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Old 02-01-2022, 09:35 PM   #1
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Tow bar or dolly?

So, I'm looking at my first RV and they are throwing in a nice Blue Ox tow bar. It's an Acclaim or better. Anyway, the base plate can't work on my car. So, I can trade/sell my old car and buy a used compact that can be towed, then spend $500 on the baseplate. Or, I can buy a used dolly for my front wheel drive car. Any advice would be appreciated. Are there any major differences in the 2 types of towing? By my calculations a dolly would be cheaper.
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Old 02-01-2022, 09:38 PM   #2
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Flat towing 4 down is so much nicer
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Old 02-01-2022, 10:21 PM   #3
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I bet

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Originally Posted by RVtravelz View Post
Flat towing 4 down is so much nicer

Yea, it's cost prohibitive. So it's sell my car, buy a new car which will be more than i get for my car. Then spend 500 + inst. for the base plate. Or keep my car and buy a dolly. I've seen used ones for 1000.
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Old 02-01-2022, 11:21 PM   #4
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In my mind there is no comparison between the 2. So much easier to flat tow.

I have done both, and will never use my dolly again for a holiday. I will hang onto it for if and when I may need it to move a vehicle, but it's a toad on all 4 for me.

There are some lower priced and decent ways to go for braking systems. Have a look at ReadyBrake.com Use any base plate and tow bar with their system

Just be sure to get a braking system no matter how you tow.
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Old 02-01-2022, 11:58 PM   #5
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Pay me now or pay me later.

If you are going to be doing a lot of traveling you will eventually switch to four down towing.
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Old 02-02-2022, 05:05 AM   #6
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I started the MH life with 4 down using a jeep as the car of choice. This day and age its hard to find cars that will tow 4 down. Yes, its easier to hook up 4 down but in my opinion thats about it. I have been hauling a KIA around for a few years and many thousand miles on a dolly. Yes dollies are a pain in the rear, yes hooking up is time consuming, but as I have nothing but time who cares.

I feel comfortable with the dolly as the choice of cars to pull is greater. Have to be careful not to have all wheel drive then can not be dolly towed.

Good luck on your decision
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Old 02-02-2022, 05:36 AM   #7
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I've used a dolly up until now. They are heavy and hard to maneuver. I thought I was going to have a heart attack after my last trip while trying to handle the dolly. Never again, I'm in the process of setting up for 4-down towing.
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Old 02-02-2022, 10:17 AM   #8
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Love my 4-down

I've not used a dolly but have seen them and guess the dolly vs. 4-down ratio is 1:10. 4-down setup is expensive but I already had a Jeep and it was too heavy for a dolly setup so aside from price, 4-down was an easy choice. It's been great, easy setup and breakdown (<10mins each).

Good luck. I will definitely say a tow car is a great idea either way. I traveled in my Class C my first year without it and the added freedom is priceless.
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Old 02-02-2022, 10:38 AM   #9
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A dolly is best when you don't plan to keep the toad a long time or may have different toads to tow. 4-down towing is best overall for the towing aspect, but in particular when the investment for the flat towing setup can provide you with enough years of towing to make the higher costs of the flat tow setup to be worthwhile.

I started with a dolly and still have it for toading my Chev Sonic (or any other fwd vehicle), but I also have a flat tow setup for my Chev Colorado p\u truck. A dolly isn't really all that difficult to use, at least the one I have is fairly simple to use and easy for me to move out of the way when needed. ~CA
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Old 02-02-2022, 12:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Libra8 View Post
So, I'm looking at my first RV and they are throwing in a nice Blue Ox tow bar. It's an Acclaim or better. Anyway, the base plate can't work on my car. So, I can trade/sell my old car and buy a used compact that can be towed, then spend $500 on the baseplate. Or, I can buy a used dolly for my front wheel drive car. Any advice would be appreciated. Are there any major differences in the 2 types of towing? By my calculations a dolly would be cheaper.
If your car is able to be towed 4-down then SOMEBODY makes a base plate for it - just find the correct base plate and install it, or have it installed.
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Old 02-02-2022, 12:41 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Libra8 View Post
Yea, it's cost prohibitive. So it's sell my car, buy a new car which will be more than i get for my car. Then spend 500 + inst. for the base plate. Or keep my car and buy a dolly. I've seen used ones for 1000.
We were in the same boat. We have a 2013 RAV4 that couldn't be towed four-down. Buying another car then spending $3000+ to make it towable just wasn't going to happen. We bought a MasterTow tow dolly and pulled the RAV4 probably 15 to 20,000 miles in four years.

I didn't find it that difficult. The first few times were a challenge, but we soon had it down to where we could get it loaded and unloaded in a few minutes. My wife camps without me often when I'm off on a motorcycle somewhere, and she handled it fine.

All in all, though, we only loaded and unloaded a few times a year. If we were camping within a couple of hours of home I'd take the RV, and my wife would come in the car and do the grocery shopping along the way. We used the dolly on longer trips, and it worked well for us.

If you can make your car towable, I would go that route. But if you're not adverse to a little extra work a dolly wasn't that bad for us.

We're now pulling a TT, so that's behind us.
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Old 02-02-2022, 01:03 PM   #12
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2010 Mercury Mariner Hybrid tows great 4 down. Same drivetrain as Ford Escape Hybrid of similar model years.

New Ford Escape hybrid also towable as is 2022 Ford maverick hybrid pickup truck.

NO WAY I would consider dolly tow unless an emergency.
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Old 02-02-2022, 01:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Libra8 View Post
So, I'm looking at my first RV and they are throwing in a nice Blue Ox tow bar. It's an Acclaim or better. Anyway, the base plate can't work on my car. So, I can trade/sell my old car and buy a used compact that can be towed, then spend $500 on the baseplate. Or, I can buy a used dolly for my front wheel drive car. Any advice would be appreciated. Are there any major differences in the 2 types of towing? By my calculations a dolly would be cheaper.

I’ll echo what Mr. Hepburn said above, if your car CAN be flat towed (check the owner’s manual) there is someone that makes a baseplate and it should be pretty reasonable in price / easy to install. Agree that dolly towing is cheaper, but for us flat towing is infinitely easier.
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Old 02-02-2022, 01:58 PM   #14
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The first time I used my tow Dolly convinced me to get rid of it and go with a tow bar.
I was stupid back in 1999.
I bought a Blue Ox Aladdin and been towing my Jeep since
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