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Old 12-09-2013, 08:05 PM   #1
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Tow dolly or TOAD

I really messed up including missing the boat.
I PRESUMED and did not read the manual that my 2001 Ford Escape 4x4 was towable because it is not in full FWD. It has a electronic switch that changes if from 2 to 4WD. But the manual says NO CAN DO>
Now my options are put the 2008 Prius on a dolly, which brings up the question of lights and brakes OR go find a stick shift something or other or something with a transfer case.
Since my wife is now not talking ( and I thought the 25* weather outside was cold today ) I am not sure what is the best way to go.
Thanks
The Lonely Toad
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Old 12-09-2013, 08:30 PM   #2
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Over 90% of Type A motorhomes tow four down. Dollys and trailers
are a pain.
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Old 12-09-2013, 08:41 PM   #3
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If you already own the Prius, I would think the tow dolly with magnetic tail lights pluged into the coach would be the least cost. But I also prefer to tow 4 down because its easier.
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Old 12-09-2013, 08:44 PM   #4
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is prius a front wheel drive only vehicle or does the electric motor power one set of wheels and the gas the other. I am not sure which is why I am asking. If anything powers the back tires then you cannot put it on a tow dolly. You would have to go to a regular trailer.

4 wheels down is the easiest method to tow if you have that option but it is also the most expensive. From my research into all wheels down towing basically you cannot tow any 4 wheel drive unless it has the capabilities to put the transfer switch into neutral. It is very confusing which ones will do that. Not all jeeps can be towed for that reason. Anything that is a newer Chrysler product has to have what they call the two stage transfer case. One of the Chrysler vehicles I looked at only used the transfer case if you bought the hemi engine. Actually GM has the most vehicles that are all wheel towable. GM has their nice small car the cruze that would be a great tow vehicle nice and small and light and one of the few models you cannot tow.

Their is one option on your expedition possibly and you would have to look on the internet and see what the websight says and that is the company that sells the pump you can put in your transmission lines and then it pumps your fluid through the system. You have to check with them also because not all vehicles will work even with that system.
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Old 12-09-2013, 08:54 PM   #5
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Go the the Remco web site and see if they make a lube pump four your car. All may not be lost. Many cars not approved for 4 down stock can be towed 4 down with the addition of a lube pump.
Worth a try.
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Old 12-09-2013, 09:35 PM   #6
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Is this the worst mistake You have ever made???
Remcorv towing has a list of what is tow-able and what they make a pump for.. Then always check the manual to be absolutely sure.. Do not take a salesman's word for it, they just do not know about towing.. If you can dolly your car thats a place to start.. if not decide what would work as a tow and regular use car.. Then go have fun
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Old 12-09-2013, 10:02 PM   #7
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Actually that Escape in FWD or 4x4 is not rated for 4 down towing. The CD4E transmission that is in that Escape (up to 2008) is not rated for 4 down. As others said, you may be able to get a Remco pump. There is one guy here that just keeps his engine running on his Escape when towing. This will allow the lube circuits to be active when towing.
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Old 12-09-2013, 10:58 PM   #8
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Quit the dilemma, My toad is a 99 deville concours on a KarKattySS w/surge breaks pulled behind my 82 Pace Arrow nicely. Isn't your Prius front wheel drive? If it doses problem solved buy a KatKattySS one of the best in town. We installed the wiring where the car lights work the same as the motor home. We ran the wires from the trunk thru the back seat then under the back door threshold then under the drivers threshold and thru the fire wall up to the grill so all we do is plug in the KarKtty and then have the other set for the caddie. NO Magnet lights (JMO)

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Old 12-10-2013, 03:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheToads View Post
I really messed up including missing the boat.
I PRESUMED and did not read the manual that my 2001 Ford Escape 4x4 was towable because it is not in full FWD. It has a electronic switch that changes if from 2 to 4WD. But the manual says NO CAN DO>
Now my options are put the 2008 Prius on a dolly, which brings up the question of lights and brakes OR go find a stick shift something or other or something with a transfer case.
Since my wife is now not talking ( and I thought the 25* weather outside was cold today ) I am not sure what is the best way to go.
Thanks
The Lonely Toad
I was kind of in the same boat as you, I had a Toyota Rav4 and a Cobalt and I weighed my options and at the time a new vehicle plus all the towing gear was not in the cards.

I opted for a Tow Dolly, A Demco Kar Kaddy ss Tow Dollies - Kar Kaddy SS

I could not be happier with my decision the Ease of use, Rock solid design, fold up features are extraordinary, I also added a spare tire and tire mount just in case of a flat.

I towed the cobalt with the Dolly and it was a Breeze, roll it on tie it down and away we go, Lights are already on the dolly so I didn't need them on the car.

A year and a half later the RAV was on it's last leg so we traded it for a Used Accadia that I can tow 4 down but can not tow on a dolly.

So now I am setting that up to tow 4 Down, but I may keep the dolly around simply due to its versatility.

Ted.
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Old 12-10-2013, 04:02 PM   #10
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Over 90% of motorhome RVer's flat-tow? I'd like to see the source of that info...

Yes, dolly tow the Prius! It is EZE to do and EZE on the car.
PLUS it is less expensive to start and to keep: NO hardware on the car's bumper or crumple zone, NO separate brake system, NO added miles and wear on the lower driveline of the car.

If you have any question about dolly towing vs. buying a new/different car to take with the RV...why not just rent a U-Haul dolly for a test trip (their dolly's are made by MasterTow, I think). U-Haul dollys are BIG and HEAVY, but you can get a basic feel if it will work for you or not.

Sorry about your original plan failing. We tow an Escape and have read that all the 4WD Escapes must be trailer towed. Because there is no real transfer case to disengage...it's a FWD system with a PTO for lack of a better term. - DON'T FLAT TOW IT - even idling the Escape might not provide enough fluid to the transaxle, because it would be in neutral vs. in gear. There are current iRV2 members that reported living through gear box changes because of previous errors on towability made by the dealers.

Like said above, dolly's are great and tow very nicely. Additional lights are most often only required for marker lights during night driving on the "overhang" from a trailer, so just turn-on the car's parking lights and you are legal with the dolly's main lights for turn and stopping.

I have an Acme EZE-tow - because dolly's do not need steering built-in (just adds weight). The EZE-Tow uses the car's front wheel steering to make turns, just like flat-towing...and it comes standard with Disc/Surge brakes (automatic/infinite adjustment based on the loaded car).
Car Tow Dolly -The Lightest and Toughest Tow Dolly For All Car Towing Needs - Acme Car Tow Dolly Company

Best luck
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Old 12-11-2013, 08:13 PM   #11
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Thank you each and everyone of you who took the time to help me down this rocky road. And a Merry Christmas to all.
So the drama is over with, as I went and picked up my Xmas present today. Albeit I has taken me 8 1/2 hours to there and back, but the trip was well worth the time.
I brought back a KarKaddy SS that had 3 tye down straps, magnetic lights (if I so choose to use) LED taillights and a galvanized dolly where the tires still have the rubber nubbins still sticking out from the side wall of the tires. The seller was not sure how old, but it surely can't be more than 1 or 2 years old at the most, maybe 3. But that is all
So the decision was to dolly the Prius for a year or so and then make the decision to get a towable or not. But for now, it is on to bigger and better things.
Thanks again with much gratitude for all the suggestions and wise advice
The Toads
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Old 12-12-2013, 06:17 AM   #12
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Dean, sounds like you have solved the problem. You might like this set-up and use it for years. One more word of caution.. I used a dolly on a Camray for a while. Have someone watching closley the first time you dive up on the ramps.. On mine the plastic under the bumper, (air Dam/bumper skirt) was so low that it was scratched by the car dolly. I used two wood blocks on the ground just before the ramps, to raise the nose slightly and keep it from getting scratched. Good luck, now go have fun.
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Old 12-12-2013, 08:36 AM   #13
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I'm sure you'll do fine with your new setup for as many years as you want to use it. We started with a Buick Le Sabre and towed it on a dolly for 5 years. Like you we couldn't justify a new car just because the one we had couldn't be towed 4 down.

The only reason we quit towing the Buick was we enjoy off roading. After a while we found it was pointless to drag our Buick all across the country then park it and rent a Jeep. It was also costing a small fortune to rent Jeeps everywhere.

We finally decided to break down and buy a Jeep Wrangler. I was all set to order a Rubicon, but long story short we ended up with a 2004 TJ Sport. The original plan was to tow it on the dolly. Fortunately I read the manual before doing it and found out it was a no no. Another couple thousand dollars later for a tow bar, baseplates, brake system, etc. and we were ready to go.

When it comes to connecting and disconnecting either the Jeep or the car/dolly combination I find it a wash as far as time and effort are concerned. The only downside we found with the dolly was where to store it when not on the road.
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Old 12-12-2013, 08:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheToads View Post
Thank you each and everyone of you who took the time to help me down this rocky road. And a Merry Christmas to all.
So the drama is over with, as I went and picked up my Xmas present today. Albeit I has taken me 8 1/2 hours to there and back, but the trip was well worth the time.
I brought back a KarKaddy SS that had 3 tye down straps, magnetic lights (if I so choose to use) LED taillights and a galvanized dolly where the tires still have the rubber nubbins still sticking out from the side wall of the tires. The seller was not sure how old, but it surely can't be more than 1 or 2 years old at the most, maybe 3. But that is all
So the decision was to dolly the Prius for a year or so and then make the decision to get a towable or not. But for now, it is on to bigger and better things.
Thanks again with much gratitude for all the suggestions and wise advice
The Toads
Congrats I have the same one and couldn't be more impressed with the quality and ease of use.

The first time you use it stop and check the straps at 5 miles then at each stop for fuel or rest.

The Key is to Not have too much Wrap on the spools, Too many people wrap almost all the strap on the spool which is both dangerous and will loosen more quickly.

I like about 1-2 full wraps but no more ,if you have more release it, pull the slack out of the strap and crank it down again.

Once I did this I went 1350 miles without having to readjust them still checking at each stop.

You should consider a spare tire rack and tire as they are not that easy to find, I got everything from PPL Motorhomes.

I also Run Tire Pressure Monitors on the Dolly tires.

Ted.
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