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Old 09-12-2010, 05:42 PM   #1
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Thinking of towing small car. Which is better, dolly or 4 down.

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Old 09-12-2010, 06:00 PM   #2
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4 down

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Old 09-12-2010, 06:07 PM   #3
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Depends on what your planning to tow, a lot of vehicles cannot be towed 4 down without modifications if it's an automatic transmission.
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Old 09-12-2010, 06:25 PM   #4
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As lllkrob mentioned, it really depends on what you want to tow. Here is Motorhome Magazines list of towable 4 down vehicles for 2008, they also have previous years as well. There are vehicles not on the list that are towable, most notably many Hondas with auto transmissions.

We tow 4 down, but many people like using dollies and trailers for various reasons. This is a very active topic on this forum, it may be useful (and sometimes entertaining) to read through some of the other posts on the subject if you have not done so already.

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Old 09-12-2010, 06:30 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by mikron View Post
Thinking of towing small car. Which is better, dolly or 4 down.
That's like asking which is better - Chevy or Ford. You'll get answers both ways. As has been said, it may depend on what you want to tow.

As full-timers, we have traveled all over the country - several times. I can tell you at least 80 to 90% of all motorhomes towing vehicles are towing 4-down.

IMO, 4-down is better unles you absolutely, positively HAVE tow something that can't be towed 4-down, and which can't be modified with a lube pump or drive line disconnect.

One advantage to towing with a dolly is you can tow most vehicles without having to make any modification. Another is you may save a little wear of tires and other rotating parts on the toad, but you'll still have tires on the dolly to replace.

The big disadvantage to a dolly is finding someplace to put it when you stop to camp.

Although you may be able to save some money buying a used dolly, the cost of the dolly will more or less offset the cost of a tow bar, baseplate, auxiliary brake, and tow lights.
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Old 09-12-2010, 07:11 PM   #6
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Really it gets down to what you want to tow and your preference. We have had motorhomes and towed on a dolly as well as 4 down. 4 down has limits on the type vehicle you can tow. There is wear and tare on the tires and brakes. You are limited to towing only a vehicle that has the tow brackets and a braking system installed. Trade vehicles and you have to set up a new vehicle.

With dolly, you can tow any front wheel drive vehicle. 4-wheel drives cannot be towed on a dolly.

Having had both set ups, personally, I'd go with a dolly with brakes and a break away system and tow what ever I wanted. Just be sure the dolly is wide enough the you won't have problems with the fenders on the dolly hitting the car.

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Old 09-13-2010, 04:50 PM   #7
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Hi mikron,
For decades I've used both methods of towing. For me it makes no difference. The tasks are different and can be equally irritating, at times. I am thankful both methods exist. I will continue to use both methods. It all depends on which vehicle was are taking with us.

I have a dolly that folds (tongue and ramps) to a 6' footprint. I have never had to find a place to store the dolly. It fits right up next to the rear of the coach.
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Old 10-28-2010, 02:19 PM   #8
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I have had 5 motorhomes and used both methods. I am more comfortable towing w/4 wheels down. (although I did have a faulty tow bar break on me one time "another story"). My biggest gripe with the tow dolly came when I was in Naples, Fl. I had off loaded my sedan and unhooked the dolly to move it out of the way. I was "pushing" the dolly backwards from the tongue and one wheel "leaped" into a rut. That caused the dolly to jacknife right out of my hands and the tongue hit me in the inside of my shin, almost taking my legs out from under me. Hurt?? Darn right it did. Speak some new works?? Darn right I did. I still have the bruise in the inside of my leg (10 years ago). I soon changed to a 4 wheels down by selling my sedan and getting a Jeep. Never been sorry.
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Old 10-28-2010, 03:27 PM   #9
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Old 10-28-2010, 07:05 PM   #10
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I have both--- tow dolly plus a Saturn that can be towed 4 down. I prefer the 4 down method for numerious reasons. haven't used tow dolly in years. neighbors borrow it occasionally.
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Old 11-07-2010, 10:02 AM   #11
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4 Down, I've done both and there's no question about it in my mind.

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