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Old 02-01-2012, 03:47 PM   #1
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What and How to Tow?

Still haven't bought our motor home, but want to buy our tow vehicle.

Any insights? I'm quite confused between 4 down, 2 down, or totally on a trailer.

Which do you prefer and why?

When you run your toad four down, or even two down, doesn't it wear out the wheels and the axles?

Thanks for any help

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Old 02-01-2012, 04:02 PM   #2
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We have towed two vehicles 4 down for or 70,000 miles with aux braking system with no problems. There is a listing of towable vehicles on the FMCA ( Family Motor Coach Association) site, current and past. Towing two down requires a dolly which to me is more of a aggravation than I'm willing to deal with. When you arrive at your site you have to move it to some location for storage then retrieve it when departing. We have looked into an enclosed trailer but same issue. This is just one opinion and I'm sure there will be others. Good luck and happy camping.

Clark and Jo
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:32 PM   #3
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We tow 4-down - it is the most convenient and practical way. Yes, the tires wear as the car rolls, and I suppose wheel bearings and such too, but it's not really significant factor. Something is going to be wearing, whether it is the car or a trailer or a dolly or ???

We've towed three different toads over 100k miles. One of my toads had more towed miles on it than driven miles when we traded it! All the running gear was still in fine shape.
Gary Brinck
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:43 PM   #4
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I prefer Jeep products. We tow a 2003 Liberty behind the MH. But I have a Wrangler that we towed to the beach behind the Escalade for years. Jeep's 4wd system makes it very easy for towing. I can have the Liberty completely hooked up (Brake Buddy included) in 5 minutes.
The Collins Family
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:10 PM   #5
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Jeeps for sure. 4 down is in my opinion the best route to go, no trying to find a place to store the dolly or trailer.
2001 National Tradewinds 7370 300 Cat
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:10 PM   #6
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We tow our 2010 VW Tiguan on a flat, open trailer because it's not a vehicle that can be towed 4 down .. or even 2 down since it's a 4 wheel drive vehicle. We didn't have much of an option on this since we had already owned the VW for about a year when we bought our "new to us" motorhome.

After travelling over 4,000 miles with the Tiguan in tow, I've been able to get the load up and/or break down cycle down to about 10-15 minutes.

In the end, I'm pretty happy with our setup. I can load and/or unload the Tiguan in a relatively short amount of time. Being that we're towing a trailer, backing up is not a problem at all ... see my post here about backing here and at the end of the day, I have a trailer I can tow with the Tiguan for all my needs around our home.

Good luck in your decision
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:27 PM   #7
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I have a small motorhome, so I chose a small toad -- a Smart Car which only weighs 1800# and can be towed 4 down. I selected a ReadyBrute Elite towbar because it has a built-in braking system so there is no heavy box to lift in and out or store.

I considered a tow dolly, but realized it would be yet another vehicle to title, insure, maintain and store.

Perhaps if you would post what sort of RV you are looking into and the size of your family you will get more helpful responses.
Barb (RVM18), Sena (capuchin monkey, RVM Head Mascot) & Lily (Maltese/Yorkie)
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:40 PM   #8
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Tow 4 down

Towing 4 down is the way to go! I tow a Jeep wrangler and it is a snap to hook and unhook (just be sure to always double check everything). Besides the high-clearance four-wheel drive allows you to go into the back-country.

Many National Parks like Padre Island National Sea Shore, Big Ben NP, Great Sand Dunes NP, Glacier NP all have back-country primitive 4-wheel drive only roads that take you back into remote sections of the park.
Matt Brown / Chief, USN(RET)
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:13 PM   #9
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I towed my Jeep Grand Cherokee (Full Time Locked Rear Differential, so no 4 down) on a trailer behind my pickup and camper for three years, then bought a 34 Foot Motorhome and after researching 4 down towing, I purchased a Dolly as it was less money, more flexible (I can tow different vehicles with out costly modifications to each) Towed my PT Cruiser from Seattle to Yuma and back (Not the most direct routes either) no problem. Getting ready for another trip and this time I will tow the DW's Town & Country Van and have no added expense to change toad.

Also on the trip to Yuma and back, the only time I had to unhook the dolly from the Motorhome was the two times I could not get a pull thru site and had to back in, but was able to keep the dolly right beside the MH each time.
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:29 PM   #10
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Go with the 4 down. Had a tow dolly and always an issue with storing it at a campsite. Someone always wants to water or cut the grass where it is stored adjacent to the MH. We have towed two different Saturn Vues. Towed an 08 from Seattle to Anchorage with no problems. Never knew it was back there. Just have to pull an ignition fuse while towing, and run the transmission in neutral with engine running every 250 miles or 5 hours. Not a problem.

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Old 02-01-2012, 10:44 PM   #11
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We've towed several different vehicles, a '95 Honda Odyssey on a dolly, a '05 Honda Odyssey both on a dolly and four down and '97 Jeep GC. By far the Jeep was the easiest to hook up and tow.
The '05 Ody we bought after getting it in writing from Honda that it was towable four down. A few months later they changed their story. They then paid for our towing gear and we bought a new dolly, a KK-460. Great dolly and worth the money. We towed for several years on the dolly but now there are several people towing them four down with no trouble so I'm doing that again.
HOWEVER, I don't consider the dolly to be a big problem, and I can load it just about as fast as I can set the Ody up for four down. The only time I've had to store the dolly somewhere else was at a FMCA rally and we were in the handicapped electric area. Any other area we would have had room for it at the site.
Four down might be slightly easier but there is more chance for transmission damage and wear on the front tires. Also, I don't have to leave the ignition on when on the dolly and risk running the battery down.
We'll be headed for AZ in a while and I'm still weighing whether to take the dolly or go four down.
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Old 02-02-2012, 03:17 AM   #12
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The "best" set up is completely relative to your circumstances and preferences, what is most economical and practical for you. All tow systems have their pros and cons but work well in any event. 4 down seems to be the most used, then dolly then trailer (not scientific other than my observations over ten years).

---a sure fire one is Honda CRV--4 down--towed ours 30,000 miles the car has 85,000 other wise--trouble free a combined 115000 original miles and we just installed our third set of tires so around 55000 on tires---pretty normal---transmission still is silky smooth.

CR-V top of consumers best buy every year
Rated top ten in highest resale
Silky smooth engine and transmission, economical
Roomy, durable---tows really well---easy conversion and set up---lots of good used ones out there I'll bet---some already equipt to tow.

Not to discredit any others I'm just saying this one is a winner, Give it a look.
I do all my own stunts
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:16 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
We tow 4-down - it is the most convenient and practical way. Yes, the tires wear as the car rolls, and I suppose wheel bearings and such too, but it's not really significant factor.
2014 American Eagle 45T
DD 500
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:15 AM   #14
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Hi AloraDanin,
Buying the toad vehicle first may dictate the coach you purchase. Weight is an important factor. For me, I purchased a coach that would tow 10K. This allows me the maximum number of choices when choosing a vehicle to tow. That being said, choose a toad that is right for you when not being towed. Will the vehicle fit your needs as you use it. This may or may not limit the choices you have to tow with. Once you get the coach, then the toad that satisfies your needs, then choose the method you'll tow it with. If trailer towing is out of the question, one must choose a vehicle that can be towed 4 or 2 wheels on the ground.

Forget the wear and tear. There will be wear and tear no matter what you choose.

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