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Old 06-14-2016, 04:12 PM   #1
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Towing a vehicle

We have a 2000 Winnebago Itasca class c that is 31 feet in length. We bought it last year and have decided to tow our 2008 Honda Civic.

Which would be the better way to tow the vehicle? Flat down or on a tow dollie? We are considering cost and best handling features.


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Old 06-14-2016, 07:19 PM   #2
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I prefer flat down. With a dolly there would be something else to park and move around. You seldom see a dolly on the hwy.

'04 Newmar MADP
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Old 06-14-2016, 07:25 PM   #3
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Honda will tell you it can't be towed four down even if it's a manual trans. For 2016 they do say the Civic can be towed four down with a manual trans though
When we bought the '05 Odyssey we got it in writing on Honda letterhead that it could be towed four down. Had the Ody set up for four down, then a few months later Honda started telling people it couldn't be towed four down. Thanks to the letter and some "prodding" by the OR and WA AG's offices Honda paid us $2,200 for the towing gear. Used the money to buy a KK-460 dolly. A few years later we saw a number of Ody's being towed with no problems so we started towing ours four down again.
Have about 106,000 on it with no problems other than when I forgot to take the parking brake off and burned up the shoes.
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Old 06-14-2016, 07:26 PM   #4
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I just started towing this year after years of not. I flat tow my Chevy Sonic. It is expensive to set it up to tow, but once done it's fairly simple to hook it up each time we go somewhere. I would not want to go through the hassle of hooking up the tow dolly, then hooking the car to the dolly, and reversing the process when I get where I'm going. And then having to deal with what to do with the dolly. If I have a car that can be flat towed and plan to keep it for a while, then flat tow is the way to go.
Tom Wilds
Blythewood SC
2016 Newmar Bay Star Sport 3004
2013 Chevy Sonic Hatchback (Automatic)
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Old 06-15-2016, 07:36 AM   #5
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From a cost standpoint, a dolly (likely available used) with surge brakes would be the best (cheapest), but 4-down is the most convenient. The more often you hitch & unhitch, the more you will appreciate the value of a good 4-down (flat tow) system.

As far as driving with the car in tow, there is no appreciable difference.

Stowage at the campsite can be a significant difference. The 4-down system has nothing to deal with, just fold up the tow bar and done. A dolly has to be put somewhere, and that may be trivial or not. You may be able to hand-move it behind the coach or partially underneath the rear where there is plenty of room and the terrain flat, but if the site is congested or the campgrounds requires that trailers be stored offsite, it could be a nuisance. All depends on where you go and how much "hassle" you think this is.
Gary Brinck
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Old 06-15-2016, 08:23 AM   #6
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I agree with Gary and if you decide to tow 4 down click on the link for Roadmaster brackets and click on the part no to see instructions, the installation of brackets is a fairly easy job if you have a little mechanical ability and can change the oil.

Walt & Will
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Old 06-15-2016, 09:35 AM   #7
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Depending if you're a DIYer and what systems you buy, initial cost will be about the same, either way you go.

Dolly - I bought an almost new Acme dolly with surge brakes for $1200.

4 down - Honda Civic - I bought a used base plate for $100 and a straight tow bar for $100.

4 down - Saturn Vue - I bought a new Demco base plate for $300 and a used Blue Ox collapsible bar for $200.

Differences, basic - 4 down is a lot more convenient to hookup and unhook. If you plan on using the car a lot while traveling, then this might be a consideration.

The dolly offers a lot more versatility. i.e. you can put almost anything on the dolly.

4 down and dolly, both have restrictions on what you can tow, so make sure you investigate before doing it.

1999 Fleetwood Southwind 35S (Ford F53 6.8L V10) - Toad 2003 Saturn Vue.

It won't do MACH 2, but I can get a sandwich and take a pee.
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