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Old 08-14-2015, 08:18 PM   #1
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Towing a vehicle

We just bought our first RV. We have a 2000 Itasca Spirit 31' with a V10 motor. We are wondering what would be some of the best vehicles to tow behind the RV? Is it best to flat tow or use a dollie?
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Old 08-14-2015, 09:17 PM   #2
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You'll find lots of different opinions on this topic. Flat towing has been my choice, but a dolly gives flexibility of towing different vehicles without the expense of fitting a new base plate. People complain that a dolly means something else to stow at a campsite, but most will tuck under the rear of the RV when parked. Most every front wheel drive car can be towed on a dolly, rear wheel, 4 wheel, or all wheel drive vehicles mostly can't.

For more information about cars that can be towed, you can check this list:

http://www.motorhome.com/download-dinghy-guides/

Before buying anything for towing, read the owner's manual to be sure! Don't take the word of a salesman, remember, they're trying to sell a car.

Unless you install the base plate and do the rest of the labor yourself, it will cost $2,500 - $3,500 to buy and have installed all the parts needed. Tow bar, base plate, auxiliary brake and break away switch, lights, are all part of the 'Toad' necessities. By installing it yourself and buying used items you might reduce the costs to $1,000 -$1,500, but you have to check out Craig's List and Ebay.

As you can see, it makes a dolly look cheaper than towing 4 down, but when I arrive at a campsite I pull a few pins, unhook the umbilical cord, break away cable, and 2 safety chains and I can drive off.
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Old 08-14-2015, 10:17 PM   #3
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Flat tow. Jeep. Best.

IMHO.
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Old 08-15-2015, 01:11 AM   #4
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This question has been discussed repeatedly here on iRV2. Browse the topic here:
Toads and Motorhome Related Towing - iRV2 Forums

Bottom line, only you can decide what is best for you, but with a Class C, weight will be a concern.

And whatever you decide, please consider brakes on the towed car (toad)...not required in many places, but smart and safer.

Best luck
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Old 08-15-2015, 07:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dux98 View Post
We just bought our first RV. We have a 2000 Itasca Spirit 31' with a V10 motor. We are wondering what would be some of the best vehicles to tow behind the RV? Is it best to flat tow or use a dollie?
1st thing you need to figure out is the weight limit your MH can pull. Gas is usually 3500 to 5000 lbs. 3500 lbs isn't a lot when it comes to pulling a midsize car/SUV on a dolly. Diesel, much higher tow rating.
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Old 08-15-2015, 09:11 AM   #6
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Your V10 shouldn't have any problems, I flat tow a Honda Civic and dolly tow a Toyota Camry with my V10 powered Mirada.

Initial cost between dolly and flat will be similar, depending if you install the base pate or pay someone else to do it. (make sure to look at used base plates)

If you change TOADs, some of the costs of flat towing will be transferable (maybe) i.e. your tow bar and possibly brake system. You'll need a new base plate for each TOAD. You can only tow vehicles that have a base plate installed that matches up and is compatible with your particular tow bar.

On the other hand, the dolly is a one time cost and you should be able to tow just about anything with it.

Dolly towing is a little more cumbersome than flat towing, but dolly towing offers the most versatility, especially if your on a budget and may need to tow different vehicles at different time.

* The Dolly is also great for "Dad's auto repair and moving company" if you have kids.
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Old 08-15-2015, 03:49 PM   #7
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We have a 2014 Minnie Winnie 31KP with the Ford V10 Triton, and we opted for dolly towing our Prius. Took us quite a while to get it loaded the first time, but by the end of our 1700 mile trip, we could get it loaded in 15-20 minutes. Provided it wasn't raining.

Once we put the RV in tow mode, we didn't even notice it was there.

The dolly was never an issue at the sites. We just moved it as needed.

That said, we'll look at something we can flat tow for our next car.

John, ATX
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Old 08-15-2015, 06:49 PM   #8
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Towing 4 down is by far the easiest. Quicker to hook, and unhook, and you don't have to worry about what to do with the empty Dollie and how to get it there.
As far was what tow is better, well,that is a personnel choice. Basically it is going to be what kind of vehicle do you like to drive on a daily basis? You are most likely going to drive it far more than you will tow it.
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Old 08-18-2015, 07:27 PM   #9
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Our class C (31' Ford V10) has a towing capacity of 3500 pounds and 350 pounds tongue weight. How close to 3500 pounds should we go and still be comfortable pulling in hills and mountains?
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Old 08-18-2015, 07:32 PM   #10
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I agree with all the above.. Pick a car that you also can live with at home.. Then look for light weight. Maybe you already have something that will work.
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Old 08-18-2015, 07:41 PM   #11
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Your V10 can pull a lot more than your receiver is rated for. You want to stay within the 3500# rating, that's the max your chassis, especially at the end of the extended frame, can handle. The 3500# rating not only takes in account the frame capacity but also your braking capacity. It's not the going up hills you need to worry, it's the controlling speed going down the mountain you need to think about. I wouldn't try to pull a Suburban or a F100 pick up, just pay attention to the car's weight. Also don't tow without an auxiliary braking and break-a-way switch.
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Old 08-19-2015, 08:38 AM   #12
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Thanks again to all for the advice.
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Old 08-19-2015, 10:07 AM   #13
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Quote:
You can only tow vehicles that have a base plate installed that matches up and is compatible with your particular tow bar.
I had a Roadmaster set up on the 08 HHR I pulled 4 down.

Traded last fall for a Lincoln MKS EcoBoost. Roadmaster didn't make a base plate for it and Blue Ox did. Easy fix for tow bar was a adapter for it to use the Roadmaster too Blue Ox.

For the OP a HHR makes a good 4 down tow. 3,300 lb, pull one 2 AMP fuse or put a switch on it. Put transmission in "N" and go. Many used one can be bought for low price.
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