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Old 01-06-2014, 09:04 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Scarab0088 View Post
A flat tow set-up for less $$ than a dolly...? Does that include a supplimental brake system?
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It does not!
Now you know my "dirty little secret", (and a 3rd person who doesn't have brakes on their toad).
Mel
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Old 01-06-2014, 03:03 PM   #44
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i started without a toad. after a trip i realized a toad is needed as you can't drive your 40 footer just to go buy a bottle of water or get a burger. i jumped to dinghy directly from reading this board and i am glad i did a right decision. setting up a dinghy was not hard, i did all myself, and not much either (hey you can laugh at me but i bought all including hitch, towbar, baseplate, rvi brake, even a kvh satellite antenna, off craigslist - not just local but all over the country).
good luck.
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Old 01-06-2014, 03:12 PM   #45
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Our first MH was a 17' Type B MH, easy setup and teardown. Our next was a 29' Type C, started towing our '95 Honda Odyssey on a dolly and have towed a vehicle ever since almost every time out. Now, with the 41' and three slides it's just too much trouble to break camp (and hard to find parking for that large a rig) and reset for just a trip to the store or restaurant.
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Old 01-06-2014, 03:19 PM   #46
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A flat tow set-up for less $$ than a dolly...? Does that include a supplimental brake system?

I have a full Roadmaster set-up for towing 4 down and an EZE-Tow. Why?.....That's a long story for another thread. But anyway, because of this, I have actual costs of these things...

...Let's do some math (costs are retail/new and do not include sales tax, if any or shipping):

-Tow Bar......$600
-Base Plate (fits only 1 style car)...$300 (and that was a cheap one*).
-Roadmaster-BrakeMaster 9000 (car and RV system)....$800
--Total parts..............$1700.
-Installation of the base plate can be a DIY job**, BUT the RV side of the braking system involves modification of the RV's brake system. Not a DIY job IMHO...add $400 labor.
--Minimum TOTAL TO FLAT TOW (new parts)...$2100

*Base plates run a wide range of cost depending on the vehicle.
**Base Plate install can be a very complex job (including access to airbag sensors and light systems inside car bumpers...not for everyone.

--Acme EZE-Tow dolly...$1499.99

---Advantage...Dolly Tow

The dirty little secret of flat towing is that many folks forego supplimental brakes for the car. I personally know 2 who do not have brakes on the toad...but who needs brakes on the car behind a big ol' RV...right?

Safe travel to all
Then there is this dirty little secret on some of the cars that can be flat towed: 2007-2010 FORD Edge Installation Time: 3 Hours Notes: --Bumper fascia must be removed and replaced during installation. --Requires some trimming of bumper (fascia, plastic, and/or grill). --Requires some drilling (not major). --Requires some trimming of the air dam. I am way to anal about cutting into my $1000+ front bumper with also the likely hood of depreciation because of the "slight modification". Just about all of my vehicles I have had required some sort of "mod" to the front to allow for the base plate.
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Old 01-06-2014, 09:20 PM   #47
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Then there is this dirty little secret on some of the cars that can be flat towed: 2007-2010 FORD Edge Installation Time: 3 Hours Notes: --Bumper fascia must be removed and replaced during installation. --Requires some trimming of bumper (fascia, plastic, and/or grill). --Requires some drilling (not major). --Requires some trimming of the air dam. I am way to anal about cutting into my $1000+ front bumper with also the likely hood of depreciation because of the "slight modification". Just about all of my vehicles I have had required some sort of "mod" to the front to allow for the base plate.
John I hope you are finding this tread entertaining reading because James, Scarbab, Mel and myself, appear to be enjoying the debate over dollies vs towing 4 down. Let me start by saying, I would never tow my CRV without a breaking system, but I understand there are a lot of people who do. Yes I had to remove the front end of my CRV to install the tow plate and I had to buy a breaking system and tow bar. To me, it's all about the ease of hooking it up and unhooking it. For me to unhook, I pull two pins, a brake light plug and I'm unhooked. The tow bar stays attached to the motorhome, folds to one side, and the CRV has almost no visible brackets. Also the braking system works on all four wheels of the toad (not just the two tow dolly wheels). Now to explain why the extra expense is worth it to me. I will keep the CRV about 3 years and hook and unhook it about 200 times over the next 3 years. That makes my life much easier.

Now the dirty little secrets about tow dollies.

When you pull into a campground that doesn't have pull thru spaces (like 90 percent of them) you have to unhook the car from the dolly, and then unhook the dolly from the RV; especially if you have to back in. You will find yourself having to muscle the dolly to its storage location by hand and If the area in not level and or paved, this can be quite a job. You may be able to drive to a location nearby and drop it, but the you have to muscle it to reattach later. If you plan on doing any state parks, you will find that most suites are very small and the terrain is too rough to push a dolly around weighing several hundred pounds. This is just no fun to me!

Now, one more scenario! Sooner or later you will pull into somewhere that is a dead end and you have no choice but to back up. And the simple truth about tow bars and dollies, is you can't back up with damaging something. So here is your two options ( your choice ).

Tow bar--- pull two pins, have the wife back the toad out of the way while you back out the MH and turn it around. She pulls back up behind the MH again, you simply pull the slide release on the two bar and reconnect while inserting the pins and light plug. You are on your way in about 5 minutes without breaking a sweat. The tow bar automatically resets to center. Life is good!

Dolly--- unstrap the tires and release the car from the tow dolly. Have the wife back it up. Then unhook, the dolly from the MH and muscle it off to the side. Get in the MH and back it out and turn it around. Then muscle the tow dolly over to the MH (pray it's not up hill) and reconnect it. Then pull the toad back up on the dolly and strap it down (by now you're sweating, cursing and the wife is mad at you). Get in the motorhome and drive for about 5 miles and then stop and recheck the straps.

Yes it's all about choices and yes, I like towing 4 down. But to each their own. It's like Christianity, everyone has the same basic beliefs, but go to different denominational churches. It's all about living and enjoying the RV lifestyle and what works for you. .....just my two cents.

Randy
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Old 01-06-2014, 09:23 PM   #48
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John I hope you are finding this tread entertaining reading because James, Scarbab, Mel and myself, appear to be enjoying the debate over dollies vs towing 4 down. Let me start by saying, I would never tow my CRV without a breaking system, but I understand there are a lot of people who do. Yes I had to remove the front end of my CRV to install the tow plate and I had to buy a breaking system and tow bar. To me, it's all about the ease of hooking it up and unhooking it. For me to unhook, I pull two pins, a brake light plug and I'm unhooked. The tow bar stays attached to the motorhome, folds to one side, and the CRV has almost no visible brackets. Also the braking system works on all four wheels of the toad (not just the two tow dolly wheels). Now to explain why the extra expense is worth it to me. I will keep the CRV about 3 years and hook and unhook it about 200 times over the next 3 years. That makes my life much easier. Now the dirty little secrets about tow dollies. When you pull into a campground that doesn't have pull thru spaces (like 90 percent of them) you have to unhook the car from the dolly, and then unhook the dolly from the RV; especially if you have to back in. You will find yourself having to muscle the dolly to its storage location by hand and If the area in not level and or paved, this can be quite a job. You may be able to drive to a location nearby and drop it, but the you have to muscle it to reattach later. If you plan on doing any state parks, you will find that most suites are very small and the terrain is too rough to push a dolly around weighing several hundred pounds. This is just no fun to me! Now, one more scenario! Sooner or later you will pull into somewhere that is a dead end and you have no choice but to back up. And the simple truth about tow bars and dollies, is you can't back up with damaging something. So here is your two options ( your choice ). Tow bar--- pull two pins, have the wife back the toad out of the way while you back out the MH and turn it around. She pulls back up behind the MH again, you simply pull the slide release on the two bar and reconnect while inserting the pins and light plug. You are on your way in about 5 minutes without breaking a sweat. The tow bar automatically resets to center. Life is good! Dolly--- unstrap the tires and release the car from the tow dolly. Have the wife back it up. Then unhook, the dolly from the MH and muscle it off to the side. Get in the MH and back it out and turn it around. Then muscle the tow dolly over to the MH (pray it's not up hill) and reconnect it. Then pull the toad back up on the dolly and strap it down (by now you're sweating, cursing and the wife is mad at you). Get in the motorhome and drive for about 5 miles and then stop and recheck the straps. Yes it's all about choices and yes, I like towing 4 down. But to each their own. It's like Christianity, everyone has the same basic beliefs, but go to different denominational churches. It's all about living and enjoying the RV lifestyle and what works for you. .....just my two cents. Randy

Yes I meant brake... Not break
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Old 01-06-2014, 10:21 PM   #49
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Dirty little secrets about tow-dolly's...? Hardly

First, the drop off is very similar. Pull pins and stow floppy bar -or- pop strap locks and the car is off..no big difference. After that, the dolly backs just like a trailer. Or you can unlock it and roll it on it's own tires (a one handed evolution for EZE-tow owners) or roll the bigger dolly's on a built-in tongue lift. No heavy lifting and never a need to muscle it around.

But wait...there is rarely (like never) a time that the dolly must be rolled around on it's own for any more than the length of your RV.

Plus, if you are smart like several of us here, you have a lightweight hitch on the car, to drag the dolly behind the car for as far as you want. A light weight hitch for the car is usually a bolt-on thing, is only just over $100 retail, and can be used to haul a bike rack on the back of the car too.

If at a camp ground where management wants you to unhook the toad at the big flat space by the office...no problem...4 down or dolly. Just unhook like above, then 2 people drive to the spot - same/same. At the spot, if you back in, just unhook the dolly right at the mouth of your spot before backing-in and the dolly will roll about just like above - easy peasy

Finally if you get trapped in a dead-end...BTW, this has never happened to me...just drop the car like above. And if for some reason the escape involves complex turns (remember an empty dolly backs just like a trailer) you just drop it until done turning around...moving the dolly was not required, because you stopped well before the end of the road - so, no need to back-up over the dolly.

It is a personal choice. Flat towing works for many. Dolly towing works for those of us that want to pick most any car without worry the car's drive line will grenade on the trip and want to save some money on set-up and maintenance too...plus we want brakes that will stop the car when on the hook, or God forbid in a run-away too.

And, I want to add...I never have to lay down to strap down the dolly. I have done it in the rain and in places with standing water, so I know how to avoid that. It just takes some planning to avoid this.
Safe travels
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Old 01-07-2014, 06:49 AM   #50
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Now, one more scenario! Sooner or later you will pull into somewhere that is a dead end and you have no choice but to back up. And the simple truth about tow bars and dollies, is you can't back up with damaging something. So here is your two options ( your choice ). .....just my two cents.

Randy
Agreed, this sooner or later for me has happened 4 times in 2 years, very thankful for the flat towed dinghy. Have also heard too many stories of the dolly straps slipping, or coming loose. Only big advantage I can see to dolly is ability to tow just about any front wheel drive, or manual trans rear wheel drive vehicle.

There is only one campground I have been to that I will consider leaving dinghy home next visit, Fort Wilderness. Just didn't need it.

But on the other hand, it is a nice spare vehicle in case of break-down on road.
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:55 AM   #51
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I drive a class A and went a couple years w/o a towed, But got a new one this summer (Well used one). if that says anything. It is so much easier running to town to pick up a gallon of milk and other needed supplies with the car. . For one thing I do NOT have to break camp.
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Old 01-07-2014, 12:43 PM   #52
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Has anyone towed a vehicle backward on a dolly and had problems. We want to dolly an Infiniti EX35 SUV. This is a rear wheel drive with auto trans. I contacted the manufacturer on how to tow and they recommended either flat bed or backwards with rear wheels up. I contacted a dolly manufacturer DEMCO, they advised against it because of the lack of weight in the rear could cause the steering mechanism not to work properly. Please give any advice on yeah or neah and recommendations on a dolly and the advantages of surge brakes vs electric.
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Old 01-07-2014, 01:27 PM   #53
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Has anyone towed a vehicle backward on a dolly and had problems. We want to dolly an Infiniti EX35 SUV. This is a rear wheel drive with auto trans. I contacted the manufacturer on how to tow and they recommended either flat bed or backwards with rear wheels up. I contacted a dolly manufacturer DEMCO, they advised against it because of the lack of weight in the rear could cause the steering mechanism not to work properly. Please give any advice on yeah or neah and recommendations on a dolly and the advantages of surge brakes vs electric.
I'm surprised the manufacturer would advise towing backwards. Who did you speak to? Salesman?

Towing a vehicle backwards is never advisable. The steering geometry is designed to be stable when going forward. Towing backwards, the steering will be constantly trying to turn due to the front-end caster that helps the steering return to center when going forwards. When going backwards it has the opposite effect.

Even with the steering locked in the central position, there will still be excessive strain on the steering and suspension components. Without the steering locked, it would be uncontrollable.

Someone may chime in and say they did it without any problem, but that doesn't mean they (or you) wouldn't have problems later.
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Old 01-07-2014, 03:18 PM   #54
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Now the dirty little secrets about tow dollies.

When you pull into a campground that doesn't have pull thru spaces (like 90 percent of them) you have to unhook the car from the dolly, and then unhook the dolly from the RV; especially if you have to back in. You will find yourself having to muscle the dolly to its storage location by hand and If the area in not level and or paved, this can be quite a job. You may be able to drive to a location nearby and drop it, but the you have to muscle it to reattach later. If you plan on doing any state parks, you will find that most suites are very small and the terrain is too rough to push a dolly around weighing several hundred pounds. This is just no fun to me!
I guess it depends on your physical strength but my wife has no issues moving around our tow dolly. She was very surprised on how easy it was.
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Now, one more scenario! Sooner or later you will pull into somewhere that is a dead end and you have no choice but to back up. And the simple truth about tow bars and dollies, is you can't back up with damaging something. So here is your two options ( your choice ).

Tow bar--- pull two pins, have the wife back the toad out of the way while you back out the MH and turn it around. She pulls back up behind the MH again, you simply pull the slide release on the two bar and reconnect while inserting the pins and light plug. You are on your way in about 5 minutes without breaking a sweat. The tow bar automatically resets to center. Life is good!

Dolly--- unstrap the tires and release the car from the tow dolly. Have the wife back it up. Then unhook, the dolly from the MH and muscle it off to the side. Get in the MH and back it out and turn it around. Then muscle the tow dolly over to the MH (pray it's not up hill) and reconnect it. Then pull the toad back up on the dolly and strap it down (by now you're sweating, cursing and the wife is mad at you). Get in the motorhome and drive for about 5 miles and then stop and recheck the straps.

Yes it's all about choices and yes, I like towing 4 down. But to each their own. It's like Christianity, everyone has the same basic beliefs, but go to different denominational churches. It's all about living and enjoying the RV lifestyle and what works for you. .....just my two cents.

Randy
I had no issues backing up my dolly with my car attached. No damage and used only the rear camera to determine where the car was going. But even if I had to remove the toad, backing up the trailer empty is no issue. At least for me anyways. Some people are not designed to back anything up. BTW this is the size of my wife and she has no problems man handling the trailer. EDIT, the pictures are no loading. Will have to try and update later.
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Old 01-07-2014, 06:48 PM   #55
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Admittedly this all comes down to personal preference, but when I read that with a dolly I could tow so many more different vehicles than I can with a tow bar it makes it sound like there's hardly any vehicles that can be towed with 4 wheels down, and thats just not true for me. When we looked for a vehicle to tow 4 down, the challenge wasn't to find one we could do that with, it was to decide which one to do it with. There are many different vehicles made by many different manufacturers that can be towed 4 down, and we liked many of them and enjoyed deciding just which one we wanted the most!
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Old 01-07-2014, 07:26 PM   #56
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What cars can be towed 4 down?

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Admittedly this all comes down to personal preference, but when I read that with a dolly I could tow so many more different vehicles than I can with a tow bar it makes it sound like there's hardly any vehicles that can be towed with 4 wheels down, and thats just not true for me. When we looked for a vehicle to tow 4 down, the challenge wasn't to find one we could do that with, it was to decide which one to do it with. There are many different vehicles made by many different manufacturers that can be towed 4 down, and we liked many of them and enjoyed deciding just which one we wanted the most!
WHAT CARS CAN BE TOWED 4 DOWN?

This HAS got to be one of the most asked questions on iRV2. Could anyone take a moment to start/make a list of "flat towable" cars. I cannot because alas, NONE of my cars are flat towable.

Maybe, this could even be its own thread and maybe even a "sticky." As each year goes by, cars could be added(?)

I think that would be a useful thread

Safe travels

P.S. The list should even include all the Jeeps that can be flat towed - makes/models/years, 'cuz lately I have read that not all Jeeps can go 4 Down.
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