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Old 04-16-2012, 11:09 AM   #1
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Tow Bar or Dolly, That Is The Question

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Posted Today, 11:47 AM
We have just purchased a 2005, 40' Monaco motor home. I had no idea that pulling the dink was going to be so darn complicated. That said, we have a Huyndai 2007 Santa Fe, and would like to use a tow bar. However, it appears I would need a transmission oil pump, brakes and the towing equipment, which all sounds expensive and complicated. It would be far less expensive and little needed for car or motor home if we used a dolly. My question is just how convienant is a dolly to use when traveling for several months at a time? Are RV parks equiped to handle dollies? What do you do with the darn thing once you unload the car, and will parks let you keep it next to your coach? Can a 71 year old fuddy-duddy, with a bad back lift the tongue and roll it around if necessary?
Several questions, and I hope some one can give me some insight as which directions I should go. It appears that I may have to purchase a different auto to use the tow bar safely.
Dave Corbett////Punta Gorda, FL
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:23 PM   #2
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Exclamation Dolly v. Bar

Spend the money & go with the bar. The dolly is nothing but a pain in the butt. If you choose to go with the dolly, my honey has one that I'm sure he'd deliver to you just to get rid of it.....
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:36 PM   #3
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In your situation with your back the 4 down might be the way to go. JMHO
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:46 PM   #4
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Dave, I'm six years younger and have no back problems...and I wanted to keep it that way. All I can say, for me anyway, that every time I hook up the Jeep with an aluminum tow bar(think 'light'), flip the switch by my left leg, I'm more than thankful I chose to tow 4 down and do not have to lug a portable aux. braking box every time I hook up/disconnect. Yeah, the cost hurt for awhile, but the convenience won me over.

BTW, I went with a BlueOx base plate w/Aladdin Tow bar and SMI Duo Aux braking system. Very pleased. There are similar systems. Towing is one of those subjective issues where there are as many opinions as there are system choices. That said, I can't imagine a system any easier to use...especially in this Florida heat. Congrats on the Monaco and welcome to the forum. Bob
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:54 PM   #5
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We have a 2005 Honda Ody. I've towed it both on a dolly (KK-460) and then four down. I'm going back to the dolly after this last trip to CA and AZ.
Why?
Less chance of damage to the toad. (lots of rock chips in the Ody front)
Don't have to leave the keys in the ignition and rn the battery down
Won't need an alignment after towing on CA roads!
Follows the MH better.
Just less worry while on the road.
The dolly folds so it doesn't take much space.

Have the KK-460 dolly
RoadMaster Sterling towbar, RoadMaster 9160 Brakemaster w/breakaway, used diodes to wire the electrical.
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:56 PM   #6
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I have used a dolly for years and I am installing tow bars as we speak. It is very expensive for the tow bar set up vs. the dolly. Since my dolly is paid for.

I am using US Gear braking system and Blue ox towbar set, and Remco Pump set. I am using a 2012 Chysler Town and Country.

Buying a few things used I am still at 2,400 bucks. Looking at the installing worksheets I am sure it would cost about 500 in labor to get the works installed.

The reason I don't want to use a dolly anymore is:

I always have to pull or push the dolly around by hand at the campsite or the house. The towbar weight is about 45 lbs. and I dont have to take it off if I dont want to.

It will be faster to connect and disconnect. I wouldnt be concerned with speed... but for some reason I keep getting caught having to hook it up in the rain.

No more on my knees to insert the pin under toung of the dolly.

I have popped 2 tires on the tow dolly because I made turns that were to tight for the dolly.

I have bought 3 fenders for the dolly.

I will be installing the equipment myself to save a little of the cost. But I cant wait to change over.

Jim
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Old 04-16-2012, 03:17 PM   #7
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I have had both and I like the towbar MUCH better. I bought a dolly new and sold it at the end of the first year. I'm not saying anything bad about a dolly, but it is not for me!
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Old 04-16-2012, 03:22 PM   #8
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I have had both. And I hope to never own another dolly!!. What a royal pain in the keister. Mine was not sprung properly, so every bump went straight to the RV frame, and to your seat.
I never thought about what a problem and mess to load or unload the car in the rain and mud. Those straps and fender clearance is the issue.
Getting the thing perfectly centered and straight is a must. As I learned the hard way, the dolly fenders can scratch your toad when you unload. If not perfect.
The fender welds on the dolly can break and come off as you roll down the interstate, and damage your toad due to poor workmanship and sorry roads.
When moving the dolly by hand down a steep driveway wet from rain, you can slip, fall, and crack a tail bone.
And nothing like being in city traffic just pulling out of a campground, having made an emergency stop, too turn a corner drive and then notice your toad had jumped forward off the dolly on the right front wheel. The nylon straps that where tight when you put them on, shift and stretch.
Due to the strap issue, you always tighten them as tight as you can get them, but plan to stop after an hour and re-tighten them. You won't believe how much they stretch.
Now you can not back up with either one. But when you find yourself late at night some place that you must backup.........tow bar, you un hook the wiring, unhook the bar, back up the toad and re-connect. Lots more work with the dolly! Un hook the straps, un pin the dolly so you can drive off. Un hook the wiring to the dolly, un hitch the dolly, manually push it out of the way. Now back the rig and reverse the process.

You could NOT give me another tow dolly.

P.S.
The last two toads I've purchased came from the Motorhome Magazine approved for towing without the transmission mods, and 4 wheels down.
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Old 04-16-2012, 03:23 PM   #9
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I was going to tell you how much I enjoyed using my tow-dolly for over 25 years until I read the end of your note. I think you want to seriously consider 4 down towing.
Here's why. We had many motorhomes while the kids were growning, from a C to 3 different A's. We changed cars far more often than motorhomes. When everyone came we would tow the stationwagon on the dolly. If only a few, a smaller car. Once, on a short tow to San Diego we even towed the van on the dolly (yes, way overweight).
However, now, at 65, with a bionic knee, a week back, and now kids to help while traveling, pushing the dolly next to the rig at a campground, getting on my knees to hook up the wheel tie-down, using enough downward force to secure the straps, all really has become a chore.
Therefore, with the new rig, we purchased a Saturn Vue, had a tow plate installed, and travel 4 down with this car only. I will probably keep it for a long time.
If your planning on keeping your car for an appreciable time, have it made tow ready.
Otherwise, just trade it in on one of the many towable cars listed in the Motorhome Mag supplement or the FMCA list. The Santa Fe is nice, but it might be cost effective to see about a trade for a towable Chevy or Ford or whatever.
With a towable car you simply pull the appropriate fuse (or have a fuse switch installed you can bypass the fuse from the driver-seat) hook up the tow bar, and go. I have a Demco Aluminum tow bar, other companies make similar, which weighs only 25lbs, making it easy to haul around if and when I want to take it off the RV.
Enjoy and Happy Trails.
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Old 04-16-2012, 03:36 PM   #10
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Howdy Dave and welcome to the forum. Congrats on the Monaco. As for towing, it sounds like the dolly is the best option for your Hyundai. However if you have physical limitations, the dolly may not be a good idea. Maybe you should check out a few different brands of dollies to see if one would be lightweight and manageable enough for you.
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:46 AM   #11
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To all of you that so graciously answered my request for information, I thank you each and every one. You have given me better insight than could have gained from talking to manufactures of dollies and or the tow bars.
Thanks again, I hope meet you in a comp ground somewhere.
Dave & Donna
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Old 07-27-2012, 07:38 AM   #12
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The problem that you will have with flat towing is that your suspension especially your front end gets beat to death...

With multi vehicle trains..The last car in the train takes the most beating...Sort of like crack the whip....Your toad is going to be thrashed around by the back end of your MH and it is so much smaller and lighter....It just gets pounded...
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Old 07-27-2012, 09:05 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxhaven View Post
The problem that you will have with flat towing is that your suspension especially your front end gets beat to death...

With multi vehicle trains..The last car in the train takes the most beating...Sort of like crack the whip....Your toad is going to be thrashed around by the back end of your MH and it is so much smaller and lighter....It just gets pounded...
I'm sorry, but I have towed three different vehicles with the same towbar in the last thirteen years. I have never had the front steering or suspension "Thrashed around". I have not had any rock damage from the MH. These are not opinions of mine but facts.
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Old 07-27-2012, 09:13 AM   #14
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I'm sorry, but I have towed three different vehicles with the same towbar in the last thirteen years. I have never had the front steering or suspension "Thrashed around". I have not had any rock damage from the MH. These are not opinions of mine but facts.
I have opinions...You Have Facts...

Your Car...Your MH...Your money...
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