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Old 10-27-2008, 04:27 PM   #1
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We've had our Class A for almost 2 years now, we had purchased a Jeep Liberty to setup as a Toad but we really haven't needed it since most of the time we take our ATV trailer when we camp.

However there have been times when we don't take the ATVs that we wish we had our Jeep.

So I am back doing the math and homework. In looking at going the Tow Bar route considering a brake unit, brackets, bar, lights, etc., I am ball parking the price around $2200+/- I really don't want anything mounted to permanent like brakes, etc., since in reality we'll probably part with the Jeep in a few years.

The other option is a Dolly. New the prices are around $2200 or used in the $1500 range, with brakes and lights.

For as little as we use the Jeep it would seem like a Dolly might be the better way to go at this time for our family needs.

Am I missing something in this whole equation that I should be considering? Your thoughts and comments would be appreciated.
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Old 10-27-2008, 04:27 PM   #2
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We've had our Class A for almost 2 years now, we had purchased a Jeep Liberty to setup as a Toad but we really haven't needed it since most of the time we take our ATV trailer when we camp.

However there have been times when we don't take the ATVs that we wish we had our Jeep.

So I am back doing the math and homework. In looking at going the Tow Bar route considering a brake unit, brackets, bar, lights, etc., I am ball parking the price around $2200+/- I really don't want anything mounted to permanent like brakes, etc., since in reality we'll probably part with the Jeep in a few years.

The other option is a Dolly. New the prices are around $2200 or used in the $1500 range, with brakes and lights.

For as little as we use the Jeep it would seem like a Dolly might be the better way to go at this time for our family needs.

Am I missing something in this whole equation that I should be considering? Your thoughts and comments would be appreciated.
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Old 10-27-2008, 08:05 PM   #3
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We tow with a dolly w/brakes. We bought it used and in excellent shape for $1000.00. Many complain about the time to attach the car or remove it. I can get it done in about 5 minutes without rushing. Which is about how long it takes to hook up with an integrated tow bar and removable brake system. I do have to get on the ground on each side to hook up the safety chains, so that may be a problem for you. I leave the dolly attached to the MH in most cases and just back it into the camping spot, that may be a problems for you also. Or you can remove the dolly and push it into the spot. Bottom line is there is more physical actions required for a Dolly. But the cost is alot lower and you can use it on most all vehicles.
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Old 10-27-2008, 08:25 PM   #4
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If your blood pressure isn't high enough, get the tow dolly. The aggravation of hooking up, unhooking, pushing it around, & storing it will bring it up.
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Old 10-28-2008, 03:46 AM   #5
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Some people prefer dollies because it allows them to tow vehicles that they couldn't otherwise tow without modification. A dolly would also allow you to tow different vehicles without the added expense of installing multiple base plates and wiring hookups.

However, the biggest problem I see with a dolly is finding someplace to store it at home AND at the campground. Many campgrounds don't have sites big enough to store a dolly, and we sometimes see the dollies parked in the overflow or visitors' parking lots. This means after you unhook, you have to tow the empty dolly to a remote location to store it.

You could also check out hitchtrader.com to see if there might be a used tow bar or base plate to save some money. Also look at ebay.
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Old 10-28-2008, 08:34 AM   #6
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As mentioned - a lot depends on what you are trying to tow. A tow dolly (or a trailer) is a requirement for many FWD vehicles - especially automatics. Some vehicles can go either way. And some (like the 2009 Ford Escape AWD) can only be towed 4-down, not on a dolly.
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Old 10-28-2008, 08:34 AM   #7
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Evidently I don't learn fast because it took me 10 years to realize that Tow Dollies are NOT the way to go. I even brought along my own 'pit crew' of three sons who did the hookups and unhooks for me.

My oldest son spent his last spring break refurbishing our two tow dollies and then selling them on e-bay. Rewiring, welding fenders, new bearings, new paint. I was glad to see them go!

I have a Blue Ox tow bar now. Still have towing problems here and there but NOTHING compared to the aggravation of a Tow Dolly.

Used Tow Dolly: $1000
Blue Ox, Brake buddy, car wiring: $4000
Less aggravation, grey hair, yelling and screaming: PRICELESS!
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Old 10-28-2008, 09:18 AM   #8
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If you do not want to be limited to towing specific vehicles then a tow dolly is the way to go. If you don't mind driving one of the limited number of vehicles that can be towed four wheels down then a tow bar is for you, remembering that most of those vehicles in most States require auxiliary braking systems. The third option is some vehicles can be modified (axles disconnects, auxiliary lube pumps, and etc.) to allow them to be towed four wheels down, but these systems also have there drawbacks. I believe it is a personal situation, preference, issue that one has to decide for themselves. No matter what one decides it will be the best for their particular situation.

I use both, dolly with brakes for my Mini, tow bar with auxiliary brake system for my four wheel drive pick-up. Both have there specific issues, can't say I prefer one over the other, both are about as much fun when hooking or unhooking toad. Everyone has an opinion, kind of like the debate between Travel Trailers and Motorhomes, the chicken or the egg and etc. I have never had any problem parking my dolly at my destination campground, may not be convenient to my spot, but it is not doing anything so I could care less. In most cases if you have room to park a motorhome, should be able to squeeze in a tow dolly, mine folds up and right behind my motorhome.

Foldable tow dollies Remco, Demco.

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Old 10-28-2008, 11:53 AM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Y-Guy:

For as little as we use the Jeep it would seem like a Dolly might be the better way to go at this time for our family needs.

Am I missing something in this whole equation that I should be considering? Your thoughts and comments would be appreciated. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Another thing to consider along will all of the other fine comments is whether your vehicle will fit on the dolly. Consider the width of the vehicle (tires included), the width of the tires, and the diameter of the tires.
I have to admit that my Jeep is modified, but it will not fit on some dollies (too wide) and the tires are too wide and tall for the wheel straps. Mine is 79" wide and has 12.5" x 35" tires. Since yours is stock?? you should have less of an issue.

Also, be sure to get brakes (it was already in your plans).
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Old 10-29-2008, 06:48 AM   #10
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There is a dolly for sale here on IRV2 in the classified section in your area
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Old 10-29-2008, 09:05 AM   #11
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Hi Steve,
As my signature indicates, I use both 4 down and dolly methods to tow. Which method used depends on which vehicle is going on the trip. After several decades of using both methods, I have no preference. The tasks are different. For me there is no additional aggravation caused by one method over the other method. I will continue to use both methods until such a time that I have only one vehicle to take on a trip.

The bottom line is understand the tasks involved and determine which has the most value to you.
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Old 10-29-2008, 10:14 AM   #12
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I greatly appreciate all of the comments, I think I am going to get serious about looking for a dolly. If we used the Jeep on more trips I could see investing in the tow bar setup, but for now I think I can deal with the dolly issues. Thankfully storage at home isn't a big problem.

Steve - thanks for the heads up on the dolly in WA State too!
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Old 11-05-2008, 02:41 PM   #13
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And for flat towing, Thisis the best tow set up I've found. Inexpensive, fool proof, and easy to swap from one vehicle to another.

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Old 11-05-2008, 06:18 PM   #14
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Y-Guy:
Thankfully storage at home isn't a big problem.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>Y-Guy, That's not usually the problem. The problem presents when you go to a campground and have to deal with the tow dolly. Sometimes it's not a problem other times it can be a challenge.

A tow bar always folds up out of the way until you need it and it takes up "0" real estate.
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