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Old 07-07-2015, 12:59 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by aauummm View Post
Just measured the distance between my outside rear tires and they are 92" outside to outside of the treads, Ford F53 22K chassis. So if a dolly's width is 102" they would stick out beyond my MH tires.
Yes, the RV's tires will be slightly narrower than a typical dolly. This is because many dollies have an outside width of 101" to allow a wide variety of cars to fit.

BUT, must be the "Incredible Shrinking RV". Ford has been making them the same way for years...with 94"-96" rear outside track...see:
2016 Ford Stripped Chassis Work Trucks | View Exterior Specifications | Ford.com

And, the typical Class A RV is made to fit within the correct/legal Federal max width of 102". Like the 2016 Sunova is listed at 8' 5.5" or 101.5" wide:
Sunova | Specifications | Winnebago RVs

So, if the tires on a typical dolly (at 101") cross the line behind a Sunova (at 101.5") then the RV "should" mathematically be over the line too.

And with a rear track reported by the maker (for Ford 22,000lb GVWR) to be 95", that is only 6.5" less than the body - or ONLY 3.25" slack on each side before the RV tire goes off the road too.

RVing with Math can be FUN
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Old 07-07-2015, 01:12 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by barbmc2929 View Post
We have a Coachmen C class and want to buy a tow vehicle but are unsure which is a better option for towing....tow dolly or tow bar. That decision will of course determine what car we buy. Please give us the value of your experience. Thanks.
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That is question for which there is no right answer..... (like which is better Ford or Chevy?... or do I need a tire pressure monitoring system)....as you have already discovered by the replies you've received).
I suggest you choose which ever option the majority of the replies you will receive recommend.
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Old 07-07-2015, 01:38 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarab0088 View Post
Yes, the RV's tires will be slightly narrower than a typical dolly. This is because many dollies have an outside width of 101" to allow a wide variety of cars to fit.

BUT, must be the "Incredible Shrinking RV". Ford has been making them the same way for years...with 94"-96" rear outside track...see:
2016 Ford Stripped Chassis Work Trucks | View Exterior Specifications | Ford.com

And, the typical Class A RV is made to fit within the correct/legal Federal max width of 102". Like the 2016 Sunova is listed at 8' 5.5" or 101.5" wide:
Sunova | Specifications | Winnebago RVs

So, if the tires on a typical dolly (at 101") cross the line behind a Sunova (at 101.5") then the RV "should" mathematically be over the line too.

And with a rear track reported by the maker (for Ford 22,000lb GVWR) to be 95", that is only 6.5" less than the body - or ONLY 3.25" slack on each side before the RV tire goes off the road too.

RVing with Math can be FUN
I just went outside and retracted the leveling jacks and measured it again. It measures exactly 93" outside to outside of the tread. I can take a picture and post it.

If the outside to outside dimension of the tires on the dolly are 101-102" then obviously the dolly tires stick out beyond the MH tires by 4-4 1/2" on each side. (RVing math) Thus, with the MH rear tire on the white line the dolly tire would be off the pavement.

It should be noted that there are two tires on each end of the axle on the rear of my motorhome. If one tire is partially off the pavement, the other one is still on the pavement. However, in this case, the dolly is now much further off the pavement and on to the shoulder.

The above is with my current MH. If we look at the distance between outside of tires on a 2002 E-450 chassis (My original Class C MH that had the dolly with it) the width between the rear tires is probably even less than my current F53. Ford doesn't specify the outside to outside dimension for the E-450 on their site. I'd have to go dig for it real hard.

The width of the body on a MH has nothing to do with the right tires going off of the pavement. The original poster has a Coachmen Class C on an E-450 chassis. That's exactly what I had originally with the free dolly. 2002 Coachmen Leprechaun 305 MB, 31'.
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Old 07-07-2015, 02:28 PM   #18
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Wow.

The line is, what, 4 inchs?

I can't see my MH tires in the mirror. I can see see dolly tires. I keep them off the line..

Well actually, I steer down the center of my lane. I think that's the way we were taught, back in the day.
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Old 07-07-2015, 02:56 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by aauummm View Post
I just went outside and retracted the leveling jacks and measured it again. It measures exactly 93" outside to outside of the tread. I can take a picture and post it....

The width of the body on a MH has nothing to do with the right tires going off of the pavement. The original poster has a Coachmen Class C on an E-450 chassis. That's exactly what I had originally with the free dolly. 2002 Coachmen Leprechaun 305 MB, 31'.
Thank you for the specifics above. I would still take Ford's measurement for the track...there's just too many variables.


So...considering the OP's Coachman Class C, it is still noteworthy that if a driver was driving close enough to the edge of a roadway to drop a dolly tire (at 101"), then the typical Class C's body (like the Leprachaun at 102") is also outside of the lane and at risk of hitting signage and roadside foliage.
http://coachmenrv.com/Product-Details.aspx?LineID=51&Image=9169


And, without specific measure on the E-series Cut-Away, it can only be assumed that the rear outside track is near/about the same 94"ish" inches as the smallest F53(?) 'cuz it doesn't look like there is an excessive gap in the wheel wells.
http://coachmenrv.com/Product-Details.aspx?LineID=51&Image=9169


So, much like the scenario above, the Class C's tires would only be 3.5" from the edge if the driver dropped the dolly off the roadway


Since we exclusively use a tow-dolly (didn't want to buy a car just to tow and all that includes and sometimes tow more than just the 1 car) I drive in the center of the lane


And, if buying a car just for RVing (like the OP describes), as stated before, I would strongly consider buying one that can be flat-towed...knowing all that includes: tow-bar and baseplates (plus the install details of mounting to the critical crush zone of the car) as well as lighting and (hopefully) braking in the toad.


Safe travels
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Old 07-07-2015, 03:04 PM   #20
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Wow.

The line is, what, 4 inchs?

I can't see my MH tires in the mirror. I can see see dolly tires. I keep them off the line..

Well actually, I steer down the center of my lane. I think that's the way we were taught, back in the day.
I observed how professional semi truck drivers drive their rigs. They put the right tires on the white line. When they pass me they put their left tires on the left white line. I got to thinking about that. By keeping to the right as far as possible it dramatically reduces buffeting from passing semis the further you are away from them. The strength of the bow wave from a passing semi reduces exponentially with distance.

Next, I figured that I am being courteous to people behind me. They can more easily see around me if they are going to pass. If I'm following a semi, he can see me in his rear view mirror otherwise I'm invisible to him if I'm in the center of the lane.

Also it can be a bit intimidating for a car to pass a semi or motorhome. My wife hates it and cringes every time we have to pass one. I figure if I'm far to the right in my lane then it's less intimidating to other drivers who are passing me.

So I decided that I would do as the semi drivers do and I do it religiously. And now you know-the rest of the story.
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Old 07-07-2015, 03:29 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Scarab0088 View Post
Thank you for the specifics above. I would still take Ford's measurement for the track...there's just too many variables.


So...considering the OP's Coachman Class C, it is still noteworthy that if a driver was driving close enough to the edge of a roadway to drop a dolly tire (at 101"), then the typical Class C's body (like the Leprachaun at 102") is also outside of the lane and at risk of hitting signage and roadside foliage.
http://coachmenrv.com/Product-Details.aspx?LineID=51&Image=9169


And, without specific measure on the E-series Cut-Away, it can only be assumed that the rear outside track is near/about the same 94"ish" inches as the smallest F53(?) 'cuz it doesn't look like there is an excessive gap in the wheel wells.
http://coachmenrv.com/Product-Details.aspx?LineID=51&Image=9169


So, much like the scenario above, the Class C's tires would only be 3.5" from the edge if the driver dropped the dolly off the roadway


Since we exclusively use a tow-dolly (didn't want to buy a car just to tow and all that includes and sometimes tow more than just the 1 car) I drive in the center of the lane


And, if buying a car just for RVing (like the OP describes), as stated before, I would strongly consider buying one that can be flat-towed...knowing all that includes: tow-bar and baseplates (plus the install details of mounting to the critical crush zone of the car) as well as lighting and (hopefully) braking in the toad.


Safe travels
chuckle...I have 20 minutes before I have to take off and check into our campsite for the next 10 days.

I hate to try to second guess Ford. Maybe their measurement is to outside of sidewall to outside of sidewall. Mine was specifically to outside of tread to outside of tread. My measurement was done with a tape measurer in real life, what can I say?

Your referenced material was for 2016. The 2016 F53 comes with 22.5" wheels, mine are 19.5" wheels on a 2011 chassis. The tires sizes are probably wider on the 2016 22.5" wheels.

Highway signage is governed by the MUTCD. There are minimum distance standards for how far the edge of the sign has to be from the pavement edge. Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) - FHWA

There are also design standards for how far damaging foliage has to be from the edge of the road. The distance requirements are such that you will not even come close to a sign if you drop a tire off of the pavement edge. (Part of my professional career was spent as a highway design engineer with a DOT)

See my post below on driving an RV in the middle of the right hand lane.

I went to an authorized Blue Ox dealer here in Des Moines. He did all of the baseplate, lights wiring, safety cables, and electrical cord and toad brake (I'm just barely over the 3500 lb requirement for a toad brake). He had me bring the motorhome to the shop to have it hooked up to the toad. He then ran through the whole procedure of hooking up and unhooking with me and then I drove off. Took him 4 hours for installation and it was done and out of there.

Now for some RVing-that's what it's all about anyway, right?
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Old 07-07-2015, 03:51 PM   #22
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Just checked the CDL books, drive in the center of the lane.

I am on the road right now. I am going to pay carefull attention to the habits of Pro. drivers, on a multi lane highways.
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Old 07-07-2015, 04:06 PM   #23
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chuckle...I have 20 minutes before I have to take off and check into our campsite for the next 10 days...


There are also design standards for how far damaging foliage has to be from the edge of the road. The distance requirements are such that you will not even come close to a sign if you drop a tire off of the pavement edge. (Part of my professional career was spent as a highway design engineer with a DOT)...


I went to an authorized Blue Ox dealer here in Des Moines. He did all of the baseplate, lights wiring, safety cables, and electrical cord and toad brake (I'm just barely over the 3500 lb requirement for a toad brake). He had me bring the motorhome to the shop to have it hooked up to the toad. He then ran through the whole procedure of hooking up and unhooking with me and then I drove off. Took him 4 hours for installation and it was done and out of there.

Now for some RVing-that's what it's all about anyway, right?

Hope you enjoy your travels...

f involved in design/maint of roadside engineering, wouldn't you admit things ARE NOT always to specs...and roadside trees and shrubs have a funny way of growing into the road.

And, we always read about the guy that set-up to flat-tow for $1.99 with this-and-that from a swapmeet or Craigslist. As an expert about a recent commercial/retail flat-tow set-up install...care to share how much that can cost?

Safe travels
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Old 07-07-2015, 04:13 PM   #24
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Soooo, back to the original question. We started with a used tow dolly because we didn't want to buy a new daily driver. Our PT Cruiser was worth less than the cost of installing the needed tow equipment including a transmission pump.

We recently traded for a CRV. We chose that as a replacement because it is a good toad and meels my wife's daily driver needs. It is currently at the dealer getting the tow bar and brakes installed.

Conclusion: if you are budget minded and don't mind a little inconvenience hooking up, get a dolly. That will greatly expand your car options. If ease of connect/disconnect is your priority, then flat tow is a good choice.
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Old 07-07-2015, 04:56 PM   #25
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I'll toss in this. After using a dolly you can't sell me on 4 down. I want a towed on a dolly. End of story.

I use the dolly wheels because I can see them in the mirrors of out current 30 ft C. Center on the lane and keep at least 6 inches from the line down the edge.

FWIW I do not recall seeing any semi drivers hugging an edge. I will start looking now.
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Old 07-07-2015, 05:03 PM   #26
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Tow dolly or tow bar

I am the 4-down type. Wrangler. No other choice for that kind of special fun, except a trailer (nonononono)
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Old 07-07-2015, 06:32 PM   #27
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Considerations:
Motor home's towing capacity The lesser of hitch rating or MAX GCVW (Combined weight of Motor Home and trailer) and actual GVW (Weight of Motor home loaded for travel)

Many C's are a tad anemic in this area.. others are not.. I do not know yours so.. You decide.

If yours is low on towing capacity the dolly may put you over the edge.

Next: Hooking up.. Is way way way easier with a tow bar.. I have had people try to tell me otherwise but I have done it both ways.

Finally.. You need an aux brake system on your towed.. now on the Dolly that will be part of the dolly, either surge brakes or electric brakes.

but this only operates on the dolly's wheels YOU DO NOT WANT THE CAR BREAKING or it can pull off the dolly.

With 4-Down all wheels can assist in stopping,, Means faster stops.

I choose a tow bar with aux brakes... IF you do not live in the salted north you might consider the Ready Brute tow bar with Ready Brake.
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Old 07-07-2015, 09:50 PM   #28
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Just checked the CDL books, drive in the center of the lane.

I am on the road right now. I am going to pay carefull attention to the habits of Pro. drivers, on a multi lane highways.
Ya, that would be interesting to see if you observe it also. I first noticed it on rural multi-lane (four lanes) interstates while traveling at highway speed. Take a look also and see if they put their left tires on the left yellow line when they pass you. I noticed that they did that too.

My big drive today was about 15 miles from our house to a Corps campground. All set up for a 10 day stay at $8/day. The granddaughter and her friend will drop by for a couple of nights and my son and his girlfriend will fly in from San Diego to spend a day or so. Lots of fun on tap!
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