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737 Driver 02-26-2019 11:01 AM

Tow Dolly
 
It's time for us to part with our 2006 Honda Accord that we have towed flat for over 70,000 miles. Could you share your experience with using a dolly to tow your vehicle? I am interested in a few vehicles that can't be flat towed but not sure of the PITA factor, if any, with a dolly.

Thanks,

-Tor
2017 Anthem 44B

Oregonpharme 02-26-2019 11:18 AM

I used a tow dolly for years before deciding on flat towing. Using a tow dolly requires a bit more effort, especially in parks and campgrounds where the dolly has to be disconnected and rolled out of the way. Backing with a vehicle on the dolly is the same as with a semi-truck and trailer, as there is an extra pivot involved so it takes some practice. Braking can be a challenge if you drive on ice and snow, as the dolly will have brakes and the car just sort of flops around behind the pivot of the dolly.

The advantages include wear on the running gear of the towed vehicle is significantly reduced, and installing a debris shield is much simplified when it does not have to be removed with each time the automobile is taken off the dolly.

Unplanned Tourist 02-26-2019 12:33 PM

I bought an older tow dolly last year. After putting all new brakes, lines, surge master cylinder, fenders, wiring and lights on it, I decided it was too much of a pain! :banghead:
It really limits the sharp turns and pretty well eliminates backing up very far.
Long story short, I went back to flat towing my Ranger.
Happy Glamping.

69Stang 02-26-2019 12:39 PM

If you have a Toad with very little clearance in the wheel well like mine you will get dirty putting the straps on the tires. Plus if your tires are meant for performance they will have a hard time climbing the ramps with mud on them.


I did two trips with the dolly and decided that was enough of that. Very happy flat towing :)

Hayman 02-26-2019 02:35 PM

Tor, About 9 years ago I ordered a tow dolly, had it shipped to me, assembled it and went through the exercise of loading the car we were going to dolly tow but because the air dam was so low I had to play around with some 2x6's to get the correct angle then I fought with a strap over a wheel in a very tight wheel well. I was to say the least sweaty and filthy up to my elbows !

That ended my tow dolly attempt and luckily SOLD IT rather quickly !

I don't think after flat towing you'll be very happy with a dolly. Just my opinion.
We recently replaced our SRX with a GMC Canyon 4 x 4 , flat towable and we are very happy with it. There are other choices though admittedly it seems fewer flat towable vehicles are available.

HenryRH3 02-26-2019 02:49 PM

Tow dolly
 
We used a major brand dolly for two trips, towing my wifeís Mini Cooper. Never again. It is a dirty job hooking and unhooking, especially in the rain. We got rid of the gas coach and the dolly after three months and got a Tiffin and a Blue Ox and flat tow my High Country Silverado. A completely different and much better experience.

brobox 02-26-2019 02:58 PM

I can only speak from watching others in RV parks over the years connecting and disconnecting. Many wear some type of coveralls to connect before leaving. If it's raining or has rained the night before, usually a shower after connecting is required, then storing the muddy coveralls. The storing of the dolly if the campsite is not long enough for all 3 can be a hassle.
I have towed a 'Not Approved" for towing Tacoma for 5 years using a drive shaft disconnect with no problems. That was a much better solution for me than a tow dolly. JME, others may love their dollies, but we move to much for one to be enjoyable for us.

Balladeer 02-26-2019 03:05 PM

Tow dolly
 
Just for input we have towed the below setup from Calif to Connecticut, over the Rockies and Grand Canyon, and a two month trip to Alaska as far North as Fairbanks. (22,000 miles)
Never a problem and with the "Alaska Pack" from roadmaster, no damage on the Alaska adventure.
Setup:
1. 2016 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk
2. Roadmaster All-terrain tow bar with "Alaska Pack"
3. RVI-3 toad brake system with tire monitoring system

There are no limitations on the speed or periodic engine running requirements with the Jeep.
This was after selling the Ford Explorer and much research to get this unit.
It takes a little patience for setup/unhook, but the resultant "no damage" is worth it.

Happy trails...Gregg

Matt D 02-26-2019 03:12 PM

Tor, I don’t know squat about dollies, other than it looks like a hassle.

If you want we can get together and I can show you how easy and cool it is to pull our F-150.

Hope you’re doing well.

-Matt

tomwalt 02-26-2019 03:13 PM

I'm not a FTer, but I've been using one for 9 years. True you can't back up, you need to hook chains up underneath, and put straps over the car front tires. I have a small Chevy Aveo and put a tow hitch on it. When I get to a campground I go to a (paved or dry) parking area and unload - leave the car and dolly there. Drive the RV to my spot and set-up, then walk back to get the car and tow the dolly back. For me, it's nice to not be tied to a specific toad - any front wheel drive car can be towed.
P.S. storing it has never been an issue, but sometimes I tow it to my site 1st then walk back for the RV.

BillJinOR 02-26-2019 03:16 PM

All fine and dandy if your car is flat towable thatís the way to go if you plan on keeping it. However if the car you really want isnít flat towable and you really donít like the limited choices then trailer or dolly is whatís left.
I currently have a dolly and a enclosed trailer
The dolly is not as convenient as 4 down for sure but I donít get dirty ( I wear gloves putting the straps on ). Who are all these people who hook up in the rain constantly ? I always hear that complaint ;)
I bought a low clearance dolly for my low clearance car and it works fine. Do I stop and check the straps every couple hours .. yes ! ( and use the bathroom ) . do I back it? No and the 4 down crowd also do not. ( I do with my car trailer! )
Itís a solution if you donít like any of the 4 down choices. Or prefer to use multiple cars .
I drive the car on and it takes 10-15 miniutes tops to secure the car and ramps . My hood stays rock chip free compared to the mess flat towing did to the old Honda.
Flat tow if you can, itís obviously easiest. But....

brobox 02-26-2019 03:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tomwalt (Post 4653609)
I'm not a FTer, but I've been using one for 9 years. True you can't back up, you need to hook chains up underneath, and put straps over the car front tires. I have a small Chevy Aveo and put a tow hitch on it. When I get to a campground I go to a (paved or dry) parking area and unload - leave the car and dolly there. Drive the RV to my spot and set-up, then walk back to get the car and tow the dolly back. For me, it's nice to not be tied to a specific toad - any front wheel drive car can be towed.
P.S. storing it has never been an issue, but sometimes I tow it to my site 1st then walk back for the RV.


Exactly, I could be on the second glass of wine. :laugh: Go to dinner, (DW driving) connect the tow bar and be ready to leave in the morning.

Mwoodofd 02-26-2019 07:42 PM

Don't do it - you will hate it. From hooking up, to finding a place to store it. Find a toad you can live with to flat tow. Try hooking up in the rain, or in 100 degree weather strapping the tires - you will be back to flat towing.

I bought a dolly, used it 6 months, and bought my Jeep, set it up to tow. My next toad will be a pickup, set up to hook up like the Jeep - very easy and quick. Like Matt said in another thread, can use the bed of the pick up to carry "other things!"

Cat 02-26-2019 07:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mwoodofd (Post 4653908)
Don't do it - you will hate it. From hooking up, to finding a place to store it. Find a toad you can live with to flat tow. Try hooking up in the rain, or in 100 degree weather strapping the tires - you will be back to flat towing.

I bought a dolly, used it 6 months, and bought my Jeep, set it up to tow. My next toad will be a pickup, set up to hook up like the Jeep - very easy and quick. Like Matt said in another thread, can use the bed of the pick up to carry "other things!"

Yep did the same thing, you couldn't give me one. Trying to store it in your rv space with your rv and the tow vehicle was more painful than I thought it would be also. Whole thing was a PIA


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