed me to back up which is great, because i seem to find the only entrances to fuel stations that require a bit of back and forth action
i will drop it in Albuquerque and then wife will drive the last bit to the campground, maybe uhaul has a frequent program
but now the drawback is Storage at the campground if i get a flat bed
i need HELP
thanks in advance

USN Retired, Life time member of the DAV.
Enjoying the 2008 Damon Tuscany 4056, no your eyes are fine, there are 6 slides
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Old 09-12-2009, 09:26 PM   #2
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Seems like it would be easier to manually move around a tow dolly at a campsite than it would a flat bed trailer even with a tongue jack? We have used a Demco tow dolly for five years and have never had an issue stowing it at an RV park. However, it is getting to be a PITA to load car, hook up straps, safety chains, etc. so we are going for a Jeep Wrangler and tow bar setup and parking the automatic PT Cruiser.

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Old 09-12-2009, 09:33 PM   #3
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If you travel much and stay at different places, the flat bed is probably not the best option. Where to park it, where to store it, extra tires and upkeep and the extra towing weight. The same is partially true with a dolly.

If you have a vehicle you can tow 4 flat without modification, that is nornally the best way to go in most cases. In years of towing, I have only had the need to back up twice and had to unhook. That was within our first 2 months, do that a couple of times and you pay more attention to the situations you do not get yourself into.

The base plates are not that big of a deal, if you use a brake box it's not a big deal either and for lights look at the Tow-mate, no wiring needed. Get fuel in the truck lanes and it is not a problem. Unhook when you get to a park and drive to the site to scope out the best way to get there. Towing 4 flat is not a big deal after you do it a few times. It takes me less than 5 minutes to set it all up and be ready to go.
2005 Safari Cheetah 38PDQ - 2009 Ford Flex
Me (Gatogonow), The Boss (DW), Honey Bunny, Maggie May and Mollie Kay (The Gatos)!
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Old 09-12-2009, 10:00 PM   #4
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thanks for the insight
the truck lanes lately have been more pricey by 10 cents a gallon so we have squeezed into murphys or other spots, i find doing fuel searches each trip
some are impossible even for a pickup

have to finish this trip and make a decision.. the winter season is fastly approaching

the storage is a biggies as well,

maybe a pair vespas
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Old 09-12-2009, 10:05 PM   #5
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maybe a pair vespas[/QUOTE]

Vespa, isn't that what you get if you don't use powder!
2005 Safari Cheetah 38PDQ - 2009 Ford Flex
Me (Gatogonow), The Boss (DW), Honey Bunny, Maggie May and Mollie Kay (The Gatos)!
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Old 09-13-2009, 11:36 AM   #6
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Well.. NO BACKING: Applies to dollies too, only a full trailer can be backed.. I"ve only had one time where I really needed to back up in the last 4 years. Pluse wife is a FOD (Forward Only Driver) when it comes to the RV. Hooking and unhooking is so fast it's really not a problem.

Aux Brakes... I am a firm believer in all wheel braking, HERE is why

When you simplify it down, the math that describes how far you slide when you stand on the brakes with all wheels locking up boils down to Speed Squared/Constant (NOTE: The constant will change from place to place but.. It is the same for all vehicles on a given section of road) I won't go into what fits into that constant save to say that a police officer will take a section of tire, filled with concrete, and weigh it, then he will drag it (using a scale) and note the force required to make it skid, and from that he will compute the constant.

Now: If you have a 4-down system with aux brakes... You have all wheel braking

If you have a full auto trailer with brakes,,, You have all wheel braking

If you have dollies,, You have at least 2 wheels that are NOT BRAKING

Now we have a math problem that is nearly as long as this post

Mass of combined vehicles and weight on braking wheels and lots more stuff gets added. (I know how to do the math, but not a couple of the constants) The bottom line is you skid farther.

now let me talk about Aux Brake systems.. I will cover a few different systems

Brake Buddy, Even Brake, Apolo brakes, Add-a-brake, these systems are "Brakes in a box" you have this big box with a few controls a power cord and an arm that sticks out.. May have a pressure guage too. You wrestel it into the driver's seat every time you tow (Unless, of course you are only going a few miles and think to yourself "This is too much trouble" more on that later) and every time you unhook you wrestle it out and figure out where to stow it.. When it is operating it sucks power from the towed vehicle battery..

My opinion of these systems.. Well, if I did a lot of towing of different cars, I might get one.. but.. Frankly.. I don't like 'em.

Ready Brake.. This is kind of an interesting system, consists of a cable that runs from the brake pedal, therough the firewall, to a special "Adapter" on the hitch.. If the towed presses forward against the motor home (IE: You slow/stop) it pulls the brake pedal to add assist.. This is a fairly good system.. I dont' have it, but it's fairly good. I have a few concerns about it.. but I will not recommend against it. (Neutral recommendation)

Air Force, M&G, and a few others, These are Air over Hydraulic systems.. Now theere are some differences.. Good choices if you have air brakes on the towed.. The Air force has a piston with arm you hook to the pedal and unhook (Stows under the driver's seat) the M&G fits under the hood, between the brake booster and the master cylinder.. 100% transparent to the driver, nothing to wrestle at all.. I do recommend this system.. IF, that is, it fits.

Finally we have systems like the US-Gear Unified Brake Decelerator

This is an electric/hydraulic system. Basically it consists of 3 parts

IN the motorhome is a standard brake controller, not unlike the controllers trailer towers use (In fact, I'mtold I could replace it with a Teknosha if I wished.. I don't wish, it's working perfectly, but if it ever fails.. I might just call up my friend Terry and get a Teknosha (He is, or was CEO, and a classmate of mine in high school, captain of my basket ball team no less) (IN case you wonder why I like Teknosha produicts , not that has anyting to do with this thread)

The 2nd module is a control module in the car, it just turns on a air pump and activates the power unit. (Solenoid) which nmormally is hidden under the driver's seat (mine is elsewhere)

This sytem pulls the brake pedal down, Just likethe ready brake, it's also transparent to the driver so you leave it in 100% of the time, since it pulls the pedal it has an air (Vacuum) pump to power the vacuum assist brake booster so the brakes have only normal pedal pressure as well

It does use power from the battery.. but includes a way for the coach to charge the towed.

And hookup... Well, if I convert from flat-4 to Round 7 it will involve plugging in the cable. and hooking up the break-a-way line.. That's all

As it is, I plug in 2 cables, one flat 4, one 2-wire.

I have full control over the towed brakes.. I decide how much "Power" to feed them (relative to how fast I'm slowing down) I can vary it from very heavy to nothing.. I can also apply the towed brakes (ONLY) from the motor home driver's seat (Useful if I hook up in a down-hill attitude) in short I have full control over the towed brakes.. Same as someone with a Tekonsha controller has over his trailer.

This is the only system I've seen that has that much control.

Home is where I park it!
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