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Old 07-08-2007, 06:48 AM   #1
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I am new and wondering what the big difference is in towing with a dolly and on wheels down. We are part-time users and leaning towards a Dolly because we may use different cars to tow. Would like to know the downside of Dolly towing.
Thanks
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Old 07-08-2007, 06:48 AM   #2
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I am new and wondering what the big difference is in towing with a dolly and on wheels down. We are part-time users and leaning towards a Dolly because we may use different cars to tow. Would like to know the downside of Dolly towing.
Thanks
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Old 07-08-2007, 07:48 AM   #3
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Towing with a dolly is a bit less convenient than towing 4-down. Some of the +/- are:

The dolly is additional weight to tow and it does put some load on the hitch on the motorhome and rear axle.

You now have an additional item to store and unhook...more of a problem with back in site as opposed to a pull through.

Some states require the dolly to licensed, but most don't.

A dolly can be a challenge to load in wet weather is the ramps are not well serrated.

If you ever get into a tight situation, you will have to unload the car, then unhook the dolly,do you maneuvering and then hook up and reload.

Now on the other side....

A dolly can be used for multiple front wheel drive vehicles, so you do not have to have brackets, brakes and wiring added to different vehicles.

In either case, you need brakes on the towed vehicle, whether 4-down or a dolly. A dolly can be had with electric brakes or surge brakes.

Towing 4-down will require the vehicle to fitted with tow bar brackets, wired for lights and a brake system installed. Depending on how much work you can do, this can run $2000 to $3500.

The vehicle for 4-down towing, is a simple hook up the tow bar, bight wiring and brake system.

When we towed a car on a dolly I used a set of magnetic lights on the rear of the car to supplement the dolly lights.

For what it is worth, there are better dollies available than when we towed, and if I were to go back to a motorhome, I think I would use a dolly simply because I would not be tied to one towed vehicle. I would also have a much better selection of vehicles to choose from.

Ken
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Old 07-08-2007, 08:00 AM   #4
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Thanks so much. I wonder if anyone has a recomendation on a dolly they like and easy to use.
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Old 07-08-2007, 08:04 AM   #5
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Like so many aspects of RVing, it comes down to personal preference.

Unfortunately, what sounds good in theory, doesn't always suit us once we try it out.

The vast majority tow 4 down, but that doesn't mean a dolly would not suit your needs.

Dolly towing may be right for you.
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Old 07-08-2007, 09:10 AM   #6
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Your neighbors will borrow your dolly putting your assets at risk. Your insurance won't even cover the paperwork for the legions of lawyers employed by your neighbors auto insurance company.

Not being negative, just speaking from experience (fortunately not MY experience).
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Old 07-08-2007, 09:15 AM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Your neighbors will borrow your dolly putting your assets at risk. Your insurance won't even cover the paperwork for the legions of lawyers employed by your neighbors auto insurance company. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I would think that locking the dolly securely would prevent that.
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Old 07-08-2007, 11:22 AM   #8
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I guess I have to put my two cents in as I have a 2000 Roadmaster Tow Dolly with electric brakes which I installed myself.

I have been towing since 2001 and have no problems either towing with it or parking it at campsite.

Most campgrounds have pull throughs so you can pull in with tow dolly and car connected and then unload it at your leisure. If they don't have pull thoroughs I usually unload the car and insert pin into dolly and that way it acts like a regular trailer. Then I back it into the site and park car in front of RV. If there are no pull throughs then I unhook dolly and put it along side RV. BTW I installed a third wheel so I can push it around. Now if you can't leave dolly at your site I have a hitch on towed car where I can attach dolly and take it wherever.

As for lights I use magnetic lights on trunk of car. I ran the wire through the car into engine compartment. Then I wired a female plug from the dolly lights to one of the compartments. This way when I plug in conector to RV I connect dolly lights, magnetic lights and brakes. Speaking of electric brakes a controller has to be installed in RV to make them work. You could get it with surge brakes which work good too.

In Closing I would say that a Tow Dolly makes more sense than four down as you don't need to spend all that money and you can tow any front wheel drive car. In fact I have even some real wheel drive cars towed backwards but don't know how that is. Plus I don't have to disconnect any fuses or buy a Brake Buddy. I also don't scuff front tires as a lot of cars towed four down do. I just rotate tires on toad every 10K miles.

Go for it and I'm sure you will be just fine even though it will take a little practice loading car and don't forget to unhook safety chains and flip lever before unloading.

Enjoy!!!

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Old 07-08-2007, 06:09 PM   #9
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I to have a Roadmaster dolly and have been very happy with it . I ordered it with electric brakes to eliminate any problems in ststes that require brakes on towed vehicles over 3000 lbs. I did modify the wiring to be able to hook in some magnetic lights on top of the car. I figured that I would have more money tied up with brake, towbar, transmission pump etc than the cost of the dolly and I can tow any vehicle with it. Works for us and has for three years. Good luck with what ever decision you make. tinker
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Old 07-10-2007, 12:27 PM   #10
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I towed with a dolly set the first two years. My experience with it was awfull! Wife hated driving up on the ramps but didn't like to be the ground guide either (better check that out). Took me ten minutes to hook up, drive up, tie down, especially in the rain. Wheel straps and car safety chains are dirty to hook up under the car. Got jammed up in a parking lot once and had to drop the car, then the dolly, then reverse, then etc...NO thanks. If you do buy one, don't spend the money on a new one. Check the want ads and RV dealers. Lots of used ones around from disgruntled owners who went "flat out" like I did.

Bought a Jeep Cherokee (best money I ever spent on a car..indestructable) then internet ordered an A-Frame tow bar and predrilled base plate: $185, plastic coated safety cables and Cherokee light conversion kit: $65. Installed myself on a Saturday morning $0.

Got 8 summers and over 25K miles on this rig with zero problems. Quick, easy, clean and effective. Must be why you see so many of them on the highways.
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Old 07-10-2007, 05:28 PM   #11
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Adventurer, I hope you have a brake system on the dinghy. Noticed one was not mentioned.

Ken
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Old 07-10-2007, 06:49 PM   #12
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My brother bought a brand new dolly with surge brakes. First trip the dolly wheels started bouncing when brakes were applied and the brake disconnect chord mechanism broke and then the hitch reciever snapped in half.

Figured the reciever had a week weld in it. He took dolly back and exchanged for a new one.

Same problem with brake mechanism and bouncing wheels. New reciever held ok.

Took that one back for a refund.

One other thing that I noticed was the back of the windstar toad was to close to the ground. He had a hitch on the toad with a bike rack and the electric plug reciever was very close to the ground.

Would not be good entering steep graded gas stations.

After his experience I will not consider buying a tow dolly.

I may buy something light to pull flat with no brakes.


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Old 07-11-2007, 07:32 AM   #13
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I have had, done both. I started out with a dolly for cost reasons and the fact that I had two front wheel drive cars. Everything went pretty good. I did find my Impala had a low air dam and that would hit the dolly pan and knock it out of wack causing loading difficult. I then sold the two cars and bought a 03 Saturn Vue. It loads on the dolly like a dream. No problems what so ever. I also bought a Jeep Liberty. I did my home work and added the completed set up to tow four down for $1869. Now I have a dolly for sale.
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Old 07-11-2007, 10:24 AM   #14
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I just bought a Chevy HHR to tow behind the MH, and the owner's manual specifically states this car can NOT be towed on a dolly due to rear ground clearance issues.

The car is towable 4-down.
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