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Old 05-18-2011, 06:51 PM   #1
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what is harder on the vehicle?

Hi there. We have a 08 dynamax, 26' that we will use for short weekend trips and 1-2 weeks a year. Since the unit is short, we are going to take our time figuring out what sort of toad set up that will work best for us. Currently I have a '06 Caliber....not a great car, but she's a perfect commuter car and if we keep this into next year it would require a dolly I believe.

I guess my question is: if someone owns a car that is flat-towable, what is 'harder' on the vehicle, a flat tow or a dolly? this might seem like a silly question but like they say, there are no stupid questions, right?
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Old 05-18-2011, 07:08 PM   #2
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A good tow dolly puts almost no unusual loads on the toad vehicle. The toad basically just sits on the dolly with it's front wheels and rolls down the road on it's rear wheels. Towing 4 down does exert some torsional forces on the vehicle frame as transmitted through the tow bar/ base plate. Also the front wheels are forced to steer by these torsional forces rather than being operated by the steering mechanism. That said, these forces are normally minimal and well within the design limits of today's vehicles.
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Old 05-18-2011, 07:32 PM   #3
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I worry less about what's hard on the toad vs. the driver of the coach. Flat towing is waaay easier to deal with than a dolly.

I have a toad which is rated 4-down and it's a dream to set up and pull. I'm ready to go in about 2 minutes. Same for unhooking. I installed a fuse switch for the 1 circuit Chevrolet says to pull the fuse. Turn the switch off, and off we go.
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Old 05-18-2011, 11:11 PM   #4
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Do you use a supplemental braking system? And if so, which one?
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
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Do you use a supplemental braking system? And if so, which one?
JacknKay, you might get a better response and information by starting your own thread that includes the make, model and year of your RV and towed. These members know their stuff. Bob

Oh yeah, welcome to the site.
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:07 PM   #6
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I tow a Ford Escape standard trans 4 down. I find it to be a great way to tow. The car is just better engineered than a dolly so there are less problems with bearings and extra piece and parts to go wrong. Just get a good tow bar and base plate from a good company, and a proper install and you will be towing in no time. I also use a brake buddy to help stop and a tire pressure monitor system for worry free towing.
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:33 PM   #7
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Frankly I've towed both flat and on a dolly and find that either one is fine. Four down is slightly easier, but on a dolly I know the trans and engine will never be harmed. Yes, I do have to park the dolly but we have a Demco SS-450 that folds up. Have never had a problem parking it onsite.
I have a RoadMaster Sterling setup and BrakeMaster setup for the '05 Ody, but still use the dolly.
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Old 05-25-2011, 12:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Do you use a supplemental braking system? And if so, which one?
Are you asking about braking with a dolly vs 4 down? If not, starting a new thread with your question would be a good idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dynaride99 View Post
I tow a Ford Escape standard trans 4 down. I find it to be a great way to tow. Just get a good tow bar and base plate from a good company, and a proper install and you will be towing in no time. I also use a brake buddy to help stop and a tire pressure monitor system for worry free towing.
Ditto for me except I tow a Ford Explorer automatic w/4X4. I've never used a dolly but from what I understand, the two options are close enough to cause the decision to become mostly financial... ie; if you already have a car that needs a dolly and aren't crazy about the cost of replacing it with one which can be towed 4 down, I'd probably go with the dolly. With a relatively short coach you won't have trouble storing it either.

Good luck...

Rick
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Old 05-25-2011, 12:21 AM   #9
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Couldn't tell you which is harder on the car, however I can tell you which is harder on the driver.

The trailer is harder on you than pulling 4 down.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:01 AM   #10
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Honda CR-V four down, hands down, no problems, easy as pie, and the car shows no ill effects after 80k driving and 25k towing. Brakes lasted (Brake -pro) for about 70k on the car and 20k towing. Hasn't been hard on me or the car.

A dolly, regardless, would add another "thing" for me to deal with which I would not like---so I go 4 down.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:06 AM   #11
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Honda CR-V four down, hands down, no problems, easy as pie, and the car shows no ill effects after 80k driving and 25k towing. Brakes lasted (Brake -pro) for about 70k on the car and 20k towing. Hasn't been hard on me or the car.

A dolly, regardless, would add another "thing" for me to deal with which I would not like---so I go 4 down.

PS: I just read the reply about the expense factor and would agree with what is said there as well. I almost got a dolly for the same reasons---I had a car. Over all I am glad I sold the car which coild not be towed four down and got another one towable---but that is just my circumstance. It may not be yours--as far as easier on a car---I'm not sure there is a truly absolute answer for you.
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